Sunday, November 16, 2014

Trek 930 upgraded and ready to roll

This bicycle happened really by fluke. I rescued one old Trek 830 which was dumped outside a house during one of the sunday ride. 
True Temper frame by Trek 
You can see more of it from this Facebook link. 
After cleaning it up and test riding the way too big frame. I was amazed by the way True temper chromoly steel rode. Straight as an arrow but super comfy. The way I like it. A bit sad it was too big but still glad I rescued a bike from the Dump. I passed the big frame to Desmond, hopefully it gets converted to a Xcycle to bring joy to her daughter and friends. And join my Surly dummy when we do family rides. Hint hint haha. There's some magic in long bikes but thats another story. 

Then I stumbled on a Trek 930 frame from Vintage Bike Swap Facebook. It was a small cherry red Trek 930 True Temper frame. My Size and super good price. What to do? It was meant to be :) 
According to the Trek bible, its a Trek SHX(front suspension) made 1994. That means I got a 20 year old bike! 
Took me some time to get the bike running as I originally wanted it to be single speed and I screwed up on the tensioner... 
I took my time to think about what kind of riding and things took another turn.... So this is what I did to make the bike suit me and using what I already had left lying around. 

Here are the parts I bought for renewing Trek 930

1) Velo Orange Grand Cru Seine Bars  
This is a simple Chromoly Sweep back handle bar that is not too wide and great for just riding along.  It's made from straight gauge chromoly and dampens road vibration well. The form and geometry is similar to Jones H Bar but simpler. If you want multiple hand holds, you can try the Velo Orange Crazy Bar 

2) Velo Orange Thumb Shifter mounts  This is not for everyone, esp so in the hi tech times of trigger shifters. This is for a person who wants a simple, quality thumb shifters. Sadly the bike industries usually sell on Carbon and newest tech.  There are only 3 options if you want to do thumb shifters. 
- New old stock/ old stock of Deore XT Thumbshifters 
- Paul Thumbshifter mounts , Very nice but a bit more expensive then Velo Orange
- Velo Orange Thumbshifter mounts which looks good and cheapest 

3) Surly LHT fork. I got this from TR bikes. Lynten was nice and kind enough to help sell me and install on the bike to get it running. The gentle curve of the forks visually fits the bike and helps give it a nice damping feel.  

4) Shimano Ultegra 8 Speed bar end shifters. The bike came in 8 speed and this would do nicely... I think. I googled on thumbies and seems like just what I need.  I can toggle between Friction and SIS mode(tick tick tick, indexed) 
5) KMC 8 speed chain - I got from Changi Village aunty shop.Yes, that famous pitstop we all have to visit when we go Changi village. It cost $13.50 and comes with a quick link too.
6) Stainless steel brake cables and housing - Also from Changi Village aunty shop
7) Ergon GP1 grip - These are not retro but my hands are eternally grateful for this superbly ergonomic design. I got this from Chain reaction cycles when I bought the Shimano bar end shifters.
Yesterday I got a few hours free time and started to install the parts. 
It was quite nice and easy to install. Very therapeutic The bar end shifters worked a treat. Especially on the friction mode where I could tweak the lever to have the gears spinning very nicely. 

After 2-3 hours, I took the bike downstairs to try out. It felt like a nice old lorry. Every thing works and rolled nicely. It was raining quite a fair bit so I couldn't try riding for extended time... but I know it fits my kind of riding. Slowly and relaxed.

Many probably wonder why even bother to do this to a old bicycle frame. Wouldn't it be easier to get a nice new bike, get it all installed by your bikeshop. So leychey (troublesome) and cost so much....  
Well, perhaps I am just a retro grouch and one who likes to ride slowly and relaxed. The old steel frames just feels like a pair of nicely worn jeans. Old, faded and comfy. Maybe be its the chromoly tube or True temper material or perhaps the long wheel base which makes the bike very stable and relax. I like it a lot. 
Steel is real. If you have a chance to try an old steel frame, do try it and tell me what you think.  


  1. Hi Taiwoon,
    Found your blog recently and great to see you've got a very nice riding community. I should bring my B with me next time I'm in S'pore.
    I have the same problem....I try and rescue old bikes that comes my way, and have done up a few steel frame bikes. As you say, it is quite therapeutic. Not sure what to do when the collection becomes too large and you are attached to all the bikes, LOL

    1. hahha. A kindred spirit! Please join our facebook page if you like to know more singapore riders.

      when the collection gets bigger.... either sell it or give away to someone who will take good care of it. :)

      Where are you from btw?

  2. Sure thing!
    I'm here in Perth, Australia. Here when you ride, no where to stop for hawker food :-(
    Very few people with small wheeled bikes. Question for the Moulton very different to the Brompton to ride? Worth swapping over?

    1. Hey we have Brother Al and quite many friends there at Perth too. Do you know them, if not I like to link you up. Very nice folks.
      Moulton is VERY different from Brompton. They are as different as Apples and pears. If you like riding long distances in comfort. Get the Moulton. The front and rear suspension with the steel girder(bridge) like frame allows a very supple yet responsive ride. If you are on road usually, the newer Moulton TSR is very good value for money. If you go road and abit of gravel you might want to find an older version with V brakes. Reason being the tyre clearance is much more and u can fit wider touring tyres.

      Brompton is the kind of multi modal transport. The types where u drive/take bus/take train and deploy and ride around. Sure you can ride long distances with it. But the effort is higher. Here's my review of the Brompton after several trips.

  3. You mean there's a group of crazy people riding small wheeled bikes in Perth? Sure!
    I can get a new APB R18 or a TSR 9 for around the same price. Not sure which is a better buy. Presumably the geometry would be the same? The older APB is no-separable, which is probably not an issue for me.

    1. Are you on Facebook? Look for me Woon Tai woon and I will hook u up with some Perth friends.
      I am not an expert on Moulton but if I were to ride a long distance, the Moulton TSR would be my bike of choice.

  4. I'm rarely on FB, but why not?
    Frank Seow

    1. my email is, send me an email so I can link u up