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For old Treks, 27.2 is the most common, but for other bikes the diameters can range from 25mm to 33mm.
The rear derailleur can often be dated to a year or two by referring to the book "The Dancing Chain - History and Development of the Derailleur Bicycle", by Frank Berto, 3rd edition 2009.
This makes dating the components an interesting archeological investigation, but one not necessarily related to the date of the bike. Trek owner Larry Osborn made this observation, and suggested this as a supplementary way of dating a Trek (and other bikes as well).
But this guide was created to help you navigate your way through all those adjectives and shed the only light you’ll ever need on an otherwise confusing, strenuous experience.For example, the back of cranks are usually marked with crank arm length in mm, typically in the range of 165 to 185.Seatposts are marked with outside diameter, also in mm.Pull the lever and look inside the top of the lever arm for a code such as "1084." Dia-Compe extension levers (yuck) also tend to have date codes on the side that faces the brake hood.I have a set of Dia-Compe mountain levers where if you pull the lever all the way, a piece of the lever is exposed, which has a clock-type date code.
Even those equipped with Suntour Superbe components usually had SR seatposts.