Bikes to Like: Rick R.’s Trek Elance 300 (650B Conversion!)

It’s all about bikes this week, and today features a guest post from Rick R. about his Trek Elance 300.

A North Carolina rider, Rick completed a full Super Randonneur series with the D.C. Randonneurs. Felkerino and I rode many miles with Rick (and Christian) on this spring’s Warrenton 300K. Felkerino and I joked that we were under attack by the 650B brigade, as both Rick’s Trek and Christian’s Terraferma are set up with 650B Grand Bois Hetre tires.

Riding similar paces allowed me to thoroughly admire Rick’s bike, and I’m so glad he agreed to be a guest contributor for Bikes to Like.

1. What kind of bike do you ride?

My bike is a 1986 Trek Elance 300. I purchased it over the internet, complete & original for $125. Then I converted it to 650B.

Rick’s Trek Elance 300

2. Where do you ride it?

I live in Wilmington, North Carolina, and do a lot of riding locally. I also do training rides in the Raleigh-Durham area to get in some hills.

My main purpose in building this bike was to ride brevets in comfort.

3. What do you like about your bike?

I like the comfort level I have on long rides. With the steel frame, wide tires, fenders, and Brooks saddle, I’m living the good life. Plus, I have a place to put my stuff with the two bags.

4. If you had to describe your bike in one word, what would it be?


5. Fenders or no fenders?

Definitely fenders. In 2010 I rode for four days in the rain with no fenders. That experience made me realize fenders are good!

Riding some wet roads on the Warrenton 300K

6. What is one of your favorite memories with this bicycle?

My first “hill ride” on the bike was at Morrow Mountain State Park. Ride 30 miles of rollers, climb Morrow, then ride 30 miles of bigger rollers back to the start.

At the top of Morrow, a young guy pointed at me and said to his friends, “This guy is my hero for riding that heavy bike up this climb.” He and his friends were all riding lightweight carbon bikes.

7. Does your bike have a name? If so, what is it?

Yes, his name is KERT.

Editor’s note: It took me a minute, but I get it.

8. What is one of your favorite accessories with this bicycle?

I like all of my accessories but the one that gets you the biggest bang for your buck is definitely the Velo Orange front bag. Everthing you need while your rolling is at your fingertips and it holds the cue sheet.

The bell gets a lot of attention, and it’s really useful.

Storing the essentials in the front bag. The bell just peeks out below the handlebars.

9. If your bike could talk, what is one thing it would say to you?

Why did we stop?

10. What did I forget to ask you that you want to tell me about your bike?

“If you had it to do over, would you build the same bike?” The answer is, yes I would.

Thank you so much for being part of Bikes to Like, Rick. Your Trek is a great bike and you have definitely put it to the test this year with all the brevets you have ridden. Well done!


  1. Nice bike, Rick!

    OK, item 7, I don’t get it — why KERT?

    By the way, I converted my wife’s ’86 Trek 400 Elance over to 650B a few weeks ago. She finds it much more stable-feeling than 700×25.


    1. I have an ’86 400 Elance too! Love the sporty feel, and wouldn’t change out the 700×23’s I run for the world. (Ok, maybe for the world.) I’m curious though what the differences are between the 300 and the 400.

      and I’m still clueless about KERT…


  2. I met R^2 (and his bicycle) via an interesting set of circumstances on a day in June 2011. The short version, and a short blog-post about the ride R^2 did that day, can be found here.

    There is a more detailed accounting our my first meeting R^2 embedded in this post about a different ride that same day. To save you from having to sift through the long post, the “moment of meeting” text goes something like this:

    “We hear a group of cyclists coming. We see them as they clear the screen of trees.

    There are nine in the group. I don’t recognize two of them.

    “Who are you?”
    “And who invited you to the ride?”
    “You did.”
    “I did?”
    “Yeah, you’re ‘skiffrun’, right?”
    “I saw your blog entry where you mentioned the ride and the time, so I figured it was an invite.”

    Looking at the nicely appointed bike with fenders and flaps and leather handlebar bag …
    “Yep. 6985.”
    “RUSA number. 6985.”
    “Oh. I’m 6218; Robert 6628; John 6951.”
    “You remember all that?”
    “I’m a numbers kind of guy. Welcome, but Iva will have already taken care of that.””

    There is a bit more embedded in the long blog post.
    Not included in the long blog post is that R^2 had put me in violation of my own “bring a guest, you are responsible for them” Irregulars rule. It turned out okay, though. Some might say “better than okay” as R^2 came back the following weekend to join us on our Summer Solstice Ride to the Whirligigs — but that is another story.

    Anyway … that’s how this North Carolina randonneur met Rick and fat-tyre bicycle.


  3. I have an ’87 400T that I’m considering converting, that’s how I stumbled upon this post. What was that thing clamped on his head tube?


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