As I ride a 52 CM (center-to-top) bike and usually need a long (54-55 CM) top tube, my needs, wants, and fitting requirements (not to mention my purity of morals, stoutness, and the unusual phases of the moon out here in California) differ greatly from Thomas' or yours. Vive le difference!
I loved the quick front handling but "long-and-limber" feel of my 1975 PX-10LE. It was much more fun than my Raleigh Pro Mark IV, but my early-1980s TREK 760 (531 frame, 52 CM c-t seat x 53 CM TT) with its cast lugs was a terrific ride, too. And my current favorite is my Eisentraut, which I could not afford to buy at "list" to save my life....
As long as the frame fits your body you will do fine. That is the one and only key. Maybe I love the more 'continental" (can you say "French"?) bikes because they tended to have the longer top tubes that I needed, and I did not have to compensate quite so much with over-long stems (which slow down front-end quickness). Get a full sizing workup from a good bike shop and/or take all the dimensions off of a bike that fits you perfectly, then go shopping in the archived bike catalogs that abound in cyberspace. Then you can choose a bike that fits you well, which will, IMHO, probably make you feel more "lively" than you would on an ill-fitting frame that was chosen for its particular "feel" or reputation. (Or worse, because someone like me recommended it to you. :-)
Jon Spangler Alameda, CA USA
On Feb 2, 2009, at 5:19 PM, <email@example.com>
> Message: 10
> Date: Mon, 2 Feb 2009 16:40:05 -0800
> From: Thomas Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Subject: Re: [CR] Vintage Treks vs PXs, Motobecanes & Gitanes
> To: <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Message-ID: <email@example.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> Dear Wayne:
> Limber is in the tail of the rider, and Trek?made different
> geometries fo
> r different purposes.? I don't have the specs for the TX700 in
> front of m
> e, but I'm guessing it's the sport touring geometry with the 17
> inch chains
> tays.? If so, it will be a very good all around bike, perhaps a bit
> er in the BB than most contemporary french 531 bikes, which usually
> (but no
> t always) means stiffer at the saddle too.?
> If however, your chainstays are?17.5?inches or more, then you have one
> of the touring geometry Treks, a different kettle of fish.? Now it
> s when it was made.? I had a '78 Trek 520 (Ishwata DB tubing) with
> 17.5 s
> tays and an Avocet Touring II saddle, and it was tremendously
> comfortable f
> or longer rides.? Perversely, I didn't take it on many such because
> it sp
> orted stout wheels,?fenders and racks, which ran the weight up and
> made m
> e feel slower.? So it usually sat in the barn while a zippier bike
> got th
> e?longer ride assignments.? My butt suffered, but my ego as?massaged.
> ? I sure miss that Trek.
> I also had a late 80's Trek 720 in Reynolds 531c tubing.? This was
> one of
> the Treks with the cast lugs and plug in stays, and chainstays
> stretched t
> o a voluptuous 18 inches.? In my opinion, the tubing was too light
> for th
> is frame (25.5 inch seat tube) and the BB swayed abominably.? Lots
> of aut
> o shifting and front derailleur rub under hard pedaling.? But it
> was a co
> mfortable frame.? The Trek 520 was a far better rider, and just as
> ? I sure don't miss that Trek.
> The only thing vintage I've had that equaled the 520 in comfort
> while still
> being acceptably zippy was a Gitane Tour De France.? Also nice
> long chai
> nstays, but the Gypsy had a stout enough DT and chainstays?that the
> BB wa
> s adequately stiff.? I rode the Gitane more than the Trek,?probably
> ause the Gitane had a nice set of tubular wheels.? Again, mega
> comfy, but
> not a featherweight in my frame size.? If I had put the tubies on
> the Tr
> ek 520, it might have been a dead heat.
> All three were more comfortable than the PX 10 I had.? Don't know
> why, bu
> t Peugeot geometry and I didn't hit it off, at least for a '78 25
> inch PX 1
> 0.? It wasn't bad, just not as good as the Gitane and Trek 520.? No
> a for Motobecane.
> Of course the Treks will be easier to buy parts for, especially
> bottom brac
> kets, stems, seat posts and headsets.
> And remember that all comfort factors may change radically
> depending on fra
> me size, your weight, wheel stoutness, tire width, barometric
> pressure, the
> phase of the moon, how you slept the night before, state of your
> purity of morals,?etc etc.? My advice:? get one of each, swap wheels
> and saddles to be consistent and ride each several thousand miles
> for a fa
> ir comparison.? You'll then have the best opinion, and have tons of
> fun i
> n the meantime.?
> Tom Adams
> Manhattan, Kansas, USA
> --- On Mon, 2/2/09, Wayne Sulak <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> From: Wayne Sulak <email@example.com>
> Subject: [CR] Vintage Treks vs PXs, Motobecanes & Gitanes
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Date: Monday, February 2, 2009, 5:18 PM
>> Message: 10
>> Date: Mon, 2 Feb 2009 14:39:23 -0800
>> From: Jon Spangler <email@example.com>
>> .Subject: Re: [CR] Next project?
>> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>> Cc: Todd Grantham <email@example.com>
>> Message-ID: <3F62B610-E880-48B3-BE71-6F4235AB1D8E@earthlink.net>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"; delsp=yes;
>> If you want a "daily rider" that you will not have to worry about
>> that will handle well and be comfy all day, I'd suggest a Peugeot
>> PX-10. They are commonly available, and can be ridden "as is" or
>> modified to suit your taste (and inventory) in componentry, as they
>> were often modified/upgraded with non-OEM parts, wheels, etc.
>> TREKS are nice, too, but the PXs (or similar Motobecanes, Gitanes,
>> etc.,) will feel more "lively" or "limber" and perhaps
> be more
>> "forgiving" on all-day rides.
> Opinions wanted! I have been converted from a off topic bike to a
> 1978 Trek
> TX700. I have discovered that I enjoy "limber" frame. How do others
> feel the above bikes compare to a 1970s Trek? If you feel that
> they have m
> flex - do you have opinion why this is the case?
> Wayne Sulak
> Fort Worth, TX
Linda Hudson Writing