LeMond 8 carbon road & gravel bikes are finally here, unveiling that revolutionary US-made carbon technology they’ve been teasing us with for years. That first came to life in a series of ultra-stealthy e-bikes, but now LeMond is getting back to his proper road racing roots. While they’ve hinted at more efficient carbon fiber production processes since 2016, these new road bikes are all about premium lightweight performance, and come with premium price tags to match…
LeMond 8 unique carbon aero road bike
Greg LeMond’s 8 second come-from-behind Tour de France victory changed his life, not only in the obvious point of making him a winner of the world’s biggest road race, but also in making him realize the power of simple but transformative change. It was admittedly his adoption of new aerobar tech that really won that race, so that 8 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 1980s & 90s.
Revolutionary carbon fiber bike tech
In 2016, we were invited to Knoxville, Tennessee to get a sneak peek of what LeMond promised would be their future of carbon fiber. Not just carbon fiber though, 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 (vs. 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 & stiffness at key frame junctions, while maintaining light & 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, the LeMond 8 was able to be built with no metal inserts at all. Even threaded water bottle bosses & bottom bracket threads are lighter & 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. Classically modern threaded BB with no weight penalty.
Attached to the front of the frame, a monocoque 1-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, heavy metal inserts that risk galvanic oxidation are all but eliminated, and riders are left with fully internal cable routing integration and even a system to assure that the bars & fork are always perfectly aligned.
Tech details & Geometry
The LeMond 8’s geometry is described as “True Road Feel”, with a wide range of eight stock sizes (47-62cm). Each size gets adapted tube dimensions, size-specific chainstays, headtube angles & 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.”
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 are routed fully internal, although the bikes are hydraulic disc brake AND electronic shift only.
The bike features a unique proprietary aero seatpost & channel clamp designed to spread clamping force over a wider 66mm section of the post. A side benefit is that accessories like a taillight and/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) and features 12mm thru-axles, flat mount disc brakes, an option for a conventionally integrated 2-piece bar & stem setup, and is offered in 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 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 8th 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 & 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 bikes – Pricing, options & availability
The new LeMond 8 is available to pre-order with a sizable deposit now in one of two options. For a $6000 deposit and a final total price of $8500 / 9500€ you will get a carbon LeMond 8 road bike frame, fork, 1-piece handlebar/stem, seatpost & 47mm deep wheelset. You will need to supply the component build kit.
Or for a whopping $9500 deposit on the way to a final total $12,500 / 13,900€ price tag 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 & most of the EU from today’s pre-orders are slated to begin this July 2022 on a first-come, first-served basis with priority given to complete bikes.