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smurf hunter 03-05-07 03:23 PM

LeMond Steel Frame
My LBS has a 2006 Croix de Fer that fits me almost perfectly (however I've only done a parking lot test ride thus far). I bought my commuter bike there and referred a few other customers to the shop, so the owner says he'll knock off a couple hundred more $$$ - putting the final price just under $1100.00. The bike's equipped with Shimano 105 group, and has a handful of other upgrades the shop added hoping to sell it last summer.

My road bike budget was actually higher, around $1500 and I'm on the smaller end of clydesdales, just around 200lbs (riding next to 140lbs riders I feel huge). There's all sorts of road bike options in my price range, but I've found something that feels nice and is a bargain.

Part of me wants to wait, save more $$$ and get something more contemporary, maybe even a full carbon frame, but don't know if the extra expense is worth it - or more importantly if a carbon frame would hold up with me riding it.

This will be a weekend/club ride bike I'd like to ride fairly fast for long distances. I'm accustomed to riding a 40lbs commuter with bags, so I don't have the proper perspective.

Any advice is appreciated.

Turboem1 03-05-07 06:42 PM

That is a very very nice bike. One of my personal favorites. I myself am not a fan of carbon fiber so maybe I am biased. I think it is a great bike but you have to like it since your the one riding it. Dont buy it bc it was a good deal and you didnt really like it. Although if you do like it try to get a really really good deal. Tell them you will take it if they put the seat you want, pedals you want, free service ect... If they say no, you didnt lose anything. Sounds like they are trying to move the bike so they can work out a better deal. Play it off like its not what you really want but if you get a great deal youll take it.

Test out other bikes and see if you like this one. If so then work from there but dont buy something you dont like bc it was a good price.

kcham16 03-07-07 02:17 AM

i agree with turbo... that is a nice bike. although the price doesn't seem all that good. i remember my local trek dealer having that same bike (dark green w/ white) for $1050 6 months ago (i almost bought it). also, make sure that if you buy it for that price, that it comes with at least FULL 105, not tiagra. tiagra's not awful, but for $1100, you should be getting 105 if not 105/ultegra...
right now my trek dealer has '06 demos on sale. i can get an '06 Versailles (Carbon/Steel) with ultegra for $1100. see if your shop has something similar... best of luck!

smurf hunter 03-07-07 10:04 AM

I took it home yesterday. That's the second bike I've bought at that LBS.

It's mostly a 105 group with a triple bontrager race crank, crane creek breaks - no tiagra/sora stuff.
The shop threw in some nice pedals, carbon seatpost, bottle cages etc. Maybe of most importance is free tune-ups for life. I bring in my hybrid once of month on the way home from work and chat with the mechanic while he's truing wheels or whatever.

Any way the bike is totally comfortable and responsive. I thought being 6'3 I'd need a larger frame than a 57cm, but the LBS owner spent a lot of time fitting the seat and stem to me. I went on a 15 mile hilly (8-10% grade part of the way) ride to get used to the gearing. By the time I figured out what gear combo felt best I was at the top of my climb. I feel I could ride this a long distance comfortably maintaining 18-20mph.

kcham16 03-07-07 12:54 PM

sweet!congrats. the cool thing about going with a good steel bike is that now you never have tobuy another road bike again. it sounds like with th components and 'freebies' you got yourself a really good deal

fatdoc 03-07-07 02:55 PM

Picked up a 2005 Croix de Fer (blue/yellow) about a year ago. Glad to hear that other people like the CDF, the steel frame makes it a great bike for long distance riding. Only problem I've had was the rear rim, which cracked a few months ago. Took it back to LBS and they replaced it, no questions asked. I'm thinking of upgrading the wheels (Bontrager Select) to something with a higher spoke count. This may be a common problem for clydes (I'm 210#, 6'1"), and has been described by a few on

Enjoy your new ride!

thebankman 03-08-07 02:28 AM

Lemond's steel frames are good for 240lb rider and up, the limiting factor is the racy low-spoke-count wheels they put on them (they intend them to be raced after all). The Sarthe model, with upgraded everything, can be had for $1500. To me, the Ultegra parts were worth the jump in price of a couple hundred bucks more. Either way, it's a nice made in USA frame, love the clean look of their paint schemes.

thebankman 03-08-07 02:31 AM

fatdoc, my Bontrager Race wheels that came with the bike have already had problems similar to yours. The front rim has a slight dent that's still very ridable, while the rear rim got a major dent which had to be replaced as the wheel couldn't be trued afterward. But then again these wheels have seen lots of city pothole abuse ;)

fatdoc 03-08-07 11:51 AM

Yeah, on that note, the roads around where I live in NorCal often have terrible potholes. Spent last weekend riding around Napa and nearly had a couple of nasty spills. I'd like to change the wheels to Easton Circuits (Velomax), as they have a higher spoke count and I have heard that they are stronger and a bit faster.

I like the Sarthe a LOT, but it was a bit out of my price range (my budget was about $1K). I found my CDF for $829 (before tax); I couldn't resist...

bigbossman 03-08-07 12:49 PM


Originally Posted by smurf hunter
Part of me wants to wait, save more $$$ and get something more contemporary, maybe even a full carbon frame, but don't know if the extra expense is worth it - or more importantly if a carbon frame would hold up with me riding it.

At 200lbs, you have NOTHING to fear riding a carbon frame. Carbon and steel have similar ride characteristics, so as long as the Lemond fits you well and you like the way it rides it is a nice choice. That being said, Lemond makes a carbon/steel mix bike that is Da Bomb for heavier riders. It rides very well.

The Count 03-09-07 08:13 PM

I stopped in to my LBS tonite to see if they had any Sarthes left in my size, they even checked Trek inventory and no such luck. That's when they said they could get a CDF in my size for around $1000 and I was intrigued. I prefer the paint scheme of the CDF over the Sarthe so we'll see what happens.

Most of the components seem to be the same, is the price difference mainly due to the wheels?

thebankman 03-10-07 06:27 PM

The components are all a step up between Lemond's two all steel bikes. The black with yellow stripes was really the thing that convinced me to get the higher end model, the Race wheels are going to get replaced with Open Pros soon anyway. Bontrager wheels don't seem to hold up very well to abuse. The Ultegra parts are the best anyone could ask for within a reasonable budget.

FarHorizon 03-10-07 06:55 PM

I don't think one can go wrong with ANY LeMond. They're nice bikes! Unless you're racing, or you just really obsess about the bike's weight, there's no need to worry about carbon/aluminum/steel as a frame material. Get what fits! In my opinion fit = 99% of the bike's total experience, frame & parts = 1%.

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