Failed restoration project (x-post)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Sofa King We Todd Did
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well Failed restoration project (x-post)

    Well, over the weekend I chanced upon a lugged steel Trek 950 in decent condition. I'd been longing for a lugged steel frame for several months now. It was owned by my local shop wrench and he was interested in selling it. Made me an offer I couldn't refuse so I told him I'd buy it. Picked it up today. Took it home and started to take it apart.

    The idea behind this project was to repaint the frame (rattle can job) a dark green, almost British Racing Green sorta color. And of course, convert the ride into a singlespeed mainly for road use. I wanted to use the large chainring upfront - a 46T - and an 18T cog in the rear. Slap some flipped cruiser bars on the thing, some new v-brakes and I was there!

    Alas, the project barely got off the ground when I realized that this is may not work out in my favor. Mainly because some of the 10 year-old parts were 'too old' for my ability to work with them. I tried removing the cassette, but the lockring was jammed. With my home tools I had no chance in hell of removing that lockring. When I tried to remove the crank, I found that it had an old school bolt - not a present-day hex crank bolt - holding it in. None of my metric wrenches fit this bolt, so removing the crank to get rid of the smaller chainrings was right out.

    That's when I realized that I may have bitten off more than I can chew with this bike. I thought I was going to be able to convert this to a singlespeed ride with minimal fuss. Now I realize that I don't even have half the right tools to play with these older parts. I hate to go back to the bike shop and have them take this part off or put that part back on for me - that wasn't the point of the project. I wanted to do almost all of it myself.

    And so I called up my wrench and told him that I don't think I can work with the bike, and that I was really sorry that I may have to return the bike to him. Being the great guy that he is, he was terribly accomodating and said that it wasn't a problem and that I could drop the bike off anytime.

    On the one hand, I'm relieved. On the other, I'm also terribly disappointed that this project didn't come to fruition. Maybe this wasn't the bike for me. Maybe down the road I'll find another frame that I can work with, who knows. What I do know is that I would love to own a lugged steel frame one day. And maybe one day I will.

  2. #2
    I CAME I SAW I CONQUERED
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    Smile I say this lovingly.............

    It sounds like your pride has got the best of you. We all need help from
    time to time so humble yourself and go let the wrench help you out, I mean
    if you really want that bike, or you could go purchase some more tools so
    you can do the job yourself but, of coarse that's another cost.

    Good luck - Vȑ*V͐*V̇*?.
    "As a rule, men worry more about what they can't see than about what they can."
    -- Julius Caesar

  3. #3
    Not because I'm fast.....
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    There isn't any shame in asking for help taking the bike apart if you don't have the right tools. It sounds like you have a great relationship with your local mechanic. Bring him a 6-pack of some fine beer and I am sure he will help you out or at least loan you the tools to do it in the shop yourself. I definitely don't think it's worth abandoning the project over. Good luck and if it works out post some pics when your finished.

  4. #4
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    I'll second the above

    Look at it as a learning opportunity and the opportunity to buy some more tools!

    From the sounds of it some assistance may be in order with the cassette lockring, but that happens to the best of us. Is it really a cassette on that vintage bike? Or has the rear hub been upgraded? Either way, don't let that stop you. It may help to use a QR skewer to hold on the lockring tool.

    Some size socket should fit on that crank bolt and they cost like $4 if you don't have the right size, which is probably 14mm.
    Don't give up so easily. It might not be shaping up as smooth as you imagined, but you'll learn a lot by just diving in and getting your hands dirty.

    YO MAMA

  5. #5
    Out spokin'
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    I see what you need

    I know the guys above are trying to be supportive that that's not what you need now. I can tell it's a done deal and you're not looking back. So I say you did the right thing by ditching that heap and putting as much distance between it and yourself that you can. Good riddance, old Trek! It's obvious that wasn't the right bike for you.

    There. All better.

    --Sparty
    disciplesofdirt.org

    We don't quit riding because we get old.
    We get old because we quit riding.

  6. #6
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    group hug

    All I say is: group hug with our clothes on

  7. #7
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    Nah! Nut up and do it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    I know the guys above are trying to be supportive that that's not what you need now. I can tell it's a done deal and you're not looking back. So I say you did the right thing by ditching that heap and putting as much distance between it and yourself that you can. Good riddance, old Trek! It's obvious that wasn't the right bike for you.

    There. All better.

    --Sparty
    With all do respect to Sir Sparty, I encourage him to soldier on and give it the old college try. This project can be done without much extra $.

    1. Get yourself one of those $40-50 toolkits that Nashbar/ Supergo/ Jenson carries. It will have all the tools you need for this job, plus more to handle some other jobs. It's not shop quality, but I used one of these to start, and have only upgraded when I found a good deal on better tools. In most cases, I'm still using the original tools for infrequent jobs.

    2. Pick up a good repair book (~$20- Zinn's is pretty good for both the beginner and more advanced mech), or just cruise the Park Tools site (FREE) for repair help.

    It sounds like a lot of the stuff you came across was some simple old tech (unfamiliar) vs. new tech (familiar) issues that can be easily resolved. Just read up on your problem areas, take your time and realize that this is a good learning experience. You will learn more about wrenching, and will be prepared to make that fixie convert on the ultra-cheap when that $25 thrift store find comes your way.

  8. #8
    all hail der Fuhrer Bush
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpinWheelz
    Well, over the weekend I chanced upon a lugged steel Trek 950 in decent condition. I'd been longing for a lugged steel frame for several months now. It was owned by my local shop wrench and he was interested in selling it. Made me an offer I couldn't refuse so I told him I'd buy it. Picked it up today. Took it home and started to take it apart.

    The idea behind this project was to repaint the frame (rattle can job) a dark green, almost British Racing Green sorta color. And of course, convert the ride into a singlespeed mainly for road use. I wanted to use the large chainring upfront - a 46T - and an 18T cog in the rear. Slap some flipped cruiser barsCOOL on the thing, some new v-brakes and I was there!

    Alas, the project barely got off the ground when I realized that this is may not work out in my favor. Mainly because some of the 10 year-old parts were 'too old' for my ability to work with them. I tried removing the cassette, but the lockring was jammed. With my home tools I had no chance in hell of removing that lockringHOME OR SHOP, A LOCKRING TOOL IS A LOCKRING TOOL. IF YOU DON'T HAVE A LOCKRING TOOL YOU SHOULDN'T BE WORKING ON CASSETTES. WHY YOU DON'T JUST BUY ONE IS THE QUESTION.. When I tried to remove the crank, I found that it had an old school bolt - not a present-day hex crank bolt - holding it inNO SUCH THING AS A NON-METRIC CRANK BOLT. ONES FROM THE '80S WERE OFTEN 15MM, TODAY'S ARE 14MM. AND STRONGLIGHT AND TA USED TO USE 16MM, BUT THEIR CRANK ARM HOLES WERE LARGER AND ALSO REQUIRED A UNIQUE LARGER DIAMETER CRANK PULLER.. None of my metric wrenches fit this bolt TRY A 15MM THINWALL SOCKET OR A STANDARD CAMPY/CLONE "PEANUT BUTTER" WRENCH, so removing the crank to get rid of the smaller chainrings was right out.

    That's when I realized that I may have bitten off more than I can chew with this bike. I thought I was going to be able to convert this to a singlespeed ride with minimal fuss. Now I realize that I don't even have half the right tools WE'RE TALKING PRETTY BASIC TOOLS HERE: LOCKRING TOOL AND CRANK BOLT WRENCH. to play with these older parts. I hate to go back to the bike shop and have them take this part off or put that part back on for me - that wasn't the point of the project. I wanted to do almost all of it myself.

    And so I called up my wrench and told him that I don't think I can work with the bike, and that I was really sorry that I may have to return the bike to him. Being the great guy that he is, he was terribly accomodating and said that it wasn't a problem and that I could drop the bike off anytime.

    On the one hand, I'm relieved. On the other, I'm also terribly disappointed that this project didn't come to fruition. Maybe this wasn't the bike for me. Maybe down the road I'll find another frame that I can work with, who knowsOR MAYBE DOWN THE ROAD YOU'LL FIND SOME BASIC BICYCLE MECHANICS' TOOLS SO YOU CAN WORK ON ANY FRAME. What I do know is that I would love to own a lugged steel frame one day. And maybe one day I will.
    I'M SORRY, AND DON'T MEAN TO OFFEND, BUT READING OF YOUR PLIGHT, THE WORD "LAME" JUST KEEPS POPPING INTO MY HEAD.
    Don't pay the $85 fee to ride land you own! Resist!

  9. #9
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    dang!

    Quote Originally Posted by bulC
    I'M SORRY, AND DON'T MEAN TO OFFEND, BUT READING OF YOUR PLIGHT, THE WORD "LAME" JUST KEEPS POPPING INTO MY HEAD.
    Where's the love? Sure, his plight is lame, but gotta support a brotha.

  10. #10
    Sofa King We Todd Did
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    Hey thanks for screaming 'lame' without having all the facts, bulC. Not really surprised coming from you, though.

    Thing is, I have a set of basic tools. Crank puller, lockring removal tool, various wrenches, bottom bracket removal tool, chain breaker, etc. It's a tasty kit - not the best kit out there, but enough for home maintenance and minor repair. After all, this is the same toolkit I used to build my very first bike, incidently my first and only singlespeed ride.

    The lockring is jammed stuck. I'm hoping that the shop has a better quality lockring tool that they can use to get it out, or perhaps they know of some trade tricks to get the leverage needed to unjam the thing. As for the crank bolt, I thought my 14mm socket wrench would make it work. Unfortunately, the 14mm wrench is too big for the bolt and a 13mm wrench doesn't fit. The bolt is not stripped either, so I'm not sure what's going on there.

    Sparticus' reply is exactly what I was looking for when I posted this. But as I was going to bed last night, I realized that I'm being a total bloody poosy for letting a lockring and crank bolt throw me out of the game here. I got my wrench's word that he'd help me with this project so what I ought to do take him up on his offer. Bottom line is, if the crank bolt can't be removed, then this project is dead in the water anyway. The lockring is slightly less of a concern because I can always buy a new set of wheels for cheap. Or maybe hit up the shop for a cheap set lying around.

    I guess what I'm saying is that I slept on it, and I'm going to give it one more try. I'm going back to the shop to have them help me take off the cassette lockring, the crank and bottom bracket as well as the threaded headset ('cause I don't have the right tools and I can't be arsed to go knock it out with the splayed PVC pipe). If they can do that for me, then I'll move forward full speed ahead. Otherwise, I think I'm going to have to give the bike back and maybe look for a stand-alone lugged steel frame.

    P.S. Sparticus, was that reverse psychology or were you for real there?

  11. #11
    Out spokin'
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpinWheelz
    ... P.S. Sparticus, was that reverse psychology or were you for real there?
    Just trying to offer up a little clarity. I knew you'd come to whichever decision was right for you.

    --Sparty

    P.S. Never feel compelled to explain yourself to someone who calls you lame. Such people are beyond socially inept. They are insecure, with good reason.
    disciplesofdirt.org

    We don't quit riding because we get old.
    We get old because we quit riding.

  12. #12
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    That's more like it!

    Quote Originally Posted by SpinWheelz
    Hey thanks for screaming 'lame' without having all the facts, bulC. Not really surprised coming from you, though.

    Thing is, I have a set of basic tools. Crank puller, lockring removal tool, various wrenches, bottom bracket removal tool, chain breaker, etc. It's a tasty kit - not the best kit out there, but enough for home maintenance and minor repair. After all, this is the same toolkit I used to build my very first bike, incidently my first and only singlespeed ride.

    The lockring is jammed stuck. I'm hoping that the shop has a better quality lockring tool that they can use to get it out, or perhaps they know of some trade tricks to get the leverage needed to unjam the thing. As for the crank bolt, I thought my 14mm socket wrench would make it work. Unfortunately, the 14mm wrench is too big for the bolt and a 13mm wrench doesn't fit. The bolt is not stripped either, so I'm not sure what's going on there.

    Sparticus' reply is exactly what I was looking for when I posted this. But as I was going to bed last night, I realized that I'm being a total bloody poosy for letting a lockring and crank bolt throw me out of the game here. I got my wrench's word that he'd help me with this project so what I ought to do take him up on his offer. Bottom line is, if the crank bolt can't be removed, then this project is dead in the water anyway. The lockring is slightly less of a concern because I can always buy a new set of wheels for cheap. Or maybe hit up the shop for a cheap set lying around.

    I guess what I'm saying is that I slept on it, and I'm going to give it one more try. I'm going back to the shop to have them help me take off the cassette lockring, the crank and bottom bracket as well as the threaded headset ('cause I don't have the right tools and I can't be arsed to go knock it out with the splayed PVC pipe). If they can do that for me, then I'll move forward full speed ahead. Otherwise, I think I'm going to have to give the bike back and maybe look for a stand-alone lugged steel frame.

    P.S. Sparticus, was that reverse psychology or were you for real there?
    Good on ya!

    On the lockring, try a cheater bar of some sort on the end of the wrench. That has always worked for me with stuck BB cups.

    On the crank bolt, if you have one of those mini tool kits, the crank puller may have a thin walled socket on the end that is designed for use with most common crank bolts. IF not the crank puller, the pedal wrench will (at least the inexpensive kit I bought did). Give 'er a go with that and see if you have better luck. Or maybe, someone put a non-metric bolt in there? Would be odd, but ya never know.

  13. #13
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    If what you're interested in is the frame, the hell with the rest.

    My first SS conversion is an old Olmo lugged frame, Vitus CroMo tubing, with semi-horizontal "dropouts". Perfect for a tensionerless project. I personally wouldn't run a tensioner anyway.

    That bike was a hand-me-down that my brother bought new circa 1985. I had it laying around in my garage for almost 10 years, probably rode it a total of 10 times. I stripped it, literally. The crank was on so well that the threads stripped when trying to pull the drive side arm, ended up cutting it off... The hubs axles rolled like the balls were square, same for the headset, the fork was an old attempt at polymer-based suspension, polymer of course is fossilized now. Canti brakes would barely go back in place, etc...

    I ended up buying new cheap parts and it's now my commuter-beater. The reason it's not my main ride is because of the V-brakes and I can't run a 2.0+ tire on it. Plus the headtube is 1". It's still a beautiful frame and I understand why you'd like a lugged one.

    At the time I already had one of those $50 tool cases with bike tools, and the pedal wrench has a double box-end wrenches in 14 and 15mm. That's what I used to remove the crank bolt. That kind of wrench alone should not be expensive. That toolbox is awesome, hardly ever needed anything else. As for the wheels I'd get new ones if I were you anyway.

    Good luck, and don't forget to post pictures.

    Maurice

  14. #14
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    If you are just trying to remove the crank to get the small chainrings off, I have a suggestion for you: Just take a hacksaw or bolt cutter and cut the rings into 2 pieces and you will have no problem getting them off! Just trying to help!

    Mark

  15. #15
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    "2. Pick up a good repair book (~$20- Zinn's is pretty good for both the beginner and more advanced mech), or just cruise the Park Tools site (FREE) for repair help."

    the park website, and sheldon's are both great to pursue..second, hit up your local library - plenty of "older" how to books that would be consistant with when the trek was built..

    and finally, dont forget you will need an ample amount of cursing to get the job done right...

  16. #16
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    Spin - don't let this get you down! You can make this work and you are learning the fine art of how to work on older bikes, and expanding your knowledge and skills while you're at it.

    For the crank - it is most likely a 14mm bolt, but your socket is too thick to fit in the hole in the crank. There are special crank bolt wrenches, or a thin walled socket could also do it.

    The cassette lockring (if that's what it is - bike this old is more likely to have a freewheel) just needs a bit of brute force - hold your cassette tool in the splines with a skewer, and then get a pipe to slip over the handle of your wrench for more leverage.

    Keep at it, and get some advice from your friendly mechanic if necessary.

    And don't let the bastards get you down.

    Sam

  17. #17
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    I had an old wheel with the same situation, and my shop guy put the cassette tool in a vice then use the rim itself to turn the wheel. He said it is much easier than turning a wrench. Just a thought.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by 24601
    I had an old wheel with the same situation, and my shop guy put the cassette tool in a vice then use the rim itself to turn the wheel. He said it is much easier than turning a wrench. Just a thought.
    That works with freewheels, but not with cassettes...

  19. #19
    Sofa King We Todd Did
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    Turns out I had the right tool for the crank bolt after all - no need to buy new crank bolts!

    I'm sorry but this thread is now obsolete! Couple of nights ago, I took the whole rig down to the shop and asked the boys to help me remove the cassette lockring, the crank, the bottom bracket and the headset. They happily obliged, did it all for a 4-pack of Oatmeal Stout (they seemed to know exactly what they wanted when I mentioned beer... hmmm)

    So I now have a stripped frame (save for a few bolts here and there), and it's ready to be sanded down for repainting. I also ordered a few new parts for the build.

    Thanks for all the advice and direction, fellas. I thought this was lost cause but thanks to you lot (well, pretty much everyone except one very bitter tard) I think this might turn out OK after all. If anyone can tell me how old this frame might be based on the color, that would rock. It came with a ton of LX parts - derailleurs, shifters, hubs.

    In a while, I might start a new thread to track the progress of this build, maybe ask a few more stupid questions that you guys can answer. Thanks again, all.
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  20. #20
    I CAME I SAW I CONQUERED
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    1991 I believe.......

    Quote Originally Posted by SpinWheelz
    Turns out I had the right tool for the crank bolt after all - no need to buy new crank bolts!

    I'm sorry but this thread is now obsolete! Couple of nights ago, I took the whole rig down to the shop and asked the boys to help me remove the cassette lockring, the crank, the bottom bracket and the headset. They happily obliged, did it all for a 4-pack of Oatmeal Stout (they seemed to know exactly what they wanted when I mentioned beer... hmmm)

    So I now have a stripped frame (save for a few bolts here and there), and it's ready to be sanded down for repainting. I also ordered a few new parts for the build.

    Thanks for all the advice and direction, fellas. I thought this was lost cause but thanks to you lot (well, pretty much everyone except one very bitter tard) I think this might turn out OK after all. If anyone can tell me how old this frame might be based on the color, that would rock. It came with a ton of LX parts - derailleurs, shifters, hubs.

    In a while, I might start a new thread to track the progress of this build, maybe ask a few more stupid questions that you guys can answer. Thanks again, all.
    I know Trek had purple frames like that in 91. Is that frame cro-mo?
    "As a rule, men worry more about what they can't see than about what they can."
    -- Julius Caesar

  21. #21
    Sofa King We Todd Did
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    Yeah, that white and blue label at near the bottom bracket said 'OX Temper chromoly double butted' something or other. It's gone now...

  22. #22
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    good luck

    I'm working on a similar repaint of an old lugged Trek road frame. Let us know how it turns out. I know I'll be interested to see it.

    YO MAMA

  23. #23
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    Oh yeah, that's a nice looking frame. I'm not certain of the year but am pretty sure it's 91 or 92. Maybe they guys on the retro forum would be able to be definitive.

    Are you planning on a full SS build, i.e. dremel off the cable stops, der hanger etc? What sort of re-paint are you thinking of? Some nice panels and lined lugs would be sweeeet.

    Sam

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