Readers’ Rides: Matt’s 1996 Trek Multitrack


Readers’ Rides: Matt’s 1996 Trek Multitrack

When someone says “hybrid bike,” chances are, old department store ATBs and comfort bikes with super high-rise stems come to mind. Yet, as Matt from St. Paul, Minnesota, shares with us in this edition of Readers’ Rides, they can be a lot more! Let’s check out his beautiful 1996 Trek Multitrack below…

I had a Multitrack project on my radar for a while. Hybrids can be more than an accessory for RV tourers. I was drawn to the idea of making it a “cool” bike, at least in the eye of this beholder.

Somewhere on the internet I saw a Multitrack resto-mod and some comments about how these bikes had lots of potential. You can find older models with good-quality steel, rigid forks, and tons of tire clearance. Revise the cockpit and some other key parts, and I’ve seen some setups for drop-bar gravel bikes and more upright flat-bar tourers. The latter description fits me well.

I bought this frame from a local seller in the fall of 2022. The bike was in really great shape and came with a big, wide gel saddle and a tall stem with riser bars on top of that. The frame is True Temper steel. The fork is chromoly as well, and a look at the 1996 catalog shows that the 730 had a bit more chro-mo than the lower-tier 720.

I set it up first with the Dajia Far Bar, but I ended up wanting something more upright. So I set out on a flat bar configuration. This too came in a couple forms. Initially, I rode the bike with some first-generation Velo Orange Crazy bars with the 45-degree sweep. Because thumb shifters interfered with the bullhorns, I used the stock grip shifters in that setup. I liked those just fine, but all the plastic around the grip shifters made things so chunky that I didn’t use the bullhorns that much, anyway.

So, presto change-o, I swapped in these Simworks Fun 3 bars and Velo Orange Grand Cru levers from another bike. I was motivated to finally use this Deore thumb shifter that I found for $5 in the used parts bin at The Hub Bike Co-Op in Minneapolis. It’s probably old news to most folks, but this shifter can be switched between indexed and friction modes. Love it!

Right now I’ve got some Ultradynamico Cava tires on board, and the Ergon parts support my wrists and bum. The saddle is probably the most expensive single part on the bike. The stem set up includes a Nitto stem adapter and threadless stem. I’d really prefer the single-piece quill stem, but those are tough to find with a 31.8 bar clamp these days. The brakes and Alivio drivetrain just needed a bit of love and are working admirably.

This bike rides straight and steady as ever. It’s a joy to take out on Twin Cities roads and trails, paved or otherwise. My riding style could be described as day touring, or maybe meandering, and this bike lets me put my attention on more than just the ground in front of me. The bike pairs well with the mountain groupset. It’s like an urban exploration bike – though I’m sure similar language has already been tossed around by bicycle marketing types.

Don’t sleep on those old 700c hybrids.

Build Spec:

  • Frame/Fork: Trek 730 Multitrack
  • Tires: Ultradynamico Cava JFF 700c x 42
  • Bars: Simworks Fun 3 Stealth
  • Stem: Nitto quill adapter / Dimension 80mm stem
  • Shifters: Deore 7spd thumb shifter (L), Sunrace friction thumb shifter (R)
  • Saddle: Ergon SM Pro
  • Grips: Ergon GA3
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Alivio, 11-28 7-speed rear and 42/34/24 front
  • Brakes: Acera cantis with Velo Orange Grand Cru levers
  • Pedals: Simworks Bubbly
  • Wheels: Matrix Astro with Acera-X hubs



We’d like to thank all of you who submitted Readers Rides builds to be shared here at The Radavist. The response has been incredible and we have so many to share over the next few months. Feel free to submit your bike, listing details, components, and other information. You can also include a portrait of yourself with your bike and your Instagram account! Please, shoot landscape-orientation photos, not portrait. Thanks!