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In Reply to: RE: Is Anyone Here Into Cycling(I know "Sordidman" is)? posted by Dave_K on June 14, 2017 at 04:47:17
Passed on a LeMond (met him when he was an armature racing his last race before heading to Europe) some time ago. If memory serves, it was a Titanium frame (is that possible?) and seemed to be of the era where his bikes were considerably different in design from those with the TREK label. Sorry now I didn't jump on it as the seller was asking a reasonable price and one can't have too many bikes!
A long top tube would be preferable for me being near 6 ft. with short legs. As it is, I have always used a 130 stem but that is less than ideal as it puts the bars too far ahead of the steer tube/front forks. :-(
Plus the longer bike can be a lot easier ride in all respects.
Had one of the very first Klein Team Supers in the mid/late 70's. Track bike geometry with toe-clip crossover with the front wheel, beat the crap out of me but great for that last few yards at the top of a hill!
Now I'm into comfort rather than speed.
I didn't think LeMond made a Ti frame, but I'm not exactly a bike historian so I don't know for sure.
I know with his original company, his frames were carbon. And when he went into business with Trek in the mid-90s, he used carbon frames in the top models and Reynolds steel in the rest. The top end carbon frame bikes had ideal geometry for me: 56cm top tube, 53cm seat tube, and a 73.5 seat angle. If I remember right, the LeMond Maillot Jaune was $4k+ with Campy Record, which was way more bike than I needed or wanted or could afford at the time. But the Chambery was more like $2500 with Ultegra and I could have (and should have) gotten one.
The mid-90s steel frame LeMond bikes were a cm or two shorter, and then sometime around '99 or '00 the whole line adopted the same (shorter) geometry. They were still longer and with a bit shallower angles than the Trek line, but no longer classic geometry.
My wife picked up one of the last LeMond bikes in 2007 or 2008, right before Trek dropped him due to his continuing criticism of Armstrong. She wanted something faster than her old Bianchi Trofeo when she started doing tris, and the LeMond still had the most comfortable geometry among the racier offerings. Nevertheless, she's never been as comfortable as on the Bianchi, and surprisingly, not as fast either except on steep climbs where the weight difference was noticeable.
To finally get to the point (sorry), I think there is a relationship between comfort and speed. Riding a bike with twitchy handling just saps a little bit of mental energy, a stiff ride where you feel every pavement imperfection contributes to fatigue, and if you're not comfortable you waste energy moving around a lot.
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