Project Postal: Bringing an old Trek back into service!

Two thousand and two. Nelly was getting Hot in Herrrrrre, Christina Aguilera got Dirrrrrty and the first mobile phone with a built-in camera was released in the USA. Meanwhile in the world of pro cycling, US Postal were dominating the scene on their carbon fibre Treks and Lance Armstrong was the undisputed king.

I’ve been on the hunt for a “classic” Trek 5200/5500 for some time now. It’s been fuelled even more so by Big Jim of Fit Recovery’s beautifully restored Trek 5200. They’re getting rare in general, even rarer to see in Tasmania, rarer still to see one for sale! So when one popped up on a local buy and sell group, my interest was peaked.

UPDATE: See the finished fully restored bike here!

Unfortunately I was looking down the barrel of a 700km (440 mile) round trip to look at it, so when the owner said he could get it down to Hobart for me, I jumped at the chance! You don’t have to ask me twice! I said I’d take it. Cash. Sight unseen. I didn’t even haggle over the (already very reasonable) price he was asking.

Above was the photo from the ad. If you ever want a masterclass in how NOT to photograph a bike for sale, take a good look at the photo and that basically covers all of it.

It was a gamble, but I think it’s paid off. The fact it’s got full US Postal team paintwork made the find even sweeter! From my research and the paint, I make it a 2002 model Trek 5200 (the 5200’s were Ultegra and the 5500’s Dura Ace, frames identical). He even threw in a pair of new cycling shoes which just happened to be my size! #winning

The frameset is in great condition for it’s age. It’s certainly been ridden but it’s a well cared for single owner bike from new. It’s even got frame wrap to protect against cable rub. Running gear is currently the original full Shimano Ultegra (9-speed) with a properly old school hard man’s 53/39T big dog!

My first job will be to strip it down for a full clean and inspection before I decide what direction I’m going to head. Do I keep it original? Or update to modern 11-speed components? It’s going to get ridden so it’s got to be good! More to follow as I get stuck into this beauty. Oh how I do LOVE a good project! :-) 

UPDATE: See the finished fully restored bike here!

17 Comments Add yours

  1. bgddyjim says:

    Freakin’ awesome find! Those wheels are heavy but bomb proof… and FAST. Enjoy that one, man. She’s a beaut!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually can’t believe my luck! It’ll be a while before she’s “road ready” but I can’t wait to ride it with modern parts!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. jerry says:

      i have this bike in near mint 58cm if interested.


  2. Anthony says:

    The woman who is the driving force behind my Monday rides actually rides this bike. It belongs to her father and is not a perfect fit for her…but it looks awesome. She is planning on getting something at the end of the season.
    As for you…Awesome find. Enjoy the rehabbing of the bike and the rides you are going to have with it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. jerry says:

      i have one for sale now near mint…intersted?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Anthony says:

        This is not a bike for me…cool though it is.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Need to get the valves lines up at 6 o’clock and the cranks at 3 o’clock and send it in to the GCN show for ‘Nice’ or Supernice’. It’s a Supernice from me.
    Since it’s rare and in such good condition my vote would be to keep it original because that’s got to be more exclusive than most of the the other 5200’s out there.


    1. Thanks Steve! I’ve taken a “proper” lined up photo of the bike, but the previous owner didn’t line up the tyre logos with valve stems. How rude! I’ll clean up the original parts and see what takes my fancy.


  4. ericritter65 says:

    I say get the 11-speed on the back, but keep the “Big Boy” crankset, please, for the love of all that’s holy, don’t put a compromise set of chainrings on the front!
    Very nice find indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha nope the 53/39 has GOT to go! It’s way too hilly round here for that! Okay, so maybe it’s because my little legs are just too weak… 😅


      1. jerry says:

        i have this bike in 58cm. i love riding it but its a bit big i need a 54. willing to sell or trade. i really havent tried selling it. its just beautiful to.look at


  5. Brady Barker says:

    Just found the same bike!! It’s my everyday bike

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice! I’ve finished restoring the bike to it’s former glory now! Check it out:


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