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  1. #1
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    Drop Bar Trek 800/27.5 Wheelset Question

    After a long search, I finally found a huge 24" Trek 800 to built up as a drop bar gravel rig. It has woodchipper drop bars, Shimano bar end shifters, a full Shimano LX drive train, and matchy matchy OD green bar tape and pedals. It fits me well at 6'5" tall and I have been riding it more than any of my other bikes lately.

    With this being said, I was considering more modern 650b wheels. I know they will fit and I know that it will raise the bottom bracket but I thought I would give it a shot.

    Anyone know of any canti brakes that could make this happen?

    Thanks

    Drop Bar Trek 800/27.5 Wheelset Question-trek-800.jpg

  2. #2
    Phobia of petting zoos.
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    Assuming you've got a lead on rim brake compatible 27.5" rims....

    (I know they're out there somewhere, but thin on the ground)

    Paul Components Moto-Lites - not sure how they work with drop bar levers but there are cable pull doohickeys that might right any wrongs there.

    For old school cred - Avid Tri-Aligns and Onzas. May as well look for unicorns while you're at it.

    I had some Lizard Skin branded cantis in the mid 90s that were knock offs of the tri-aligns. I think they were aimed at BMX so dunno if a search for BMX cantis might net you anything.

    Good luck, and 10 outta 10 for taking an old bike any franksensteining it into something that does what you're looking for. I'm all for that kind of stuff.

    Grumps

  3. #3
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    I had pretty lousy luck adapting Avid Tri-Aligns to 27.5" rims - the pads were WAY up on the arms, flexed all over the place and it was just meh.

    They aren't canti's, but the old Can Creek Direct Curve 5 linear pull brakes are IDEAL here. Plus, with the pads slid up, you don't need as much lever pull (I used short travel Paul levers with great success).

    Just my $.02 from my experience. Happy to pass along pictures of what it looks like on my rig.

  4. #4
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    After some further research, I think I am just going to leave the bike as is. I do not have a lot in it and the fun factor is there. The more I ride it the more I like the low center that the 26" wheel set gives. I think at this point I may just upgrade the brakes and let the good times roll.

  5. #5
    -bustin punks
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    This comes up a lot - but here is what Tri-aligns looked like out back on my conversion:


    Here is what a Cane Creek Direct Curve 5 looks like (same frame - sans tape, same wheelset)


    I know it's not as cool because they are cantilevers, but you know what is cool? Being able to slow down without a handful of total mush from the tri-aligns flexing all over the place.

  6. #6
    Phobia of petting zoos.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatchanceti View Post
    I had pretty lousy luck adapting Avid Tri-Aligns to 27.5" rims - the pads were WAY up on the arms, flexed all over the place and it was just meh.

    They aren't canti's, but the old Can Creek Direct Curve 5 linear pull brakes are IDEAL here. Plus, with the pads slid up, you don't need as much lever pull (I used short travel Paul levers with great success).
    So the Tri-Aligns have the adjustment potential, but in practice they are bleh for the purpose. Good info!

    Those Cane Creek DC 5's have plenty of vertical pad adjustment - good to know for future projects.

    Grumps

  7. #7
    -bustin punks
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Grumpy View Post
    So the Tri-Aligns have the adjustment potential, but in practice they are bleh for the purpose. Good info!

    Those Cane Creek DC 5's have plenty of vertical pad adjustment - good to know for future projects.

    Grumps
    Not only do the DC 5's work very well, they can be completely disassembled and put together to pull from either direction - just need patience to find a pair as they haven't been made in a while.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB2423 View Post
    After a long search, I finally found a huge 24" Trek 800 to built up as a drop bar gravel rig. It has...OD green bar tape...
    Great-looking bike! That 24" must have been a long search indeed. I ride 22.5" and 23" rigid vintage MTBs but am always watching craigslist for "better" frames (for fun and the love of the hobby, rather than out of necessity) and they are quite scarce, compared to medium and small sizes.

    May I ask what kind of bar tape that is? I like dark green but the only kind I can find is made by Deda. It's not bad, but I'm always on the lookout for other options.

    In your picture, it looks like the green tape that comes on Specialized AWOL and/or Sequoia bikes these days, but they don't seem to sell it separately.

  9. #9
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    Its Bontrager Gel Cork in Olive Grey. Definitely Olive green though. Bontrager flat pedals that match the tape as well. Yes, I drove to a neighboring state to get the frame. Of course I wish it was a better frame set than the 800 but honestly it rides great and is all I need for this particular build.

  10. #10
    High Plains Luddite
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    Thanks for taking the time to respond! I will check out that Bontrager tape.

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