Over the summer, my BRW co-author somervillain and I both acquired vintage Trek roadbikes. These events were completely unrelated, and the bicycles themselves are of different models and vintage. And yet we had similar reactions to these intriguing creatures.
Initially, somervillain had planned to “flip” his 1988 Trek 560. As an aggressive, racy roadbike, it was not really his style, he thought. But the more he tried riding it, the more surprised he was to discover that it was a comfortable and pleasant ride – despite the aggressive handling.
Fast forward a month and the bicycle became a keeper. Fenders were installed, handlebars wrapped in cork tape and shellacked, a bell was mounted, and a Carradice bag attached. Not your typical Trek 560 set-up, but who needs typical?
My 1982 Trek 610 was a similar experience. I wanted to try this type of roadbike just for fun, but did not expect to keep it. I already had a perfectly good touring bicycle and did not need anything more aggressive. Well, I guess I did need it, because the Trek remains with me and is ridden frequently. Like somervillain, what got me hooked is that (unlike other vintage roadbikes), the Trek feels comfortable despite its racy handling. Riding it is downright addictive.
Vintage Trek collecting is its own microcosm, and if you are interested in exploring it the best place to start is vintage-trek.com. There you can learn the date and model of your Trek by its serial number, and even find the specs of its build in scans of the original catalogues. These bicycles have a mystique and a cult following that I did not understand until I got one myself.