Sunday, March 9, 2014

Ride Reports: Trek 620 and Breezer

With our long winter maybe, finally, hopefully receding, I was able to get out today for a few quick rides. First up was my Trek 620. I picked this bike up about a month ago off the local Craigslist. Then, it looked like this:

I dug through my parts bin and changed a few bits here and there to come up with this:

The tires are Performance Metro 700x35mm. They actually measure about 32mm, but that leaves enough room for fenders:

I've ridden the Trek a few times since I updated it, but today was my first ride in decent weather. I cut up around the Metro Park and did a short loop through there:

Overall, if I were to describe the Trek in one word, it would be "smooth." It wasn't super sharp handling like my earlier lower trail bikes (Rawland Nord and Sogn), but it steered nicely enough, and it really glided over bumps and rough pavement. I have  the bars a bit above the saddle, but I'm still not really sure about drop bars (as I mentioned here). It was windy out:

(that's a faint picture of windmill whirring away), but that small advantage to me isn't worth the tradeoff in comfort and control that I have with a mountain bike style bar. Which brings me to:

I picked up this Breezer frame around the same time as the Trek. I thought for a while on how to build it--my first idea was a 69er--but I ended up with 26" wheels, fat slicks, and a hodgepodge of parts from my bin:

Mary bar, twist right shifter and upside down thumby left shifter:

I had to end up buying a new external BB crankset for it. Any square taper model I had, even on the widest bottom bracket, wouldn't let the crank arms clear the chainstays. This is my first triple build in quite a long time:

This wheelset will send weight weenies everywhere running for the exits:

The headset is some kind of silly semi-integrated thing, luckily it came with the frame:

 Topping it all off is the Fargo 29er fork. It handles OK so far:

A quick test ride up and down the street revealed some issues: the front hub was seriously loose, and once that was fixed, the lightweight QR I used popped out when I grabbed the front brake. Fortunately, I was going slowly, and the dropout design of the Fargo fork held the wheel in place while I came to a stop. After I swapped that out for a standard Shimano QR (borrowed from the Trek's original 27" wheelset) everything was fine.

It's a fun ride. I had a better time on the Breezer than I had on my longer ride on the Trek. With the current build I have, I'm contemplating using the Breezer to take over kid pulling duties from my Buzz. We'll see how that plays out this spring.

One funny post script: also today, I picked up a used set of mid level 26" wheels from a COMBO member. He had advertised them as free, which I guess shows the relative value of 26" stuff in today's market! (I gave him a six pack of CBC Pale Ale) I don't really need more wheels, but I have the idea to clean these up and give them to my buddy Charles for when he is ready to update his elderly mountain bike.

No comments:

Post a Comment

City Bike Update

One post in, and my Fuji America has already gotten a pretty major update. A wave of bike changes cascaded down to it: - I sold my Trek St...