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LeMond Bikes - Why ?(9 posts)

LeMond Bikes - Why ?Steve Bailey
Apr 8, 2003 4:12 PM
OK, so what's the deal with LeMond ?.

I read about the LeMond geometry, but am confused when I read the spec.'s, as it doesn't seem all that different from all the countless road racing frames out there.

In a typical 56 frame, it has a 73 degree seat tube (maybe a 1/2 degree slacker then usual), 73.5 head tube angle, very slightly longer chainstays at 41.5 then might be considered typical and a slightly longer top tube then might be typical for the type.

Yet the hype seems to say that the ride is different. I have a hard time believing this, so am curious as to what folks think that have ridden other frames as well as LeMond.

Steve Bailey
Don't knowRJF
Apr 8, 2003 4:52 PM
I've never ridden a LeMond, but according to their website, a 57 c-t frame has a 57.5 TT. I don't know anything about how geometry shortens the TT or whatnot, as I suck at math.

I do know that my personal frame measures about 57 c-t, and has a 56cm TT, and fits just right. With a 57.5 TT I'd be running a real short stem or I'd be waaaaay too stretched out.
The deal is...Lone Gunman
Apr 8, 2003 5:18 PM
Not sure what you mean by "hype". I ride a '99 Lemond. Prior to buying, I was advised that to be careful, the frames run big. I normally ride a 56/57cm TT, I have not gotten all caught up in the different geometry of frames. That size tt fits me and any difference can be adjusted for me by changing stems or lowering seat posts and or sliding saddles fore and aft. Saying that, a 55cm Lemond has a tt of 56.5 in the '99 version, unsure if it has changed.

My other frames are a Schwinn Voyageur 11.8 which funny thing you put the Lemond and it side by side and the angles look very similar with the Lemond being lower to the ground possibly a shorter seat tube as it is a smaller size and an older Viscount that has a squared geometry.

No huge difference, the Lemond is still my favorite current ride and I guess is meant for log distance riding like I do.

I look at it like golf clubs; You can buy a set of clubs and learn to hit them through muscle memory and in my case the Lemond geometry is comfortable because I have adjusted to the fit, not that it was ever uncomfortable.
lemonds have changedrufus
Apr 8, 2003 5:30 PM
early lemonds, the ones he put out himself, had the traditional lemond geometry-laid back seat angles and longer than average toptubes. but since trek bought out the company, the lemond geometry has changed to be fairly similar to most other bikes out there. not sure if this was a gradual change over a few years, or an instant change once trek started making them.
Hard to generalize; just compare apples to applesFez
Apr 8, 2003 6:26 PM
Just keep these things in mind when comparing bike X to Lemond.

1) Lemonds (std geometry) are measured c-c. So if you are comparing it to brand X which is measured c-t, then you have to adjust the Lemond size accordingly. You may find the effective top tube may not be longer at all when you ride the correct size Lemond.

2) Lemonds tend to have a larger fork rake, especially in the smaller sizes, but verify this with the size you are looking at.

3) Complete bike Lemonds tend to be spec'd with wider handlebars and longer cranks than other comparably sized factory bikes. If you are considering a custom bike, then this is not an issue.

The bottom line: Lemond framesets are not that radically different.
Hard to generalize; just compare apples to applesrussw19
Apr 8, 2003 8:20 PM
If you are to compare them, a 55cm LeMond is about the same size bike as a 57cm Colnago. LeMond measures center to center of the top tube. Colnago measures center to top of the top tube. LeMond bikes tend to be long compared to simaler sized bikes and they have a relaxed seat tube angle. This stretches the rider out on the bike. Look at pictures of how LeMond fit on his bike in his racing days. He builds his bikes to those same specs he used when he rode. Every company has their own ideals on how a bike should fit. Those that like the riding postition a LeMond puts you in swear by that geometry. Other people may feel too stretched out on those bikes. But the fit is designed to get you into an aero position with a flatter back, and the wide bars are to open your chest so you can breathe. It's important to note that LeMond has terrible allergies and that may have cost him chances at a fourth or fifth Tour, so he always tried to set up his bike to allow for an aero position, but also for maximum breathing.

All that said, if you want to know what the hype is, go test ride one. You may think it's the greatest bike ever, or you may think it's run of the mill. But don't take our words for it, go ride one.

re: LeMond Bikes - Why ?farmerfrank
Apr 8, 2003 7:45 PM
When Lemond first started riding, bikes like Gitanes, Peugots, and Bertins had shorter top tubes and more aggressive seat angles. The original Trek 531 frames had very short top tubes compared to todays standards. Lemond began riding with seats slammed all the way back, longish top tubes and slack angles. The original Della Santa bikes built for him were this way. He created something that the industry soon followed. People rode them and enjoyed the riding position. Rufus may be correct in saying that Trek has toned down the Lemond Geometry. At least Trek may be listening to the riding public.
re: LeMond Bikes - Why ?keeshadog
Apr 8, 2003 10:58 PM
i have one of the original zurichs from '96, the one with the blue fade paint job. i rode just about every bike in the $1500-$3000 range back then in order to make an informed decision on my purchase. no question, the lemond's geometry gives you a more stretched out feeling, a feeling i like, especially for longer rides. (i dont know about the newer bikes.) i'm six foot tall, and have long arms and no other bike gave me the room in the cockpit i needed to feel comfortable. i hated the cramped feeling i got with a top tube just a couple of centimeters shorter. and contrary to what some folks say, i never felt real comfortable with a really long stem, to make up for less top tube length. a couple of shops refitted bikes with longer stems so that i could test ride a couple of bikes. again, i dont know about the newer lemonds, but there definitely was a difference in the way the lemonds felt, mainly because of the top tube. i dont race or compete, i just ride for fun, but i do longer rides routinely (60-75 miles) and a yearly century, and it really feels good to lay out on the bike on the longer rides. but everyone is different. ride them and decide for yourself. it may drive everyone crazy if you take lots of time to ride all the bikes you may be considering but its ultimately worth it, cause you'll know quickly if a bike is really right for you.
Apr 9, 2003 5:35 AM
or marketing info?

I think the deal with Lemond is that they are easy to find since they are so widely distributed... and as for the ride being different- they do offer relatively cheap steel...