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I just scored my beater commuter: Trek 800 Antelope. Should I fix it?(16 posts)

I just scored my beater commuter: Trek 800 Antelope. Should I fix it?Kristin
Feb 22, 2003 9:17 AM
Okay, so this wasn't a rare italian find that would make my friends drool. But it will meet my needs. So I picked it up for $30, and the frame is in good condition--though it's seriously heavy! The rest of the bike needs work. The Shimano 100GS(??) might be okay once I chizel the grime off, but the brakes are in bad shape. I will definately scrap those stock stem/bars for something a little less upright. (I had to haggle the lady down to $30...she wanted $50. I still may have over-paid.) Couple questions:

1. The damn brake cable is routed through stem. What the hell did they do that for? Can I swap the stem and reroute that cable??

2. Should I scrap all of the 100GS and start over?

3. How are the stock wheels on this bike? This really isn't a MTB so I won't be going through any technical stuff, but I might jump a few curbs with it. Should I put new wheels on or keep these?
Feb 22, 2003 10:08 AM
I remember building and selling those and thought they were seriously sub-par--the 820 was a lot more bike for just a little money. I'd use it for grocery store runs (put a big basket on the front!) but I definitely wouldn't use it to commute more than a mile or two. Pretty much everything is junk on that bike IMO--only a half-step up above a department store bike, and I think you'll spend way too much money trying to upgrade it. Nothing wrong with routing the cable through the stem, but it you don't like they way it looks you can insert a hanger in the hs if there's room...
Come on now...don't be such a softyKristin
Feb 22, 2003 10:25 AM
I don't believe that any bike exists that can't be ridden more than 2 miles. Sure this thing is a beast, but the frame is solid. All the crap that your talking about that doesn't make it worth anything can be removed. As I start to get into the nuts and bolts, then I'll get a better feel for what I'm looking at. If I decide its not worth it, I can always tune it up, give it a spit shine and sell it for $50! :)
Come on now...don't be such a softygtx
Feb 22, 2003 11:05 AM
heck, you could ride that thing to Timbuktu if you wanted. But would you want to? It's much nicer than anything I saw people riding all over the place in Vietnam--we're spoiled here. Still, I wouldn't sink a nickle into it if it was me. You could probably pick up a nice Trek 950 or something for $150... BTW, the frame on that thing isn't that solid (unless you mean solid as in heavy)--it's not even cro-mo (except maybe one or two tubes). Good luck!
Trek 800 Antelope.Akirasho
Feb 22, 2003 11:04 AM
... the 800 has changed over the years...

I got this one back in '91... and still have it. It was notable for it's full cromoly frame and fork. Over the years, Trek has repeatedly downgraded the tubeset (probably to enhance the perceived value of other bikes in the 800 series). I did my first century on this bike.

Over the years, I upgraded a bit... but fundamentally, unless it's repair related, it's not cost effective (high end gruppos cost twice as much as this bike did when new). I'd use whatever components came with said till they wore out (and it's quite possible that you will wear out the GS), then replace with suitable contemporary low end equivalent.

Routing the cable through the stem is pre V brake... and it was believed that this allowed for a straight line to your cable hangar with older cantis... you can bypass, but unless you use V brakes, you'll need some type of guide (stem mounts were also popular).

I keep the bike for sentimental reasons... and for a beater. This bike saw more than it's fair share of my earliest attempts at wrenching... It suffered a lot, I learned a lot.

Be the bike.
Hey, I'm trying to get an idea of when this bike was builtKristin
Feb 22, 2003 3:22 PM
You said you got this bike in 91'. The one I picked up today has the same paint job. Do you know how many years they produced the Antelope in black/lime green?

I fear that this bike of mine will suffer the same wrench torture that yours did. I intend to play.
Re:Hey, I'm trying to get an idea of when this bike was builtAkirasho
Feb 22, 2003 4:28 PM
Do you know how many years they produced the Antelope in black/lime green?

... sorry, I'd be a bit useless in dating such... my memory suggests that it was used for more than one season (the gruppo may also give a clue as I believe it was phased out in 92 or 93). Perhaps Trek encodes dates in SN#. This may be your best bet.

... and, they respond well to a bit o torture (kinky, I know).

Be the bike.
re: I just scored my beater commuter: Trek 800 Antelope. Shoulctisevn
Feb 22, 2003 11:28 AM
how long are the chain stays? Ive seen a couple old school trek 800s set up single without a tensioner. try a couple gear ratios and see what you come up with. somebody on the ss board has a link to a site that will calculate what gear ratio will work based on the chain stays I think. Id defintily single speed it though. even if you have to cobble together a chain tensioner.
Steel is real...GregR
Feb 22, 2003 2:44 PM
I always liked the ride of the older steel frames. And that 800 is a perfect winter beater/commuter.

First off, if the brakes are in bad shape you might want to find a cheap set of Vs to put on there. That cable thing through the stem is for canti brakes, and eliminates the need for a cable hangar on the headset. Vs will work fine, but you will need to replace the levers also.

Next is the wheels. As long as the ones you have are round and true (and have aluminum rims), I would just run them till they get bent, break, fall apart, explode, or disintegrate.

I have a bunch of crap lying around that probably would be good for that bike. Tires, wheels, bars, etc. No brakes/levers or shifters tho. But they can be obtained pretty cheap. I might have a canti, or a derailleur around...Would need to dig through the junkpile.

Swing by sometime and we will see what we can do. If you throw a few bucks in the right places, you will be allright.

On another note my schedule is pretty tight, might have to wait till I get back from AZ, or after I get back from CO/UT. Bu in the mean time you could just ride it the way it is, and collect the right bits-n-peices and we will do the surgery after I get back.

Hey Greg!Kristin
Feb 22, 2003 3:19 PM
How the hell are ya? Long time no see...and all that. Thanks for the thumbs up on the bike. I'd definately like to dig threw your junk pile--and I'm in no rush. I was thinking about putting that 3T stem on--the one we took off the DB--and a flat bar instead of the riser bar. The wheels are in decent shape; they just need to be trued a little. (Lets see how much damage I can do with a spoke wrench!) This will be dubbed my "learn to wrench" bike.

As is, this bike is probably about 2cm larger than Ideal. I just clear the top tube, but the reach is okay. I may still decide its too big for me; but I'll ride it a little before I make up my mind. For now, I was just planning to clean and tune it; then making a shopping list for the Arlington swap in April. If its too big, I can sell it for at least what I paid for it at the swap. In the meantime, perhaps we can raid your junk box.

Have fun in AZ! Don't go jumping off any cliffs now--but if you do, take photos! :-)
Feb 22, 2003 4:14 PM
i wouldnt bother upgrading much.. tires.. brakes as you pointed out.. get yourself in whatever riding pos you prefer.. but unless the components are downright unsuable.. save your money.. this is your beater.. remmember?? i have a Minelli (yes im ashamed of it!) and it has the same cranks.. they turn round and round when i pedal.. what more do i need??
LOL - I'm not talking about putting Record parts on itKristin
Feb 22, 2003 4:24 PM
I'm just talking about learning to wrench and lightening it up a bit. The wheels do work, but it will only be a matter of time before they're destroyed. Things like that is all I'm thinking about.
what size is it?GregR
Feb 22, 2003 5:19 PM
You probably should be on anything bigger than a 17.5

That stem you have wont work. Its a damn roadie stem. don't waste your time.

Sure, go ahead and true the wheels. thats good to learn, and you cant really mess them up. (note, the wheels on there are likely machine built and way undertensioned anyway). Just tighten em up and keep things straight and round.

Welcome to the dark side..

I had one. It was a tough bike!cydswipe
Feb 23, 2003 6:16 AM
I got into an accident on it on campus in '92. I was following the flow of traffic when a driver made an illegal u-turn in front of me. I hit his rear driver-side door hard enough to cave it in bad. I went over the top of his car and woke up on the pavement. I got a free ride to the emergency room. No dammage to the bike at all. None to me either. Not the best or fanciest bike made. But, a good wrench experiment/beater bike. From the paint scheme and your component swap idea, I'd name it Frankenstein! :)
What are you trying to accomplish?Spoke Wrench
Feb 23, 2003 12:26 PM
As I've frequently indicated, upgrades seldom make economic sense. However, there is another factor that comes up. Sometimes people like to mess with bikes in order to learn a little more about them or even "just for the hell of it." A low dollar beater bike has a charm all it's own. I certainly love mine. It's probably my most frequently ridden bike.

Depending on what you are trying to accomplish, a project like this can be either a wonderful learning experience or an utter waste of money and storage space. Only you can determine which this will turn out to be.
All of the above. But it doesn't matter. The bike is too big.Kristin
Feb 23, 2003 3:39 PM
I pulled a big oops when I bought the bike. In my defense, it was 20 degrees out, I had no gloves and I was on my way to work. I did the stand over test, and like I said before, it was a tight fit. I had about 3/4 of an inch clearance. BUT! I didn't factor in that both tires were flat. DOH!!! I just didn't stop to think, "Hey. These are knobbies, and they'll probably grow 2 inches when inflated." So, I guess I'm gonna clean it up and sell it. I should be able to sucker someone out of $30. So close, yet so far.