Monday, November 11, 2013

1989 Trek 420 Between an Overhaul & Restoration

Trek 420 - Bicycle - After
Trek 420 - Bicycle Before
Sorry for the lack of posts lately and updates of posts. I have had a ton of bike work into the fall and fall design classes started. Now finally catching up and will update older posts soon.

Today I started work on a 1989 Trek 420.  The 420 is in good shape so it lies somewhere between an overhaul and a total restoration.  I love the Treks from the late 80's, they are very well made bicycles that are fast and lite steel.  This is also the time when index shifting on the rear came into its own.  You can see previous restorations in the blog of the Trek 400 and Trek 330 from that era.

This Trek 420 is a very nice charcoal color with the lite blue markings.  The plan for the 420 is to replace all the cables and cable housings with fresh bright white cable housings along with new bar tape.  The bike will be completely disassembled, polished out and bearings replaced and greased.

I started as always completely disassembling the bike.  The frame was dirty and greasy but did not show up well against the charcoal color in photos.  The frame polished very nice with only a few minor chips and scratched that will be easy to touch up.

Trek 420 - Bicycle Before

Trek 420 - Frame & Shift Levers Before

Trek 420 - Rear Wheel & Derailleur - Before

Trek 420 - Rear Wheel Hub - Before

Trek 420 - Front Wheel Hub - Before

Trek 420 - Front Brake Caliper - Before

Trek 420 - Front Derailleur & Crank Set
Trek 420 - Frame Cleaned & Polished

Trek 420 - Frame Polished - Bottom Bracket
As soon as I disassembled the components I put the bottom bracket and headset components into the crock pot for removing the old sticky grease.  Both the headset and bottom bracket polished beautifully, I am very happy with that and I really like the headset.  The headset is well made and has the rubber o-rings to help seal the headset.

Trek 420 - Headset Components - Before
Trek 420 - Headset Components Polished
Trek 420 - Headset Bearings Cups - Pressed
Trek 420 - Headset Bearings Packed in New Grease
Trek 420 - Headset Complete
Trek 420 - Bottom Bracket - Before
Trek 420 - Bottom Bracket - Polished
Trek 420 - Bottom Bracket - Packed in Grease
Trek 420 - Bottom Bracket Complete

Next came polishing the handlebars and stem.  The stem and handle bars are in good shape, the stem did have a little corrosion which with some polishing turned out very nice.

Trek 420 - Stem & Handlebars - Before
Trek 420 - Stem & Handlebars Polished
Trek 420 - Stem & Handlebars Complete
Trek 420 - Headset, Stem & Bottom Bracket - Complete
With the basic frame complete I am starting work on the wheels.  The Wheels are very nice Matrix wheels.  The bearings are a little worn and will be replaced.  The grease is very sticky and old, the components went right into the soapy water crock pot.  The cassette is the early type that requires two chain whips to remove it.

Trek 420 - Rear Wheel - Before

Trek 420 - Rear Hub - Cassette Removed

Trek 420 - Rear Wheel Components - Before

Trek 420 - Rear Wheel - Old Sticky Grease
With the rear wheel hub cleaned I packed the bearings in grease and reassembled the wheel.  I then trued the wheel and installed it.  The wheel spins smooth and will be a very fast wheel.  The tires are new 25mm continentals.

Trek 420 - Rear Wheel Hub - Cleaned
Trek 420 - Wheel Bearings Packed
Trek 420 - Rear Wheel Complete
Trek 420 - Cassette Cleaned
Trek 420 - Cassette Installed
The front wheel is in just as good shape as the rear.  I cleaned and polished the wheel, trued the wheels and installed new bearings and grease.  The front wheel spins perfectly.

Trek 420 - Front Wheel - Before
Trek 420 - Front Wheel Hub
Trek 420 - Front Wheel Complete
Trek 420 - Wheels Installed
I really like the brake levers on the Trek 420 from this era.  They are very good quality and well designed. The levers polished beautifully and the white hoods cleaned up perfectly and are still not dried out.

Trek 420 - Brake Levers - Before

Trek 420 - Brake Levers - Polished

Trek 420 - Brake levers - Installed
The derailleurs are in great shape. They only took a good cleaning, lubricating and a little polishing.

Trek 420 - Rear Derailleur - Before

Trek 420 - Rear Derailleur - Cleaned & Polished
Exploded View

Trek 420 - Rear Derailleur - After

Trek 420 - Front Derailleur - Before

Trek 420 - Front Derailleur - After

Trek 420 - Front Derailleur - Installed

The seat post is a very nice one ad the Trek 420 is being equipped with a Brooks Flyer Saddle.  The seat post polished to a mirror finish.

Trek 420 - Seat Post - Before

Trek 420 - Seat Post - After

Trek 420 - Seat Post - Installed

Trek 420 - Brooks Saddle - Installed
The brake calipers are very nice, they are not dual pivot but a very good caliper brake.  The brake calipers where just a little dirty.  I cleaned and polished the calipers and applied a slight pit of oil to the moving pivots. The calipers look great installed to the frame.

Trek 420 - Brake calipers - Before

Trek 420 - Brake Calipers - After

Trek 420 - Front Brake Caliper - Installed

Trek 420 - Rear Brake - Installed
Flying along so far on the Trek 420.  Just leaves the chain to be installed, the crank set and the cables and handlebar tape.  I am excitedly waiting to test ride the bicycle.

The chain was almost brand new, it did take a good cleaning and an oil soak, but still almost new.  The crank set is a triple Bio-Pace crank.  The Bio-Pace crank was very popular in the 1980's, not so much now, but I have always liked it.  I had near 30,000 miles on one on my old 1985 Cannondale.  I cleaned the crankset and hand polished it.  I hand polished the crank because it has a non mirror finish texture to it. This keeps it from being able to polish it on the bench top buffer.

Trek 420 - Crank Set - Polished

Trek 420 - Crank Set - Installed
As always, I installed new cables and cable housings along with new handle bar tape.

Trek 420 - New Cables, Housings & Handlebar Tape
Trek 420 -  Cables - Installed
Trek 420 - Handlebar Tape - Installed
Last is the pedals.  The pedals are nice Shake pedals.  The pedals are in great shape and just took a good cleaning and lubricating.

Trek 420 - Pedals - Before

Trek 420 - Pedals - After

I finished the Trek 420 around 5:00 today when it was already dark. I did a quick short test ride as I did not want to put lights on the bicycle.  It rides fast and smooth!! I will ride it more in the morning and hopefully get some good light tomorrow for final photos.

Trek 420 - Bicycle Finished
I gave the Trek 420 a good test ride this morning.  It was brutally cold but the bike performed beautifully.  I am very impressed with the Trek 420. The shifting is quick and crisp, the bike it tight and fast!  It does seem slightly heavier then the Trek 330 I restored a couple of months ago but the solid tight feel of the Trek 420 more then makes up for it.

Final photos below.

Thanks for looking,
John Z.
Trek 420 - Bicycle Finished - side View

Trek 420 - Bicycle Finished - Angle View

Trek 420 - Bicycle Finished - Cockpit

Trek 420 - Bicycle Finished
Front View

Trek 420 - Bicycle Finished - Top Half

Trek 420 - Bicycle Finished - Drive Train

Trek 420 - Bicycle Finished
Brooks Saddle


  1. NICE..just brought one home myself today,November 16 2018. Its in almost identical shape as yours.. all the same components..same color scheme,rims everything. dont know if i will put a 150 dollar brooks saddle on it but it wont be off a chinese walmart huffy either! Im gonna putz around with it throughout the winter and take my time

  2. Very nice. I just bought an identical 420 a few weeks ago. How did you clean the brake hoods? Mine are so dirty/mildewed/I don't know what, that they almost look like they have a Dalmatian pattern. Can't get the crud off no matter what I try...

  3. @Rick Lange I have an I identical bike too but I just replaced the brake levers because the white was moldy. Also in my opinion white hoods and black bar tape dont really dlgo together.

  4. Hi John,
    I just acquired the same model but everything is original except the handle bars and stem. I've been trying to locate the correct parts but can't find a listing of the part numbers. Can you help please? Nice work by the way, looks great!