Thursday, July 4, 2013

My First Love

The first bike I ever purchased from a shop was the Trek Elance 310. Before my transition from strolling around the neighborhood to more serious riding, I had my share of hand-me-downs and freebies. But the Elance was the beginning of seeing the bike as art.

It was marketed as a recreational sport bike in 1986 and priced in the mid-level range. If you want a lugged steel frame today, you would be hard-pressed to find it "off the rack" at your local shop. Yet, there was a time when bike companies produced them as a standard feature.

The Elance had a lot going for it: steel tubing, braze-ons for downtube shifters, relatively light for its time. (Oh, my. 36-spoke wheels.) And it was aesthetically beautiful. Notice the well-placed bit of white on the headtube that pops out against the gorgeous red frame.

Bikes have come a long way over the past few decades in all aspects of design, functionality, and riding options. But if I were to judge a book by its cover, I still prefer the retro look of the Elance over most anything you see today.

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