My 1997 Trek Y11 Build

kjarrett

Retro Guru
Greetings all,

Popped over here after a Google search and found quite a few threads on Y-bikes so I thought I'd post about my current project. It's a '97 Y11 I got three months ago. Overpaid ($200 US!) but when I saw it I knew I had to have it. (This post is actually a recap much of which I've already posted on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/twozerodeltathree/)

Anyway, shock was blown when I got it, found a Fox Float RP2 on eBay and fitted that. Did a few other things (brake pads, longer stem, grips, other bits including some rare & correct carbon fiber Trek bar ends) and rode it happily (after disregarding so much hate from Internet folks who told me to burn in / throw it in the bin lol).

So now that it's winter it's time for a proper rebuild which began this week.

It's gone well so far; I've just rebuilt the Indy SL forks and replaced the elastomers, polished the URT and am now working on refinishing (polishing and decals) the carbon fiber monocoque frame. I usually get my decals from Gil at RetroDecals but this time I decided to give Velocals a go. Working through an issue with them now but suspect all will be right in the end (great customer service).

In the upgrade department I picked up (again, overpaid lol) a set of Mavic Crossmax MK1's in fairly good nick as you all say across the pond. Also found a System 4 saddle (that looks sweet but I will probably hate and end up going back to the heavy but very nice vintage Vetta Comfort I had in my parts bin.) My plan is to keep the bike basically stock as it's a rider and one of four I have so no real desire to go hog wild with upgrades. Just want to be able to ride and enjoy it for what it is. Would be nice to shave some weight but I'm not that concerned honestly.

Anyway I'll post more here but the Instagram above will get the more timely updates, if anyone's so inclined.

Cheers,

-kj-

Pic 0: as I got it on Facebook Marketplace
Pic 1: on the trails before the winter upgrade project
Pic 2: apart
Pic 3: Polished URT
Pic 4: Mavic Crossmax's and Smoke/Dart combo ready to go
 

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Retro Spud

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By modern standards my Orange X1 or your Y11 will be woefully out gunned in every dept

but like every bike on this forum (to a greater or lesser extent) it played it’s part in that evolutionary journey - admittedly some have undoubtedly aged better than others, so I just enjoy mine for what it is …… an outdated and outclassed 25yr bike from 1996 that makes me smile.

Yours looks like a Guitar and mine like a P7 cut and shut that’s fallen out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down - married with a back end that was copied by just about every pay later catalgue across the globe and sold as their budget full susser
 

kjarrett

Retro Guru
By modern standards my Orange X1 or your Y11 will be woefully out gunned in every dept
Right, no argument there but here's the thing - I honestly couldn't care less, and I have no intention of ever buying a 'modern' MTB, mostly because my tools, skills, knowledge (and riding ability!) are all limited to 90s era tech. Square taper BBs, 135mm axles, rim brakes, 580mm handlebars. :) I just have no interest whatsoever in anything "new" or "better." It's like the old guy down the street still driving a well-preserved 1970s era car that he likes to tinker with. Are more modern cars better in every way? Of course. Does he care? No. It's all about the experience, and for him, that old car is perfect, and it puts a smile on his face too. :)
 

kjarrett

Retro Guru
Preparing my Y11 for new decals has been an ordeal. Immensely satisfying, but an ordeal. Wanted to share my process in the hopes it might save someone some time and effort.

My heat gun, on the low setting, made short work of the decals themselves. Unfortunately, ALL of the adhesive was left behind. Great. Even better, since the frame was clear coated over the decals at the factory, there was a perceptible edge where the decals were, which would have been visible if not removed. Fantastic!

So, once I had the decals off, I laid a paper towel soaked with Goo Gone over top of it and let it soak for an hour. This softened the adhesive but in retrospect, more time would have helped; it still took quite a bit of rubbing to get all of the adhesive off completely, so I could proceed to the next step, removing the clear coat edge.

To do that, I thought about wet sanding, which would have been quicker and easier, but I don't have a lot of experience with that and was afraid I'd damage the paint. I happened to have some very excellent Meguiar's Ultimate Compound lying around and decided to try that. It ended up working well, but took a lot of rubbing. I mean a lot, lot, LOT of rubbing. Like, probably, all together, five hours! On the plus side, after having gone over the entire frame, it looks so much better. This Ice Inkwell Blue is probably my favorite Trek color. It's amazing.

Anyway, my Velocals decals should be here soon, looking forward to getting those on and proceeding with the rest of the build!
 

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kjarrett

Retro Guru
Ever get a little carried away with upgrades?😎

My Trek Y11’s winter rebuild wasn’t supposed to be a big deal. Service the fork, install some new decals, do the cables & housings. Keep it stock. It rode perfectly and always put a smile on my face the way it was. So why change anything?

Why? Because it’s so easy to sell the old parts to defray the cost of their replacements, that’s why! And when “parts bin upgrades” factor in, it’s even harder to resist.🤣

To be honest, the Mavic Crossmax MK1’s I got a while back were an extravagance (I plan to keep the original Matrix Guru’s as a backup wheelset), and the Origin8 bottom bracket was too. I just thought it would end there. Nope!🤣

Soon after I determined the GT Avalanche wouldn’t be sticking around, I realized its near-mint XT M739 rear mech would be right at home on the Y11. “Nice,” I thought to myself. “An XT/LX mix. That works!”👌

But that was just the beginning…🤣

I realized the LX M563 cranks would be a good upgrade from the STX-RC MC16s. But what about the shifters & levers? The LX M563s didn’t seem like the right choice, so I sourced a proper set of XT M739s. The same seller had a super nice XT M737 cassette, and XT M739 brakes. Can you see where this is going? By the time I was done, that LX M563 crankset just felt out of place, lol. The answer: a nice set of XT M737 crank arms I could use with the 42-32-22 chainrings from the LX set. Yup. Perfect!

But wait, there’s more…

That awesome seller I mentioned also happened to have an XT M739 front mech available for next to nothing, making the Y11’s drivetrain full XT. HELL YEAH!

Out of curiosity, I whipped up a spreadsheet to estimate what the finished bike might weigh. As it stands right now, after these upgrades, and some other things like the Rock Ring that won’t be back, the Y11 has a shot at coming in under 23 pounds, fully kitted. Unbelievable. We’ll see if we can make it happen…
 

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