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Getting Back on the Bike - Where to Start?

I have a 1991 Trek 830 that I bought new. I rode it pretty regularly, even commuted with it, for the first year or two, but hasn't been ridden regularly in probably 15-16 years. It has all the original components and everything pretty much works.

The chain is dry and rusty, though, and the gear changers are a little finicky. The 'click' detents don't really line up with the gears and it sometimes won't change and then it'll jump two gears.

I want to do more riding this year so I need to get it back in good order. I really want to ride several times a week.

Where do I start and what should I look for in getting it 'tuned up'? I've heard that these 830s aren't the best bikes, but it's what I've got.

I have a 1990 (I think) Trek Antelope 820 and it is a lower model than the one you have. That bike was sitting in storage for a while and for over the last 3.5 years or so I probably have put more than 3000 miles on it. While they were not top of the line bikes, mine certainly has help up very well. The only problem I seem to have (imagine that) are with the gears doing some jumping and chain skipping.

If I were to give advice is to go over some of the tutorials on here such as the gear adjustment and chain lubrication and see how well it works. Also if you have some tools to use, look at re greasing the headset and overhauling the wheel bearings.

If you do not have tools, I would look into your local bike shop to see how much a tune-up is going to cost you. It will be a lot cheaper to do that than buy a bike that is better than your old Trek. I commuted on my old Trek and it did fine. If you still have the knobby tires the bike came with, I would recommend swapping them out with some 1.5" slicks as that will make a big difference.

Hope that helps.
Treat it to a new chain if the old one is rusty and stiff. (It could wear the cogs out quicker and also will help with gear changing.)

Adjust the gears : http://bikeride.com/adjust-rear-derailleur/

Try and clean the inner cables for the gears.

Lubricate the gear changers and all accessable bearings and joints.

Check the brakes are effective and release properly.

Check the tires for splits as if they have been stood for a long time they tend to degrade.

Now go ride and enjoy.
Ride hard or ride home alone!
Thanks. I've since read up some more and found plenty of folks who love these old Trek mountain bikes.
I've got tools and I'm pretty good with them. I had my old BMX bike apart many times in my school days and my hobby is working on my old Thunderbird (just rebuilt the front suspension), so I'm sure I can handle whatever needs done. I just don't know all the ins and outs.

Happy to help, Saulguod. I second CyclerUK and think changing the chain would be a good idea. If the chain is rusty and stiff, that can affect the shifting. Also, check the bottom bracket for play as mine really had problems with the chain coming off the front. I took it to a shop and they noticed it was bad and replaced it.

This site has saved me lots of money by fixing the bikes that I have not getting something new.

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