Words and photos by Andrew Norris (@diplomacytourpro)
Heyo! I’m Andrew, and I currently reside in Portland, Oregon, where I do marketing for a SaaS company. Up until a couple of years ago, I was primarily a bike commuter who logged about 100 miles a week on a poorly maintained singlespeed. Then, a Surly Orge purchase in 2020 became a gateway drug to my current biking interests: commuting, mellow bikepacking, and progressing on my hardtail MTB (which I also built up after learning from this project!).
This bike was my dad’s. It’s an ~’81 Trek 410. Having neither the budget nor the space for a quiver of sweet bikes, I decided to make this my new commuter/bikepacking bike in lieu of having to sell my Ogre to fund my hardtail build. For the readers out there, I had zero previous experience with bike building or bike maintenance. This bike taught me everything I now know (shout out to RJ the Bike Guy’s YouTube channel), however mediocre my skills may still be.
My three main goals for the bike were 1). Fit the largest tires I could on it, 2). Make it a 1x drivetrain, and 3). Leverage existing/used parts as much as possible. I’m very pleased with the final build. The ride is super smooth on a variety of surfaces. Additionally, given the number of bikes in circulation, I hope this post inspires other people to think differently about the potential of these rather generic models.
- Frame/Fork ~1981 Trek 410
- Rims Sta-Tru 650b
- Hubs Sta-Tru
- Tires WTB Resolute 650x42mm
- Handlebars Craigslist Score w/ ESI Chunky Grips
- Headset Original Trek with used quill/threadless adapter
- Crankset SRAM Apex, 40T chainring
- Pedals MKS Lambda
- Cassette Falcon 9spd Freewheel, 14-42
- Derailleur Microshift Advent
- Brakes Dia-Comp with free parts bin levers
- Shifter(s) Microshift Advent
- Saddle Brooks Flyer (Old anniversary gift)
- Seatpost Whatever came stock on my Surly Ogre
- Stem Parts Bin, 120mm, installed upside down for no rise
- Front bags Restrap Large Bar Bag
- Rear bags Restrap Small Panniers
- Accessory bags Dakine Hot Laps Hip Pack with 2L Reservoir
- Rack Original “Jim” Blackburn rack
Lastly, a couple of build notes for anyone who might be curious: I stretched the rear axle from 126mm to 135mm, the original cable mounting hardware is one of my favorite details, and my original rebuild actually featured a SRAM NX crank with a Wolf Tooth 36t chainring and can be seen on my Instagram. The crank is now on my MTB, and the chainring (non-boost) is for sale! With the switch to the Apex, my chainline is only about ~1mm off.
You can follow along with Andrew on Instagram @diplomacytourpro.
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