I was planning on touching on the headset in this series, as I had a new one installed when I had the frame painted, but it was a pretty simple operation; I told the shop I thought I needed a headset when I was unable to adjust out what caused a speed wobble at 40-mph (thankfully, not a crash), and they agreed after looking at it… it was a rusted mess. The local shop installed a new Chris King. It was simple, but only because the shop dealt with it. I didn’t have the tools to remove or install one, or even the knowledge to pick the right one. Point is, when rebuilding a bike, check the headset to make sure it’s operating smoothly. If not, either install a new one or have your local shop do it.
The paint and accessories will make your bike yours. I picked the colors and decals that I wanted – and opted to refrain from the gaudier Trek accessory decals for that vintage. Instead, I kept it simple by just sticking with “Trek“, a “Made in the USA” decal, and a “Velocity Wheels” decal (because Velocity Wheels are awesome). The point is, this is the one time you’ve got to make the bike entirely yours. My 5200 is now one of a kind:
I had it painted by the techs at our local shop. All I had to do was strip it down and take it in. They did the rest. The cage in the photo above was fused to the boss. They drilled out the bottle cage and epoxied in four new bosses (you can actually see how shiny the new one’s are in the photo). Also, note the new headset.
Now, one of the more finicky decisions I made had to do with the seat post collar – this gets down into the minuscule details on a bike, but they make a big difference when it’s all done. The original seat post collar was brushed aluminum. It blended in to the red frame just fine, but on the black, it just looked off. So I ordered a black one:
Eventually, I got around to putting some decent bottle cages on the bike, too; black and red, of course:
And the cherry on top was a red Punisher decal:
Now, I took a lot of things into consideration when I had my frame painted. First, I had to choose a color scheme. The only question was black on red or red on black. I chose the latter, but I had to think long and hard about it. With the bike finished, blacked out simply looks awesome with the red decals. Well, that and red on black is a bit of a theme in my stable:
The thought was, for the Trek, maybe to go fire-engine red on black, just to change it up a bit, but in the end, I just couldn’t do it.
Almost all of my bibs and jerseys are, as one might expect, red, black and white. Having the Trek set up like the rest of my bikes meant I wouldn’t need different kits for each bike. Of course, one isn’t beholden to go to all of this trouble, it just looks fantastic when one does.
And that’s the whole point.