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Goodbye my friend.

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

For the first time in many years, I've been road biking on a serious basis with the purpose of improving my conditioning. I've done 100 miles per week at very moderate pace for the last three weeks and my body is beginning to come around, especially my butt.

 

Last night while cleaning my 1991 Trek Al/Carbon frame, I found a crack in the Al tubing about an inch behind the bottom bracket. This is the horizontal tube in the rear triange. Life's just too short to continue to ride it, so, next week, it's back to Trek to see if the lifetime warranty thing still works. It has Shimano 7 speed components (some 105, some Dura Ace from upgrandes) from the same vintage, so even if they replace the frame, component upgrade seems to be required.

 

So assuming Trek replaces tbe frame, what would you do with a budget of $750 to $1000 to equip a new frame. Any thoughts?

post #2 of 21

 If they are to replace the frame, find out about what it would cost to upgrade to a whole new bike. 

post #3 of 21

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Living Proof View Post

 

So assuming Trek replaces tbe frame, what would you do with a budget of $750 to $1000 to equip a new frame. Any thoughts?

 

My two cents:

 

If you want new, an easy way to go is pick up a new bike at bikesdirect.com. You can get 105 or ultegra spec'd bikes well within that budget, strip 'em, and sell the generic frame via local craigslist or ebay.  

 

Don't know how much difference in ride quality you'd find between a Trek frame and the generic on bikesdirect but that's a whole nother question.

 

Don't overlook wheel quality in the new bike.  I basically did this routine with swapping Ultegra components from a generic bike onto the frame of my (limited budget) dreams -- nice to have a frame that fit but then the next year I put on new wheels from neuvationcycling.com  -- R-28 aero or somethiing like that.  Much improved ride over base Shimano wheels that came with the generic source bike. 

 

More wisdom (and folly) on this question at forums on roadbikereview.com if you like to obsess.  (As I do.)

post #4 of 21

 I'll second the recommendation of considering Bikesdirect.  They may not be the most high-bling out there, but they're an affordable way into some good components.  You can get a nearly complete Ultegra or Ultegra SL component group with Mavic Ksyrium wheels for a bargain price - and get a realtively nice frame, as well.

 

The experience I've had on BD frames (the Motobecane Le Champion and the Immortal Pro, FYI) is positive: they're quite nice for the price, if not quite as cutting-edge as a new Trak Madone, Specialized Tarmac or Cervelo RS.  They get the job done and are well made.

 

I'll also second the importance of good wheels.  I love my Neuvations quite a bit (the R28 SL3), and they're a bargain for what you get.  But never, ever overlook tthe quality and economy of good, hand-built wheels.  If you shop around (locally and on the internet), you can find some great wheelbuilders who will craft a pair of wheels specifically for your needs, with top-end components and weight that rivals the zoot models, at a price that's almost always competitive (as well as the peace of mind that comes with getting standard spokes that any shop can replace in an emergency).  Just something to consider - not to knock down Neuvation, Mavic, Williams, Easton, Campagnolo/Fulcrum or Shimano (to name a handful).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ts01 View Post

 

 

If you want new, an easy way to go is pick up a new bike at bikesdirect.com. You can get 105 or ultegra spec'd bikes well within that budget, strip 'em, and sell the generic frame via local craigslist or ebay.  

 

Don't know how much difference in ride quality you'd find between a Trek frame and the generic on bikesdirect but that's a whole nother question.

 

Don't overlook wheel quality in the new bike.  I basically did this routine with swapping Ultegra components from a generic bike onto the frame of my (limited budget) dreams -- nice to have a frame that fit but then the next year I put on new wheels from neuvationcycling.com  -- R-28 aero or somethiing like that.  Much improved ride over base Shimano wheels that came with the generic source bike. 

 

post #5 of 21

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Living Proof View Post

Last night while cleaning my 1991 Trek Al/Carbon frame, I found a crack in the Al tubing about an inch behind the bottom bracket. This is the horizontal tube in the rear triange. Life's just too short to continue to ride it, so, next week, it's back to Trek to see if the lifetime warranty thing still works. It has Shimano 7 speed components (some 105, some Dura Ace from upgrandes) from the same vintage, so even if they replace the frame, component upgrade seems to be required.

 

So assuming Trek replaces tbe frame, what would you do with a budget of $750 to $1000 to equip a new frame. Any thoughts?

 

Part out and Ebay the old bike.     I'll bet you get another $100-150 easy to toss into the gruppo budget.

post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 

All, thanks for the thinking. Bears can always be counted on especially in matters of equipment.

 

Just a quick update. I dropped off my frame at the local Trek dealer. They agree that the crack makes the frame unrideable, and, are going to contact Trek directly on my behalf to pursue the lifetime warranty. They state Trek has been very good at standing behind the lifetime frame warranty and the process goes very quickly. So, I'm optimistic. More to follow.

 

Like most of you, I love the great deals that are available on the 'net and places like Epic. But, when you need servicing or support with a warranty issue, it's great to have a real shop as your advocate.

post #7 of 21

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Living Proof View Post

All, thanks for the thinking. Bears can always be counted on especially in matters of equipment.

 

Just a quick update. I dropped off my frame at the local Trek dealer. They agree that the crack makes the frame unrideable, and, are going to contact Trek directly on my behalf to pursue the lifetime warranty. They state Trek has been very good at standing behind the lifetime frame warranty and the process goes very quickly. So, I'm optimistic. More to follow.

 

Like most of you, I love the great deals that are available on the 'net and places like Epic. But, when you need servicing or support with a warranty issue, it's great to have a real shop as your advocate.

Datz da Truth!

Nothing replaces the relationship with a shop, even if the shop is our EpicSki Shop guys, like Whiteroom, Philpug, Sierra Jim, Ptex1, Bud and the ilk....

Bargains are best when you buy from someone you know.

post #8 of 21

 

Quote:

Like most of you, I love the great deals that are available on the 'net and places like Epic. But, when you need servicing or support with a warranty issue, it's great to have a real shop as your advocate.

 

Agreed 100 percent!  However, having a good shop - one where your loyalty pays dividends - helps with "project bikes" in terms of getting support.  My Pedal Force was a 90-percent web-sourced and home-assembled project.  However, my loyalty to a shop here in DC before, during and after the build has meant that I've enjoyed support similar to that of having purchased the whole ball-o-wax through said shop.

 

The LBS gets a lot of business from me, for sure, and is something I treasure.  Dealing with warranty issues via phone/email is not for the squeamish (e.g. with a warranty replacement on a Neuvation wheel, I "ate my own dog food" in terms of having to file my warranty claim online - not nearly as easy as dealing with my friends at the LBS), but it's not always terrible, either.  And when you're looking at a finite budget, there are times when the only viable option is to raid the bounty of thr internet to find what you want.

 

It's all about balance - kinda like skiing.  ;)

 

Just my $0.02 - YMMV.

post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 

So far, no word from Trek regarding my frame, and, cycling is on hold until the weekend when I can access my second bike. Bummer.

 

I've always admired the classic rode bikes, and, here's one from the Philly's Craig's list. Schwinn Peloton with new paint and Shimano 9 speed. It should fit very well and is only a few minutes away.

 

 

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/1217541228.html

 

Any thoughts?

post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 

YESSSSS! Trek notified my LBS that a new 2.3 frame is being sent to replace my original frame. The LBS tech is uncertain what comes with it, so we have to wait till it shows up. It's equal in class to my original frame, not real basic, not high end. It's amazing that a '91 carbon/Al frame gets replaced, so Trek & my LBS will continue to get my business. When I first bought it, the shop manager was so convinced these frames were POS and would fail within a couple of years.

 

One aspect I feel strongly about is to have a durable wheelset built. The same shop manager handbuilt a set of Mavic Open CD using heavier spokes and a stronger crossing pattern because of my 200# weight and recreational riding use. Each year when he would tune the bike, he'd comment that his wheels had no business remaining so true. I believe that "form should follow function", so lighter racing wheelsets are something I'll avoid.

 

Helluvaskier sent a message stating he has a Shimano 105 groupo that's available, so that will be an option. Thanks for thinking of me Greg. Thanks to all for your thoughts.

 

In a thread this winter, we were discussing what is correct way to show your thanks to the shop guys, cash or beer. In this case, a case of beer and equal amount of cash will be headed to the tech!

 

 

post #11 of 21

Now is your chance to up grade some components.  

post #12 of 21

LP, good to see that things are working out for you on this.  Don't forget to post pics of your new friend when its ready.

 

 

post #13 of 21

Interesting that it was the Al section that failed rather than the carbon or the joints. I have a '91 2500 (7 tube all carbon w/Al lugs) that I bought as a frame last summer for $100. It's in perfect shape despite its age (rarely ridden). Built up with modern components (mostly Ultegra) it makes a nice cheap carbon ride.

post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevesmith7 View Post

Interesting that it was the Al section that failed rather than the carbon or the joints. I have a '91 2500 (7 tube all carbon w/Al lugs) that I bought as a frame last summer for $100. It's in perfect shape despite its age (rarely ridden). Built up with modern components (mostly Ultegra) it makes a nice cheap carbon ride.

While I'm an engineer, structural analysis is not an area where I could claim competence, but, the area behind the bottom bracket where it separates into two tubes, has to have maximum stress when climbing, accelerating etc. plus it's stressed in a cycles and that makes it subject to metal fatigue over time. On your bike, there would be a fitting that joins the three carbon tubes, so strength/design is different. I found it while cleaning/polishing the frame, and, am lucky as the crack is barely visible.

I always like the ride, so enjoy yours and keep an eye on this area.

 

Shop called to tell me the new frame has arrived. Now, I need to collect all the parts prior to the build.

 

post #15 of 21

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Living Proof View Post

. It's amazing that a '91 carbon/Al frame gets replaced, so Trek & my LBS will continue to get my business.

 

 

In a thread this winter, we were discussing what is correct way to show your thanks to the shop guys, cash or beer. In this case, a case of beer and equal amount of cash will be headed to the tech!

 

 


Hang on to that LBS.  The Trek dealer here is not so hot.  A friend brought in her old bike (a Trek) for a tune-up, and they explained to her that the bike was old, and old 7-speed technology just does't shift very well.  They charged her $35 and told her that was as good as it could get.  She needs a new bike.
 

 

I looked at it and found the chain was really old, stretched beyond belief, and the derailleur hanger was  bent.  I straightened the hanger, put on a new chain, added a retired 7-speed cassette from my junk box, lubed the cables, and voila! she says it shifts better than new.

 

The shop just wanted a sale.

 

post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post

 


Hang on to that LBS.  The Trek dealer here is not so hot.  A friend brought in her old bike (a Trek) for a tune-up, and they explained to her that the bike was old, and old 7-speed technology just does't shift very well.  They charged her $35 and told her that was as good as it could get.  She needs a new bike.
 

 

I looked at it and found the chain was really old, stretched beyond belief, and the derailleur hanger was  bent.  I straightened the hanger, put on a new chain, added a retired 7-speed cassette from my junk box, lubed the cables, and voila! she says it shifts better than new.

 

The shop just wanted a sale.

 

 

I've made a decision that in the build out of this bike, with the exception of the 105 group I bought from Helluvaskier, all parts will come from the LBS. Certainly I could save significant $$ via web based purchasing, but, in this case, the right thing to do is to work with people who helped me. The extra bucks will go to a local company that I want to remain in business. They warrant their wheelsets and the buildout includes some fitting and bringing it back for 100 mile adjustment.

 

As I now have a box of old 105 7 speed stuff, I came accross a local who wants to sell an 80's classic Schwinn Peloton frame ( no it's not a Paramount - still waiting to find one in a yard sale ). If we can work out a deal, I'll get it painted and build it out with my stuff.


Edited by Living Proof - 6/23/2009 at 06:34 pm GMT
post #17 of 21

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Living Proof View Post

 

 

I've made a decision that in the build out of this bike, with the exception of the 105 group I bought from Helluvaskier, all parts will come from the LBS. Certainly I could save significant $$ via web based purchasing, but, in this case, the right thing to do is to work with people who helped me. The extra bucks will go to a local company that I want to remain in business. They warrant their wheelsets and the buildout includes some fitting and bringing it back for 100 mile adjustment.

 

As I now have a box of old 105 7 speed stuff, I came accross a local who wants to sell an 80's classic Schwinn Peloton frame ( no it's not a Paramount - still waiting to find one in a yard sale ). If we can work out a deal, I'll get it painted and build it out with my stuff.


Edited by Living Proof - 6/23/2009 at 06:34 pm GMT

Good for you.  My recent bike purchase was from a LBS as well and I feel good about it.

post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
I'm smiling!
Picked up the new Trek 2.3 yesterday and went for a 20 mile ride. It has a red and black paint scheme that looks really good (to my eyes at least) and preferable to the other Trek color schemes, excluding Madrone's. Much more nimble and fast than the touring bike I've been on for the last month. My ride loop is flat and straight so a review of performance in more demanding road conditions will have to wait.

Below is a link to Trek's website about this model, I'll post some real pics later.
http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/road/2_series/23/

My budget was to upgrade for about $750. The biggest decision was the wheelset, and, after much consideration I did Mavic Krysiums. The reviews of the wheelset are mixed in they are heavy, but, durable. At $260 It didn't break the bank. I'm reusing my 700x25 tires as they ride very flat free and add to comfort. I'll go to something smaller on the next set.

The Group came from an Epic transaction from Helluvaskier. Shimano 105 shifters and derailuers, Ultraga crankset and bottom bracket. He has my slightly used Hart skis, I now have his slightly used group. Thanks Greg! The group works as expected from this line, solid. A future upgrade will changing gearing to permit more comfortable climbing.

We selected Bontrager parts standard to the Trek line for the headset, seatpost and handelbars. Prior to the full buildout but with the wheels, headset and cranks installed, my LBS asked me to come in and select a handelbar that I felt comfortable with for size and drop configuration. We spent 3/4 of an hour changing out bars until I was comfortable. The shop fee for the entire build out was $120 and that included a final fitting session to fine tune the stem lenght, seat height and position. My total cost was $820 for the new components and I've got a bike that has a MSRP of $1800 and retails for whatever price you can negotiate.

In addition, I bought new Shimano SPD road shoes and road pedals. Good to go for many years! Ride on!
post #19 of 21
Sounds like a great new ride - enjoy.

On the gearing front, if you've got a standard crankset you might want to downsize the front gearing to a compact crankset, rather than put on a larger cluster in back.  Tons of info on that subject if you search on forums at roadbikereview.com.  I did this earlier this year and it works like a charm.

My only problem (and my problem = your opportunity) is that the Shimano 105 compact crank that cost me around $150 is now on sale at Bike Nashbar for $65 with free shipping (coupon code: "SORRY"): http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_212345_-1_201436_10000_201437.   
post #20 of 21
Great plan.

The older Shimano group has value with the vintage crowd, but it will be more fun to build up a steel framed bike instead.

We want pictures of the new bike!

Cheers,

Michael
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Living Proof View Post

 

 

I've made a decision that in the build out of this bike, with the exception of the 105 group I bought from Helluvaskier, all parts will come from the LBS. Certainly I could save significant $$ via web based purchasing, but, in this case, the right thing to do is to work with people who helped me. The extra bucks will go to a local company that I want to remain in business. They warrant their wheelsets and the buildout includes some fitting and bringing it back for 100 mile adjustment.

 

As I now have a box of old 105 7 speed stuff, I came accross a local who wants to sell an 80's classic Schwinn Peloton frame ( no it's not a Paramount - still waiting to find one in a yard sale ). If we can work out a deal, I'll get it painted and build it out with my stuff.


Edited by Living Proof - 6/23/2009 at 06:34 pm GMT
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ts01 View Post

Sounds like a great new ride - enjoy.

On the gearing front, if you've got a standard crankset you might want to downsize the front gearing to a compact crankset, rather than put on a larger cluster in back.  Tons of info on that subject if you search on forums at roadbikereview.com.  I did this earlier this year and it works like a charm.

My only problem (and my problem = your opportunity) is that the Shimano 105 compact crank that cost me around $150 is now on sale at Bike Nashbar for $65 with free shipping (coupon code: "SORRY"): http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_212345_-1_201436_10000_201437.   

 

Thanks for this suggestion. On today's ride, I met a guy who also just purchased a Trek 2.3 and that came standard with the 105 compact crank. We rode for 15 miles and exchanged bikes for a few miles so that I could try this combination and it sure seems like the right first step.

After 75 miles, I like the bike even more. Nice smooth ride. It's also great to jump up and ride with the higher speed locals who passed me easily on my other bike.
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