Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Experience with Mid 2000's Lemond "Spine" Bikes?

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Experience with Mid 2000's Lemond "Spine" Bikes?

Old 05-14-15, 07:01 PM
  #1  
a3inverter 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
a3inverter's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Boston
Posts: 227

Bikes: More than the boss realizes...

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Experience with Mid 2000's Lemond "Spine" Bikes?

All,

I'm looking at a Lemond "spine" bike from the mid 2000's (2004-2006) and wanted to know if anyone can speak to their longevity. The Lemond "spine" bikes were made from a combination of a steel or titanium "spine" (the front half of the top tube, the downtube, bottom bracket and chainstays) and a carbon fiber "cockpit" (seat tube, seat stays and the rear half of the top tube).

The spine bikes were the Tete de Course and Victoire (Titanium and Carbon), and the Maillot Jaune, Buenos Aires and Versailles (Steel and Carbon)

Sounds great in concept and I've read many reviews that speak to the comfort of the ride, but again, before I drop cash on such a thing I thought I'd check with the interwebs to see if anyone had first hand experience (either as a wrench or an owner) with these now that they are a decade old.

Thanks!
a3inverter is offline  
Old 05-14-15, 07:15 PM
  #2  
Jed19
Senior Member
 
Jed19's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,225
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I am not an owner of any LeMond "spined Bike", but I do own a 2007 LeMond Buenos Aires carbon frame bike because I like his geometry philosophy. I have always steered cleared of any "combo material" bike because I have seen three failures with people I know. The failure was always at the joint, the place the carbon met the metal. Two were Cannondale Six 13s and the other was a Bianchi.

My deduction from all these was that the adhesive and/or bonding method was the issue. I will never own a two/or more frame material bicycle because of this.
Jed19 is offline  
Old 05-15-15, 10:36 AM
  #3  
Eric S. 
Senior Member
 
Eric S.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 802

Bikes: '04 LeMond Buenos Aires, '82 Bianchi Nuova Racing, De Rosa SLX, Bridgestone MB-1, Guerciotti TSX, Torpado Aelle, LeMond Tourmalet 853, Bridgestone Radac

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 53 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
I've had a 2004 Buenos Aires for 10 years now. I wasn't really shopping for a new bike in 2005 but my brother told me about this "leftover" sitting in a shop and deeply discounted.

I've ridden a couple centuries on it and it was perfectly comfortable. I've acquired a few more bikes (Italian/Columbus steel) in the last 3 years and the LeMond is a little harsh compared to them if running high psi skinny tires, but I've been using 700x28 for awhile and it smooths things out a bit.

One thing I like about it is how unique it is - Trek never put their decals on this design.

As for longevity, being a heavier rider (6'2", 200lbs.) I think the steel or titanium is right where it should be. Mine is holding up nicely. I check eBay frequently for LeMond bikes and there seem to be two steel spline versions - Reynolds 853 and True Temper. Mine is the True Temper version.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg
2012LEMOND.jpg (104.4 KB, 98 views)

Last edited by Eric S.; 05-15-15 at 10:39 AM.
Eric S. is offline  
Old 05-15-15, 11:37 AM
  #4  
a3inverter 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
a3inverter's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Boston
Posts: 227

Bikes: More than the boss realizes...

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks Eric!
a3inverter is offline  
Old 05-15-15, 02:13 PM
  #5  
FastJake
Constant tinkerer
 
FastJake's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,640
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
One more (potentially relevant) data point for you: years ago a friend had an early 2000s Litespeed. It was carbon/titanium/aluminum or some crazy combination like that. It broke. He had it crudely fixed and continued commuting on it.

I'm with Jed19 on this one. If I'm gonna buy a titanium frame, make it full titanium. I'd really like one with a titanium fork but I don't think I've ever seen one! I don't understand mixed material bikes. Make it full steel, full aluminum, full titanium, full carbon. The mixed ones just seem like marketing BS and are more failure prone at the joints.
FastJake is offline  
Old 05-15-15, 02:43 PM
  #6  
Eric S. 
Senior Member
 
Eric S.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 802

Bikes: '04 LeMond Buenos Aires, '82 Bianchi Nuova Racing, De Rosa SLX, Bridgestone MB-1, Guerciotti TSX, Torpado Aelle, LeMond Tourmalet 853, Bridgestone Radac

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 53 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
I used to work for a cruise line and was out on a ship when my brother set me up with my LeMond. It's a 57cm, but he told me "this kind of frame rides like a 59cm".

I had him take some pictures of it against my old 58cm De Rosa. The bike looks small but rides big, for being considered 57cm.



This photo was after the first round of alterations - flipped the stem, re-positioned the brake levers, changed the seat, and put 180mm Dura Ace cranks on it.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg
2005LEMOND.jpg (105.5 KB, 108 views)
File Type: jpg
LeMond 1 PS.jpg (97.9 KB, 110 views)

Last edited by Eric S.; 05-15-15 at 07:18 PM.
Eric S. is offline  
Old 05-16-15, 10:06 AM
  #7  
MikeWMass
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: western Massachusetts (greater Springfield area)
Posts: 574

Bikes: Velosolex St. Tropez, LeMond Zurich (spine bike), Rotator swb recumbent

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You missed the Zurich, which was TrueTemper steel and carbon (even though Bikepedia says it was titanium and carbon, it was not). I have one that I got in 2006, still ride as my primary bike. I find it comfortable and stable, not really significantly heavier than carbon bikes of comparable cost at the time. So far no durability issues. The top tubes are long for the frame size, so try it before you buy it.
MikeWMass is offline  
Old 05-16-15, 10:37 AM
  #8  
HillRider 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 31,458

Bikes: '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1130 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 12 Times in 12 Posts
Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
One more (potentially relevant) data point for you: years ago a friend had an early 2000s Litespeed. It was carbon/titanium/aluminum or some crazy combination like that. It broke. He had it crudely fixed and continued commuting on it.

I'm with Jed19 on this one. If I'm gonna buy a titanium frame, make it full titanium. I'd really like one with a titanium fork but I don't think I've ever seen one! I don't understand mixed material bikes. Make it full steel, full aluminum, full titanium, full carbon. The mixed ones just seem like marketing BS and are more failure prone at the joints.
+1 on all counts. I remember several years ago there was a fad for frames with metal front triangles and carbon rear stays with all sorts of claims for improved (pick one): comfort, stiffness, weight, handling, etc. The trend died pretty quickly most likely due to joint failures.
HillRider is offline  
Old 05-16-15, 06:54 PM
  #9  
a3inverter 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
a3inverter's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Boston
Posts: 227

Bikes: More than the boss realizes...

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks all for the responses. I wound up going 100% carbon - a 2009 Specialized S-Works Tarmac.
a3inverter is offline  
Old 05-16-15, 07:03 PM
  #10  
IcySmooth52
Senior Member
 
IcySmooth52's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Portland, ME
Posts: 1,620
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Good call. It's odd to use carbon fiber on top and steel or titanium below because carbon can be stiffer, while steel or titanium is known for a comfort quality. So they use the possibly stiffer material on top and not the part of the frame that benefits from stiffness?
IcySmooth52 is offline  
Old 05-17-15, 05:29 AM
  #11  
a77impala
a77impala
 
a77impala's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Western South Dakota
Posts: 1,504
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have an'06 Versaille, no problems, great ride, bought it new.
a77impala is offline  
Old 06-23-15, 08:11 PM
  #12  
cycledog1
Senior Member
 
cycledog1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: vancouver WA
Posts: 62
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I know you already purchased your S-Works Tarmac, a3inverter, but for anyone wondering about the Lemond Spine frame longevity, it will probably outlive the all CF frames based on the way they are built and may be repaired in the event of an accident. 1/2 the frame is ox and the other part laid up CF of very high quality and stout while very light. the zurich/maillot jaune, and versailles were all the same frame, differing ONLY in the fork. the price difference was in the comp group, so thats what makes for the dialed in ride.

my '05 versailles is totally rebuilt with a nice Ritchey carbon fork and complete ultegra 6700 group with recently aquired mavic kysrium wheelset, comes in at a respectable 17.6 lbs without peddles and is an amazing all day ride.

so if you find one, make sure there are no cracks, you are good to go. I have 3 friends with them that also swear by them. btw, this is still my fav ride over my quiring ti, my volagi, my 853 steel zurich. it takes the bumps, sounds and feels like steel, beautiful as well.


the tarmac will be lighter ---------------------- its pretty damn nice. can't say I'd pick the lemond over it, but I will say with my setup it would be tough for me to trade you for it!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
IMG_3046.jpg (102.0 KB, 51 views)
cycledog1 is offline  
Old 06-23-15, 08:13 PM
  #13  
cycledog1
Senior Member
 
cycledog1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: vancouver WA
Posts: 62
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Eric S. View Post
I used to work for a cruise line and was out on a ship when my brother set me up with my LeMond. It's a 57cm, but he told me "this kind of frame rides like a 59cm".

I had him take some pictures of it against my old 58cm De Rosa. The bike looks small but rides big, for being considered 57cm.



This photo was after the first round of alterations - flipped the stem, re-positioned the brake levers, changed the seat, and put 180mm Dura Ace cranks on it.

nice ride, eric!
cycledog1 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.