Monday, November 17, 2008

First fixie

It's been a few weeks, I know. What have I been doing? Enjoying the election results, sleeping in on Saturday mornings, and riding to work. What's that, a new bike? Say, it is a new bike! New to me, anyway.

The story is that back in July my brother sent me the following email:

The same guy that forwarded me the email about the naked biking says he's got a bike frame he doesn't want anymore. Any interest? This guy rides a regular weekend ride with his local bike shop, kind of like you do and he's in his late 50's or maybe 60 years old. He's giving this away if you're interested.

From what I remember:

-trek steel frame - 60" (this guy is about 6'2")
-has some components on it, but not all of them. I think he mentioned Campio(?) components for some things, but I can't remember for sure.
-He's keeping the wheels he had on it, but he thinks he still has the factory 26" wheels that he would give with it
-he said the saddle is pretty nice
-brakes are included
-no rust on the frame

Don't know if you have room for more bike stuff at your place or not, but I thought I'd run it by you anyway.

Of course, I said yes immediately. I picked the frame up from my brother sometime in August and hauled it home. After taking stock, I found the following:

-trek steel frame - 60". Nice, something in the 83-84 vintage. I tried looking up the serial number on vintage trek, but there was some light corrosion and the numbers I wrote down don't quite match what the site says.
-Campy cranks, chainrings and most likely bottom bracket. Campy front derailleur, no rear. Seatpost, bars, stem.
-The factory wheels were actually 27", and to be honest I have no idea if I got them or not
-Ditto the saddle, no recollection of what was on there.
-brakes are included. Dia-compe with fairly new pads.
-a couple of minor rust spots on the frame, nothing serious
-a nice Zefal frame pump
-a bag full of odds and ends

Around the same time I found a killer deal on a wheelset from a Redline 925 on craigslist. I'm telling you, good bike karma all around.

I pulled the front derailleur, downtube cable stops, and all the shifter cables from the bike. I replaced the front brake cable, swapped out the drop bars for a set of moustache bars I had in the parts bin. I also switched to my old Specialized Body Geometry saddle, but after one Hiawatha ride my nethers were killing me and I mounted the Brooks from my sadly neglected Jamis.

I rode the bike a few times as a single speed, and then a few weeks ago I took the plunge and got a 17 tooth fixed cog from Hiawatha. I flopped the hub and have been cleverly disguised as a fixie punk ever since. I'm starting to see the allure.


Anonymous said...

Sweet..glad my old Trek found new life as a single speed/fixie. Just don't go down any steep hills or you'll pedal your butt off!!

I'm thinking of doing the same with my Ibis Spanky. However, I don't think I have the fast-twitch muscles to go the fixed gear route.

midway cyclist said...

Sweet bike. I've kept my eye out for an old Trek or similar frame like that for a while, they're increasingly rare.

Fixed riding is good practice, it's a different pace than even singlespeed riding, much less dynamic, more conservation of momentum. It's fun when your legs learn the 'coasting' mode down hills.

Tex69 said...

my prob is that with hills right now i'm riding SS on the old Trek but not fixie. i plan to flip the hub ala Velocipete (well, you) and do the fixie thing as well when i get around to it. nice pics too.

Apertome said...

That is a sweet-looking bike. Love the mustache bars on there. I've never ridden fixed, but it's something I'd like to experience eventually. Sounds like fun.

GolgiApparatus said...

That looks like a 600 series frame due to the fact that it is Reynolds steel. If it was a 400 series frame it would likely be an Ishiawata frame. It is probably an '82...very cool. Once you go vintage Trek you never go back...the quality of the frame build and the ride are tremendous. Looks like the frame may be too big for you with that seat post all the way down....enjoy!!!!
Let me know if you want to part with any of the original components...

rigtenzin said...

I had a Trek 560 (I think that was the model number) and it had Reynolds 501 tubing. That was the first year Trek used 501.

Did you take the photos at your ranch?