Sunday, July 19, 2015

Oldie Trek 830 rides on!

As small as it can get. 

I will admit readily that I am an "Garang Guni" (odds and end collector) of sorts. Actually I have a sort of affinity/soft spot with steel bikes. Especially around the time of early 90s, late eighties. Thinking about it, I guess it must be not being able to afford one then. I was just a student and there wasn't quite enough money to buy a bicycle. Sometimes, I would see some really nice flashy KHS montana or the very cool Trek or Bridgestone (read here by one of my local hero who sadly passed on)  some times around my neighbourhood. They were really really out of my reach then.....  In a different league. 
The super cool KHS Montana with disc... John Tomac! - Photo Credit
This was the ride I had. It was a Shimano branded racing bicycle which I rode everywhere.  Amazing thinking about it how little stuff we need to ride. :) 
Anyway... fast forward to the present times, I happened to see an old trek 830 while hunting for parts to do my art installation in Feb.   This is what I did eventually. 
The initial plan was to make it a single speed, reduce/ remove all items unnecessary. Just a nice simple bike to ride along the PCN, eat roti prata.  Stripping down the bike to frame was the easy part. The tough part that made me sweat was the Bottom Bracket. The years spend sitting in the rain, muck and all did the job. It was stuck like the magical excalibur embedded in a big rock. I tried and failed. 
Gave up and got the magical hands of Dr Sulaiman and John Chan to help get that fixed. They also helped to install a new headset as the old one were quite bad shape.  The rest of the parts was simply salvaging stuff I had from previous bikes. Over the period of several months, I just worked on the bike slowly.  It's still missing some parts like the bolt binder for the seat post. And many parts could do with abit of autosol, fine sandpapering to make it nicer. Here's a comparison of how acbit of time, love and effort that can make the bike run a hell lot better. 
This is how it looked then
This is how it looks now. 
Today, I finally took it for a roll downstairs. It was really nice. The raised nitto stem and swept back bars made it super comfy. 
Shod with the Swalbe big apples, the ride was a plusy cushy feel. This bike is not a race MTB but rather a crusing bike specially for that PCN and roti prata run.  Check out the photos! 
Salvaged from an old bicycle shop. It was 6 speed but if u use friction mode... they can still work 
Abit... ok alot of elbow grease to make it shiny once more 
cleaned up Shimano STX rear D! Period correct :)  I think can still polish it out more
Yeap... need more fine sanding and autosol. Behind is a total new BB which Rebound centre helped install
This baby has a nice sweep that makes u smile and smell the roses 
They are not fast but extremely plush and comfy. 
Nice wooden handle bar plug from brooks that was left over from previous project

Now, why would anyone go through all this trouble? 
I guess, its just the magic of making the old even better then new.  And sure, its alot more trouble but the old bicycles have a unique patina that cannot be replicated. Like folks driving that old mini. Its a special feeling. They don't build bike like that any more. 
Now, are there some kindred spirits that like these kind of things?  Love to hear your stories and comments. 
And yes, u will see him at the LCSG sunday rides!

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