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1984 Trek 400 Review

Submitted by on July 17, 2011 – 7:38 am4 Comments

I had been in the hunt for a road bike for some time when I spotted this 1984 Trek 400 on Craigslist, I immediately fell in love with the color.  The seller wanted $200 which I thought was the upper end of the value but well worth the money.  The problem was I didn’t have the money at that time.  I assumed it wouldn’t last long, but it did.  In fact a couple weeks later the seller dropped the price to $160 and still no takers…I knew just what to do.

I called the seller and told him I’d pay him the original $200 asking price if he’d let me pay it out.  It’s not like I was broke but I don’t spend the milk money on my bike obsession so sometimes it takes time and a little creativity to raise funds.  He agreed and I made a modest down payment and paid it in full within the time frame we had agreed upon. This was one of those rare bicycle purchases where the bike fit me perfectly.  I was happier than a fat man at a Kiwanis All You Can Eat Pancake Breakfast.

Tektro brake handles. Mmm good.

So about the bike, it was Trek’s entry level sport bike in 1984 (I call it my Orwell bike).  It’s a 12 speed, lugged steel frame with mid-level components.  The original brake handles were so old it was like riding a bike with no brakes at all, so I had Colin from Switching Gears Cyclery upgrade it with modern Tektro brake handles and install new handlebar wrap, swap the tires with a pair of Specialized Armadillo tires I had, and make other assorted adjustments.  Thanks Colin!

I’m all over front racks these days so I installed yet another VO Orange Porteur Rack. One thing though – adjusting the skewer is going to be tricky because of the rack struts.  There is not enough clearance to turn the skewer without hitting the strut.  Looks closely at the photo, I’m not sure what I’ll do about that.  I wonder can you get a wider skewer somehow.

I love this bike.  For it’s era it’s reasonably light, very quick and most importantly, it fits me nicely and is comfortable to ride.


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Chris started riding a bike again when he noticed the Preston Ridge Trail being constructed across the street from his house. Since then he co-founded Biking in Dallas, has gone through countless Craigslist bike projects (some better than others) and can be found pedaling around town on a Electra Ticino with a camera in tow.

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