30 September, 2020

Building a Parts Bin Roadie

by Igor

Trek 760 with Velo Orange Components

I picked up this 1984 Trek 760 frameset more than a year back with no particular build idea in sight. It's a very cool frame and fork spec, and in my size! The frame is made from Reynolds 531c (c is for 'competition') tubing and has a 531 fork. It's very lightweight and great for a noodle-bike project.

Original listing picture

I first thought to build it up with all vintage components like Mavic hubs, Simplex shifters, and matching derailleurs. Then I thought to do a 650b conversion. But in order to get the rear tire to fit, I'd have to crimp the rear chainstays. This tubing is pretty thin, so crimping might actually crack the stays. So, that plan went out the window.

The frame sat on my shelf some more until we got final pre-production samples of the new hubs. Tommy from Cutlass Velo built up a wheelset using a 130mm Rear Cassette Hub and a Front Hub, both laced to Enterprise Rims. Now I have a rolling 700c chassis.

Now, the keenest observers might realize that this frame is spaced for 126mm, freewheel hubs. I've done a whole bunch of these 126mm -> 130mm conversions for both myself and customers back in the day. There are two options to make this conversion work: 1) you can cold set the frame to 130mm by expanding the dropouts using some 2x4s and bolts and nuts or 2) simply pull the dropouts open 4mm and shove the hub in. I chose the latter. I've done it this way for years without consequence.

Now what to do about components....

We have some pretty deep parts bins here at VO HQ. Hoarding, QC test mounting, component compatibility, frame handling with drop and flat bars, component testing, etc... stuff that we use mostly to test our frames in the stand and in the real world. And general hoarding. You know the drill.

The handlebars, shifters, and rear derailleur are all from my previous Piolet build. The crankset and bottom bracket is from our test fitting stock. Seatpost is from the hoard. The cassette and chain is used from some other build. The tires are from test fitting. The tubes are patched and put back into commission. The Mini-Rando Bag and Day Tripper bags are prototypes. The headset was included with the frameset purchase. The stem and adaptor is from the hoard. The saddle is a prototype from ages ago. The Moderniste Bottle Cage is a silver one I painted to see what it would look like in Noir. The Sabot Pedals are from our test ride stash. The front brake is a lone Grand Cru brake I found in the brake bin. The rear brake is from my hoard.

So the rear derailleur housing stop is supposed to use a step-down housing cap. At the time we didn't have any in stock. So I found this Problem Solvers Clamp-on cable stop that we used for the very first prototypes of the Piolet way back in in 2015 or so. The bike now has full housing along the chainstay thanks to some perfectly placed zip-ties. Seems fine

I knew I was going to run a bell on the bike and I wanted to make sure it looked as aged as the frame. So sometime in January I found a Brass Temple Bell in the hoard and disassembled it. I scuffed it, lightly hit it with the drill, scratched it, smacked it, dropped it, and then left it outside. I completely forgot about it until I went to build up the bike! It had developed just the right amount of patina while.....aging...... I cleaned it and finished it with a few coats of glossy clear before remounting it on the unused downtube shifter boss. I love the look. 

This build was a bit of a catharsis personally. I can sometimes be really picky about the way my bike looks and how things are oriented. So to just throw all those things that would have bugged me out the window and have two different color tires, brakes with pads all the way up the slots, and a brown saddle with black tape - it felt good. At least the bags match.

I've been riding it for a while now and really like it. It fits me well and is great for the riding I enjoy: not too fast not too slow.

If you want to check out a very complete build list, click here!


Unknown said...

I own at 1986 Trek 760, bought used as a frame, that I have built over time to suit my preferences. The more I ride it the more it tugs at my heart strings---what a bike!

Unknown said...

"Not too fast, not too allow" I like that idea. My bikes are "fitted" with a 74 year old engine and not to fast, not too slow suits me fine. Hill climbing is slower these days but on the level, I routinely see 14-16 mph on the "computer". https://vimeo.com/74715441

Cheers, Rod

Dan and Pam said...

great frames but you're right the tubes are thin! I was gonna buy one but the guy had put a workstand clamp on the downtube and crushed it enough that the tube cracked. Bummer cuz it was otherwise a beauty.

Erich Z said...

What size tires are those - 28? Surprised they fit on that frame.