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LS Vortex question(13 posts)

LS Vortex questionCaliforniadreamn
Jan 1, 2002 9:05 AM
Hi, I am interested in this bike but I want to know if it is stiff enough for me. I weigh between 185-200 in a year. Some say it is a stiff/fast ride and others say it is not particularly stiff but adequate. What do you knowledgeable folks think??
what frame size???C-40
Jan 1, 2002 10:58 AM
The smaller the frame, the stiffer it will be. What's stiff enough for one person, another will call a noodle and another will say it's overly harsh. You aren't likely to get a consensus on this subject. Pedaling & riding style also makes a lot of difference. Smooth spinners rarely complain about inadequate stiffness, while the big heavy mashers claim that almost every bike component made is wimpy; cranks, bars, stems and forks included. These guys need a lesson in finesse.

The Ultimate or Palmares should both be stiffer than the Vortex. Other models like the Tuscany or Siena may be just as effective and a lot cheaper.
what frame size???Californiadreamn
Jan 1, 2002 11:14 AM
Thanks for reply. I can get away with a 55cm, but can ride a 57cm as well although it is on the larger side of a decent fit. The Vortex should be stiffer than the Tuscany or Classic I guess?
I am afraid the Ultimate may be too stiff for me although they put the carbon seat stays this year. The Vortex seems like a better all around bike, but I want a good balance. I haven't seen many that criticize their own Vortexes, but I don't know how large these people are.
I guess if I go with the smaller frame 55cm and keep my weight down to 185 which is what I should do anyway, the Vortex should be plenty stiff and weigh less. The Ultimate is a bit on the heavy side as far as Ti high end goes.
what frame size???gtx
Jan 1, 2002 11:54 AM
sounds like you're between sizes. For that money why not go custom--or at least find a bike that fits?
sounds like overkill...C-40
Jan 1, 2002 2:23 PM
If you can ride a 55cm, I assume that you regularly carry a lot of extra weight. I ride a 55cm and weight 135-140. The frame weight should be of little concern for anyone who's not below 10% body fat.

IMO, the Vortex is a waste of money for anyone that's not a high level racer. It's another dull grey Ti bike that can't be distinguished from the rest until you get close enough to read the Vortex decal. As I noted, there are other models that are a whole lot cheaper which should still have adequate stiffness and a decent ride.

If you are between sizes, you should seriously evaluate which size fits best. The 55cm has a 1cm shorter top tube than the 57. A 1cm longer stem will be required. The head tube is also 2cm shorter, which will require 2cm more steering tube spacers or a higher rise stem.

I'm 5'-7" tall with a 32-5/8" inseam. The 55cm Litespeed fits me almost perfectly, with a 110mm stem. How do your dimensions compare?
C40., thanksCaliforniadreamn
Jan 1, 2002 9:13 PM
I am 5'11" but my inseam is only 32.5. I went to wrenchscience and did the size calculator and they put me on a 55cm frame. The variations in sizes from company to company makes it hard to say one size is good all the time (obviously).
I think a 55cm Vortex would be close to what I would get if I had a custom Seven built. It seems more and more to me that custom is really overrated unless someone has freakish dimensions. But a Vortex is same price but uses the 6/4 and my favorite LBS sells LS which is very important to me. I want to be loyal and they treat me well.
My thinking is if I got a custom Seven or Serotta etc, that is essentially a 56cm and used a 110mm stem for perfect reach, then I could get a Vortex and use a 120mm stem to get the same reach. Therefore, is the custom really a big deal then if it means only a 10mm difference in stem length?
The fact that I am 4 inches taller and can ride the same frame puzzles me though. I used Coloradocyclist's fit as well and it puts me on a 55-56cm frame center to top. Standover height on a 57cm doesn't give me too much room but it is manageable. Some say go for the smaller frame for performance anyway.
As far as the Vortex looking like any other grey Ti, personally I don't want a flashy or unique looking bike. Hell, I am the type to take the decals off. I don't race but bikes are the only expensive things I really have and am willing to spend on. I have been riding for 20 years and feel I am worth it.
Let me know what you think about the size considering my dmeasurements.
Thanks
5' 11"gtx
Jan 1, 2002 9:44 PM
Hey Californiadreamn, I'm 5' 11" also and am almost positive you will find the 55 c-t too small. Measure your inseam carefully again--it's not what's printed on your 501s. Also, if your legs are on the short side, I'd imagine that the top tube on the 55 LS is gonna be way too short. I feel like I'd get a decent fit on the LS 57. I have longish legs and and my custom and other road bikes are all 57 c-c with 56-57 tts (varying seat tube angles--73 to 72.5) and 11cm stems. I admire your desire to support your LBS--if they're any good, they should be able to help you in the sizing dept and not sell you a bike that won't fit. Good luck!
5' 11"Californiadreamn
Jan 1, 2002 9:57 PM
Thanks for input, then how do you explain the wrenchscience and colordocyclist sizing then?? They both put me on a 55cm-56cm. I measured my inseam many times in cycling shorts with book wedged in there and took average.
My current rides are a 57cm and 56cm. The 57 seems a tad on the big side but is very comfortable. The 55cm Vortex has a 55.5 cm tt and with a 120mm stem would put me at 67cm reach. This is what wrenchscience calculated as an ideal reach (top tube plus stem). I agree a 56cm would be ideal, but how do I chose between the upper and lower range then. Most people say go smaller if you can??
5' 11"gtx
Jan 1, 2002 10:11 PM
it is interesting. I think my inseam is around 34" (and agree it is hard to get a good measurement). My center of the bb to top of the saddle measurement on my road bikes is 77.5 cm (this always seems like a more firm measurement). I feel like I have a fairly short torso but also ride with the bars quite low and the seat quite far back (which is why I prefer seat tube angles of 73 or less). So yes, I could, too, ride the 55 with a 12 cm stem (especially because I like the bars low) but I think the bike would just *feel* too small--I think that 97.5 wheelbase would contribute to this (my road bikes are all around 99 cm). Anyway, that's my $.02.
check out the Hampsten tigtx
Jan 2, 2002 4:04 PM
shouldn't be a problem to get one through your LBS. It's built by Moots, who are among the best ti builders out there. You have a choice of two tt lengths per size. Might be a good fit for you. Good luck!

http://www.hampsten.com/titanio.html
long torso...C-40
Jan 2, 2002 10:01 AM
You have a fairly long torso, or short legs for your height, depending on your point of view.

The sizing formulas you refer to (like .67 times inseam) only calculate the vertical size of the frame. For your inseam a 55cm is the right (vertical) size.

At your height, I would think that you would need as much as 20mm more stem length than I would. The exact amount depends on your leg proportioning, arm length and your desired KOP position. These are three dimensions that can vary considerably and both affect the total reach. I have fairly short femurs and have to push the saddle fairly far forward with the Litespeed's 73 degree seat tube angle. If you ride with the saddle back further, this would help to reduce the additional length of stem required.

If you've been riding for 20 years, you should have an existing bike that you know the dimensions of, for comparision. It's simple to figure out the difference in fit between an existing bike that you can measure, and any new one. What are you riding now?
Consider an older Ultimatepmf1
Jan 2, 2002 6:12 AM
The older models can be had for substantial savings on close-out. Personally, I wouldn't be too keen to buy a bike with carbon stays anyway. This is a fad. If you want the plush ride of carbon, then get a carbon bike.

I bought a 1999 Ultimate almost 2 years ago on close out. Got it with a Look HSC2 fork for $1600. I weigh about what you do and find to to have a great ride. The entire built bike weighs in at 18 lbs. This is with pretty standard not trick stuff on it (DA group, Time pedals). If you consider that heavy, then you're more of a gram counter than I am. By comparison, my C-40 weighs 17 lbs with the same set-up. One pound is not that much weight.

Personally, I've always considered the Vortex to be over-priced for what it is. Its not that light weight by today's standards. So f you want a ti bike, you get it for the ride (close to steel) with decent weight. If you want light and screw the ride, you get aluminium.

The best deal in LS's line-up is the Tuscany. Better bike than the Classic. Whatever you do, don't pay retail for a LS. I see them being closed out all the time for substantial savings. Sure, last year's model won't have a certian gimmick, but it'll ride the same. Am I bummed because my Ultimate has ti stays and a bent seat tube rather than carbon stays and a cut-out seat tube? Not for the price difference.
Don't take this the wrong way....sprockets
Jan 1, 2002 12:27 PM
as I am trying to be helpful here. First, you don't mention if this is recreational riding or racing or zipping down to 7-11 for a Big Gulp. That will all make a difference.

Having been there myself, I think that you may be on the verge of suffering a paralysis due to over-analysis. It is one thing to speculate and wonder, another thing again to start making plans based on your wondering.

For instance, on one hand you say you want a bike "stiff enough for you", and on the other you say that you might not want an LS Ultimate because it may be too stiff for you. Both are apparently bikes that you have never ridden, but you have slid yourself neatly in beween one model and the next. How did you make that judgement w/o riding them? See what I mean? You have placed yourself there with no real basis for it.

The Vortex and Ultimate are by design a bit tighter and stiffer than the Classic, but I have found that the Classic is surprisingly stiff and responsive, even at 63 cm.

The over-analysis is a particularly significant development because if you havent ridden many Ti bikes, you may be surprised how inapplicable your ramblings actually turn out to be. The Ti bikes don't feel stiff in the aluminum sense of S-T-I-F-F. They feel, well, different. Some say it is steel-like, but it really isn't steel in the final analysis. It is different. You are going to have to do the road trip and see just how they stack up, and if you even like the feel (give it time). Ride 'em before you buy em.

You mention that one bike may be a bit heavy for Ti. Heavy may equate to stiff, and that is what you said you were shooting for. Besides, as you have acknowledged, but I want to re-emphasize as I have also been there: 185 pounds is A LOT EASIER TO RIDE AROUND THAN IS 200. If your bike weighs 5 ounces more than another it don't matter if you're also lugging around 15 pounds of brattwurst and cheetos. Do an experiment. Get a ten and a five-thats free weight plates-and strap them around your waist. I am serious. Now go on one of your normal rides. See?

Have fun trying them out, I think that Ti bikes are well worth the time, effort, and money (if you got it), and there is one out there with your name etched on the BB.