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Litespeed Ghisallo(7 posts)

Litespeed GhisalloWild Bill
Dec 11, 2001 4:56 AM
Who is familiar with this bike?
Is it a bike suited for all levels of riding?
Will it hold up to a heavy rider? Is the headset replaceable?
What is the ride quality of Ti compared to Carbon?
Is it good for long distance riding?
Need to know......... Thanks
Wild Bill
re: Litespeed GhisalloJohn-d
Dec 11, 2001 5:55 AM
If you get hold of a copy of Cycling Plus, they have done a road test this month in comparison with a Hewitt Starship. The Litespeed was built up into a UCI legal min weight bike as detailed on this site last month.

In the handling test it scored 7 as against 8 or 9 by the Hewitt. Basically, the conclusion seemed to be that climbing it was fine but descending was un-nerving, it apparantly seemed to 'float', They put heavier wheels on it and that seemed to improve it a bit by increasing the rolling weight.

They also thought that heavier riders (over 68 kg) would suffer from frame flex.

It all seemed a bit ify to me considering the made up bike cost £5,500 ($8,000).

Oh! one more thing they pointed out that if you artificially reduce the frame weight by building in a sharply sloped top tube to a short seat tube, the necessary height needed to prop up the saddle has to be replaced by a longer, heavier seat post, negating any benefit.

So if you have the necessary funds give it a go, but beware false premises.

Cannondale rules, ok?

John
re: Litespeed Ghisallosprockets2
Dec 11, 2001 8:36 AM
As you probably know, this is an ultra-light compact-style frame, and as such is not a traditional all-around bike that has a broad designed-in flexibility in its uses. That doesn't mean it will refuse to roll, but it has its specific abilities (and limitations) being a small, short wheelbase, lightweight.

It is not clear what "all levels of riding" means. If you mean levels like beginner/int./experienced. I would say that these levels are not nearly important as the uses to which it would be put. If you are looking to do a lot of different types/styles of riding-recreation/racing/touring/commuting, then I would recommend that you look at their site, as Litespeed makes several good all-around bikes, each of which has certain characteristics depending what you are looking for.

It seems that the Ghisallo would be particularly inappropriate for a heavy rider doing "all levels of riding" in the touring/rec/racing sense. If you are tall and heavy, the Classic might be a good place to start as it offers good all-around ability and is fairly stiff.

Ride quality wise, my experience suggests that Ti tends to offer a more comfortable and communicative ride, and is usually thought of as comfortable for distance riding. Carbon frames are often comfortable and don't thrash you like aluminum will, but if designed to be stiff they can be nearly as rough. Carbon will tend to remove a lot of road feel. That doesn't sound like too bad a thing but ride a couple of carbon bikes for a while and you'll see what I mean. It doesn't bug everyone but it bugs me. Contrary to what some of its fans/dealers are saying, on the whole carbon fiber frames are likely to be not as durable as Ti, but that is a whole different discussion.

I am wondering what attracts you to the Ghisallo. If it is the ultimate in light weight that you are seeking, I say beware of that path. My feeling is that you pay a lot, and give up some things, to shed those last couple of grams. Lance needs an ultra-light bike while most of us do not. Here is what I did: I got a nice Litespeed Classic, shed 15 pounds of body weight, and that bike rode like a dream.
re: Litespeed GhisalloTjeanloz
Dec 11, 2001 8:59 AM
The Ghisallo is a very light frame. As Cycling Plus tested it, it was a very light bike- and I think a lot of their complaints are the result of too-light parts being hung on a light frame. I rode one that was built with light, but practical components, and weighed just over 16lbs. I found that it rode confidently, accelerated very quickly, and was at least as stiff as my Vortex or OCLV.

The headset is not replaceable with a different brand but you can, of course, get replacement bearings for it.

The Ghisallo is a light racing bike. I think it would be perfectly suited to long days of training, but I wouldn't recommend it to somebody who didn't plan to race it- or at least pretend-race it. If long, lumbering rides are your thing, there are better bikes out there. If fast, aggressive riding is your style, the Ghisallo is as good as it gets.
Ghisallo HS is conventionalEric
Dec 11, 2001 9:52 AM
The Ghisallo and the Classic are the only two 2002 road Litespeeds to have conventional, non-integrated head tubes. I suspect in the desire to have the lightest frame possible (for publication purposes), LS chose to not have the additional material of the integrated head tube.
Interesting,Tjeanloz
Dec 11, 2001 9:59 AM
You are correct. The one I rode was the rep's early edition, and it had an integrated HS- it could have been at his request.
re: Litespeed Ghisallogtx
Dec 11, 2001 10:37 AM
Is it a bike suited for all levels of riding? No, it's a race bike.
Will it hold up to a heavy rider? No, it weighs 2 pounds!
Is the headset replaceable? Yes, it accepts a conventional headset.
What is the ride quality of Ti compared to Carbon? Too general of a question.
Is it good for long distance riding? Depends on the rider.

The Ghisallo seems like the ultimate bike for a sponsored or wealthy racer--these are people who have plenty of other bikes in their stable. It's also a brand new product, so its durability has not yet been proven. If you like the fit/geometry of Litespeed, why not get a Tuscany? If you want compact, look at the Siena. If you want to use a conventional headset, check out the Classic. If you want to spend $3000 on a "all level" frame, look elsewhere--Seven, Serotta, etc.