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  1. #1
    Senior Member bigwoo's Avatar
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    Opinions on LeMond...?

    Couple of questions: When did production of the very first LeMond road bikes begin and then actually cease?

    Were they ever made anywhere but Trek Waterloo?

    Seems like most of the Reynolds 853 framesets were pretty nice, even if they weren't lugged and were TIG'd....

    For quite some time I have been trying to research what really happened b/w LeMond and Trek, but I have never been able to close the book on the issue, in my head anyways.... I look at older steel LeMond road bikes and sometimes wish that I had one...

    I honestly don't know if Greg was trying to do what he felt was the right thing, or if he was a guy taking cheap shots at other riders VIA the media...I don't know why I am fascinated w/ LeMond bikes...

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by bigwoo; 02-08-09 at 10:02 PM.
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  2. #2
    working on progress treebound's Avatar
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    I believe the actual parting of ways was in 2008. I know I was watching a "hand made" early LeMond on EBay several months ago that I would have really liked to have. I also know first hand that setting up and tuning the shifting on the latest c/f models can give one a headache at times. I currently own one LeMond, a Fillmore, and would like to have one of the steel road bikes like a Reno, or a Nevada City, or a Poprad, or whatever came my way in my size and within my budget.

  3. #3
    Senior Member bigwoo's Avatar
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    Thanks treebound,
    I can't believe that somebody else didn't offer to keep production going....

    Any idea of when the first ones were made..? I really like the Reno, Nevada City and Zurich's also...

    I have a little bit of time on the Reynolds 853 frames, but would like to have one of my own to form a better opinion....
    "Mommy's all right, Daddy's all right, They just seem a little weird"

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  4. #4
    Senior Member triplebutted's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigwoo View Post

    Were they ever made anywhere but Trek Waterloo?
    Mine was made in Taiwan. 853 Tubing

    Seems like most of the Reynolds 853 framesets were pretty nice, even if they weren't lugged and were TIG'd....
    They ride really nice. Its my full time training bike. I'd like to do crits with them but I like the downtube shifters too much.

    I look at older steel LeMond road bikes and sometimes wish that I had one...
    Here's one to help you decide if you want to get one:


  5. #5
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    I like Lamond bikes, but have never found one at the right time. In regard to the trek / LaMond tiff and ending of the line... you will have to follow the court case.

    But remember by the end, Trek sponsored Lance, Trek marketed LaMond. Lance and Greg had some public disagreements to place it politely. Lance was the bigger fish, Trek was better off with the bigger fish.

    Business can get ugly.

  6. #6
    Senior Member tradtimbo's Avatar
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    I own a 2000 Buenos Aires. 853 throughout. Very nice ride. I built it frame up, so it has nothing original.

    I heard that trek gave Greg Lemond a certain number of bikes per year, but he couldn't sell them. A Lemond dealer in his neck of the woods, caught him selling a Lemond to one of his customers. this event gave trek the excuse to break their contact with him. I feel lucky to have a Lemond. There may be no more coming.
    Can anyone give me a ride from Monterey to Big Bear on Wednesday or Thursday?

    The Sustainable Cyclist

  7. #7
    Senior Member oldbobcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigwoo View Post
    I don't know why I am fascinated w/ LeMond bikes...[/B]

    Thoughts?
    There are worse obsessions.

    Unfortunately, the story about LeMond will be more about the business relationship with Trek and Greg's compulsion to get the truth out about doping, whatever that was, rather than the bikes--which are all quite remarkable in their own right. They were all built the way their founder believed a bike should be built, and those beliefs were formed by Greg's first pro director at Renault/Elf/Gitane, Cyrille Guilmard.

    While Greg's insinuations against his partner's (Trek's) franchise, Lance, were immature, ill advised, and appearing to be cheap shots, I think Greg just never saw it that way. He simply believed in the rightness of what he was doing and never questioned his motivations or his methods. I don't think he even considered that others would ever question his motives.

    This saddens me because while I used to be a bit envious of Greg's success and the support of his family that he enjoyed, I always admired his style of racing. I always recall US national coach Eddie Borysewicz's pride in having coached Greg, and his use of his 1983 World Championship ride as a textbook example of how to use tactics to force a selection, control opponents, and win a race.

  8. #8
    Extra Medium Member redtires's Avatar
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    I really think that Trek is only trying to protect their own futures when it comes to the legal issues with LeMond. Armstrong is a HUGE influence on Trek sales IMHO and I believe that is what worries them, not some backyard "grey-market" bike sale (no offense tradtimbo). It's just my opinion, but I always thought Trek made a bad decision when picking up the LeMond name as it was a partnership doomed from the start. It's been long known that LeMond has many misgivings surrounding the professional aspect of the sport. LeMond is also somewhat of an activist when it comes to the UCI, WADA and other organizations and is constently campaigning for change and far more unified and strict guidelines. Being a long time cyclist and also a cop, I've always moved toward thinking of LeMond is to cycling as what Frank Serpico is (was) to police work. That is what I love about LeMond...I'm an optimist and I seek the truth wherever I can. So anyway, Trek has somewhat of a situational paradox on it's hands when it comes to dealing with it's own name integrity inside of pro cycling and the integrity of it's contract with LeMond. LeMond has become the "leg in the trap" as it were...and I think Trek is trying to cut off a leg in order to keep living, even if there may be a wound there for a while.

    But aaaaaanyhow.....I believe the early LeMond's were outsourced to various manufactures until Trek bought the name, so I would think that depending on the model, you'd be looking at either Europe or Asia. And just to say it....853 was actually made specifically for TIG welding....although I see quite a few bikes that are either lugged or fillet brazed. When done correctly, TIG'ing 853 will actually make it stronger.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member bigwoo's Avatar
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    You make some good points Oldbobcat & Redtires...

    From Bob Jackson's page:

    "Reynolds 853 is a high strength, 210,00 psi, heat treated, air hardened steel alloy. Careful control of the alloying elements combine to give these tubes enhanced mechanical properties surpassing other materials currently available.



    The main advantage of Reynolds 853 is its ability to air harden after joining, a characteristic not shown by other chrome molybdenum / manganese molybdenum materials presently on the market. When building frames using either TIG welding or high temperature brazing, above 1600 degrees, the joints increase in strength as the frame cools to room temperature.



    LUG CONSTRUCTION IS THE PREFERRED METHOD OF JOINING 853. It allows a much larger area to be heated than tig welding which concentrates the heat to a very small area at the weld. This completely goes against the “AIR HARDENING” building philosophy of the material and adds nothing to the strength of the joint. It is however a much cheaper joining method, requiring less time and skill to perform.


    Due to the superior mechanical properties of 853 tubing, there are several benefits which will translate directly to the cyclist. The wall thickness of 853 has been reduced to 0.4 mm, a full 0.1 mm thinner than Reynolds other top of the line 753 tubing. This translates into a frame weight of under 3 pounds 5 ounces for a 56 cm frame (less fork). Because of the added hardness of this alloy the chances of denting the tubing are no greater than that of present materials being employed. The final significant advantage is the increased stiffness of the frame and its ability to transmit all of the cyclist power into forward motion. The oversized 853 tube set, with its oval chainstays represents the ultimate in power transmission. Aside from the 853 OS tubeset, conventional diameter sets are available which will allow for a more comfortable ride, while still retaining most of the benefits associated with 853 oversize.



    853 is currently produced in 8 tube tubesets. There are no fork blades drawn from this alloy. Bob Jackson will supply 853 frames with your choice of fork material., and configuration.
    "

    I am keeping my fingers crossed for LeMond Cycles, I hope we will see a steel botique road bike from LeMond in the future....One that has nothing to do w/ Trek....
    Ehh Ehhmmm, Waterford is just down the road from Waterloo....How cool would that be!?
    Last edited by bigwoo; 02-08-09 at 10:07 PM.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member tradtimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redtires View Post
    ...not some backyard "grey-market" bike sale...
    no offense taken. besides, you misunderstood me. They used the bike sale as an excuse. a breach of contract so to speak. a perfect opurtunity to let go of someone they wanted to let go.

    of course, this all hearsay for me.
    Can anyone give me a ride from Monterey to Big Bear on Wednesday or Thursday?

    The Sustainable Cyclist

  11. #11
    Extra Medium Member redtires's Avatar
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    I got what you were saying, I just did not want to come across like I was "one-upping" the facts. And you are 100% right by the way, that would appear to be a perfectly legal way to break the contract for breach.

    Bigwoo...I'm not sure I understand exactly what your trying to say...HELP! Bob Jackson is a great builder, but I would disagree that brazing works the same as TIG on 853. 853 is made from the same steel developed for an application in which TIG is the only method of construction...side impact frames on high performance cars. Also, the butts on 853 are shorter, thus the lug may actually extend past the butting shelf causing higher stress points. I would say that Jackson is being a consumate businessman by saying lugs are the "preferred method" for construction. And at temps above 1600 degrees you would be building with a rather high content of bronze and silver brazing would never come close to these temps. At those high temps, you also start to get copper infusion into the steel, which actually will weaken it. Also, when TIG welding, the heating process is quite fast and does not radiate as far towards the center of the tube, while brass-bronze brazing causes a large amount of radiation and longer heat times. This would lead to a "soft in the middle" tube, where lot's of torsion and lateral stresses occur. TIG is also done in an oxygen deficient environment, which reduces oxidation in the weld area. As for TIG requiring less skill...well...I can say from experience that TIG welding a frame with a .5 millimeter wall thickness is no "low skill" task. It takes a lot of concentration and skill not to blow through a tube and end up with a uniform depth and aesthetically pleasing weld. Granted, it is cheaper on a mass production scale and can be done mechanically, but I don't think most handbuilt rides were made with a robot.
    Last edited by redtires; 02-10-09 at 01:13 AM.
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  12. #12
    Run What 'Ya Brung bonechilling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigwoo View Post
    Couple of questions: When did production of the very first LeMond road bikes begin and then actually cease?

    Were they ever made anywhere but Trek Waterloo?
    There were two companies, one was Greg LeMond, and the other is (was?) LeMond. The originals were made in Italy by the Billato Brothers (or, occasionally, by Roland Della Santa, if you're lucky). These bikes were generally made of lugged Columbus steel and painted by Ten Speed Drive Imports, and sold as "Greg LeMond" bicycles. You can find these on eBay pretty often, and they come in some pretty awesome paint schemes. I actually own an early Greg LeMond track bike which I love. Anyway, due to some unpleasantness, this company folded, and I've read that this was the source of the split between Greg and his father. As far as when LeMond gets started again with Trek, I'm not sure, but I know that Greg LeMond bikes date from something ~1987-~1990. Mine is from 1989.
    Quote Originally Posted by doofo View Post
    the main cause of fit problems is riding your bike

    you should have just stopped riding so you could focus on color coordination

  13. #13
    Run What 'Ya Brung bonechilling's Avatar
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    I don't think LeMond was using 853 at the end. By 2006 or so, I'm pretty sure they were using all True Temper OX Platinum for their steel bikes. Trek definitely does not make an 853 bike. As far as I know, the only steel bike they make is the 520, and they doesn't specify any steel type there.

    Also worth mentioning about the Trek/LeMond split is that Trek took most of the old LeMond designs are is now selling them under the Gary Fisher brand. So something like the LeMond Poprad is now the Gary Fisher Presidio, and so on.

    Since we're posting out LeMonds, here's mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by doofo View Post
    the main cause of fit problems is riding your bike

    you should have just stopped riding so you could focus on color coordination

  14. #14
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    Wow that track bike is beauty

    I was glad to get one of the last Poprad's last year in OX Platinum steal. It's by far the best riding cross bike I have ever had and I've had a few.

  15. #15
    Senior Member bigwoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redtires View Post
    Bigwoo...I'm not sure I understand exactly what your trying to say...HELP! Bob Jackson is a great builder, but I would disagree that brazing works the same as TIG on 853. 853 is made from the same steel developed for an application in which TIG is the only method of construction...side impact frames on high performance cars. .
    Redtires,
    Sorry, I wasn't trying to confuse the issue. I just thought that the B. Jackson statement was really interesting....My interpretation of the statement is that Reynolds 853 is outstanding/top shelf and was meant to be TIG welded, but can be just as good in a lugged application if somebody has the skill and time.....That may possibly mean that it is a cutting edge, outstanding technology that can be applied by old world craftsmen.... Just my thoughts there.....

    Well Guys, you have posted some gorgeous bikes and now I am convinced that I would like to have an 853 steel LeMond to ride in the Rocky Mountains.... The hunt begins......

    There must be collectors hoarding the earlier LeMond's in a big-time way, because I don't see many pre-late 90's at all!!
    Last edited by bigwoo; 02-09-09 at 07:12 AM.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member velomateo's Avatar
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    This one shows up on CL every so often...he is asking to much.
    http://losangeles.craigslist.org/wst...024607585.html
    Some carbon LeMonds were made by Calfee in the 90's.

  17. #17
    Senior Member ldmataya's Avatar
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    The first "Trek" LeMonds where 1995 models. The most common LeMond road bike spotted then was a re-badged Trek oclv frame sold as a LeMond Maillot Jaune or Chambery. If you have a non-Trek LeMond, it is pre-1995. Then the 853 bikes came along (Zurich) which were originally welded up in Waterloo, WI. bonechilling is correct - the latest LeMond steel bikes were True Temper. I had a Zurich and have a True Temper fixed gear. They are good bikes - geometry happened to fit me real well and the Zurich was an excellent road race bike.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonechilling View Post
    The originals were made in Italy by the Billato Brothers (or, occasionally, by Roland Della Santa, if you're lucky).
    You mean lucky like John Barron ("Velostuf)?

    http://www.velostuf.com/1990LemondBy...DellaSanta.htm

  19. #19
    Senior Member triplebutted's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ldmataya View Post
    Then the 853 bikes came along (Zurich) which were originally welded up in Waterloo, WI. bonechilling is correct - the latest LeMond steel bikes were True Temper. I had a Zurich and have a True Temper fixed gear. They are good bikes - geometry happened to fit me real well and the Zurich was an excellent road race bike.
    I'll have to look at mine cause I thought it said Taiwan on it. But I'm probably spacing out as usual. I think it is pre '95 cause I got it on sale as an "older" model.

  20. #20
    Senior Member bigwoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picchio Special View Post
    You mean lucky like John Barron ("Velostuf)?

    http://www.velostuf.com/1990LemondBy...DellaSanta.htm
    Dang Picchio, Thanks for posting that!! I had never seen it before!

    "Built for Greg but never used..."

    Coolest retro graphics ever!!!!

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  21. #21
    Crawlin' up, flyin' down bikingshearer's Avatar
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    As far as the 853 Lemonds, they are great. I have a 61cm 2000 Zurich (853 TIG-welded frame, carbon fiber fork) that is currently stripped down and waiting for me to get around to selling. It rode great, and it corrnered like it was on rails. Greg knows a thing or two about frame geometry. He may have learned it all from others, like Cyrille Guimard and Roland Della Santa (and I doubt he'd deny it) but he learned it very well.

    As for the other stuff -- Greg Lemond has something of a history for getting into hissy-fits with folks with whom he is doing business. He had a major blow up with his Dad. He is having a major blow up with Trek. There have been others.

    He has also had some major run-ins with fellow racers, [I]i.e.[I]Bernard Hinault and Jonathan Boyer. His take on why he fell from the very top of the sport in 1991 has become increasingly strident and whiny over the years.

    This much is certain: Greg Lemond lacks diplomacy skills. He was a hell of a racer, and he had me jumping for joy more than once. His 1989 TdF win was not only exciting, but one of the most amazing examples of race management you will ever see. But the clutch between his brain and his mouth has never been properly adjusted. And there have been too many fallings-out and and too much drama surrounding him and his dealings for all of it to be someone else's fault. I'm not saying it's all his fault - I can't know that and I kind of doubt it. But the one common denominator in all of the sturm und drang that has accompanied him has been him. Common sense says that he has to be at least partly at fault at least some of the time. His dealings with Trek may or may not be an instance. But his history suggests that is is at least possible that he screwed the pooch on that one.

    My sense is he is right more often than he is wrong, in terms of substance. But he has an unfortunate talent for saying stuff in a way that offends, of adding just the wrong tone or going a little too far so that whatever else he says gets lost in the process. The impact that words from someone of his stature should have is all too often reduced by his lack of tact and failure to think about how to phrase something so as to maximize peoples' ability to hear and accept what he has to say.

    I think this has hurt him in terms of the respect his accomplishments have garnered (sure, his palmares are respected, but he should regarded as something close to a God for what he accomplished, and he isn't). And that is mostly self-inflicted.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member oldbobcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
    The impact that words from someone of his stature should have is all too often reduced by his lack of tact and failure to think about how to phrase something so as to maximize peoples' ability to hear and accept what he has to say.

    I think this has hurt him in terms of the respect his accomplishments have garnered (sure, his palmares are respected, but he should regarded as something close to a God for what he accomplished, and he isn't). And that is mostly self-inflicted.
    Rather than finding pride in his past and working in the present, he appears to put more heart into spinning his own myth.

  23. #23
    Senior Member bigwoo's Avatar
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    Geez you guys...
    I am humbled by the intelligence and in-depth observation that you have made here..... I honestly just think that he is a good person with bad communication skills and I also believe that he is a perfectionist, which can be a burden on those around him....

    In the back of my mind I also believe that there may be some people who feel "cheated" because they worked hard and trained to ride the tour in an honest manner, and they and their records were blown out of the water by people who may have had access to unfair techniques....

    With all of the wonderful collections we have on C&V, I'm very surprised that nobody has posted an 80's LeMond.....
    During spring & summer I see a guy on Pearl St in Boulder who has one of the very first lugged LeMond's that was ever made and it is autographed by Greg on the rear L stay..... I met him a year ago outside of Nick & Willy's Pizza and he complimented my vintage Serotta and I complimented his LeMond.... I will try to find him and get some photos of it and post back to this thread...
    Last edited by bigwoo; 02-10-09 at 09:28 AM.
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  24. #24
    Senator from Secret Ivandarken's Avatar
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    Bigwoo,

    I found this old thread lying around as I am trying to find information on a Team LeMond that I just purchased at a yard sale.

    It is a lugged frame painted brilliant yellow and has a black head tube with a Greg LeMond sticker.

    I think that it is 87'-90', but cannot be certain. It says it is made in Italy.

    It is full Campy throughout, and is in very good condition, save a few spots of rust that seem to be from a less than great original paint job.

    I rode it a little before I started taking it apart for a complete clean up. I can post photos if anyone is interested.

    If anyone knows what this is I would love it if you could educate me.

    Thanks.


    Quote Originally Posted by bigwoo View Post
    Geez you guys...
    I am humbled by the intelligence and in-depth observation that you have made here..... I honestly just think that he is a good person with bad communication skills and I also believe that he is a perfectionist, which can be a burden on those around him....

    In the back of my mind I also believe that there may be some people who feel "cheated" because they worked hard and trained to ride the tour in an honest manner, and they and their records were blown out of the water by people who may have had access to unfair techniques....

    With all of the wonderful collections we have on C&V, I'm very surprised that nobody has posted an 80's LeMond.....
    During spring & summer I see a guy on Pearl St in Boulder who has one of the very first lugged LeMond's that was ever made and it is autographed by Greg on the rear L stay..... I met him a year ago outside of Nick & Willy's Pizza and he complimented my vintage Serotta and I complimented his LeMond.... I will try to find him and get some photos of it and post back to this thread...

  25. #25
    juneeaa memba!
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    boogled up in...Idaho!
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    Crap. The box is not big enough...
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    ahem. yes, we are interested. Always interested in pictures of cool vintage bikes. We'd love to see it.

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