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Gallery - 1978 Trek 510 owned by Dave Mann

Dave writes: "In 1978, I was in high school in central Ohio. Chuck Harris, the owner of the local bike store in our town, took me in and gave me a job. He remains one of the most genuinely kind people I have ever known. Chuck's passion was for bike touring and we sold mostly Fujis, with the occasional Miyata. Chuck also had a Chestnut Brown frame from the new American frame builders he knew in Wisconsin. It was made with Ishiwata 022 tubing and it was the most beautiful frame this high school kid had ever seen. "

"By 1983, I was going to college in the Boston area and I finally saved up enough money to trade in my old Fuji Royale II for a Trek 600, which I rode until 1995 when I drove it under a car port while it was on the roof rack. Yes, I cried. I had been commuting on the bike daily, went on regular training rides with it and had ridden it cross-country."

"I replaced the totaled 600 with an aluminum Trek 1220, which had a triple crank and eyelets. But, it was a racing style bike in every other way - certainly not a sport touring design. Mountain bikes were all the rage at that time and the sport touring bike had effectively disappeared from the market it seemed. The 1220 was loads of fun on short rides. In particular, it sprinted like a rocket ship and climbed like nobody's business. In contrast, the old 600 was a bit whippy in the bottom bracket. The thin 531 tubing and my tall 64mm frame size were a bad combination. Still, I really, really missed the stable ride of my old 600. Thankfully, I found the Vintage Trek site and was able to research what frames to look for. My hunt finally payed off in 2006 and I was able to purchase this frame."

"I consider myself extremely lucky to have been able to find this specific frame. I really wanted to find an 022 frame, and not another 531 frame. Partly, this is because of the big impression that brown Trek had made on me nearly 30 years ago. More importantly though, I wanted to get a slightly stiffer frame than the thinner-walled 531 tubing provided. The first step in getting the bike on the road was to take it to Peter Mooney, the frame builder in residence at the Wheelworks, to have the frame aligned and to have the rear triangle spread to 130mm to accept a modern drive train. I also gave the frame 2 coats of Frame Saver. "

"The drive train has been scavenged off of the old 1220. It's an 8-speed Shimano indexing system with RSX hubs, rear derailleur and crank and Shimano barcon shifters. The one bit of the system that is not modern is the Suntour BL front derailleur, which was taken off of the old dead 600. They work together famously, but I suspect they bicker when I'm not around. "

"In 1978, you could still order optional braze-ons on Trek frames. It's as if the original owner had me in mind when he ordered the frame since he choose down tube cable stops for my preferred bar end shifters. Other nice upgrades include: water bottle bosses on the down tube, brake cable bosses on the top tube, cable guides on the bottom bracket (I think these are Campagnolo but I'm not 100% sure of that) and Campagnolo drop outs, which were upgrades on the stock Suntour or Trek drop outs originally specified for the 510. And of course, in 1978 they still attached the headbadge with screws, which just tickles me to no end. "

"The current brakes on the bike are a pair of DiaCompe 500Gs, which provide a bunch of room for fenders. They came on my 600 so I've racked up a lot of miles with these brakes. Still, I don't have much emotional attachment to them. I've always considered them to be functional but somewhat homely looking. Hopefully at some point in the not too distant future they'll get replaced with a pair of Suntour Superbe or DiaCompe Royal Comp calipers. "

"I'm not doing any extended touring at present (hopefully this will change as the kids get older) but I still use a handlebar bag pretty much all the time. The racer boys at my local bike store don't understand this and visibly shake their heads when I come into the shop. For those of you who remember the late '70s, the handlebar bag is an Eclipse bag. About a year ago, it was a nasty sun faded red after spending over 25 years in the sun. My wife begged me to let her buy me a new bag. Instead, I dropped it into a hot pot of Rit dye and it came out looking almost like new."

"By far, the most compelling thing about this bike is the ride. The long wheelbase, the long rake and low bottom bracket all give this bike a kind of stability that has to be ridden to be believed. The place I most notice it is on sections of rough road and torn up pavement. On my race style bike, the bike would pitch to one side or the other in the rough stuff. In contrast, this bike just hunkers down and rides straight and true."

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