Thursday, March 03, 2011

Bike Profile - Trek 8500
When I picked this up in 2004, it was a NEW new bike.  Special order, custom upgrades and I didn't lift a finger on the build.  It was all Fox this and Thomson that, XT everything else.  Light, stiff, fit like a glove, shifted so well.  Sweet near-black matte finish.  This is what it looked like when I brought it home from Calgary Cycle:

The tires and seat were crap, so I swapped them out for some Contis and a Flite Ti that I had lying around.  It served me well for 5 seasons of dirt riding.  It was classic XC race - 71/73, shortish chainstays, stiff BB.  The XT gear was reliable to a fault, as was the Fox fork.  I rode that thing all over, and other than changing tires when they wore out, it required almost no maintenance.  Eventually I moved most of the parts onto a Titus Motolite II.
After trying to sell the frame, fork, post and front derailleur for 6 months, I decided to keep it.  Nobody wanted a 5-year old hardtail race frame/fork/post, so in the fall of 2008 I decided to build it up as a commuter.
Yes, it's a singlespeed drop-bar commuter with disc brakes.  I KNOW!  Worked like a hot damn.  I used a magic gear, as the rear dropouts were vertical.  The frame and fork had clearance for 38C studded tires plus fenders.  Hope Pro II hubs [gunmetal!] laced to Mavic Open Pro rims, Spot spacer and a Surly cog.  Awesome.  The only failing were the BB7 brakes.  After a month of winter riding on the salty streets of Calgary, the adjustment knobs required a set of channel-lock pliers to turn them.  As soon as somebody makes a decent hydraulic brake lever for drop bars, I'll bring this thing back.  Maybe.

Right now, it's a grocery getter and I'm-wearing-a-suit-but-still-want-to-ride-downtown-for-an-interview bike.  Occasional bar bike.  The XT brifters still work great, and I was able to find a $100 LX disc wheelset and $70 crankset on CRC.  The rest of the parts are bits and pieces from old bikes that I had lying around.  The paint is starting to go in spots, but there are no cracks in the frame.  If it ever does crap out on me, Trek has a lifetime warranty for the original owner. 

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