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There are tons of forum posts across the internet about refurbishing 80s and 90s steel hybrids and mountain bikes, turning them into tourers, commuters, and gravel bikes. Why do people love these bikes so much? For me, it's the versatility and durability of old steel frames for city riding, and the fact that they can be picked up relatively cheaply on Craigslist and other local online marketplaces.

Trek first introduced the Multitrack in 1990 as a cross between a mountain bike and a road/touring bike. The 750 was designed with the same geometry as the classic Trek 520 touring bike of the same year, but with the flat bars and wide tires of a mountain bike. If you can find one, scoop it up; early Multitracks make rewarding rebuild projects and great bikes overall.


The 1990 Trek 750 has attachment points for days: for front and rear fenders and two water bottle cages and a rear rack and mid-fork mounts for a front pannier rack.

It's a lugged steel frame, which means it can hold plenty of weight for commuting or touring and withstand the abuse of city riding. These frames have held up well for decades and can go for many more if they're taken care of.

They came stock with 35mm tires, and there's room to go wider for an even cushier ride.

The original Suntour XCM 3 x 7 drivetrain on the bike I picked up still worked really well. And while some people think that having three front gears in front is fussy and outdated, I find the gear range of this old school setup to be helpful for climbing hills.

Before and after

Before: Aside from mismatched tires and clunky saddle, this bike was in great shape.
After: Ready for the next 30 years!

Parts list

Since this bike came with mostly original parts, it was time to replace the 30-year-old consumables. I installed new:

  • Tires: 700 x 35mm Panaracer Paselas
  • Cables and housing: I like the Jagwire kits linked below since they have all the little bits and pieces you'll need:
  • Fresh new brake pads
  • Cushy black handlebar tape

And I got the following good condition used parts from a local bike shop for the drop bar conversion:

  • Ritchey stem
  • Ritchey handlebars
  • Tektro brake levers

I had the 7-speed Suntour Barcon bar end shifters from a previous project. I kept the stock Matrix Titan wheels and Suntour XCM drivetrain that came with the bike over 30 years ago since they were still in great shape.

Long live the 1990 Trek 750!

Have you built up an old Multitrack? Let us know in the comments below.

More build photos

A trial run with a different saddle, kickstand still on, and before bar tape.