Some people are drawn into restoring bicycles because of the excitement during the restoration process itself. You can make a solid plan as you like, but more than once, things weren't going according to it. A good friend once said, "When it comes to old bicycles, it's never the case of finding the bike that you really want. More than often, the bike finds you."
That sort of thing kind of happened to Aaron Tobias, the owner of this 1993 Trek 800. When he contacted us regarding his project for the first time, the plan was to breathe new life to an old Panasonic mountain bike frame. Then he stumbled upon a budget unbranded donor bike with hi-ten frame and full-on Shimano STX groupset installed, down to headset and hubs. Fallen in love with STX' titanium-brownish finish, Aaron snag it.
But upon learning that STX was Shimano's disbanded group from the nineties that was reserved somewhere under the Deore level, the plan to put them on the prized Panasonic frame quickly went out of the window. Especially when Aaron came across this Trek 800 frame. Although not sporting its original rigid fork, the entire frame (and the replacement fork) was already repainted in the dark forest green—the original colour worn by the frame when it left the factory at 1993—while still reserving the original decals.
The 800 Antelope was Trek's entry level mountain bike from the beginning of the nineties. Constructed from mild-weighted chromoly tubing, the Antelope is one of the good options available if you want to start your, er, trek into the mountain biking world. Considering the STX group are better than what Antelope was kitted with, and the fact that both the group and the frame came from the same decade, you can consider this build as an upgrade. A twenty years old overdue upgrade.
The Kalloy quill stem and Jagwire cable set was chosen to complement the colour of the STX group, and so does the Specialized lock-on grips that were bolted on both ends of the Nitto vintage flat bars. The toasted brakes were replaced with a set for Deore LX cantilevers. Lastly, the build was topped off with a Brooks B17 saddle, something that Sheldon Brown would approve.