You never know what Bristol, Va. rider Glenn Himstedt will show up on. He has six or seven immaculate bikes in his stable, and he has an eye for the fine steel frames from years past.

"The bike I've been riding most of the time on longer rides is this 1984 Mercian," he writes. "It is the King of Mercia model built with what was called sport touring geometry. It has 72-degree head and seat tube angles with chain stays about 44 cm. There is room to run 700x32 tires. All this makes for a really comfortable ride.

"I purchased the frame from R&M Cycles in Springfield, IL on Thanksgiving 2005," Himstedt writes. "It had never been assembled. I used as many parts from that time period as possible, the main exception being the crankset. I eventually took off the Campy Super Record and put on a 110 BC so I could use a 39 tooth or even a 34 when the mountains are really hard."