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Sweet Deal or No???(24 posts)

Sweet Deal or No???Kristin
Mar 19, 2001 5:51 AM
I was given an intriguing option at one LBS. Its sort of a custom build and I'm not sure how to verify that the price is right. I think it sounds good, but lack the knowledge I need to be sure.

Frame: 1999 Lemond Zurich (ET - I promise it fits!! :)*
Group: Tiagra
Wheels: Alloy QR Aurora (basically the stuff from a Tourmelet)
Pedals: None (upcharge if I go clipless)
Price: $1150 (The 2000 Tourmelet is $999)

*I've been sized. After measuring my arms I heard the guy mumble, "Oh my word." I guess my gangly size 59's help me to fit acceptably on the Lemond with a 90mm stem. My numbers: 5'6" tall, 84cm inseam, 67cm torso & 59cm arms.

So, is this a good deal? I'm also waiting for a Terry Symitry (sp?) to arrive for a test ride. I'm not so sure about that burnt orange though!
I'd lean no...TJeanloz
Mar 19, 2001 6:10 AM
So you're getting a better frame than the Tourmelet, but it's not a lot better and it is a year older. I don't really know LeMond retail pricing, but it seems to me that a two year old (or more) steel frame, even of good quality, shouldn't go for more than $1,000 with Tiagra. I just cleared out a '99 Torelli with Veloce on it for $850- your LBS really doesn't want that frame around anymore and they can do better.
re: Sweet Deal or No???ANTULE
Mar 19, 2001 6:22 AM
I'm new to road bikes , but I don't think this is a great deal. The frame is good, but I think the components you're getting are not all that great for the price you're paying. There is a 1999 Buenos Aires at my LBS for $999. I believe it's the same frame material as the one you're looking at, but it's got the 105 components on it. Maybe some more experienced riders out there will correct me if I'm wrong about this.
You said you saw a 1999 Buenos Aires???Kristin
Mar 19, 2001 6:26 AM
To bad you're not in Chicago. I know your not, because I called about 20 local shops looking for a left over Beunos Aires and they're not existent. Is it a 53 do you know??
You said you saw a 1999 Buenos Aires???ANTULE
Mar 19, 2001 7:07 AM
No, it's a 57cm. It's at Matthews Bicycle here in Indianapolis. Not too far from Chicago. I've been looking for my first road bike after riding mountain bikes the past 4 years. At $999 it's a really good deal, but still a bit out of my price range. You might want to check out ebay. A dealer is selling a bunch of KHS Flite 500's for about $670. They have 105/tiagra mix for components and Rolf wheels. I'm leaning in this direction myself.
re: No!!!Morgan
Mar 19, 2001 6:30 AM
NO, do some more looking, there are better deals out there.
Mar 19, 2001 6:41 AM
I bought a '00 Buenos Aires (same frame as a Zurich through 2000) with 105 in January for $1,200, with stock Rolf Vector wheels. Even included pedals (Shimano spd's). For whoever was looking for a BA, they still have one left at the $1,200 price, but it is a 51. $1,150 seems way high based on my purchase.
Mar 19, 2001 7:11 AM
From my understanding, the frames were different. Currently, the Tourmelet and Buenos Aires are a combination of 853 & 825 Reynolds while the Zurich is full 853 and has a better fork. Was this not the same for 1999 models?

I know that Lemond sells the Zurich frameset alone and it retails for $850. Granted, that number comes from the LBS--Lemond doesn't post those prices on their site.
Mar 19, 2001 7:52 AM
The 2001 Zurich has an 853 main frame with ovalized tubing. The Buenos Aires and below have an undescribed mix of 853 and 525 in the main triangle and uses round tubes. In 2000 (and I'm pretty sure 1999 too), the Zurich and Buenos Aires used the same frame, 853 main frame with round tubes and 525 chainstays. They did have different forks, both Trek's house brand, Icon, but the Zurich came with the Air Rail, which has a more aerodynamic shape than the Classic fork on the Buenos Aires. Both are carbon fiber.
Oh My Word!Kristin
Mar 19, 2001 8:24 AM
This guys main selling point to me was that the Zurich (1999) was full 853 (and the air rail). He showed me the catalog for 2001 (which I already have) and then told me he had a 1999 that was identical. I'm shocked. You can't trust anyone.

Thanks for the info. I'm glad you guys are so willing to help out.
1999 ZurichET
Mar 19, 2001 8:35 AM
I have the 1999 Lemond catalog right here in front of me. It says the Zurich mainframe is Reynolds 853, while the stays are Reynolds 725 (rear wheel popoff no extra charge :-)). It might be an honest rather than deceptive mistake on the part of the LBS. And I'm not sure that should sink an otherwise good deal, as this bike would be quite a step up from the others you've been considering up till now.
1999 ZurichDCP
Mar 19, 2001 8:56 AM
ET is correct, and sorry I forgot the Reynolds number on those stays. For the right price, this is a very nice frame. Lack of knowledge in LBS personnel is a chronic problem (must have something to do with how much they are paid). While the new frames differ with tubing shape and might be slightly better (or is it just marketing?), the old round frame is very good. This would be a solid bike, I just questioned whether it was a good price given the lower drivetrain group and wheels.
promises, promisesET
Mar 19, 2001 6:58 AM
I'm still skeptical. Accepting your measurements of 5'6" and 84 cm inseam as accurate, you're all leg and no torso. (I'm 5'10" with the same inseam as you.) That means you're going to have a lot of clearance over that bike, like around 3 inches. Are you sure the stem is built up adequately and reasonably to bring up the bar height and give you comfortable reach? Also, Lemonds are made for those with longer reach. If your arms really lengthen your reach so much, why do you need a 90 stem when that size bike normally comes with an 11? Reynolds 853 is real nice, but I'm just trying to make sure you don't make a mistake.
So, back to fit eh?Kristin
Mar 19, 2001 11:58 AM
Thanks for all the advice on the Zurich. If I pursue it, I'll talk him down some.

So, back to fit. I can't get both proper stand over and proper reach. A 56cm Trek 2200 has a 56cm TT. It's the right height, but slightly too long. The 53cm Lemond has a 54.5cm TT but also more clearance. Something has to give. Three LBS's have sized me on the Lemond and all agreed that the 53cm fit.

Question: How can I determine if a bike has too much reach on a test ride? Based on what you're telling me, all three LBS's have been wrong. You mentioned before, riding in the center rails. I've done this in every case--only stems have been swapped. Both the Bianchi and the Lemond "felt" okay. I'm don't mean to be difficult, I'm just trying to understand.

When its ready, I'll ride the Terry and a Trek 2000wsd. The Trek has about 4 inches of clearance. The Terry's taller. Who knows, it could be the one; but the stem looks really funny. OTOH, that burnt orange is beginning to grow on me. ;-)

Sorry for the long message. I really want to get this right.

Mar 19, 2001 12:58 PM
You've gone from needing a steep-angled seat tube and very short top tube to needing perhaps the opposite. You should nail down what you need first before asking if this or that bike is a good deal.

First re-measure your inseam (which may be suspect) at home. Stand up against a wall in your bare feet, with your feet spread around 6 inches apart. While wearing something like tights, take a medium-width book and jam it up your inseam so you feel medium pressure. Use friend or hubby if possible. Make sure the book hits the wall level and not angled. Mark with pencil on the wall where the top of the book reaches. Do it several times and take the average height mark. Measure with a tape or ruler from ground to mark. That is your bike inseam in inches. Multiply by 2.54 to get cm. Please report back to us what that number is, cuz 84 is darned high for someone of your height.

Next, the seat on the bike you tested should've been altered at least slightly to be positioned correctly for you, or at least you should've felt that you'd have to move the seat one way or the other. Do you recall where you ended up on the rails of the bikes you tested or which way you felt you'd have to move the seat and by a lot or a little? If so, please supply bike model and size and any pertinent seat rail info. Seat adjustment is related to top tube length because moving your rails changes your effective top tube.

Next, make sure you have somewhere around 1.25-2 inches of clearance to your tight inseam when standing in your bike shoes (possibly with cleats). If you have way more than that, be wary that the size might be too small, or that you might have trouble getting your handlebars up to a comfortable height.

A rule of thumb is that when your hands are on the brake hoods, your view of the wheel hubs should be obstructed. It's a good thumb rule for test rides, especially if you're very uncertain. It usually comes outreal close. If your view is way in front or behind, it's probably not a good fit
Mar 20, 2001 6:41 AM
Okay I measured it 4 times and came up with 81-83. Got 82 twice, so I'll go with that. When the LBS owner measured me, I was wearing shoes--a pair of Looks with a 1 inch sneaker type sole.

The only bikes I test rode where the seat was adjusted forward or back was on the Schwinn & the Trek. You asked what direction I felt it should go. This is hard to determine. For some reason, I have a bad habit of pushing myself back. May be flexibility--or lack there of. May be not. But even on a bike with too much reach I feel the urge to scoot off the back of the seat. On the hybrid I'd ride for miles practically hanging off the seat.

You mentioned the "hide the hub" test. On both the Biachi(55) and Lemond(53) the view of the hub was sufficiently skewed. On the Trek it was an inch out in front.

Gee, this IS fun! Do you think someday I'll actually own a bike again? Does anyone have alcheseltzer?? : )~
OK, that's out of the wayET
Mar 20, 2001 8:08 AM
OK, we've got an inseam now.

Concerning the seat, there can be many reasons why you would want to push the seat back: you're sitting on the too-skinny part of it, your reach was too short, your seat needed to be higher, etc. (If it makes you feel better, I never got completely comfortable on my hybrid. But on my road bike, it was instant success.) Did you make sure that when your feet were in the 3 o'clock position, you could drop a line from the front of your knees down through the ball of your foot? Alternatively, that your knee is slightly bent at the bottom (6 O'clock) of the pedaling cycle. If you really must push the seat farther back, it might suggest needing a gentler seat tube angle. Whatever it is, when you find the right bike, it will feel right without that desire to keep moving the seat. It is important to try and figure this out if possible.

You said the Trek had 4 inches of clearance. This is way too much. It means you'll have to reach way down for the handlebars. The bar should look kind of close to hitting you, e.g. 1 inch away, so when you add another inch to your tighter-measured inseam, you get the two inches of clearance. I say Trek and Lemond are not the right kinds of bikes for you, what with their proportionately longer top tubes.

Based on what you've said and the reach of the bikes you tried, my guess is that you need a top tube more like a 53 or 53.5 (depending, of course, on the seat tube angle) and a stem around a 10. So Colnago size 52 or 53 will work (but with steeper seat tube angles, so be forewarned to see where your seat comes out). My best guess is to try a De Bernardi in size 51 c-c (53 tt, 74 STA) or a 52 c-c (53.5tt, 74 STA); again, make sure the seat position comes out OK.

Did you say you're from Chicago? Try this link:

It has De Bernardis priced across the gamut to accommodate your budget.
"I must be missing something," she said...Kristin
Mar 20, 2001 9:53 AM
...with a blinding headache. There must be something I don't understand. Well, okay, there's lots I don't understand. Currently the numbers aren't adding up.

I compared the DiBernardi to the Lemond:

DiB Size 51 - 53 - 74
Lmd Size 51 - 53.2 - 73.25

The top tube on the two bikes are very comprable in size. 2cm can easily be made up with a shorter stem. Also, they are both measured c-c so that means that if a 53 Zurich has too much standover, won't the 52 DiBernardi have even more?

You know much more about bikes than I do. Funny, I currently know more than I thought necessary. The only logical conclusion is some huge gap in my knowledge. But I must digress...

If you have any great pearls of wisdom that will instantly help me understand fit--excellent! Perhaps there is a book about this?

I will check out cbike this weekend after I look at the Terry. Thanks for the link!

that's because I'm making everything upET
Mar 20, 2001 11:05 AM
Just kidding. Here's the story. My inkling is that, even knocking your inseam down a bit, you're much more legs, and so have a short, not a long, reach. So ideally you need a bigger frame size (seat tube) with a shorter top tube. De Bernardi is about the best you can do in this regard. I disagree that 2 cm can easily be made up with a shorter stem. You want to find a bike that puts you as close to the appropriate top tube and appropriate stem; if you go off one stem size, no big deal. But of course, you want the standover to be appropriate so your drop to the handlebars is not too severe. That's why Trek, with its 4 inch drop, is out. De Bernardi will give you the right top tube wihtout too small a seat tube, i.e. it's around the best you can do. If the drop is too much, then you have to consider tradeoffs, i.e. getting a bigger bike with a longer top tube and coming down in the stem. It's hard for me to tell over the Web if you really are at the extremes in terms of fit, but it sounds like it (very high inseam for your height). If you're not doing custom, you can only take the alternatives offered. You will get some exttra height back from the De Bernardi compared to the Lemond due to the steeper seat tube angle, which raises the standover a bit. The diff in standover between the 53 Lemond and the 52 De Bernardi will be around 0.7 cm (even less if DB's BBH is larger than Lemond's), and as much as I make about standover, this IMHO is far less important than getting an appropriate top tube, if you can, rather than an inferior ride by combining too long a tt with too short a stem. If you ca nget a handle on your ideal seat tube angle, we could possibly zone in further. But this is my best guess, given your stats.
Mar 21, 2001 5:47 AM
I think I understand what you're saying now. Though I could make a bike fit acceptably by changing out stems and moving the seat, etc... its better to find a frame that fits without needing all of that.

I spoke to the guys a CBike. They just put in a storefront and do the Sorotta fitcycle for $45. Not a bad deal as long as the guy's certified. I still don't understand the effects of the seat tube angle on riding, but I'll pick their brains on Saturday...if it doesn't snow again. :(

Thanks for all the info! Have a good one.
Serotta fit cycleET
Mar 21, 2001 6:39 AM
When you go there, please keep aware of where your seat is on its rails, and ask what setback is being used and if it's standard. It'll probably be set at the default of 73 degrees because that's what Serottas are. If you are not near center, you may want to ask them to change the seat tube angle.

Re: seat tube angle. It's not that mysterious. You end up with a certain seat-to-pedal reach depending on the length of your legs from your hip to your knees and your knees to your feet. You can't really change it either. (As an aside, it so happens that a steeper-angled seat tube gives a certain type of ride, as does a gentler-angled one.) If, for example, you would happen to end up on the middle of your rails with a gentle angle (e.g. 72.5 deg), then if you get on a bike with a steeper angle (e.g. 74 deg), you will have to push your seat back around 1.7 cm (it depends on the seat tube length and height of your seat), so all of a sudden what you thought was a doable top tube length if you come down a size or two in the stem, becomes wrong when you realize you'll have to come down another two cm. Get it?

Recommend not buying/ordering your bike on the spot. Think about the results, and if you'd like, report back here.
promises, promisesTurtleherder
Mar 19, 2001 12:18 PM
I second the question on the measurements. I am 5'11" and have an 84 cm inseam. If your measurements are accurate you are all legs. also I believe that Lemond geometry is set up for longer upper body vs. lower body. It might not be the right fit for you anyway. Do us all a favor and check the tape again, then report back.
No, I'd say...look271
Mar 19, 2001 1:33 PM
I was at my lbs today and saw some new Raleigh R500's that were less than that and had Tiagra components with Shimano's wheelset (Ultegra, I think), and PEDALS. You can do better.
re: It's unanimous.......nmNo...No... & No
Mar 19, 2001 4:55 PM