This is a great old frame. It almost got away at one point, but it was meant to stay. It's cool to think that just 20 years ago a silver-brazed lugged frame with thin-walled, standard gague tubing was being made in America as a production bike. This was Trek's top of the line touring bike in 1983. It's made with Reynolds 531c tubing, has long chainstays, a low bottom bracket and lots of trail.
I had a Rivendell Quickbeam for a little over a year. It was a fantastic bike that encouraged me to ride fixed on all surfaces. In fact, my favorite riding for the Quickbeam was on single-track and in traffic -- sort of fast, swoopy, sprinty riding. The Quickbeam was tough with its oversized tubing, but I've really been convinced lately that standard diameter and thinner gauge tubing makes a big difference in "liveliness" or "feel" of a bike. So, this 720 was a great conversion for me: similar geometry to the Quickbeam but with the tubing I prefer.
I also really like that it's an American made bike. That resonates with me more than it has in the past. I must be getting old.
I moved all the Quickbeam bits to this frameset and it's about the perfect fixed go-anywhere bike. Aside from being fun on trails and in traffic, it does well on longer hauls too. I'm looking forward to doing the ride to my father's house on this bike, as well as some overnighters. Since building it up, I've taken it on the highdrive trails just about once a day.
Here's the brochure page for the bike in the 83 catalog: http://www.vintage-trek.com/TrekBrochure1983Part2.htm#page14.
Here's the geometry for the bike: http://www.vintage-trek.com/images/trek/1983/83Trek3.jpg.
Component-wise, there's nothing really that interesting going on. It's basically the same stuff that was on my Quickbeam. There are two changes that I think are kind of interesting. First, I'm using a deepV rim. I wanted to use a 135mm axle in the rear and I wanted to go fixed. I like lockrings, so the Surly fixed/free 135mm hub was my only option. It only came in 32 holes. I'm paranoid about strong wheels. The Deep V is suppossed to be the bomb. So, I gave it a shot. Liza built up the wheel and so far I've punished it pretty good and it's holding up perfect. Is it the rim? or the builder?
Update: Nov 2007
Update: June 08
Updated Jan 2008.
This bike has pretty much become my ice bike. There's a quick description of the icy bikiness set up on my blog.