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  1. #1
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    Trek 2100 vs. Lemond Croix de Fer and Sarthe

    Help! I've decided after 5 years of using a 7500 Trek hybrid that its time to buy a road bike. I do a lot of long distance rides, and even though I'm tall and lanky, falling while getting-use-to--clipless pedals should be beneficial in the long run. I'm looking at purchasing either the Trek 2100 or the Lemond Croix de Fer or Sarthe, and I'm having difficulties deciding! While they both seem to have the same component base, the Lemond is a steel frame and a bit longer. Which would be the BEST choice for a first time road biker? I've read several reviews about Trek 2100, and really the only negative is the saddle. They both seem to fit well ( the 58cm and 59 cm). Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
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    Personally ...

    I'd go with the Sarthe. I like the ride and durability of a steel frame, and I've heard a lot of positive feedback on LeMond's recent steel models. Nothing against the Trek. I'm sure it is well made and probably a bit lighter. See if you can ride both and take the one that feels best to you.

  3. #3
    Still On Steel
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    Quote Originally Posted by chor44
    Which would be the BEST choice for a first time road biker? I've read several reviews about Trek 2100, and really the only negative is the saddle.
    I too have a preference for steel, and own a LeMond, but the BEST choice is the bike that fits you the best, and makes you just want to jump on it and go out and ride. A lot of the latter is purely subjective, and highly personal: paint color, overall looks, preference in frame materials, etc. Don't dismiss these things too lightly, even if they don't amount to anything more than gut instinct. A buying decision based on, "Well, I really like Bike A better, but I've read all the reviews and crunched the numbers and have concluded that Bike B is closer to what I need" is likely to be a mistake.

    IOW, while I understand and applaud your wanting to research the decision, in the end it really doesn't matter what anyone else says or thinks. Buy what you want. Buy the bike that lights your fire. You're the one who has to pay for the thing and, more importantly, ride it.

    Since Trek owns LeMond, and fits them with their house-brand Bontrager components, a LeMond is likely to come with the exact same saddle as the Trek. Don't be surprised if you find yourself needing to do a saddle upgrade for any of these bikes.

    Also, the Croix de Fer is gone from LeMond's 2007 lineup. Not that big a deal since it used the same frame as the Sarthe, but it does reduce your choices in component levels a little.
    Allez Rouge

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by chor44
    ...I'm tall...
    How tall?

    I am 6'7" and just bought a 63cm Trek 2100. I had wanted a Le Mond, but the geometry and sizing forced me into the Trek...

  5. #5
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    How Tall...

    I'm 6'1'' with a 34" inseam

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the advice, Allez. -I agree about the fit of the bike, but I'm just not familiar enough with the whole STEEL vs. ALUMINUM battle. I was unable to test drive the bikes last night, so I'm going to attempt it tonight. For the minor price difference, I'm ruling out the Croix de Fer, too. but I'm also not sure if they have a 59 cm Sarthe in stock

  7. #7
    Still On Steel
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    Quote Originally Posted by chor44
    I'm just not familiar enough with the whole STEEL vs. ALUMINUM battle.
    I'm not either, which is why I defty sidestepped that part of the discussion.

    When I started riding again and had my steel Allez built up, winter of 1992/93, aluminum frames were almost universally held to be stiff, harsh, unyeilding. I was already past 40 even then, so the more compliant ride qualities of steel sounded a lot more attractive to me, thus that's what I went with. In the years since I've read many comments (and don't doubt they are true) that an aluminum frame can be made to ride quite nicely, now that the mfrs have gained some more experience with the material. (I think aluminum is probably still at the harsher end of the ride-quality scale, though, whereas steel will still generally be more compliant. Partly this is the nature of the materials; partly it is because the mfrs build the bikes that way because that's what the buyers of each material will expect.)

    Most aluminum frames use oversized tubes, often drawn into some rather novel shapes (see the aluminum LeMonds, for example). Some people like that, some people don't care, some don't especially like it. I fall into the last group. The welds on aluminum frames tend be use larger beads, too, which to my eye are unattractive. I'm not totally opposed to the high-tech look -- my LeMond is one of the steel/carbon spine models -- but in general I gravitate toward a more traditional appearance: small tubes, round tubes, nearly-invisible welds.

    By now all the frame materials have been around long enough that the mfrs have them pretty well sorted out; to be sure, each material will have its advantages and disadvantages, but probably nothing that would (or should) be a deal maker/breaker for someone buying his first road bike. I really don't see how you can go too far wrong with any of your choices. Which is why I mentioned the emotional factor. They're all nice, but which one appeals to you the most? Figure that out, and you've got your new ride.
    Allez Rouge

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by chor44
    I'm 6'1'' with a 34" inseam
    Out of my experience, I am 6'7" with a 34" inseam, the Trek fit much better than the Le Mond...but try them yourself...

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