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Litespeed Tuscany vs Trek 5200?(38 posts)

Litespeed Tuscany vs Trek 5200?Flothru
Jul 26, 2001 4:07 PM
I have ridden both bikes and they both feel very good to me. Fit is good. Both will be outfitted with Ultegra. Do you all have any opionions or prefernces? Price will be about the same. I will be Racing Crit and road. Also I will be training on this bike. The caveat is that I will not be buying a new bike for 5-10 years(financial arrangment). I have read the reviews and both seem to be great but what about durability?

Ride on...
Go Ti!jtolleson
Jul 26, 2001 4:56 PM
If you want a bike assured to last 5-10 years with lots of use, I'd definitely buy the Ti bike. Better frame warranty and more importantly... frame warranty not needed. Basically bombproof (yes, I know, we've all heard stories about how any frame can break ...)
Tuscany Vs 5200Xeke
Jul 26, 2001 5:11 PM
Qualifier: My experience is aboard the Vortex and 5900. The variance with the Tuscany and 5200 is in the frame composition (6/4 vs. 3/2.5 and 110/120 OCLV). Without getting into the vague and subtle differences and given that it sounds like this is an 'Only Ride', I'd ride the Tuscany in a minute.

The 5900 is a finely engineered, well built bike that performs quite well. It's also quite uninspiring. In my garage, it's the Number 3 ride.
Tuscany Vs 5200Rusty Coggs
Jul 26, 2001 6:11 PM
Well said. My 5200 ranks even lower in my garage, and that is compared only to steel rides,no Ti. It's lighter than any of the others,but that seems to be it's greatst redeeming virtue.
Buy the Tuscany, No DoubtSlothlike
Jul 26, 2001 8:54 PM
I have had my LS Classic for over 4 years now and the thing is as awesome as the day I bought it. Titanium is essentially bombproof and if you expect to keep it 5-10 years, it will not only last but odds are it will outlive you (seriously). The Trek is a nice bike, but with the ti, you get all the same qualities plus the indestructability. One crash with the Trek it could be all over. Speaking of the Classic, it is a great all around ride and the Tuscany has a similar ride. The Classic is more comfortable as it has longer chainstays but all other ride characteristics are essentially the same as the geometry is the same. I cannot tell you how satisfied I have been. I ride an Italian steel frame as well but there is no comparison to the LS and I am considerably faster on the Classic than I am on the steel. Plus you won't look like a Lance groupie. I love Lance but I think the bike with the outfits is silly IMHO. The Ultegra is great stuff for the money. I have Dura Ace on the LS and Ultegra on the Fondriest and other than the weight, they perform the same. Ultegra is very smooth. I read once that if a ti frame doesn't crack at the welds in the first month, it will last forever which makes sense. LS is a great bike and my next one will be the Vortex but I will never get rid of my Classic.
Not a Lance Groupie - But I'm partial to the 5200!CyclingWolf
Jul 26, 2001 9:18 PM
As you can see I do not sport the Postal Colors (I am a fan however) and I have never ridden a Ti, and I am quite pleased!
Not a Lance Groupie - But I'm partial to the 5200!Slothlike
Jul 26, 2001 10:05 PM
Nice ride. I like the bike, especially yours because it is a little more subtle. i am sure it is a sweet ride but the titanium will offer more assurance that it will last. Not that carbon rust or anything, but if one simply wipes out on it and scratches it deep, the fibers could be exposed, like the old fiberglass corvettes when the got hit, and it could affect the structural integrity of the bike. For that money, titanium is almost as light but alot more durable. This was a determining factor when I bought my Litespeed and if this guy want to race, he should buy titanium. If he did triathalons, cf would be fine but riding in a pack where crashes are common, the durability issue is more important. Plus I keep hearing that carbon fiber has that dead wodden feel from people who own them and in professional reviews.
I don't know if anyone noticed, but in the documentary Road to PAris, when Lance time trialed for the first time on the new cf Trek he said to the team car that the bike was really "different" and he didn't seemed pleased. Prior to that bike he rode a disguised Litespeed Blade which he won all 3 tt in the 99 TDF. He hasn't repeated that feat since. Just food for thought.
Not a Lance Groupie - But I'm partial to the 5200!Atombomber
Jul 27, 2001 7:58 AM
Hmm, Lance did pretty good on his Trek OCLV TT today. Do you wonder how he liked it now? His reference to different was from his 2000 TT bike, which was A Trek OCLV TT. His 2001 is the same mould, but uses 110 as opposed to 120 Carbon.
funny bike setup you haveET
Jul 27, 2001 9:37 AM
Oh, sorry, I forgot this isn't the photo gallery. :-) Just kidding, really. Nice bike. And true, a nice option is to still be a fan and yet not go postal, er, Postal.
Explain 'Uninspiring'?Atombomber
Jul 27, 2001 7:53 AM
Are you really uninspired when you ride your 5900?

uninspiring adj : depressing to the spirit; "a villa of uninspiring design" [ant: inspiring]

I really feel you should seek medical attention if you get depressed when riding one of your bikes.
Riding an OCLV then riding a ti bike.grzy mnky
Jul 27, 2001 12:54 PM
Call it passion.
Jul 27, 2001 4:24 PM
I appreciate your interest in my medical/emotional condition. My therapist shares your concerns... :)

There is almost an 'over-engineered' feel to the OCLVs. They are excellent examples of immense calculation to the last, most meticulous detail. The splined lugs and tubes give this frame a one-piece feel lacking in these recent titanium triangle/carbon seat stay frames. It'll be a couple more revisions in the combination frame designs before the tuning falls into place. Merckx builds a frame with carbon chain stays that's reportedly a pretty nice ride....

But there's something about the artisan's touch to many of the better metallic frames. There's something about the feel of a classic Italian steel frame with chromed lugs and classic Campy... you know. Doug S's Mediterranean paint was applied with considerable heart by one who loves his work. You or I may or may not care for the outcome, but the painter put a bit of his soul into it. A beautiful bike to me might not be so to my riding buddies.

Somehow, some way, that emotion, that pathos translates into what we roll over the pavement on. That 5900 is a rigorously assembled machine that is the result of knowledge and experience from previous revisions. And it rides pretty much as I expected it to.

But there's something about the VaMoots that just... rises above all that calculation....
'Uninspired' or Vamootswouter
Jul 28, 2001 1:53 PM
Ah now you mention something I have also looked at.

CC has two well priced bikes: LS Ultimate and LS Vortex, but I always wondered about the Vamoots. What makes it special, what are the ride characteristics that make Ultimate or Vortex a better ride.

For me it's gotta be Ti since I can only buy an bike like this once and hope to get 20-30 years out of it. (with componentry changes over the years)
Jul 28, 2001 6:25 PM
The Ultimate is a pretty short wheelbase bike that's better over short distances and in criteriums. It's a pretty stiff ride. I'd much rather ride something that's more compliant than the Ultimate. It beats me up after more than an hour or two in the saddle.

The Vortex and VaMoots have very similar geometries. I'm 170 lbs./72"/32" inseam with otherwise average dimensions. I ride on 57 cm (C-T) size frames with slight custom preferences, typically unrelated to basic geometry. The two geometries are within a couple millimeters of one another.

The LS's generally are available at good discounts through many distributers at the end of the model year, though much of the time the customer may be stuck with the distributer's buildup package. I'm a little more particular about the component setup, so I might look at the amount of price break versus the cost of replacing undesirable components. For instance, wheelsets....

You'll wait awhile for the VaMoots, though Sore Saddle Cyclery ( in Steamboat Springs usually has a few in the shop. VaMoots doesn't sell directly to the consumer; you'll have to deal with a distributor.

Both are fine rides. Given the choice of one or the other today: I'd wait for a VaMoots (and probably pay a bit more). The workmanship is top drawer: immaculate welds; Breezer style dropouts; welded on seatpost binder... This is a frame built with all those little things that make a good bike great.
Jul 29, 2001 3:39 AM
'Uninspired', 'over-engineered' 'pathos'...

Man, do we cyclists love to toss around cliches we that we have heard and read.

You said it best by: "it rides pretty much as I expected it to." Read as: Self-fulilling prophecy.
um, can I ask what's the Number 2 ride in your garage?(nm)ET
Jul 27, 2001 9:32 AM
Sure You Can.Xeke
Jul 27, 2001 4:31 PM
My current preferences run towards the VaMoots and Vortex. This is subject to change depending upon cash flow conditions....
re: Litespeed Tuscany vs Trek 5200?Crash
Jul 26, 2001 10:08 PM
I rode both of these bikes before I bought my Canny and I also thought they were very close in ride and performance. I thought the Trek might have been a little stiffer and better high speed stability, it was also a little lighter. That said, they are both really great bikes, but if you are looking for a 5 - 10 year return on your investment it would seem that Ti is the way to go. I've heard wonderful stories about Ti bikes being almost indestructable, plus there's that great ride quality.
I don't know where you might buy the bike from, but Colorado Cyclist has a KILLER deal right now on Litespeeds. The Ultimate Ultegra is around 2400, the Ultimate Dura-Ace around 2800 and they have a Vortex Dura-Ace for 2900. Boy would that Vortex look good in my garage !
Best of luck in whatever you choose !
Ooops ! Price Correction ...Crash
Jul 26, 2001 10:35 PM
Ooops, wishful thinking taking over, the CC Litespeed prices actually are: The Ultimate Ultegra is 2599, the Ultimate Dura-Ace is 2999 and the Vortex Dura-Ace is 3999. Still great prices from list, and the Vortex STILL would look just as good in the garage (do the kids REALLY need college ???)
re: Litespeed Tuscany vs Trek 5200?CyclingWolf
Jul 27, 2001 12:49 AM
I would think it would look better with you riding it on some hilly incline (Big Grin) Thanks for the compliment and yes it is a sweet ride. I would think if you were in an accident that would cause the kind of damage you speak of concerning cf I would think you would be a hurting puppy no matter what bike your on. Yes I have heard the tales of Lance and Lightspeed's but I am not a TT'er and the bike he rides 95% of te time in 2000 is my frame and just a tad bit better OCLV this year. I will never do the tour myself. There will always be the Ford is better then a Chevy or in our case Trek vs. Lightspeed, but I would bet my next paycheck if you put 10 Trek 5200 owners against 10 Lightspeed owners you would have a split decision. Like most of the wiser posters on here would say both bikes are good, buy one and ride it...Thats what I am doing when I first received my 5200 in August 2000 I was 220 lbs, come next month 1 year anniversary I am weighing in at 180 matter what I am glad I have found cycling...just ride!
Question for wolf...jaybird
Jul 27, 2001 10:15 AM
What kind of program are you on? I am at 220 and have just gotten back on the bike this year after a ten year break from racing. My goal was to just get down to 200 but your 180 is impressive.
Question for wolf...CyclingWolf
Jul 27, 2001 7:45 PM
Well strictly a newbie with no guide, just a lot of reading of this site and any book I could get my hands on at the time. Basically it was simple I cut out all my junk food rode my bike 3-4 times a week doing 30-40 miles each. I have come to love the Uncle Ben's rice bowls (The frozen type), eat alot of salads, snack on trail mix while at work (Nuts and M&M type chocolate) drinks lots of water, and Sprite and just ride...I hit a wall dropping below 200 then 190 and just a few weeks ago have stayed below 180.

Keep me abreast about your progress if I can help in any way lemme know

Cycling yours,

partial to TrekDuane Gran
Jul 27, 2001 3:34 AM
I'm personally partial to the Trek (I own a 5200) and I test rode the LiteSpeed classic when I was making my decision. As I recall, the LiteSpeed was a little more expensive and had Shimano 105 components and I was looking at spending about $500 to get the Ultegra group. Things may be different now.

Regardless, the main motivation for me was that the CF frame felt more stiff and responsive. I enjoy the ride of Ti, however I fell in love with the Trek. Hard to explain, but it just called out to me and felt right. Your experience may be different.

As far as durability goes, ask enough people and you will get some horror stories on both sides of the fence. Although I'm a little biased, I'll confess that a well placed gouge in a CF frame could ruin it whereas with Ti you could probably brush it off. Trek does have a lifetime warranty on the frame, and if you damage it they will sell you a replacement at cost. Not too shabby in my opinion.
Litespeed "componentry"jtolleson
Jul 27, 2001 6:10 AM
Litespeeds are sold from the frame up... there's no such thing as componentry a bike "comes" with. And if a bike shop had you "test ride" a Tuscany with 105 components, it must just be something they slapped together. Not only that, ride would have been affected by their choice in fork and seatpost.

Why would someone put 105 components (which aren't bad, but...) on a $1500 frame?

Anyway, I don't think your observations on your "test ride" are really helpful to the analysis.

re: Litespeed Tuscany vs Trek 5200?Len J
Jul 27, 2001 3:43 AM
I test rode the 5200, the LS classic, Tuscany & Ultimate extensively. (as well as several other TI Bikes as I was looking for a TI bike, the test Ride on the 5200 was an afterthought while the LBS set up the next TI for me). What I found was that there were only subtle differences in most of the bikes (the Ultimate was way to stiff for me) while riding them on flat to rolling terrain. The real difference (for me) was in hammering them up a 1.5 mile hill. I couldn't believe the difference. The 5200 wanted to climb the LS (and others) were more reluctant (its the only way I could describe the feeling). I resisted (I think because of the snoot factor) the Trek and kept trying to find a reason to buy the TI. Lifelong Bike was a favorite, however I honestly will get another bike in 3 to 5 years, plus the Trek has a lifetime warrenty. Couldn't use that excuse. Ti less maintenance, yes probably true but enough? Finally, the price difference ended up being about $700 less for the Trek. (comperably equipped). I ended up getting a 5500 w full D/A and Sestr wheels for less (at the time) than a D/A equipped LS with boutique wheels. I couldn't justify the LS. This was my journey.

My advice, Test ride both and include severe climbs in the test. They are both great bikes, pick the one that speaks to you and enjoy the hell out of it.

Good luck.
performance vs. originalityET
Jul 27, 2001 5:18 AM
Not very original choices, but very undersandable.

The two most common bikes on the road are Treks and Litespeeds. That seems to make up about 80% of the bikes I see out there on my long weekend rides. Sure, each has something going for it (Trek is lightweight, has warranty, obviously can perform, price is right especially for carbon; Litespeed is comfortable, more durable, versatile, has some advantages over steel). I realize that many are riding Treks and Litespeeds precisely because they are good value bikes (but also because of Lance in the case of Trek, and the broad line available in the case of Litespeed), andeven though I might consider such a bike one day, I just seem reluctant to be riding what everyone else is riding. Not that my Lemond Zurich is so original (price was an important consideration for me, and you can't do much better for that price than the Zurich), but compared to Treks and Litespeeds, even the Lemonds are relatively rare. Do any others feel that way about originality playing a role? Would you give up some minimal performance or risk a slight loss of it in order to preserve originality of choice? Interested in all your thoughts on this.

To the original poster, given the longevity you seek, I'd say just go with the Litespeed, Trek's warranty notwithstanding. (EVvn if you get no hassle, trading in your frame every so often might be a pain). Regarding fit, while you say they both fit well, their geometries are rather different. Chances are for around the same top tube length on both the drop to your bars will be more severe on the Trek than on the Litespeed. What size did you test in each?
performance vs. originalityFlothru
Jul 27, 2001 6:44 AM
I tested a 57 from litespeed and a 56 from trek. Top tube are similar. I to don't like to be on the same bike every one else is on but, I only have a certain amount of money and I want the best bike for it. Origionality cost $$. Also I have gone the path less traveled on other products in the past(Apple vs PC). Not real thrilled with the result of that decision so I am going to most likely go with more known quantities this time. I think there is probably a reason these bike are so popular aside from the fact that there are Lance groupies out there. I rode them both and they both felt good to me(much more cumfy than my current AL ride).

I know the bottom line is get out and ride I just want to be sure of my decision No second guessing. You know how that can make you notice all sorts of thing that aren't really there.

Ride on...
performance vs. originalityLazy
Jul 27, 2001 7:01 AM
The current bike I'm lusting after is a LOOK KG281. I'm not sure about pricing, but I think you could get one for relatively the same price as a 5200. I can't speak to performance of either bike, but if CF is your bag and you want to be a little different, check out the LOOK.
Where can I find a...Flothru
Jul 27, 2001 8:00 AM
Look KG281 for around $2700.00 with full Ultegra. Please let me know I would be interested. I have not ridden any because I have assume they wher out of my range.

Ride on...
Where can I find a...Lazy
Jul 27, 2001 8:25 AM
Excel sports: KG281 w/HSC3: $1815 Ultegra build kit: $950 Total: $2765

Or, the deal of the century: From a Look KG281 (barbecue finish), HSC3 fork, and free Deda Newton bars and stem for the low low price of $1200. This is what I've go my eye on. I'm thinking this frame/bar/stem w/ a Chorus/Record mix. Ooh Baby!
Do it; you won't regret it!look271
Jul 27, 2001 2:35 PM
I rode a 5200 before I bought my Look.It was definately light, but it just felt "dead". My kg 271 is lively, light enough, and stable as a rocket sled on rails. Plus, you have that "French flair" thing going.
fit issuesET
Jul 27, 2001 7:32 AM
Their top tubes are efectively dead on when adjusting for seat tube angle, so that's fair. But regarding seat tube, the Trek 56 is really a 54 in disguise. This means that the drop to your handlebars will be greater on the Trek. Anyone daring to mention standover on this forum always gets nailed for bringing up something irrelevant, but I'll risk it anyway, because standover is also a proxy for reach comparison. The standover for the LS is 81.1., the Trek 79.0. Over two cms difference. Depending on your preferred reach, I'd bet one is more ideal than the other, something you may not have felt on a test ride but which will mean a lot on longer rides. You may want to recall what length and agle stems you tried as well as how many spacers were in each. Do you have a current bike to compare the reach? If you have or want great reach, fine; if not, beware of the Trek, as many a buyer has regretted it later for too great a drop.
fit issuesmc3
Jul 27, 2001 1:24 PM
If you don't want more drop to the handlebars, can't you just use more spacers?
noET at home
Jul 27, 2001 2:14 PM
Carbon fork threadless steerers are usually limited to 4 cm for safety reasons (steel forks can handle more, but you're not going to put a heavy steel fork on OCLV), and it's probably already set up to the max 4 cms in the shop (you can always cut it later but you can never put it back), especially given the huge drop compared to other bikes.
My take.Atombomber
Jul 27, 2001 8:21 AM
A crash that will break a Carbon frame that has been proven strong under normal riding will damage a titanium frame with the same testing. Repairing both is expensive and time consuming. If the Litespeed's roadbike are buily like their mountainbikes, I'd be somewhat worried. I have seen a Litespeed mountainbike's headtube sheer off wheelie dropping from a 2 foot high log. No warranty, so buddy was SOL with that frame. Litespeed wanted $500US to repair it.

I recently bought a Trek 5200 in the Smoke colour (black with visible carbon through a clearcoat). I rode Columbus and Reynolds steel frames for years, but had to replace my last Marinoni, which was stolen in the spring. I have a titanium mountain bike (since Nov '96) and have put in many thousand hard off road kilometers on it. It still rides and looks like new. I know the durability of a well built titanium bike, and mine is very well built. But I wouldn't want a titanium roadbike. Sure, the prestige is nice, but for the size I need, it is too whippy. I tried a few different models of different brands and felt that the ride was comfortable like my last Marinoni, but they all sprinted like it too. I tried aluminum, but settled against that because a frame strong enough for me was too harsh, but they sprinted well. Then I tried a Trek 5900. Light and stiff like aluminum, but comfy like old steel or titanium. Then I tried a 5200, and that was it. Stiffer, but still comfy, and not noticably heavier.

It will be you decision, but settle on something that will be for you.
Jul 27, 2001 10:02 AM
Why pay big bucks for a top flight titanium bike when you can have a top flight titanium bike for less?


Bicyling magazine rated this bike in their most recent issue and rated it 4 stars.
re: Litespeed Tuscany vs Trek 5200?posty
Jul 27, 2001 11:22 AM
I just went through the same thing, and without going into boring detail, decided on a Seven. Those prices at CC are great, but you can get a great custom Ti bike with DA for "only" a few hundred more. I felt if I was going to spend a chunk of change (and all these bikes are expensive), I'd look at everything and get what I liked most, screw the difference of 2 or 300 bucks. Checked out Serotta (actually VERY expensive), Moots (SoreSaddle Cyclery), Litespeed, Trek OCLV, etc, etc. Liked the Ti ride. Off the shelf bikes were nearly as expensive as custom, so... settled on Seven.

Keep a look out for special dealsAndy
Jul 27, 2001 3:20 PM
One of the posts above mentioned the LeMond Zurich (I think) I was on my way to my LBS to purchase the Zurich when I decided to stop in a different nearby LBS and I found a new 2000 Trek 5200 for $1895. They upgraded the wheels from Rolf Vector Comps to Vector Pros and I got the whole thing for $2100. I don't particularly like Rolf wheels but that's the best they could do.

I'm not advocating one bike over the other but if you do your homework and look around for special deals, you might find a deal you can't refuse.