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My semi-custom LeMond Croix de fer build, and should I roll aluminum or carbon?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

My semi-custom LeMond Croix de fer build, and should I roll aluminum or carbon?

Old 02-17-17, 06:19 PM
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RNAV
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My semi-custom LeMond Croix de fer build, and should I roll aluminum or carbon?

I decided to get an N+1, and really wanted a custom steel bike -- I really liked the idea of custom geometry & custom paint. Unfortunately, my budget wasn't quite large enough to go truly custom, so I decided to forego the custom aspect and just build up something used.

As luck would have it, I managed to pick up a LeMond Croix de fer frame/fork for ridiculously cheap, but the original paint was in pretty bad shape. Since I scored it for so cheap, though, it opened up my budget a bit. So I found a local paint shop that specializes in motorcycles and inquired if they'd consider painting a bicycle. Bryan, the owner at BD's Cycles said that although he'd never painted a bicycle, he'd love to give it a shot.

I decided I wanted to retain the vintage design, but update the color way to a matte metallic purple/black/gold to pay homage to my Alma Mater, East Carolina University. Bryan said he could do it (and without the use of decals to boot -- everything was masked/painted, to include the logos), and so we began the project.

It started off like this:


Then became this:


And ended up as this:




(DISCLAIMER: Yes, I know I should flip it and slam it. However, I've had a broken back and a broken pelvis, so my range of motion is limited and this setup is what is comfortable for me, even though it's not particularly eye-pleasing)

Build:
LeMond Croix de fer frame (True Temper OX Platinum steel, 59cm)
Bontrager Select Carbon fork (original)
Sram Force22 group w/ Red22 11-28 cassette and Red22 chain
Bontrager RXL wheel set w/ Schwalbe Pro One 25mm tubeless
Bontrager XXX Carbon Seat Post
Bontrager Pro Blendr stem
Bontrager Pro IsoCore Carbon handlebar
Bontrager Serano Saddle
Speedplay Zero pedals
Fabric cageless water bottles

Total build weight came out to 18lbs 3 oz w/pedals.

All in all I'm super happy with the build, and the bike rides great (I hadn't even ridden the bike before I had it painted). It is very smooth. This is also my first time riding Force22. My other bike has Red22. I was very pleased to discover that the shift quality/feel was identical to my Red22, so I really feel like you're just paying for lighter components with the Red22.

I've also got some Boyd Carbon 60's that I can swap between the LeMond and the Emonda, but I'm unsure about the look with the Boyd's. What do you all think?





Some more detail shots:







Last edited by RNAV; 02-17-17 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 02-17-17, 06:34 PM
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Other than the text being reversed on the seat tube, that looks sweet!
I'd save the deep wheels for when you show up to race it.
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Old 02-17-17, 06:41 PM
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Came out stunning. Nice choice of components. I have older sram red and it's smooth and fast shifting. The light weight of the group set is a bonus. Hard to believe you got a 10 year old large steel bike down to 18lbs. The Boyds look fine.
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Old 02-18-17, 10:23 AM
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Woohoo, happy I found this thread. I absolutely love that paint job. Thinking of painting up my Surly Karate Monkey with the same color.
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Old 02-20-17, 07:16 AM
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The color is awesome. Nice job.
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Old 02-20-17, 07:42 AM
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Very nice. I am interested how the painter was able to mask for writing like that. By hand or some computer tool? Never seen anything like it.
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Old 02-20-17, 07:44 AM
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BTW I used to have that same color on the front half of a custom Romic 531 SL frame, but it was faded to steel gray halfway back. That fading thing was big back in 1990.
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Old 02-20-17, 09:37 AM
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Seat tube logo layout is different on finished product. I don't understand if they didn't replace/reuse logos and it was taped off.
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Old 02-20-17, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by TenSpeedV2 View Post
Seat tube logo layout is different on finished product. I don't understand if they didn't replace/reuse logos and it was taped off.
Yeah, the painter used cut-out vinyl tape to mask things off, and accidentally reversed the drive-side seat tube logo. The non-drive side is correct, and I didn't notice the error when I picked up the frame. He's going to re-spray that seat tube panel in a few weeks . . . my schedule doesn't allow me to get it to him any sooner. So it'll eventually be correct, I was just too excited about the bike to wait.
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Old 02-20-17, 12:25 PM
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Shallower rims look better to me.
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Old 02-20-17, 12:28 PM
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Wow, that looks fantastic – reversed seat tube logo notwithstanding!

And I love the build with Force 22 & the Boyds. Gorgeous man.

Congrats!
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Old 02-20-17, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Very nice. I am interested how the painter was able to mask for writing like that. By hand or some computer tool? Never seen anything like it.
He sprays a base coat (in my case, the yellow), lets it dry, then applies a vinyl graphic, sprays over that (black), then removes the graphic while the paint is still wet. To be honest, this was a really simple paint job for him -- the guy is incredibly talented.

For some reason I can't post a Facebook video link here. If you search Facebook for "BD's Cycles" he posted a video to his Facebook of him doing a green and black fuel tank separated by barbed wire. That'll give you an idea of how he did my bike.
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Old 02-20-17, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by zymphad View Post
shallower rims look better to me.
+1
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Old 02-20-17, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by RNAV View Post
He sprays a base coat (in my case, the yellow), lets it dry, then applies a vinyl graphic, sprays over that (black), then removes the graphic while the paint is still wet. To be honest, this was a really simple paint job for him -- the guy is incredibly talented.

For some reason I can't post a Facebook video link here. If you search Facebook for "BD's Cycles" he posted a video to his Facebook of him doing a green and black fuel tank separated by barbed wire. That'll give you an idea of how he did my bike.
So there really is a decal involved, it just doesn't stay on the frame. Ok.
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