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be more specific....

Lemonds are measured c-c. Colnago has both c-c and c-t measurements clearly listed on the geometry charts. Colnago's vary considerably in their geometry through the size range. You can't just compare any size and get a valid answer. What size Lemond do you ride?
 

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valid comparison

The 53 Lemond is very similar to a 55cm Colnago, vertically, but will actually have a bit shorter effective TT length, due to a shallower 73.25 degree seat tube angle.

You need to distinguish between needing a frame the is vertically smaller (smaller frame size) and one that merely has a shorter top tube. A "vintage" Colnago would not be a wise choice, IMO.

To determine if the frame is appropriately sized, take a vertical measurement from the top tube to the top of the saddle, near the nose of the saddle. 16-18cm is a good range.

You also mention using a 110mm stem raised high to get the bars up to height. A smaller frame will further reduce the bar height, creating more of a problem. A shorter stem would be the first thing to try. Stems are made a lot shorter than 110mm.

When buying a new frame, the head tube length, which affects the handlebar height should not be ignored. A 2cm smaller frame will only have a 1cm shorter top tube (at most), but will have a 2cm shorter head tube. This will make a small improvement in the stretched out feeling, but create a larger problem with the handlebar height.
 

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not necessarily true...

A 53cm Lemond actually has a shorter TT than a Colnago measured 53cm c-c (a 55cm), like the Lemond.

The Lemond has a 54.5cm TT while the Colnago has a 54.3cm TT. Subtract about 1cm from the TT lenght of the Lemond to compensate for the slack seat tube angle, and it's only 53.5cm, compared to the Colnago. This comparison places a given rider in the same position relative to the bottom bracket.
 

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my take...

Times change. It's rarely a good idea to buy a frame that requires a quill stem, IMO. There are very few quill stems being sold these days. Quill stems are a pain to change, which does not promote experimentation. A threadless stem can be changed out in 5 minutes. A threadless headset is much simpler to adjust and more likely to stay adjusted. Trying to find an old frame that's not scratched and rusted is also not easy. There are lots of very nice new frames at reasonable prices out there that are very functional, with the current 1-1/8" threadless steerers.

Take a look at www.gvhbikes.com. Many good values there.
 
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