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The Zip Tie Bike - Trek 990

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The Zip Tie Bike - Trek 990

Old 08-20-19, 02:35 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Korina View Post
I was surprised at how much I like the grip shifters on my '95 Singletrack. They shift well and look clean. YMMV, of course.
-- My grip shifters suck. I assume like the rest of the bike they need maintenance. So before I write them off I'm going to go through it and restore it. I've only put about 30 miles on it right now.

Although today I picked up my bike trailer so I can finally start putting my commuter mileage on it. I'm guessing that new shifters are in the works but that is only happening if they don't get better after tear down. I already know I need new cabling and brake pads. I'll probably change this bike 3-4 times before I find the formula I like. Which will be as expensive as the new Trek but I just subscribe to the reuse / upcycle when possible formula. There is no reason a steel lugged bike can't be used for 50+ years with modern upgrades.
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Old 08-20-19, 04:15 PM
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Yeah if there are grip shifters out there that (a) shift without requiring the grip strength of a gorilla and (b) don't accidentally shift when you hit a bump, I might like them, but all the ones I've seen violate both (a) and (b).
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Old 08-21-19, 09:14 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Yeah if there are grip shifters out there that (a) shift without requiring the grip strength of a gorilla and (b) don't accidentally shift when you hit a bump, I might like them, but all the ones I've seen violate both (a) and (b).
The worst part is mine do both. I can’t hardly get them to rotate when I want. Then hit a bump or go power-hard up hill and they shift.

With all the hills around here the most annoying noise you will ever hear is “click”

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Old 08-21-19, 09:43 AM
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To make them rotate easier, you want to lube the derailleur pivot points, and replace or lube the cable/housing, so at least there's no extra friction in the system. But it seems to me fundamentally that improving (a) must make (b) worse, and vice versa.
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Old 08-21-19, 01:56 PM
  #30  
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I shouldn't turn this into a Grip Shift discussion but I love 'em. Inexpensive and they just plain work, in my experience on two of my MTB commuters.
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Old 08-22-19, 11:28 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by MrArrow View Post
I'll probably change this bike 3-4 times before I find the formula I like. Which will be as expensive as the new Trek but I just subscribe to the reuse / upcycle when possible formula. There is no reason a steel lugged bike can't be used for 50+ years with modern upgrades.
Just grit your teeth and remind yourself it's cheaper than a car. I spent around $600 to get my Stumpy the way I like it, and it's a better bike than you can find new for that price.
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Old 08-22-19, 11:47 AM
  #32  
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Failure to commute

Originally Posted by Korina View Post
Just grit your teeth and remind yourself it's cheaper than a car. I spent around $600 to get my Stumpy the way I like it, and it's a better bike than you can find new for that price.
Sadly, since I got the bike trailer it has been lightning and raining so I can't commute. Put another $20 down the hole of the gas guzzler today. I also hit a physical limitation. There are some serious hills both directions to and from my regular errands. On the bike I was able to make a steep 100 foot ascent on my own. With the trailer and kids there is no way. I couldn't hardly make it up on my own let alone being weighed down from behind.

I think we can go to the store, the grandparents house, and the park as a family unit. I think anything beyond that is out. So that leaves me with 4 short drives in the car during the week.

Pictures to follow of the trailer and some additions I'm testing out.
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Old 08-22-19, 12:24 PM
  #33  
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@MrArrow, yikes! Does the bike still have the mountain bike gearing? I've never had a problem just shifting down to the lowest gear and grinding it out; you might have steeper and/or longer hills than I do. Keep pedaling and you'll build up those legs!
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Old 08-22-19, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Korina View Post
@MrArrow, yikes! Does the bike still have the mountain bike gearing? I've never had a problem just shifting down to the lowest gear and grinding it out; you might have steeper and/or longer hills than I do. Keep pedaling and you'll build up those legs!
+1, or as many are fond of saying, HTFU!
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Old 08-22-19, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
+1, or as many are fond of saying, HTFU!
In my defense I started riding because I endurance ran until I had two broken legs and kept going. I'll have to get a video of the two hills that tower over my rides. I GPS tracked one and the GPS says 100 feet of ascent. Not sure how accurate that is because I'm in a valley. Seemed correct to me though.

Low gear gets it done but almost at a standstill giving it my all. I'm slowly building to commuting to and from my training runs. How do other riders deal with traffic? Both directions to my running trails, while short rides, have dangerous portions. Both also have steep hills that slow it down right as you go around a blind corner. Personally I used to use my tacoma to shield other cyclists and provide escort on these stretches. I just don't have a reliable escort and I'm not sure I've got the balls to do it. Too many people don't give a damn or are on the cell phone. Hell its bad when I train in the 25mph neighborhood which I can keep speed with. People still feel the need to speed up and pass too close.
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Old 08-22-19, 01:07 PM
  #36  
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@MrArrow, I'm not too proud to get off and walk. Traffic; I got used to it. I don't like it, but I'm used to it.
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Old 08-22-19, 03:06 PM
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Old 08-22-19, 03:23 PM
  #38  
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We got a short and flat 1.5 miles in as a family today. A few observations about the bike:

-The 990 has done well in each role I put it in.
-The setup you see bike, helmets, trailer, lock ect totals about $250 for everything.
-grip shifters suck and so do the grips
-riding position is bottomed out due to mounting and dismounting the bike with the trailer.
-my right knee hurts from that riding position
-bar height needs raised and I need a slight stretch forward to be able to raise my position and get an effective riding position that won’t kill my knee.
-I like the Serfas tires and wish I had a newer pair to test as the ones I have are worn and old but still perform quite well for a gravel/commuter bike

I would expect to see either a)paint touch up or b)repaint in the near future. With this you will also see the handlebars be changed out. I’m on the fence about whether to drop bar this build. I like the “daily driver” or “sleeper” look to the original paint and flat bars. I could probably get some real improvement by drop bars. I also considered longer bar ends moved to a center position or forearm rest bars on the flat bar.
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Old 08-22-19, 03:44 PM
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Have you been measured for a bike fit? It'll let you know where your cockpit should be located to advise stem length and rise.

Drop bars mean new shifters and levers, but you don't need sti levers. I use bar end shifters and aero brake levers are made in many flavors, but primarily short pull (basically any brake system extant, except v brakes). It's actually harder to buy new short pull mtb levers since that segment moved to v brakes and disc.
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Old 08-24-19, 09:51 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
Have you been measured for a bike fit? It'll let you know where your cockpit should be located to advise stem length and rise.

Drop bars mean new shifters and levers, but you don't need sti levers. I use bar end shifters and aero brake levers are made in many flavors, but primarily short pull (basically any brake system extant, except v brakes). It's actually harder to buy new short pull mtb levers since that segment moved to v brakes and disc.
No, have been riding to try to feel what I need the most. After finally getting some real commuting in I am glad I went with a singletrack. The environment I ride in really calls for a gravel bike. I had that idea but I really had no idea how rough going it can be. Typically, I will ride the same few routes so I want to tune the bike to my home turf. My normal ride goes through a landscape and concrete factory so there is a lot of gravel and a rough paved bikeway.

Today I got my first real ride in which consisted of a 3 mile commute on a paved bikeway down to my daughters soccer game and then back. Then a 5 mile ride over mixed terrain, bikeway, and roadways over to the park entrance. I did a 5K trail run and then took a slightly different 5 mile route home. Overall it was a lot of gravel and hills. Hill work is such a big part of the terrain that I only ever use two gears right now.

I hate the pedals. I mean loathe them. They will be changed out for sure. Also, I either want wider MTB bars or flared out drop bars. I have not put enough time in to know which route I'm going to go yet. I've contemplated getting a second bike so I can take this one apart. I found a pretty good looking singletrack thats in nice shape that may fit the bill. The front cantilever brakes started rubbing today and the non-existent rear pads reared their head after riding 15+ miles in a day. It's calling my name to put it up on the stand and tear it down.
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Old 08-24-19, 10:42 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by MrArrow View Post
We got a short and flat 1.5 miles in as a family today. A few observations about the bike:

-The 990 has done well in each role I put it in.
-The setup you see bike, helmets, trailer, lock ect totals about $250 for everything.
-grip shifters suck and so do the grips
-riding position is bottomed out due to mounting and dismounting the bike with the trailer.
-my right knee hurts from that riding position
I love Grip Shifts but that particular model is terrible.

Some of the problem is the 7speed shifters/gear cluster combined with a 9sp rear derailleur. The cable housing entry into the rear derailleur is also kinked a bit, which isn't helping.

As for accidental shifts, unfortunately a lot of grip shifts come with stubby grips. I like to run them with full length grips so that less of my hand is on the shifty part.

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Old 08-24-19, 11:21 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by MrArrow View Post
I hate the pedals. I mean loathe them. They will be changed out for sure. Also, I either want wider MTB bars or flared out drop bars. I have not put enough time in to know which route I'm going to go yet. I've contemplated getting a second bike so I can take this one apart. I found a pretty good looking singletrack thats in nice shape that may fit the bill. The front cantilever brakes started rubbing today and the non-existent rear pads reared their head after riding 15+ miles in a day. It's calling my name to put it up on the stand and tear it down.
Those pedals only work well if you use them with toe clips and straps.

I like Odyssey Twisted or Cult Dak for use with sneakers. Make sure you get the 9/16"

If you wear Vans, your foot REALLY stays on the pedal. The Reebok trail runners I have stick to them pretty well, too.
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Old 08-26-19, 09:56 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by MrArrow View Post
I hate the pedals. I mean loathe them. They will be changed out for sure.
'Bear traps', those look like. Get yourself some pinned platforms. Wellgo MG-1/MG-3 can be gotten for about $20 off fleabay, they work great for me!
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Old 08-26-19, 11:51 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
'Bear traps', those look like. Get yourself some pinned platforms. Wellgo MG-1/MG-3 can be gotten for about $20 off fleabay, they work great for me!
I'm looking at a couple similar pedals locally from the parts bin that I may pull the trigger on. All I know is I keep slipping or having to readjust my contact with the pedals I have. It is super annoying. Far and beyond the worst thing.

I do need to pull this bike apart. I didn't intend on doing 100+ miles before fixing it. Its brakes, cabling, and just general maintenance has been on the to do list since I bought it. I purchased knowing it needed done. I just can't seem to stay off of it long enough to rack it and start the work. Today was the first really nasty day we've had in a while and the kids both had appointments so I couldn't get to it.
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Old 08-26-19, 05:38 PM
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That's going to be a great bike for your needs.

You can get lower gearing if you want it. There are smaller inner rings for your crank, and if the cassette is 12-28 you can get 12-32. Towing knocks you down about two shifts. But you also might just get used to the load.

There are seven major bearings on this bike (crank, headset, hubs, pedals, freehub) and they can all be rebuilt. The tools are not very expensive especially if you go ask in the classic & vintage classifieds. Instructions on the Park Tool website or other places.

Your seat looks uncomfortably low to me. Get that adjusted and the towing will be easier.

I can't put my 2.5yo twins in the trailer together any more, they fight
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Old 08-26-19, 06:11 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
That's going to be a great bike for your needs.

You can get lower gearing if you want it. There are smaller inner rings for your crank, and if the cassette is 12-28 you can get 12-32. Towing knocks you down about two shifts. But you also might just get used to the load.


There are seven major bearings on this bike (crank, headset, hubs, pedals, freehub) and they can all be rebuilt. The tools are not very expensive especially if you go ask in the classic & vintage classifieds. Instructions on the Park Tool website or other places.

Your seat looks uncomfortably low to me. Get that adjusted and the towing will be easier.

I can't put my 2.5yo twins in the trailer together any more, they fight
I am lucky with the age difference my oldest helps with the younger one in the trailer. They both enjoy the ride so it’s worked out so far.

I lowered the seat to be more upright while seated but it has been put back up since. Changing out the gearing is on the list because of the hills. I have some very steep hills on my bike route. It’s a lot like a single track trail with road sections.
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Old 08-26-19, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by MrArrow View Post
I lowered the seat to be more upright while seated but it has been put back up since.
​​​​​​Yeah, that makes sense at first. But as-is, it's not that kind of bike. It's a go-fast bike. To sit up you need the handlebars higher, a lot higher, not the seat lower.
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Old 08-27-19, 03:04 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by MrArrow View Post
Changing out the gearing is on the list because of the hills. I have some very steep hills on my bike route. It’s a lot like a single track trail with road sections.
I hear you on that one. I <3 my granny gear.

If you can't stay off it long enough to work on it, sounds like you have the right bike.
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Old 08-27-19, 04:10 PM
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I think you and your kids are going to love that bike once you get it set up. Replacing things with better parts as they wear out allow you to upgrade in phases, and you'll probably get to a point where you know you made the right decision pretty soon.
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Old 08-27-19, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
Replacing things with better parts as they wear out allow you to upgrade in phases
We often tell people this, but in this instance it was a pretty cool bike to begin with. It's like finding a Porsche when you're looking for a VW.

A 1989 would have been cooler for the C&V nerds, it had all the best late-stage Suntour parts. And it was no longer the top bike, Trek started bonded aluminum in 87 and bonded CF in 1990 (says MOMBAT). But this is the one you'd choose to keep running and riding forever.
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