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    Tell me a little about these Lemond bikes. Which are good for long rides?

    Hey, everybody.

    I'm just getting in to road biking after riding a commutered, ill-fitting mountain bike for many years. I bought a used Kona Jake a couple months ago and really enjoyed it, but recently donated it to somebody's crack habit (no hard feelings).

    I really liked riding that bike, but I think it was a little aggressive for me. As I learn more about the types of bikes available, I think I'd prefer something more like an endurance bike than a cyclocross. I'm never really sprinting to win a race, I just like riding sort of fast for a really long time. I've been checking out things like the Giant Defy, Canondale Synapse and Trek Domane. Basically anything the internet tells me is "Endurance". I haven't test ridden much yet since I'll be limited to buying used and certainly well under 1k.

    I really want a bike that looks cool to me as well. Kind of silly, but it'd be nice. I really liked the older Kona stuff with the badge on the down tube and the slightly retro vibe.

    I was scrolling through CL today and noticed some of these Lemond bikes. They are really cool looking and somewhat vintage inspired and seem to be very reasonably priced in the used market. I don't know if they just don't hold their value or what, but there are several with 105 level components or better, with accessories included for under 1k in my area.

    Mainly, I'd love some help identifying the different models. I'm not really sure which ones are more endurance and which ones are more racey. The Lemond website seems to only have one bike on it as far as I can tell.

    Thanks in advance for any help, folks.

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    Senior Member McBTC's Avatar
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    That is their value: that's what used bikes go for -- they're usually steel (Reynolds 853), made in USA, not usually old enough to be "vintage," many of them around as they were associated with Trek, and are noteworthy for having a relatively long top bar compared to other bikes. I've owned two of'm: a Zurich which usually would be Ultegra components and a Buenos Aires, which is 105-level. Great bikes: loved my old Zurich, a beautiful blue (but the paint job was like butter) although it was a little small; my BA was the next size up and fun to ride but took some work to get the fit right.
    Alloy is Real

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    So it seems like pretty much all the models are the same race type geometry but with different components? I'm guessing none of them would really fit into an "Endurance" category, right? I don't think that was really a design idea until the last few years.

    What do you think of long rides on one of these? Are they more appropriate for racing?

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    In the wind mercator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corbin Gross View Post
    So it seems like pretty much all the models are the same race type geometry but with different components? I'm guessing none of them would really fit into an "Endurance" category, right? I don't think that was really a design idea until the last few years.

    What do you think of long rides on one of these? Are they more appropriate for racing?
    I've done a double century, and several century rides on this one. Fit is more important than how the bike is marketed.

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    Yeah, I guess that's a good point. I have a friend that'll ride 200mi on a full suspension mountain bike with slicks. I can't imagine.

    I really just gotta get out and ride some of these bikes instead of just looking at images on the googles.

    Is there a defining characteristic I can watch for on a quick test drive? How might one know if a bike will be comfortable after 3 hrs if you can only ride it it around in somebody's driveway? Probably I just need some practice, huh?

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    I would recommend going a size down because the long top tube is not something every one will like.

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    Senior Member McBTC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corbin Gross View Post
    So it seems like pretty much all the models are the same race type geometry but with different components? I'm guessing none of them would really fit into an "Endurance" category, right? I don't think that was really a design idea until the last few years.

    What do you think of long rides on one of these? Are they more appropriate for racing?
    Long rides... sure: the larger bikes are what I am familiar with and they had fairly relaxed seat tube angles, good-sized wheelbases and came with CF forks; the 853 steel provides a comfortable and lively ride. The Lemonds that I had were a good compromise between comfort and race as both came from the factory with triple cranks.
    Alloy is Real

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    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Near the end of the LeMond line, they had a series of aluminum bikes that would, today, be called "Endurance". They were called, I think "Big Sky".
    Telemachus has, indeed, sneezed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by McBTC View Post
    That is their value: that's what used bikes go for -- they're usually steel (Reynolds 853), made in USA, not usually old enough to be "vintage," many of them around as they were associated with Trek, and are noteworthy for having a relatively long top bar compared to other bikes. I've owned two of'm: a Zurich which usually would be Ultegra components and a Buenos Aires, which is 105-level. Great bikes: loved my old Zurich, a beautiful blue (but the paint job was like butter) although it was a little small; my BA was the next size up and fun to ride but took some work to get the fit right.
    Just as a point of clarification, Buenos Aires was, for most of the model run, while it was all steel, full Ultegra, and only took a 105/Ultegra mix during that F'ed up period after Greg was forced out by Trek and they made it a carbon/alloy mix or full carbon in the last 2 years.

    Previous to that, the distinction between the Ultegra Zurich and Ultegra BA was that the Zurich was full 853 tubing, while BA used 853 main triangle with 525 stays.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

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    Oh, I wanted to comment, too, that the classic Lemonds (as opposed to the '04-'07 rebadged Trek Lemonds) are classic road racing bikes in terms of handling manners, and are nice bikes to ride and well-suited to long mileage rides. I agree with the above statement that the relaxed seat tube angle was a little distinctive and can make setup a little particular for some riders, especially those like me with short torsos and long legs, as reach starts getting out there.

    Below is a lousy pic of my '01 BA which I bought new, and have had ever since. It was always a bit awkward for me until the compact handlebar came along, which allowed me to be comfy in the drops with a 90mm stem on this size 59cm frame (585mm top tube); before compacts, I had to slide unsustainably forward on the saddle to get the drops, and higher bars were too high for tops/hoods cruising.

    Another thing to note, depending on your intentions, is that there's not much tire clearance. 25s will just clear, 28s won't, and if you want to run full coverage fenders, only 23s...and only with the thinnest fender available, the Crud RoadRacer MkII. As mine is my winter/spring training bike, I run 23c Panaracer Gravelking tires (excellent tire, btw) under Cruds, but while I'd prefer 25s, that ain't happenin'.

    Last edited by chaadster; 08-28-15 at 06:41 AM.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

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    One more thing...

    If you're looking at one that comes with Bontrager Select or Race wheels, budget to replace them ASAP, because they're stupidly heavy and ride horribly, too. Doing so will transform the character of the bike; it did for me.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

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    Quote Originally Posted by Corbin Gross View Post
    So it seems like pretty much all the models are the same race type geometry but with different components? I'm guessing none of them would really fit into an "Endurance" category, right? I don't think that was really a design idea until the last few years.

    What do you think of long rides on one of these? Are they more appropriate for racing?
    One big feature of endurance bikes is the tall head tube. That puts the rider in a more upright position. Older bikes didn't have that, partially because riders just increased the stem height.

    Lemonds are charactized by long top tubes. The rational is to stretch out the rider. This kind of goes against the endurance philosophy. If you like a more stretched out position on any bike, you can get a longer stem.

    I would check out LBS and do dome test rides. 2015 sales are on
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

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    It's not that the classic steel (and Ti) frames had long top tubes-- a size 59 would have a 590 top tube-- but rather the .5 slack seat tube and steep head tubes (59 had 74) that increased front-center/reach. Top tube length was classic square with frame (i.e. seat tube) size.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

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    Senior Member bikecrate's Avatar
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    It would probably be helpful to post some exact years and models. As mentioned above, there can be some difference between the early ones and Trek/Lemonds. Their sizing is also a bit different than other brands. If I remember right they are sized more for a longer torso.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    It's not that the classic steel (and Ti) frames had long top tubes-- a size 59 would have a 590 top tube-- but rather the .5 slack seat tube and steep head tubes (59 had 74) that increased front-center/reach. Top tube length was classic square with frame (i.e. seat tube) size.
    I think that square geometry only applied to the larger sizes of 59 and 61. The other sizes were clearly longer in the top tube which was the characteristic Lemond advocated. I remembered looking at them when buying. The one I looked at had an effective 54.7 seat tube with a 56.5 top tube
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  16. #16
    In the wind mercator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
    I think that square geometry only applied to the larger sizes of 59 and 61. The other sizes were clearly longer in the top tube which was the characteristic Lemond advocated. I remembered looking at them when buying. The one I looked at had an effective 54.7 seat tube with a 56.5 top tube
    That's correct. Mine is a 55 and has those dimensions (I could easily ride a 57). Here is a link to some catalog scans with lots of details.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
    I think that square geometry only applied to the larger sizes of 59 and 61. The other sizes were clearly longer in the top tube which was the characteristic Lemond advocated. I remembered looking at them when buying. The one I looked at had an effective 54.7 seat tube with a 56.5 top tube
    Admittedly my frame of reference are the larger sizes, as those are what I ride, but I thing it is classically true that smaller sizes have longer top tubes, no? I mean, it wouldn't be weird for a 52cm frame to have, say, a 535mm top tube, would it? However, a 73.5 seat angle on that size would be, right?

    Those days are pretty well gone, however, so I don't rightly recall, but looking at a current "classic road race geometry" frame like the Torelli Super Corsa would suggest that might be true. It's an academic point of distinction, bit I do recall back when I bought mine having the understanding that the seat tube angle drove longer reach, and that was the "signature" element of Lemond's philosophy.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

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    Senior Member McBTC's Avatar
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    Here's a '01 BA (different stem and originally came with a Rolf wheelset). You can dress'm up old school -- e.g., put on a handlebar bag and clips on the pedals -- and, it'd pass for vintage any day ('01 was the last year of the quill stem). This BA easily accommodated larger tires than 25s.

    Lemond-in-Dana-06.jpg
    Alloy is Real

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    Quote Originally Posted by mercator View Post
    That's correct. Mine is a 55 and has those dimensions (I could easily ride a 57). Here is a link to some catalog scans with lots of details.
    I dunno... Looking at the '01 Trek 2300, the 52cm size has a 532mm top tube, a 75 seat angle, and a 72 head tube angle.

    so it seems to me that while the smaller size has a longer-than-seat-tube-top tube as the Lemond does, the really distinguishing feature is the variance in seat tube angle.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

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    Dang if this one didn't show on the local CL...very tempting if I didn't already have a steel bike. I can only hope that it's not my size. Older steel Lemond Zurich are pretty rare on CL here.
    LeMond Zurich (2000)

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    All this talk has me missing my first LeMond frame, a team z steel frame that looked something like this...


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    Quote Originally Posted by mawashi View Post
    All this talk has me missing my first LeMond frame, a team z steel frame that looked something like this...

    Now, those are cool!
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    Oh, I wanted to comment, too, that the classic Lemonds (as opposed to the '04-'07 rebadged Trek Lemonds) are classic road racing bikes in terms of handling manners, and are nice bikes to ride and well-suited to long mileage rides. I agree with the above statement that the relaxed seat tube angle was a little distinctive and can make setup a little particular for some riders, especially those like me with short torsos and long legs, as reach starts getting out there.

    Below is a lousy pic of my '01 BA which I bought new, and have had ever since. It was always a bit awkward for me until the compact handlebar came along, which allowed me to be comfy in the drops with a 90mm stem on this size 59cm frame (585mm top tube); before compacts, I had to slide unsustainably forward on the saddle to get the drops, and higher bars were too high for tops/hoods cruising.

    Another thing to note, depending on your intentions, is that there's not much tire clearance. 25s will just clear, 28s won't, and if you want to run full coverage fenders, only 23s...and only with the thinnest fender available, the Crud RoadRacer MkII. As mine is my winter/spring training bike, I run 23c Panaracer Gravelking tires (excellent tire, btw) under Cruds, but while I'd prefer 25s, that ain't happenin'.

    Schwalbe Marathon Racer 700 X 30 is the largest tire that would fit a Trek Lemond.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    One more thing...

    If you're looking at one that comes with Bontrager Select or Race wheels, budget to replace them ASAP, because they're stupidly heavy and ride horribly, too. Doing so will transform the character of the bike; it did for me.
    The Select wheels on mine are probably the best of the Bontrager components from 2006. The front has needed retensioning several times, and also one of the cones worked loose quickly, but other than that, pretty much a normal MOR wheelset. Other Bontrager stuff has needed to be replaced - the original seatpost was way too small, replaced by the dealer, the rebadged TruVativ crankset broke on the drive side, the seat clamp was simply a bad design that wouldn't hold tight. I do love the ride of the steel frame though, and plan on keeping the bike for quite a while longer. IMO, the steel Lemonds, either 853 or True Temper tubing are great rides.

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    Hey, all.

    Here are a couple of CL links that are in my budget and not too far.

    lemond zurich 56 cm

    00x0x_2ukpqerTjUt_600x450.jpg

    56cm steel/carbon fork Greg lemond tourmelet

    00a0a_8h0qWflsDj6_600x450.jpg

    The red one is pretty sweet lookin', and affordable, and close. I know I've just got to go and ride the things, but figured I'd like to have an idea of which models have a reputation for being comfortable vs. super race-ness. (Sorry, still learning the words)

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