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updates(10 posts)

May 26, 2003 8:34 AM
well, I didn't make it down to the bay area this weekend, but I did hit a few shops in Sac. I test rode a Lemond Poprad (size 55). It was nearly perfect. The only thing I was not 100% comfortable was the steering - a bit quick and twitchy for my commuting and light touring road desires (head angle = 72.5), though I'm sure it rocks when racing cross. No one else had any cross bikes on the floor, so I test rode a true touring bike (Fuji) just to see what the extreme "stability" geometry feels like in comparison. I didn't like it much at all. Not enough clearance (really low bottom bracket), top tube was too long, and overall the bike felt like a tank. Great for carrying 80lbs on really long trips, but my touring won't be such a focus of my riding, and will generally be light.

SO, I think I need a cross bike with geometry similar to the Poprad, but with a more relaxed head angle (I'm not sure if that's the right way to say it, because it's really a tighter head angle I need - maybe 71.5 - in order to acheive more stability).

I'll start talking to the steel frame makers you all have recommended to me this week to get a feel for prices, possibilities, and who I feel really comfortable working with. I'll post updates (and questions, I'm sure) . . . . AND, eventually, a picture of my new bicycle . . . .
re: updatesarctic hawk
May 26, 2003 11:14 AM
My first impression of my CX bike was that it did not feel quite right. After an hour, all was fine. Getting back on the road bike now feels weird...
Check out a Trek XO1, if you have time. I really love mine. Same equipment group as the Poprad.

Arctic Hawk
(my $0.02 worth)
Same group--Sora--same cheap stuff...YoGeorge
May 27, 2003 2:47 PM
Hi there:

See my post below on the Trek 520 as my choice. Sora is 8-speed low-end stuff, and to change either the Poprad or the X-01 over to 9-speed would cost a bunch. (Actually, the X-01 is a triple crank for 2002 and later, so it's a better group for most tourist types.)

A better choice is actually the LeMond Wayzata, which is a flat-bar Poprad with 9-speed Tiagra. Get a set of drop bars and 9-speed STI levers, and you've got a 9-speed Poprad for way less money than converting everything from Sora. Plus the wheels on the Wayzata are way cooler, and the bike is about the same price as the Poprad or X-01, or the Trek 520 for that matter. They're all $1000 bikes, and when you add up components, my faves are the 520 and the Wayzata. Of course there are other factors involved.

thought on your legginessatpjunkie
May 27, 2003 7:00 PM
this is where custom will help. you need a 55 ST or so with a 53 or 52 TT (in my guessing). with a shorter TT you can use a longer stem which will slow the sterring and reduce the twitchiness. A stock 55 Lemond which runs about a 55 TT will stretch you out too far and force you to use a short stem which will twitch the bikes handling. I think then the head angle won't be as much of an issue, but a good builder will work that factor in as well. In all reality with a 33" inseam you could ride close to a 56 ST c-c with the same short TT. %% will give more standover.
Maybe Smaller ...Gripped
May 27, 2003 7:22 AM
Try the Poprad in a 52 with a longer stem. That will slow down the steering and increase standover (if you care about that). I don't know how tall you are but unless you are over 5'10", a 55 seems kind of big.

Maybe Smaller ...funhoggin-gal
May 27, 2003 8:01 AM
I do need to try some smaller sizes, but I don't want to go too small. Based on traditional sizing (inseam X .67) I'm a "55.9" (my inseam is about 33" (83.5cm). This is the inseam many men 6' and taller have, so even though I'm barely 5'9" tall, I probably need a slightly larger bike than you would have guessed. 55's generally feel really good, but the next size smaller may be better, as it would decrease the top tube length in addition to the benefits you mentioned (I obviously have a short torso to deal with). I really like the geometry of the Airborne Carpe Diem, size 54. I'm thinking of going custom if I go with steel, because of my unusual (or at least extrememly female) proportions. Oh well, more later. Thanks for the suggestion . . . . .
If you decide to go with a custom steel,msmootsiemartin
May 27, 2003 10:42 AM
call Don Ferris at Anvil Bikes. I just picked up my new cyclocross bike from him this past Saturday and it is the most awesome bike I have ever ridden. The fit is right on. I went custom because of my size, short legs and longer reach. There is no stock frame that works well for me.
I am hoping to post pics and specs soon. If you have any specific questions, I can forward my email to you. I will be using my bike in a similar manner to you, general road riding, fire roads and light touring.

Long discussion--twitchiness, and my own pick last year....YoGeorge
May 27, 2003 1:39 PM
Hi there:
I've been riding for a long time (good old English steel frames for the last 25 years) and have a comment on your statement re the twitchiness of the Poprad. You seem to be tying the twitchiness to the head angle, where the measurement you really need to focus on is trail, which is a combination of fork offset and head angle. A slack head angle combined with a very long fork offset can make for a twitchy bike, and a steep angle with a low offset can make for a stable, if harder riding bike.

Last year I wanted a bike update as well, and wanted something like the old 72-73 degree "sport touring" geometry which could take larger tires for rougher touring rides and smaller tires for road hotrodding. For the larger tires, canti or v-brakes were the only logical solution.

The compromise I ended up with, despite ignoring it for years because it was so "stogy" in reputation, was a good old Trek 520 touring bike. (And I rode the Poprad, the X-01, and Bianchi Axis, Volpe, etc) Short top tube, the only measurement I don't like is the long chainstays, but it makes for a smooth ride on long tours. I had a 2nd pair of wheels built up (LX hubs and MA-3 rims) for 25 size road tires, and have 32 cyclocross tires on the original rims. I also got a 12-27 freewheel for the narrow wheels, and am using the 11-32 on the original wheels. Completely changes the character of the bike in about 2 minutes (brakes adjust with the fine adjusters for the rim widths). Brakes are awesome, ride is great, and it'll last 25 years. Steel is real.

The barcons are not endearing, and I just got a set of Ultegra STI levers (which need travel agent adapters, so I gotta get a few more parts together). I've also changed stuff like seat (Koobi silver), pedals (Speedplay Frogs), stem, etc. to my taste.

In any case, larger tires with 75 lbs of air will make for a soft ride when you want that, and I've done some really fast club rides with the narrow wheels and tires.

And yeah, it's a dorky touring bike, but it's completely bulletproof and has great components on it for a fine price...try the 21 inch frame for your size needs.

about your fit in a lemondmarcmarc
May 28, 2003 8:49 AM
i have a 55cm poprad, i am 5'10", 33" inseam and it is a bit big on, or rather under me. also lemond sizes frames
c-t-c if i recall, so you are on a 56cm+ c-to-t with lemonds. i have a road bike that fits me perfect and it's a 54cm(c-to-t) as for the stability on a poprad, i notice this too, and i have plans to find a smaller fitting cross bike this summer. unless you are very flexiable and long bodied, i would go with a smaller lemond.

two thingssnwbdrhoon
May 29, 2003 12:45 PM
You'll notice with cross bikes that the top tube tends to be a bit longer (increased space for shouldering).

Also I cannot stress this enough: SORA SUCKS.