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Gallery - Refurbished 1986 Trek 400 - Bob Schutter

Bob's bike is a good example of what can be done to renew an old bike without spending a fortune. If you have questions or comments about this bike, please contact Bob at

Bob writes: "I've always liked the early steel Treks with their nice cast lugs and their inside-the-stay derailleur cable routing, so I decided to look for a bare frame to build up. After about three weeks of searching on Ebay, a "mid-80's, 60cm" appeared. It was described as having been given "a revolting purple and gold Krylon home-brew paint job!" I stayed up until 1 a.m. one night to bid, and was able to purchase the frame for $30."

"After the bike arrived, I e-mailed the serial number to Skip and he was able to conclude that I had purchased a 1986 400, brazed in late 1985, with Reynolds 531 main tubes and cromolly stays. A close inspection revealed several problems... an adjuster was broken off inside the drop-out, one of the cable guides on the top tube was broken, and the seat lug was crushed in from someone using a too-small post. I promptly made the situation worse by breaking the lug away from the seat tube when prying it back to the correct size. I was off to a rough start. Fortunately, my brother works in a machine and tool shop and was able to put everything right. He also did the sand blasting and removed the rack braze-ons. Next I carefully spread the stays to 130mm to accept the modern Ritchey wheel set and used string to make sure everything stayed properly aligned. A local bike shop aligned the derailleur hanger. The fork that came with the frame was a replacement of poor quality. That was discarded in favor of an aluminum short rake Specialized take-off that I purchased for $20 from another local shop."

"The overall look of the bike was intended to be a tip of the hat to Lance and the USPS team (I had both cancer and a Trek before Lance!) The white powdercoat cost $50 and I applied the decals and pinstripe. Some of the decals came from a seller on Ebay. I emailed him about making the smaller letters for seat-stays. I had the down-tube decals made at a local sign shop, they have a book there about an inch thick with hundreds of logos. The red line is an automotive pinstripe, five bucks at Wal-mart."

"I love these vintage frames, but I'm not a fan of the older parts, so components were selected based on cost, function, and aesthetics - not originality. One notable exception is the brake calipers. The old Shimano 105's are nice looking, lightweight, and smooth with their ball bearing pivots. A friend and his Dremel tool lengthened the slots on the arms of the rear brake for the proper reach and I redrilled the bridge for the recessed nut. The front caliper bolted right up to the more modern fork. The drivetrain consists of a UN-72 bottom bracket, Sora STI levers, Tiagra derailleurs and crank, HG-50 cassette and KMC chain. The stem is a Ritchey, bars are ITM, and the post is an SR. The USPS saddle and water bottle were Christmas gifts from my parents and completed the bike nicely."

"The was not an easy or inexpensive project, but I still have less invested than had I purchased a new Trek 1000; plus, it's my own design and built by me!"

Click on each picture to see an enlargement.


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