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  1. #1
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    Trek 820 Rebuild - Before and After Photos!

    Last night I finally finished re-building my Trek 820. Thankfully, a buddy of mine from church helped me with the cables, brakes, torquing the cranks, installing the chain, and making derailleur adjustments (truthfully, he did most of the work, for three hours!). If it were not for him, this project would have been a nightmare, so a big thanks goes to my friend Josh!

    Before I say any more, here is the Craigslist photo of the bike:

    <a href="https://s690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Trek%20820%20Rebuild/?action=view&amp;current=NewTrek.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Trek%20820%20Rebuild/NewTrek.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    The bike came with a different seat and different pedals than what was pictured. I purchased it for $100. I figured at the very least, I could re-sell it for a $50 profit since it was obvious the seller let it go for too low - he was getting a ton of calls for it, even as I was test riding it. Fortunately, I was the first one who called, so the seller held onto it for me, since I agreed to meet him at his house in an hour to check out the bike.

    After I purchase it, I took it straight to a mountain bike trail in Bellevue, Nebraska called, "Jewel Park", which I had never been to. I quickly discovered that the was way too advanced for me because of all the climbing. Right before I took the bike on the trails there, an older lady told me that you have to be in really good shape to ride that trail. She was right. After about 5 minutes, I gave up. From there, I took the bike straight to a used bike store to see if I could sell it for a profit. Since he only offered $60 for it, I passed.

    From there, I took the bike to the Wabash Trail in Iowa. I rode about 20 miles round trip. Even though I wasn't so sure if I liked the bike when I started, by the time I started to come back home (after about 10 miles), I fell in love with the bike! No way I was going to sell it!

    Not long after that, I toyed with the idea of putting the parts from my Windsor on it, as the Trek needed obvious attention. Before I did anything, I took both bikes to Tranquility Park in Omaha and rode the singletrack trails to see how the bikes compared. The Trek "felt" better than the Windsor, and performed just as well, if not better. I almost started the process of stripping the Windsor and putting the parts on the Trek, but by that point in time, I wasn't so impressed with the Windsor, and thought what the heck, I'll do a rebuild! After doing the math of what it would cost several times, I almost backed out. It would cost more than I wanted to spend, but something told me, "just do it!". Perhaps a saw a pretty female jogger wearing Nikes that inspired me!

    Below is a photo of the mess I created after I took the frame apart. You can see how crappy my pre-paint prep job was, and this led to a not so great paint job on the bike. All I really did prepwise was scrape off the stickers, then go over it for about 15 minutes with a small ironed shaped power sander.

    <a href="https://s690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Trek%20820%20Rebuild/?action=view&amp;current=bikerebuild005.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Trek%20820%20Rebuild/bikerebuild005.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    I created a seperate thread asking for help about primering the bike, which you may have already seen. It included a post paintjob photo of the bike, minus the chain and cables, which I will include below for those who haven't seen it. Honestly, the paint job was a disaster, and if you read the thread, you will understand why. The only parts I kept from the original bike were the frame (of course), the tires, pedals, headset, seatclamp, seatpost, handlebars, water bottle cage, and little screws that go in the frame to hold things like water bottles.

    <a href="https://s690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Trek%20820%20Rebuild/?action=view&amp;current=bikerebuild.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Trek%20820%20Rebuild/bikerebuild.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    Last night after getting the bike put together, my friend and I went for a short ride around the block. My initial thought was that the bike felt kind of like a cruiser! It felt very heavy toward the front of the bike, probably because the Rockshock Dart 2 fork weighs a ton! It was hard to even hop the front tire to jump up curbs because the front end seemed so heavy. Because the stem is only a 6 degree rise (did I say that right?), the bike isn't as upright as before, and it didn't feel as comfortable as it was before either. Shifting was hard to get used to, especially because I stupidly purchased a set of mix-matched shifters on eBay, because I didn't read the description! Did I make a mistake with this rebuild and throw money down the drain?

    Here are some photos of the bike I took before I left my apartment for the "Taco Ride" on the Wabash Trail. As you can see, there are several Trek stickers on the bike, which I picked up on eBay. I intended to take more photos, but my camera died after four photos. Just for the record, don't use dollar store batteries in your digital camera - they won't last long!

    <a href="https://s690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Trek%20820%20Rebuild/?action=view&amp;current=bikerebuild009.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Trek%20820%20Rebuild/bikerebuild009.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="https://s690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Trek%20820%20Rebuild/?action=view&amp;current=bikerebuild011.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Trek%20820%20Rebuild/bikerebuild011.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="https://s690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Trek%20820%20Rebuild/?action=view&amp;current=bikerebuild010.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Trek%20820%20Rebuild/bikerebuild010.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="https://s690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Trek%20820%20Rebuild/?action=view&amp;current=bikerebuild012.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Trek%20820%20Rebuild/bikerebuild012.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    Just before I got to the Wabash trail, I purchased some batteries for my camera. Then I went for my ride. I immediately took it for a run on the singletrack trails that run parallel to the Wabash trail. Right off the bat, I noticed that I was riding the trails a lot faster than on my Windsor. The Trek felt very solid, and was very quiet. The wheels seemed to hug the ground, and the shifting, although hard to get used to because of the mismatch, was awesome! In fact, I've grown to love the shifter on the right side of the bike, which uses the brake lever to shift with - I may pick up a similar model for the other side.

    <a href="https://s690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Trek%20820%20Rebuild/?action=view&amp;current=bikerebuild017.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Trek%20820%20Rebuild/bikerebuild017.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    It didn't take me long to realize one thing: I LOVE THIS BIKE! It was awesome on the trails and was extremely fast - on the downhill section of the trail, I was zipping by people. I will probably get a new stem with a steeper angle to make it more comfortable, but may switch out the stem and use the current one from time to time for more aggressive rides. Oddly enough, even though I re-built this bike with paved and dirt road riding in mind, it seems to excel on the singletrack trails.

    The Trek 820 gets a bad wrap, but honestly, its a very well designed frame with a comfortable ride. I don't regret my decision to rebuilt it at all. While its got its limitations, I say hold your head up high if you ride an 820, and don't be afraid to use it as a base to build off of and upgrade if it isn't too old (mine is a 2005. I don't know if I'd upgrade an older model, depending on when Trek redesigned the 820 frame). Just make sure to check with Trek before you do the upgrades to make sure it is both compatable and safe to do based on the frame design for what you want to do with it. Here are a couple of more photos from my ride tonight:

    <a href="https://s690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Trek%20820%20Rebuild/?action=view&amp;current=bikerebuild013.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Trek%20820%20Rebuild/bikerebuild013.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="https://s690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Trek%20820%20Rebuild/?action=view&amp;current=bikerebuild014.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Trek%20820%20Rebuild/bikerebuild014.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="https://s690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Trek%20820%20Rebuild/?action=view&amp;current=bikerebuild015.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Trek%20820%20Rebuild/bikerebuild015.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    There is one more photo I'm going to share. Starting in the Spring two years ago, I lost 25 pounds between riding my older Barracuda I purchased off of eBay and the Trek 820 I purchased to replace it. I've gone through three bikes since then, but did not enjoy them as much as my Trek 820, which I really missed (I sold my original Trek 820 last summer). Unfortunately, I've gained most of the weight back that I lost, and have not been riding as much as I once did, partly because of crappy weather, partly because of other factors which I can control, and partly because I didn't like my bikes all that much, which can really have an effect on your motivation to ride them if you let it. I hope to change that with my Trek, so here is my current photo from tonight's ride (I know, I'm wearing goofy looking socks - the plants along the singletrack trails at the Wabash trail are NASTY, so I wore them to protect my legs). I hope to post another photo at the end of the summer when I've gotten back into shape.......and I also hope to go back to Jewel Park and rip it to shreds!

    <a href="https://s690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Trek%20820%20Rebuild/?action=view&amp;current=bikerebuild018.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i690.photobucket.com/albums/vv267/getagrip7/Trek%20820%20Rebuild/bikerebuild018.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    One final thought: If you are looking for a new bike, make sure to pick one out that you enjoy, and don't worry about what anyone else here thinks about it. As the folks at Surley say,

    "If you like the way your bike rides, itís an awesome bike."
    Last edited by getagrip; 07-15-2011 at 01:07 AM.

  2. #2
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    One more thing I want to say: THANK YOU to all of you who helped me out with various questions I had about rebuilding my bike. Without you, this project would have been a disaster. You guys are AWESOME!
    Last edited by getagrip; 07-15-2011 at 01:08 AM.

  3. #3
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    Looks very nice!

  4. #4
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    Very cool! I have a 820 as well, and this was very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  5. #5
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    Wow that's awesome. Good job! I did a similar sort of project (though I didn't do any paint work). With my old Trek 830. I converted it to a singlespeed commuter. I don't take it out on any trails, but its renewed my love for the bike that got me into the sport initially. Now, get out and ride it like you stole it!

  6. #6
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    Nice job on the write up and the paint. It looks like you got a good bike there, and as long as you are happy, screw the rest of them.

  7. #7
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    nice looking bike, I always like when someone keeps a bike running rather than just trash it. I have live in West O and usually run Tranquility, Swanson, or Schram park but I have yet to do the Taco run this year and I've never been to Jewel Park. Maybe I'll see you at the trail sometime!

  8. #8
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    great looking paint and end results

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triaxtremec View Post
    nice looking bike, I always like when someone keeps a bike running rather than just trash it. I have live in West O and usually run Tranquility, Swanson, or Schram park but I have yet to do the Taco run this year and I've never been to Jewel Park. Maybe I'll see you at the trail sometime!
    Cool! If you recognize me and my bike, feel free to say hi. If I give you a wierd look at first, just tell me you saw my post from the mtbr forum. Hopefully I won't be too winded when I run into you!

    And Jewel is a beast. If the trail doesn't get you, the bugs will! I rode Swanson for the first time last week. Picture the absolute worst parts of Swanson, and add another 10 or 15 degrees of difficulty and you will get Jewel! I do look forward to going back there later this summer...should be easier the next time around with a better bike and being in better shape!

  10. #10
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    Congratulations on your rebuild coming out so nice. Black on black is my favorite color scheme.

    If you didn't get enough paint tips check out auto body painting instruction/tips next time, preparation is the key to any good paint job.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by getagrip View Post
    One final thought: If you are looking for a new bike, make sure to pick one out that you enjoy, and don't worry about what anyone else here thinks about it.


    It's a nice looking bike and congratulations on your first build!

  12. #12
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    Thats awesome man. Looking at what you've done gives me hope for my bike that i got off craigslist.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by leftfield View Post
    Congratulations on your rebuild coming out so nice. Black on black is my favorite color scheme.

    If you didn't get enough paint tips check out auto body painting instruction/tips next time, preparation is the key to any good paint job.
    Thanks. As far as the paint job is concerned, I've learned my lesson. Here is a link to the my other thread about painting and primering a bike for anyone who is considering doing a similar project at some point:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=722158

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by getagrip View Post
    Cool! If you recognize me and my bike, feel free to say hi. If I give you a wierd look at first, just tell me you saw my post from the mtbr forum. Hopefully I won't be too winded when I run into you!

    And Jewel is a beast. If the trail doesn't get you, the bugs will! I rode Swanson for the first time last week. Picture the absolute worst parts of Swanson, and add another 10 or 15 degrees of difficulty and you will get Jewel! I do look forward to going back there later this summer...should be easier the next time around with a better bike and being in better shape!
    Aww come on now, don't be scaring everyone away from Jewel. It's a walk (ride) in the park. Just a few gently rolling hills and a small creek crossing. I go there to warm up for the Wabash.

  15. #15
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    Nice job on the rebuild. Always a great feeling to have work invested in your bike.

    I see you got the zerolite wheelset. Why didn't you get the black ones to complete the blacked out look? I picked up a set off ebay for my FS but haven't had a chance to take them out for a ride yet. How do you like them? The only thing I didn't like right off the bat was the heavy-ass skewers they included. Just reused the ones from the wheelset I was replacing.
    Bikes, lots'o bikes

  16. #16
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    The Zerolites seem to be performing well. Here is the funny thing about my Zerolite purchase: about a second after I ordered them, I realized that I didn't have the black! I was ok with it, however, because I originally intended to paint my bike blue. However, due to a debacle with the paint job, I ended up painting it black (see the thread below about my paint job):

    http://forums.mtbr.com/beginners-cor...nd-722158.html

    The good news, however, is that I just ordered a new frame - while the Trek has performed admirably, particularly in off road situations, the geometry now feels a little "off" to me, mainly when I take it for any kind of distance riding. I ordered a 17" red Leader 510 H frame, which I'll be moving the components of the Trek to. I'm debating whether or not to go with a white seat post, stem, and handlebar to match the white rims - I don't want to go in overkill mode with the white!

  17. #17
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    Trek 820 just awesome...

    Love the rig..have a 2005 Trek 820 been slowly building up and let me say Awesome.. Funny I was checking out those same rims just a few days ago on a number of websites.....I also went with the Dart 2 Fork hey its much better than the RST that came with it....
    Last edited by luckiraq; 09-12-2011 at 07:28 PM. Reason: Added my fork...

  18. #18
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    Thanks. I appreciate it! The Trek 820 is now a Leader 510H. Check out the photos here:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/beginners-cor...st8440763.html

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibdrown View Post
    Aww come on now, don't be scaring everyone away from Jewel. It's a walk (ride) in the park. Just a few gently rolling hills and a small creek crossing. I go there to warm up for the Wabash.
    Finally had a chance to ride Jewell Park, it was a blast. Lots of climbing but the downhills were well worth it. The crazy thing was all the deer, they were just running side by side next to us as we would ride the trails, it was like they were playing with us. It was just crazy!

  20. #20
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    nice work

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