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Light, Cheap Wheels for Bonded Alum Trek(9 posts)

Light, Cheap Wheels for Bonded Alum TrekSouxsie
Oct 16, 2002 4:31 PM
I'm a mountain biker that's starting to enjoy road biking. Got an old tank of Trek from the 80s that I'm trying to lighten up with used parts for training. I know rotating weight is a big one.

Any thoughts on what wheels I should buy to lighten it up without breaking the bank. Lookin' for used but would buy new if the deal was right. I'm a 5'5 130lbs so flex isn't much of an issue.

Right now it's at 22lbs. I've shaved off alot including running my MTB ti frogs. I suppose I could buy a carbon fork but seems hardly worth it unless I'm REALLY going to notice an improvement.

Good money after bad?Kerry
Oct 16, 2002 5:14 PM
22 lb was a respectable weight for a bike of that vintage, and you're not going to save a lot of weight on the wheels. At this point, you might better consider a mid-90s used bike. For not much more than a wheel set, you'd get a significant upgrade.
Good money after bad?Souxsie
Oct 16, 2002 5:32 PM
Well, I've only got 2-300 to spend. Probably should have mentioned that. My LBS also suggested that I shouldn't invest too much in it.

I guess I could just rationalize that this tank is making me a stronger rider until I can afford something better.

Yeah, that's it.
Kerry and your LBS are correct (nm)Jekyll
Oct 16, 2002 9:10 PM
Good money after bad?xcandrew
Oct 16, 2002 10:12 PM
My bike is a bonded Al Trek from '87 and it weighs about 22 lb. (21 lbs. when I was racing it with Aerolite pedals back when it was new). I would not call it a tank at all. Bikes in the same price range now ($700 in '87 on sale) probably weigh about the same to (maybe) 2 lbs lighter. There are plenty of people riding heavier bikes. I flipped through a Bicycling magazine in the library a while ago and saw plenty of 23 lb. road bikes in the $1000 range.

I do agree that you shouldn't spend much on it though. I had the frame / fork replaced twice under warranty in '87-'88... a warranty that doesn't cover used bikes like yours. Getting or building a set of wheels wouldn't be a bad idea if your wheels are in bad shape (broken/bent rear axle?, dented/worn out rims? rounded spoke nipples?)since you can always use it in a new bike, but it probably won't save more than a pound. If it has a 6 speed freewheel, you would have to use friction shifting on a new 9 speed cluster, but that's no big deal.
Rear axle width...Spunout
Oct 17, 2002 4:12 AM
If you bought new wheels, they'd have to retro to the old (126mm?) width. Then, your new wheels will not fit another frame down the line. Maybe check the used market. There are always old Campy wheels on sale on E-bay.

I don't think you can upgrade 6 speed shifting to 9.

Ride that old Trek into the ground, maybe buy new brakes and a good seat if they are at all questionable. Invest that $300 and save it for your next bike.
Rear axle width...xcandrew
Oct 18, 2002 12:23 AM
Measure the frame spacing. It might be a bit wider, I think, at 128 mm depending on the year of the frame. You can just jam the new wheel in in any case. 4 mm is not going to hurt the frame, just requires a tiny bit more effort to change the wheels. There are rounded locknuts (came on 8 sp Dura-Ace hubs) that make this easy. I wouldn't worry about the alignment too much on this bike... my frame didn't come perfectly straight to begin with. The angle change on dropouts will be only 1/3 of a degree. Borrow a wheel if you want to try

If you have downtube shifters, using them in the friction mode should allow them to work on a 9 using a narrower chain. If the old derailleur can't cover the width of the cogs (probably not a problem?), some filing of the derailleur stops should fix the problem. All that said, I'm still riding my old wheels, but I'm thrifty and the benefits are not great unless you do have wheel problems.
I'm never one to ridicule spending $ on old bikes,scottfree
Oct 17, 2002 5:34 AM
and in fact I just dished out a couple hundred bucks on Phil bottom bracket/rear freewheel hub for my 1985 steel Miyata.

So I'm not just some young 'only the latest and greatest is worthy' whippersnapper when I say this: I'm not sure a bonded AL frame of your vintage is worth pouring SIGNIFICANT money into, and I consider $200-300 significant. ESPECIALLY in a misguided effort to 'lighten it up.'

22 pounds is just fine, especially if your goal is training. All things being equal, you'll get stronger wagging a 22 pound bike up hills than you will a 16 pound bike.

Spend a few of those bucks on some real nice tires, maybe treat yourself to a saddle upgrade, and save the rest for the day you buy a new (or new used) bike.
Thanks allSouxsie
Oct 18, 2002 12:22 PM
Will probably ride 'as is' until new purchase.

Thanks, again.