Project Postal: Keeping the Trek on spec

The US POSTAL Trek Project has been going great guns! Since having the BB replaced I’ve really been able to move the build forward. It now sports a full modern groupset. I’d had a pro tip from Big Jim about possibly not being able to get the front mech low enough to run a 50T big ring, so to avoid any headaches I used the 52/36T Ultegra crankset that came straight off my Canyon. The Trek 5200 was produced when cycling was for the hard men!

I’m trying to use parts I’ve already got where possible, while still doing the bike justice. The original bike came specced with full 9-speed Ultegra, which while awesome for it’s time is now very dated. Part of me wanted to keep it “period” but a much bigger part of me wants this bike to ride so good it bring a tear to your eye. That part won, so raiding my garage I’ve kitted the Trek out with modern 11-speed Ultegra (a mix of 6800 and R8000). That should have this baby shifting slicker than a sorority sister down a water slide.

Out with the old Ultegra, in with the new Ultegra!

When stripping the bike down, one of the only real issues I discovered was the headset. Instead of being buttery smooth when turning the bars, it sounded more like two sheets of sandpaper being scraped together! Not cool. Taking it apart revealed the extent of the problem. Yes, this bike’s been sitting unused a while…

Yeah, they’re probably past their use by date…

Thankfully there was no real damage. After a good clean of the headset it was clear a new set of bearings was all that would be needed. Checking online, these particular angled bearings were out of stock EVERYWHERE! Eventually I managed to source a pair on eBay. Greased up and installed, the front end is now arguably running better than new. In fact that’s the goal here, every part of this bike I want to be BETTER than when it rolled out of the bike shop brand new!

I swear this was the last pair in the country!

I’ve put my Mavic Ksyrium Pro Exalith wheels on for now, but I’m not sure if they’ll make the final build. I’m also not sure I can justify shelling out cash on a new set just because they don’t match! I’ll have to think about that one for a while. Next up is a bunch of matching blue touches to add that retro flamboyant look! It is the late 90’s to early 2000’s after all. :-)

One Comment Add yours

  1. bgddyjim says:

    Very cool, man. I had the same problem with my headset back when I rebuilt mine. Sadly, bearings alone wouldn’t fix that mess for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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