Lemond spine ti/c steel/c bike lovers unite
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  1. #1
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    Lemond spine ti/c steel/c bike lovers unite

    I bought a 3 month old Lemond Beunos Aires steel/carbon frame off ebay for $475. I built up the bike with 9 sp DA, Stronglight 50/36 compact cranks, Rotor Q rings, Reynolds Ouzo Pro fork, Neuvation M28 Aeros, Veloflex Black tires, Richey WCS stem, Kestrel EMS Pro bars, Fizik Arione.

    I had the gruppo and some of the other parts from my old aluminium Giant TCR, so my investment in this bike was about a grand or so.

    Man I love this bike.Fits me like a glove and does everything right. The ride is so much nicer than my old TCR. I don't road race but use the bike for fast group rides, hill rides, centuries and technical/hilly triathlons with adding shorty Profile GT aero bars.

    This bike rides as well as some of the very expensive high end bikes that I've tried. I would imagine the ti/carbon version might even be a bit nicer.

    Anybody else sad to see Lemond stop producing these bikes?

  2. #2
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    my buenos aires

    I own an 04 buenos aires thats been upgraded to dura-ace 10 with reynolds alta race wheelset and speedmax bars.
    I was surprised when they stopped building the american made frames and went to the new all carbon fiber models. I love mine and use it for centuries and all around riding here in the eastern sierras. I'm in the middle of building a climbing bike with my left over parts, so I can use my buenos aires for long distance rides and not wear it out on the hills around here.

    hc

  3. #3
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    It's a real shame they stopped making these. I have an 04 Zurich that I picked up NOS last year. It's full Ultegra (glad I got the 04, in 05 they started mixing in too many Bontrager parts for my taste). It's the best riding bike I've been on.

    I really wish I had had a chance at a ti/carbon to try, too. Ah well, the steel is nice.

    Another covet-wrothy version was the B.A. with Veloce, which I think is the 04 as well. Campy and the spine frame seems drool worthy. Not that there's anything to complain about with the Ultegra.

    Why they went to the alu/carbon is beyond me.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by whateveronfire
    Why they went to the alu/carbon is beyond me.
    One word. Weight.

    We are still sitting on an '04 Buenos Aires (granted it's a 49cm) but we had trouble selling the steel/carbon Buenos Aires' and Zurich's all through the run.

    The BA and the Zurich were "specced" identical to the then Trek 5000 and 5200 at around the same price. Customers would pick up the LeMond and then the Trek and not even bother to test ride the LeMond.

    If we still had a 57cm in stock, I'd grab it.

  5. #5
    Spicy Dumpling
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    As a rider of a Carbon/Ti Tete I can say IMHO that the spine bikes were very underrated and underappreciated. Every person that I know that owns one loves it. I've personally recommended them to 4 people that have tried, bought and love them. And no, I don't work in an LBS. They are a little heavier but the ride is remarkable. Sorry to see them go.
    If I were to beat you senseless with a tire iron, what color would you bleed?..The Missus

  6. #6
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    I own an '05 Zurich with full Ultegra 10. For me, it was love at first ride when I got on this bike. It just feels great, and fits like a glove. It's too bad they stopped making the steel and ti versions, and went to aluminum. The reality is that the market is driven by demand, and there's not much demand for steel.

  7. #7
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    The weight question is interesting. My Zurich weighs 20 pounds or so. I weighed it and a 5200 at the LBS where I bought it. The 5200 was certainly lighter, but the ride feel on the Zurich is so much nicer.

    One interesting thing was when I was hanging out waiting for them to swap out the handlebars, I was talking to one of the salespeople about the NOS LeMonds they had sitting around. She said that they would get folks coming in looking for the spines occasionally so they figured they sell them all eventually, but they still have a couple of the full-ti bikes (Victoire I think) and just could not get rid of them. She was not a fan of the all-ti LeMonds and said she only ever tried to sell them to people who had ridden other ti LeMonds.

    Has anyone ridden both the steel/carbon and the ti/carbon and can tell we (few, proud) fans how they compare?

  8. #8
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    i would say that anyone that has ridden one has fallen in love.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by whateveronfire
    Has anyone ridden both the steel/carbon and the ti/carbon and can tell we (few, proud) fans how they compare?
    Quality steel and ti have similar ride qualities. I've only ridden the two LeMonds in question for short distances and, aside from the weight, couldn't really tell the difference.

  10. #10
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    It is sad to see them go, but such is innovation and market trends. Another guy on bikeforums just asked about buying a closeout 2006 Victoire for $1700. I told him go for it.
    But the reality is bike manufacturers need to have a sub-1kg carbon frame in their lineup. To make the desired price-points Lemond needs to sell bikes, they had to take it overseas. But at least they came up with clearly a unique design all their own in the Triomphe carbon series, and looking at the actual street price of these in the store, they hit the mark for price points with such a nice frame. My opinion was they should have model names for parts distinction only and not on the frame itself, then allow customers to buy any model in any of the offered frame colors. That would really give them an edge in the market, as we all know cyclists are vain and color coordinate even if not admitted.

    Well back to the spine. The single issue if I had to hunt for one with my 55cm Lemond is the steep 73.5 degree headtube matched with a 370mm height 45mm rake fork. That was a poor choice and they should have held the 53cm headtube angle of 73 degrees over to the 55cm as well, or changed the fork rake. The resulting trail of ~52.6mm leads to razor sharp handling, but also needs constant attention to keep the bike in a perfect straight line. Handling is also affected by stem length, and with my 100mm stem the small trail is exaggerated even more in steering response. A smaller rake fork would have been better on this geometry, but of course they were limited to Bontrager forks really made for Trek. So I'm trying other forks to see the difference. The 53cm frame and smaller sizes have better more stable steering geometries. I don't think a 53mm trail falls into the "Lemond Geometry" philosophy, but I'd love to ask Greg himself.
    But I'm amplifying the one issue I have with mine. Otherwise is is incredibly comfortable, quick, and stiff and a dream to ride on centuries.

    EDIT: I guess I don't have to ask, I now know. I found an old review of his personnal bike, a custom carbon fiber frame made by Composite Bicycles (where Calfee was working at the time) to his specs and and under his own Lemond brand. He had a trail of 60mm in a frame size equivalent to about 53cm.
    Last edited by stevecaz; 01-22-2007 at 08:20 AM.

  11. #11
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    I have a 53cm. I originally purchased it as a frame/fork off ebay with the original Bontrager Race fork with 45mm rake. I thought the original fork was a bit heavy and replaced it with a lighter Reynold's Ouzo Pro with 43mm. This effected the handling in a very negative way. You wouldn't think 2mm of fork rake would make a difference, but it most definately did. I quickly replaced this with a 45mm Reynold's Ouzo Pro and the handling was much better again. Lemond must have known what they were doing, when they went with the 45mm fork.

  12. #12
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    And heres why

    Quote Originally Posted by cerveloguy
    I have a 53cm. I originally purchased it as a frame/fork off ebay with the original Bontrager Race fork with 45mm rake. I thought the original fork was a bit heavy and replaced it with a lighter Reynold's Ouzo Pro with 43mm. This effected the handling in a very negative way. You wouldn't think 2mm of fork rake would make a difference, but it most definately did. I quickly replaced this with a 45mm Reynold's Ouzo Pro and the handling was much better again. Lemond must have known what they were doing, when they went with the 45mm fork.
    Your 53cm has a 73 degree head tube angle with a 370mm height fork. With the 372mm height of the Ouzo Pro, that makes the head tube angle 72.88 degrees. So, with that new head tube angle and the 43mm rake, your effective trail becomes almost 59mm or 4 mm greater than stock form. When you went to a 45mm rake Ouzo fork, the trail dropped 2 mm to around 56.5mm, a very nice number. There is no doubt why you considered handling bad with the 43mm Ouzo. While a 59mm trail is the range used on many bikes and many people would like it, it is also considered slow handling by many, and again this is personnal preference. 57mm is a number considered by many frame builders as a good balance between stability and responsiveness. Many people can not tell the difference in a few cm of trail difference, then again many can.

    My discussion on my 55cm frame geometry revolves around the very low trail on this particular size, and why I'd like to bring it up to around the same 56.5mm trail you have now. The Bontrager XXX Lite fork was only available in 45mm rake. Most bikes will change fork rake with sizes to achieve the desired geometry. Lemond didn't have the choice available to them so all sizes got the same fork. In the case of the 55cm frame for the intended rider height range, I think it was a compromise for what the designers would have really wanted.The "Lemond Geometry" is supposed to have "neutral handling", but I doubt any frame designer would call a 52.6mm trail neutral. I would call your current setup fairly neutral though.
    Last edited by stevecaz; 01-17-2007 at 09:02 AM.

  13. #13
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    this is off subject but i have a perfect lemond project one, 53cm, lemond steel spine that i am thinking about selling.
    i know i shouldnt post things for sale here but i have sold many things on this site and just wanted to get the word in the right place for some one looking. i am not really that motivated but its been sitting for 6+months.

  14. #14
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    I am very interested in buying. I have a 2004 55cm zurich and love it. BUT, I really need to be on a 53cm. What year is yours and are you still selling?

  15. #15
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    Switching from 5200

    Hey,

    I'm sitting on a too-small-for-me 5200 frame and am thinking about snagging a lemond spine. How much of a weight difference am I looking at, realistically? I've got about 40 pounds of body weight to lose before I even think about comparing the weight of my frame and other components, but it'd be nice to know how much heavier this frame will be. Steel/Carbon spine, 61cm.

  16. #16
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    Lemond doesn't publish their frame weights officially but I've heard several people say the frame is 3.4 lbs fr size 55. It'll be a bit heavier than a 5200, but not all that much

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by biker_boy
    Hey,

    I'm sitting on a too-small-for-me 5200 frame and am thinking about snagging a lemond spine. How much of a weight difference am I looking at, realistically? I've got about 40 pounds of body weight to lose before I even think about comparing the weight of my frame and other components, but it'd be nice to know how much heavier this frame will be. Steel/Carbon spine, 61cm.
    Frame only, the weight difference is about a pound and a half. That comes from weighing identically specced Zurich's and 5200's in equivalent sizes. In my opinion, for a 61cm, go for it.

  18. #18
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    Alright, I pulled the trigger. Lemond for me!

  19. #19
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    You won't regret it.

  20. #20
    Spicy Dumpling
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    Nope you will have no regrets.

    On a side note, our local trek shop talked to their rep a couple of years ago. Although he had a choice of any trek bike, he chose the spine Tete-De Course. And both guys that worked on the trek demo days trailer a couple of years ago said that they preferred the spine bikes over the trek carbons and had them for their personal bikes. The spine bikes were great, viva le spine!!
    If I were to beat you senseless with a tire iron, what color would you bleed?..The Missus

  21. #21
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    Wow. Is this thing sweeeeeet. I can't wait to build it up! I'll post a picture later today!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by biker_boy
    Wow. Is this thing sweeeeeet. I can't wait to build it up! I'll post a picture later today!

    Where's that picture??

  23. #23
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    Ha. Yeah. I got too excited at the prospect of building it up that I forgot to post it. I should have it built up (at least partially) tomorrow, and I'll post pictures of it then -- it used to be a triple, so it's orange with black/white decals. I'm ordering some white cable housing and griptape. I can't wait. I'm totally geeking out over this bike!

    Does anyone have a white saddle they're looking to get rid of? Concor light, Flite, etc? I kind of want to stick with a neuvo-retro theme for this thing...

  24. #24
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    61cm Versailles

    Hey,

    Here's the picture from the auction. I haven't finished building it yet, but I'll post that picture when it's done.

    This thing is amazing.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  25. #25
    brownish
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    biker boy check you PMs re: a saddle

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