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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry that all of my posts are about which bike to buy. I was ready to go down to my LBS today to place an order for a Surly Steamroller frame (56cm). Since they price matched, it would’ve been around $360 or so for the frame set. Looking at a local classifieds, there was an 1984 (I’m guessing) Trek 560 that was up for sale. It’s been on there for a couple of weeks and listed at $300. It looks exactly like the one on here:

http://www.vintage-trek.com/TrekBrochure1984Racing.htm

Then I got to thinking that it’d be cool to convert an older frame (have not heard too much about the Reynolds 501 tubing, but I’m guessing it’s nothing too special). I think I can get it for much cheaper than the list price. I’ve already got FG wheels that I had a friend build up, plus other little doo-dads. I understand that the Surly would be more expensive, but besides that, what do you guys think? Would you go for a new frame or build up an old? From the pictures, it looks like it’s in great shape.
 

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I'd convert

But I always find that more fun; I think a conversion of an older bike has more character (though 1984 isn't exactly "old"). You'll obviously be way ahead on $, especially If you can get the Trek cheaper than the asking price.

501 is straight-gauge chromolly, nothing special but good solid stuff. A little heavier than butted tubing, obviously, but you'll strip off 3 pounds of parts making it a fixie.

If you're sure it will fit you, I'd jump on it, personally.
 

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I used to ride a converted '83 560 and it was fine. you might need to respace, but cold-setting is no biggie. geo on those older frames tends to be slack (STA) and long (TT). if you want to run a rear brake the conversion has the cable stops whereas the steamroller does not
 

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separated at birth?

I used to ride a converted Trek 660. Loved it, wrecked it. No clearance for fenders or fat tires however. So I'm now building up a 59cm SteamRoller for those reasons. I also had a little *work* done to it to get around the no fender mounts issue :cool:

that said, I'd go for the Trek if it includes components. I bought my Trek for $100 complete, incl the Campy crankset which I'm still using.
 

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Hollywood said:
I used to ride a converted Trek 660. Loved it, wrecked it. No clearance for fenders or fat tires however. So I'm now building up a 59cm SteamRoller for those reasons. I also had a little *work* done to it to get around the no fender mounts issue :cool:

that said, I'd go for the Trek if it includes components. I bought my Trek for $100 complete, incl the Campy crankset which I'm still using.


why is it that hollywood and enhancements seem to go hand in hand? your next bedtime story, perhaps?
 

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I actually just got done doing that with a mid 80's 300 series. I'd say go for the old classic. Where's the fun in "buying" a bike when you can piece it all together and make it yours. :D
 

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Well, FWIW, I rode a Steamroller for a few years and felt it was a really nice frame. Nothing especially sexy, but it had a workmanlike demeanor and vibe that I really enjoyed. Steeper than a road bike, slacker than a track bike, it was an awesome commuter and mid-distance runner.
 

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Do the conversion.
Tinkering is Sooooo much fun, and when done you have the pride and satisfaction that it is 'YOURS".
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So, here is my plan. I ordered a Steamroller frame and should be here today or tomorrow, along with a bunch of parts to build it up.

I'm also going to see if the guy selling the Trek is going to lower his price a bit more. It's still not sold.

So I'm looking to get two bikes. Because two is better than one, right? Now, I just need to make that clear to the wife. :D
 

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2 bikes = good call, Palu! I think you'll like the Surly. Like I said before, it's a working man's frameset, but it's built to last. Post pics when you get it built!
 
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