Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bike Porn


1977 Raleigh Super Grand Prix

My father helped me buy this bike when I was still in high school, at Vendables Bike Shop in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Old Raleigh has been my sturdy commuter bike for many years here in Tucson. Its still the most comfortable bike I've every ridden, and it has held up to the rigors of every-day riding, brevets, and fast rides with the lads in Saguaro Nat'l Park.


2002 LeMond Buenos Aires

My first road bike--again a great steel bike--and with many up-grades over the years. This was my brevet bike--and I put 30,000 miles on it randonneuring, commuting, and enjoying the beauty of the desert. My last 300 KM brevet, within the last few miles to the finish, the bike slid out from under me on the slick hwy right after a rain storm. Even though there was a little superficial damage in the crash, I think that's when I may have cracked the frame at the bottom bracket. All the components are on the Trek 2.3 fame.


1984 Raleigh Marathon

Nick-named "Big Sexy" this bike is even too large for me. The frame is 27 inches or 69 cm. Its like riding on the back of a huge horse. I bought this bike for $50 from the Glenn Ave Junk Man. It had not been ridden much, and when restored, was like a new bike. The shifters on the top tube are not that great and need constant adjustment--but this steel giant is light and smooth to ride. I took it out on a few century rides--this bike needs more attention and some up-grades. I've put my fenders on it, just to get the fenders out of the way in the garage--and I must say this detail made the bike quite the Old Gentleman.

2009 Trek 2.3

Very fast! This bike is pretty much the LeMond components put on the Trek frame. The guys at Trek were really good to me, and some of them even raced the old LeMond steel frames back in the day. They were happy to get me a replacement frame that would be just as good or better than the LeMond. The LeMond was steel and the Trek is a composite of carbon and aluminum--I have to say that this has been a winning combination. So far so good on the commutes. We will see how the frame holds up on brevets.

Allure Libre!

Bruce

5 comments:

Big Oak said...

They all look like great bikes. I found a bike at a second hand shop with a frame similar in size to your 1984 Raleigh. I use larger frames also, but that one I bought is a little too large, even with the saddle low, the bike just feels too large.

Is it possible to weld your LeMond's bottom bracket? Jim Malusa, in his book "Into Thick Air" had his bottom bracket welded (although his frame was aluminum) before his last journey in the book.

Do you know Jim Malusa? I think he is from Tuscon.

Michael said...

I love the look of the Marathon with the fenders. It does make it look like a distinguished gentleman.

Bruce's Bike Blog said...

Mr. B Oak,

Well, a couple of people looked over the crack in the frame of the LeMond and said it would be expensive plus labor intensive to repair--only a very skilled frame builder could do the work. There was also some rust--maybe even faulty welding on the part of LeMond/Trek back in the day.

Whatever the case, I've had to move on. The new Trek frame was free, and it has been a superb bike since It's been put together.

I still have the frame, and I'll see if can find out more from the guy you're talking about--I think I've heard of him.

Cheers! Bruce

Anonymous said...

I wish I had three bikes at my disposal. Love the Oh-Bama card in the spokes of the Trek. You sneaky dawg.

Ballz

Mimbres Man said...

I bought an "ice green" Super Grand Prix about a year after high school, so that was probably spring 1979. My intentions were to ride it up the Continental Divide from Mexico to Canada. It got stolen in Albuquerque and I finished my ride to Jasper, AB on a replacement Univega Gran Turismo, a bicycle which I still have in Silver City. Still wish I had the Raleigh too.