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Review of the 2005 Lemond Fillmore in commuting attire.

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Review of the 2005 Lemond Fillmore in commuting attire.

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Old 07-13-07, 06:45 AM
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mmonce
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Review of the 2005 Lemond Fillmore in commuting attire.

When I purchased this steed from Outback bikes (Atlanta), it was not really commuting worthy (30 miles round-trip, 195-lb rider, rain/snow/shine, full change of clothes) The Fillmore skeleton is True-Temper’s OX Platinum steel with Bontrager carbon-fiber fork and seat post. Stock wheels were Bontrager Select with 20 spoke front and 24 spoke rear. It was spec’d for speed, not durability.
So I made some commuting mods. I added a rear rack (keep the load on your bike, off your back). I stole the Nite Rider Trail Rat and Vista-Lite Eclipse rear flasher (both lights are dependable, fair inexpensive) from my touring rig. I changed the wheel treads to Specialized Armadillo tires to minimize flats….minimize, not eliminate. Kryptonite Kryptolok is my lock of choice. Kryptonite did replace the barrel lock and stood behind their recall, for that I admire them. And then added MKS GR-9 Platform pedals & clips so I could ride with whatever friggin’ shoes I wanted to.
As if I didn’t really already spend enough money, it was now time to tweak some components. I have always hated drop handle-bars, especially for commuting, so I looked for something clean and simple…..and found the Soma Noah’s Arc handlebars. They are comfortable and look sweet. To finish out the handlebars, I exchanged the old mtn. bike brake lever I was using for a Paul’s E-lever. The E-lever is a clean design, however lacks enough torque (two finger design) for being the only brake lever. For grips the Ergon GP1 seem to make a lot of sense with wrist support and comfort. Well, if I had to do it again, I would spend my money on iTunes and put cheap grips on. Coffee is carried in a Nissan thermos and fits your standard bottle cage.
The stock wheels were light and fast, in my dictionary this means not durable, especially the conditions and loads that they were being exposed to. So I called John of Kovachi Wheels and he built me a sweet set of Mavic Open Sports wrapped around some high-flange Phil Wood hubs. When I first opened the Kovachi wheel box, I spun the hubs between my fingers and could not believe how smooth the bearings were. Expensive……and you get what you pay for. After many miles on a Brooks saddle on my touring rig, I opted for a new B17 Champion honey saddle (heavy and comfortable). My college bud (Matt Wagner) toyed around with carbon fiber as a hobby. He made me a carbon fiber light switch cover that I never found a good use for. Well I wrapped the inside with leather and wrapped it on the top tube as a a ding guard.
I am a firm believer in one bag. If I travel for business or long weekend trip, it all needs to fit in one bag and I don’t want to change bags if I am commuting, flying, or driving. My one bag of choice is the Tom Bihn Empire Builder. The difficult part was attaching it to a rear bicycle rack. So the current mod using a pizza stand, mounted flipped and turned to slide the bag in and strapped to. I will post again specifically about this bag and attachment method. I love this bag and that attachment method is quick and secure.
Enough about the free company endorsements, how does she ride?

I love this bike for commuting and running an errand or two. The steel frame is firm, however smooth over the terrain. The geometry works wells for my needs, no neck, shoulder or back pain. The bottom bracket region is firm while cranking uphill, no noticeable weakness. The carbon fork and seat-post are a plus with vibration reduction in the hand and ass departments. The thick Armadillo tires ride hard like rocks, no forgiveness, however flats are definitely minimized. The Phil Wood hubs are incredibly smooth. I am now sold and will always buy his hubs. I will buy again and then beg for mercy from the wife. I ride 3 +/- times a week in the Raleigh/Durham, NC area. My commute is 14 miles one way with only a few rolling hills. The terrain varies from a dirt road short-cut to bike lanes to road shoulders to the American Tobacco trail.

Future desired mods include a CETMA 5-rail front rack in lieu of rear rack, a steel fork with more rake and braze-ons, elimination of all the Lemond and Bontrager decals, and a brake lever with more torque.
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