A Closer Look: 2008 Lemond Poprad Cyclocross Bike

11 Mar

Way back in 2007 I was a triathlete, century rider and mountain biker who heard about this thing called cyclocross and was intrigued. Cyclocross is the steeplechase of bike racing, with barricades where you dismount and run, steep run-ups where you shoulder your bike, and loose corners, sand pits, and soul-sucking grass to keep you on the ragged edge. And in our local scene, doing all this in costume for bragging rights.

I had both skinny tire and basic dirt skills, I could run (not fast) and loved costumes and the irreverent attitude that comes with it. Races are 30-45 minutes of all-out effort I felt I could manage since the pain may be intense, but it’s mercifully short. So I bought a steel Lemond Poprad cyclocross bike and raced it. It was a blast.

The Poprad was replaced by a lighter steed who stole her drivetrain and her place at the starting line. Retired from racing and outfitted with low gears, she has been reborn as Liberty, the ultimate all-terrain touring machine.

Poprad on the Trail
Faster than my mountain bike but hardier than my road bike, Liberty is made for the dirt trails and gravel roads that criss-cross the hills around San Francisco Bay. She’s no stranger to off-road rides and has hauled overnight gear, but I have yet to fully test her strength. Where should we go? How deep into the wild can she take me?

Lemond Poprad 2008 b

Configuring the gearing on this bike was no easy task since I wanted low mountain bike gears with road levers. So I took it to Charles at Passion Trail Bikes. He and his staff found the right front derailer (Tiagra, no less) that would shift properly for this unconventional setup. Thanks, Charles, for doing what Sheldon said was impossible!

Location: Enid Pearson Arastradero Preserve, Palo Alto, California, USA


Posted by on March 11, 2013 in Bike Gallery


14 responses to “A Closer Look: 2008 Lemond Poprad Cyclocross Bike

  1. georgie

    March 12, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Oooh she looks mucho mucho fun! Envious of those trails – I suspect you get slightly less rain there than here. Looking forward to seeing pics of your trips out on her 🙂

  2. the other Hilary

    March 13, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Very nice. If I did my bike purchases over, I’d have gotten a cyclocross rather than a touring bike. Not that I don’t love my Sherpa, I just wish it was a little more responsive, sometimes! What are you using for tires?

    • ladyfleur

      March 13, 2013 at 12:40 pm

      The tires are the Bontragers that came with the bike. When I raced, I threw on Kenda Small Block 8s. We have a lot of hard pack dirt, little mud and no snow where I live in the San Francisco area.

      I’ve used both this bike and a Trek 520 for overnight trips. The shorter wheelbase on the cross bike made the bike too twitchy under load, especially while standing. And there’s no room for fenders with the toe overlap. So I wouldn’t want this to be my only tour-capable bike.

      • the other Hilary

        March 13, 2013 at 12:44 pm

        Ah, I see. I’m currently using my touring bike as a commuter so it’s a bit overqualified for that job. I’m so inspired by your bike posts – I’ll have to start doing some of my own.

  3. maria

    March 25, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    I’ve been riding a cyclocross (Bianchi Zurigo) wondering how to make it more stable on dirt, as I just ventured off-road with it around some of the easier grades on Mt. Tam, so this looks inspiring. By the way, the link to Passion Trail Bikes is not working.

    • ladyfleur

      March 25, 2013 at 3:40 pm

      Hi Maria, thanks for letting me know I had a broken link. It’s fixed now. 🙂

      If your cross bike feels unstable on the dirt, you may have too much air in the tires. I don’t like to run my tires over 40 psi on dirt. I’ve even gone so far as pumping to 60 for the road portion of the ride, then letting air out at the trailhead.

      I’ve never ridden up Mt Tam on the old railroad trail but it’s on my list. I’ve done the paved road and aside from heavy traffic at the bottom, it’s a great ride.

      • maria

        March 26, 2013 at 11:19 am

        Thanks for that tip… That’s probably it, since I’ve had the tires pumped with air for the road. 🙂

  4. Michael

    January 27, 2014 at 10:13 am

    What is the brand and model of your rear bike rack? Thank you!

  5. Nick

    June 6, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    I’ve got the same exact bike and absolutely love it. It’s perfect for the Western, PA terrain. One simple, funny question – what’s the story with the awesome kick stand? I’m tired of leaning my Poprad against trees.

  6. kamoteQ (@kamoteQ)

    March 8, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    Advantage of round seat tubes all the way to the bottom bracket and no front derailleur braze on, can make use mountain cranksets.


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