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2002 Litespeed...(19 posts)

2002 Litespeed...TJeanloz
Jul 30, 2001 8:25 AM
So I got info on the 2002 Litespeed lineup the other day. I don't think I'm supposed to talk about it yet- but suffice to say, there's some pretty cool stuff coming down the line. A couple of tid-bits:

1. Their bikes won't be exclusively titanium.

2. They'll be the 1st (that I know of) to use three materials on the same frame.

3. More compact designs.

4. The Ghisallo will be really, really light- <2lbs.

So after a year without much redesigning, almost the entire line has been overhauled for 2002.
We need more info!Peetey
Jul 30, 2001 8:32 AM
C'mon Ted, spill the beans. My tax rebate check should be here at the end of August. Any frames for $600 ;-) ?
$600?ColnagoFE
Jul 30, 2001 8:51 AM
Your wife is gonna let you spend her half too?
Shhhhhhhhhh.......... Don't tell her. (nm)Peetey
Jul 30, 2001 9:17 AM
$600 frame - - -liv2padl
Jul 30, 2001 10:28 AM
absolutely. the new lightspeed downtubeless and chainstayless model is only $599.99. if you want a downtube that's extra of course, about $600 in titanium. oh, if you feel the need for seatstays they're also extra and can be had for only another $600. sounds like a bargain to me. ;-)
I woulda never guessedET
Jul 30, 2001 8:46 AM
1. Of course, hush-hush top secret not supposed to talk about it encourages sales.

2. Everyone might as well throw their 2001 Vortex and any other pre-2001 Litespeed in the trash, 'causin they're hopelessly outdated.

3. We'll find out three materials is better than boring one or two, until a later year when we find out it's not.

4. I'll quote some Litespeed guy with short legs and long torso who recently claimed, pre-2002 compact Litespeeds, that the three-sizes-fits-all compacts, e.g. from Giant, are ill-fitting for most, i.e. just because it's a compact doesn't mean that the size XL with the 8 stem is right.

5. Sounds like your heart's stil with Litespeed even after you got your economist job.

6. I'll wait a few years before buying until Litespeed gets feedback from the guinea pigs who couldn't resist plunking megabucks for the latest and greatest and incorporates it into improved updates.

TJeanloz, just some light humor. Love your posts. :-)
Actually-TJeanloz
Jul 30, 2001 8:50 AM
1. I'm sure the secrecy is there to increase sales, Litespeed marketing is damn good- maybe the best in the biz.

2. The Vortex is, oddly enough, one of the only bikes that isn't changing.

4. Litespeed wouldn't have the audacity to build three sizes in compacts- there will be at least 5- which should cover the spectrum better than 3.

5. I do like Litespeeds, more because of their business approach than their bikes.
Litespeed=gimmicksColnagoFE
Jul 30, 2001 8:50 AM
Other than the really light one with the "supermetal" it seems like pure marketing. And I'll be interested in how durable and/or stiff a sub 2 lb bike can be. Also how long can LS keep significantly changing their line every year and expect to sell any bikes at full price? Seems like they are bargain basement at the end of every season making last year's model "outdated". Does having 3 types of material really affect the ride? C'mon now folks. I'm no retro grouch and I appreciate the lightness of my CF fork on my steel ride, but does a CF rear really affect the ride?...and it's heavier to boot!
Carbon forks were called a "gimmick" onceJ.S.
Jul 30, 2001 9:28 AM
and it appears even you see their advantages now. Incremental advancements add up over time. It's companies like Litespeed and others that push the envelope to make bicycles better. You are right about marketing though, but that's just a part of the buisness.
agree and disagreeColnagoFE
Jul 30, 2001 9:52 AM
I agree that carbon forks are an improvment...mainly a fork just as stiff as steel withhout all the weight--but that doesn't neccesarily make CF the wonder material for everthing on the bike. For instance you'd never buy a CF chain and CF seatposts are mainly just more expensive than their equally lightweight AL counterparts. Some will argue that a CF seatpost provides a smoother ride, but unless you are riding a compact with tons of seatpost showing, I doubt it. Does a CF rear end (or just seatstays) really make a diff? I'm dounbting it. In fact the advantage would have to add up to the increased weight caused by the lugs that join it.
CF rear, better for me.terry b
Jul 30, 2001 10:19 AM
Having now had 6 months of time split between my Master Light and my Opera (with CF rear) I'd have to say yes, a CF rear does change the ride. It is much smoother, at least to my butt. And, in comparing the CF rear to my CF bike (Calfee), I find the steel/CF combo much nicer - not as dead as the Calfee but with the smoothness benefits. Weight-wise, not sure about the penalty you discuss since the Opera weighs at least a full pound less that the Master Light so in this case CF is not a problem.
hard to compareColnagoFE
Jul 30, 2001 12:05 PM
the mxl is a pretty stout bike built for a heavier rider (colnago sez 165+ lbs). I'm guessing the Opera is more compliant than the MXL and that's what you're feeling. Probably also why it is lighter (a full pound?). Also the paint and chrome thingies on the MXL weigh a lot but I think they sure are purty! Never ridden and Opera though so it may be just as you say, but I think to prove your theory you'd need to build an Opera with and without the CF stays and do some tests. I'm guessing you wouldn't be able to tell the diff.
when is the sock no longer the sock?terry b
Jul 30, 2001 1:33 PM
Well, if it's hard to accept the assertation that a CF rear makes a difference without building the CF/steel bike with a steel rear, then maybe it's just as hard to accept the assertation that CF makes no difference in the absence of any comparison at all.

No argument, that the Opera may be more compliant, and perhaps that is the source as you suggest. However, the only big difference I see between my two is that when I am riding the Opera the saddle half of me feels like I'm on my Calfee while the handlebar half of me feels like I'm on my MxL. A feeling you'll have to experience to amply appreciate. Simply put, there's a lot less chatter at the saddle level (and yes the saddles are the same on all three bikes.)

Guess we'll just have to wait for an Ultimate owner to buy a new one with CF and settle the bet.
I love improvementsixiz
Jul 30, 2001 8:59 AM
But i also like to see it last more than a few years
So what would hte warranty of these new bikes be ? 1 year like Italian or lifetime like the old LS
the changes so far.jaybird
Jul 30, 2001 9:22 AM
The Palmares is gone.
The Ultimate has Carbon seat stays.
The Tuscany and Classic reamin unchanged.
I HAVE MIXED FEELINGS ON LITESPEEDtirider
Jul 30, 2001 11:46 AM
Philosophically here's my conundrum... do Litespeeds push the bicycle design envelope or is it just marketing hype? For the record, I still ride an older Litespeed Tellico who's weld quality almost rivals that of the new Seven Axiom road frame I have. I've also owned a Serotta Ti frame which was beautifully executed in my humble opinion. However it seems to me that quality has suffered with Litespeed in recent years. The welds of those I have seen appear somewhat "cobby". At the same time I see a new and improved version with the introduction of every new model year. Bicycles are simple creatures by design and haven't changed much over the years so it does intrigue me to see different tube shapes and materials and the use of carbon in seatstays etc. But at what point does the introduction of a new tube shape just become hype? My Serotta had extensively shaped and tapered tubes but in my mind there was a certain functionality to them. The simplicity of my my Axiom (ie. round tubes) seems to provide a suitable backdrop to showcase the beauty of the welds and finish work. I suppose that I could applaud innovations in design (however meretricious) as long as quality doesn't take a back seat.
I HAVE MIXED FEELINGS ON LITESPEEDcwa
Jul 30, 2001 1:08 PM
Do welds really matter from a functional standpoint or is it just for aesthetics? Has a Litespeed ever failed because the tubes came apart at the weld? I'm not taking any shots, just wondering is all.
assuming they aren't contaminatedColnagoFE
Jul 30, 2001 2:18 PM
and are of sufficient strength to hold the tubes together for the intended use it's all aethetics.
I saw and held the 2002 VortexSlothlike
Jul 30, 2001 2:33 PM
yesterday at my LBS. The changes aren't thst dramatic and the only real change is in the head tub design to better accomodate the new fork headset designs and it is a little aero (the head tube that is). The decal are also black on the new Vortex if that matters. The welds look very good. I have a 4 year old polished Classic with beautiful welds and the Vortex I saw had just as nice welds. No the welds beauty has nothing to do with the integtrity or strength of the weld at all. Like someone said about their 40 year old farm equipment, the welds looked horrific but they didn't break after 40 years of unbelievable abuse. So all you guys talking about the small and subtle differences in weld aesthetics between the Seven, Serotta, Moots and the "lowly" Litespeeds, you are way off about quality issues. If you guys are that finicky about how a weld may be a little smoother with minutely more consistent puddles at the weld, then you probably spend more time looking a your bikes than riding them in fear of getting it dirty. The puddles you see on the surface of the welds have nothing to do with the penetration of the weld. It is purely surface excess. In fact, the puddles you see can technically be sanded down and smoothed and the welds still remain totally intact although I wouldn't advise it. I researched welding process via the internet after I read all of the BS about weld quality. What you can see with the naked eye has nothing to do with the integrity and strength of the weld. Period. Litespeeds are great bikes that last forever. In fact, a welder online once wrote that if a titanium frame doesn't break at the welds within the first month of use, it probably will last a lifetime. Yes, moutain bikers can crack frames by jumping them beyond what they were built for, but LS still gives you a lifetime warranty. The new Vortex will be mine by next summer and I will never get rid of my LS Classic. And why is it that no one said anything about Seven Odonata (sp?) being gimmicky with the carbon seat stays a couple of years ago. Why only Litepseed is criticized when they try new things. Accept the fact that LS is a great bike and the only thing they aren't is exclusive anymore and that is what people cannot stand about them now. If LS sold less bikes, there would be less criticism of them despite their same innovations.
Regards
GLG