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In Reply to: RE: Is Anyone Here Into Cycling(I know "Sordidman" is)? posted by howard on June 13, 2017 at 17:15:27
I used to race, but that was many years ago (HS and college). After that, it was mostly fitness rides with my wife and/or friends. And some mtn biking for fun. These days, I have two young kids and a house to keep up with and a commute that isn't rideable, so I don't ride nearly enough.
My road bike is a mongrel that has been upgraded here and there over the years. I've stuck with a surplus Specialized Roubaix frame from some time (in the late 90s I think) when they made them with long top tubes and moderate seat tube angle. I like my back to be straight and comfortably stretched out, and so I like a longer than average top tube. Whenever I try out new bikes (at least the ones that are reasonably priced), I tend to feel cramped unless it's fitted with a really long stem, which I don't like. I should have gotten a LeMond back when Greg was specifying the frame geometry, before they became Treks with a different brand name. Components are mostly 105 and Ultegra, and I run a compact double.
Every once in a while I get the itch to buy something new, but I've never really been into the hardware side of the hobby so much. A few of my cycling friends are more into their rides than the riding and have a collection of sorts to show off. Even when I was racing I never felt like I was handicapped because my 105 groupset weighed a pound more than Dura-Ace. I just want a comfortable, efficient position, a drivetrain that stays in tune, and good wheels.
I also like single track mtn biking and most recently had a Specialized Rockhopper Comp Disc. I like a hardtail with 26ers and a slightly too-small frame because I can ride it a bit like the BMX bikes I grew up with. Unfortunately it was stolen and I haven't replaced it yet.
Passed on a LeMond (met him when he was an armature racing his last race before heading to Europe) some time ago. If memory serves, it was a Titanium frame (is that possible?) and seemed to be of the era where his bikes were considerably different in design from those with the TREK label. Sorry now I didn't jump on it as the seller was asking a reasonable price and one can't have too many bikes!
A long top tube would be preferable for me being near 6 ft. with short legs. As it is, I have always used a 130 stem but that is less than ideal as it puts the bars too far ahead of the steer tube/front forks. :-(
Plus the longer bike can be a lot easier ride in all respects.
Had one of the very first Klein Team Supers in the mid/late 70's. Track bike geometry with toe-clip crossover with the front wheel, beat the crap out of me but great for that last few yards at the top of a hill!
Now I'm into comfort rather than speed.
I didn't think LeMond made a Ti frame, but I'm not exactly a bike historian so I don't know for sure.
I know with his original company, his frames were carbon. And when he went into business with Trek in the mid-90s, he used carbon frames in the top models and Reynolds steel in the rest. The top end carbon frame bikes had ideal geometry for me: 56cm top tube, 53cm seat tube, and a 73.5 seat angle. If I remember right, the LeMond Maillot Jaune was $4k+ with Campy Record, which was way more bike than I needed or wanted or could afford at the time. But the Chambery was more like $2500 with Ultegra and I could have (and should have) gotten one.
The mid-90s steel frame LeMond bikes were a cm or two shorter, and then sometime around '99 or '00 the whole line adopted the same (shorter) geometry. They were still longer and with a bit shallower angles than the Trek line, but no longer classic geometry.
My wife picked up one of the last LeMond bikes in 2007 or 2008, right before Trek dropped him due to his continuing criticism of Armstrong. She wanted something faster than her old Bianchi Trofeo when she started doing tris, and the LeMond still had the most comfortable geometry among the racier offerings. Nevertheless, she's never been as comfortable as on the Bianchi, and surprisingly, not as fast either except on steep climbs where the weight difference was noticeable.
To finally get to the point (sorry), I think there is a relationship between comfort and speed. Riding a bike with twitchy handling just saps a little bit of mental energy, a stiff ride where you feel every pavement imperfection contributes to fatigue, and if you're not comfortable you waste energy moving around a lot.
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