Bike Forums - View Single Post - 1987 Trek 400D Elance paint and cleanup advice
Old 02-13-20, 10:01 PM
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Bikes: '87 Trek 400D Elance

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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
If you've been searching Bike Forums threads about Trek 400 Elance stuff- you've probably ran across my dozen or so threads about my 1986 Trek 400 Elance.

Here's my theory about this bike... This is a 400 level Trek- at the time I think it was the 2nd from the bottom of Trek's lineup. But at this time, it seems Reynolds tubing had lost cachet, so this bike which has a double butted Reynolds 531 main frame and I believe Tru-Temper CrMo forks and stays is somehow a 400 level frame. Prior to 1986 a bike with a 531 frame and CrMo fork and stays was considered a 600 level frame. Where I think Trek got down to that price point is the components. There's nothing bad on here- it's all good stuff and it all works well- but this bike is a wonderful bike with nice stuff on it.

One of the first bikes I ever fell in love with was the 86 Trek 400 Elance in blue with the silver head tube- it was such a beautiful, classy machine- it's still what defines a good looking bike to me. That beautiful, deep Imron metallic blue- you can see "into" it, the way it glistens in the morning sun... I actually searched for one for months using every CL scouring app I could use- and I found an overpriced one more than 100 miles away- after dithering on it for a little bit, found it was still available- and drove there, with a horrible cold in sub zero temperatures and paid full asking price.

Over the years I've upgraded most of all the parts on the bike- My first secret plan was to go to tricolor 600 on it, but eventually decided on a mix of 600, XC Pro, XC Comp, Superbe and others... it's all pretty much top shelf stuff and the bike is fantastic.

I'm a really bad person to ask how much to drop into a project like this. I'd guess this is a $200 bike- if that and I have somewhere around $1000 into it. And I think it's worth it.

As far as your bike... Make sure it fits you- if it doesn't fit, no matter what you do to it- it's going to suck.

If it fits, get it powder coated and clean up your parts. You can always upgrade parts at any time, or you can keep what you've got. Since you're missing a brake, I'd recommend getting some new Tektro dual pivot brakes- you'll need longer reach brakes so I think that's the R559. And personally, I think your saddle is shot- I think an old Avocet Touring II (not WII) would be slick on this bike.
Wow. That is a beautiful bike. Thatís nearly what this one looked like long ago (head tube was blue too, instead of silver).

Iím not sure what size is the right size. Iíve ridden this one pretty far at a time without pain. Look like itís maybe a 54cm if Iím measuring right. I think the crank is 180-185mm. My inseam is 32.5Ē. I can stand over it, and my leg is nearly fully extended at the bottom of a push, but not quite. Iíve got the seat up quite a ways. Iím 5-9, but with spinal fusion, so I should be taller. Iíve got long arms and legs, but canít bend far (from the rods), so a smaller bike might be best so I can get to the handlebars. Iíve never felt cramped on this one, but the calculators online say I should be on a 56 with 170mm crank (at least one of them. Others needed more measurements). Itís my understanding the calculators suck. Either way, Iím rebuilding this one, if itís not comfortable long term, Iíll do something else next.

I have both brakes on the bike. Might have just looked weird in a picture. Everything works.

Originally Posted by Hudson308 View Post
I take it by that comment you're not; so strip that thing all the way down and get it done right. It's a sweet bike.
There was just a lot of quoting proving I can get a better bike for less. Thatís true, but I like this one and want the experience of rebuilding it. Thatís worth more than a couple hundred to me. I figured I can make it powder coated and have some fun putting it back together for less than $400-500 using most of the hardware thatís here already. Maybe another $100 in tools. Iím okay with that. Iíve spent a lot more for less entertainment and this is a skill Iíve wanted to have for a while.

STEP 1: pedal rebuild. Both bearings arenít great.

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