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1983 Trek 620 advice

Old 07-18-18, 06:49 PM
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1983 Trek 620 advice

Hey,

I am considering picking up a 1983 Trek 620 that is pretty much all original except handlebars and saddle. Comes with original toe straps.

Price is 600 CAD - I think its on the high end but not too out there.

Any thoughts on what to look out for and if the price is the right ballpark? I would like to actually tour it.

Bike can be found on Kijiji in Nova Scotia. I can't get images to work!
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Old 07-18-18, 06:54 PM
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What's your bike market like up there? That works out to $450 usd. Personally, I wouldn't spend that on a 620 here in my area, unless it was a spotless original.
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Old 07-18-18, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by nesteel View Post
What's your bike market like up there? That works out to $450 usd. Personally, I wouldn't spend that on a 620 here in my area, unless it was a spotless original.
Its not spotless but looks clean and operational. Everything checks out according to the sales brochure as fair as original goes. The market sucks here - Iíve been looking for an older Trek tour bike for a solid year and this is the first. Itís probably not the last one however.
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Old 07-18-18, 07:29 PM
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1984 and 1985 models are much better.
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Old 07-18-18, 07:50 PM
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I own an 83 600 that I've basically turned into a 620. I also changed wheels to 700 and added fenders. I like it, but think the price is optimistic. It better be in great shape, and have correct bottle cages and racks to boot.
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Old 07-18-18, 07:53 PM
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Price is too high IMO.
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Old 07-18-18, 09:05 PM
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Agreed, too high. I picked up an '83 620 with mostly original equipment, few nicks here and there in the paint, for $225 from a resale shop in Chicago. $300 would have felt like too much for a pre-cantilever Trek touring bike. That said, I love the bike.
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Old 07-19-18, 03:29 AM
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Thanks all!
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Old 07-19-18, 04:44 AM
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Originally Posted by kidadam View Post
.

Any thoughts on what to look out for and if the price is the right ballpark?
Thread moved to Appraisals forum.
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Old 07-19-18, 05:26 AM
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This is the bike in question:


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Old 07-19-18, 09:24 AM
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I think that's a little high. I may be in the minority, but I'd rather have an '83 than an '84-'85 mainly because the paint / decal scheme changed in '84 and I prefer the older style.
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Old 07-19-18, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
I think that's a little high. I may be in the minority, but I'd rather have an '83 than an '84-'85 mainly because the paint / decal scheme changed in '84 and I prefer the older style.
I agree... I recently picked up an 84 620 with cantilever brakes for $290. Thatís just what they go for in the Milwaukee/Madison area. I have plans to change the decals to the 1982 style to match my 728.
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Old 07-19-18, 07:30 PM
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IMHO it's all about the wheels. Unless they're great then it;s not worth it.
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Old 07-21-18, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
IMHO it's all about the wheels. Unless they're great then it;s not worth it.
Great as in true and rust free?

I have to admit that this bike is on my mind still! The owner will throw in a new axiom low rider front rack and probably come down some on the price.
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Old 07-21-18, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by kidadam View Post
Great as in true and rust free?
I would say that it is more that the rims and tires are of good quality. It is easy to true a rim if it is off a bit.
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Old 07-21-18, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by kidadam View Post
Great as in true and rust free?

I have to admit that this bike is on my mind still! The owner will throw in a new axiom low rider front rack and probably come down some on the price.
I'm pretty opinionated about old bike wheels. Different parts of a bike wear out over different rates of time. On one end of the spectrum is the frame. With proper care, it may never wear out. The crankset in the middle wears out slowly. At the other end of the spectrum are the wheels. They take on the the direct impact & greatest amount of wear from riding. And, are usually the first major component that gets replaced after a certain period of time. I'm sorry, but the wheels on the bike in that picture look like they have a lot of mileage on them. They look beat. Ready to be replaced. A decent set of wheels & tires for that bike could run you around $300. And, that's if you buy everything & install it yourself. I've bought bikes that look like that for around $100. After installing new wheels, tires, chain, & general cleanup, then it's worth $450 US.
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Old 07-22-18, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
I'm pretty opinionated about old bike wheels. Different parts of a bike wear out over different rates of time. On one end of the spectrum is the frame. With proper care, it may never wear out. The crankset in the middle wears out slowly. At the other end of the spectrum are the wheels. They take on the the direct impact & greatest amount of wear from riding. And, are usually the first major component that gets replaced after a certain period of time. I'm sorry, but the wheels on the bike in that picture look like they have a lot of mileage on them. They look beat. Ready to be replaced. A decent set of wheels & tires for that bike could run you around $300. And, that's if you buy everything & install it yourself. I've bought bikes that look like that for around $100. After installing new wheels, tires, chain, & general cleanup, then it's worth $450 US.
Youíre talking me off the ledge
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Old 07-22-18, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
I'm pretty opinionated about old bike wheels. Different parts of a bike wear out over different rates of time. On one end of the spectrum is the frame. With proper care, it may never wear out. The crankset in the middle wears out slowly. At the other end of the spectrum are the wheels. They take on the the direct impact & greatest amount of wear from riding. And, are usually the first major component that gets replaced after a certain period of time. I'm sorry, but the wheels on the bike in that picture look like they have a lot of mileage on them. They look beat. Ready to be replaced. A decent set of wheels & tires for that bike could run you around $300. And, that's if you buy everything & install it yourself. I've bought bikes that look like that for around $100. After installing new wheels, tires, chain, & general cleanup, then it's worth $450 US.
How can you tell anything about the condition of the wheels? Those pictures don't show much detail.
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Old 07-23-18, 10:44 AM
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Looks like the original 1983 wheels with a Suntour drive train, plastic spoke protector and, a spin on 6 speed freewheel. That equals 35 year old 27" wheels. Considering that the bike was probably ridden around 1000 to 2000 miles a year, it means the wheels could have up to 75,000 miles on them. It's actually a pretty nice bike with some good potential. But, needs some new parts. So, even in a hot market it's probably worth maybe $175 - $200 USD tops.
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Old 07-23-18, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
Looks like the original 1983 wheels with a Suntour drive train, plastic spoke protector and, a spin on 6 speed freewheel. That equals 35 year old 27" wheels. Considering that the bike was probably ridden around 1000 to 2000 miles a year, it means the wheels could have up to 75,000 miles on them. It's actually a pretty nice bike with some good potential. But, needs some new parts. So, even in a hot market it's probably worth maybe $175 - $200 USD tops.
Thatís a lot of speculating. The wheels could have 75k miles or 1k miles. I donít see how you can tell from the pictures.

OP, if you check it out and the condition isnít bad, and you really want the bike, by all means get it. Itís worth way more than $175, especially if you plan to use it. Thereís a market value and thereís a use value. What might not be a great deal for a flipper can be an amazing buy for someone who actually rides.
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Old 07-23-18, 04:04 PM
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Things here are more rare and generally cost more then the rest of Canada (and the USA). Right now Iím thinking Iíll take the hr plus drive and check it out.

I was looking for a Trek 520 for over a year, daily, and have not found one. I even had a wanted ad.

Having said that I have purchased two Marinonis, one quite special (a custom race bike from 1982) for less than 250 usd and a perfectly working Bob Jackson for 5 dollars. I actually found 5 dollars just before I saw the bike at a yard sale!

Last edited by kidadam; 07-23-18 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 07-24-18, 10:02 AM
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[QUOTE=kidadam;20465189]
Things here are more rare and generally cost more then the rest of Canada (and the USA). Right now Iím thinking Iíll take the hr plus drive and check it out.
I'm not trying to talk you out of buying it. I'm just trying to talk you out of paying too much for it.
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Old 07-31-18, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by samkl View Post
Thereís a market value and thereís a use value.
This 10x over. I would give someone $200 for a backup to my '83 Trek 620 simply because it's my favorite riding frame I've ever owned. But few would pay that for just a 25" frame that doesn't have a 531 fork.
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Old 07-31-18, 01:12 PM
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Original wheels from that era were Helicomatic. Rear Helicomatic hubs tend to be trash. Even if they are OK, cassette replacements are unobtainium.

When I have set up Trek touring bikes from that era, I'll change the wheels just to avoid the risk of leaving them stranded in BFE with 30 year old, obsolete parts. The hub also had oddball ball bearings, 5/32 inch sized, 13 per side or something like that. Meanwhile, some competitors to Trek were using nice Suntour branded cartridge bearing hubs at that time.

To quote Sheldon Brown on these hubs: "these hubs are losers". Personally I'd replace losers with "garbage". Hooking up an otherwise competent steel sport touring or touring bike with such a part is its weak link.

The one really nice thing about these old hubs is collectors want them! Actually, they want the lock rings and cassettes.

Last edited by wrk101; 07-31-18 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 07-31-18, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Original wheels from that era were Helicomatic. Rear Helicomatic hubs tend to be trash. Even if they are OK, cassette replacements are unobtainium.

When I have set up Trek touring bikes from that era, I'll change the wheels just to avoid the risk of leaving them stranded in BFE with 30 year old, obsolete parts. The hub also had oddball ball bearings, 5/32 inch sized, 13 per side or something like that. Meanwhile, some competitors to Trek were using nice Suntour branded cartridge bearing hubs at that time.

To quote Sheldon Brown on these hubs: "these hubs are losers". Personally I'd replace losers with "garbage". Hooking up an otherwise competent steel sport touring or touring bike with such a part is its weak link.

The one really nice thing about these old hubs is collectors want them! Actually, they want the lock rings and cassettes.

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