Greg Lemond – Carbon Composite Company Owner

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I woke up this morning with a text from my brother asking me if I’d seen this.  If you click on the link, it is a story about how Greg Lemond has signed a deal with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in Tennessee, to produce high volume, low cost carbon fiber.  Doesn’t seem like the regular cycling media has picked up on this yet.

I don’t know the details of this carbon fiber processing, but it sounds like Greg is going to be making super high quality carbon fiber for 30% of the normal cost, plus use a lot less energy to do it. That sounds like a winning combination to me.

This isn’t only for the bicycle industry, though, he said it can apply it to that.  He is talking about replacing lots of different material, steel, aluminum, fiberglass, with higher strength and lighter carbon material.  Sounds to me that he has a pretty big market out there.

This all sounds good except for the fact that the Oak Ridge National Laboratory is where they made the first nuclear bomb material and now is a clean up site by the Department of Energy.   For Greg’s health, I hope they are a little distance apart, the old and new facilities.

I haven’t seen Greg for a bit.  Maybe he will make one last trip up to Chequamegon next week, for old times sake. He is one of the reasons I got hooked on that specific race.   I’m going to be in Minneapolis picking Trudi up after the World Tour races in Canada.  Maybe he’ll be around and we could catch up some?

Anyway, Greg supposedly sold his home in Minneapolis and is moving to East Tennessee. That is a surprise.  From the article above, it sounds like Greg is pretty stoked to be getting into this. That is super for him.  He deserves something to get excited about and a new carbon company might just be the perfect thing at this time.

Greg is quoted as saying "This is actually the most exciting thing I've done in my career, with the exception of winning the Tour de France." He looks pretty excited here and this wasn't during the Tour. I hope he is correct in his emotional status. If so, he is prettey stoked.

Greg is quoted as saying “This is actually the most exciting thing I’ve done in my career, with the exception of winning the Tour de France.” He looks pretty excited here and this wasn’t during the Tour. I hope he isn’t exaggerating his emotional status. If not, he must be pretty stoked.

Greg and his son Geoffrey riding Chequamegon together 10 years ago.

Greg and his son Geoffrey riding Chequamegon together 10 years ago.

Tucker, all hot, posing in front of some sunflowers at a park down the street. It is a big sunflower year here in Kansas. Lots of late summer rain.

Tucker, all hot, posing in front of some sunflowers at a park down the street. It is a big sunflower year here in Kansas. Lots of late summer rain.

24 thoughts on “Greg Lemond – Carbon Composite Company Owner

  1. Pete A.

    I’ve always lusted for the TVT carbon frames he raced on. Had the Vitus look but better. (Also wanted his blue Gitane, DeVlamick’s Gios, Raas’ Team Raleligh, ………)

    Hope it’s not another carbon frame from far far away. Too darn many of those now, seems a bit saturated market. But an improved slimmer shilouette frame would be awesome. Lose the “tactical black”, tired of that on way too many bikes & componets. This is cycling not the military.

  2. davidh

    Calling the new process “the Holy Grail” makes me worry it is too good to be true, but I wish him well. One of my Fat Tire highlights was meeting Lemond just over the finish line that year. I met Steve under the same circumstances a few years later.

  3. Dan Lind

    From everything I’ve heard so far, this carbon company acquisition currently has nothing to do with cycling (yet.) It’s aimed at the automotive/motorsports industry for now. I had not heard Greg sold his Minneapolis home to relocate to Tennessee. Coincidentally, we rode past his house last weekend.

  4. Erik Gruenwedel

    One of the best aspects of Greg winning the Worlds in 1989 is the fact he’s wearing worn out Time shoes made by Carnac held together by a toe strap. If memory serves, a team soigneur later inadvertently destroyed the shoes after leaving them in an oven too long to dry out.

  5. chopper

    I hope they have the resin part of the application figured out. A bunch of low cost carbon filament/fabric isn’t worth much without excellent performance impregnated with resin.

  6. Ron Harper

    Yeppers n Sean Kelly is still pissed that he was Undergeared for That Sprint hahaha! Those old TVT and also the Look Kg stuff is still a dream to ride…..I still got two Kg481 and Kg281’s! Good luck to the Lemondster he deserves it! Oh and Steel is Still Real…..sorry grew up in De Burghhh with The Chews!!

  7. Chris

    I have 2, Kg 381,s. One feels significantly stiffer than the other.

    I’ll have to build them back up again. I’m riding an S-Works SL 2 Roubaix now which feels a lot more “modern.”

    The one thing about the 381 is the no hands control is unbelievably stable compared to any bike I’ve ridden.

    If you’re a pro or very fit and lean type, I would think the KG’s are ideal.

    Unfortunately I’m at least 10 “KG’s” over my fighting weight.

  8. mike crum

    ron, why would Kelly be pissed he was undergeared? he probably seen the profile of the course, rode it prior to the race, knew the wind direction from the mornings report.. wouldn’t it be up to him to tell his mechanic to put on the sprockets he wanted on? I imagine Kelly was the best rider on the irish team, so whatever he wanted the mechanic I bet would jump to please Kelly maybe just mad at himself? anybody old enough to remember kellys reason or comments on why he was undergeared…

  9. old and slow

    One of the first classics that Kelly ever won he prevailed over the other sprinters in a fourteen when they all used their thirteen tooth cogs. (As described by Phil Anderson, Kelly looked down at his freewheel right before the sprint started and “you don’t have to do that when you’re already in the biggest gear.”)

    Judging from the photo it looks like the same thing happened up above too. I didn’t want to go here but thought that younger riders should maybe be aware that with the old Campy and Mavic stuff you didn’t always know what gear you were in when everybody threw down….)

    If true it then wouldn’t have been about the mechanics or the bike setup, rather Kelly believing that he could still beat people with a smaller gear. Especially when his adversary had just chased down Fignon three times in the last six or seven kilometers.

  10. Ted

    ORNL is nothing but a front for the DoE – Connie who invented the process is a government employee – in fact everyone that works there is a DoE employe (all their emails addresses end with dot gov) – I think GL might be walking into a mine field – if it’s 50% cheaper to make why has not Detroit gone into this venture with ORNL? DoE owns the rights to the process (and patent?) so what if they decide to sell to the Chinese because they come in with money that GL cannot match – I think it’s a slippery slope – since they selling you the cf and your production facility on their property – they can lock you out in a heartbeat – don’t get me wrong I wish GL the best but its always better to be Lockheed selling the F35 to the DoD then relying on the DoE to provide you manufacturing materials

  11. Larry T

    I wondered the same thing – why is LeMond the one getting in on this great deal? Then there’s the headline on the Composite Manufacturing Magazine site “Carbon Fiber Prices to Drop 90%” which makes me wonder if poor Greg’s getting involved with people who will help him lose money as has happened more than a few times in his past business dealings. I think he’s a great guy, but one who seems rather easy to take advantage of based on his history.
    Meanwhile, has that blowbag in Wisconsin with the bike company ever gotten around to apologizing to Greg for what they did to him in the BigTex era? I know LeMond won the lawsuit and gave the money to charity, but I’ve not heard about any apology.

  12. KrakatoaEastofJava

    Crum: Pissed at himself. You couldn’t exactly change gears once you’d made your final choice. Look at the ’84 Olympics RR sprint where Bauer chose too big a gear.

  13. KrakatoaEastofJava

    That’s why you sign a contract to license the process. As an example, DuPont creates all kinds of processes and then licenses the techniques to those who actually manufacture things. DuPont is more of an IP development house. They don’t really make very much (if anything).

  14. KrakatoaEastofJava

    I’ve decided to cut the cost even more. My bikes will be made of 100% resin. I got myself a business partner up in Leadville. He used to be a pro road racer!

  15. Ron Harper

    Not to peeve off GL fans of which I am one and owned two of his classic steeds those Great 853 frmes. It was just a comment I heard Sean make to Carlton Kirby on one of their Eurosport broadcasts afetr Carlton rubbed him about That finish no doubt The Professor Fignon was even more peeved RIP. That is still one of my fav Poster Shots. Hey Oak Ridge isnt that where we developed The Bomb?!

  16. numbnuts

    would be nice if steel came back… and Ti.

    I tried carbon some years back, it broke (cranks, frames etc…)
    won’t ride the stuff anymore, its quality truly depends on the manufacturing process.

    Sure, the welds of steel and Ti are importance. But, the fatigue limits are known for the most part.
    Love Steel and Ti…

  17. old and slow

    I’ve owned a few Treks over the years, Burke was my rep there back in the day too. Without a dog in that fight I thought he shouldn’t have revealed the abysmal pre-merger LeMond sales figures as those hostilities escalated. Didn’t reflect very well on their decision to buy the place for starters.

    Then he certainly paid for it when all sorts of 1990s family issues got spilled out into the public domain as his sister ran for WI Governor. Was she fired or did she quit. etc? The whole point of being a successful private company is that you shouldn’t have to deal with that kind of crap at all.

    From the whole Lance&Trek vs. LeMond tiff I gained the greatest admiration for Kathy LeMond.

  18. old and slow

    Wonder what’s happening to the storage unit full of all his old bikes and memorabilia? There’s a Youtube video where they spend about 40 minutes going through it. I think it’s one a series produced by a ?Belgian? based LeMond fan club there.

    They actually have a roadside monument to Greg at Lac Vassivierre because he won two stages there.

  19. Andrew

    He talks about it in Hunger. They only had 7 cogs back then, so it wasn’t always possible to have the ideal gearing for every situation. He was torn on what freewheel to use, but went with a 13 tooth instead of a 12 so that he could have a larger cog, and lower gear, for the climbs. I think there was one big climb and one smaller climb on the circuit. Also, I think when he reconned the course the finishing straight was into a headwind, but on race day it changed to a tailwind. I think that’s what he said in the book, but I read it years ago, and my memory isn’t so good anymore.


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