I left early one morning to buy this bike from a gentlemen in Wicker Park who promised to hold the bike for me despite having had many other inquiries. It was initially very dirty and needed a decent amount of work. There was a great deal of dried limestone and grit on the rims and surrounding the BB shell. I didnt expect it to clean up so nicely, though.

After stripping, reassembling, and dressing the bike up I was very content with the turn out. It was a 22 inch frame so I was able to ride it semi comfortably.

It took about 2 weeks for this bike to sell which is probably the longest time Ive waited for a bike to sell since last winter. Ive noticed that the prices of bikes have gone up slightly but the quality and workmanship has definitely remained sub par. There is just not a lot of great deals out there for people which kind of baffled me when this Trek didnt sell in a matter of days.

I finally had a young man from Ireland inquiry on the bike. He turned out to be the best person to own the bike. He had knowledge of bikes and an appreciation for 80s steel road bikes, having rode a few in Ireland.

It doesnt scare me that it took that long to sell but the down season is definitely here.


I responded to an add that advertised several bikes being for sale at Judson College here in Elgin, Il. Apparently, the two security guards on campus had been collecting bikes that the students were abandoning after their semesters were over and selling them out of a storage space on campus. My dad and I sifted through their collection but were only interested in a Kona MTN Bike and this Trek that had been rattle canned to death.

A woman who had came across the blog wanted an a bike built by us but really wanted the final product to pop. She was on the shorter side so this frame was ideal. Even though we really werent sure what model Trek this was, we were able to make out the writing ‘Ishiwata’ on the seat tube, I believe. That was enough to assure us that the steel was quality and worth using for a project. It took sometime to get rolling but once I took it over to the project was a breeze…sort of.

Out of the three frames we have had powdercoat for us, this frame turned out the nicest, in my opinion. My opinion is in regards to the color detail that the camera really wasnt able to capture. I really loved looking at the finish. It was a mesmerizing green. The only downsize to the job was their lack of masking. This was the third time I had to have the bottom bracket shell rethreaded, along with the eyelets and the bottler holder threads. Luckily, I was able to take the frame over to a friend who has been working with bikes for over 20 years so he was fortunately able to clean their mess up for me.

I dont want to bash their work because its actually quite good but having to have this extra work done just to reassemble the bike isnt worth our time.

Anyway, once the frame was ready to go I quickly assembled it and took some beautiful photos.

This was the clean and fresh look I had in mind.

I used a set of George’s 700c’s with some CST Super HP tires and a Shimano 18 tooth freewheel. Also used a pair of lovely Nitto bars, Nitto stem, and a beautifully riveted saddle.

The buyer was thrilled. She really had something completely different in mind but was extremely pleased with the turn out.

I am actually in the process of building her uncle a bike in a similar style. He also wants a frame powdercoating.

Such a gorgeous build.


My dad had been corresponding with someone out of Rockford, Il who was selling a Trek Soho frameset. I didnt know anything about them, not even what they looked like but my dad seemed excited to be buying it. The seller was a friendly guy who had stripped the bike down and was selling the parts from it before he moved to Chicago. He told us he mainly used it to get around town and after doing more research on Soho’s, thats exactly what they are meant for.

This is how they look like stock:

Sort of a stylish light weight city commuter, stripped of gears. I like the idea of their intended use but wanted to flare the bike up a bit so I decided to use pair of Ritchey ergo bars and stem wrapped with sleek silver carbon wrap.

We used a set of aero 700c wheels that were laced to heavy duty mountain bike hubs, making the bike very appropriate for hard city commuting.

Overall we put a lot of new components in the bike and definitely gave it a brand new look.

The evening we finished the bike, a couple friends of mine (one who did not have a bike) went out riding. My bike-less friend was a perfect fit on the Soho so we were all able to have some fun riding around Chicago. I was able to sell the bike the very next morning.

Very attractive bike and definitely appropriate for the city.


My father had bought this bike from a retired mechanic in Crystal Lake, Il. It had belonged to his wife but was not ridden for nearly 10 years. It was still properly maintained and well kept, so when we brought it home it needed very little work.

After going through the bike, we rebuilt it, gave it new tubes, tires, and a new saddle and that was really it.

The bike is beautiful but that goes without being set. It was light as ever really. The componentry was all stock but in great working condition. The Shimano Lite Action Derailluer shifted like a charm and I was able to rip through the trails swiftly.

Before selling to a girl in the loop who was going to use it for light touring, I probably put 60 miles on the bike. It really considered keeping it but I still have my Langster on layaway and I really need to pay that off…

The buyer was very happy with the bike but thats to be expected with a ride that pretty.


This was quite the find. I was at a Goodwill in Carpentersville killing time before dinner plans and saw this bike out of the corner of my eye.

There was a man on the phone standing next to it and had his hand on the handlebars. When I approached the bike the man actually walked away and I noticed the price tag hanging from the top tube. $30. What a deal! I snapped a quick picture and emailed it to my dad. I rolled the bike over to clerk and promptly paid for it but asked if they could hold it because I didnt have a bike rack or any room in the car I was in.

My father drove to the Goodwill and picked the bike up for me later that evening. He had recently bought a Wright saddle and it looked perfect on the bike. I really should have kept this bike for myself but I sold it the next day for $375 and was told by a couple people that I under priced it.

I sold it to a young lady who met up with me with her boyfriend who was riding a very nice Surly Longhaul. They mentioned that they were looking to bike from Chicago to some where northern Michigan. She loved so I was glad but since then I have had an itch to find a really nice touring specific bike.