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Home » Cycling » I’ve Finally Gotten My Trek Right… Again… But Really. This Time. Well, for Now…

I’ve Finally Gotten My Trek Right… Again… But Really. This Time. Well, for Now…

August 2019

My Trek 5200 has been a work in progress since the day I brought it home. I’ve put some serious miles on that beautiful bike.

Wait. Back up a minute. Technically, the bike wasn’t so beautiful when I brought it home. It was a shop loaner. The owner took pity on me because I didn’t have much money back then, but I had a serious zeal for cycling, so he sold me the bike at a bargain price. Three hours after I’d brought it home I had it presentable enough for photos.

Then, the procession of new parts. A new saddle was immediately necessary.  The old saddle was a 155mm and my butt is a 143…

The wheels broke a short time later, so new wheels.  Pedals were next, because I upgraded from mountain to road shoes. Then a handlebar, shifters… and then the paint job because some @$$-hat knocked it off the rack at a fun ride… and while I was at it, a new headset. Then, to complete the transformation, I upgraded it from a triple 9-speed to a compact double 10-speed.  A new, -17° longer stem dropped the cockpit considerably and stretched me out a little better.  Then an upgrade to the wheels – a spectacular set from my Venge went to the Trek after I bought a carbon set for the Specialized… Then a new saddle… and another new saddle… and voila!


The setup on the Trek is now so close to my Specialized Venge, it’s hard to feel the difference riding the two bikes.  Saddle height is obviously the same, the handlebar is the same distance off the ground on both bikes, and the reach is the nearly identical.

So, no sooner than I take a look at that spectacular remade steed and I’m thinking…

Well, hey, if I get some new brakes on there, maybe something that could take a wider rim (say, new black 105 brakes), I could get a new set of carbon wheels for the Trek…  Then it really would be complete.  For real.

To tell you the truth, I hope my wife doesn’t read this post, because she’d $#!+.  I’m not supposed to want anything more for the Trek… but those carbon fiber wheels are so fast… and black 105 brakes?  How could I not want those on a blacked out bike?!

For now I’m going with “the alloy wheels, even though they’re a little heavier, stop a whole lot better than the carbon wheels do – and in the conditions I ride the Trek, stopping well is a necessity.

I think that’ll work for a little while anyway.

As good as my Trek is, and it is great, there’s always one more thing, isn’t there?


  1. Bikes never seem to be perfect. Actually, they’re often perfect, then get even more perfect with each upgrade! I think my Planet X framset has had two wheel upgrades, three different group sets, three or four handlebars, etc. Gotta love getting it even more perfect!

    Oh and I still miss that Trek’s old colour… 🙂

  2. Anon says:

    Not surprised that first set of wheels broke. Looks like someone stole half the spokes…

    • bgddyjim says:

      LOL! Actually, Rolf wheels from the late ’90’s are known for being exceptionally tough (they were also heavy)… the brake track blew apart because the wall got too thin from using the brakes over the years.

  3. Eliza says:

    Its really awesome! How much would it have cost to buy one you love originally? I think creating it yourself makes it yours much more. Just curious…
    Love, light and glitter

    • bgddyjim says:

      That bike, back in ’99, cost almost $2,500 if memory serves. I paid $750 for it but have another $2,000 wrapped up into getting it to where it is today, give or take. It’s my favorite project, though.

      • Eliza says:

        Yeah, that’s why I thought it may be worth it, even though in reality you’re probably paying more.
        One day you may make it better than your better one (sorry, can’t recall the names of the different types).

      • bgddyjim says:

        No worries! It’s actually very close to my race bike. It’s very comfortable and fun to ride. It’s a MOUNTAIN better than what it was when I bought it – and that’s enough to put a smile on my mug.

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