The citra solv duz wondas

On this week’s edition of “This Old Bike”, we are working with a classic USA made Trek 950, from the 80s, one of Norm’s favorite bicycle eras.

A golden age mountain bike restoared; today on “This Old Bike” (clarinet music begins) [photo tour of old restored bikes]
(fade music)  “My name is Senna.  Welcome to This Old Bike.  Today we’re starting with a frame that had a considerable amount of a dried, snot like substance caked on it.  All I can say is, citra solve works wondas.”

OLD TREK after difficult seatpost extraction
Norm: “After painstakingly removing rusted on stuck parts with a vice…”
Senna Interrupts: “The bottom bracket, the seat post…”
“He carefully cleaned the inside of the seat tube with a shotgun brush and WD40.”
“I then cleaned the bottom bracket threads thorauhly and let the frame sit in the sun for a few ahwahs while I cleaned the gunk off a the otha pahts.  Then I sanded some bare spawts and spray painted ‘em a slightly dahka blue.” KMC Tange Shimano 001
“This classic is getting some used parts re-installed, but we got new parts lined up where it counts.  The wheels are ready to go, they have a clean bill of health”
“These Treks were made outa True Tempa AT tubing – rugged stuff.  The seat tube takes a 26.8 seatpost and I didn’t have one lyin around so I bought a new one.
“So, the seat post ain’t period correct this time.”
“That’s right, Norm.  Also it’s getting a new headset, bottom bracket, grips, and of course, a new chain.”
“Going with KMC again?”
“You got it.  And it’s getting a st of cantilever brakes and I’m pulling out some old fattie cable from my personal stash, so the brakes’ll be periad carrect.”
“OK, let’s go get some cawfee and get stahted.”

Install BB

*a few hours latah*

“So how far along are ya, Senna?”
“Well, Norm – I’ve got the brakes installed and looking good.  The front end has a hodge podge of shifting but I think it will be interesting looking.”
“That CODA handlebar looks pretty sharp on that Ritchey stem.”
“I agree.  That stem includes a brass bushing that I turned on a lathe.  I also cut off about 3/4″ from each end of the handlebar with a rotating tubing cutter, then filed it flush.”
“The kind you get at a plumbing supply stoar.”
“Right.  And I still need to go back to the bike shop again.  I fahgut ta buy a chain.”
“This, after you bought a 28.6 seatpost and had ta go back yestaday to swap it.”
“Yup.  Been to the bike shop 3 times now for this one restoration.  I don’t mind the multaple trips.  Gets me out in the fresh aiah.”
“It will all be werth it in the end.”

*a few hours latah*

“We’re back at the home of “This Old Bike” and we’re looking at the end result of all that effort.  So Senna, you went out and got a chain…”
“And some cables for my other rig.  It’s done.  Take it for a ride.”

Love that seat crown

Well, that about does it for This Old Bike.  Hope to see you next time.  I’m going up to visit my friend Katie, who owns another one of these that I built, and we’re going to go on a little 950 ride.”

“Bitchin.  So where’s my little mountain bike.  I want to ride down city stairs and hop traffic circles too.”

“Well, Norm… maybe in a few more weeks I’ll put one tagetha for ya.  Tune in again to This Old Bike!”  (clarinet fades in)

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About littlejar

5 - Learned to ride in paved alley behind liquor store in Lowell. 16 - Road bike riding alone while peers do soccer practice. 18 - First new road bike bought with winnings from Project Graduation. 20 - Burlington VT. Nuff said. 22 - Joined the Air Force. 23 - Joined team Fair Wheel in Tucson - rode the Shootout. 24 - Rode El Tour in under five. 26 - Toured to Quebec City 28 - Toured Oklahoma to Vermont 30 - Found my dream bike - a 1989 58cm LaBan (#22) 32 - Experienced Minneapolis and saw BIKE CULTURE. 34 - Building my first bicycle frame, with a self made jig. USA

19 thoughts on “The citra solv duz wondas

  1. Sweet. My college roommate had a 950..don’t see them too often…usually see 930s from back in tha day…. Nice work.

  2. Loren, I noticed that as well. But I’d say the tire and QR are backwards, as I like the pulling spokes on the outside of the flange. Now, it should match the rear wheel, so if the lacing is inside rather than outside on the stern, well, the aft should match.

    But, I’m a little bit wacky about such things.

  3. I had that exact same frame in a 20″ in ’89 – brings back not-so-fond memories.

    I misjudged a creek crossing by a smidge and the head tube collapsed like a beer can. Not the cheap steel fork legs, not the downtube, not the steerer, not the bars – not even a crinkle of paint where the downtube hits the headtube – the tell-tale signature of a front-ender. I’ve never seen another frame fail like it. It was just a crappy piece of tubing. Or the wrong tubing. I never claimed it was a “JRA” – it wasn’t an I didn’t think I needed to because the failure was so obvious.

    The local Trek rep called it a warranty and let me choose a new frame color. When it got back to Wisconsin, the factory called and said I was out of luck because their warranty didn’t cover off-road riding! They wouldn’t even send me my frame back as a souvenir.

    In my years working at a Cannondale/Specialized/GT/Schwinn dealer in the early 90′s I had the chance to tell that tale a thousand times and sell a thousand non-Trek bikes. 20 years later, I still jump at the chance to share it. Screw you very much, Trek – but thanks for the story.

  4. wow. Love the lugged seat stays! If I remember correctly that came with a price point sensible mix of LX and DX. First generation STI I think. ..or was it one year too early for STI?

    My first “real” bike was a choice between that one and a Rocky Mountain. I ended up with the Rocky, but always dug the treks of that era.

    Thats a great story UglyYeti ! (You and George Hincapie should get together for beers..)

  5. @Kark – GH and I had many beers in his Motorola days. Dude gets kinda gassy when the bottles pile up.

  6. I bought the same bike back in 89 and still ride it today. It’s seen so many iterations it isn’t even funny; everyday mtb, commuter, cross freak bike, single speed, and on and on.

    I also have a lugged 990 (from 91′ I think) that is a thing of beauty for a conch-black fade, mass produced bike. Literally perfect.

    Nice rescue!

  7. Still have my ’91 (or 92?) version, more rounded seat stay lugs about the biggest difference I noticed at a glance. That is the frame that really got me into mountainbiking.

    Never wanted to get rid of it because it stayed good shape all things considered, steel, and has all the mounts for racks etc.
    Keep thinking about turning it into a beer-run bike but now it just hangs behind some other skeletons in old bike storage…

    Nice set up man, hope you get a good bid on it.

  8. Sweet work LJ, nice job.

    I’ve got an old GT Palomar in the shed, (my first MTB), which I’m intending to restore. Inspirational post.

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  10. Nice bike. Just wanted to let you know it’s a 1990- not from the 80s. I double checked it in some old catalogs I have. It looks like the 950 only came in that color- Intense Blue, for two years, 1989 and 1990. The decals were slightly different from ’89 to ’90, with ’89 decals being a little smaller. You have the bigger font, so your bike is a 1990. Congrats.