This Old Bike

Back in 1990 I bought my second serious bike.  I was in college at the time and had sold my car to finance the purchase.  The bike was a Trek 1100 which featured an aluminum frame triangle and Chromalloy stays and fork.   If the rider is the heart of the bike then the wheels would be the legs.  After falling in love with a set of black Mavic Hubs called the Paris Gao Dakar I decided to lace my own wheels.  I was putting about 120 miles a week on the bike and felt I needed the bike to be bomb proof.  The Matrix Titan rims were kept and I choose DT double butted spokes.  After the wheel upgrade I put thousands of miles on the bike and even completed a Century ride from Fresno around Bass Lake and back.  The point of all this is that I have a serious attachment to the bike even though it has been replaced by a Bianchi Axis.  At the time I purchased the Bianchi I had intended on purchasing a single speed Redline with disc brakes.  I rode one at the bike shop but fell in love with the ride of the Bianchi.

After nearly 20 years of kicking around and not being ridden the bike is getting a new lease on life.

Anyhow, now that I have started riding again I decided to update or refit the Trek.  I did a lot of research and a single speed is once again on my radar.  I really wanted to have a fixed gear but that would mean a new hub.  And we have big hills here and bombing down them is fun.  Besides, I really like those Mavic hubs they are really incredible pieces.

I took some pictures of the Trek and even weighed it which my wife got a kick out of for some reason.  The bike weighed 24 pounds and that was with the heavy commuter tires that never really fit the bike – not bad for a bomb proof bike.  I’d like to see it closer to 20 pounds but we shall see.

This is basically what I hope to do to the Trek so I can run a single speed or even fixed gear (fixie) when I am finished.

I stripped the bike as far as I could without special tools, filed off the shifter mounts and cable guides. Also the needed tools to pull the crank and freewheel are ordered and on the way. The next order of business is modification of the rear dropout.  I am going to weld in a fill piece and then recut the slot so that it is a horizontal mount.   The next post will have some progress shots and decisions as far as color etc.

The To Do List:

Modify the rear drop out from vertical to horizontal. I’ll have to cut off derailleur hangar and make a template to fill in the slot.  Fit the bits and weld them in then cut the new slot.

Repaint frame, so I need to choose a color theme and decide if components will be polished like my inspiration photo, blacked out or painted some funky color.

Switch to single chain ring which means I need to decide on gear ratio. We have a long stretch of uphill with a couple of steep sections to get to my house.  So, I will probably choose something in the lower gear range maybe a little under 60 inches 39/18 or 40/18.  I may start with a 42 up front as I have a chain ring that size already.

Blast and paint, polish or anodize the components such as the goose neck, crank set, brake levers and calipers.

Replace the bottom bracket and service or replace the headset.  I’ll need to look at the races on the headset and make sure they are smooth.  I can flop the top and bottom as the bottom gets all of the abuse.

Adjust chain line which will consist of shims for chain ring, shims for rear axle and re-dishing the rear wheel.  The re-dish may require new spokes.

I still need to decide if I am going to go with straight bars like the inspiration bike, bull bars or drops are still possible as well.  The type of bars will determine my choice of brake levers.

I stripped the bike as far as I could without special tools, filed off the shifter mounts and cable guides. Also the needed tools to pull the crank and freewheel are ordered and on the way. The next order of business is modification of the rear dropout.  I am going to wed in a fill piece and then recut so that it has a horizontal mount.   The next post will have some progress shots and decisions as far as color etc.

Thanks go to MrJohan.

If my bike looks like this when I am done I will be SO happy!

I have to post a link to the site that gave me the most inspiration.  This guy has the most beautiful bikes and if I can make mine look like any of his bikes I will be supremely happy.  The picture is from MrJohan check out his page.

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