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April 22, 2005

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I actually own a Richard Sachs product! My SJS fixie has a RS model red Sella San Marco saddle and it is hella confortable, not to mention stylin'

Picture here.

Fixedgear-

Nice saddle!!

WTF is up with your blog? I can't access it anymore... every time I click on it I get taken to my old Blogger Dashboard page (which I don't even use anymore)! Even if I Google your blog address and try to get in that way... no dice, I get kicked over to my old Dashboard page. Only way I can get anything from your blog is using the cache option on Google but that only shows posts from like 4 days ago.

-Me (Large Fella)

I agree with him on the soap. I'm a pine tar fan myself. My wife hates it.

I disagree with him on mass produced bikes. He said:
"Way back when, this was not the case; you simply could not get a bicycle from a retailer and go off racing and/or touring on it. It had to come from a framebuilder or specialty shop. In the late 80s/early 90s, all that began to change."

Not having been around "way back when", I'm speaking speculatively here, but my 1977 Trek is as competent a racer or tourer as the guy riding it can pedal it. A few years later, the Trek 520 crossed the US fully loaded countless times before the late 80s. Likewise the Raleigh International and (Team) Professional were fine tourers and racers, respectively, way back in the early 70s. And the Schwinn Paramount, well, that was as good as it gets in many cases. Now maybe there weren't Schwinn, Raleigh, or Trek dealers aside from 'specialty shops' back then. I wouldn't know.

Components have surely been improved during the intervening 20 or 30 years, but the frames, by and large, have not been, at least insofar as most racing and touring applications are concerned.

jim
as a courtesy to scott, my q/a replies are quite concise. i address all issues about the industry and improvements over the years in my blog. the link is in the q/a signoff.

regarding trek, in 1977 they were barely a one year old company. regarding paramounts and professionals, these were considered specialty bicycles and not available through each and every schwinn or raleigh dealer. if you tried to make the same case but used a supersport or a grand prix as examples, we'd be at odds; the paramount and professional models were above average for the day, even if they were batch built.
e-RICHIE

try a can of wild salmon.

I defer to your knowledge on this Richard. I am slightly younger than my 77 Trek, so my knowledge of bike shops of that vintage is, as I said, speculative. I'll spend some time looking at your blog and learning a thing or two. Thanks for the response.

Scott: Dunno about the blog issue, it seems to ne working fine here. Delete cookies/empty cache maybe?

I'm curious about your remark about Lance - "I'm not buying it". What is *it*?

He's not buying Lance's press conference Monday 4/18 where he said he was retiring. Some folks think that Lance will attempt the hour record. He could train for it here in the states and ride it at a velodrome anyhwere, most likely Mexico City which is not as far as Paris. It's also not technicaly a 'professional race' in that anybody can try for the recird, even you or me. Lance said he wasn't doing any more 'professional races' so some see that as a bit of a hedge.

dan & fixegear,
my comment, "i'm not buying...", refers all the years of "drug-free, etc." racing.
e-RICHIE

I have owned two Richard Sachs bikes. I firmly believe he builds the best riding and handling bikes ever built by anyone. I also know Richard and think the world of him, both for his kindness and generousity, and his whacky sense of humor and unique way of seeing many things.
I do disagree a bit about mass produced bikes though. The Puegeot PX 10 seems like such a bike. It was a good out of the box racer.

Tom: as you can see above, I disagreed with Richard on the same point, and the PX-10 is another good example I could have used. Upon further reflection, though, I think I agree with him. There were the PX-10s and the Raleigh Professionals and the old Trek TX700/900 bikes, and probably 5 others I'm forgetting. But I don't think it was like today. Right now, within five miles of my home, I can find a shop (several of them) that will sell me Lance's bike or any of a number of competing models of Specialized, LeMond, Trek, Cannondale, or whatever smaller brand bike straight off the showroom floor, race-ready. While there are examples from the 70s that seem to counter Richard's assertion, I think his wider point is that the diversity and accessibility of such bikes is much better now than it was.

That said, good mass produced touring bikes are rare. There's the Trek 520 and hmmm.....

tom-issimo -

jim is right; read my earlier reply. this q/a begs for concise text. all the extensive information and my points of view are in my blog, as noted above. certainly, you have seen me discuss this issue over and over again on the cr list.

leaving for passover. happy debating!
e-RICHIE

Jim-

In a different way the touring cycle scene is quite likely the polar opposite... better then than now.

During the '70's American Bike Boom one had 4 or 5 off-the-peg models from Trek for touring. Some even came with racks installed. All had appropriate braze-ons & eyelets. Also, you had Schwinn with 1 or 2 tourers not to mention Bridgestone, Mercian, Raleigh, Motobecane, Fuji, Panasonic, etc... all of them made tourers and many were available straight from your local shop to you.

In many cases people have to "special order" a Trek 520 or Cannondale T2000/T800 from their local dealer to even hope to test ride the thing. From what I read on List Servs, forums, etc... many local shops won't even carry a mass brand tourer (like the Trek 520 or C-Dales) for fear of it sitting on the showroom floor gathering dust. The shops insist on the "potential" customer putting a deposit down before they will special order it. Of course this blows for the customer, as they aren't even sure they will like the ride in the first place and ONLY wanted to test ride it. The shops LOVE it though... if the customer doesn't dig the ride they have 2 options-
1. Lose their deposit.
2. Put that deposit toward some other bike in that same shop.

Either way, they got ya by the nuggets at that point.

-Me (Large Fella)

Not to mention that those that do make production touring bicycles have been compromising them more and more every year. You pretty much can't get (in the US) an off the shelf touring cycle where you can get the handlebars high enough, that has appropriate gearing and relaxed geometry with all the necessary braze-ons. That being said there are more options then ever to get custom and small production run tourers that are probably better then they ever have been.

I frequent two local Trek shops and have yet to see a 520 on the floor (I'm not much for Aluminum bikes so I don't know nuthin about C'dales). You're absolutely right Scott. And Hatta's point is also well taken - regarding the compromises. They start to look more like 40 mile sport tourers than 3,000 mile TransAm bikes.

I hate to keep singing the praises of my 28 year old Trek - it was, afterall, a middle-of-the-road bike in its day. But by today's standards, I think it's fantastic and almost everything I want in a road-bike. Room and braze-ons for fenders and decent tires, and racks with some creativity. Depending on the components, it could make a competent racer or a cross-country tourer if the guy in the saddle does his job.

I just don't get it. Touring bikes make fine all-around road bikes and commuters as well as long-distance travelers. So why are these bikes, and, for that matter, all-around non-racing road bikes so darned unpopular and ignored by the industry? Is it market driven, as in, if a bike company actually produced a good, comfortable tourer, and marketed it aggressively, still nobody would buy it? Or is it that the industry simply doesn't want to waste its time on such a risk because they're content and complacent with the racing crowd buying their stuff and old ladies and out-of-shape novices buying hybrids?

I can't believe I'm the only upwardly mobile 28 year old bicycling guy in the country who doesn't want to be a racer. There must be millions of us (potentially).

I CAN'T BELIEVE ALL THIS 'THEN AND NOW' BS , THE USA AND NEW ZEALAND IN THE 1960's , AND PROBABLY MOST COUNTRIES IN THE WESTERN WORLD HAD A COMMON STANCE ON BYCYCLES . IF ONE WANTED A TOP END BIKE
THE FRAME AND SO-CALLED GROUP SET HAD TO BE ORDERED FROM EUROPE WITH A 3-4 MONTH LEED TIME , AND THAT WAS QUICK , BIKE STORES 'BACK THEN' WOULD
AND COULD ONLY SELL YOU A FREE-WHEEL OR BRAKED COASTER OR IF YOU WERE REALLY FLUSH , A 3-SPEED STURMEY ARCHER BIKE WITH THE FRAME MADE UP WITH
'ONE INCH WATER PIPING . MR RICHARD SUMMED IT UP
QUITE ADEQUATELY FOR THE PEOPLE WHO WERE AROUND
' BACK THEN ' AND STILL HERE NOW

I dont understand these history lessons, ok he wasnt (exacting enough) but my thing is this is about large guys on his bikes right? From everythiung ive ever heard he is a nice person, but this way he has of making frames one way for everyone just doesnt fly with me..and to thumb your nose at other makers because they stray from what he feels is right i find shallow. Lets put a 225 pound guy on one of his frames and see how well he does. Bigger riders benefit from a larger steer tube diameter as well..I will say these are very nicely made frames. If you come from the 80s generation of cycling where it was all steel and that sparks your instrest great...but if your an oddly shapped or heavy rider i dont think these bikes would hild ups bery well, I dont see the point ins spending 2 grand on a bike that is based on at best, early 1980s ideals, but some people swear by steel and as long as they are willing to pay it so be it. I just imagine the steer treaking with a big guy on it. The larger the rider the larger the diameter of the tube and increased attention to the joint sections it requires. WHat feels stiif for a 150 pound rider is going to feel like a noodle at 220, bikes have to be made to accomadate riders, not the other way around and that is why i disagree with Sachs view on bikes and industry, he talks about both but i dont see alot of customer options and in these days...thats what it should be about.
F

waiting for road and track by richie.
could not find a more real person with a gift to build perfection for those of us with inperfection! also a friend!

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