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Old Skool
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am looking at getting a new bike. The Lemond Zurich Triple (size 57 cm) is one of the “finalists” mostly based on geometry and reported ride characteristics. The following features are important to me/key selection criteria:
  • Slack seat angle, necessary because of my build, Zurich’s is 72.5
  • Longish top tube, Zurich’s is 575mm
  • Comfortable ride and stable handling, I plan on doing centuries with this bike and like riding rough roads. The Zurich has an excellent reputation in that regard.
  • Stiff bottom bracket, I weight 185 (and dropping), I want a bike that climbs well and I hate any sort of chain grind
I am looking for owner impressions. If you are lucky enough to own a Zurich (or any of the other carbon/steel Lemond bikes for that matter), please what you like about it, what you don’t, and anything else you think I should know.
 

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Old Skool
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804 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Lemond Carbon/AL?

WN, Thanks for that. I have read (in this forum I think) that Lemond's Carbon/Steel "spine technology" bikes are being phased out in favor of new Carbon/AL spine technology models. When is this transistion slated to happen? When it does happens, is Lemond planning to continue the "AC/DC" models (AL main triangle, with Carbon rear triangle)?
 

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Still On Steel
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2,396 Posts
Is a Buenos Aires close enough?

I recently bought a leftover 2005 LeMond Buenos Aires. It wears Campy rather than Shimano but your questions center on the frame, and the BA and Zurich are identical apart from the paint color.

To give you the punchline first: although I've owned my LeMond only two months, it has met or exceeded my expectations in every way and while it's still early in the going, I'd have no reservations about recommending it to another buyer/rider.

Now the details:

I'm six foot even, 210 lbs (and dropping). My other bike is a 58cm steel Specialized Allez; the BA is a 59cm; head and seat tube angles are similar for both bikes. (I've drawn up both using the CAD software at work, and when overlaid they are extremely close to each other.) I took careful measurements of the setup on my Allez and transfered them virtually intact to the BA, with the main difference being the change to a 10mm shorter stem on the BA to compensate for the longer TT. I also moved my preferred saddle from the Allez to the BA. Fit- and comfort-wise, the two bikes are about as close as I can make them. The thing I notice most, and might yet change, is the 2cm wider bars on the BA (46cm vs 44cm on the Allez).

I rode the Allez for 12+ years in part because I had other hobbies that kept chewing up my New Bike Fund, but mainly because the Allez fit and rode so well (and still does) that I just couldn't justify replacing it. I've been semi-seriously shopping for a new bike for the last few years but found myself gravitating to exactly what I already had, in terms of frame material and geometry, so why spend the money? But with the miles piling up on the Allez, this was the year I finally gave in. I narrowed the field to the Sarthe and the BA, and ultimately chose the BA because the steel/carbon combination makes it more different from my Allez than the Sarthe would've been.

So far I've done a bunch of 20 to 50 mile rides, with evening 30 milers being the most common; can't report yet on metric or full century distances although both of those are coming up soon (I'm going to do a 75 training ride Saturday morning, wx permitting). In terms of ride quality, I have told my main riding buddy (more on him in a minute) that my Allez remains extremely comfortable but that the BA is just that little bit better, especially on choppy pavement. Whether it's the difference in the forks, the carbon spine, the wheels, or something else, I don't know; but the BA is slightly yet noticably smoother. I've not yet ridden on any chipseal roads as most of those have thankfully disappeared around here, but I have been over some patches that were just about that rough, and the BA definitely does a better job of killing the road buzz than the Allez.

I'm the farthest thing in the world from a climber, and the terrain around here is not all that severe; but I've not noticed any driveline issues. BTW I replaced the stock 12-25 cassette with a 13-29 since I'm 53 now and climb even worse than ever.

Now, about my riding buddy. He has a 2004 Zurich, and I chose my Buenos Aires in large part because of his recommendation. He's been riding a lot longer than me and puts in far more miles, and over the years has owned just about every frame material available: steel, aluminum, full carbon, Ti, and now the steel/carbon Zurich. His exact words, when I asked him how it compares, were: "All in all, the Zurich is the best so far." I should mention that he recently replaced his stock wheels with a pair of Mavic Cosmos; however, his Bontragers were not the same as on the 2005/2006 bikes.

Any warts? Yeah, a couple. I'm pretty careful to avoid gravel but have gotten two or three serious paint chips on the chainstays; the paint seems a little soft. The stock saddle is way too mushy but that'll probably come as no surprise. The bar tape is crap; it won't be long before I'll replace it with some proper Cinelli cork. I wish the fork legs were solid yellow; I've never been a fan of fades. All minor stuff.

Bottom line, it's only been two months, but I'd buy it again.

This has been long and my experience thus far is limited but I wanted to tell you what I could. If you've any other questions, I'll be glad to take a shot at them.
 

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Old Skool
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks

AR, Thanks for your detailed response. I really appreciate it. Sounds like your BA is a great road bike. I'll be demo riding a carbon/steel Lemond sometime in the next week or so, but I am already getting pretty ethered-up.
 

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Stogaguy said:
I have read (in this forum I think) that Lemond's Carbon/Steel "spine technology" bikes are being phased out in favor of new Carbon/AL spine technology models. When is this transistion slated to happen?
Look for 2007 models to start becoming available August through November.

Stogaguy said:
When it does happens, is Lemond planning to continue the "AC/DC" models (AL main triangle, with Carbon rear triangle)?
My guess...the current AC/DC frames will be discontinued, leaving the Min/Max full carbon as the high-end offerings, aluminum spine as the midline, and straight aluminum as the entry-level.

I suspect the Poprad, Fillmore, and Sarthe will be the only steel remaining. Pure speculation on my part, though.
 

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I'm in my third season on a Maillot Jaune which is the same frame although I think the fork may be upgraded a little. I switched to this bike after 10 years on a Bianchi Reparto Corse bike. I live in Vermont and ride on some pretty broken up roads where I find the ride to be all that I'm looking for. At 200 lbs, clibing is not my strong suit and since I often do rides with 10% climbs, and hit 20% from time to time, I wanted a bike that climbs (and descends) well. Again, this biike fits the bill well. I test rode quite a few bikes during my search , many of the frames I tired cost more than the ebtire Maillot Jaune, and I don't think they were any better. Not enough to make me buy them anyway.
 

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I had a steel,carbon Maillot Jaune for a year before I cracked it at the water bottle insert. The insert was always coming loose and ine ride I noticed a lot of creaking and squeaking and upon inspection found a nice rip in the steel tube. No worries Lemond warrantied it no problem then I paid a few bucks and upgraded to the Trek 5.2. The bike was comfortable but I raced it on some nasty roads and it was fine. I am about 175 pounds and the my main dislike was the flex the bike had. I could flex the bottom bracket alot and I know when climbing I was losing alot of power due to the flex. It was perfect for training but I would not call it a racing bike. Now that I have the trek 5.2 I am see the differences in the flex and I am riding much better and faster.
 

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What the Hell is going on
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'99 Zurich here

I have a '99 Zurich. I wouldn't race it in a crit but for long, social rides it's great. I'm not a big fan of the super slack seat tube though. Even with a no setback seat post I still have to push my saddle forward just to get it in the right position (for me) and asthetically it doesn't look right (it looks like an old school Tri trick when they used to turn the seatpost around to get a more forward ridining position). I realize that's a small gripe but I can't fault it on it's ride and handling. Sweet.

One more thing to consider is the rear dropouts. There was a thread here way back when of numerous riders having the rear wheel slip out of the rear dropouts during hard efforts. This happened to me twice. The solution was to use the standard Dura Ace or Campy skewers (with the cam mechanism is consealed). I was using "boutique" skewers both times my wheel came out.
 

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I have a 53cm 2005 Zurich set up with a Shimano 600 (ultegra) compact crank. I am 5"8" with a 31" cycling inseam and the Lemond geometry fit me better than any other bike I demoed (Trek Pilot, Trek 5200 and Specialized Roubaix. I couldn't be more happy with the handling and vibration dampening from the carbon/steel combo. I don't think you will be unhappy with a Zurich.
 
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