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My Trek 5200t is Done… and it’s not a “t” anymore


That’s right, my friends. My 19-year-old, 1999 Trek 5200t was just brought into the mid 2010’s.

No more hokey cables running into the upper hood, no more nine speed, and no more triple crankset…

The Trek is now a lean and mean 20 speed with a compact double (50/34) crankset. I’ve wanted to simplify the shifting on that bike for a while now.

I didn’t dislike the triple, it was awesome for climbing hills, but hitting the easier two gears in the big ring was too much to ask from the derailleur cage. I could hit all but the smallest cog in the middle ring. In the little ring, I was limited to the seven easiest (biggest) cogs. In other words, five of those 27 gears didn’t work anyway!

Notice the cleaned up front end of the bike… Compare that to what the bike looked like last week:

The upgrade was not a small project. I had to use every last bit of knowledge I had about building bikes… or maybe more aptly stated, assembling bikes . The set screws for the derailleurs, the b limit screw for the rear derailleur, chain length determination, I even learned a few new tidbits about bottom brackets as I had a new Ultegra English bottom bracket assembly installed to work with the modern crank.

I wasn’t expecting the bottom bracket to come in until Friday but I put the rest of the bike together anyway. Shifters, cables, housings, derailleurs… I re-used the leather bar tape because it’s black and leather and awesome. I did opt for Bontrager “b” end plugs over the wooden plugs for effect. The wood plugs are cool, they just seem out of place on a veritable race bike.

I got a call yesterday afternoon from the shop. My bottom bracket came in, so I hustled my bike over there and had it installed. With the new crank on, I headed home to complete the final adjustments and install the chain… Then I took it for a test ride. A couple of minor barrel adjustments were all I needed to get the steed running like a top. 21-1/2 miles at 19-mph. It was perfect. Better than that bike ever behaved.

All said and done, I love it. It was worth the headache. By a long shot.

This is my 5200 in photos over the last seven years:

And finally…


  1. unironedman says:

    I love it when a plan comes together!

  2. Awesome.

    I can’t help but think that you could possibly have more pictures of your bicycles than you do of your children…..

  3. Nice! That bike has had quite the transformation over the years. Under tape cabling is just so much cleaner. I still miss that copper orange paint job though!

    • bgddyjim says:

      I do too, but the photos don’t do it justice… and I hid a lot of the blemishes with the angle of the camera… that paint job was HIT!

      And it was candy apple red with gold flake underneath. πŸ˜‰

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