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Seven vs Vortex revisited(12 posts)

Seven vs Vortex revisitedCreepy
Jan 12, 2002 5:50 PM
O.K., I test rode the Seven Axiom last weekend and have ridden the Vortex before a few times. The Seven is a nice bike, but in the standard Signature series that they had in the shop, the ride quality was not unique.
The workmanship/welds were beautiful, but the ride was not outstanding or particualrly stiff or responsive. As far as a racing bike goes that is. My original perception of it being a comfortable/smooth riding bike made for touring or more casual rides was correct. I was told it is the bike of an older rich doctor or lawyer with $$$ to burn that hasn't ridden many high performance bikes before. I think that is a good synopsis.
So I placed my order for the Vortex. The 2002 model with the integrated headset design. I wasn't crazy about this at first, but Litespeed actually presses ti cups into the headset that are part of the frame and therefore guaranteed for a lifetime. Bearings are then placed into cups (Cane Creek ro Campy will do I was told). Hope this holds up over the long haul because I am not buying a bike for a long time.
I am disappointed that they don't make frames in 1cm increments as I could have gotten away with a smaller size as well. I know I am not the only person here that raised this issue on this board but the bike fits well. That was one reason why I was going to get the Seven, but the ride on the Vortex is more what I am looking for.
They also had a Ghisallo built up and I was reading a few days ago on this board about disagreements regarding flex on this bike. I was allowed to ride it before I made my final decision and it flexes at my weight of 195lbs. Yes, there is no weight limit technically, but this thing was ridiculously light but not for a rider of substantial size.
Therefore the Vortex will be mine with Dura Ace, Ouzo Pro(with cool silver Litespeed decals running downward that I have never seen before), Open Pros (to save $ but I love them anyway), Speedplays X2, Selle Italia Gel Flite, Easton Seatpost, ITM Millenium Stem and Bar. Everything is Black with no more Yellow LS decals. I am excited. Hope to get my weight down 20 plus pounds now. Not from riding, can't afford to eat now. HAHAHA
re: Seven vs Vortex revisitedc-squared
Jan 12, 2002 7:32 PM
Got my Seven Axium a few weeks ago. Custom fit and tuning makes this the best bike I have ever ridden. It looks hot too.

If you weren't happy with the standard bike in the shop, that's because its not necessarily their forte. The beauty of their bikes is they can tune the ride for you based on where and how you want it to handle. They custom the entire tube set to match what you want. And you can get the geometry you want for your size.

Good luck
re: Seven vs Vortex revisitedCreepy
Jan 12, 2002 7:49 PM
Congrats on your new ride. I really like the Seven, it is an awesome ride. I agree that the customization can "tune" the bike, but until it is built, I wouldn't know to what extent.
I mean that when I was looking at the brochure and they have 1-14 scale, what is the difference between a 9 and 11??? It was hard to get an answer on this. Plus, I really like the weight of the Axiom, but getting it stiffer adds weight quickly. The Signature series is the average of all the scale numbers and the weights advertised are based on that set up.
So a stiffened Seven can be a decent amount heavier than I would expect when I received it if I had bought one. The Vortex is what I know it to be right off the rack. I know what to expect. The Seven custom I wouldn't until it was already built (and possibly too late if I don't happen to like what the final creation was).
The reality is that if I did get the Seven, no matter what came in the end result, I would love it and justify my purchase. I was just a little nervous about not knowing ahead of time. The Signature series rode very comfortably, but I don't think the Axiom is really an all out racer like the Vortex. That isn't a bad thing for most people however.
How much did you tune yours in your specs??? Did you let them suggest or gave specific instructions??
You did your shopping, so it's got to be the best choice for youLeisure
Jan 12, 2002 9:07 PM
Granted I'm not a rich doctor/lawyer/whathaveyou, but I'd get a Seven for all the custom gootchie stuff. My LBS's manager got a Seven Axium in a crit-bike geometry with plush seatstays, super-stiff chainstays, and a mildly sloping toptube. He happens to be my same size and weight, so test-riding it was a shoe-in. Absolutely badass, it rode like a softtail but accelerated with ethereal ease; before that Seven mostly just seemed like a cool bike for people with lots of cash, but that bike fit what I wanted like nothing I've ever seen. Haven't purchased one yet, instead got myself a Gunnar which has been great for the dough. Sorry, can't help but share.
You've gone around and test-ridden what you're interested in, and you've found what suits your tastes best. Go for it; you're out to satisfy your own wants, not anyone else's. I've watched Litespeed get a bad rap as though they were lowrider Huffies; it's ridiculous because they're not bad at all. So, more power to you, and good choice on the black decals.
re: Seven vs Vortex revisitedzzz
Jan 13, 2002 12:21 PM
When you brought this up before you were worried that you'd be second guessing yourself. Don't. The Vortex will be a good bike for you. You like the way it handles and fits you. There are lots of good bikes out there. You had your list down to two very good ones. With Seven you really need to know what you want to get it built that way. Your right about the doubts until the bike arrives. Ride the Vortex knowing that it is good bike and the one your thinking led you to. Enjoy it!
Hi Creepy.Dog Breath
Jan 13, 2002 3:17 PM
No offense, but if I had that kind of a budget to purchase a bike, and wanted Ti, it would be a CT-1 with Campy Record 9 (or 10), including the carbon cranks. The whole nine yards. For wheels, I would get the Zip 404 clincher rims built up with Campy 28 hubs. Then you would have a unique bike that isn't in every darn Colorado Cyclist catalog.

It would probably be close to the price of your Vortex with DuraAce and Open Pro wheels. (A nice rim by the way, use them on my winter bike).

Jan 13, 2002 4:29 PM
I actually was looking at the CT1 in the shop where I bought the Vortex and I have to say it is a nice bike. I have heard very good things about the ride quality but not so good things about the grade of ti used and craftsmanship.
There really is nothing better than American ti (all companies not just LS). The CT1 I looked at had less than perfect welds and I could see the "glue" or bonding oozing out from where the carbon and ti was joined. I remeber reading a post a while back about someone's experiece looking at this frame and have to agree.
The shop where I go sells both and the owner's brother has the CT1 but agrees that the Vortex is a better crafted frame. Plus, I am a subtle, unassumming sort of guy and the Colnagos are too flashy for my taste. Plus I got an awesome deal on the Vortex.
As far as the Campy thing goes, I know there are purists here and everywhere and I too had the desire to have an all italian bike and I did in the past. For me, Dura Ace is smoother and I like the way it looks. Record is gorgeous stuff, but I like Japanese ergonomics and design philosophy. Less tempermental too. Just my preference and not gospel.
As far as LS being "everywhere", I don't really let that take away from the objective reality that the Vortex is one of the best rides on the rode and in any country. It is easily one of the most common "rebadged" frames ever and a lot of pros have had to pay out of pocket to have them built and slap their team logos on them. Colnagos are just as common in my World Cycling Productions catalog, CC, and a host of other catalogs I get. So that view can easily be projected onto Colnago as being "cliche".
If I were going carbon, C40 is the best, but for ti they are far from the best. I really think people underestimate the difficulty in what LS does with ti and the tube manipulation and the amount of R & D that they do. Merckx still trusts them as do so many other companies. The fact that they are common shouldn't deter anyone.
Hell, I drive a Honda. No one can tell me that it isn't a great car. Not the most luxurious, but definitely more reliable than the sports cars I have owned in the past.
The one thing we do agree on is the Open Pro choice which I find hard to move away from. I had FIRs on my old italian rig and had a lot of problems with breaking spokes. I went with cheaper Open Pros and have no problems. They aren't heavy, but give me some heft in the wheels to provide stability. Those really light wheels make me nervous.
Have to agree with you.pmf1
Jan 14, 2002 7:49 AM
There is no way I'd buy an Italian (Russian?) ti bike. Nothing against Colnago, I have one, but not the ti model.

I have a LS also and like it very much. I'm not crazy about their use of integrated headsets and carbon stays. I have a 1999 Ultimate which would be a great crit bike (I don't race). You should have considered it, but too late.

Personally, I've never understood how Seven can get away with charging so much for a bike made of standard straight guage ti tubing. I'm not saying that they aren't nice bikes, but I do think they're over-priced. The same might apply to LS except that you can always find one on sale if you look around (I got the frame and Look HSC2 fork for $1600). Sevens are never on sale. And as far as the custom thing they claim, I've always wondered if you get the same bike no matter what you specify on that list they have (as far as stiffness, rider weight, etc goes).

Yeah, LS are pretty common bikes, but they are nice bikes too. Enjoy it.
Bogus Info>>>Straight gaugenm
Jan 14, 2002 11:44 AM
Try straight gauge AND/OR double butted 3-2.5 titanium and continuously varying ultra butted titanium.
In defense of my decision...MikeC
Jan 14, 2002 10:06 AM
Yeah, I guess I ought not to care what others think, but no cyclist wants to be thought of as just "an older rich doctor or lawyer with $$$ to burn." I'm a long-time road rider with a lot of experience on a lot of different bikes. I admit that I'm 49 (older!), and while I'm not rich, I certainly have more financial latitude than I did back in my 20s.
I got a Seven Odonata because I knew what I wanted, and Seven could make it for me. I got a bike that performs exactly how I want, and that fits me perfectly. Its ride characteristics are a lot like those of a Vortex, but it's a half-pound lighter, a little less buzzy, and every tube is exactly the right length for my body. And the cost is quite close.
Any bike can be a poseur vehicle, and expensive bikes are frequently bought by people who think that a high price is a shortcut to high personal performance. Hey, just because old fat people buy Ferraris doesn't mean they're not awesome cars.
Finally, nearly all Sevens use butted tubing. I believe that the Alaris is the only road bike with straight-gauge.
Just keep telling yourself thatFormer Troll
Jan 14, 2002 11:08 AM
Someday you might convince yourself that you didn't buy a poser bike. "performs exactly how I wanted it to" how many bikes have you ridden that didn't perform how you wanted it to? who knows if a stock bike wouldn't work just as well. "little less buzzzy"? how would you compare it since you never bought the Vortex? Every tube "exactly the right length for my body"? Only as good as the person doing the measuring and analyzing of your proportions. guess they fooled you into thinking it was "perfect". Maybe it is, but I've seen plenty of customs that fit terribly.
Good questions.MikeC
Jan 14, 2002 12:13 PM
As I mentioned in my response to the first post, my best friend rides a Vortex. He's 5'9", I'm 5'10". I've ridden his Vortex at least a dozen times, including several 30+ mile club rides. I think I know that bike as well as anything I haven't owned. I've cruised with it, sprinted with it, climbed with it, and descended with it.
Bikes I've owned that didn't perform as I wanted? Bianchi Campione (owned 6 years)- too heavy, flexy bb; Cannondale SR800 (owned 3 years)- slow handling; Klein Quantum Pro (owned 4 years)- quick and stiff, but not good for anything over 50 miles.
Potential for messed-up measurements? Certainly, which is why I got my Seven from a shop I trust with a fitter I trust, and why the fitter and Seven talked several times before I signed off on the final geometry.