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Trek or Lemond???(14 posts)

Trek or Lemond???Coluber
Oct 21, 2001 8:23 AM
I'm trying to buy a new bike and have narrowed it down to Trek and Lemond. (2200 or 2300 vs. Alpe D'Huez or Buenos Aires) I like the smoother feel of the steel Lemond frame, but the Trek climbs better and handles better. Although the Trek fits better at this point, I still need to try a smaller Lemond frame. I think both could be made to fit me equally well, honestly. I definately like the stiffness, climbing ability, and handling of the Trek better... although the Lemond is certainly not bad in any of those areas, and has a noticeably smoother ride, even on a short test ride. I don't know how the Trek would feel after 100 miles or so. Then again, the right saddle can make all the difference in that respect, since the carbon fork dampens the vibrations on the front end pretty well. Anyone have any thoughts or experience with these two? I could use some input, as I am feeling somewhat torn ;-)
re: Trek or Lemond???Jon
Oct 21, 2001 8:40 AM
Issues like this always boil down to personal preferences and priorities. In my opinion, if you are
going to be doing a lot of long distance riding you're going to be better off on a steel frame. If, on the
other hand, you're racing crits and the like, go with the harsher riding aluminum frame.
Oct 21, 2001 9:31 AM
If you don't race and you need one do it all bike go with steel
also if you're riding centuries or live in hilly area go with triples. Pers I would get triple cranks even in relatively flat area, 42t middle ring far more usable then 39t
dittoDavid Feldman
Oct 21, 2001 10:52 AM
If you have any doubt at all re the comfort of the Trek either don't buy it or see if the store will let you ride it for an hour or more. I used to work at a store that sold both--the comfort difference is substantial based on my own test rides and customer and co-worker comments.
Oct 21, 2001 11:45 AM
Actually, the store is encouraging me to take them both out on longer test rides, meaning an hour or more. Havent had time yet as I've still been narrowing my choices and trying out a lot of different models. It also seems (although I still want to try a different size of Lemond)that the Trek geometry may well be enough better for me as to outweigh the comfort differences in frame material. Again, I'll figure that out when I go test ride for longer times. As for the triple chainring, the area where the shop is located is hilly enough for me to determine pretty well that I don't need it. I have no trouble with the hills and don't generally get close enough to the lowest gears to have any reason to think I would be likely to ever need it or use it. When I have the time, I want to go take them both out on a loop I know of near there that has a good hill for trying them out... pretty long, and very steep on the way up... and very steep with a blind right angle turn near the bottom on the way down. I'll also see what difference differnet saddles actually make.
Lemond sizingdsc
Oct 21, 2001 12:22 PM

I urge you to try the smaller Lemond before making your decision. I recently purchased a '99 Lemond Zurich (used, obviously). Up until then I had been test riding 57 cm frames, that seemed to fit great. With the Lemond, though, due to the longish top tube and slack seat angle, this 55 cm frame fit me perfectly. As to the ride quality of the frame - I love it. I test rode many aluminum frames that were very quick and responsive, but since I plan on using this bike for century riding, I wanted a comfortable ride above all else. Just my $0.02.
Lemond sizingcycleguy
Oct 21, 2001 2:04 PM
Just a thought about sizing.

Trek 58 (ct) Lemond 57 (cc)

TT 57.5 57.4
Head % 73.5 73.8
Seat % 72.5 73.0
C.stay 41.5 41.2
W.base 100 99.8

Not a whole lot of difference with size, geo., etc. as i see it. I'm not a real number cruncher. The things I look for after a basic fit are not always TT or ST but Chain stay and Wheel base. I find these are what effects the ride I'm looking for. After of course frame material. As for steel vs alu. If you find one more comfortable the the other you could also say the other makes you ride faster so you can be done quicker. Just a thought. Sorry for format can't seem to get them to be the way I wanted. :(
Check tire pressure/compare wheelsKerry Irons
Oct 21, 2001 2:58 PM
Don't be so sure the difference in feel is due to the frame. It could easily be the tires and/or wheels. The tires alone have more compliance than any frame. At a minimum, make sure that you have the same tire pressure. Beyond that, there are significant differences in tire models and brands that are very noticeable in the ride. Then there's the issue of wheel stiffness, though less of a factor than tires and tire pressures. Finally, even if one bike truly is harsher than the other, you can compensate for that with larger tires at lower pressures (same rolling resistance, better traction) and/or more compliant tire model. Just be sure you understand the true differences between the bikes and don't get fooled by something that will wear out quickly and is highly adjustable (the tires).
re: dittocyclopathic
Oct 21, 2001 4:26 PM
one hour? it is just a warm up.. 8-12-24hr is a long ride on my books. Over bad roads Al frame won't feel as comfortable as steel/Ti when ride gets in triple digits :)

Riding 12% grade 2mi climb can be hard on doubles esp after you get 200mi+ in your legs. With triples you can sit and spin where on doubles you would stand and mash.

Though you may not need granny 52t/42t is much better gear then 53/39. IMHO advantage of triples is not the lower gearing (12-27 on doubles gives you the same lower gear as 11-21 on triples) close ratio gearing.

BUT if you never ride more then 3hrs if biggest climb you'd ever see 150'-200' you'll be fine with stiff Al frame and doubles go with the fit.

Bike is a tool and some tools better suited to given task
Lemond with triples would be more of Swiss Army knife good luck
As a Trek owner, I vote for LeMondElefantino
Oct 21, 2001 3:35 PM
Two years ago it came down to a LeMond BA or a Trek 5200. I loved the LeMond ... probably the best steel I'd ever ridden ... but carbon is carbon, and I'm a sucker for a smooth ride.

But given the choice between Trek aluminum and LM steel, I say go with Greg — unless you live in a really hilly area or are going to do crits. Then y ou'll need the kick of the Trek. But for a century, I'd go with the LM regardless of the terrain.

Good luck!
I second that!Marlon
Oct 21, 2001 5:09 PM
I actually own a Trek 2300, and I've ridden my friend's steel Lemond Zurich, same wheels (Rolf Vector Comps), same tires (Conti 3000's).

My impression is that the Trek is more lively. For crit racing, it's great - you stomp, you go. The Lemond is a little more relaxed, and it's true - the feel of steel is truly a remarkable thing. While I haven't done long rides on my friend's bike, it seems to me that the Zurich is one of those bikes you can ride for hours on end and not feel beat up on. I've done +6 hours on the Trek, and while I'm still reasonably good at the end of those rides, I think I would be better on the Lemond.

Bottom line: Same as Elefantino, go Trek for crits and climbing, otherwise Lemond for the all-round performance. Give the smaller size and see. If the Trek fits better, well... you still won't be sorry. Both bikes are excellent.
and I'll THIRD that as well!Tig
Oct 22, 2001 5:15 AM
As a 2200 owner for 3 years, I can't wait to get off of it and onto steel or a Calfee carbon fiber. All the reasons in the above 2 posts are what I'm talking about exactly, so I won't repeat it.
re: Trek or Lemond???Coluber
Oct 21, 2001 5:50 PM
The tire pressure was the same, as in both cases, the tires had just been pumped up to the same pressure. It's a good point about the tires though, as I hadnt though of that. I like riding centuries and will use whichever bike I buy for such, so long term comfort is an issue. As I said, I still have to try the smaller Lemond frame as well. Unfortunately it isnt really feasible for me to take either on a really long test ride, but I think an hour or two should be sufficient to figure out how I'll feel about it after a longer time that that given what I know about my riding tendencies and how I tend to feel after a ride, etc. So I'm still pretty much up in the air until I can go back for some more test riding... but the two keep dancing circles in my head!
You asked for experience, so...Dan-O
Oct 21, 2001 6:45 PM
... here's mine.

I ride a 2000 LeMond Buenos Aires triple. I don't ride an enourmous amount, ~2000 miles since June 2000. That did include the Boston/NY AIDS ride last year, 275 mi in 3 days, with LOTS of climbing. A Saturday/Sunday back to back century a day weekend too. I just want to tell you that I love the bike. You may feel that the Trek handles better, but the LeMond is an easy bike to ride long distances. What feels like razor sharp handling on a 1 hour jaunt may start to feel jittery after 4 hours in the saddle. Personally, I think it handles great, but I don't have an aweful lot of valid comparisons. It is quite confidence inspiring on big fast descents in my book. Today I would know what to look for on test rides, as you seem to. When I bought this bike I was close to clueless about road bikes!

One thing to note when choosing your LeMond model. For MY 2001 they went with a cheaper Reynolds steel for all the stays on the Buenos Aires. Only the main triangle is Reynolds 853. The Alpe d'Huez is all 853, and Ultegra. (MY 2000 BA's were all 853).

A note on the Rolf Vectors: They seem to take a lot of flak around here, but they've been great to me. I need to true them soon for the first time. They're JUST starting to get a touch out of true. I'm not particularly easy on them, the roads here in New England are pretty rough. I hit a lot of bad pavement & potholes and I'm a big guy: 205 down from 225 last season... BTW, I have no complaints about the bike not being stiff enough either. Even if I'm out of the saddle and climbing HARD.

And I have yet to flat on the Michelin Axial Selects that came with the bike (kevlar belted). Now that I've said that I probably will on my next ride!