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Dia-Compe cantilever brakes don't appear to have a date code, but supposedly the 981, 983, 986 brakes were first introduced in 1981, 1983, 1986, etc.Following Ben's lead - I checked three sets of Dia-Compe G calipers and all have the four-digit date code on the back of one of the arms.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.The two sets of Dia-Compe brake lever bodies I checked had the four-number date code stamped inside the lever body (I couldn't find any markings on the levers themselves).However, a Gran Compe set of calipers had no markings. For example, 1182 means the 11th week of the year 1982.[Atom] [Brooks] [Campagnolo] [Dia-Compe and Weinmann] [Huret] [Maillard] [Normandy] [Nitto] [SR (Sakae)] [Sachs-Huret] [Shimano] [Strong] [Sansin] [Sunshine] [Sun Tour (Maeda)] [Sugino] [Tange] [Williams] [Dancing Chain] [Saddles]The date of manufacture of a bicycle's components can often be used to determine the date of manufacture of the bike itself.Some bike parts have a date code cast or stamped into the piece.
Also gathered on this page are date codes decoded and generously provided by others.
)Most early Treks (1976 through about 1980) were sold as framesets.
The components were added by the local bike shop or by the buyer. Components also could be swapped from an existing ride to the new frameset.
Of course, all this assumes the bike has the original component.
The most likely components to be original are the stem, handlebars, seatpost, and brakes.
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).