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Billato built Lemonds "what's the story"

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Billato built Lemonds "what's the story"

Old 12-02-18, 06:39 PM
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Billato built Lemonds "what's the story"

Hi,
I recently picked up a late model Lemond 853 tubing and knew that early Lemonds were "lugged" frames, I was wondering about those pre-Trek Lemonds...On the net, some were apparently built by Billato other by another fabricator in California, are there differences in the Q.C?
Would the pre-trek built Lemonds with SL be considered quality built frames and good riders or mid-level machines...I have no complaints about the Zurich but wondering about the older ones.
Were they (earlier ones) equipped with Campy or Shimano?
Thanks for the information.
Best, Ben
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Old 12-02-18, 06:58 PM
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Paging @jamesdak

He seems to be the resident expert on these
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Old 12-02-18, 07:03 PM
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Well, I can chime in a bit.

They came in a lot of different configurations, tubesets, etc. So some better than others.

I've got three of them built by Billato. One Columbus TSX, one Columbus Cromor, and one Excell GLx. I consider them all excellent rides. They all ride different but that's to be expected. I'd call the build quality top-notch but I am an unbiased fan of them all. A lot of these seemed to be brought in and sold by Ten Speed Drive Imports. I don't remember if that partnership continued until the deal with Trek or not.

The earlier Team Lemonds were mostly built by Carnielli. Although a few of these were built by Della Santa and I'd personally kill for one of them. Well, not really but....

Anyway, here's some links to galleries of my bikes. Judge the quality for yourself.

The Team Gan GLX, Excell GLx tubing:

glx_gan Photo Gallery by J Huddle at pbase.com

The Maillot Jaune, Columbus TSX tubing:

maillot_jaune Photo Gallery by J Huddle at pbase.com

The Ventoux, Columbus Cromor tubing:

ventoux Photo Gallery by J Huddle at pbase.com

Here's the 1994 catalog on these.

1994_lemond_catalog Photo Gallery by J Huddle at pbase.com

Early Lemond Geo info:





More literature










Yeah I'm a fan.



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Old 12-02-18, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
Well, I can chime in a bit.

They came in a lot of different configurations, tubesets, etc. So some better than others.

I've got three of them built by Billato. One Columbus TSX, one Columbus Cromor, and one Excell GLx. I consider them all excellent rides. They all ride different but that's to be expected. I'd call the build quality top-notch but I am an unbiased fan of them all.

The earlier Team Lemonds were mostly built by Carnielli. Although a few of these were built by Della Santa and I'd personally kill for one of them. Well, not really but....

Anyway, here's some links to galleries of my bikes. Judge the quality for yourself.

The Team Gan GLX, Excell GLx tubing:

glx_gan Photo Gallery by J Huddle at pbase.com

The Maillot Jaune, Columbus TSX tubing:

maillot_jaune Photo Gallery by J Huddle at pbase.com

The Ventoux, Columbus Cromor tubing:

ventoux Photo Gallery by J Huddle at pbase.com

Here's the 1994 catalog on these.

1994_lemond_catalog Photo Gallery by J Huddle at pbase.com

Early Lemond Geo info:






More literature












Yeah I'm a fan.

James, thanks for the reply...To say you are a fan would be to state it lightly!
I thought I could get "some info" but wow...James, what about the SL frames, were they built by Billato or Della Sante, how would one distinguish one from the other?
I know that you have quite a stable and you mention the quality is top notch where would you rank them?
Maybe you provide the answers in the links...getting ready for a "light" read.
If I am looking for one any advice?
Best, Ben
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Old 12-02-18, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by xiaoman1 View Post
James, thanks for the reply...To say you are a fan would be to state it lightly!
I thought I could get "some info" but wow...James, what about the SL frames, were they built by Billato or Della Sante, how would one distinguish one from the other?
I know that you have quite a stable and you mention the quality is top notch where would you rank them?
Maybe you provide the answers in the links...getting ready for a "light" read.
If I am looking for one any advice?
Best, Ben

Well, the mid to late 80's bike were branded as Team Lemonds and pretty much had this look. These are the ones mainly built by Carnielli. If you see one with a star with "DS" it's a Della Santa built one. Buy it!




Then the 89-95ish were branded Greg Lemond and these were the Billato built ones. They had decals similar to this for most of their years.




Then in those final years before Trek took over you saw Decals more like this.




So still Billato built but now a different decals and paint scheme. One constant on the Billato's seems to be the "Handbuilt" rear brake bridges like this:




As too what is best I can't give an honest answer. I also have 3 of the Trek made Lemonds, great rides too. I don't think you can go wrong with a steel Lemond myself.

My first Trek was a 2000 Zurich that was pretty beat up. It still holds several PRs for me. I loaned it to a friend several years ago and he's still "borrowing" it. My GP&GS bike appears to be another Zurich under the custom paint and is one fast and comfortable bike. That said if I could only keep one it would by the TSX Maillot Jaune. Plenty fast with the PR on my 25 mile route. What I really like about this one though is a phenomenon I've noticed on a lot of rides. Late in the rides as I get tired my pace tends to fall off. On this bike it is always so easy to get back up and hold pace once I realize I'm slacking. The bike is just so responsive.

As to a SL tubed one. I have to believe it would be a great ride. SL is a top-notch tubeset and I'm sure any Lemond built with it would be great.

This site, and it's facebook sister site, are run by real Greg fanatics and there's a ton of info shared at the sites.

Greg LeMond Fans - Home

One thing, unfortunately, about the Lemond bikes is that there's just not a lot of records for the pre-trek ones. Greg's business aptitude has never seemed to match his riding ability.

Oh and he did recently produce the Washoe steel bike but they were a much more modern style, sloping top tube etc.

You'll also hear alot about the "Lemond Geometry with it's long top tube". Reality is it's not all that different than a lot of other bikes. So don't get caught up in that hype but just remember that it's part of the fit equation for you.

Last edited by jamesdak; 12-02-18 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 12-02-18, 08:09 PM
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That's just, wow. What size tire were you able to stuff in the Ventoux? Looks like such a fast, comfy ride.
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Old 12-02-18, 08:12 PM
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speaking of lemonds anyone near grand rapids?
https://grandrapids.craigslist.org/b...749675371.html

that thing is my size...
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Old 12-02-18, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Piff View Post
That's just, wow. What size tire were you able to stuff in the Ventoux? Looks like such a fast, comfy ride.
I run a Conti GP4000s II 700 x 28 up front on some wide November wheels and it measures somewhere over 30mm. On the rear I have to run a 700 x 25 as a 28mm is just too close to the brake. I have this bike set up for comfortable century riding. I am thinking of running my tubular wheels on this next year with the nice cushy Veloflex 700 x 27 tubulars on it.
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