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  1. #1
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    08 LeMond Sarthe or 07 LeMond Chambery?

    I've been riding MTB for years and am getting into road biking. I'm looking for a comfortable and at least somewhat lively-feeling ride in a road bike under $2000. We have a few LBS here, and the one that I like the most sells LeMond, Bianchi and Seven. I didn't much care for the Bianchi 928s that I rode, and the LeMond geometry felt good to me. Right now they have a closeout 07 Chambery (aluminum/OCLV "spine" with full Ultegra) and an 08 Sarthe (True-Temper Platinum steel, with Ultegra/105 mix), both for $1699. They weighed the Chambery at 20.1 lbs (with pedals) and the Sarthe at 21.0 lbs, both 55cm frames.

    I'm hoping to elicit your thoughts/comments on the different materials and their respective merits. I enjoy riding fast and carving sweeping turns, but I don't intend to race.

  2. #2
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    Both are nice

    Both look like nice bikes, but I'd choose the Sarthe for a few reasons. First, I just like steel, and am a little skeptical of mixed-materials frames, although LeMond's spine bikes seem to get very good reviews. Next, I glanced at the geometry charts and it looks like the Sarthe has somewhat longer stays and longer wheelbase, which should make for a comfortable, stable ride. Finally, I just like the looks better, with the horizontal top tube and blue and white paint job. Guess I'm a traditionalist. But like I said, either should serve you well. If you have proportionately short legs, the sloping top tube might be just the ticket.

  3. #3
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    I was looking through some of the other threads and saw that someone had suggested that the LeMond TT OX steel might be prone to cracking/failure. Does anyone know more about that? I googled it and didn't seem to come up with anything in particular...

    The Sarthe does look interesting. I've always been curious about steel rigs.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for your input, Mayday! The blue paint is indeed gorgeous (looks even better in real than online), and the ride felt nice and smooth. I didn't much notice the weight difference. I do have short legs (30" inseam), so you would suggest a sloping geometry? I assume you were describing the Sarthe?

    9uva3, I hadn't heard that there might be issues with the True-Temper steel. I'll check into it some more.

    I think I have been leaning towards the Sarthe, but I'm definitely still undecided at this point. Thanks for the replies so far, and I look forward to any further comments.

  5. #5
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    The thread (maybe about a month ago?) dealing with a cracked Lemond TT OX Platinum frame dealt with a Lemond Fillmore.

  6. #6
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    Howard3 -- thanks for clarifying the TT OX question.

    Mayday, I reread your post and I see now that you were talking about the Chambery having the sloping TT.

  7. #7
    cmg
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    "They weighed the Chambery at 20.1 lbs (with pedals) and the Sarthe at 21.0 lbs, both 55cm frames." could you tell which one weighed more before you were told this information? I had an all steel Zurich, a really comfortable rider. If you like the geometry better.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBtraitor
    I do have short legs (30" inseam), so you would suggest a sloping geometry?
    Generally short legs and long torso means a bit easier fit with sloping TT designs. But that is only in general. Stand over clearance is not really an issue with road bikes like on MTBs, and so long as you are not hitting the TT when standing, not something to consider, imo.

    You really can't go wrong. You have a lot of riding time on the trails, and have ridding a few different road bikes already testing. I say, go with your heart. Go with the bike that felt better. Go with the one you like to look at.
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  9. #9
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    To be honest, cmg, I don't really think I could tell a difference in the weights before the shop put them both on the scale. Besides, my MTB is 27 lbs, so just about any road bike feels nice and light

  10. #10
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    have steel LeMond Alpe d'Huez and like it

    I have a 55 cm 2003 Lemond Alpe d'Huez, which has a Reynolds 853 steel frame (the last year, I think, that this model was all steel) and really like it. Unfortunately I have to sell it though since the top tube is a little long for me. GREAT ride though.

  11. #11
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    Cool. You guys have all been very helpful. I'm going back down to the shop tomorrow to ride them both again, and then I'll post my second impressions (unless I end up bringing one of 'em home, in which case I'll post pics instead).

  12. #12
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    I did it.... pulled the trigger on a Carolina blue/white 08 Sarthe. I was all set to buy the 55cm that they have in stock, but the price of the bike includes a free pro fit, and the guy ended up suggesting that a 53 would fit me even better. So they're ordering one in, and I should have it Monday! Stay tuned for pics...

  13. #13
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    we'd like pics AND a ride report after you have had some miles on it
    tia

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by vanjr
    we'd like pics AND a ride report after you have had some miles on it
    tia
    well, since you asked so nicely...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBtraitor
    I did it.... pulled the trigger on a Carolina blue/white 08 Sarthe.
    Enjoy!
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  16. #16
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    Funny you should ask. I just put $$ down on a 07 Versailles. Not that I am a carbon freak but I fell in love with the blue and silver paint scheme. Now is the time to get the 07s as LBS are clearing them out at low prices.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBtraitor
    I did it.... pulled the trigger on a Carolina blue/white 08 Sarthe. I was all set to buy the 55cm that they have in stock, but the price of the bike includes a free pro fit, and the guy ended up suggesting that a 53 would fit me even better. So they're ordering one in, and I should have it Monday! Stay tuned for pics...
    a while ago i looked at at sarthe in 53- but it was too long for me. the lbs suggested a 51 would be a better fit as lemonds are known to be longish in the top tube. i have the same inseam as you do, but perhaps my torso isn't quite as long as yours. how tall are you?

  18. #18
    cmg
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    "lemonds are known to be longish in the top tube." Lemonds have a slightly slacker seat tube angle that will make the top tube longer but when you place the saddle in relation to the BB you'll notice that the top tube is further behind the saddle than what is common. What does this mean? a 51 Lemond Sarthe will have a 73.75* STA while a more common 74.5*-75* STA is under most other brands. So the top tube starts further behind the saddle shorting the reach to the bars. If your 5'-4" to 5'-7" a 51 will be a good canidate.

  19. #19
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    r_mutt -- hey, I'm 5'10" over all, so I'm a bit long in the torso in relation to my height.

    pyrtwist, yeah I like carbon too, but the weight savings weren't dramatic enough to make me want to pay more (my LBS didn't have any close-out Versailles). Plus I had already fallen in love with the Sarthe

  20. #20
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    Voilą !

    Picked her up this afternoon, and went for a chilly 10 mile ride. Initial ride report is that the bike is ever so smooth when it's up and cruising on the flats. I haven't installed my computer yet, so I don't know my exact average speed, but it was quick! The Sarthe climbs well, and I didn't need the granny ring on anything I encountered on my loop today. It tackled sweeping corners well, though I can definitely feel that it doesn't have race geometry. Being brand new, of course the Ultegra/105 clicked off crisp precise shifts and the brakes felt strong.

    I feel like I made the right choice, and I'm looking forward to longer rides on warmer days.

    And now for the eye candy...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 08 LeMond Sarthe or 07 LeMond Chambery?-sarthe1.jpg   08 LeMond Sarthe or 07 LeMond Chambery?-sarthe5.jpg   08 LeMond Sarthe or 07 LeMond Chambery?-sarthe6.jpg   08 LeMond Sarthe or 07 LeMond Chambery?-sarthe9.jpg   08 LeMond Sarthe or 07 LeMond Chambery?-sarthe11.jpg  


  21. #21
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    Nice

    That's a great looking bike. Congrats on (in my opinion) a good choice.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayday
    That's a great looking bike. Congrats on (in my opinion) a good choice.
    Thanks! I also think that I made the best choice among my options. I can't wait to ride it more and post a more thorough review once I have a feel for its personality.

  23. #23
    your text here
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    sweet bike.

    but i have to ask, is this the appropriate size? the amount of spacers and rise of the stem make it look like you might want a taller bike. or do you have a smaller reach? i found when looking at lemonds the reach felt too long...
    I don't normally "do people." - Dr. Roebuck

  24. #24
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    Nice bike. When I made the move from mtb to road in the early 90's I went with a steel Lemond as well and that bike served me very well. I thought about upgrading my old steel Buenos Aires to the Sarthe, but decided on a Carbon bike instead and just kept the BA as my indoor trainer and back up bike.

    Also,
    Chainstay protector good, rust bad (They can get beat up on a road bikes too)
    Pizza dish on rear wheel bad
    Numerous oversized reflectors bad, unless you do night riding on public roads, but then lights are better
    Mtn pedals (platform pedals are really pushing it) on road passable, though not in conjunction with pizza dish, and large quantities of big reflectors.

  25. #25
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    That's a gorgeous bike. What's even better is that in 10 years, it'll still be a gorgeous bike, while the carbon stuff will look dated and old.

    I've had a LeMond steel bike in the past and it rode great. I've always kicked myself for getting rid of it...

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