Strengths: Very comfortable, light enough to be fast but not so light that a fatso like me is going to break it in half. Paint is much better quality than my old 01 LeMond.
Weaknesses: Weak stock wheels, frame flexes a bit more than I'd like.
I love this bike. It's like riding a stick of butter. It handles great, rides great, is extremely comfortable. The major weak point was the wheels. I trashed the Bontragers pretty quickly as I weigh over 220. I replaced them with a set of Eastons that have been perfect. The frame is a bit more flexy than my old 853 steel frame LeMond, and I notice it a lot because I like to turn a big gear, but I don't think I'm going to break it. The best part is that I can ride this thing 100 miles and nothing hurts. Nothing.
Strengths: The BB is stiff and solid. This bike is not twitchy and I don't have the flexy front end that I have read in other reviews. Excellent climber with the LeMond designed forward BB position. Absorbs the road buzz very well!
This frame was part of a group of frames built for the LeMond racing team. Because the paint was too dark (maroon and white), they were rejected. Still perfect, looks great!
I now have 7200 miles on this bike and enjoy every mile riding it. It is stiff and solid on the descents. The weight is 17 lbs. 9 ozs., 53 cm.
Similar Products Used: Cannondale Cad 5 (aluminum).
Bike Setup: Shimano 7800 Dura-Ace shifters and rear derailleur. FSA SLK compact crank with Rotor Q-Rings, FSA front derailleur, driving a 9 speed Dura-Ace cassette and chain. Easton EC70 handlebar, EA90 stem and Specialized Alias saddle. Mavic Ksyrium SL wheels with Conti 4000 S tires. Bontrager Race fork. Dinotte (daylight riding only) front and rear lights.
Strengths: Stiff, light, comfortable, great looking in white and red.
Weaknesses: Lemond and Trek are splitsville. Hopefully Lemond will find another company to work with.
I bought a mountain bike for fitness and found I never took it off road but I did ride it every day. Watching the Tour de France coverage I realized what I really wanted was a road bike. While on vacation in Florida I rented a Lemond Chambery for 2 weeks and once I got used to the completely different riding position of a road bike I was hooked. When I got back home I started researching bikes. I read about frames and materials and components. I read reviews of all kinds of bikes. I think I had paralysis by analysis. It took me months to finally make a decision and pull the trigger. I wasn't looking for a Lemond specifically but found this one on eBay. A number of emails back and forth with the seller along with a lot of good pictures and I finally bought it. I have not been disappointed. The Buenos Aires looks and rides great. I started doing group rides and have gotten many compliments on the bike. When you're as new to riding as I am it's fun discovering your strengths and weaknesses. It turns out that one of my strengths is climbing and this bike seems to excel at it. With pedals, computer, cages, and my overly full, large, Bell saddle bag the bike weighs 19.5 pounds. I try to do most climbs in the saddle and the bike fits me well for that but it can also handle getting out of the saddle and pushing a larger gear. The roads in NJ are seriously rough for the most part with lots of holes large enough to swallow man and bike. The frame and Bontrager wheels have taken them in stride. The bike is definitely stiff but I wouldn't say overly so. It handles well and I'm able to ride long stretches no hands which I think indicates it's not twitchy.
Bike Setup: SRAM Red gruppo, Bontrager Race Lite wheels, Vredestein Fortezza TriComp clinchers, Bontrager Race X Lite stem, Bontrager Race Lite bars, Easton EC70 seat post, Selle Italia Prolink Gel Flow saddle, Garmin 705
I just this weekend picked up a new 2007 Buenos Aires on a closeout at a Trek shop in Omaha. Original price was $2400+, I got it for $1099. I am still getting the bike equipped (need new pedals, shorter stem, etc) but am extremely impressed with this bike. I've never seen a frame with this level of finish, it is a work of art. Full 105 group with Ultegra RD and shifters work super. Everything else Bontrager race, which seem to be OK. The bike is extraordinarily smooth, and stiff where it should be. Handling is just what I wanted - relaxed and non-twitchy for long miles without fatigue, but very responsive and carves through turns like its on rails. The saddle seems like it might not fit my butt the best, but that's kind of expected. All in all an increadible bike that I can't wait to get fully fitted out and ride many miles and years.
Strengths: Very stable comfortable frame, good climber, holds its line very well. Looks - love the metal flake red and white paint and the interesting shaped tubes. Unique - I've never seen another one on the road so far.
Weaknesses: Wheels seem a bit heavier than I am used to (Bontgrager Race). Stock stem a bit short for frame (55 CM frame comes with 100mm stem - 55 CM LeMonds used to come with 120mm stem). I prefer the old block letter graphics VS the new script lettering. I also prefer the older head tube badge (why change this at this point in the life cycle of the brand?)
I got this lightly used bike on eBay last month and have since changed out all the 105 components with Ultegra (I can't say I notice a difference at all in performance, but I just like riding full Ultegra bikes for some reason - marketing brain washing I guess). I've put about 100 miles on it to date and my initial impression as compared to my 1999 aluminum framed LeMond Chambery is that the Buenos Aires has a more relaxed ride. It holds it's line a bit better than the Chambery; The Buenos Aires is probably more suited to longer, straighter rides, where the Chambery has a racier feel to it, if that makes sense. I can't really say it's better or worse, just different. I am surprised to say that the Buenos Aires does not really feel any better over the bumps, which means either carbon fiber is over hyped and/or the older aluminum LeMond frames are really good - probably a little bit of both. I am finding the stock 100mm stem to be a bit too short and have ordered a longer one. The stock set up puts the rider in a more upright position than my stock Chambery setup...perhaps it's just a sign of the times as bike manufacturers have realized that few people actually race the bikes they buy. The components all work flawlessly (even the orignal 105 worked great). I do think the stock Bontrager Race wheels are a down grade as compared to the Rolf Vector Comps that came stock on my Chambery. They just feel heavier. At some point I may swap the Bontrager Race's out for something a bit lighter. Also, while the frame of the Buenos Aires is quite light (I think they say it's 950 grams) the fork is rather heavy. I have no idea why they would put such a heavy fork on such a nice frame. However, I doubt I will swap it out as I like the looks of the original white fork too much (looks trump performance - oh well). I haven't weighed the Buenos Aires, but it feels about the same as my Chambery, which tips the scales at 19.5 lbs with pedals. The one area that I think the Buenos Aires performs slightly better is on climbs - the Buenos Aires really transmits the power to the wheels efficiently. The Chambery does too, but the Buenos Aires feels just a bit more responsive on climbs. In summary, the 2007 Buenos Aires is a great ride and can now be found rather cheaply used (or perhaps new as a last year leftover model). Buy it if you like a stable, fairly light, great looking bike. Stay away from it if you are a weight weanie (although with the right components and fork this bike could become very, very light) or are looking for a bike with lightning quick handling.
Note that I rated the value a 5 only because I got it so cheaply used on eBay
Similar Products Used: 1999 LeMond Chambery - Aeroluminum T6061 frame, full Ultegra, Rolf Vector Comp rims, Michelin Carbon tires
Bike Setup: Full Ultegra (swapped out all of the 105 components - namely crank/bottom bracket, brakes, front derailleur which were also scored cheaply on eBay - can't say I notice any difference in performance though...but I feel better about throwing a let over the bike...I guess they call it "bling"), Bontrager Race rims and Bontrager tires, Specialized Body Comp seat (the original seat was OK but I didn't feel like breaking in a new one), Look pedals (old school 1989 vintage - I can't seem to wear these suckers out!), Cateye Astrale computer