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  1. #1
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    Forks on the new Lemond Triomphe series

    From the specs. it looks like Trek is putting around 600gram forks on these bikes? That is, except for the DA version.

    Does not seem to make sense to put that heavy of a fork on such a light frame. Kind of defeats the light frame weight.

  2. #2
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    the thing is that apparently there won't be any xxx lite forks for 2007, so trek equippes all their top-bikes with, well, slightly heavier x lite forks. for example, a couple of weeks ago, on trek's 2007 madone ssl 6.9 there was an xxx lite fork listed, now they downgraded the specifications to x lite forks...

  3. #3
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    That sounds very plausible. Plus light integrated forks are probably not available either. I guess the Lemonds use a special integrated fork.
    Still, putting a 600gram fork on a 1000 gram frame seems like a disservice to the buyer.

  4. #4
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    It always puzzled me why my Lemond came with Race XXX Lite forks, and not even the highest Trek model for $10,000 used it.

    Obviously its all about making the price point. But I agree that there are many forks 100 grams lighter than the 610 gram Race model like on the Buenos Aires that probably have the same manufacturing cost.

    But, one big issue is the crown to axle height. The "Race" model is 371mm, while the "Race X Lite" model is 379mm. Thats a big difference. They also don't have a 43mm rake version normal for a steeper headtube like this.
    So, the 45mm rake "Race" fork with the 73.3 degree headtube on a 55cm bike leads to a super short and squirrly 53mm trail with most standard 700x23mm tires. But, the same 45mm rake "Race X Lite" fork with its 379mm height actually changes the frame angles. The headtube would become 73.02 degrees, a big change, and leads to a much more stable steering bike with a trail 3mm larger.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevecaz
    It always puzzled me why my Lemond came with Race XXX Lite forks, and not even the highest Trek model for $10,000 used it.

    Obviously its all about making the price point. But I agree that there are many forks 100 grams lighter than the 610 gram Race model like on the Buenos Aires that probably have the same manufacturing cost.

    But, one big issue is the crown to axle height. The "Race" model is 371mm, while the "Race X Lite" model is 379mm. Thats a big difference. They also don't have a 43mm rake version normal for a steeper headtube like this.
    So, the 45mm rake "Race" fork with the 73.3 degree headtube on a 55cm bike leads to a super short and squirrly 53mm trail with most standard 700x23mm tires. But, the same 45mm rake "Race X Lite" fork with its 379mm height actually changes the frame angles. The headtube would become 73.02 degrees, a big change, and leads to a much more stable steering bike with a trail 3mm larger.
    Somebody has been analyzing this more than me.

    Question: Are the integrated forks on the Lemonds built to the same specs as the non-integrated forks listed on Bontrager's website with the same names.
    For instance they mention 150 carbon x-lite, but the non-integrated fork has 120 carbon.

    Another question: can you put a non-integrated fork on a frame designed for an integrated headset fork? I assume yes, just will be a bigger gap at the fork crown.
    Last edited by mtbdcd; 10-30-2006 at 06:58 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdcd
    Another question: can you put a non-integrated fork on a frame designed for an integrated headset fork? I assume yes, just will be a bigger gap at the fork crown.
    Yes, but most often you'll end up with a flat bare carbon lip exposed around the outside edge of the lower headset cup. Functionally no problem, aesthetically not so good. I'm sure there are some headseats like the Cane Creek S2 with a large diameter cup than may hide this lip on some forks.

  7. #7
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    New Info

    I emailed Lemond Bikes to discuss the geometry of the different fork heights and the frame design. They stated that all 2007 forks now have a 370mm height, and will be changing the info on the website after I brought it to their attention.

  8. #8
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    "Squirrelly" front end?

    Quote Originally Posted by stevecaz
    So, the 45mm rake "Race" fork with the 73.3 degree headtube on a 55cm bike leads to a super short and squirrly 53mm trail with most standard 700x23mm tires.
    Confused. This describes my bike's geometry almost exactly (54c-c Ritchey Road Logic, 73.5 head angle, 45 mm fork offset, 55 cm top tube, 23 mm tires), and it is not squirrelly at all. I just had it up to 54 mph on a steep descent last month, and it handled just fine. It also does well in tight criterium style racing.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark McM
    Confused. This describes my bike's geometry almost exactly (54c-c Ritchey Road Logic, 73.5 head angle, 45 mm fork offset, 55 cm top tube, 23 mm tires), and it is not squirrelly at all. I just had it up to 54 mph on a steep descent last month, and it handled just fine. It also does well in tight criterium style racing.

    The term "squirrelly" is one some riders would use and not others depending on your point of view, preference, and experience on other bikes. Also two people of different height would have a different experience on the bike. Trail has minimal to do with stability at speed. But a 53mm trail is considered by most as a little touchy regarding steering input with 57mm as a good balance. If you rode the exact same bike made with a 73 degree headtube you would notice that the steering is more neutral and the bike wouldn't dive into your steering imput like Greg Louganis. Add on a 43mm rake fork to the 73 degree headtube and you would really notice a difference - the bike would glide/arc through a turn instead of carving it with a ginsu knife, though you might not like that response. It is used by lots of well liked bikes though.

    The Lemond geomtry is supposed to include a "reduced head angle for more predictable handling". Well a 73.5 head tube is far from reduced, and the resulting 53mm trail would not be considered by any frame designer as having "more predictable handling".

    I'm going to change my fork for this reason and my preference. Right now when I make a tighter turn the bike will dive in and finish it. I'd prefer something that requires more steering input throughout the turn.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevecaz
    I emailed Lemond Bikes to discuss the geometry of the different fork heights and the frame design. They stated that all 2007 forks now have a 370mm height, and will be changing the info on the website after I brought it to their attention.
    Curious as to how you emailed Lemond Bikes. I did not see an email address on their website.

  11. #11
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    Minor variations

    Quote Originally Posted by stevecaz
    Trail has minimal to do with stability at speed. But a 53mm trail is considered by most as a little touchy regarding steering input with 57mm as a good balance. If you rode the exact same bike made with a 73 degree headtube you would notice that the steering is more neutral and the bike wouldn't dive into your steering imput like Greg Louganis.
    Interestingly enough, I have another frame, a Nobilette made from Columbus SLX, that has nearly the identical geometry as the Ritchey, except with a 73 degree head angle matched to the 45 mm offset fork. It rides similarly to the Ritchey - the steering is really no more "neutral", nor does it any less "dive into your steering input like Greg Louganis."

    Quote Originally Posted by stevecaz
    Add on a 43mm rake fork to the 73 degree headtube and you would really notice a difference - the bike would glide/arc through a turn instead of carving it with a ginsu knife, though you might not like that response. It is used by lots of well liked bikes though.
    You are really talking about minor differences here. Firstly, most people wouldn't notice a few millimeters difference in fork offset at all. Secondly, bike frames really aren't made with as much precision as you might think - a deviation of a 1/2 degree or even 1 degree from published specs. is not that uncommon in production frames, and no one appears to be the wiser. Such minor variations are not particularly significant.

    Gary Helfrich once built 4 identical frames, with head angles ranging from 72 degrees to 74 degrees, and had some test riders ride them to see if they could tell them apart. Most of them were unable to identify which has the steepest or shallowest head angles.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdcd
    Curious as to how you emailed Lemond Bikes. I did not see an email address on their website.

    Oh thank goodness I'm not the only one, confirming my assertion that the link is really poorly placed. I asked this question on the forum a couple months ago because I couldn't find it either, and then felt stupid with the answer.

    Click on "questions" on the left side, then click "Still can't find the answer to what you're looking for?" (or scroll to very bottom), you will see the link to email them. Yep, bad place to bury it. Why they can't have a "Contact Us" or "Company Info" link on the left like every other company is beyond me.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark McM
    Gary Helfrich once built 4 identical frames, with head angles ranging from 72 degrees to 74 degrees, and had some test riders ride them to see if they could tell them apart. Most of them were unable to identify which has the steepest or shallowest head angles.
    I'm aware of this test. He was the one that handpicked the best Trek welders for Lemond's frames.
    Well your Nobilette is only a 3mm difference from the Ritchey, maybe even less depending on each bikes tire diameter. I'd say 3mm is the minimum to really tell any difference based on my experience. 6mm of trail difference is very noticable to me. The difference between 72 and 74 degrees is 12mm of trail. Its hard for me to image someone not noticing the dramatic difference here, but to each their own. The quick and easy test to tell the difference is to zig-zag down the road like a F1 race car warming its tires (I do like my analogies). Nobody does this normally, but it will give a fast impression of how the sharp/quick the bike steers.

    I'm not criticizing any bike, just stating trail amount is a personnal preference.

  14. #14
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    Thanks. Probably an indication they do not want it used.

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