Trek Singletrack, my utility bike in progress

From Trek Singletrack 930


There isn't much to share here. Mostly I'm putting up a personal document of my own accomplishment.

I've mostly finished building a bike, a pink(ish) Trek Singlestrack. I found it as a frame, stripped save the fork and crank, abandoned outside the trash room of the building I manage. The frame appealed to me because it was light. You don't see too many lugged mountain bike frames. It was made in the U.S. (probably one of the last by Trek) and it was built out of double-butted True Temper Ox Comp 2 tubing. It's surprisingly light for being a steel mountain bike frame.

My regular commuter bike is a Gunnar Crosshairs (a cyclocross bike). I can't ask for a better commuter bike but it has some limitations. Mostly, it's expensive. I get nervous locking it up so I wanted a more practical utility bike I could use for getting groceries and such. Also the Gunnar's frame is probably too small for me and I have to be really careful about hitting my foot on the front tire taking slow-speed corners. Because the bike has fenders this can cause real problems. It's not too much of a big deal but it gets in the way of carefree casual riding.

The Singletrack was made up of new parts and ones that I scrounged. I found another abandoned frame downtown. It was an old Novara (REI) mountain bike. It too had been largely stripped, but I did get complete brakes and pedals off of this one.

I bought a bunch of used parts from the Community Cycling Center including a seat stem, shifters and a rear XT derailleur. On Craigslist I found an old set of fancy XTR-hubbed wheels. The rear went on with a new cassette and chain. As part of a maintenance class I took, I replaced the bottom bracket bearings with a new cartridge and repacked the front fork bearings.

For me, as a novice bike mechanic, my biggest accomplishment was building the front wheel. This was my first wheel build. I did this using a dynohub. I'm still undecided if dynohubs are all that useful but they have a lot of nerd appeal to me. It's fun to generate my own electricity as I ride. Building the wheel was fairly straight forward. I appreciate how the process requires a practiced physical knack. It's an art in that you need to think but also use your senses and a certain finesse.

The bike rides well. It feels secure and seems to have reasonably good geometry, upright but not too steady. All I need to do with it is add some fenders and racks and it will be a great urban utility bike.