Thursday, February 28, 2013

A 520 By Any Other Name Would Ride As Sweet - 1986 Trek 500 Tri Series

Well, it is turning into a veritable Trek-fest around here.  I got intrigued enough to buy this 1986 Trek 500 Tri Series.

It is a bit of an unusual animal - when I think of tri bikes now, my image is something as scaled back and as pared of fat as the triathletes themselves are.

I ran some triathlons back in the mid 80's, I just remember using whatever race bike we had at hand.  Trek seemed to think, in 1986 anyhow, that a Trek 520 touring frame, but with caliper brakes instead of cantis, was the ticket.

If you check the brochure on the Vintage Trek website, you'll see that the two frames have identical geometry and tubing materials. 

The Trek 500 Tri Series even has fender eyelets.  So despite the name, it actually has the makings of a nice sport-tourer, which for me and my purposes these days is the ideal bike.

I'm even thinking that this could be a good 650b candidate, although the bottom bracket drop is a bit largish at 7.2 cm.

The look, with the pewter paint and black headtube, is pretty conservative in contrast to the other paint job available for this model, a red/white fade that is a classic 80's Miami Vice bike.

Trek was still carrying a little water for the French manufacturers, as the wheels on this bike are built upon Maillard 600 Sealed Bearing hubs, nice and shiny they are indeed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm commenting because I ended up reading all your "Phoenix Project" posts after stumbling upon them whilst searching for "TA Carmina chainline".

I was looking for technical information to help with component decisions for my new expedition tourer, but I ended up taking a diversion to read all your Phoenix posts. Your writing is very engaging and I really like your rating system!

My cycling is all expedition touring or commuting now, but I had a similar idea for a road bike, back in 2010. Except to use a new steel frame and modern components where these provide a huge improvement (e.g. non-quill headset, maybe OB bottom bracket); otherwise stick with an 80’s ethos and aesthetic. I was particularly keen to avoid using a groupset that is non-maintainable once it is replaced by next year’s model.

Anyway, this is mainly to say thanks for the read.