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  1. #1
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    1995 Trek 970 Build

    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--> I just finished building my 1995 Trek 970. My goal was to build a nice steel bike that was fairly light but also not too expensive. The bike ended up at 27.25 lbs as shown. I haven't calculated up the exact cost but it is around $800. I did not try to outfit it with strictly original or exact time period hardware, but I did look for interesting parts that would work.

    A few of the off-the-beaten-path parts are the XT 3 finger Trekking brake levers, Trek Icon flat handlebar, and Mt. Titan rims (may replace them with 217's) to Deore DX hubs. I went with a 2002 80mm Marzocchi Atom Race fork, Cane Creek headset, XT 750 FD and XTR 960 RD (rapid rise). The more typical stuff are the MG-1 pedals, Cat Eye cages and WTB seat. The finishing touch is the Bablolat Skin Feel tennis racquet grip on the chain stay. The bike is set up as a 2 x 7 with a 24/34 to a 13-34 cassette.

    All in all Iím pretty pleased with the outcome. I still need to tweak a few things and I took these pictures before getting it out in the dirt.
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    Last edited by 70sSanO; 01-01-2014 at 06:31 PM.

  2. #2
    artistic...
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    It should ride better than it looks.

  3. #3
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    I think it looks great! Kind of a hodgepodge of parts, but still pretty sweet!

  4. #4
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    I love it! GREAT bike. Solid and very ridable.

  5. #5
    On wuss patrol
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    The 970 was a pretty decent steel frame. Looks great!
    Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the replies. It was a really fun build. I can't wait to get it on the trails. I was looking for good handling bike that could climb but still had some stability. I think it hit the mark.

  7. #7
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    Mavic 217 Sunsets...

    Well I tried to tweak the SD-7 brakes and used various brake pads with the Mt Titan rims but I just couldn't get them to work well enough. But it is a blessing in disguise because it got me off my rear end to take apart the wheels from my GT; XTR 950 hubs and well cupped 217's and build up a set with a pair of very good condition 217 Sunsets to the 950 hubs. This was the original plan but I was just lazy.

    I just finished building up the wheels with 1.8 in front and 2.0/1.8/2.0 in the rear. I'm not a fan of used spokes and rims but they are in good shape and it only cost me some aluminum spoke nipples. The set weighs in a 1635 grams. And they do look sweet on the Trek.

    I put the Deore DX/Mt. Titan wheels on the GT and with cheapo Clarks standard cantilever brake pads they work pretty good. The Mt. Titan rim sidewalls are so shallow and the rims are so narrow that I needed a narrow brake pad. I took the GT out yesterday and it rides fine with the wheels... and it stops so all is good.

    John

  8. #8
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    Great job. FYI that fork will take a 27.5 and the rear end should too.

  9. #9
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    $800 for a 27.25lb Trek!? Ouch. If the goal was a fun, do-it-yourself project, then it came out great. But if you were trying to get a light(ish) weight, cost effective bike...then I'm not sure you hit that mark.

    You can get a whole lot of bike for $800.
    -eric-

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  10. #10
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    I agree that there are a lot of bikes out there that can be had for $800.

    Since I paid about $120 for the Trek 970 frame shipped, that leaves $680 in parts, probably closer to $750 if I add the XTR wheelset difference. By parts I mean all of the parts including the chain, rings, cables, housings, tires, tubes, etc. Most of those parts are new or NOS. So it is a matter of adding a frame.

    As for weight, 27.25 is not too bad for a steel frame (4.7 lbs/2129 weighed) with a Bomber fork, MG-1 pedals, JIS crank, 400 gram cassette, and 700 gram tires.

    I know the Soma Groove comes in at 4 lbs and I would think a VooDoo steel frame may be lighter, but with the same mix of parts there are not too many $100-$200 frames that will get down to 25 lbs.

    But you are absolutely right. I could have gotten an awful lot of "used" bike for $800-$900. I guess the original goal was a fun do-it-yourself build and use most of the parts parts off the my '93 GT to keep it on the cheap. When I decided to do a complete build, the costs just started growing.

    John

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
    I agree that there are a lot of bikes out there that can be had for $800.

    Since I paid about $120 for the Trek 970 frame shipped, that leaves $680 in parts, probably closer to $750 if I add the XTR wheelset difference. By parts I mean all of the parts including the chain, rings, cables, housings, tires, tubes, etc. Most of those parts are new or NOS. So it is a matter of adding a frame.

    As for weight, 27.25 is not too bad for a steel frame (4.7 lbs/2129 weighed) with a Bomber fork, MG-1 pedals, JIS crank, 400 gram cassette, and 700 gram tires.

    I know the Soma Groove comes in at 4 lbs and I would think a VooDoo steel frame may be lighter, but with the same mix of parts there are not too many $100-$200 frames that will get down to 25 lbs.

    But you are absolutely right. I could have gotten an awful lot of "used" bike for $800-$900. I guess the original goal was a fun do-it-yourself build and use most of the parts parts off the my '93 GT to keep it on the cheap. When I decided to do a complete build, the costs just started growing.

    John
    Understand , big R has history of piling on any trek posted here, and when you get tired of it your 970 you still have a $680.00 of parts you can move around. No harm-no foul here. I am not sure why Rumpy even clicks on a Trek thread , as you can guarantee the remarks will be derogatory.

  12. #12
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    I appreciate the support. I'm not offended by Rumpfy's comments. He made a good point. Besides I'm new here and also to mountain biking, so I have no history with the sport. I've ridden road bikes off and on for a long time and still ride my '86 Cannondale with a Brooks saddle and retrofriction downtube shifters. I also have an '88 Criterium.

    About 6 months ago a neighbor was trying to get rid of an old '93 steel GT and after getting it back and running I've been having a blast riding in the dirt. I knew that I would need to replace the old Mag 21 fork with a 1" steering tube some day and possibly the whole frame so I decided to get going on the replacement. After going through tons on reviews and specs, I had a short list of steel frame bikes to look for; I liked the ride of the steel GT. The Trek 970/990 frame (mine is stamped 990 on the bottom of the BB shell) seemed to be one of the best choices for me.

    John

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Smedley View Post
    Understand , big R has history of piling on any trek posted here, and when you get tired of it your 970 you still have a $680.00 of parts you can move around. No harm-no foul here. I am not sure why Rumpy even clicks on a Trek thread , as you can guarantee the remarks will be derogatory.
    My comments weren't derogatory. I didn't say his bike was ugly or sucked. Eat a dick Fred.

    Quote Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
    I appreciate the support. I'm not offended by Rumpfy's comments. He made a good point.
    Nice to see someone who isn't a sensitive sally. Thick skin, something not a lot of people have around here. Looks like accomplished what you set out to do, kudos to that. Smart drive train set up and those Bomber forks are pretty plush. I run those same grips myself. Very comfy. Enjoy!
    -eric-

    http://www.rumpfy.com
    Wanted: NDS Suntour XC Pro Microdrive 175mm Crank Arm.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumpfy View Post
    My comments weren't derogatory. I didn't say his bike was ugly or sucked. Eat a dick Fred.
    LOL , not my flavor , try again.

  15. #15
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    you can always cut the down tube. attach a brake cable in place and call it a slingshot.. That could save 1/2 pound. I guess..

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    Quote Originally Posted by colker1 View Post
    you can always cut the down tube. attach a brake cable in place and call it a slingshot.. That could save 1/2 pound. I guess..
    I doubt the weight is accurate. My 98 930 was 26lbs with a Z2, he can save 1/2 lb by losing the Velorapter.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Smedley View Post
    I doubt the weight is accurate. My 98 930 was 26lbs with a Z2, he can save 1/2 lb by losing the Velorapter.
    4.7 lbs for an 18in frame is a bit on the heavy side. HIgh end steel would be around 4lbs.

    How the builder shaves that .7 lbs makes for a compliant lively frame or a bad handling noodle of a bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by colker1 View Post
    4.7 lbs for an 18in frame is a bit on the heavy side. HIgh end steel would be around 4lbs.

    How the builder shaves that .7 lbs makes for a compliant lively frame or a bad handling noodle of a bike.
    Seems a reasonable weight given a lugged Prestige MB1 weighs in at 4.9lbs http://sheldonbrown.com/bridgestone/...oneMB11987.pdf

  19. #19
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    Whoa Nelly! Good for the OP for sticking it out!

    Fred is absolutely right. It's not money wasted in that you can just move everything over to something else. Great basic frame to get you where you want to go. I'm so glad you're having so much fun with it! Those Trek rims are very nice. I had a pair and thought they were well made but you're right...not as much room as Mavic ones.

    Great job and happy trails.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Smedley View Post
    Seems a reasonable weight given a lugged Prestige MB1 weighs in at 4.9lbs http://sheldonbrown.com/bridgestone/...oneMB11987.pdf
    That MB1 is heavy.. A Ritchey P series weighs 3.7 lbs. A Bonty Race Lite is 4lbs and so were Fat Chances, IFs , Ibis..

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumpfy View Post
    $800 for a 27.25lb Trek!? Ouch.

    You can get a whole lot of bike for $800.
    I'm gonna stay in the "I think you're an idiot" camp. Walk into any bike store in the land with $800 and see how many sub-27lbs bikes you can take home. Report back. We want to know.
    Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill

  22. #22
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    You can't buy an American made, lugged, steel framed bike in any bike store for anywhere near $800.00. Not even close. At that price point you will at best find a Taiwan made, hydroformed aluminum bike with low end components and a heavy "suspension" fork, especially if the bike has the Trek logo on it. This is better.

    You did well with this build. Great job sir.

  23. #23
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    Thanks everyone for the responses. A lot of good points. In the end I guess it all comes down to how well I like it and as soon as the Kool Stops arrive I'll see how she rides.

    I did send the pics to the person who sold the frame. He had bought 2 of them when they were new. He rode one and stripped the parts off the other and set the frame aside. He was really stoked out how the bike turned out and as anyone who has lugged anything around for 20 years, he was pleased that his old Trek frame found a good home.

    Probably a sad aspect of this is that Trek was probably one of the last US "production" manufacturers to make steel frame bikes and that most of the true pioneers in the sport that had started in barns and garages had long since closed their doors. While steel framed bikes are still available you would hard pressed to find a new one sitting in your LBS.

    Everyone have a great weekend!

    John

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    I dig vintage Treks, and I like this one a lot. I was recently eyeing up a 970 frame on ebay myself. May have to break down and do it someday.

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    Nice bike SanO.. At one point at had a few of those mid 90's OX3 970's as well. I rode them a lot and liked. The top tube/ head tube gusset was unique. Oddly enough, tho,
    that frame was the only frame I ever managed to crack. Where?? At the Downtube/ head tube junction. Had the frame repaired and they put in a gusset at the spot that let go. Rode it for prolly another summer before selling the bike. It sold quick

  26. #26
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    As the OP noted, Rumpfy is talking used. 800 will land you a "ton" of used vintage steel in any market. Sub 27 is not a stretch at that price.
    Quote Originally Posted by Glide the Clyde View Post
    I'm gonna stay in the "I think you're an idiot" camp. Walk into any bike store in the land with $800 and see how many sub-27lbs bikes you can take home. Report back. We want to know.
    Zip ties? Not on my bike!

    Want:
    650B rims or wheel set. 80's vintage 32 or 36 x 135mm

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff View Post
    As the OP noted, Rumpfy is talking used. 800 will land you a "ton" of used vintage steel in any market. Sub 27 is not a stretch at that price.
    Well then, it looks like that's is what the OP ended up with, vintage steel build for about $800. Some lighter tires and tubeless and he's under 27 lbs., maybe under 26. I don't see any "ouch" here. Please clue me on what I and the OP are missing.

    Oh, and I spent about $1200 building a 28lb steel ht ss out of lightly used, medium grade bits. I guess I make the OP look pretty genius.
    Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glide the Clyde View Post
    Oh, and I spent about $1200 building a 28lb steel ht ss out of lightly used, medium grade bits. I guess I make the OP look pretty genius.
    Possibly. Point us to the bike and then we can get all judgemental.

    Until then, I'm going with "actually, the OP seems like a smart enough guy in his own right and against you, anyone would look like a genius".

    Sorry, I'm only kidding, I don't know you and I can't form an opinion, but you kinda walked into that huh?

    As for spending so much money on lightly used, medium grade bike parts, my only suggestion is to stay off eBay when you've been drinking. I've learned that from experience myself!

    Grumps

  29. #29
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    Well as much as I don't want to comment, I guess I have to...

    It doesn't matter what it weighs and what I paid because I was never interested, then or now, in buying someone else's project.

    If I bought a complete bike for $800 or $1000 I would just end up putting another $300-$400 into it to get it the way I wanted it. It is just the way I am. I have rarely found anything that I thought couldn't be tweaked to make it better... at least better to me.

    So while I might agree that there are tons of other used bikes somewhere out there that might be faster, lighter, cheaper, or whatever, it just doesn't mean anything to me.

    John

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
    So while I might agree that there are tons of other used bikes somewhere out there that might be faster, lighter, cheaper, or whatever, it just doesn't mean anything to me.
    Nor should it. You've built up a nice frame and resulted in a usable bike. Those parts can be swapped around onto other builds if the mood takes you there. In the process, you've had the fun and experience of building a bike.

    Over time you can swap some parts out and make it lighter if that's what you want to do. As it stands, I think it looks great. The frame looks to be in great condition, crisp and clean!

    I call it a win.

    Grumps

  31. #31
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    Grumps,

    Thanks!

    John

  32. #32
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    Hey 70sSen0,
    your Trek 970 bike looks beautiful! I am rebuilding mine too, every year a little bit more since I bought it in 1995. I see you left lots of room on the fork stem to get the bars up, good idea, I cut my Marzocchi Bomber Z2 (1997) a little bit too short I think, so need a steeper stem, but this is working for me sort of. I added a supernova front hub and ride all winter, need good lights, and fenders. I aslo but a Mary Bar on it to ease the wrists. I have probably 30 thousand miles on this ride. Steel seems pretty real. I am inspired by your build, and I need a new crankset:

    "The bike is set up as a 2 x 7 with a 24/34 to a 13-34 cassette."

    2 x 8 would do me. Can you tell me what crankset and chain rings you used? I couldn't make it out from your pictures. What front shifters? Seems perfect set up for me. Thx.

  33. #33
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    Thanks for the input. I hope to get good use out of it. It really is a nice riding bike. The Marzocchi is definitely a plush ride and the steel frame soaks up the bumps quite well for a hardtail.

    John

  34. #34
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    Here is the crank info... XT 730 (110/74 bcd) square taper. The 24 is a steel ring for a MT-60 crank and the 34 is just a generic non-ramped middle. I have never used ramped rings so I don't know any better, but it shifts fine. I took a worn out outer ring and cut off the tabs so everything bolted together with the original chain bolts/nuts.

    I am thinking of going to a 2x8 one day but I would get an 11-30 and drop the 11 & 13 cogs then add a 34 and top it off with a 12. It would keep the same low end and give a bit more top end with a 34-12.

    John

  35. #35
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    Welcome, you found a top of the line steel frame!

    Quote Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
    I appreciate the support. I'm not offended by Rumpfy's comments. He made a good point. I am new here and also to mountain biking, so I have no history with the sport...
    John
    70sSan0, welcome to the great sport of mountain biking. I think you will find it much more fun, challenging and addicting than road biking. Glade to see you chose a classic from the 90's for your first MTB frame rather than going with a newer bike. I think the early to mid-90's is the best period in MTB history.

    Your 970 looks very nice! The time you spent analyzing bike reviews and specs paid off as well. You have chosen one of the best steel frames from the 90's. Trek 990s and 970s were built with top of the line American made steel and were designed for hard single-track ridding.

    IMO steel frame bikes like the Trek 990/970, GT Psyclone, Yo Eddy and DB Axis designed for this type of hard ridding had the best feel and handling. Their extra strength and rigidity produces a good responsive and lively feel and their more aggressive geometry makes for quick and fun handling. You will notice all these traits in your singletrack beauty. Ride as fast and hard as you want, your frame was built to rip.

    I still have my original '91 lugged singletrack chromo queen. She's been in storage for the last 5 years. With little snow in Tahoe and newly bought 2.5's I figured it's the perfect bike for some winter riding. Am I glade I got it out of storage. I forgot how fun the bike is.

    Here are some pics.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1995 Trek 970 Build-trek-970.jpeg  

    1995 Trek 970 Build-970-singletrack.jpeg  

    1995 Trek 970 Build-trek-970-usa.jpeg  

    1995 Trek 970 Build-lugs.jpeg  

    1995 Trek 970 Build-970-bush-st2.jpeg  

    Last edited by singletrackmack; 02-20-2014 at 09:41 PM.
    Get out of the gutter and onto the mountain top.

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  36. #36
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    Stock 1995 18" Trek 970 SHX weighed just under 26lbs. With the right build, you should be able to get it under 25lbs if you wanted.

    Quote Originally Posted by colker1 View Post
    4.7 lbs for an 18in frame is a bit on the heavy side. HIgh end steel would be around 4lbs.
    How the builder shaves that .7 lbs makes for a compliant lively frame or a bad handling noodle of a bike.
    The '95 970 was made with True Temper OX III. That's high-end. Frame weight will depend on what the frame is designed for. This is designed for aggressive ridding where strength and rigidity matter more than a few ounces. I believe a good builder making an aggressive bike will know shaving too much can result in a spaghetti ride when pushed on rough terrain. Fat City Cycles was a good builder and their '95 top of the line steel weighs the same as the '95 Singletrack 970.

    *1995's 18" Yo Eddy Team Fat Chance frame weight: 4lbs 7oz

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Smedley View Post
    Seems a reasonable weight given a lugged Prestige MB1 weighs in at 4.9lbs http://sheldonbrown.com/bridgestone/...oneMB11987.pdf
    The bike in the link is from the late 80's, maybe 1990. OPs 970 is a '95. Bridgestone MB's were not built in the US. They were made in either Japan or Taiwan.

    Quote Originally Posted by colker1 View Post
    That MB1 is heavy.. A Ritchey P series weighs 3.7 lbs. A Bonty Race Lite is 4lbs and so were Fat Chances, IFs , Ibis..
    The Bonty Race Lite was just that, a super light race frame. Also, did you weigh the frame or look at specs? Bontrager like most builders, quoted their medium frame weight. Only thing is that a medium bonty is 15". The smallest singletrack frame trek built was a 16.5. Treks medium quote was for 18".

    Regardless, fat chance is really the best comparison and like pointed out, their top steel weighs the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by rolondo View Post
    You can't buy an American made, lugged, steel framed bike in any bike store for anywhere near $800.00...
    Quote Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
    ...as anyone who has lugged anything around for 20 years, he was pleased that his old Trek frame found a good homeÖ
    It doesn't look like your 970 is lugged in the pictures. I think Trek stopped using lugs in '93 or '94.

    Quote Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
    Probably a sad aspect of this is that Trek was probably one of the last US "production" manufacturers to make steel frame bikes and that most of the true pioneers in the sport that had started in barns and garages had long since closed their doors. While steel framed bikes are still available you would hard pressed to find a new one sitting in your LBS.
    Trek started in a barn
    Last edited by singletrackmack; 02-21-2014 at 10:10 PM. Reason: Had incorrect frame size. Also, removed part about a bike I did not like.
    Get out of the gutter and onto the mountain top.

    "I only had like two winekills captain buzzcooler"

  37. #37
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    singletrackmack,

    Nice 970. I really like the splatter paint on the early '90s bikes. Cool pics in the snow... black on white. Glad to hear that your 970 is back rolling again. I don't have much of a reference point on aluminum mtb frames, but my old Cannondale road frames are stiff, stiff, stiff. I would hate to ride one of them in the dirt. That said, I also have a steel '93 GT that rides pretty sweet too.

    As for weight, even with the 950/217's the bike weighs a handful of grams over 27. I know that the Marzocchi fork, MG-1 pedals, and tires contribute to some of that.

    The weight really is not a big deal as I have lost a little over 50lbs since I started riding in the dirt last July. To put that into perspective, it is like carrying 2 bikes on my back up and down the hills. Suffice to say, I won't be cutting my seat post or drilling holes in my clamps anytime soon, but I do appreciate your comments.

    John

  38. #38
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    I also have a '91 Trek 970 ($60 off Craigslist), but the stock shifters were replaced. How much does yours weigh? Mine seems kinda heavy, I have some Cannondale 90's bikes that are noticeably lighter

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by chimpanzee00 View Post
    I also have a '91 Trek 970 ($60 off Craigslist), but the stock shifters were replaced. How much does yours weigh? Mine seems kinda heavy, I have some Cannondale 90's bikes that are noticeably lighter
    What year are the Cannondales and are they steel? Do they have lugs?
    Early 90's mtb weight is generally heavier than mid to late 90's mtb weight (comparing hard tails).

    Also, if the shifters were switched out maybe other parts were switched for heavier ones as well.

    The '91 18" Trek 970 frame weighs 5lbs, so about 5 ounces more than the '95 970 frame. The main difference is that the '91 used True Temper OX II with lugs, and the '95 used True Temper OX III without lugs.

    The '95 970 with shock came stock at 26lb, and the '95 990 (without shock) came stock at just over 23lbs. You should be able to get the '91 970 down to a similar weight depending on if you want a shock or not and if you use light parts.

    I still have my old 1991 Trek catalogue, but all I could find was the frame weight. I don't remember how much the complete bike weighs.
    Last edited by singletrackmack; 02-23-2014 at 08:56 AM.
    Get out of the gutter and onto the mountain top.

    "I only had like two winekills captain buzzcooler"

  40. #40
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    At first I thought $800 was a bit much but then after actually thinking and seeing that its in very good condition, you have a very good bike that is far better than any new $800 bike that will last a long time.

  41. #41
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    That is a damn good looking bike! I did a combination of restoration and modernization on my Bontrager Privateer and I love it. Those old steel bikes still have a lot to offer. Keep riding it and, for God's sake, get it dirty!

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