[CR]the mystery of geometry and ride

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Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2003 15:06:49 -0500
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
From: "ADP" <aphillips9@mindspring.com>
Subject: [CR]the mystery of geometry and ride

I should never have measured the Trek relative to the Prologue before I rode it...

What I was expecting based on geometry, was that the Trek would be less twitchy due to the less extreme angles of head and seat tube, slightly different fork rake and ride more like my experience of a sport tourer. Not that I had a problem with the way my Prologue handled, however, it is slightly too large for me and there is something to be said about the feel and benefits of doubled butted 531 as opposed to straight gauge Ishiwata...

What I got with the Trek on it's maiden voyage today, was a bike that was extremely responsive, very easy to get out of the saddle to climb on and my knees told me that my concept of seat height needs to change. I could certainly feel that the bike was lighter.

The Prologue was a 21", the Trek is more like a 50cm. The top tubes are the same length.

Now the reason this is all interesting, at least the comparison of the two bikes, is that I am ordering a custom frame this Spring and I will need to make some choices regarding geometry. I had imagined that the Prologue would be the more responsive bike due to it's more aggressive performance geometry and I'm not sure if better ride of the Trek (a 730 by the way) is something I should attribute to size and materials or not.

My last ride on something Italian and racey was so many years ago I don't remember how it felt in comparison to other bikes except my Trek 530 which was like comparing a motor home to a Porsche.

When I originally talked to the frame builder about how I wanted to spec my new bike, he knew what kind of geometry I was riding in the Prologue and we were going to reproduce that, but with better materials and size.

I know this is not necessarily list era topic, but I'd like to go with a geometry more reminiscent of classic bikes then those lovely compact geometry clones I sell. I'd like some insight into what people think about how geometry affects ride.

On another note, you have to give Raleigh big points for choosing a more traditional geometry and cm sizing over the 4 size fits all industry standard. I really enjoy sending test rides out on both and getting their impressions, since both bikes at 1100.00 are nearly identically equipped. The more mature folks generally choose the Raleigh, the younger, more impetuous folk choose the Giant. Perhaps its the tasteful graphics on the Raleigh? Hopefully the all steel Nivachrome, Campy equipped '03 International will be a potential classic some day. Its pretty sweet for a new bike!

Ann who got to ride before the next round of winter hits on Wednesday...