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Restoring my Trek 800 Antelope
I've had this bike since I was in high school, got it about 16 years ago, and I haven't used it more than once a year in a very long time. It was stored in garages or on balconies (near the ocean) so it has quite a bit of rust on the gears, sprockets, and exposed nuts.

I restored the chain so that every hinge is moving and goes around fairly smooth. When I try to shift, the shifters either don't respond or I really have to force it to click just once. What do I need to do to loosen up the shifters? I also want to adjust the brakes, I know they were squeaky even when I used to ride it often.

I have some regular tools, nothing serious and no bike-specific tools.
With the shifters I would initially disconnect the cable from the derailleurs and brakes.
Then try the shifters by pulling on the cables with one hand, while operating the shifter/brake with the other hand.
The idea is find whether it's the shifter, cable, derailleur or all three, that is causing the problem
You can move the derailleurs mech's also by hand to see if they are moving freely.
There is a chance that the cables are rusted inside but again you can tell by pulling on them.
Have a look at Alex's tutorials:-
Ride hard or ride home alone!
Quick check/fix for cable issues is to drip some chain lube onto the cables just at the point where they go inside the housing. Ideally, prop the bike up so gravity will push the lube down inside the housing better and operate the shifter/brake levers occassionally to help work the oil in. It may not be the only problem, but it's a safe bet you have some corrosion inside the cables. This MAY improve it without having to detach the cable and then readjust everything. But CyclerUK's process is the correct one to really diagnose what's happening.

On the brakes, first lightly sand the surface of the brake pad to take off any glazing. Clean the braking surface on the rim with rubbing alcohol or something else that won't leave a residue. If that doesn't fix it, you may need to "toe in" the brake shoes so the leading end of the shoe hits the rim before the back end. Usually a millimeter or two of distance to the rim will fix it. If you haven't changed the brake pads in a few years, you might want to get fresh ones. You'll probably get much better braking with new pads. Also check your tires for any big cracks/splits. Rubber breaks down, especially when exposed to weather/UV light.
I did watch some of the tutorials last night and they have been helpful.

i removed the cables for both gears since they are pretty rusty. I was able to move them manually but I figured why not just replace them now then have to do this again. Without either of the gear shifts hooked up, I rode the bike and noticed when I pushed, the bike was shifting gears on its own.

I also noticed that the chain itself was not moving to any other sprockets but it was still shifting. any ideas what that was from?

Also, the chain is rubbing on part of the crank (with and without the gear cables connected).
(02-23-2010, 04:42 PM)SaveTheClockTower Wrote:  I also noticed that the chain itself was not moving to any other sprockets but it was still shifting. any ideas what that was from?

Also, the chain is rubbing on part of the crank (with and without the gear cables connected).

The chain shifting is probably still due to stiff links.
If you really had to free off all the links then I would look at getting a replacement chain.

It's not unusual for a chain to rub on the back of the big ring.
Especially if it's running from inner ring front to small sprocket at the back.
Ride hard or ride home alone!
Also the chain might be worn, this lead to the chin skipping. The bike has been exposed to salty air for a long time, I'd probably replace chain and sprockets.
nothing went right tonight. I didn't get any new metal caps to crimp on the end of the new shift cables. one of the ferrels broke so I can't finish that cable. Plus, I couldn't get the cable to stay in the left hand gear shift. The right one had a spot for the barbed end of he cable to go but the left side doesn't seem to have anything. What a pain!
As for replacing the sprockets....how do I measure it to make sure I get the right replacement?
I wouldn't bother with the sprockets just yet. You will possibly need a special tool/s to remove the old set.
You say that the bike has hardly been used so, unless really rusted, they should be still in good shape.
Gently clean any surface rust off them and coat with some oil.
I would still fit a new chain though.
If the rear gears still slip then yes you will need new sprockets.

You could take the bike to your local bike shop and they will tell you if the sprockets need changing.
You could get your chain from them while your there.

If you decide to change the chain yourself then you will need a "chaintool".
You will need the tool to be able to take the old chain apart and also you may have to take a few links out of the new chain.
Ride hard or ride home alone!
You don't have to crimp the ferrules to the housing. Could you post a pic of the left hand shifter? I don't understand the problem. The cable ends are also not really needed for the shifter to work, though it looks better.
I'm not sure how to get the shift cable's tension correct. I tried pulling the cables as hard as I could while tightening the screw onto the cable but there is still too much slack in the cable when I adjust the gears.
For the rear I put the chain on one of the middle sprockets and put the barrel adjuster to a middle position. Without pedaling I shift to the smallest sprocket (highest gear), the derailléur will try to follow but is hindered by the chain. I then pull the cable taut and fasten it.
Regarding the barrel adjuster, mine fell off while I was removing the old shift cables and I can't find it so I need a new one. The rear derailleur is an Shimano Altus A20 and the front is a Shimano Altus C20. Is that enough info for a bike shop to give me a new one? Also, there appears to be one near the gear shifter for the front derailleur but I cannot turn it. Is that also something to replace?
Most probably the barrel adjusters by Shimano all have the same size. Go to the shop with the bike and give it a try.
The barrel adjuster on the right has probably been overtightened. Maybe try to get some oil on the threads?
As several of you have responded to my requests for information (inspiration) you know I'm trying to get an old Trek 7000 back into working order.

From the standpoint of someone who who has forgotten twice as much as I ever learned about bike repair, I would suggest replacing everything that's supposed to be replaced. In what kind of condition are the tires and tubes? If the pads hadn't been replaced in such a long time, why not? Another 5 or ten bucks to avoid careening into traffic, that's why not. I know from investigation that chains aren't all that terribly expensive.

In the end, I guess, spend a few extra bucks to make your bike safe, not simply serviceable.

I'm going to.

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