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Steve at Marcy Dam
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Under M.D.'s orders (literally, my orthopedist), I'm off bicycles for the foreseeable future: too many herniated disks.

My Stable

Yes, I have a few of them, too. Two are Raleighs, and the third is a Trek.

One is an R700 road bike, year 2000 model, 59cm frame.

catalog illustration of Raleigh R700

The second is a Grand Prix road/touring bike, circa 1980 (I forget exactly when I got it), 25" frame.

photo of Raleigh Grand Prix

Both came from bike shops on Long Island, the R700 from Brands, in Wantaugh, and the Grand Prix from the Cycle Peddler, in Southampton. The Grand Prix weighs a ton (compared to the aluminum R700), but has been a fine performer on bike trails and other unimproved surfaces. The R700 has the feel of a sleek racer (although at a much lower cost of its similarly equipped brethren from Trek, LaMonde, et. al.). As a rule I avoid taking the R700 on bike paths and other rough surfaces, although the city streets here in Albany make even some of the roughest bike paths feel smooth in comparison.

The more recent acquisition is the R700. I had not intended to purchase it simply out of brand loyalty (yes, I know that the Raleigh name now is a DBA of Derby, who also make Univega and Diamondback). Nevertheless, the R700 is the best component set at the price (albeit that component set is on a frame that is not as polished as most other bikes in this class).

Sizing was a bit of a trick: the 25" Grand Prix is the correct size for me in terms of overall fit (i.e., length of the seat and top tubes), but it turns out the 59cm R700 has some interesting measurements. While 59cm converts to 23.23", which should be the length from the center of the crank to the top of the seat tube (the 25" frame measures out to 25.5" here), the 59cm frame measures 24.5" from the center of the crank to the top of the seat tube. The 59cm frame also has longer down and top tubes than the 25" frame, by 1/2 inch in each case. The 62cm frame, which should be closer in dimensions to the 25" than the 59cm, has a top tube over an inch longer than I presently have on the Grand Prix, much longer than I am comfortable with. With the seat adjusted well within its limits, the R700 seat is at the same level (above the crank) as the Grand Prix, so the smaller framed R700 works out to be the best size. This sizing comparison is not readily apparent just from reading the dimension tables in the catalog.

In my continuing efforts to tweak the sizing, and to give me an additional posture for my very aching back, I've added aero bars. This gives me three positions (down on the rams horns, up on the brakes, and a mid-range on the aero bars).

Overall, these are both fine performers. Somewhere down the line I may treat myself to a Trek "USPS" -- but not for a long while yet!

The third and newest member of the family is a Trek 700.

photo of Trek 700

They call this a "hybrid," which means it is some combination of equipment (the frame versus the accessories) that is a bit vague to me. I use it for riding back and forth to work. I bought it at The Downtube in Albany, N.Y. It is nice riding machine, and with 21 speeds has a good range that allows climbing the hills of Albany in a suit.

There is a gear indicator centered on the handle bars -- it came broken, and I have repeatedly fixed it: it is a piece of junk, demeaning to the entire bicycle, in fact to the entire Trek line, just to be sitting there.

Interesting Trek Story

As it so happens, this bicycle was stolen, during the summer of 2004, right out of my garage, about three in the afternoon. I reported it to the local police. About ten that evening, the phone rings, and its the station-house calling: they have the bike. An officer on patrol had seen a young person on the bicycle, told him he knows its not his, doesn't have the time to arrest him right now so just drop it off at the station house. Sure enough, that's what happens. I lock it up even in the garage now, but there is something reassuring to that story.

Some Applied Cycling

Here I am putting the R700 to work as a triathlon bike:
Triathlon bike leg, 2004 Triathlon bike leg, 2004

And the running legs, too:
Triathlon run leg, 2004 Triathlon run leg, 2004

Some Cycling/Triathlon and Retail Links

Here are some additional local links:

revised 21 November 2012 [ TOP ]

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Steve Sconfienza, Ph.D.
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