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2004 Lemond Spine Design(7 posts)

2004 Lemond Spine Designcrashnburn
Dec 13, 2003 6:12 PM
Anyone tried the new Lemond's with the Spine Design frames?
What's the point?winstonc
Dec 13, 2003 7:09 PM
I'm not an expert on frames, but here's my opinion: why bother?

I thought that the point of using carbon is for stiffness, especialliy in the bottom bracket, and the point of using titanium is for durability. (Carbon is marginally lighter, too.) But with this bike, you don't get the stiffness of carbon, and you don't get the durability of Ti, since the frame could become unbonded or the carbon part could get scraped up. In my experience, carbon seatstays are no more comfortable than Ti.

I guess for the steel/carbon frames, you save weight over a pure steel frame, but in my experience, carbon seatstays are less comfortable than steel. I don't think you any advantages of carbon in these frames, except for weight.

It also doesn't seem to be any easier to manufacture than an all-metal frame, since the areas where the carbon meets the metal are both welded and bonded.

Anyone out there have reasons why I'm wrong about this?
What's the point?Rusty Coggs
Dec 13, 2003 8:50 PM
If done right plenty of stiffness in the BB can be had with steel or Ti.IMO the rest of your generalizations are just as suspect.
Maybe you should try riding one...russw19
Dec 13, 2003 10:52 PM
They are surprisingly nice bikes. The idea of carbon isn't stiffness... it's that you can design whatever characteristics you want and then orient the carbon's weave pattern to acheive what you want the bike to feel like. No metal allows you to do that, instead you have to manipulate the shape and size of the tubing.

As for carbon bottom brackets... are you sure about your statement that they are stiff??? I have yet to ride a carbon frame that was as stiff in the bottom bracket as most aluminium bikes. Ti bikes are typically stiffer at the bottom bracket, but the knock on them is they are harsh if overly stiff. So Trek (Lemond) designed a bike that gives you the stiffness at the part of the bike that transmits power and dampens the accompanying road shock of stiff bikes. That's the whole point of the carbon seat stays on any bike. The rest of the design you were actually on track of in your thougts, but just missed the connection. Carbon is marginally lighter than Titanium. So out of the 8 tubes in a traditional bike frame, some don't affect the ride that much. The top tube is one. It doesn't do that much to change the ride, so to save weight, it's carbon. Also the seat tube is carbon so that it can dampen the road shock that comes straight to your backside, but still be stiff for power transfer due to how the fibers are oriented. It's taking the very best part of the Trek OCLV frames and mating it to the best parts of the Lemond Ti frames.

Go ride the bike then form an opinion on them. I borrowed one of last year's Tete d Course from a rep and put a little over 200 miles on it. I normally like really stiff aluminium frames, but I was impressed with this bike. It rode like a smooth and comfortable Ti bike. The best way I can think of to describe it was that it felt stiff like a 6/4 Ti bike, but smooth like a 3/2.5 bike. I have a Colnago Ovalmaster that is 6/4 Ti, and it rode a lot like that, but it was smoother over bad roads and had less chatter over bad roads too.

That's my opinon on that bike, but I have riden it. All I can tell you is that you shouldn't take my word about it, but you should ride it and decide for yourself. But certainly don't take the word of someone who looked at it and just thought it was hokey.

Interesting, but it's sad that....satanas
Dec 14, 2003 6:51 AM
...Lemond seem to have abandoned their own ideas on geometry in favour of Trek's. The spine bikes are steeper in the head and seat tube than Lemond's of old, higher in the BB and shorter in the chainstay as well.

If I remember correctly, the bikes Greg rode in the TDF used a 72 degree seat angle, and a 73 head with 45mm rake, plus a lower BB; last year only the TDC had a 67mm drop - the others all had more, and longer stays.

Still, it'd be interesting to test one, but most of us are more likely to get 200 yards (if that) rather than 200 miles...

lemond angles have been that wayrufus
Dec 14, 2003 7:46 AM
for a few years now. the change may not have happened the moment trek bought them, but it's been phased in since.
the point is...hayaku
Dec 15, 2003 8:09 AM
that you can't sell a large volume of bikes made out of one material (except carbon) these days. definately not steel.