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Lemond Zurich Alternatives(22 posts)

Lemond Zurich AlternativesRuthlessRoadRider
Mar 29, 2003 12:17 PM
Hi. I'm a 39 year old former racer and current road rider for pleasure. I'm now looking to get a new road bike to replace my 22 year-old Trek on casual rides.

I bought the Trek in 1981 from a pro shop. It has Columbus tubing, a very tight wheelbase and was considered quite stiff and responsive for the time. It has Campy NR hubs, brakes, gears, etc. It has served me very well over tens of thousands of miles.

I'm looking for a bike to ride the next few decades. I think I'd like to spend around $2000, since my age and current style don't merit the extra $ for Ti or anything extravagant, but I'm spoiled and love to ride, so I'd still like a light and swift steel bike with good components. And I think Aluminum is probably too stiff for my old bones, even with a Carbon fork, though I'd love to hear arguments to the contrary.

So the Lemond Zurich seems to fit the bill. It comes with Ultegra components and has a nice light steel frame. The current year's model is about $1800-1900 and comes with a 3T stem and Bontrager wheels. I've seen beautiful fancier frames, like Merlins, Colnagos, and the Independent Fabricator frames, but that bumps me up higher in price. (And, yes, I am aware that Trek now owns Bontrager, Lemond, Klein, Microsoft, and DuPont :-)

Is there any reason anyone out there would avoid the 2003 Lemond Zurich? Are there any other bikes you'd recommend looking into for $2000 or less?


LeMond Zurich: Good Choicespc15
Mar 29, 2003 12:33 PM

In that price range, for a new bike, you would be hard pressed to go wrong with the Zurich.

I owned one for three years and enjoyed every mile with it, great geometry, solid components and a great steel ride makes the bike hard to beat.


re: Lemond Zurich AlternativesRaven1911
Mar 29, 2003 12:44 PM
I understand budget constraints, but if you plan to own this bike for a long time, why not spend another $500 for a higher quality built bike. I do like the Zurich, but I think you could get something better built for not much more. My suggestion would be to go out and ride something and find out what is comfortable for you and then consider the price tag. It also depends on your riding style. Are you a sprinter, climber, touring, or road specialist? If you like a particular style then that should play a part in what frame you get. The carbon for me since I am a sprinter was the best of both worlds being stiff enough to sprint but also very comfortable on longer rides.

I totally understand budget constraints as I am a student right now living on loans. However, I was in the same boat and considered the Zurich, but rode many bikes and then decided on Carbon (Trek 5200) and am so happy I did so. At the time, I didn't have the extra money but saved up for the carbon, and it only took me a couple months. Carbon has been so comfy for me and it handles really well. My buddy bought the Zurich and whenever I ride it, I am reminded as to why I chose my 5200 over it. He has not been too happy with the Zurich and after a short time having the bike he is considering buying a new bike. Just remember comfort is #1. If you are happy with the ride and comfort of the Zurich for you, then don't let anyone else tell you to buy anything else. Now go out and ride different frames! Good luck.

Just went throught what your going through...ditchbanger
Mar 29, 2003 1:29 PM
I looked at all bikes between 1600-2500.00. I ended up with the Trek 2300 for 1700.00. The 5200 was 2nd but for 700.00 to upgrade I couldn't warrant the extra dough. A student budget is nothing comapared to raising 3 daughters and all of lifes extras. I also rode the cannondale R1000,very nice bike, specialized allez comp, felt confined, lemond zurich, I didn't like the longer top tube, I felt stretched on it. I rode these bikes between 2 shops in 1 afternoon to gather in my head which I liked better. In the end I was impressd with the 2300 and the 5200 the most, they just felt right are fast and have the same components. Good luck, it can be maddening trying to decide where to put your hard earned $$$$.
try airborne framestnbiker
Mar 29, 2003 3:54 PM
You could get a Ti bike for under $2000. But the tradeoff is that you'd get not so good components. Try the specialized allez cromo Comp for $1700. It has a sweet frame made of top of the line Columbus Foco steel. You could upgrade the other components with the money you saved.
re: Lemond Zurich AlternativesPMC
Mar 29, 2003 4:18 PM
If you like the Zurich and it fits you, I see no real reason to avoid it. My wife is on a new Lemond Buenos Aires this season and loves it.

One other idea would be to check out and take a look at his steel offerings. My brother in-law just took delivery of a Cinelli Super Corsa with a complete Ultegra kit for under 1700 shipped to his door. A bit cheaper and not a bike you'll see as often as a Lemond.

Good luck in your quest
re: Lemond Zurich Alternativesnewhouse
Mar 29, 2003 4:26 PM
excel sports sells gios steel frames for a decent price. i have a gios compact pro for $500, got a build kit from jensonusa for $700, and a carbon fork for under $200.
Ti w/ Ult for $2000...Ride-Fly
Mar 29, 2003 4:50 PM
I think you should look at Ti more than steel, carbon, or aluminum because it seems that this will be your last bike for at least 10-15 years. I would not recommend Al, and to a lesser extent carbon, only because they have a shorter lifespan than the others. I would say that you can find some very comfortable Al frames out there. Al and carbon just might not last 10-15 years of many miles. Steel can rust over time if you tend to ride in inclement weather. Ti will last a very, very long time, won't rust, and gives a comfortable ride. Some fo the cheaper Ti can be a little "whippy" and so wouldn't be the best for sprints. At, you can find a Macalu Professional Ti frame and at, you can find a Zion Ti. I believe both of these are contracted out by their respective shops and made by Litespeed, probably the Arenberg or Classic equivalent so they are solid quality frames. The Macalu is $995 and the Ultegra build kit is $999, so for less than $2000 you have your Ti/Ult bike. THe Zion is on sale for $885 but I don't know what JensonUSA's price would be for an Ultegra build kit so you would have to contact them. Still, I would bet that it would be close to $1000 for the kit. If steel is still and option, has a steel Tomasinni beauty with full Ultegra for $1500 but they only have size 51 and 59. Good luck in your search- it is always fun shopping for a new bike!!! Ride ON!!!
The Zurich is a good choice......johnrg
Mar 29, 2003 6:06 PM
I had an older Zurich and currently riding the Victoire.
Landshark and some others...Fez
Mar 29, 2003 8:32 PM
If you know your size requirement, get a Landshark from Complete Ultegra for around $2,000. No sales tax. Also, the bike is all brand components and comes std. with Open Pros and a painted Reynolds Ouzo fork, rather than the house brand Icon stuff and Bontrager wheels. You are free to upgrade anything you want as well.

Not many Landsharks on the roads. Beautiful bikes and unique paint jobs. Zurichs are plentiful wherever you go.

He can custom order a Landshark for you at no extra charge; it just takes a few extra weeks.

Gvhbikes also has other frames. If you don't want to hassle with mail order, then fine. The Lemond Zurich is a really nice bike. The only things I don't like about it are the house brand parts and the boutique Bontrager wheels. Those parts aren't bad - but they aren't great either.
Why not aluminum?mwood
Mar 29, 2003 9:52 PM
I was considering a number of bikes in the same price range, and tried the Zurich as well as the Cervelo Prodigy (nicer equip. than Zurich) and Jamis Eclipse (ditto).
Then I rode a Pinarello Surprise...what a shocker after my old Cannodale. I also tried a mid priced alu Merckx and the Colnago Asso, which I ended up buying. All can be built with Ultegra or Centaur at somewhere around $2000. The new alu bikes, with their more laid back seat tubes, carbon forks etc. are pretty comfortable while still being very live feeling.
All good choices...Spunout
Mar 30, 2003 4:15 AM
The suggestions of Gios, Cinelli, Landshark are great. At 39, steel is going to do the job for you. When you get on the bike for your first ride, you will know the difference.

I'm all for the Zurich, but try for a wheel upgrade. OEM paired-spoke designs look cool, but you're flucked if you break a spoke in a small town. Can you switch for 32h Open Pros? There is a reason why everyone suggests them, because they work. Also more comfortable.

As you raced when younger, I understand the draw to a Lemond. We watched him change the face of cycling! But, the Cinelli is pure art also. Look very closely at the fit, Cinelli and Gios in Italian Geo., Landshark closer to the Lemond with longer TT.

re: Lemond Zurich Alternativesabelson
Mar 30, 2003 6:21 AM
You might also want to take a look at the Gunnar Roadie if a shop in your area carries it.
I ordered a Gunnar, but the Zurich is SWEET!!shamelessgearwhore
Apr 1, 2003 9:32 AM
I was down to two choices, the 03 Zurich, or a custom build with a Gunnar frame. The Zurich is a REALLY SWEET ride for sure. The only reason I chose the Gunnar was I wanted to try Campy (got it with Centaur) this time. Can't wait til it comes in about a week!!!
depends on your size...C-40
Mar 30, 2003 6:38 AM
Whether an aluminum frame will be too stiff depends greatly on your size and weight. As a 135-140 pounder who rides a 54cm frame, I now avoid aluminum because of the harshness. I've learned my lesson after owning 3 Cannondales. If you're a larger, heavier rider, Al is not as likely feel harsh.

A harsh ride is not limited to Aluminum. Any material can be made into an abusive frame. One of the harshest that I've owned was a Litespeed Ultimate. The bladed downtube and short chainstays combined to produce a bike that was way too stiff for me.

When considering a bike that you apparently will keep for a long time, don't overlook the components. Shimano is poised to replace their current 9 speed line next with 10 speed, to match what Campy has been producing for 4 years. You might want to consider Campy components if you want the latest in components. Campy has component groups at equivalent prices with Shimano. There are a number of good steel frames with Campy Chorus that can be had for around $2000.

The Gios Compact Pro from Excel Sports is a good example.

GVH has several models of decent steel frames that are in your price range. Gary even has a few Colnago's at pretty good prices.
re: Lemond Zurich Alternativesjefajones
Mar 30, 2003 7:55 AM
I just picked up a salsa 853 tubed frame w/ carbon fork for around 4 bills. If you are in good with your LBS you could probably do the same as a distributor that I think most shops deal with is carrying them. I'll end up with a 853 tubed dura ace bike for less than 1,500.0 this way.
Just bought an '03 Zurich.....Tower
Mar 30, 2003 9:15 AM
And so far I love it. Great steel ride that I was looking for.

BTW, I paid $1,600 for it at a LBS, they were asking $2,099. Everything is negotiable. :-) I think their cost is around $1,100 - $1,200.
Take a look at yellowjerseys.comLone Gunman
Mar 30, 2003 12:06 PM
He has some Japanese Ti frames that have details that you might find interesting, made by Sumitoma? relatively cheap also for a Ti frame. GVHbikes also has some great steel bikes.
Mar 30, 2003 12:49 PM
Nice site. He does warn that the Japanese Ti bikes are kind of flexy, though.
Steelman SR525j-son
Mar 30, 2003 6:17 PM
For less than $1k, you could get a Steelman SR525 frame and fork. You should be able to find an Ultegra build kit for about another $1k from any one of a number of mailorder shops. You'd have a pretty unique bike built by one of the most respected framebuilders in America for less than $2k total. I think this is a much better deal than the Zurich.
re: Lemond Zurich Alternativesmoschika
Mar 30, 2003 11:03 PM
i'ld look into some of the smaller builder's too. if i was to buy a new road bike i'ld get a curtlo. i have one of his mountain bikes and it's a perfect fit. you could get a custom steel bike with full ultegra for around $1700. doug is a great guy to work with, great quality and great prices, especially for a custom job.
Mar 31, 2003 9:11 AM
Try the Silverton.