LeMond is set to launch a series of new road bikes that he says will mark “a transformative way that carbon fiber is manufactured”.
For years, Greg LeMond has been promising a revolutionary approach to making carbon fiber bikes, albeit with spurious details. However, the three-time Tour de France champion and America’s greatest Patron claims that production is already underway at a state-of-the-art facility in Tennessee.
Under the banner LeMond 8, the series of road bikes are said to utilize a fabrication process called MatrixCore, which partakes in a sandwich-like construction method that uses ultra-lightweight dual expanding foam made by the company Xenecore.
“The Xenecore dual expanding foam stays inside the frame and fork for superior carbon fibre ply consolidation. This foam replaces the need for plastic and pneumatic bladders, and has the added comfort benefit of damping vibration that may otherwise drain a rider’s energy,” says LeMond.
“It optimizes the Xenecore foam by locally incorporating internal carbon fibre reinforced truss structures to increase strength, durability, and stiffness where desired. It gives us the ability to create internal structures along load paths that make sense, less overall fibre may be used, resulting in a lighter, stronger frame than is possible with traditional techniques,” he adds.
According to LeMond, the frame and fork are made entirely from carbon fiber including the replaceable direct-mount derailleur hanger, hardware and attachment points on the frame.
“Each threaded water bottle and brake boss is carbon fiber – lighter, stronger, while also preventing any possible galvanic oxidation of the aluminum parts, making them prone to failure,” explains LeMond.
While the Lemond 8 incorporates cutting-edge technology, LeMond is quick to point out that other areas of the frame rely on more traditional methods such as a threaded T47 bottom bracket that fits into the frame via an intrigue carbon-fiber lattice construction technique.
“This ultra-strong web-like cylinder is co-cured into the frame for a unibody construction with immense lateral stiffness, [providing] all the benefits of a threaded BB without the weight penalty,” says LeMond.
Integration was also a consideration when developing the LeMond 8’s cockpit, which can be fitted with the brand’s one-piece carbon handlebar and stem, or with its standard handlebar.
“Multiple reach, width, and grip size dimensions are available, with a subtle 5-degree flare, fully integrated cables, spacers up to 30mm and a computer mount that fits flush to the underside of the bar,” says LeMond.
Other features that highlight the LeMond 8 include a fork steerer that features full-length structural ribs with internal threads that’s designed to eliminate the need for an expander plug set-up, along with a dedicated seatpost clamp system that locks into a channel at the rear of the post.
LeMond says, this design spreads the clamping load over 66mm of post in order to minimize the possibility of damage.
Also, things wouldn’t be complete without aerodynamics being taken into consideration as well, with the LeMond 8 taking advantage of Kamm tail technology, distinct tube profiles and full internal cable routing.
“The LeMond 8 system has been optimized for slicing cleanly through the wind, with fully integrated cables and a slim front profile. Rather than having to choose between lightweight and aero, our has always been to optimize one bike for both climbing and riding at high speed without compromise,” boasts LeMond.
In keeping with the current trend of wider tires, not surprisingly, clearance is up with the LeMond 8, accommodating tires up to a beefy 32mm.
Starting in July, the LeMond 8 will be available as either a frameset (compatible with electronic shifting only), or as a complete bike with a number of different build options, in eight sizes ranging from 47cm to 62cm.
Lastly, each bike comes with a Team LeMond membership, giving proud owners special access to the man himself, along with a 50% discount on future framesets, wheelsets and components.
“As a Team LeMond member, you will have exclusive access to annual private rides with Greg and his team, in Europe and the USA, free entry into cycling events, and early access to new products that LeMond is developing, even helping us to evaluate and test new products,” says LeMond.
“In addition, Team LeMond members will receive annual cycling kits, including jerseys, shorts, and socks, and quarterly ‘Town Hall’ talks with Greg via Zoom.”
Oh, and if you haven’t guessed, the moniker LeMond 8 refers to LeMond’s winning margin of just eight-seconds over his rival Laurent Fignon during the final time-trial of the 1989 Tour de France to snatch the overall victory.
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