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New guy needs buying advice on used Lemond/Ultegra(27 posts)

New guy needs buying advice on used Lemond/UltegraLKDog
Aug 6, 2003 10:35 AM
I have decided to replace my steel Bridgestone 450 roadbike that I have had for 15 years for a new or good used roadbike. Am educating myself on frames and components the last few weeks.

Have decided on getting a steel frame, probably a LeMond model. Have test road aluminum and they were nice, but the steel frames seemed to be a better match for me. I am about 185 lbs/ 5'11" and do mostly training type rides of 20-40 miles-not a racer. Used to do some centuries for fun and may do so again. Just want a nice quick comfortable bike to last me another 15 years :). I am also 47 years old so my body is starting to feel the harder training rides. Steel seems the way to go for me.

Anyway I ran across this on Ebay

It is item 3621283795 if you have trouble with the link.

The seller seems like a very knowledgable guy who also runs a bikeshop. He has very good feedback on Ebay.
From what I have learned, these are decent components.
I know the frame fits me as I have ridden 53cm Lemonds for test rides and they are a good fit.

The price seems good.
749$ for an 853 Lemond frame and Ultegra group. The other components, rims and handlebar, etc are all greek to me.
They get decent reviews here,though.

Any thoughts on this? I am leaning toward buying this. Anything I should worry about? He did state that the prvious owner had a minor crash, but that the frame is straight and true with no damage. As stated it has been repainted which does not matter to me.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
re: New guy needs buying advice on used Lemond/Ultegragtx
Aug 6, 2003 10:40 AM
"I know the frame fits me as I have ridden 53cm Lemonds for test rides and they are a good fit."

You might want to have a professional fitting done by a good shop. 53 c-c seems very small for someone who is 5' 11".
one of Kerry's fit posts (should be in a FAQ)gtx
Aug 6, 2003 10:42 AM
Kerry Irons "Litespeed Tuscany question" 8/3/03 6:13pm
re: New guy needs buying advice on used Lemond/UltegraLKDog
Aug 6, 2003 10:55 AM
Thanks for the input.
My inseam is about 81cm.
The standover height on the Lemond 53 cm is 78.4 cm which is about 2.6 cm or 1 inch below my inseam.
When I standover a 55cm Lemond which has a standover height of 80.3 cm, the toptube slightly brushes up against my shorts. Actually, my present frame does the same thing.

Maybe I am actually closer to 5'10 than 5'11 -I think I am shrinking as I get older:)

I think I could ride a 55cm Lemond, but it seems a tad big.
I realize that there is more to fitting than just standover height. The toptube on the 53cm Lemond is 54.5 and the top tube on the 55cm Lemond is 56.5.

Maybe I should consider getting a fitting. When I have tried out bikes it seems like I ahve been told to that a 53 cm c-c; or a 54 cm c-t frame is a good fit.
re: New guy needs buying advice on used Lemond/Ultegragtx
Aug 6, 2003 11:07 AM
Maybe carefully re-measure your inseam using the method described in the Colorado Cyclist link. If your legs are that short (proportionately) I'd assume your torso is long and that the top tube on the stock size 53 would be too short. Just my $.01--since butting heads with C40 a while back I generally try to avoid fit questions. :)
Aug 6, 2003 11:09 AM
I have a steel Lemond with 105 and have been pretty happy with it, but I really question the size as well.

There is way more to bike fit than standover height and a cycling inseam (which is longer than a clothing inseam). Inseam is really used to set the seat height, not for standover height purposes. Have a look at some fit websites like

I think we make too much fuss over bike fit, but it is important.

Just for comparison, and not becasue it means anything, I am 5'8" and ride a 55cm. On me, it is just a bit big whereas a 53cm would be just a bit small.
Size...yeah it variesRusty Coggs
Aug 6, 2003 11:26 AM
I'm 6' and would need a 55 lemond to get the TT length right,where in most others a 57c-c works. There is a reason I don't own a Lemond.
re: New guy needs buying advice on used Lemond/Ultegra03Vortex
Aug 6, 2003 11:16 AM
The lemond is measured c-c which a 55 would equate to a 56 measured c-t on others. That's the difference. Both my bikes are 55. the Litespeed is measured c-t therefore the standover on my Lemond is slightly higher (1cm I guess)
re: New guy needs buying advice on used Lemond/Ultegragtx
Aug 6, 2003 12:38 PM
lots of variables go into standover--bb height, seat tube angle and tubing diameter. You can see a pretty big range on same size frames. I think 1" with shoes makes standover a non-issue, though, unless you plan to take your road bike on some technical dirt trails. ;)
re: New guy needs buying advice on used Lemond/Ultegrajtolleson
Aug 6, 2003 12:10 PM
I assume that is your PANTS inseam not your cycling inseam. I'm not quite 5'7" and my cycling inseam is 81.75 cm, so something sounds amiss. Cycling inseam is measured from the floor (not cuff of pant) up to FIRMLY in crotch, not top of leg. It will be much longer.

I'd be shocked if you really fit a 53cm. And even if your legs truly are that short, then the 54.5 cm top tube is not going to be long enough for your torso and wingspan.

The bike is kinda funky... relatively small frame but with 46 cm bars. You can tell he kinda built it with leftovers. Not necessarily a bad thing, but something to note.
See my post below about re-measuringLKDog
Aug 6, 2003 12:19 PM
You guys are educating me here.
After reading some of the links you guys have suggested, I think I am making too much of the standover height deal.
On a 55cm I do have almost a 1/2" clearance with my 81.28 cycling inseam, actually more as I would have shoes on.

I would not call my legs short, but I am bowlegged:)
I think I need to testride a 55cm Lemond to see how that feels.
If the top-tube fits, you'll do okay.Spunout
Aug 6, 2003 11:00 AM
But double check the fit. I am 6' and ride a 55. But, I use no spacers on the headset.

Nice upgrades, the headset is an important one. I'm still suffering with the Cane Creek headset in my Zurich!
re: New guy needs buying advice on used Lemond/Ultegra03Vortex
Aug 6, 2003 10:49 AM
I have had a Zurich for six years. Still have it w/Dura ACE but this year bought a new Litespeed. Lemond 853 steel bikes are good. My only question to you is that you are looking at a 53 being 5'11'? I am 5'9" w/32in inseam and ride a 55. its the right fit for me. What is your cycling inseam? Do you have very short legs even though you are 2in taller than me?
OK- I have re-measured myself....LKDog
Aug 6, 2003 11:49 AM
Well, I am now officially 5'10" in stocking feet.
Guess I have shrunk a bit over the years :)

I redid my inseam in stocking feet with the ruler pushed firmly against my crotch.

32" or 81.28 cm.

Is it a problem if the the standover height on the 55cm Lemond is 80.3 or basically
All of these bike shops tell me that "there should be at least an inch below your crotch when you standover the bike", which is why they have steered me to the 53cm with the 78.4 cm standover height. That gives me a little over an inch clearance.

I actually am pretty athletic so stretching out over the frame is not uncomfortable. I don't ride a lot in the drops, but enjoy it. I would not call myself a very skilled rider-I actually am a tournament level tennis player and bike for conditioning and fun.

Do people grow into frames? Or, to put it another way-will I regret getting a frame that may be a slightly smaller than one that is slightly bigger?

It seems like the consensus on the bike on EBay is that it looks like a good buy if it fits me.

Now I am worried that a 53 cm might be too small down the road.
When I test rode a 53cm Lemond yesterday I loved the ride, but I did ask if the seat moved back slightly as I found myself wanting to be a bit more stretched out. He said that would not be a problem to move the seat back slightly.

Thanks again for all of your input.
You'll be wearing cycling shoes...jtolleson
Aug 6, 2003 12:12 PM
so your 81cm standover (still sounds short to me but I'll take your word for it) will give you decent clearance on the bike... the shoes can added another 1/2" to 3/4".
You'll be wearing cycling shoes...LKDog
Aug 6, 2003 12:22 PM
Good point.
Now the whole shoes thing is another thread. Have been using toeclips for the past 15 years.......
Slow down, take a deep breath and.........Len J
Aug 6, 2003 12:55 PM
step away from the bike.

"I redid my inseam in stocking feet with the ruler pushed firmly against my crotch."

Did you measure to a point firmly against your sit bones or your crotch? This will make a big difference. It should be to your sit bones.

Lemonds had a 72 degree seat tube angle. If this one does, that effectivly shortens the top tube (if you positions the seat appropriatly over the BB to get optimal weight distribution)when compared to a "normal" 73 degree seat tube. I tend to set my knee up 2.5 cm behing the BB. If you do fit (based on leg length) on a 53 at 5'10", then I would suspect that you will be crowded on the 53 length wise. You are 2" shorter than me, I have an 88cm cycling inseam, and I fit perfectly on a 57cm Lemond. This means that (if your measurments are correct), that your torso is approx 1 cm longer than mine (72 inches X 2.54 = 182.9 cm - 88 cm standover = my torso of 94.9, 70 inches X 2.54= 177.8 cm - 81.8 cm standover = 96 cm torso length). Now maybe your not as flexible as me, but I would seriosly question a 4 cm shorter top tube for someone with a 1 cm longer torso than mine.

I would find a retailer with a Serotta fit cycle as well as the specific geometry of the Lemond (which you can get on line) and Pay the LBS to set the fit cycle up at the 53, 55 & 57 geometries, and see how each one feels and more importantly how the lbs thinks the fit looks. Its a pain but it's better than wasting the money on an illfitting frame.

Good Luck

I am taking deep breathLKDog
Aug 6, 2003 1:26 PM
Len - Not sure what a sit bone is, but you are right-that would make the inseam even a bit highr than the crotch measurement. I am now convinced that it would not be wise to get any LeMond until I get a better understanding of my particular fit from a LBS on a LeMond (since that is what I will probably be getting since I want a steel frame).

When I was riding a 53 cm Lemond yesterday, I did check to see if the handelbars were obscuring the front hub as is generally recommended. I did feel that I was a bit over the front of the bike too much. Whether a fore/aft seat adjustment would have cured that is unknown as I just took a quick test ride on my lunch hour.

I appreciate the thoroughness of the responses and the detailed explanations. I am guessing from what everyone is saying that I will end up on a bigger frame than the 53cm.

Thanks again everyone.
Sit bone explained........Len J
Aug 6, 2003 1:37 PM
Your sit bones are the bony protrusions that come off your pelvis and that support your body when you sit on a bike seat. They are to the left and right and rearward of your "Boys".

To measure cycling inseam, with your feet about 6 inches apart, pull a level up between your legs until it hits your "sit bone". While hitting the sit bone, level the level, have someone measure from the top of the level to the floor.

Good luck

Serotta Fit Cyclecoifmo
Aug 7, 2003 8:49 AM
Or buy your OWN Serotta fit cycle and impress your friends!
Too small.slide13
Aug 6, 2003 2:29 PM
I'm 6' and ride a 57cm Lemond. We sell Lemond's at the shop I work at and form the info you have given I can pretty much guarentee that you are a 55 or maybe even a 57, now way that a 53 will fit you right though. Too bad, it was a decent deal on that bike...but only if it fits. Keep looking.
Too small (I agree)lemmy999
Aug 6, 2003 4:05 PM
I just road a Lemond Zurich and I am a very average proportion 5' 10.5" person and the 55 fit me perfect. Actually the most comfortable bike I have tested so far.

I have heard Lemonds have long top tubes, but according to things I found on the web a 56cm 2002 Klein Quantum Race is 22.3", a 56cm 2003 Cannondale R2000 is 22.04" and a 55cm 2003 Lemond Zurich is 22.24". So it doesn't seem that long to me...but maybe all 3 of these have long top tubes. A 56cm 2003 Felt 35R is 22.0".
THANKS EVERYBODY - This is nice forum (nt)LKDog
Aug 6, 2003 7:20 PM
WTF was I thinking....RODE, not ROAD....(nm)lemmy999
Aug 7, 2003 5:13 AM
OK- I have re-measured myself....03Vortex
Aug 7, 2003 4:48 AM
I am exactly the same inseam as you and again, ride the Lemond 55 comfortably. I am convinced that is what you need. The TT on the 55 is 55.5 and if you say you can ride comfortably stretched out, then the 55 is it. Be sure your saddle is where it should be (KOPS roughly) and then get the right stem length
Will check fit and test a 55cm this weekend-THANKS AGAIN! (nt)LKDog
Aug 7, 2003 6:13 AM
re: New guy needs buying advice on used Lemond/Ultegragl56
Aug 6, 2003 8:14 PM
I'm 5'10" and have a 57cm Lemond Zurich. It may be a touch big, but the LBS said the 55cm was too small fo me.

Seems to me a 53cm bike would be too small for someone 5'11".

The Zurich is a good way to go though. I am very happy with mine.