Gallery - Julia DeGrace's 1977 Trek TX700
Julia DeGrace says of her well-experienced 1977 Model
"I was living in Goleta CA in 1977 and wanted to
move up to a pro-quality touring bike from the very nice, but too small
for me, Raleigh Gran Prix I was riding. Nice racing bikes were available
to purchase, but high quality touring bikes were not widely available.
I found I would have to build my own. I rode my bike to work and between
buildings, spread all over Goleta, during my work days. You may remember
the Raytheon Corporation facilities that were there.
"The folks at Hendrickson's Bicycles on State Street told me about
this new Midwest company making nice custom frames and showed me a sample
they had purchased. The TX700, with its longer chainstays and available
large size seemed to fit my needs. I seem to recall filling out a sheet
describing my body measurements that was sent to the Trek factory. I
ordered my frame in May 1977 and received it either late June or July
1977. It's a 24" TX700 with Campy headset, Campy rear dropouts
and brazed water bottle cage bosses. Today, I wish I had the money to
get brazed cable guides too. The day I picked it up, Hendrickson's let
me loose on the shelves of their storeroom with a cardboard box I filled
with goodies to build my bike.
"I was building a touring bike, so
Campy parts wouldn't do as they came only in race configuration. The
Japanese were coming out with some nice touring parts and I used them.
Original parts still on the bike are Sugino wide-range crankset, and
Suntour Cyclone wide-range derailluers in the "new" black
anodized finish. The
bar-end shifters give better control when shifting a heavily loaded
tourer. After reading an article in Bicycling Magazine, I custom assembled
the Regina cassette to give me 10 unique, logorithymically-calculated,
gear ratios, including a stump-puller for climbing mountains. I built
up a set of light, strong Rigida rims and added Weinmann brakes and
levers off a Raleigh I had at home. A Zefal pump (which still works),
Blackburn rack, SR LaPrade seat post, SR stem and randonneur bars, an
old Brooks leather saddle, used pedals and toe-clips finished the bike.
Gerry bike panniers and handlebar bag did packing duty. This large-framed
bike, as pictured, with computer, pump, kickstand and luggage rack,
still weighs less than 25 pounds. Maybe 21 pounds without them; I forget.
"I have no idea how far the bike has
gone, just lots! I've upgraded the seat, pedals, toe straps, water bottle
cage and tires a few times along the way. I added a trip computer a
few years ago. The bike still performs as well as it did when new. It
has never been refinished. I owe its good condition to the kickstand
I've always used. I still like the ride of the 531 steel frame. When
I saw they were getting rare, I bought a supply of 27" light-weight
IRC tires a few years back. I still have 3 extras, kept in dark, cool
storage. I'm 58 years old, the attached pics were taken just after my
Saturday morning ride. I guess I'll be keeping this bike a bit longer
as long as I can get good 27" tires for it. The old bike suits
this old gal.
Click on each photo to see an enlarged image.
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