Sunday, December 23, 2012

Trek Multi Track 700 / Winter Commuter Part 1

Hello and Welcome, This will probably be my last post for 2012. Before I start, I would like to wish you all a Safe and Happy Holiday Season. And a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous New Year as well.
Above: Laura's vintage Trek Multi-Track. Laura called recently and asked me if I would be interested in possibly finishing her Trek winter bike project? I said I would be happy to take a look at it. And if possible build her a winter bike to ride. When I first saw the bike my first thought was "Just Shoot Me Now". Just kidding, I told her I would be happy to finish the project.
Along with several original parts this project came along with a newer partial parts bike. At a glance, I was not sure if I would be able to use much off this "more modern" bike to build up this Older Trek. As it turned out The (Novara) parts bike would play a huge part in finally finishing this project.
Above: Among the many parts was this old and heavy Schwinn rear rack with collapsible side baskets. It weighs a ton, but I fell in love with it right away. I was like a kid with a new Transformer action figure. There is no way I would use a rack this heavy for this project. However, there is also no way this rack will leave the shop/garage! It will be mine!
Above: The first problem, the infamous "SLR BR CT90 M" brakes. You might remember these from the Nishiki Mountain bike repair. All the spring covers or shrouds for each brake arm were broken. On that Nishiki I was lucky. I had some bushings on hand, that with a little cutting fit nicely. I was not that fortunate this time.
Above: Here is the culprit. These covers would break right at the anchor point for the brake arm spring. So when you would brake "even a little hard" the spring would pop right out of the anchor hole. This would make the brakes feel like mush. So I searched the web for some new brakes.
Above: I found these Shimano BR CT91 M brakes on the internet. Now it seems logical that the CT 91 would be the replacement for the defective CT 90. But I decided to call Shimano first just to confirm. The lady on the phone at Shimano "bike division" assured me these are the proper replacement. So back to the E Bay to order the new brakes. So while I am waiting for the new brakes to arrive, lets see what other trouble I can get myself into.
Above: Amazingly the headset was no problem. Both the cups and bearings were in fine shape. After de greasing and cleaning both the upper and lower cups and bearing cartridges, a little grease (who am I kidding, I grease everything pretty heavy) and back together she goes.
Above: Here the threaded Headset is all reassembled with the threaded race screwed down into place, not too tight or loose. Above that goes the cable hanger/bracket then a spacer/washer then the cap nut. As always you want to make a note of the proper order in which to install the various washers and brackets etc. etc. BEFORE you take yours apart. For a more detailed threaded headset rebuild, Just search "rebuild threaded headset" using the "Search This Blog" feature located in the right column near the top, just below the followers.
Above: Here I am reinstalling the sealed bottom bracket using the sealed bottom bracket removal tool. All I did was remove the unit and clean up the outer surfaces. Then I cleaned out the bracket shell itself. Since the bracket spindle turns smoothly inside the unit with no grind or play, there is no point in replacing it now. So here I have wrapped the threads once with Teflon Tape (optional) Then after applying the smallest amount of grease to the bracket shell's (female) threads. I can now thread the unit back into the shell.
Above: The Shimano triple crankset. You might have to blow this pic up to see the details. Laura pointed out what appeared to be broken teeth on the large chain-ring. On closer inspection I noticed at 180 degrees the same pattern of shorter sprocket teeth. So I did an image search for Hyper Drive crank and found another crank with the same pattern of shorter teeth. I suspect this somehow results in smoother or quicker chain-ring changes or shifts. What got my attention first was the teeth did not feel like they had been broken. And the crank spins pretty straight. I would think an impact hard enough to break off sprocket teeth would have had enough force the bend the chain ring. So if you are familiar with this crank type please feel free to leave a comment.
Above: The first parts salvaged from the parts bike were these pedals. I have my doubts that these will perform well in wet and or cold conditions.
Above: The Ze'Fal mud guards cleaned up nicely using Armor All (plain) cleaning wipes. The Armor All cleaning wipes do a really good job. And working inside it is much more convenient than having a bucket of soapy water or spraying bio de greaser in the house. Here I am also removing the brakes and cleaning up the posts. This will save a little time when I am ready to to install the new brakes.
Above: Laura wants a riding position much the same as on her road bike. For this reason I am installing drop handlebars. The alloy road stem pictured was salvaged from her Dads old Schwinn World Voyageur. You might remember the World Voyageur, I stopped restoring it after discovering the frame had been compromised. I wasn't too deep into the restoration when I spotted the problem. So it really wasn't that big of a deal. Hey, You can't save them all.
Above: The rear replacement brake arrived first. Here I am removing the cantilever brake arms using the little Park Tool three way tool. If you do not already have one of these, and you work on bikes you really should get one. And while you at it, you might want to also get the little three way socket. Both wrenches have the most common sizes for brakes and derailleurs. When removing the arms and springs I take notice of which hole the spring is inserted in on the frame. On this bike they were all inserted into the center hole.
Above: A really bad picture showing where the little flange with the three spring anchor holes is located.
Above: Here I have installed the new rear brake arms. I will need to do some more frame cleaning before the rest of the brake assembly gets in the way. Wait till you see the ridiculously over complicated cable hook-up. It is also (kind of) impressive I guess.
Above: As is typical on a step through frame, the rear brake cable is routed so that it comes up from below. Usually I would expect to see a small pulley wheel that the cable could go up and around, so that the cable can now pull upward on the straddle cable. Not this time. Here someone has designed a teeter-totter style lever. The rear brake cable comes up from below and connects on the right side (front) of the lever using a barrel shaped Knarp that is cradled. Now a second short brake cable connects the opposite end of the teeter tooter to the straddle cable. So when the brake lever is pulled the right side of the teeter totter lever is pulled downward. This raises the left end (rear) of the teeter tooter lever. Which is connected to the straddle cable by the second shorter cable, closing the cantilever brake arms. If you were to ask me what think of this set up? I would say "That is taking the long way around the block" It IS "kind of cool" in its own way though.
Above: This pic shows how the short brake cable connects to the rear (left) side of the teeter-tooter type lever. To get the long cable taut I clamped the brake closed, then loosened the knarp and pulled the slack out of the cable. Then I just re-tightened the knarp and released the clamp. I think this system is "over engineered" and was designed to impress rather than to improve performance.
Above: Before I install the new front brake cantilever arms I very lightly grease the post. This picture also clearly shows the flange with three holes. The center hole is the one I use for the return spring anchor point. The other end of the return spring also has a prong that inserts into the hole inside the spring cover or shroud.
Above: Here I am installing the new front brake cantilever arms. You can "not so clearly see" the return spring prong as I am inserting it into the center hole on the flange.
Above: Here both of the new front cantilever brake arms are installed. There is a lot to do before I can even think about hooking this brake up. So for now I'll move onto something else.
Above: The rear wheel and 7 speed cassette unit. Laura did a fine job cleaning up the rear rim. Which after cleaning up the front wheel I can tell you was no easy task. But I needed to clean and free-up this cassette. The amount of crud in between the gears was about as bad as I have ever seen. I will also remove the axle and cones and bearings and clean everything up and replace the bearings. After giving the cassette unit a good spray with "White Lightning Clean Streak" I go between all the gears using the scraper (above) in a saw like motion. I had to repeat this a few times. I also sprayed heavily between the pie plate and the cassette. Then used a rag on edge (also in a saw like motion) and worked my way around. This also had to be repeated a few times. Once everything looked clean I went between the gears with a rag edge working my way around, again in a saw like motion.
Above: When I was scraping The crud between the gears it was coming out in chunks. You can see the teeth on the White Lightning scraper are still loaded up with crud. I will need to soak these in bio de greaser over night. Once the cassette was all cleaned up it spun much better but still needed lubrication. For this I spin the free wheel by hand with it facing upwards. After applying a few drops of lite machine oil in the grove between the axis and the freewheel. It takes a little while but eventually the oil will find its way inside the unit and lubricate the small needle bearings. Now it is spinning smoothly and free. I was not able to remove the cassette. So ALL this was done with the cassette still mounted. This makes cleaning out the hub and replacing the bearings difficult but not impossible. I was too greasy to take pictures of all this. But as you may have noticed, on this project I will be focusing on the brakes. And latter on the handlebars, shifters, brake levers and much more.
CAUTION: Do not run a wheel brush or grinder or any rotating power tool without wearing safety glasses! I have pulled a tiny brass bristle out of my face on more than one occasion. But never out of my eye! Above: Cleaning up the front wheel was really something. The Mothers Mag and Aluminum Polish had very little (if any) effect. This was an absolute first for me. So I found my fine brass wheel brush and mounted it on the DeWalt high speed drill and went to work. Afterwards I touched up around the spoke nipples using FINE automotive grade wet sandpaper. After which I gave the rim a quick polish with Mothers. Cleaning out the front hub and replacing the bearings was 100% easier than the rear hub. And as you can see the wheel now looks pretty good. When purchasing replacement bearings you want to look for Grade 25 Ball Bearings . This is the highest rating for steel ball bearings.
Hey, That about covers it for Part One of the Trek Multi Track 700 project. This project gets pretty involved and there were a few major problems that had to be dealt with. You can expect at least one or two more posts about this project coming to a blog near you real soon. In the mean time, Remember to Always..... RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE....... Cheers, Hugh From my family to yours, Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!
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  1. Another very interesting post.....
    A very Merry Holiday Season and a prosperous New Year to you too Hugh....


  2. Replies
    1. Thank you my friend. I noticed (via your blog) you have been riding in some seriously cold weather. I need to start doing more of that myself. Thanks for the inspiration. Cheers

  3. Hugh, my Trek 950 from the same era has that same Hyperdrive C chainring with the same shortened tooth pattern.

    1. Thanks! for confirming that:) I`ll have to forward this to Laura.

  4. Great article, I have those olde brakes with the plastic covers, mine split too, although they do seem still to work.

    1. Hey Anonymous,
      That is good to hear. I think what will probably happen eventually is the brakes will start to rub. It never occurred to me to try this, But you might want to contact Shimano (bicycle division) They might be willing to send you a new set free. I have heard these brakes were recalled. But I can not confirm it.
      Thanks for the comment. Cheers

  5. Hugh! Just dropping by to wish you and yours a Happy Happy and all the best in the coming year!


    1. Thanks TJ
      My friend I wish you the same. I hope your blog keeps going strong. I really enjoy the unique way you have of expressing your thoughts. You have a writing style that makes me wish I could write like that.


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