Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Trek Multi Track 700 / Plan B

Hello and Welcome, At the end of the last post regarding the Trek Multi Track 700 I stated that the test ride had revealed some problems. So many in fact I decided it would be best to go in a whole different direction.
Above: Above for starters (A) The road bike brake levers do not have enough range to operate the brakes properly. I had spent some time positioning the levers so that the suicide levers were within easy reach. If you are thinking all I needed to do was set the levers up higher, you are wrong. Because doing that positioned the suicide levers much too low to be reached easily. But there are bigger problems (B) The stem mount index shifters that arrived were actually down tube shifters. So no big deal I will mount the index shifters on the down tube. Not a bad idea, except they don`t fit the over sized down tube. Not to mention that I know Laura likes her shifters mounted up high. (C) The chain is stretched, no big deal I already made plans to replace it if necessary. Now (D) The rear derailleur is all over the place, tightening the shift levers did not help. And I set the limit screws on the rear D when I had it on the stand. It seemed to work fine on the FeedBack Work Stand. But on the road with a load and resistance "it's a mess". So where do I go from here?
Above: Laura had brought this partial bike she purchased from a sporting goods store. It is pretty nice. But I know she wanted drop handlebars if possible. But she also mentioned she could live with straight bars if necessary. (just no risers) Well it looks like with the brake lever problem, the shifter problem and the sketchy rear derailleur... The straight bars just became necessary. Above (E) straight bars with nice levers and SRAM X4 Impulse Shifters. And (F) a very nice looking 8 speed derailleur. (but I`m not sure about that hook up) At this point I drag both bikes to the basement. I am a little "pissed off" now. But this also has my Adrenaline up. And I am in the perfect mood for a late night in the basement / make shift bike shop.
Above: I removed the drop bars with the stem attached. I also removed the stem mount friction shifters. I had disconnected the brake cables to keep those with the drop bars and stem. Then I removed the front and rear derailleur cables along with the rear derailleur and the chain. Fortunately I had a salvaged mountain bike stem (and cable hanger) on hand in the correct size. (sometimes it pays to be a hoarder)
Above: I removed the shifter, brake lever and grip and bar-end from the left side of the straight bars. Then slid the bars into place. The brake cable routing is totally different now. So I installed new cables and cut new lengths of cable housing. Luckily I still have white cable housing left over from the Parliament restoration. Once the brakes are hooked up I can see that they will no longer be an issue. Now for the Rear derailleur.
Above: I had two concerns about the SRAM derailleur, (1) The mounting was different. And (2) The SRAM is an 8 Speed derailleur and we have a 7 Speed cassette. The mount was simple, I just removed the bridge piece that connected the derailleur to the machined drop out on the parts bike. After that it attached to the drop out just like the original. Things are looking up. The first time I ran it through the gears (on the stand) it over shifted the largest cog. After shortening the reach by adjusting the (L) low limit screw that problem was solved. There was no problem with the shifter to the front derailleur as both bikes had triple chain-rings.
Above: Well I have made all the changes, and I am feeling pretty good about life in general. But I still need to test ride the bike again to be sure everything is "good to go". Unfortunately the weather has gone from bad to worse. It is icy and snowy, that's not so bad. But it is also colder than a bat's A&&. I am getting too old for this $#!& I'm gonna have to wait until the weather lets up.
Above: The weather finally let up a little, although it is still pretty cold. The test ride was both good and bad. The brakes are working great.(yeah!) The tires are surprisingly good in the light snow over hard packed snow on the road. The front derailleur is working beautifully and the rear derailleur is shifting crisply and smoothly. There is a problem though. On the two cogs (or sprockets) above the smallest cog (6th and 5th gear in my book) it is slipping. Every where else it is fine...%$#@!!! It has to be the #@! %&#@ cassette! I have to go to the L.B.S. (15 miles away) and get the original cassette removed. On close inspection the teeth on those two gears (5th and 6th) are not looking too good. Funny thing, all the other sprockets or gears look pretty good. I order a new Sram 8 speed cassette. I got this Really Stupid idea that removing the pie plate would give me enough room to add another gear. I have done it before with a five speed free-wheel. Only one problem, This ain't a %$# @*%$ freewheel! What the #@&$ was I thinking. Removing the pie plate ain't gonna make the slots in the hub any deeper! How can I be so %#$@&%$ stupid!
Above: A few days latter (actually more than a few) the new SRAM PG830 cassette shows up. And as feared it does not fit. I did manage to find a 7 speed SRAM PG730 cassette at Cycle Therapy Waterford Mi.(15 miles one way) Only one more little problem. I still have not received delivery of my new Park Tool FR 5G (Shimano/Sram cassette removal tool) The tool I ordered the same day I ordered the first @#& %&@% Cassette! No worries I am sure the new cassette tool will arrive in the morning. Wrong again! Anyway I have a tool that almost fits. And I was able to snug up the 7 speed cassette pretty good. Why not just take the wheel with me when I went to pick up the 7 speed cassette? I did not think of that until I was almost there. I was kick'n my self in the a$$ at every turn on this project. Why stop now? ltms
Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy! It is finally working properly :) Tomorrow Laura is coming to pick up her new winter ride. (just in time for summer) I have no idea why I thought I could make the 8 speed cassette work. I know there was a tiny voice in the back of my head saying "Hugh, just order the 7 speed cassette, the 8 speed might not fit" I really need to learn to listen to that little @%&%#@!
Above: Considering where I started I think it came out pretty good. I hope Laura agrees it was worth the wait (well most of it anyway) to get it right. UPDATE: The new Park Fr-5G Cassette Removal Tool showed up the morning after Laura picked up her bike. UN #%$&*@% believable!
Above: The drop bars did not go to waste. I think they look awesome on the L.L. Bean bike. And with the suicide levers I can still ride in the semi upright position. But what did I do with the flop and chop bars that were on the L.L. Bean ?
Above: Well they did not go to waste either. I think I finally found the right look for the free Spirit fixed gear bike. And the bars that I removed from the fixie? Those are going to the scrap guy for recycling. A good deal all the way around :)
Before I close I would like to say Sorry about all the #%& @%&# swearing! Sometimes nice words just don't get it done :) Until next time Please RIDE SAFE and Remember to Always.....RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE!! Cheers, Hugh
Someone made "The First" few purchases at Hugh's Online Bike Shop the other day. So THANK YOU whoever you are. I hope you enjoy your purchases.


  1. I always tell that Voice to shut up, usually to my regret. The cockpit on the Trek came out really nice. Quite handsome. I particularly like the thru-the-stem cable hanger. Is there any other industry that loves to twiddle and tweak and innovate and experiment as much as the bicycle industry does?

    I always put a lot more wear on the middle cogs on the cassette. Some days I might put twenty or thirty miles on the bike without shifting. Hey! It's Florida! It's flat!

    And finally, don't apologize. That's not cussing, that's "talking to it." Sometimes ya just gotta get it's attention before you get any cooperation. My belief is that a little strong language is far better than reaching for the hammer.

    And more finally, I sense a good year ahead. We're due. Here's to you getting your share of it, Hugh.


    1. Hey TJ
      Not me brother, I need to listen to my inner mechanic. Seems like the little bastard is always
      I think when it comes to cassettes and other consonants "I have been spoiled". I mean this in the sense that most of the bikes I find while old, neglected and sometimes rusty.... They usually have very low mileage. I need to remember that Some Americans do actually ride their bikes! Let's hope that's a trend :) Anyway my point is.. I need to check the the wearable components more carefully. And I need to remember that "I can not will something to work". My "inner mechanic" knows this.
      And I hope you are right about the coming year. And I have a good feeling that you are.
      Cheers, Hugh

  2. Ah the joys of starting from just a frame and making "stuff" work....LOL. The 3 P's served you well Hugh; Patience, Perseverance and Profanity ;-) I agree with TJ that a few harsh words beats reaching for the hammer. Word! The commuter looks great and I imagine Laura will love it and you remind me I have a winter commuter update I am doing for a friend that I need to get going on before its a spring commuter. Love the way the LL bean looks by the way. Chapeau


    1. Thanks Ryan,
      I gotta admit I do enjoy looking back at the before and after pics. By the way, I love the 3 P's. That should be a freaken Tee shirt!
      I have only heard back about Laura's short ride here. And she seemed really pleased. I just hope it passes the daily commuter test. My favorite thing about Laura and Brian is.. They actually ride their bikes on a daily basis. (weather permitting) When I heard back from Laura the first time. She had owned the lugged frame Schwinn for somewhere between two and three years. She said basically "I ride it almost every day, and I have never had a problem with it." That was so great to hear. She was the first person I heard back from who had really "tested" my work. It is rewarding to know that the work you put into something paid off. And that is way cooler than money anytime. Nobody does what we do to get rich. Good luck with your project. I will hopefully see it on your blog in the near future. Cheers, Hugh

  3. Hugh,
    With the swear words you do all us bike tinkerer's that strive to be as professional as you a favor. To know that you can come to our level of bike mechanic frustration! My theory, if it does not work, swear louder, then re-do it!
    I think I am going to look for a step through to fix up for my wife. She does not ride but if I get a cute thing like this Trek fixed up for could she resist??

    1. Hey Jim,
      Maybe one day I will tell the story about the weed-whacker that would not start. All I can tell you now is... My neighbors never looked at me sideways after the weed-whacker incident. lol
      P.S. Don`t be disappointed if she doesn't go for it. I did the same thing with a mint baby blue step-through 3 spd. Schwinn Breeze. It sat so long, about 15 years later, I restored it again and sold it. Hopefully you will have better results.
      Cheers, Hugh

  4. You DO have to admit, however, that you like a photo showing bike tire tracks in the snow. Me too...


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