home    about    bikes    packing    planning    trips  /  rides       winter    night       rain       gps    commute             links       contact
Trek830 Antelope - discussion, photos, chainring / cassette upgrades, lighting, seat, panniers, handlebars on my Trek 830

About My Trek 830 "Sherpa"

This is my trusty steed, a Trek 830 (20" frame ) tamed into a commuter/touring bike. I bought it at the Ambridge Bike Shop for $379.95 on March 23, 1993 (I found the receipt.) It's a Cro-Moly, heavy and solid. It's taken years of abuse. I'm heavier than bike riders usually are - think Clydesdale and be gracious - but this one's done very well for me.

When I went to buy my first adult bike in 1993, I weighed 285 pounds and was worried about bending a frame, so I bought a mountain bike. I should have bought a 700c hybrid commuter. But since then I've changed the wheels, tires, gear, bar, stem, and seat -- the frame's the same -- and it's an excellent trail bike / commuter. But I wish it had 700C wheels.

My Bike It's a tank and I love it. I don't usually keep the panniers on it. I do keep fenders on the bike all the time.

Outline of this page (click to go directly to any section)


My Buying Decision
I really wanted a bicycle but at the time I weighed about 285, so I was very concerned about frame strength, which pushed me in the MTB direction. I don't ride on mountains, I don't go off-road except for trails. I'm not a bunny-hopper.

^ top ^


First Wreck Upgrade Opportunity

Right after I bought it a truck forced me off Route 18 and I rode it into a stand of trees and taco'd both wheels at 40 mph, and it rode again. Since I needed to replace the OEM wheels, I used rims and tires that were not as wide, and replaced the brakes to match the new tires.

^ top ^


Easy Seat Seat (the primary interface)
The seat is a bit non-standard, it's an "Easy-Seat".
Click here for more about this seat.
(Click here to order one.)
^ top ^

Gear Combinations


2004 Gear Inch Chart, based on 26" outer wheel diameter fn=Front/Rear*26
Front Chainring34 G292420171513

This is my 2004 gear pattern. I needed a new bottom
bracket, and Ambridge Bike Shop changed out the front
chainrings in an attempt to improve climbing. I love
the low end and it's worth the small loss in the high gear.

S 2418222631 374248
M 36283239 47556272
L 46354150 60708092
^ top ^


Cadence Computer

In 2003 I upgraded my cyclocomputer to an CatEye CD100 Astrale, the major benefit of which is a simultaneous display of pedal cadence (57.8 rpm in the photo) and speed (19.5 mph in the photo). I've been working on my climbing (which I'm not good at) and I love the always-on cadence display.

When you focus on cadence riding you just attempt to continue turning the pedals at your "sweet spot"- for me it's 85 rpm on my mountain bike and 90rpm on my road bike. Then you just switch gears so as to maintain your target cadence.

I recommend having a shop install it; wiring and location of cadence sensors is notoriously difficult, in fact some shops prefer not to do them, but they're wonderful for improving your climbing technique.

cadence cycle computer
^ top ^


Night Gear

     ( link to Night Riding page )
For night riding, which I do on-road, I have a VistaLite Code15 rig with two headlamps (5w and 10w) for the front, and I carry two Nightsticks when I ride at night. I also keep a reflective yellow/orange "slow vehicle" triangle (buy one here or here) on the back of my rear rack bag.

RealLiteIn 2004 I added a mega-rear light, a RealLite, I bought mine here, they're also here. They're heavy but it's the best and biggest (4" by 6") rear bike LED light I've seen. I want the person who runs me over to feel very guilty, even if the BSG's think it's a bit Fred-like.

^ top ^


August 2004 Tweaks

Following up on our Pittsburgh-DC bike trip, I had a problem in my left hand which was diagnosed as an ulnar neuropathy in Guyon's Canal, which is to say that my hand is still tingling, painful, and numb some ten weeks later.

So I've modified the handlebars to put less weight on my hands, using an adjustable stem, handlebars with a bit of rise on the ends, and barends attached to the raised handlebar grips-- it elevates my hands about 5 inches.

I've also invested in an Expedition Rack from Jandd Mountaineering, it's 3 inches longer than a standard bike rack, which allows you to move the panniers aft and get a significant amount of additional heel/pannier clearance.

These panniers are Avenir Excursion Large panniers, 2100 cubic inches.

^ top ^


2005 Tweaks

I have grown tired of two things: flat tires and chain suck. I've gotten better at avoiding flats by riding a little bit smarter, but from what I've read at BikeForums.net the Schwalbe Marathons are the tires that won't go flat unless they really need to, so I've gotten a pair of new tires.

In my attempt to avoid chain suck, which stinks because it's a dirty greasy problem that often involves lifting/tilting the bike, I've added a Third Eve Chain Watcher. These are often de-rided as non-serious, but if it's good enough for Lennard Zinn, I've got to try it.

Dec. 2005 Bike Porn

Here's a December 2005 picture of my Trek 830:

The orange flag with the reflector is something I bought in a Paris bike shop - lots of riders use them, they fold against the water bottles when not in use, then fold out and lock into place perpendicular to the frame and extend to the rider's left. I don't often use it, but when I'm riding at night or in low-vis conditions (rain) I'm impressed at the additional space that cars give me (although I'll also take the full lane when necessary).

This picture also shows:

  • my bullwinkles by Madden Mountaineering, which are like blankets sewn around the handlebars.
  • The reflective stripe on the Schwalbe Marathon tires.

March 2006 Bike Pictures

Dashboard shot showing cold-weather pogies, AirZounds horn, Cateye Astrale 8 computer. Dog repellant in right side of bag; one of two headlights visible on right side of fork.   Rear view showing xenon strobe mounted on dropout, Cateye TL-LD1000 and Reflective Triangle, and flip-out plastic flag.   Nighttime view from behind, no flash or streetlight, showing relative brightness of xenon strobe compared to 10-LED Cateye TL-LD1000.

June 2006 Bike Pictures

 This is the bike outfitted for our Passage / C&O ride. Handlebar bag is gone, aero bars are in. The mesh bag holds my GPS, cellphone, and digital camera; the bento box holds snacks.

< < note the Zefal third water bottle bracket on the down tube, and the 3M diamond-grade consipicuity tape on the fenders.

home    about    bikes    planning    trips  /  rides       winter    night       rain       gps    commute             links       contact    ^ top ^