LeMond & Dahon: Not exactly Rando

But that’s OK. MG and I like bikes that may never see a brevet (well, probably never). They just need to be cool in some way and not ironic. It helps if they take fenders and racks.

You’ll recall MG bought a single speed Dahon Hon Solo last year. The bike is pretty irresistible: it comes with a Brooks B17 Champion saddle, cream color scheme, real leather grips, wood fenders and mustache bars. And, it folds. Take that, Tikit! Unfortunately the stock gearing was too low, the Sugino crank could not take a standard five bolt ring, and the brakes didn’t do much more than scrub the rims. In short, not fun; no use.

MG and her Dahon Hon Solo
MG and her Dahon Hon Solo

But there’s always the parts box. MG decided to get this bike up to speed and had our buds at College Park Bicycles install a Dura Ace triple crank with a single 53-tooth ring taken from her Bike Friday (the Dura Ace needs a special middle ring, not good for custom rings) and new extra-long reach Tektro R556 dual pivot brakes. The results are terrific: no more spinning out and strong braking.

Tektro R556 brake over front wood fender
Tektro R556 brake over front wood fender
Dura Ace crank put to good use
Dura Ace crank put to good use

MG looks great on it, don’t you think?

Going places, in style
Going places, in style

Now, on to my new Lemond Poprad Disc cyclocross bike. When Trek decided to sever its ties with Greg LeMond I started looking over the LeMond lineup and decided I just needed a disc-only cyclocross bike. It’s steel and takes fenders and, well, I take Greg’s side and all, and I can overlook the carbon fork, for now. I told MG that I had always wanted one of these bikes. That was true, sort of. It helped that there was one on the floor at College Park Bicycles.

I also decided this bike would be a collector’s item. That’s true, as long as the collector is me.

I bought it as a frameset with Avid BB7 disc brakes and Cane Creek headset and College Park (yeah, we go there a lot!) built it up with my own mix of parts. The spec features XT disc/Velocity Dyad custom wheels built by Peter White, an XT crankset from my parted-out-and-sold Kogswell P/R, Campagnolo Centaur triple front derailleur, Campagnolo Veloce Ergo 10-speed levers, XT rear derailleur, Shiftmate converter pulley, 9-speed SRAM 11-28 cassette, Nitto Noodle bars and a used Brooks B17 saddle.

Last weekend cyclocross racer/fellow journo Mark D. and I rode some of the dirt roads that make up the Iron Cross cyclocross race in the Michaux State Forest near Gettysburg. (I told Mark I bought the LeMond to show solidarity with Greg LeMond….MG just laughed at my latest rationalization.)

The bike felt good. Built with oversize 1.25″ down and seat tubes and spindly seat stays, it climbs well and flexes in a good way on the rough stuff. I also like how the rear caliper is mounted to the chainstay, which will ease fender installation. The fork worked fine, in that I didn’t notice it.

Here it is before its maiden ride in the woods. Mark told me to photograph it, it would never be that clean again.

About to get very dirty
About to get very dirty

More photos from our ride are on on my Flickr page or see the Slideshow.

This purchase was something of an educated guess that worked out well. I bought it by Rivendell sizing, meaning the tallest frame I could stand over and still reach the bars. This is the biggest Poprad model at 59cm. College Park swapped out the fork for one with an uncut steerer so we could get the bars level with the saddle. I had to use an 80mm stem and I’m only a tiny bit more stretched than on my brevet bikes.

When I get the chance I’ll post a page with more photos of the Poprad. For a race bike it is actually very versatile. I’m going to see how well it takes 650b wheels and may run it with those wheels for brevets. Wait, did I just say brevet?

12 thoughts on “LeMond & Dahon: Not exactly Rando

  1. Ah, Mark D. Great in CX, but he’s rubbish in a du transition. ;)

    I think Iron Cross is right up your alley. But I’ll leave that decision to you.

  2. I think I’ll really enjoy the ride. It’s just the runups that scare me. Years of road riding have made my ankles more suspect than they already were when I gave up running.

  3. Oh, it’s on the big side. But I can stand over it no problem, and the reach to the bars is just 10mm farther than my preferred. I could go to a 70mm stem but the 80mm works fine. If I went by Rivendell sizing I would ride in the 59/60 range even though I ride 58cm Rambouillet and Atlantis, and a 59 Bleriot.

  4. Howdy Ed & Jon, Entertaining and enjoyable site. Have you run this LeMond Poprad Disc with 650b wheels yet? If you have I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts and possibly how wide you could get. I’ve been thinking of doing a similar conversion for back country camping/touring in the PNW. I’ve run 26×1.95 on mine for a couple of trips, but think that 650b might be the ticket. Cheers, Adrien.

  5. Hi Adrien,

    Thanks for the compliment. We try.

    I’m awaiting 650b wheels to use with this bike. I think the biggest
    tire would be about 44mm…I had hoped to run Pacenti Quasi-Motos but
    to my measurements they would touch the chainstays. I’ll post when I
    get the wheels and tires. Right now it looks like Fatty Rumpkins or
    Hetres will go on first.


  6. I have a Lemond Poprad 2001 (853 tubeset and steel fork)and love the bike. I think the model you have is ultimate all around bike with the disk brakes. I use my poprad for road, cross, touring (going to get couplers Bilenky), dirt riding, and winter fun (I have studded snow tires). I have a number of other bikes that seem to sit in the shop while I ride the Lemond. Good riding. Will be following your blog.

  7. Thanks, but I sold it. I was between sizes and tried the bigger of the two, and found it was not to my liking. Ended up with the original version Rawland dSogn, which I like a lot.

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