LEMOND ALPE D'HUEZ
Who should buy it: Avid riders willing to forgo cutting- edge materials for a proven design and comfortable ride
$1,430 (available with a triple crank for $30 more); (920) 478-4680 or www.lemondbikes.com
Before Lance, there was Greg LeMond, the first American to win the Tour de France (in fact, he did it three times). Now retired, LeMond has turned his attention to designing road bikes, and his Alpe d'Huez, named for cycling's most famous alpine climb, is classic in every sense of the word. While many modern road bikes are constructed of aluminum, carbon fiber, or titanium, the Alpe d'Huez relies on Reynold's 853 steel alloy, famous for its ability to quell the high-frequency vibrations that lead to sore wrists and bums. As such, it exudes a magical, float-over-the-pavement feel, despite the slight weight penalty incurred by the steel-frame tubing. Bedecked with solid, working-class components, the Alpe d'Huez is a quick ticket to the finish of any ride, whether you're touring France, or the Sunday morning coffee-shop circuit.
Who should buy it: Go-fast types looking for a light, reliable steed for fast weekend rides, and maybe, just maybe, the occasional race