I picked up an old Trek 420 road bike from the Bike Shop recently with the goal of turning it into a better commuter than the one I’ve been using. My old commuter is just an old mountain bike with some lights, reflective tape, and a horn. Not especially fast on the road.
I did a post about it earlier this summer. Like I said, it’s not fast. I use it because I have it, and that’s pretty much about it. My goal with the Trek is to turn it into a simple, reliable commuter with fenders, a rack, and a new life.
I want to put disc brakes on it, and that requires some frame mods. Sure, some TLC to the existing components would probably turn this thing into a serviceable bike. But you know, I hate rim brakes because they’re fiddly keeping adjusted. Not to mention, rim brakes lose effectiveness in the wet. Since this bike is being repurposed as a dedicated commuter, I want it to perform best as a commuter. I also want it to have a fresh paint job. This one looks rough around the edges. No dents, but the paint looks pretty sad.
Secondarily, I’ve thought about adding a belt drive. Right now, I don’t think I’ll go that way, but since I’m having the dropouts replaced, the work to make the frame compatible for a belt drive doesn’t really add much so I’m going to have that done anyway. But belt drive components are spendy, so I may just leave the bike as a chain-drive SS…but I have the option, at least, of making it belt drive in the future (maybe if I’m lucky, parts costs will come down). I’m working with Cushman Cycle Company on the frame mods, and we’re still working out some of the details on paint and stuff. I’ll post updates as I make progress on the bike.
Right now, the frame is mostly stripped of its parts. I’m still working on getting a stuck rack mount bolt out, though. I tried a screw extractor and the head just snapped off. Then I started drilling it out. I noticed that an allen wrench fit in there really tightly, so I tried freezing the bolt to make it contract around the allen wrench so I can loosen it. No dice for that trick, either. Then I tried gluing the allen wrench in there on a suggestion from a mech at my LBS. I tried 2 different glues, and neither one worked out. Looks like this one will be pretty time consuming to get it out. Once I get it out, I’ll strip the frame and a disc fork and send them off to the builder for the mods.