Ride a bike, share your experience and love. When I go biking, I repeat a mantra of the day's sensations: bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze, blue jay's call, ice melting and so on. This helps me transcend the traffic, ignore the clamorings of work, leave all the mind theaters behind and focus on nature instead. I still must abide by the rules of the road, of biking, of gravity. But I am mentally far away from civilization. The world is breaking someone else's heart. ~Diane Ackerman

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

SS Trek Project

Beth, a Co-Worker wanted me to get her old Trek 920 in working order so she could start riding to work. Working with a very small budget, I decided to ditch the 7 speeds and convert the Trek to a SS. This was my first conversion and it was surprisingly easy. I was able to re-use most of the original parts and only replaced tubes, tires, and cables.

I got Beth's bike in working order and in the process grew fond of the notion of building myself a SS. Lucky me, Beth's ambitions of riding to work did not pan out and the bike was given to me for a very small fee. I decided to strip it down, powder coat it and rebuild it. The result, a very stealthy SS.

Somethings I changed:

I stripped the bike down and powder coated the frame, handle bars and crank arms. I am very happy with the results and the cost to powder coat was close to free (It helps when you know a Powder Coater).

Brakes and Levers: I replaced the old, ugly brake/shifter levers to Avid Single Digits and added Avid V-Brakes to match. This Avid Brake Lever/Brake combo works well with more than adequate stopping power.

Chain Ring: I opted for a Surly 34 tooth ring.

Stem: The OEM stem was about 130 mm and 20 mm too long. It too was ugly, so I replaced it with a 110 mm Easton EA 30.

Fork: I replaced the old Rock Shox Indy XC for a traditional rigid fork. I went this route because; 1) Its simple and 2) New Generation suspension forks would mess up the original geometry of the bike.

First Ride: I took it out to Mills and Baldy Road last Sunday and I was surprised how well it rode. Riding up Burbank was challenging but I managed to get to the top in about 30 minutes. There were sections up Burbank I had to really mash gears to keep moving forward. The ride down Cobal was fun. The rigid forks did make it a harsh ride downhill but again it didn't seem to bother me much on the ride. I guess I'm still in the honeymoon stage of SS riding.

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