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Considering the LS Vortex or Colnago CT1?(15 posts)

Considering the LS Vortex or Colnago CT1?Help Me
Dec 22, 2001 8:46 PM
Can anyone give me their opinions please. I want objectivity and not some weird verbose vendetta against either company. Both have great reputations, but the why is it that the CT1 can be had for $1700 a frame? I heard the ti is russian grade and generally not as well made. I have a LS Classic and love it, but I want a different ride quality.
I assume the CT1 will ride liek the Classic (ie. comfortable, stable and responsive) while the Vortex may be more stiff and performance oriented. Am I on target?? I would have condsidered a Serotta or Seven but I fear the ride will be similar to my Classic. I was impressed by a European cycling mags review of the Vortex which raved about it.
Any input would be appreciated and please no sensless bashing, it will not persuade me on either frame.
re: Considering the LS Vortex or Colnago CT1?Nessism
Dec 22, 2001 9:28 PM
Help me wrote:
"I assume the CT1 will ride liek the Classic (ie. comfortable, stable and responsive) while the Vortex may be more stiff and performance oriented. Am I on target??"

Just curious but what led you to these assumptions?

I have to say that I have never ridden either frame that you are referencing however I have a good understanding of frame design in general.

First off I would not expect the Vortex to ride stiffer than the CT1 or your Classic for that matter. The Vortex is built from 6/4 Ti which is stronger than 3/2.5 Ti but is not stiffer. Since the Vortex tubes are thinner than the Classic, but with similar external dimensions, the Vortex will be more flexable not stiffer.

As far as the Russian Ti is concern, I don't think this is much of a concern. The Russian aerospace industry is well versed in working with Ti, even more so than US industry.

Regarding the CT1, I can only say that carbon rear says will not improve ride quality over conventional Ti stays. If anything they will stiffen the ride some due the their large cross section area. They do look cool however.
re: Considering the LS Vortex or Colnago CT1?CT1
Dec 22, 2001 9:52 PM
Assuming the geometry is compatible, you should get the one that excites you the most and/or is different than what you have already. It sounds like you are looking for a "performance" frame and I think either the Vortex or the CT1 will fit that bill. The CT1 handles like a race bike.

Personally, LS's are very nice frames but they have zero sex appeal to me. Also, I wouldn't want two of the same in my stable. You see where I'm leading with this... ;)

On the other hand, my personal preference is that CT1 not become a "popular" frame like the LS.... so perhaps the LS is the right choice. ;)

Agree CT1- stiff, quick in sprints & hills, 4agressive rider nmjagiger
Dec 22, 2001 10:10 PM
doubt there are huge differences....C-40
Dec 23, 2001 6:42 AM
Can't figure how you came up with these assumptions about ride characteristics. The 2002 CT1 now has the B-stay as used on the C-40. Colnago claims that the B-stay provides additional stiffness. The CT1 is a racing bike, designed for a "responsive", not cushy ride.

A recent test of the CT1 in Bicycling Magazine found the CT1 with the Star fork to be overly stiff in the front end. The tester automatically blamed the Star fork for the stiff front end. Without trying a diferent fork, this seems presumptuous. The Star fork hasn't ruined the ride of my C-40. There are folks that claim the Flash fork to be much better riding. I have no experience to dispute those claims. Perhaps the new Force fork is somewhere in between.

Although you may be able to pick up a CT1 for $1700 as last year's left overs, the retail price with flash fork is $2400. The CT1 probably doesn't have the extensive butting and shaping of the tubes, like the Vortex. Colango only advertises it as 6Al/4V material, with no other extravagant claims about tube shape or butting.

Litespeed likes to charge big bucks for shaping and butting the tubes. You pay a huge premium over the price of the Tuscany, which has the same geometry as the Vortex. Whether this is of any value, depends on how heavy and aggressive you are. I only weigh in the 135-140 range. The biggest challenge I have is finding a frame that isn't overly stiff and abusive. Paying a lot of money for an overly stiff frame is a waste of money for me. The Litespeed Ultimate I rode in '99 was a huge disappointment.

I prefer to own a bike that has character. Dull grey Ti doesn't do it for me. I value the incredibly detailed paint jobs found on Colnagos. If you're willing to pay big bucks for a Vortex, you should also consider the C-40. It's a much more impressive frame in my opinion. The C-40 with Star fork, carbon seatpost and Colnago stem can be had for under $2700 from european sources.
a couple of commentsCT1
Dec 23, 2001 7:11 AM
Thanks for the informative points. Here are a couple of my observations.

My MXL with Star fork was VERY harsh in the front end. I never had a chance to try the MXL with another fork but it sure felt like a jackhammer to me. :(

I ordered my 02 BSTAY CT1 with a Flash fork. Under $1450 delivered to US. :) :) Killer frame and mega good price. At that price I can't see buying an "overpriced" American frame ;)

Now, if I could only figure out how to crank the temps up outside.

good rides JohnG
Dec 23, 2001 8:38 AM
Where did you order your CT1 from overseas? I just saw a Blue CT1 and it was a real beauty. LS aare getting way too common. By the way I ride a LS Classic and rode a Vortex and could not tell a difference. But at 142# I wouldn't expect to.
Dec 23, 2001 11:57 AM
email me at

ride on
where did you get the CT1 for $1450???C-40
Dec 23, 2001 12:00 PM
I haven't noticed but one or two euro sources, and they were more like $1800, which is still pretty cheap compared to domestic sources. Most euro web stores seem to carry the Master X-light, Dream Plus and C-40.
where did you get the CT1 for $1450???djg
Dec 24, 2001 11:03 AM
I bought mine from Mike Perry at Maestro-UK. Apart from having the best Colnago prices I could find anywhere, he was very good to deal with. My frame was already in stock, so I had it (with bb and headset races installed) within about a week of my order. It arrived very well packed, without a scratch, and so far as I can tell what's under the paint the welds are very clean. I think it came to a bit over $1500, including the shipping and the record bottom bracket, with a Force fork.
very cool! nmgtx
Dec 24, 2001 11:54 AM
Bingo..... :-)CT1
Dec 24, 2001 3:51 PM
Yeah, Mike is a real straight up guy! My BSTAY CT1 with Flash fork was a little under $1400. :) At that price, I can't image buying an expensive American frame. OK..... I sort of would like a Calfee.... :)

re: Considering the LS Vortex or Colnago CT1?ebs
Dec 23, 2001 10:03 AM
I'm probably going to start a real war here ( the joys of discussion). I test road a LS Ultimate & Vortex,Colnago CT1 & OvalMaster,Calfee Tetra-pro.I ended up purchasing the the LS Ultimate(better fit due to greater size range than the Vortex and also received a KILLER deal).My opinions are as follows LS workmanship blows Colnago out of the water when it comes to Ti (look at the flowing beads on the welds,that is art work)Colnago hides its welds with beautiful art work, the beads are heavier and applied with far less finesse(why would LS give a lifetime warranty and Colnago basically zip,zero). I don't know what Ti Colnago uses but it is a fact that US and Russian Ti ARE NOT the same in purity (or I should say consistent purity) and this can again affect the welds( in Ti bikes that IS one of the major differences- Seven,Merlin,LS all have impecable welds).If you want a mastercrafted Ti bike go with LS product. If you want beautiful artwork (and I admit it is beautiful)go with Colnago. And to throw mud in the water if you want a carbon frame Calfee(my next bike) all the way THE BEST! Good Luck you can't go wrong with any choice they are both pro-level machines -EBS
OH YEAH ......... ;-)CT1
Dec 23, 2001 12:10 PM
I've seen a couple of LS frames that looked like they were welded by kids in a HS shop class.... no kidding.

I've only inspected one CT1 up close and personal and the welds were very schweeeeet. Blew away what I saw on the LS. Go figure.

weird verbose vendettagtx
Dec 23, 2001 12:03 PM
for a different ride/geometry than your Classic, I would also look at the Litespeed-built Merckx frames, and the Moots VaMoots. I also doubt you'd find the Seven or Serotta all that similar to the Classic, either--especially since with the Seven, you can spec any geometry you want. Oh yeah, aslo check out the IF ti frame. Nice.