Outside magazine, July 1994
In the quest to build the lightest frame, some bike designers have chucked rigidity along with weight. That's the reason many cutting-edge bikes flex considerably under pedaling forces, resulting in a mushy ride that soaks up the cyclist's energy. The V2 Boomerang from LeMond Bicycles, however, is both svelte and stiff--though it seems to be missing a few parts.
In fact, the Boomerang's carbon-fiber frame lacks a traditional seat tube and seat stays, leaving the saddle perched at the end of a cantilever-style top tube for aerodynamic advantage. To bolster rigidity, LeMond actually added weight, taking the 2.5-pound prototype to almost 3.5 pounds. Though that's heavier than conventional carbon-fiber frames, the Boomerang is narrower to the wind. It's as aerodynamic from the back as it is from the front, so it gives very little draft advantage to riders behind you.
Like other cantilever-style frames, the Boomerang has a mildly springy quality--somewhat like riding with an underinflated rear tire--but doesn't toss the rider up and down or squirrel from side to side. In a new twist on fitting, the size adjusts from 54 to 60 centimeters via a custom seatpost.
The Boomerang frame, fork, and special seatpost sell for $2,000, and appropriate components to complete the bike will cost at least another $1,000. On a dollar-per-frame-tube basis, that makes it one of the most expensive bikes around. But it's also one of the slipperiest.
From LeMond Bicycles, 2810 Wilderness Place, Unit D, Boulder, CO 80301; 800-334-3341.--ALAN COTé