Thursday, June 12, 2008

Poprad A La Mustache

The Lemond Poprad needed a do-over. I built it up from a hodge podge of parts several months ago and intended to use it as a light touring bike. It was a decent road bike, but it wasn't quite right for long rides. Then I got the AHH which is much better suited for basically everything.

I decided to set the Poprad up instead as a utility bike, a nice practical bike for this and that. Practical change numero uno is a set of regular old platform pedals - $7 special from Ebay, and good for any footwear. A cheap weatherproof saddle replaced the leather Brooks that I took for the AHH. Next I stripped down the gearing a bit by taking off the inner chain ring and front derailler - it never worked smoothly anyway, and the single big chainring with the 11-34 cassette provides plenty of gearing. I also put on a rear rack for some cargo room.

I splurged for some 700x32 Vittoria Randonneur tires. These tires are versatile but not cheap at $37 each. They are the perfect tire for riding fast on roads and burly enough for whatever else you might find - try them if you can find them. For whatever reason only the cyclocross version of the Vittoria Randonneur tire is easily found, the mellower road version is harder to come by. I found a pair in the tire pile at my LBS and snatched them up.

The final revision is a new set of generic mustache handlebars. The m'bars split the difference between cruiser bars and racier drop bars. The ends extend back nice and wide for a relaxed posture, but the curves are aggressive still. (I ran the front brake cable over the bars to avoid sharp turns in the brake cable.) The m'bars do take a bit of getting used to though - I might swap in a higher stem to make the bars really comfy. They are fine where they are now, so I wrapped them up with blue bar tape.

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. The bars deliver as promised - great for zooming, great for cruising, and very different from everything else out there. (Handlebar variety is good.) I like that the bike is ready for riding with ordinary pedals and that there is room to carry whatever. All this while being a fast fun bike still. It definitely says hop on and just zoom around the neighborhood.

1 comment:

ducksew said...

Steve, your Poprad looks nice. I can't wait to have my XO-1 converted to a Utility Bike.

Like that you added the Mustache Bar. I am a BIG fan of the Mustache Bar. I am getting used to the drop bars on my Poprad but I favor the old Nitto Mustache bars of my XO-1.

I just Finished my third ride (other than daily commuting to work) on my Poprad... 50 miler... 13 miles of Pavement and 37 miles of jeep roads. It was a blast...