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Difference in Litespeed models??(4 posts)

Difference in Litespeed models??JBergland
Mar 7, 2001 5:22 AM
What is the difference between the Ultimate, Vortex, and Palmares? Weight? Performance? Stiffness? Anyone ride ever get the chance to ride all of them (TJ)?
re: Difference in Litespeed models??Larry Meade
Mar 7, 2001 6:00 AM
The Ultimate uses a 3/2.5 frame with the exception of the down tube which is 6/4. The Vortex is a full 6/4 fame and is designed to be the lightest of the bunch. It uses fairly standard tubing size and does not use the mega style down tube. The Palmares is also a full 6/4 frame but does more tubing diameter and shape manipulation than the Vortex. It uses the big down tube like the Ultimate but has longer chainstays and more "classic" road geometry. I think it takes the best characteristics of the Ultimate and the Vortex and incorporates them into one frame. I have ridden all three and the Vortex, while light, was too soft for my 200 lbs. I am a sprinter and like a good stiff frame. The Palmares is a dream ride. It is almost as stiff as the Ultimate but rides a little smoother. I actually have two Ultimates and like them for their stiffness. I don't worry too much about all day comfort as my typical rides are 65 miles or less. They are more than comfortable enough for that. If you ever want a good deal on a bike, talk to me at mile 85 of a century. I am usually ready to give my bike away by then. ;-)

lightweight rider review...dave
Mar 7, 2001 1:34 PM
I only weigh 135-140. I rode a polished 55cm Ultimate with a LOOK HSC2 fork, 4000 miles during the '99 season.

For me, this frame rode as about as harsh as anything I'd ever owned (Cannondale 2.8 was worse). The bladed downtube seemed to exaggerate any crack in the road. I sold mine after one season, and got a C40, which I like a lot better.

Lightweights should probably avoid the Ultimate and Palmares, and most frames with bladed or oversized downtubes.
lightweight rider review...Larry Meade
Mar 8, 2001 2:01 AM
Agreed. I think that for lightweight riders there are a lot more choices if they are looking to buy a ti frame. For bigger riders the field thins out some. That is why I always qualify my recommendations for the Ultimate by stating that I am a larger rider. I would recommend the Tuscany/Classic/Vortex for lighter riders if they were interested in getting a Litespeed.