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Question for Litespeed gurus...(20 posts)

Question for Litespeed gurus...pressj1
Feb 24, 2002 11:15 AM
What are the differences between the Arenberg and higher priced models? Are the frames different?
re: Question for Litespeed gurus...DO
Feb 24, 2002 11:18 AM
price..... you might want to go to Litespeed's site and see for yourself
re: Question for Litespeed gurus...Arenberg uses straight gua ti
Feb 24, 2002 11:26 AM
The upper models use butted and shaped tubes more. For a non custom fit I think Litespeeds are way overpriced.
That's exactly it ...jtolleson
Feb 24, 2002 11:44 AM
though I am amazed how many people on this board will only express opinions anonymously.

The Arenberg is straight gauge ti, and some folks say thus too flexy in larger sizes and with larger riders. Moving up the LS food chain generally means more shaping and butting, addition of 6/4 ti around the BB, and then for the Vortex and Ultimate, a 6/4 downtube (and headtube too, I think?) which will add significant stiffness.

Geometry can vary a bit within the LS lineup but the Arenberg is a pretty classic road geometry comparable to the LS Classic, I think.

As for the complaint of "overpriced..." it depends how you shop. There are often excellent sales on Litespeeds through Colorado Cyclist and even local dealers. It is just a manufacturer you can likely avoid paying full retail for, and then I think it is pretty competitively priced for the quality. For example, in 1999 I built up the previous model year's Catalyst with full Ultegra and Mavic OP rims for $2000 through my LBS. Full retail would have added about $700.

Shop wisely!
That's exactly it ...tyson
Feb 24, 2002 7:55 PM
so what does this all mean when I ride an Arenberg vs. a Tuscany
That's exactly it ...jtolleson
Feb 25, 2002 6:04 AM
Excellent question. The Tuscany will definitely be a little stiffer than the Arenberg. It also has a slightly more aggressive geometry as I recall. IMHO, the Tuscany could be race worthy and the Arenberg less so.

I don't know for sure but my guess is that the Tuscany will be a shade lighter than the Arenberg, as tube shaping can be used to save weight.
Feb 24, 2002 11:58 AM
To my knowledge, Litespeed doesn't use any butted tubesets. As far as I am aware, they use strictly thin-walled straight gauge tubes, that are then cold-worked to enhance stiffness in all the right places.

The tubeset used on the Arenberg is less 'advanced' than the tubeset used on higher-end frames. There's less work involved in making its tubeset, so the price is lower. In larger sizes (60cm+) the frame is often called too flexy. My old boss, who rode only custom steel during his pro career and beyond, got an Arenberg (57cm) and it is too stiff for his tastes (I think he's on crack, but those are his tastes).

As for Litespeed's being way overpriced, I think they are pretty competitive. They cost more than a Macalu- which is an Arenberg without the warranty, and the warranty has some value. The top of the line Ghisallo ranks right in there with a C-40 price, and performance wise. There is a premium for the brand name- but no more than Trek puts on their name. Are they expensive? Yes. Are they price competitive with similar bikes (Colnago, Serotta, Seven, Merlin, Moots)? Yes.
Litespeed and Buttingjtolleson
Feb 24, 2002 1:48 PM
Well, I've got the catalog from my 1999 purchase, and it shows every tubeset as butted except the entry level predecessor to the Arenberg ... was it the Blue Ridge? I can't remember. But having checked the LS website a moment ago, I never saw the "B" word! Hmmmm...

Of course, they talk about tapered thicknesses achieve in their cold worked ti ... at some point does tapering a thickness near a joint become akin to butting? This gets beyond my metallurgical know-how in a hurry.
More infojtolleson
Feb 24, 2002 5:05 PM
And perhaps more than anyone was asking for. Now home, I am looking at my 1998 LS catalog. It describes my bike, the Catalyst as having

* Cold-worked, tapered/butted seat tube
* Cold-worked, tapered/butted down tube
* Cold-worked, tapered/butted welded-on ovalized chainstays

and the entry Litespeed of that vintage (the Natchez, I was wrong about the Blue Ridge which was the cyclocross bike) as merely "3Al - 2.5 V, seamless straight-gauge titanium tubing. I would imagine these differences remain between the Arenberg and its costlier brethren on the LS lineup.
Get Custom Steel, you can't go wrong, way better value than tiGet light
Feb 24, 2002 1:49 PM
With modern framesavers and super high quality powder coating techniques steels rust issues are basically a thing of the past. Steel transmits less road vibration than titanium, builds a stiffer frame from for a given weight and costs far less. Titanium is nice, but there is nothing ti provides from a ride sense that quality steel does not from experiances with it. For what you would pay for an Arenberg you could get a custom fit steel bike made for you, specifically tailored not only to your exact size, but even more importantly your exact stiffness, compliance, handling wishes, not some mail order shop cookie cutter frame from an operation like Colorado Cyclist.
Verrrry interesting, but ?????Kerry Irons
Feb 24, 2002 5:05 PM
Steel is stiffer for a given weight? Where do you come up with this stuff? Given the differences in modulus and density, it is virtually a given that you can build a Ti frame lighter than steel, all else equal. Your claims are essentially the opposite of the common understanding of the differences between Ti and steel. Ti costs more, and this is the price you pay for a lighter bike at any given design point. You're right about the corrosion issue - it's not an issue. The reason to go with Ti is to save weight for an equivalent ride. And guess what, 90+% of us do not need custom to get a good fit or find the ride characteristics we desire. If the concept of stock frames offends you, fine, but don't push that stuff on everyone else.
Verrrry interesting, but ?????Hahaha that's funny professor
Feb 24, 2002 8:34 PM
Where do you come up with your stuff??? Paying more for ti is getting you weight savings?? I think you had better go and do some homework on your elastic modulus, yield and specific density calculations professor because you appear to be comparing ti with chromoly steel from 10 years ago. The current lightweight steels such as Foco, EOM 16.5, UktraFoco, 853 and SAT 14.5 are building frames in weight ranges which are in fact in many cases lighter than comparable geometry ti bikes.

The Litespeed Vortex, supposedly some amazingly light ti bike for $3000 weighs an ultralight 3.5 lbs in a size 56, and that 6.4 ti. Comparable stiffness EOM 16.5 bikes such as the Pinarello Opera, the Moser M81, the Pegoretti Marcelo, and numerous other frames made from Foco, Ultra Foco, and 853 weigh right at that weight and sevral weigh less in a standard size 56. I can right now get an oversized tube custom bike built from EOM 16.5 which in a size 56 would weigh right at 3.2 lbs and thats with a mega sized toptube, megasized downtube and large ovalized chainstays. You had better go back to class if you think payingmore for ti is buying you a comparably built much lighter bike because when compared with todays lightweight steels you are way off base bacause it aint.

And where in the world professor did you come up with the evidence that 90% of the people out there fit a stock frame well or find the ride characteristics best suited to their needs??? I'd be willing to bet that 90% of the people out there riding stock frames are making compromises towards fit issues, ride characteristic issues or both, but like you I won't bother to provide any facts to backup my contention either.

By the way, I picked on the Vortex for no particular reason. I could just as easily target other ti bikes like the Seven Axiom, Litespeed Ultimate, and others if you want to come up with a ti is lighter than comparable steel debate.

You money is buying you a lighter bike, only in some cases professor. On bikes where you want a stiff ride, many of todays ti frames in fact weigh more than their lightweight steel counterparts if you ignore paint.

You had better go check out carbon fiber or scandium if you want your money to buy you a lighter bike.
Verrrry interesting, but ?????Hahaha that's funny professor
Feb 24, 2002 8:40 PM
By the way. The weight discussion I posted above took into consideration paint being applied to those EOM 16.6, Foco and Ultra Foco framesets. Without paint I won't even bother going into a relative ti weight versus lightweight steel bang for your buck comparison. Good night.
I take it that you like a steel bike?sprockets2
Feb 24, 2002 11:09 PM
There are reasons to ride Ti other than weight, which can, contrary to specific examples that you cite, still go slightly to the Ti bike. But it really doesn't matter. The difference in rider plus bike weights is insignificant for most of us.

While I have three steel bikes, and really like them, I prefer the ride and overall feel of Ti to most of the big $ steels that I could find to test.

I am not sure where you got your degree, but the reason that Ti is employed in the places that it is comes down to a really good strength to weight ratio for tubing (better than steel in general), this is rather like aluminum, which is an especially good comparison because they each have limitations.

Please leave your attitude at home when your mom lets you out to play. Wake up and go to sleep.
Hate to rain on your parade, but...DrD
Feb 25, 2002 5:35 AM
"Where do you come up with your stuff??? Paying more for ti is getting you weight savings?? I think you had better go and do some homework on your elastic modulus, yield and specific density calculations professor because you appear to be comparing ti with chromoly steel from 10 years ago. The current lightweight steels such as Foco, EOM 16.5, UktraFoco, 853 and SAT 14.5 are building frames in weight ranges which are in fact in many cases lighter than comparable geometry ti bikes"

Uh - so do you even kinda know what your talking about? In terms of specific properties (that's the property of your choice divided by the density - sort of a strength per unit weight thing) Titanium is superior to effectively all of the steels used in frame building, and aluminum is higher still. The current lightweight steels, while certainly stronger than a chromoly like 4130, enable you to make a lighter frame because you can get away with thinner walled tubing, not because the material is itself lighter (unless we have passed into some new dimension where the density of iron is now less than that of titanium). So in other words, you can (and they do) make a silly light frame out of steel, but the tubes are like beer cans, and will dent/break more easily.

Someday even you will grow to understand that it's not the material which makes a good frame, it's how the material is used - great frames can, and are, made from steel, titanium, aluminum, etc. - hell, one day you might even get past the "my frame is 6oz lighter than yours, so it must be better" mindset... we can only hope ;-)

And titanium will always be vastly superior to steel when it comes to corrosion performance, no matter how much paint you pile onto it - all it takes is one little hole/weak spot in the paint (and trust me, they are there)
Hate to rain on your parade, but...hello is anyone one home
Feb 25, 2002 7:44 AM
If you had bothered to read any of the above posts with even a 2nd grade level reading comprehension, you would have clearly seen that it was professor Irons who initiated the "your paying more for ti to buy a lighter bike issue" not me, heir Einstein. In addition, both you and professor irons seem to have a little trouble separating the issues of stiffness and flex from strength of materials on a specific gravity basis.

If you had read any of my post carefully with even minute comprehension you would have easily seen that my focus was clearly the weight versus relative stiffness issue, not a weight versus relative strength/specific gravity issue. Those are two completely different issues pal, stiffness vs strength. I only brought up the lightweight steel strength issue to buttress my argument that given comparable frame stiffness (NOT STRENGTH) that a comparable stiffness lightweight steel framed bike would be as light if not lighter than a comparable stiffness ti bike. Apparently you and the professor have a lot of difficulty separating the two very basic frame issues of stiffness from tensile strength.

Perhaps someday you will learn the difference as well as improve your reading skills but I won't hold my breath waiting. I don't recall anywhere above even remotely inferring that lightweight steel was stronger or even as strong as ti on a specific gravity basis, please cut and paste exactly where I said that or even remotely inferred that Eionstein!!

What I essentially said was that a comparable STIFFNESS not ABSOLUTE STREEGTH ti bike will weigh virtually the same, in many cases even more than comparable lightweight steel bike. It has nothing to do with strength/specific gravity rather stiffness vs frame weight issue.

Your rust comments is almost laughable. They are so pathetically out of date with modern steel frames chemical and rust inhibiting anodization techniques they almost don't even deserve response. Please explain to me in vast detail exactly how many people you know who have had rust problems with a well made steel bike in the last 10 years with proper maintenance, I can't wait to hear this BS answer????? With modern framesavers and proper care I don't know of a single person, NOT A SINGLE PERSON, including guys who ride over salt covered roads during NE winters who has ever had a steel bike rust out on them like seem to imply.

Someday perhaps you'll understand those "complicated" issues of stiffness versus strength and actually understand what each mean when it comes to comparing frames of different materials, we can only hope. :-)
Feb 25, 2002 12:46 PM
Ok - so, if you will read my previous reply, you will pretty clearly see the section which I was commenting on (hint - it's the section which is in quotes at the beginning) - in which you brought up denisty, among other things - here's the sentence in question again - " I think you had better go and do some homework on your elastic modulus, yield and specific density calculations professor" - sorry if I assumed you were referring to those properties, seeing as you mentioned them and all - you refer to density, yield strength, and elastic modulus all in the same sentence, right next to one another, and I assumed you meant specific properties... if you didn't mean that, then what, praytell, did you mean?

In fact, I didn't even dispute that a light bike can be made of steel - pay particularly close attention to my statement "The current lightweight steels, while certainly stronger than a chromoly like 4130, enable you to make a lighter frame because you can get away with thinner walled tubing, not because the material is itself lighter" - basically, you have a certain design strength for the tube, and with a higher yield strength material, you can get there with less material (i.e., thinner walled tubing) The current generation air hardening steels take this a step further, as they allow you to have high peak temperatures in the regions surrounding the weld/braze joint, and still maintain respectable strength (enabling effective use of thinner walled tubes)

As for the rust thing - here's an experiment for you - scratch the steel bike, then ride with it in the rain, or better yet - in winter - it will rust, period - with a small defect, this attack is likely to be localized in nature and lead to undercutting of the paint, and further damage. Sure - proper maintenance (catching the scratch, then cleaning and touching it up) helps prevent all but cosmetic attack, but you simply can't guarantee no defects in the coating (i.e., bubbles, thin spots, etc.) inside the frame, where corrosion can, and will, occur. Keep in mind that corrosion is a progressive thing - it takes time (so if you turn frames over every two or three years, it's probably not a big deal - if you keep frames for a long time, though, it can be a problem). With titanium, on the other hand, corrosion under conditions to which a bike frame is subjected is a non-issue - the material is intrinsically passive, and does not corrode. Also, oh great wise person who keeps changing their handle - I never said the frame would rust out - just commented that the statements that corrosion is a non-issue on steel frames isn't true. The steels used in bike frames are now, and will always be, vastly inferior to titanium in terms of corrosion performance.

As for frame stiffness, the material is in many cases merely a small contributer to frame stiffness - tubing geometry has the dominant effect. Strength is a direct function of the material selected, and the quantity (i.e., tube wall thickness) used.
Just ran a few equations...Nessism
Feb 25, 2002 8:16 AM
With regard to specific stiffness and specific strength I calculated the following:

Specific Stiffness (Modulus of Elasticity / density)
Steel = 106
Ti = 97
Al = 102

Specific Strength (Ultimate strength / density)
Steel (200ksi) = 706
Ti (125ksi) = 780
AL (70ksi) = 714

The bottom line is that these materials are basically equal with regard to these properties. It is how the material is used that is important.

To add a couple of random notes:

- Steel/Al is easy to butt thus saving weight and placing material where it is most useful.

- Most Ti tubing is not butted per say. It is cold worked to taper the wall thickness or it is machined to remove material thus creating a 'butt like' thickness differential.

- Ti does not corrode thus finish durability is enhanced over these others.

- In regard to toughness / ruggedness /dent resistance (considering common tube thicknesses), the order from worst to best is AL - Steel - Ti. Common thinwall Al tubing dents very easily as does steel tubing using wall thicknesses of .4mm or less. Ti is better in this regards considering most Ti tubes are coldworked straight gage tubing.

- Al is unpredictable with regard to fatigue failure. Thus, if the material is pushed to take advantage of it's low density, the frame is more susceptible to cracking.

- Due to Al's low density, it can be made into larger diameter tubing than these other materials before buckling becomes an issue. The larger diamater tubing will be stiffer due to it's higher moment of interia.

In my opinion, Ti is the superior material all things considered. But I ride steel because it has the best value to me. Of course everyone is different so others may feel differently.

depends on the temperDrD
Feb 25, 2002 12:49 PM
For specific strength, you want to take care and consider the likely state of the material - also, you want to use yield strength rather than ultimate tensile - so for aluminum, something on the order of 40-60ksi is more reasonable (for something like 2024), 135ksi for an alloy like Ti 6-4 (in a tempered state, not cold worked which would be higher), and 175 or so for a steel like 4340 (newer steels will be a bit higher, but I don't have numbers readily available) - since the densities are 2.7g/cc for Al, 4.5 for Ti, and 7.8 for Fe, that yields specific strengths of 24 for Al, 29 for Ti, and 23 for steel. Ti 3-2.5 is a bit lower strength than 6-4, but both are often used heavily cold worked.

I always thought buckling stress (using Eulers theory or something similar) was a function of the modulus of the material, and the geometry of the tube, rather than the density, which is in many cases almost independant of material properties...

In terms of materials, on a material property/characteristic basis, I also feel that Ti is superior - however, it looses in the cost battle - costs alot more to make, and alot more to process properly (i.e., weld) than Al or steel - in addition, one could argue that in many cases, the advantages which it has in many cases are overkill for the job at hand.
Do pick a name for yourself.Leisure
Feb 25, 2002 8:51 PM
You'll not only make it easier for us to remember who you are, you'll give yourself a lot more credibility. Enough people seem to be doing this anonymous posting thing lately and you may have noticed many don't listen to what they have to say about bikes. The name-calling isn't helping you either.
As far as the Ti/steel debate, it's certainly not far-fetched for steel to start approaching the lower-3 pound barrier. Progress is inevitable. Ti, however, is progressing as well and as I've mentioned before the Vortex at over three pounds is not the best example of lightweight Ti. The extreme-lightweight Ti frames like the Seven Alta are basically at the two-pound mark. I don't suppose there any examples of steel frames say, under 2.5 pounds? Don't get me wrong, I love steel; I ride a Gunnar roadie frame and love it considering it's an absolute steal (pun), but it weighs nearly five pounds and I don't need to convince myself otherwise.