LeMond 8 carbon road and gravel bikes are finally here, unveiling the revolutionary U.S.-made carbon technology the brand has been teasing us with for years.
Editor’s note: This story was originally published on Bikerumor.
LeMond first teased its big reboot in a series of ultra-stealthy e-bikes and an exclusive podcast interview, but now LeMond is getting back to its proper road racing roots.
While the brand hinted at more efficient carbon fiber production processes back in 2016, these new road bikes are all about premium lightweight performance and come with premium price tags to match.
LeMond 8 Carbon Aero Road Bike
Greg LeMond’s 8-second come-from-behind Tour de France victory changed his life. It did this not only in the obvious point of making him a winner of the world’s biggest road race but also in helping him realize the power of simple but transformative change.
It was admittedly his adoption of new aerobar tech that really won that race. So those 8 seconds began to symbolize revolutionary tech for him.
Now, he’s calling the LeMond 8 road bike “the most transformative change to carbon fiber frame construction” since the first carbon bike frames of the ’80s and ’90s.
Revolutionary Carbon Fiber Bike Tech
In 2016, Bikerumor was invited to Knoxville, Tenn., for a sneak peek of what LeMond promised would be its future of carbon fiber.
Not just carbon fiber, but domestically produced carbon fiber that had the potential to revolutionize industries outside of the bicycle world.
Of course, the next generation of carbon bicycles was also always on the menu.
Having partnered with the Oakridge National Laboratories, LeMond initially set out to develop “the holy grail of carbon fiber,” or carbon that could be produced at $5 per pound. At that price, carbon fiber would actually be cheaper to produce than using aluminum.
Since then, LeMond has relocated the bicycle operations to a new facility in West Knoxville, where these new road bikes will apparently be made moving forward.
US-Made Carbon Innovation
Now, on the outside, the new LeMond 8 road bike looks pretty similar to many of the modern aero road bikes we’ve seen in recent years.
But inside is a unique LeMond 8 MatrixCore combining a carbon sandwich with an ultralight Xenecore expanding foam. That promises more equal internal pressure when molding the carbon (versus removable mandrels or inflatable bladders) and also stays inside the completed bike to further damp vibration.
Together with the foam core, LeMond incorporates internal reinforced carbon truss structures that add strength and stiffness at key frame junctions, while maintaining light and thin carbon wall sections that are resistant to external damage.
The resulting LeMond 8 framesets are said to be “some of the strongest and safest frames in the world” without adding unnecessary weight.
With more control of individual fiber placement and targeted support of key elements, LeMond was able to build this bike without any metal inserts at all.
Even threaded water bottle bosses and bottom bracket threads are lighter and stronger in carbon, with just steel bolts the only metal that attaches to the carbon bike. It even gets a carbon fiber direct-mount derailleur hanger.
The carbon T47 bottom bracket itself is unique, interlocking a precise threaded carbon lattice cylinder by co-molding it into the frame during final production. It’s classically modern threaded BB with no weight penalty.
Attached to the front of the frame, a monocoque one-piece carbon handlebar+stem cockpit and integrated fork share similar construction with internal structural ribs, and MatrixCore foam in the case of the fork.
Again, LeMond all but eliminates heavy metal inserts that risk galvanic oxidation. This leaves riders with fully internal cable routing integration and even a system to assure that the bars and fork always remain perfectly aligned.
Tech Details & Geometry
The brand describes the LeMond 8’s geometry “True Road Feel,” with a wide range of eight stock sizes (47-62 cm). Each size has adapted tube dimensions, size-specific chainstays, headtube angles, and fork offsets to result in similar Trail figures for all riders.
“Every rider benefits from the same optimal setup … for a consistent ride and feel quality throughout the line, no matter the size,” LeMond claims.
The LeMond 8 is an aero road bike and incorporates a reduced frontal profile and aerodynamic Kamm tail tubing profiles. It also doesn’t hurt that all cables fully route internally, although the bikes are hydraulic disc brake and electronic shift only.
The bike features a unique proprietary aero seatpost and channel clamp designed to spread clamping force over a wider 66mm section of the post. A side benefit is that accessories like a taillight or saddlebag can also be attached via the channel.
The LeMond 8 has generous 32mm all-road tire clearance (with complete builds offering 25/28/30mm tire options). It sports 12mm thru-axles, flat-mount disc brakes, and an option for a conventionally integrated two-piece bar and stem setup.
For paint, buyers can select between Tour Blue with silver graphics or Classics Grey with Maillot Jaune yellow logos.
What Is Team LeMond?
The debut of the LeMond 8 also brings with it the Team LeMond virtual cycling club — and the tease of that gravel bike too. Included in your LeMond 8 purchase is a club membership that will also get you invites to events with Greg LeMond, like this summer’s 4-day riding experience in Chatel for the arrival of the eighth stage of the Tour de France.
You also gain early access to new LeMond products, plus annual club cycling kit and members-only quarterly Town Hall Zoom calls with Greg. Oh, and there’s a Team LeMond Pro Deal. Once you own one LeMond 8 as a Team LeMond member, you will get a 50% discount off the next LeMond carbon framesets, wheelsets, and new carbon fiber components you buy over the next 3-4 years (in limited numbers).
In that time, there will be a LeMond 8 Aero Gravel Frame, a second-generation LeMond 8 road bike by 2025, two sets of carbon wheels, and more “new LeMond Carbon Fiber New Components.”
LeMond 8: Pricing, Options, Availability
The new LeMond 8 is available to preorder with a sizable deposit now in one of two options. For a $6,000 deposit and a final total price of $8,500 (€9,500), you will get a carbon LeMond 8 road bike frame, fork, one-piece handlebar/stem, seatpost, and 47mm-deep wheelset. You will need to supply the component build kit.
Or, for a whopping $9,500 deposit on the way to a final total of $12,500 (€13,900), you will get a complete carbon LeMond 8 road bike built up with a full Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 12 groupset.
Global deliveries to North America and most of the EU from today’s preorders will begin this July 2022 on a first-come, first-served basis. Priority will go to complete bikes.
Learn more at Team-LeMond.com.