High schooler builds dumpster Trek Multitrack hybrid bike into 29er mountain bike of the 1990s.
Steel 90's mountain bikes are great, but so are 29ers. That’s why I built this 1992 Trek Multitrack to be the 29er mountain bike of the 90's that never existed. It slays singletrack, conquers commutes, and begs for bikepacking.
Starting from the frame, I rebuilt the Multitrack with used modern parts from another hybrid bike found in a dumpster. This got the bike running while I slowly found the desired parts to complete the build.
Notable Parts and Improvements
Bullmoose Handlebars - Retro style and ultimate comfort
I found these bars in rough shape on a 1980's Schwinn mountain bike purchased for $35. I couldn’t decide on a color to paint these bars, but when I sanded them down it was clear the raw steel finish looked best on the bike. Clear coat was used to prevent rust.
WIDE 29er Mountain Bike Tires - Monster truck look and urban singletrack capability
I crammed the largest tires I could fit in the Multitrack’s frame and fork. I needed to true the front wheel to keep the tire from rubbing. I used a 2” wide tire in the front and a 1.8” wide tire in the rear.
Purple ESI Chunky Foam Grips - Decal color matching and wrist relief
This was my first time trying the ESI foam grips. I love how they dampen vibrations from gravel and singletrack while adding a splash of purple to match the retro Trek decals.
Avid Speed Dial Brake Levers - Modernized brakes
The crusty cantilever brakes were switched out for v-brakes. I installed updated Avid brake levers with adjustable pull in case I decide to switch back to cantilever brakes.
Vintage Touring Front Rack - Hauling gear for bikepacking and commuting
I got this old front rack at a garage sale for 2 dollars over the summer. Despite needing to innovate a solution to mount the rack on my fork it has held up well. It even carries my hockey skates for games of pond hockey.
3x7 to 2x8 Drivetrain Conversion - Didn’t need road bike gearing for tight singletrack
Using the 24 speed drivetrain from the donor hybrid bike, I modified it for mountain biking by removing the largest chainring. This increased the ground clearance and decreased the number of destroyed pants.
In total I spent less than 100 dollars building the Monstertrack. As awesome as expensive Chris King headsets and Paul Components are, this build proves that building a rad bike can be accessible. I hope that this build has inspired you to go out and build that old neglected bike.
Vote for me and follow as I test the Monstertrack on a variety of adventures to find what works, what doesn’t work, and how it can be improved.