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Greg LeMond, three-time winner of the Tour de France and former road world champion, has had his named emblazoned on a number of bikes over the years. First they were French-made TVT frames, then there was a partnership with what’s now Calfee Design, and most notably, the hugely successful licensing deal with Trek that began in 1995 before ending in the courts some 13 years later.
The LeMond name returned to a down tube in 2013 with a brief, limited-edition run of Time Bicycles, and then the following year saw LeMond release an American-made steel bike, along with a tease of more to come. And then things went quiet.
Recent years have seen Greg LeMond pop up in announcements about revolutionary new carbon fibre production technologies, including investments from the likes of the CarbonNexus of Deakin University. But almost five years passed without signs of a new bike.
Well, that silence is over. The LeMond name is now on two new carbon fibre bikes. And these bikes are not at all what you would have expected from the name that was the first to win the Tour de France on a carbon fibre frame, nor from the name associated with bikes that were noticeably longer and lower than much of the competition.
These new LeMond bikes are upright riding, commuter-type e-bikes.
The Dutch and Daily e-Bikes
The Dutch and the Daily represent an ultra-modern approach to classically styled commuter bikes. The frames, one-piece handlebar/stems, seat post and even fenders are all constructed from carbon fibre. And within all that carbon hides the integrated lighting, cabling, and controls for a stealthy e-bike.
The two models are extremely similar in purpose but offer a different style and handlebar position. The Daily (pictured at the top of the article) offers a more traditional triangle frame with a flat and straight handlebar shape, while the Dutch earns itself a step-through frame and swept-back bars – you know, like a Dutch-styled bike. Each model is available in three unique colours and three sizes.
Both models feature the MAHLE ebikemotion X35 motor, a 250-watt rear hub-driven system that conceals the battery within the frame. It’s the same high-end low-weight e-bike system used in bikes like the Cannondale SuperSix Evo Neo and Bianchi Aria e-road, albeit here it’s outfitted with lights.
This system will provide electric pedal assist up to 26 km/h (16.2 mph) and with a 40 Nm max torque. The non-removable (requires bike disassembly) battery offers a fairly low 250 Wh capacity, something that LeMond claims is good for about 46 miles (74 km) of riding between charges. Both bikes are compatible with external booster batteries (which typically fit in a bottle cage).
Both models shift with a Shimano GRX 11-speed rear derailleur via a 105 flat bar shifter, they brake with Shimano hydraulic discs, and they roll on 700c wheels with 38 mm Panacer GravelKing Slick+ tyres. There’s even a Spurcycle Compact bell provided to alert others. A complete bike with these components is said to weigh an impresively low 12.33 kg (27.2 lbs).
Want something a little fancier and lighter? Well, both models offer a spec upgrade in the form of Shimano GRX Di2 shifting, LeMond’s own carbon rims with Tune hubs, a Brooks Cambium saddle, and most importantly, Spurcycle’s Original bell.
These new LeMond bikes certainly offer a number of weight-saving and aesthetic-improving elements over a number of popular options in the utility bike market, however, they’re not entirely alone. For example, Specialized recently announced a carbon fibre version of its Vado Turbo commuter series and it’s safe to assume other brands will follow suit. Still, there’s no denying that LeMond’s entry to the space offers a wonderfully integrated and classy-looking bike.
Expect to pay US$4,500 for the base version of either bike. International availability and pricing for the upgraded version is still to be confirmed.
The company is tight-lipped about what exactly the future holds, but a quote from LeMond’s Chief Strategy Officer, Geoffrey LeMond (son of Greg), hints at a number of interesting developments.
“The bikes are just the starting line,” he said. “For the past five years, we have been driving toward developing a vertically integrated carbon fiber platform. From this position, a whole ecosystem of products under the LeMond bike brand will be developed. For now, we will be rolling out new bike and e-bike models as well as other peripheral product lines inspired by the era of racing when my dad was winning his Tours and world championships.”
That mention of a vertically integrated carbon fibre platform strongly points to LeMond’s holdings in unique carbon fibre manufacturing processes, something the company has claimed will revolutionise the industry and reduce barriers to entry for production. And with Deakin University stating LeMond Companies LLC (the parent company) has “raised approximately US$18.6 million of seed capital from individual and institutional investors,” it seems LeMond is a name to watch once again.