Readers’ Rides: Wheel Simple’s Trek Commuter


Readers’ Rides: Wheel Simple’s Trek Commuter

There’s a theme often repeated in our Readers’ Rides segment and that’s adaptive reuse of older bikes. This week’s submission comes from Richmond, Virginia’s Wheel Simple Bicycle Repair. Read on below as Robbie walks us through his Trek commuter…

Where to begin? I’d been a single bike single-speed Robbie for a whole year by the time I started missing the river, gravel, and the freedom for risky behavior in general. But I told myself that not spending any money is more important. Having the space was more important. So I continued on for another year. My 4-year-old bike shop is only 588 square feet, me-and-my-wife’s house (see what I did there? It’s not a grammar problem if it’s hyphenated ;) is only 800 square feet, and let’s face it, when I started the shop I was in debt and only took home $16k the first year. I had no business riding anything but the most simple of rigs.

I was also taught that humility in all things is a big part of good stewardship. I don’t want to tell my clients every day that I’m better than them. I don’t want to show off in any way, so why have a loud paint job or fancy parts? Lovely clothes, or good shoes for that matter. Just why?

Well, right now, I miss the versatility of gears and larger tires. I miss the permission it gives to fuck off, to go fast, to be a little rougher, and go farther. I’m learning frame fabrication and alteration, I’m learning about paint, and I have all these friendly accounts, and nobody seems to know about it. But aside from all that, at the end of the day, I work really hard, and I want something nice and different and unique for me.

I took this old Trek frame from the 80s I had been saving as a spare in the case of a crash or theft, moved the bridges, widened the rear, put canti posts on it, built up a fork with a crown lug that takes up less space, painted it as chaotic as I could with Montana Cans, and assembled a dyno lit, 1×11 Sram driven, Shimano brakes, geared thinga-ma-bob. I just had extra Huffy decals I didn’t have any other use for, LOL.

It rides totally fantastic, and I am now a sometimes fast & saucy and a sometimes slow & steady Robbie now that I have two bikes again. It’s like I containeth multitoids!

Thanks for looking.

Build Specs:

  • Frame: 80’s Trek 56cm c-c frame
  • Lights: Supernova lights
  • Drivetrain: NX shifter and derailleur
  • Brakes: Shimano Alivio brakes, and Avid levers
  • Cranks: 165mm Sram road double crankset with a x-sync ring on it
  • Wheels: Kasai and White Industries hubs, Velocity Quill rims
  • Headset: Tange
  • Seatpost: Thomson
  • Saddle: Selle San Marco Concor saddle
  • Stem: Origin8 stem
  • Tires: Panaracer Gravelking SS+ 38mm
  • Bars: Sunlite bars
  • Grips: Ergon



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!