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  1. #1
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    New bike time...'99 Lemond Zurich

    Kind of long, but I haven't felt this excited about a bike since I was probably 5, so bear with me.

    This past Monday, I was sitting at my 4 yr old's t-ball game talking to a couple of other parents about trail-a-bikes. On a whim, I pulled up Craigslist on my phone to see if there were any for sale, and there it was....a '99 Lemond Zurich listed 2 hours earlier and only 4 miles from my house. I've been casually shopping for a Lemond for the past year and a half or so and this was the first Lemond I had seen on our local Craigslist so I texted the guy and arranged to go see it Tuesday.

    When I got there, a kid about late 20s with a mowhawk walks out. As I'm looking over this bike, the kid is telling me where he got it. He's only the second owner...bought it last spring from an older gentleman with the intention of maybe doing some triathlons. As it turns out, kids and work resulted in him putting on about 75 miles since he bought it and he needs a new fish finder for his boat, so it has to go.

    The only imperfections I can find on the bike are two little nicks in the decals. No scratches or chips in the paint, wheels are true, chain is good. The thing still had the original tires and handlebar tape that it came with in 1999 both in useable condition! It was clearly well taken care of and barely ridden. I figured there was no way I'd ever find one like this locally again for sure, and the price was great, so I picked it up.

    I got it home, adjusted the handlebars and shifters, moved the seat, swapped out pedals, threw on some new tires, and removed the dork disc that was still on. Nothing else needed to be done.

    Today I got my first ride on it. The other bikes I ride are a '10 NeilPryde Diablo and an '05 Specialized Allez, both of which can feel pretty harsh on the country roads around here, so I was excited to see what a good steel frame felt like. All I can say is wow! This thing is like riding on air compared to those two. Roads that normally give me a little buzz are smooth as silk. On the roads that would typically shake my fillings out, I was barely aware of any bumps. Now I certainly did notice that the Lemond takes more work to get up to speed, be it a result of the Rolf wheelset or the extra weight I'm not sure. But I found that once at speed it felt much easier to stay there. My route this morning didn't have many hills, but I quickly realized that on rollers that I would normally stand and power up, I was much better off just staying seated and cruising up. It just doesn't feel like you get the same power transfer standing on this bike as I do on the carbon Diablo. Based strictly on perception, I felt like I expended about the same amount of energy to ride the route...and the time to complete it was basically the same as it's always been. I was certainly more comfortable doing it though!

    The long and short of it...I'm sold on steel. If my wife ever laid down the gauntlet and told me I could only keep one of my bikes, the Lemond would be the winner hands down. And when the day comes that the NeilPryde dies, no way it'll be replaced with another carbon bike. I'll be in the market for custom steel for sure.

    So here it is. I still have to make a couple of small changes to bar position and shifter placement, and get a new saddle, but that's all. Can't wait to ride tomorrow!

    New bike time...'99 Lemond Zurich-photo-1.jpg
    New bike time...'99 Lemond Zurich-photo-2.jpg
    New bike time...'99 Lemond Zurich-photo-3.jpg
    New bike time...'99 Lemond Zurich-photo-4.jpg
    New bike time...'99 Lemond Zurich-photo-5.jpg
    Last edited by seemana; 06-24-2013 at 04:45 AM.

  2. #2
    Not a rocket surgeon.
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    Wow, thats nice.

  3. #3
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    Very nice. It looks like my Lemond did when it was brand new 13 years ago. Those Rolf Comps are very rigid wheels, they don't absorb any road shock. You might even find the bike to ride smoother with a set of 25s for rubber. At least get a set as your winter tires and you can judge if you feel a difference.

    Glad the bike finally found someone that appreciates it and will use it. Would've be a damn shame for it to just sit against a wall for another 10 years.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 67caddy View Post
    Very nice. It looks like my Lemond did when it was brand new 13 years ago. Those Rolf Comps are very rigid wheels, they don't absorb any road shock. You might even find the bike to ride smoother with a set of 25s for rubber. At least get a set as your winter tires and you can judge if you feel a difference.

    Glad the bike finally found someone that appreciates it and will use it. Would've be a damn shame for it to just sit against a wall for another 10 years.

    Yup...it came with 25s and that was what I wanted. Believe it or not though...I went to three different LBS looking for tires. Not one had any 25s in stock. Two of them told me since we were so far into the season, they wouldn't be stocking them again til next year. I live in WI, but hell, you can ride until November normally without snow on the ground!

    Anyway, I wasn't patient enough to wait for an order to show up, so 23s it is. I may order the 25s though and put the 23s on my old Specialized. It could use some new rubber anyway.

  5. #5
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    McDonalds bike.

    Gorgeous! I love that paint scheme. It's classic and timeless like Levi's 501. Enjoy her. She's a good all day ridin' kind of bike.

    Here's my '99 Zurich. After 13 years of service I gave her a new face lift. I don't know what I was thinking when I had her repainted. It's my McDonald bike.
    You'd think we were here for something other than fun. - Ishmael

  6. #6
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    Very nice find!

    JaeP, where did you get those red decals? Been hunting for a long time.

  7. #7
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    Congrats, Seemana! Great find.
    I recently received a '98 Zurich, on fathers day no less. My wife and daughters surprised me big time!
    The colour scheme is reversed to the '99, red frame, white name bars. I don't know if it a Canadian spec thing, but mine is equiped with the Campy Chorus, brifters, derailleurs, cranks, brakes, hubs. Sweet stuff.
    I was (and still am) blown away by the ride. I thought that short wheel base race inspired bikes were supposed to ride harsh, the ride is solid yet supple. I am also surprised by how well it holds a line, it is like it is on rails. There is no comparison in ride quality and straight line stability to my '08 Salsa Casseroll, which btw has a longer wheel base and larger trail, the Lemond is bettter.


    Rick

  8. #8
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    Those Lemond Zurichs look like really cool bikes.

  9. #9
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    Glad your happy with the new Zurich. Enjoy!

    Dave

  10. #10
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    Enjoy your Zurich! I sold mine after I got the giant defy advanced 2. The lemond was a solid bike and it served me well.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for all of the compliments. I got about 100 miles in on the bike last week. Had to leave it home one day as it looked like rain and I just couldn't bring myself to dirty it up quite yet. First ride impressions hold true. I've been super-impressed with the descending on it. Very stable and planted feeling...I like it.

    I am monkeying with the cockpit a little. The stock bars and stem just had too much reach and not enough drop from the saddle. I had a quill adapter laying around along with some spare stems and bars so I spent yesterday swapping stuff around to try and get the fit closer to my other bikes. I think I've got it all ironed out now though. The only thing I have to do is find a stem in the size I want that's silver. Black just looks terrible on it in my opinion. If I can find quill for a decent price, I'd do it, but I think it'll end up with the adapter and a threadless. I'll put new pics up once I get it squared away.

    Love the bike though. It certainly is a much more forgiving ride.

  12. #12
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    Nice find. It's nice to rediscover ride comfort, isn't it? Find yourself a decent ~1500gm wheelset with your favorite flavor of 25c tire and I think you'll find the bike to accelerate and climb better.

    Does this bike have a 1-1/8" steerer? If so, you could probably pick up a decent threadless fork and work out the stem position as well as lop off a pound of weight. Maybe even see an improvement in cockpit stiffness.
    Côte du Petit Pas d'Ane - Best climb name ever.

  13. #13
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    White bar tape, white saddle, white stem. Look at the white Q2 stems at Universal Cycle. I picked one up Very light, like around 120g under $40, very good deal. The bike has a 1 inch steerer. Makes it a little harder to find a threadless fork. But if you are patient you may find a full carbon for under $100. It may be very difficult to find a white one. The one I put on my 99 Lemond is a black Axis Pro from Performance. Great price at $90 for a 360g fork. It would definitely take 12oz off the bikes weight as well as improved ride.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidka View Post
    Nice find. It's nice to rediscover ride comfort, isn't it? Find yourself a decent ~1500gm wheelset with your favorite flavor of 25c tire and I think you'll find the bike to accelerate and climb better.

    Does this bike have a 1-1/8" steerer? If so, you could probably pick up a decent threadless fork and work out the stem position as well as lop off a pound of weight. Maybe even see an improvement in cockpit stiffness.


    Quote Originally Posted by 67caddy View Post
    White bar tape, white saddle, white stem. Look at the white Q2 stems at Universal Cycle. I picked one up Very light, like around 120g under $40, very good deal. The bike has a 1 inch steerer. Makes it a little harder to find a threadless fork. But if you are patient you may find a full carbon for under $100. It may be very difficult to find a white one. The one I put on my 99 Lemond is a black Axis Pro from Performance. Great price at $90 for a 360g fork. It would definitely take 12oz off the bikes weight as well as improved ride.

    This is just my solo cruising bike...so no real worries on the acceleration and climbing. Should my carbon bike ever fail, I'd probably stick a little more into this one to lighten it up a bit, but for now, I'm going to enjoy the bike as it is. We'll see if I can make it through the summer with that attitude.
    Last edited by seemana; 06-24-2013 at 04:47 AM.

  15. #15
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    I believe all Zurick's had CF forks from LeMond, my '98 does? To gain 3/4# I would think you would have to go from steel to carbon with steel steerer, or maybe change out a CF with steel steerer for CF w/ CF steerer.
    Last edited by Easyup; 07-24-2012 at 04:17 PM.

  16. #16
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    wow that looks fantastic. enjoy!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easyup View Post
    I believe all Zurick's had CF forks from LeMond, my '98 does? To gain 3/4# I would think you would have to go from steel to carbon with steel steerer, or maybe change out a CF with steel steerer for CF w/ CF steerer.
    They had steel steerers with an alloy crown, threaded headsets and quill stems. Those together add up to a lot over a full carbon fork (or alloy steerer which is common now) and threadless setup.
    Côte du Petit Pas d'Ane - Best climb name ever.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldskoolchevelle View Post
    wow that looks fantastic. enjoy!
    Thanks!

  19. #19
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    Gorgeous bike! I'd probably make one of those my every day ride over my BMC if I had one.
    My carbon footprint has cleats

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peanya View Post
    Gorgeous bike! I'd probably make one of those my every day ride over my BMC if I had one.
    It's about to that already. Nearly all of my rides are solo, and the Lemond is perfect on those. Carbon comes out on faster group rides...maybe every other week.

  21. #21
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    I just got a nearly new '99 Tourmalet off of Craig;s list today! The stock drop bars have too much reach, makign the hoods a bit too much of a stretch. That's an easy remedy, also I will replace the 13 year old tires and brake pads ASAP. It has the full RSX group w/ a triple crank with no noticeable wear on the cogs or chainrings. After a bit of riding I'll grease all the bearings, swap the handlebars, and clean it up a bit.

  22. #22
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    Talking 98 Lemond Zurich

    I just picked one up a couple weeks ago. I too had been eying these things for awhile. This one was pretty beat up. Lots of paint chipped off. Ultegra components work magically but I am going to switch to black sram force to complete the look. Also going to switch out the wheelset for either ritcheys or stans. It currently weighs a whopping 19.8 pounds. I also noticed that when you stand up and mash it feels like you're pedaling a flat. I assuming its the flex in the steel and the crappy mavic cpx 21 wheels that are on it. I touched it up with some spray paint but am not happy with it. I ordered a Lemond Zurich decal kit for it and will be stripping it and starting fresh. Cant wait to get it finished! I love it!

    Here is a pic
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails New bike time...'99 Lemond Zurich-2012-07-21_15-05-24_37.jpg  

  23. #23
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    Lemond zurich decals

    By the way, I looked all over for the decal kit. If anyone else is looking to re paint their lemond or any other for that matter I can give you this guys email addy.

  24. #24
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    My wife has one of the lower end Lemond models but it's still the same 853 frame (with a steel fork). It's to small for me but I feel the that nice springy ride just going around the driveway. These were the last of the era before every bike manufacturer determined their frames need to be ultra stiff. We don't all weigh 250 lbs.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by krausedmb1980 View Post
    By the way, I looked all over for the decal kit. If anyone else is looking to re paint their lemond or any other for that matter I can give you this guys email addy.
    I have '98 as well and it will need a repaint. The paint is sooo fragile it virtually peels off. If you could pm me the address that would be great.
    Would this be a full decal kit or just the main bars?

    Thanks.

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