Jun 25, 2011 at 6:39 pm #1275934
Jeffrey KucheraBPL Member
@frankenfeetLocale: Great Lakes
Howdy guys. I have got the backpacking thing down cold so now it is time to start messing around with bikes. I am a noob when it comes to biking (really I know jack about scratch). My question is this: I picked up a trek 720 multi track at a flea market for $20.00 and want to know if the bike is worth overhauling. I would be taking it into a shop. It was filty when I bought it and I have cleaned the daylights out of it at least once. By looking at it I would say it needs tires, front and rear deraileur adjustment, brake adjustment, at least one brake cable replaced, and who knows what else. I am not sure if this is enough information for anyone to render an opinion…? Let me have it!Jun 25, 2011 at 7:51 pm #1753352
Joe NewtonBPL Member
If you have a bike shop do it the adjustments/repairs could be quite expensive and may cost more than the bike is worth. Just a tune up can run upwards of 50.00 or more. If components need to be replaced it can get expensive really quickly if a shop does it. There are numerous resources on the internet (youtube, etc) that show you step by step how to adjust derailleurs, brakes, repack bearings, etc. Also if the derailleurs, brakes, gear cluster, freehub, gear stack, chain, etc need replacing these parts are not really that expensive online. Check ebay for cheap parts. Make sure the rims are not bent and are running true. If it is a steel frame make sure rust has not weakened the frame anywhere. I bought a trek 850 mountain track (1996) at Goodwill earlier this year for 40.00. Changed out the cranks, chain, freehub and gear stack for around 75.00. Rebuilt the wheel hubs with new bearings and grease. Great little bike. Was a lot of fun. Most of the brake and derailleur adjustments require standard tools including screwdrivers and allen wrenches. If you get into the cranks/hubs/freehub stuff some speciality tools are required. I already had these tools.Jun 25, 2011 at 8:43 pm #1753360
Stephen B Elder JrSpectator
@selderLocale: Front range CO
As Joe said beware of spending so much on it that you could have simply bought a better used bike for the same $. It will always be a 720, which is probably worth $50 to maybe $90 in fully functional condition, decent tires and all. If you start out by doing all of the adjustments, lube etc without spending any $ and are happy with the results you'll have made the bike better as it sits, and learned a bit besides. You can then decide if any parts it might need are worth the cost. Don't just assume that you'll need anything more than the brake cable which is easy DIY for like $6 in parts from your local bike shop. Don't replace the tires unless you really need to…you got a nice deal on the bike, but your mantra should be Don't Spend Money.Jun 25, 2011 at 9:17 pm #1753366
Mike In SocalBPL Member
If your Trek 720 doesn't need any major parts replaced and just needs some maintenance, then I say go for it. At least you will have a bike that you don't have to worry about because you didn't spend $1200+ on a new bike. That's what I did when I decided to have the air/oil Rockshox rebuilt on my 1994 Specialized Stumpjumper. The cost to rebuild was about $150 and I could not buy any replacement shocks without changing the geometry of the bike – all the new shocks have longer travel. If I had purchased a new bike, I would have spent a lot more money and would not have been doing more cycling than I do today.
MikeJun 25, 2011 at 11:30 pm #1753383
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Since you only have $20 invested, you have a perfect bike to learn maintenance and repair. At the worst it is recycling in the best form. Make your mistakes in riding and repair on a bike that won't make you regret your slips. You can buy a new bike for a big wad and you won't learn a thing. The depreciation would be much more than you will spend on the Trek, parts and tools. You'll get a chance to find out what you like or don't like, and you just might ride that bike for years and never want anything else. You will miss out on the heartache when you drop your $2k bike in the gravel and scratch the nice paint job and rip the seat :)
If you live in a large city, there is probably some sort of DIY repair shop, bike co-op or maybe a class on bike repair where you can get access to the specialized tools. There are plenty of books available, maybe some videos at your local library. I've been surprised how inexpensive some bike tools were when compared to automotive tools.Jun 26, 2011 at 8:23 am #1753427
Dale is right. It's a perfect opportunity to learn how to repair your bike. I learned to repair my own bike because everytime it needed fixing the shop wanted to keep it for a couple of weeks. I hated being without my bike. Start by buying a repair manual, Park Tool makes a good one:
Great repar videos for beginners at:
Everytime I needed to fix something it was always cheaper to buy the tool to do it when I needed it. Over the years I built a great toolbox for fixing bikes. I would start with 2 three way tools:
Park Tool AWS-1 4/5/6 three way allen wrench"
Park Tool ST-3 8/9/10 socket
Combine those with a small screwdriver, small phillips, and needlenose pliers and you have almost everything you need to fix 80% of your problems.
Get some chain lube, I like Prolink because it doesnt stink or collect dirt and has the benefit of being easy to apply and clean up.
All of the above will cost you about $50. What you learn will save you enough money to buy a couple of bikes.
In regards to tires, it they are rotten and cracking get new ones. Not worth it to have one blow flying down a hill. You can get good inexpensive Forte commuter slicks at Performance Bike for $15 each.
If you have questions PM me.
Good Luck!Jun 26, 2011 at 10:26 am #1753449
Jeffrey KucheraBPL Member
@frankenfeetLocale: Great Lakes
Thanks for all the candid responses guys! With your encouragement and the help of the Ohio City bicycle co-op in Cleveland (which I just discovered) I think I have my work cut out for me. I am definitely not interested in spending any big bucks on a new bike so fixing up the old trek 720 seems like a great idea. Thanks to all for helping me make a good informed decision.Jun 27, 2011 at 1:04 pm #1753742
>> Bender <<BPL Member
Fixing it up yourself is the best way to go. If you ever need to do a field repair you will actually know what to do.
Here is a great resource for bike models http://bikepedia.com/Search.aspx?Q=trek+720Jun 30, 2011 at 1:39 am #1754596
Stephen ChanBPL Member
@syc168Locale: SF Bay Area
Just FYI, there is a little known fact that the geometry and overall construction of the frame for the zero-cachet Multitrack 720 seems to be identical to the Trek 520 Touring bike, which has a good reputation as a loaded touring bike. Don't let it get out, otherwise the prices on Multitrack 720's will start to rise…Jul 11, 2011 at 10:13 am #1758059
@pyeyoLocale: pacific northwest
I spend a great deal of my time going through old steel frames and the first thing I would do is inspect it for serious rust looking down the seat tube, around the bottom bracket,the chain stays, etc, and probing any "blisters" with a dental pick.Oxidation makes the tubing thinner and by definition weaker, I see a few of these that have been exposed to salt air that the only thing holding them together is the paint, but I doubt that is the case with yours… if all passes fine I would then invest in a can of Weigle's Frame Saver for around 12 bucks and treat the frame.Pay attention to the directions, use in a well ventilated area, and wear old clothes. The stuff migrates fast, like onto a good shirt or pants. When dry you have a good base to start from. If you feel you need to add any braze-ons for whatever reason [like a bottle cage mount under the down tube], do them or have them done first.
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