cyclofiend.com - peripheral thoughts & notes

April 2024
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Early Present
Filed under: general, bike tech
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 11:51 pm

Got a call late yesterday from the shop, saying that my Lemond Poprad replacement frame was ready for me to come pick it up.  That was a bit of a shock, as last I heard, things were “in process.”  That’s one of those safe-but-loaded retail phrases I toss around a little too glibly to cover a time frame which can range from weeks to months and so figured that it would be the longer end of the period.  I had the First Polite Follow Up Call on this week’s to-do list and was reasonably suprised to have had results this fast.

Grabbed a little time in the day’s schedule and dropped by the shop - and just to clarify it, this frame has not been purchased there, and they didn’t know me as a regular customer. To bring you up to date, I’d nabbed the frame towards the end of my tenure with Pacific, and as such was pretty much at this shop’s mercy in this little episode.

There’s also been one variable in this whole thing - the changes which Lemond made to the frame from the time I’d purchased it. The biggest issue is the headtube, which changed to a 1 1/8″ within a couple years of mine. Since the 1″ threadless fork I had was in fine shape, I’d held onto that, and wanted to see if Lemond would send a full frame/fork, or just the frame.

So, upon meeting the service manager and chatting a bit, he called over another mechanic and the two of them started digging into a box behind the counter. He was talking, and there was this interesting vibe in the air - luckily I recognized it. It’s the uneasiness of standing behind the retail counter, about to break what could be construed as Bad News.  As they didn’t know me, they had no idea if I terrorized retail folks for fun, or had been already banned from every other bike shop in the county as a retail creech.

“There’s no fork,” I helpfully pointed out.

One beat. Two.

“There’s no fork,” the service manager agreed.  This was the crux move. Would I snap?

“Inch and an eighth headtube?” High noon.

“Yep” There was a frame alignment tool within the Service Manager’s easy reach. His kung-fu was good.

“Cool.  What do you think they can do about that?”  Everybody breathes again. 

I didn’t really expect anything else to happen, and honestly would’ve been floored if Lemond had included a fork. The Service Manager said he’d give them a call tomorrow and see if they could work something out so I’d have a fork that fit the frame.  In the scheme of things, it would be nice if Lemond(Trek) figured that since they didn’t make the bikes out of 853 anymore and had changed a rather key dimension of the design, the least they could do would be kick down a basic fork for it. We’ll see what happens.

As the wrench tapped off the crown race from my fork, he laughed at it as he hefted it.

“This thing weighs a ton!”

“Keeps the front end on the ground…”

“This must weigh like 1100 grams - you could get one that’s like 400.”

Briefly I have this image of the steep run up at the White’s Hill CX race, or the double barriers right before the finish stretch at Gold Gate Park, where my tires felt filled with water and my legs encased in lead…that’d be saving 6 to 7 hundred grams…my eyes lose focus briefly…

…oh the lure of lightweight parts is a patient illness.

Incompatible Fonts

853 No More

New Lemond Headbadge

It’s actually quite a nice looking frame.  I’ll get some photos inside the head tube, but they definitely did a much cleaner job of cutting the vent holes, and the welds look reasonably even. They did also move the shifter cable stops to a downtube position, which is a much needed design change over the original. My first model had a pair of threaded adjuster bosses on the headtube, and they just seemed to cause repeated cracking in the adjusters and housing.

8 Responses to “Early Present”

  1. Jim G Says:
    Congrats on the new frame! Just hit up Matthew at Kogswell, and ask him for a set of 9/8″ to 1″ headtube reducers … then you can re-use your old fork, headset, and stem.
  2. The Cyclofiend Says:
    Thanks! “Reducers” you say…? That may indeed be an option.
  3. tarik saleh Says:
    Sell the fork to the ravenous bob masses and then put the profits toward a kelly 11/8 cross fork for 99 bucks. Quick. Having worked with ox platinum and 853, I really like the ox platinum better. It is much easier to work with and probably much lighter than your older 853. I can’t remember whether 853 head tubes were made, but if (if!) they were, 853 is definitely more prone to cracking during milling and drilling with worn tools or too fast cutting. Thus your new bike is much much better! I have an inkling that there were probably no 853 ht’s for a while that covered your frame though, so that theory is shot… the bike looks great. you are in business. Quick build it up and fly to rhode island so you can race geary again this year.
  4. The Cyclofiend Says:
    I fear it will get roundly poo-pooed by the MacBobs, as it is of the clan “MacThreadless”. But it does have the sought-after single-inch design… I canna’ say, laddie! The frame seems sorta ridiculously light, and the Service Manager is going to see what Lemond will come up with. If that falls through, the Kelly fork is choice #2. Of course, maybe the whole unbuilt thing may be a down payment on a Legolas… Don’t think I’ll make the littlest state this year - but they are running a race through the horse stadium on the same day this. I reckon with the rains of this past week, it won’t be quite so dusty.
  5. joshua Says:
    a new poprad with canti bosses? interesting… oh, it’s gotta be an 05, with the blue/white color scheme and all. this year they only offered the disc version, which while nice makes it hard to use neutral support wheels and weighs a touch more. the carbon fork is nice, though. nice bike, have fun on it.
  6. The Cyclofiend Says:
    Thanks! I was a bit worried that the disc would be the only option for replacement. But, they came through with a more traditional option. Saw a couple of the new disc Poprads this winter at the races, but don’t really need to upgrade the wheelset, etc…
  7. Doug Van Cleve Says:
    Hey Jim, Just a few fork thoughts. A Kelly won’t match which always screams fork replacement, what happened? I would go for the reducers (cheap and easy). You could also do a King Devolution headset if you don’t mind spending the dough. That is how I am going to run a 1″ Atlantis crowned Curt Goodrich fork on my 1.125″ Matt Chester monstercross some day… Doug
  8. The Cyclofiend Says:
    Yep, well, I’ll proabably be making the First Polite Followup Call on Monday or Tuesday to see what’s up from the mothership in Wisconsin…Thank you for the ideas, Doug!