Monday, December 26, 2011

New toys. The Trek begins its leap to the modern era

For the longest time I have dismissed any thoughts of upgrading my 1985 Trek 760 to any sort of "modern" drive train. While I never could call myself a fan of using shifters on the downtube, I resigned myself to that being my reality for the foreseeable future. Until the day came around that I could afford to buy a new road bike I was stuck in the routine of putting off shifting my 12 speed transmission unless it was absolutely needed. I would need to change too many parts and alter the frame itself to bring the bike into the era of handlebar based index shifting.

Then, out of the blue, a co-worker offered to sell me pretty much everything I needed for a price I could not pass up-and it was almost all CAMPAGNOLO!!!!! I ended up getting a set of 10 speed Veloce Brake levers/shifters, a Veloce rear derailleur, a Campy Khamsin wheelset, a second cassette, a set of Mavic brakes, a set of tires and a few other nick-nacks for an unreal price. Since I already have a Campy Record 10 speed crank and front derailleur the front end of the drivetrain was already taken care of.

The only piece up in the air was the frame itself. Over the years industry standards have changed as technology moved along the path of inevitable advancement. When my bike was built the standard for spacing between the rear dropouts was 126mm. With the advent of 8, 9 and 10 speed drive trains that spacing was increased to 130mm to make more room for the additional gears. Four lousy millimeters.

After a little consultation with Mr. Google and the late great Sheldon Brown I learned that my frame could easily be "cold set" to the new spacing. This involves careful application of graduated force using tools to make sure everything stays lined up and parallel. In other words the frame is physically bent to accept the new spacing. It turns out that the Reynolds 531c tubing on my Trek frame is ideal for this type of manipulation (how's that for a tech term?). Even better was finding out that I could have it done for around twenty bucks!

Tonight I did some teardown and attached some of the new stuff. The frame bending will hopefully happen this week with final assembly in the near future.

Now of course I couldn't leave my Stumpjumper feeling neglected-Especially since Q has been upgrading the shit out of his Enduro. His bike is going to kick some serious ass when he is done-not that it didn't before.

I placed an order today for Specialized's version of the remotely adjustable seatpost. The ability to adjust seatpost height on the fly while trail riding has always struck me as a worthwhile "feature". This spring I will be able to finally give it a try.