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Which early '80's Frankenstein Trek is this?

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Which early '80's Frankenstein Trek is this?

Old 02-26-20, 10:39 PM
  #1  
friday1970
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Which early '80's Trek is this? (Solved:83 Trek 620), updated with WIP pic

Sitting in the dark, lonely, cold snowy night outside of local bike shop was this poor, grey, small road bike. It was next to other castaways, unwanted, scared, and unloved. Seeing how small the frame was, I took pity upon it and gave it a once over, I then saw the Reynolds 531 sticker and the Trek logo on the stays. I asked the lady on the counter what miserable and undeserved fate was in its future. It was to be taken to the dumpster and trashed. She then said "You want it, take it, It's yours!". And it became adopted into my bike family.

But, what is it? I think I have it narrowed down to 1983, but it doesn't fit all the specs. The 720 uses campy dropouts and double eyelets. My dropouts are Suntour with a single eyelet. There are no holes for downtube shifters, Just a clamped on set of Suntour friction shifters. And, no eyelets in the middle of the forks either. And then there's the Sugino AT triple crankset, helicomatic 6 speed hub (ugh, I hate those), Mistral Rims, Sakae handlbars, Laprade seatpost, DiaComp G side pull brakes, and DiaComp brake levers.

At this point, I have no clue what this is. Seems like a 720, but it's missing key things. Other lesser models have double chainring cranksets. This is a triple. Help me out here.









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Old 02-26-20, 11:02 PM
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The serial number will tell the tale. The vintage Trek site will tell you how to figure which model this is based on the serial number.

This is not a 720 as that is a touring bike with cantilevers other than in 1982 when it came with caliper brakes.

Given the parts group and color, I'd guess an '83 620.

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Old 02-26-20, 11:08 PM
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1983 620 would be my guess judging from equipment and color scheme.
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Old 02-27-20, 05:13 AM
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Great find!
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Old 02-27-20, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by nesteel View Post
1983 620 would be my guess judging from equipment and color scheme.
I've since looked it up, I think you're exactly right. On the catalog site, I didn't look at page one, assuming it was all racing bikes.

Now that I have it, what to do with it? Definitely gotta do something about that helicomatic...
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Old 02-27-20, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by bnewberry View Post
Great find!
Thanks! I just couldn't leave it there. It didn't seem right to see a good bike being tossed into the dumpster, especially since it was close to my size (I prefer 50cm bkes). I will build it back up and it will be rode again. I just have to decide on whether to modernize it or not.
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Old 02-27-20, 07:02 AM
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Which early '80's Frankenstien trek is this?


Its not a Frankenstein trek but rather outstanding Freebie Trek with original factory build. Finding complete original like this example are getting harder to find.

If mine, would do a complete teardown service and clean, replace consumables and enjoy. I also wouldn't fear that Helicomatic hub. Repeat-- service and clean. All cool vintage parts that can take one across the country.

Cheers!
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Old 02-27-20, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by friday1970 View Post
Thanks! I just couldn't leave it there. It didn't seem right to see a good bike being tossed into the dumpster, especially since it was close to my size (I prefer 50cm bkes). I will build it back up and it will be rode again. I just have to decide on whether to modernize it or not.
Just for your information. I have purchased frame and forks of this vintage trek for as much as $150.00. I live in a vintage steel bike desert, but still, you got a great deal.

As for this one, if it were mine I would clean it up and ride it!

With the frames I have bought, I put new wheels, and wider bars. Other than that I like vintage set ups.
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Old 02-27-20, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by friday1970 View Post
...I just have to decide on whether to modernize it or not.
My wife's daily rider is a 1983 Trek 620. We decided to modernize around a 3x9 configuration using Shimano bar end shifters. I built her a wheelset on 32 spoke box section clincher rims and Tiagra hubs. Kept the AT, but swapped the middle and outer chainrings for something less half-steppy, now like a 48-36-24. 11-32 cassette. Also, I gave her modern dual pivot Tektro calipers with KoolStop cartridge type pads. It's a great bike, and she's become a much stronger more confident rider because of it.
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Old 02-27-20, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by bnewberry View Post
, but still, you got a great deal.
Deal? It was free! Not only free, but in a size I prefer. I'm still pinching myself that it's sitting in my living room. I still can't get over the counter lady looking outside at the bike in the dark snowy night, looking back at me, and saying "Take it, it's yours. It's just going to the trash anyways". It's in pretty good shape, scratches and some rust consistent with bikes this old.

Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
My wife's daily rider is a 1983 Trek 620. We decided to modernize around a 3x9 configuration using Shimano bar end shifters.
I'm starting to think about keeping it mostly stock. I will be changing the brakes to a more aero pair. I have a pair of SRAM brakes levers. I do like riding on the hoods, and trying this on older bikes is a bit hard on the hands. I'll keep the original brakes in the event I pass the bike along. I'll keep the original drivetrain, but might look into a smaller middle gear. I will have to find a good Huret Sachs derailleur. I have a HS Rival and I might have another HS in the same bin of parts at home.

Edit: Its not a Huret Sachs RD I will need, but a Suntour Cycling MKII GT.

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Old 02-27-20, 11:51 AM
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Wow. That is crazy! Glad you were able to spot it and save it from the dump!
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Old 02-27-20, 11:59 AM
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Its amazing what people will throw away. I have seen more than a few bikes outside near the dumpster at my LBS.

Most are walmart cheap store bikes.

BUT I have picked up a few good bikes. One was a Schwinn World Sport.

I cleaned it up. Put in a new tube ( $5,00)

Sold it for $100.00

Nice job " saving it" And thank you for doing so

Wish more people would do the same
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Old 02-29-20, 01:38 PM
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Here is the 1983 Trek 620 getting worked on. So far, just using fine 00 Steel wool to polish the aluminum components. Cyclone MK 2 GT Rear Derailleur on its way. Brakes changed to SRAM for easier riding. I might just go with wheel fenders to give it an even classier look.
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Old 03-07-20, 09:21 AM
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Took my first test ride this morning. Just up and down my dirt road with a good hill. So far, works great. Got the Suntour Cyclong M2 GT RD installed, new chain. Just waiting for handlebar tape and fenders. Then It should be ready. I might take it on a few brevets with my local randonneuring group this season.

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Old 03-07-20, 09:30 AM
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The big clue as to what "level" the bike is- the Reynolds decal. Notice it says "butted frame tubes." NOT "butted frame tubes, forks and stays." So you know it's a 600 level frame as 600 level frames all have a 531 main frame with CrMo or MnMo forks and stays.


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Old 03-07-20, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
The big clue as to what "level" the bike is- the Reynolds decal. Notice it says "butted frame tubes." NOT "butted frame tubes, forks and stays." So you know it's a 600 level frame as 600 level frames all have a 531 main frame with CrMo or MnMo forks and stays.
Yep. It's been determined that it's a 1983 Trek 620.
I have another, similar bike, an 87 Trek Elance 330. As far as the frame goes, there doesn't seem much difference. 531 main tubes, cromoly something fork and stays. The paint job on the 83 620 is FAR better. The 83 has eyelets on the seat stays for a rack. The seat tube clamping mechanism is different, with the 87 having it in the seat stays. I can imagine they'll ride nearly the same, though I have the Elance modernized and the 83 620 close to original (minus the brake levers)
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Old 03-11-20, 08:25 PM
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I think I almost done. I tried fenders, but they wouldn't clear the 27x1-1/4" tires. So, I just put on a new seat and tape. I think this is ready for me to ride for a bit. I might get clip on bottle holders for the seat tube. But that's probably it.
Now, time for brevets!
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Old 03-12-20, 01:08 AM
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Looks a little peculiar to route brake cables that way. But with those old style calipers and their anchor on the left side, that's probably the smoothest way to do it. It's usually difficult to keep the front caliper centered if you go the traditional route of left aero lever to that old style front side-pull, because the housing tends to push the pad down on one side.



Now, if you have other bikes with traditional or opposite routing, it might take you a little while on your ride to acquaint yourself with this setup. That's more of a problem if you switch between those bikes often.
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Old 03-12-20, 02:09 PM
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Beautiful bike! I especially like the blue head tube.

Instead of 00 steel wool which will leave scratches, 0000 will actually almost polish the metal. Great also for very fine rust on chrome.
I even use wet/dry paper up to 1600 and then finish off with metal polish. (unless trying to preserve satin anodized) Old stuff ends up looking new.
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