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Now I Get It!

Old 08-05-20, 11:21 AM
  #1  
Sjtaylor
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Now I Get It!

I知 getting back into cycling after not riding for almost 40 years. I知 having to learn about modern stuff and I知 having fun wrenching on bikes.

i stumbled across a 1984 Trek 720 a few months ago. I bought that bike without knowing the full significance of that particular model. I had purchased a 2013 Trek 520 the week before and I was still watching the CL listings for touring bikes my size. I thought it would be fun to get a touring bike from my era so I bought the 720.

when I researched to learn more about the 720 I was pleasantly surprised. I eventually stripped the 520 to modernize the 720 with its components. I posted about that project here.

i kept the 720 frame, forks, fenders and cantilever brakes. Everything else was salvaged from the 520 except I changed to a long quill stem adapter the get the bars level with the seat. I also went to an 11-36 cassette to get down under 20 gear inches. Yes, I cold set the dropouts to 135mm. The 720 is now complete with front and rear pannier racks, a couple bottle cages and a frame mounted pump. The 24 framed bike weighs in at 32 pounds.

This morning痴 ride with the 720 is where the 斗 get it moment happened. I regularly ride a rail trail near my house. I致e collected a few bikes to date and I致e ridden the same route several times on those modern frames. Those other bikes have short wheel bases and with carbon or aluminum forks. I致e now ridden enough miles on other bikes to appreciate what Ive read about the 1984 Trek 720. Today痴 ride on the 720 felt like a luxury car ride compared to what I experience with my fleet of modern bikes that I thought were so great.

Some one should start making that frame again but luckily I already have mine and I知 planning my first tour with it.

Thanks.
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Old 08-05-20, 12:55 PM
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Cool, now you get it. 😁 I never rode a 720 yet, but had a 620 for awhile. I rode it from eastern Pennsylvania to Colorado, and got my touring legs under me, on it, so I値l probably always like those old Treks. 😎
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Old 08-05-20, 01:04 PM
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Kind of like the difference between a 1970s-era Lincoln Continental and a modern one, huh? the old Lincolns were huge, but they carried their weight well and were super smooth on the highway, with a nice 'mechanical' feel (at least that's what I like!). Today's Lincoln is no more than an upgraded midsized car with too many accessories compared to the older models; it still rides OK, but there's something missing from the enjoyable 1970s versions.
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Old 08-05-20, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Sjtaylor View Post
...Yes, I cold set the dropouts to 135mm...
Whenever you spread the rear dropouts, it causes the derailleur hanger to splay, so that a mounted rear derailleur is no longer aligned properly with the cassette and chain run, which can diminish gear shifting. If you haven't done it already, a LBS with a derailleur hanger alignment tool can can check alignment and fix if needed. The tool uses the rear rim as an alignment reference, so it helps to have a nice true rear wheel for the procedure.
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Old 08-05-20, 03:20 PM
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At some point this year (I think.) I read an article about the virtues of the 720. May have been in 鄭dventure Cyclist.

In 87 I bought a used 660. Considered it my first 途eal road bike. Camp Nuovo and black Modolo brakes with, wait for it, aero levers. I thought I had arrived. Rode the crap out of it until the frame developed a large crack in the head tube. It became my trainer bike until I snapped the right chainstay while dialing it up to 400W on the trainer.
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Old 08-05-20, 05:12 PM
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Sjtaylor
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Seeker333, good catch. I didn’t realign the dropouts. I did run a string to see if the two stays splayed evenly.

i enjoyed this bike modernizing so much I may have to invest in my own alignment tool. Maybe I can fabricate one.

BTW it’s not the first time I’ve cold set dropouts. It was scaring me to get out to 135mm, especially on a 720 frame.
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Old 08-05-20, 05:47 PM
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Longer wheelbase is just plain under appreciated these days. I spec'd my Rodriguez with 500mm chainstays for a reason. The bike itself is a bit slower than my racing bikes & that is to be expected because of the hub, fit, tires, and the aero of tubes & racks everywhere, but the thing rides like a full on luxury limosene.

I'd like to see a "modern" bike take 50 pounds of gear on the rear rack in stride & still have the ability for front bags. It'd be fun to watch, at least.

I extended the dropouts of my 1972 Schwinn Varsity from 18 to 20 inches with a waterjet & a brazing torch. The surgical precision & stability of handling & straight line that bike rides is like no other.

The Salsa Marrakesh has similar geometry to the Schwinn Varsity OEM as well. ~70 degree head tube 55mm of rake, 18 inch chainstays.

What's old is new again.

Glad you finally "got it!"
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