This is the kick-off post for my overhaul of one battered Trek 720. I see a lot of bikes of this vintage around town, and many, if not most, of them are in poor condition. I've lost track of how many times I have seen neglected 80's and 90's bikes with one cantilever brake missing or dangling loose (occasionally both!). I cringe when I hear the clacking of rusty chains and dry bearings on one of the aging Peugeots or Univegas in my neighborhood that have gone from bike-boom glory to hard-luck mount. I also see a lot of cheap big-box-store type bikes around here, and I think people would do better to fix up decent-quality older bikes than to keep buying really crappy new ones. I have had conversations with people who have spent many hundreds of dollars getting bikes like these extensively fixed up. I hope this series will prove useful for those who have put off needed repairs or maintenance for fear of racking up big repair bills when money is tight. If you are loaded and flush with cash, by all means show some love for our area bike shops. We like having them around.
Here are my basic goals for this series and this project:
- Make the bike as good as new mechanically, upgrading components as needed.
- Reusing parts when possible without compromising safety or durability. This will be as much for the sake of reducing waste as for the sentimental goal of saving what can be saved of the original bike.
- Getting the bike ready for one loaded tour and for many more years of daily service.
- Learning some new skills, strengthening some existing knowledge, and sharing this learning process on the Beat Bike Blog.
Soon, I'll finish disassembling the bike and see exactly what needs to be done. I have already accumulated and set aside some new and used parts for it over the past several months, so I need to dig those out and remember what I have. Next, I'm going to strip it down to the frame and get that into shape for reassembly. In my next installment, we can see what I find. I'll get back to you soon.