My first “labor of love” 1983 Trek 513. The bike represents nearly two years of continuous development and evolution on my first effort to build a “perfect for me” bike. These early 80’s Trek frames are well known as very high-quality bikes that were silver brazed by hand in Wisconsin.
While it is hard enough to translate the ride quality of a material like steel into words it is even harder to distinguish one steel frame from another. However, I can say without hesitation that this bike built with Ishiwata 022 double butted tubing is as good as it gets. Both in terms of objective metallurgy and subjective feel these Ishiwata bikes compare favorably to the slightly stiffer Renoylds 531 tubes for anything other than pure racing applications where power transfer is all important. For the city commuting, light touring and randonneuring applications for which this bike is intended, this frame is perfect.
Moving on from the lovely frame with its original blue flake paint still in very good condition you find a unique, custom and period correct drivetrain. The Campagnolo Rally derailleur is the best of what was available at the time and because of it’s aesthetic beauty one of the most sought after vintage derailleurs. Paired with the Campy drivetrain is a set of Shimano bar end friction shifters that enable the bike to transform to a drop bar bike with a quick swap of nothing more that the Nitto handlebar and the brake levers, which were chosen over vintage alternatives as a concession to comfort and stopping power.
Berthoud metal fenders sit over a set of hand built 650b Velo Orange wheels with Panaracer tires that put the power to the ground in luxurious comfort while Tektro long reach brakes that echo the design cues of the Campy derailleur provide ample stopping power even when the bike is fully loaded. Velo Orange racks and a decalleur mounted in a period correct fashion support the gorgeous Berthoud bags that enable this bike to do light duty touring work.
The bike as pictured with the Berthoud bags is the full realization of my original vision.
Although in it’s drop bar randonneuring configuration this bike would be competitive with anything out there in terms of weight and performance, in its current city/touring configuration nothing about this bike is urgent.