Sunday, November 5, 2017

Trek 830 Antelope Makeover

I have always liked the looks of my red Trek 830 Antelope and now that it once again has wide gumwall tires, the bicycle visually resembles the way it was when I bought the bike in 1986.

Testing my Blackburn commuter pannier to see if I have ample heel clearance.
There are very few original parts on the bike, and I forgot that the current rims are not my favorite (and original) Araya wide beauties, but a narrower replacement, having used 1.5" tires for over 20 years. I struggled putting the Kenda 1.9" fatties on the rims, wondering if I'd made a mistake buying wider tires, but I eventually seated the rubber and so far (after 15 miles) the wheels haven't given me any trouble.

Of course, fitting wider tires meant adjusting brakes and fenders to accommodate the extra rubber.

My overall goal was to simplify the accessories so the bicycle will be easy to clean, simple to ride with bulky clothing, and accept my handlebar light with an unobstructed front view in complete darkness, because, alas, the plan is for the Trek to be my main winter bike.

In addition to installing new tires, I removed the front lowrider rack, replaced extra long bar ends with a shorter version, removed the 25 year old black foam grips and squeezed on red gummy-bear like hand grips (which feel a little weird so I may cover them with fabric). I kept the cushiony foam bar end wraps as extra insulation between mittened hands and metal in sub-freezing temperatures, which I find extremely helpful. The bar ends also serve a functional purpose: the frame is slightly small so I like extending my reach when safe riding allows.

I'm glad the brake levers are still covered with grippy rubber - very helpful in fair or inclement conditions.
I suspect this item is no longer available. 
And because I had an extra rubber kickstand foot, the Trek now sports one too.

I am digging the frontal handle bar view, even though there is less room for bell, mirror, and light. In this case, just enough space is fine!

I didn't need another seat, but my husband has been troubled on an uncomfortable seat on his MB-2, so I offered up the Trek's gel seat and went so far as to swap it for him, then using his seat on my Trek. And I suppose I was also curious about the larger hole cutout and matching red/black color scheme and willing to try it on my own bike. Truth be told, I am also the type of person that sometimes buys fabric because I like a particular pattern or texture, then figure out later how I will use it!

Near as I can tell the saddle may be an older Terry model. I think it's leather, and if it is I wonder if I should
be concerned about leaving it outdoors in the winter at my workplace....dang.
Maybe I should replace it with a cheapo seat from our parts stash.

I removed one of two water bottle racks - no need perhaps, for even one during the winter.

Now that I enjoy flat pedals, it was a no-brainer to ditch the toeclips and pedals. I used a plastic pair that came with the white Peugeot St. Laurent, my commuter bike, A black pair was stock on Miss Clementine and I used a similar pair when I borrowed the Yuba Boda Boda. In spite of seeking out metal pedals because of looks and the ability to service the bearings, I appreciate the functional and quite adequate composite/plastic pedals, especially the type with recessed reflectors.

All in all, the shakedown 15 mile ride aboard the revitalized Trek (on a coffeeneuring run!)  was a real pleasure. The new tires provide a super comfy ride and any difficulty climbing hills was offset by the Trek's low range gearing. After a few more minor adjustments for comfort, the bicycle is ready for winter commutes.


  1. Hi Annie, all the changes make since. In regards to the cut out in the saddle, I find it a bit drafting when the temps turn freezing. I have some foam that I cut to the shape of my Brooks Imperial that I block the hole with.

  2. Annie it looks like you have a lean mean winter machine! Glad you were able to get the Kenda's to work hope they float you over the cruel and frozen roads of winter in New England.

    1. I love the wide tires. So far I have 45 lbs. pressure. I'm nervous about adding more due to the narrow rims. My husband says higher pressure would be better. I've never had any experience with something like this.

    2. I find the fatter tires on both my Handsome devil and the Miyata MTB are fine with lower pressures i never exceed 60

  3. I love the Trek830, imo it's one of the best all-around use bikes we've had. I had mine for 25 years. Finally, it was my 4th bike, and I met a man who needed a bike to get to a job, and I gave it to him and I'm glad for him but damn that bike was sweet.

    1. I agree, the Trek has served, and continues to serve me well. It's difficult to part with a bicycle that can wear many hats!

  4. Interesting about your pedals. On my 20 year old Trek I have plastic pedals which I like and they have stood me in good stead. On my new Koga however, I didn't particularly like the pedals it came with, and bought some cheap Raleigh plastic ones, which were very close in size. But they're still not as comfortable as the ones on my Trek. We have a pair of good metal ones in our stash of bike bits and now I'm wondering about trying them. They just look a bit lethal somehow!!

    1. I have seen many spikey metal pedals, and some are very beautiful also like some of the classic MKS touring pedals. But I agree they can be dangerous, especially to shins! Haven't we all whacked our shins on pedals at some point - it hurts! I think pedals (and saddles) are very personal though, so find what works best for you.

    2. Lizzie, could you swap your pedals between the two bikes?

    3. I did think of that, but I'd kind of like to keep my favourite pedals, i.e. the Trek ones, where I feel they belong! And I'd still like to have pedals on that bike that I like even though I don't now ride it as much as the Koga. I think I'll just be on the lookout for some that are closer to the Trek ones.

      Part of my problem is that my left foot sits slightly further back on the pedal than my right foot, which means that the wider part of the shoe on that left foot lines up with the crank and tends to rub on it, with the Raleigh pedals and the Koga ones, but not with the Trek ones. So it's the width of the pedal that's the important factor.

  5. I really like the clean, simple set up on this bike. Plus, I have a thing for red bikes.


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