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Where is proof Litespeed uses butted tubing?(10 posts)

Where is proof Litespeed uses butted tubing?Breakfast
Mar 11, 2002 12:10 PM
I've been all over their website and with the exception of shaping tubes geometrically I can see no mention of butting or tapering.

Who can provide proof and a source of information that is verifiable?
re: Where is proof Litespeed uses butted tubing?TJeanloz
Mar 11, 2002 12:12 PM
Who told you Litespeed uses butted tubing? They do not.

As Mr. Armstrong once said, you cannot prove a negative...
Here at this board it's been said...Breakfast
Mar 11, 2002 1:52 PM
Well, I believe LS does not produce butted tubing but I don't own one. The following is an example of someone claiming they do, and it's not the first time I've seen this:

Posted by: jtolleson
Mar-11-02, 09:56 AM


"Ditto. Mixed fruits."
First, I wouldn't call the Tuscany Litespeed's "entry level" ti. Their entry level offering is the Arenberg, straight gauge ti. Tuscany is shaped and butted with a 6/4 bottom bracket if I'm not mistaken, and I happen to think it is the best bike in Litespeed's stable.
People buy ti for different reasons. Some folks like the feeling that it is an indestructible forever material, or at least much more so than steel, CF, or aluminum. Some folks like the purity of unpainted ti (something you can't do with steel). Some folks believe that ti provides a superior ride quality, but honestly I think that many of our good steel builders can totally compete on that end.

Saying "which is better" is an unanswerable question. I think that MOST riders would consider the ride quality of a Tuscany to be a step up from your Zurich, but that's personal.

If you just love steel, why spend the ti $$? You can get a Dura Ace equipped IF, Waterford, Anvil, Landshark, etc. for less."

end of quote.
re: Where is proof Litespeed uses butted tubing?jtolleson
Mar 11, 2002 2:52 PM
My 1999 Litespeed catalog says it plain as day.
Now you have me curious...jtolleson
Mar 11, 2002 3:19 PM
'cause you are right that the LS website uses the phrase "tapered" (which may or may not refer to butting) but never "butted." Yet if you input a search on Google for "Litespeed and Butting" you get site after site describing LS frame sets (except the straight gauge entry-level models) as "double butted."

And my old catalog is plain as day as describing my Catalyst as "double butted."

So, I dropped Litespeed an email. I'll let you know what I hear.
Litespeed does have butted tubing,Lazywriter
Mar 11, 2002 3:56 PM
but they seem to refer to it as geometrically enhanced nowadays as it encompasses both the butting and the shaping. Litespeed doesn't use "butting" in their advertisements because they have advanced past this one process. Whereas this is the sales pitch of other ti companies as if it were the state of the art process. The 2002 Classic is essentially the same bike as my 1997 except for the curved chainstays inlcluding the double butted tubes.
My 1997 LS Catalog that I saved from when I got my Classic has "Cold worked, tapered and butted" all over the catalog. The only bike in 1997 that had no butting and just straight gauge was the Natchez. I can see on my new Vortex that the top tube is shaped with about 8-10 sides and is tapered but LS mentions nothing of either in the catalog.
re: Where is proof Litespeed uses butted tubing?DrD
Mar 11, 2002 3:43 PM
My Ultimate (a 99) says it uses tapered, butted tubing right on the bike. The headtubes of many of the more recent frames are externally butted (not so sure on the '02 integrated headset models - certainly still true on the classic). For now, Litespeed has adopted the term "geometrically enhanced" tubing, which they use to refer to everything from the tapered top tube on the ultimate, to the bladed downtubes on several bikes, to the faceted seat tubes on a number of their other frames, to swept seat stays, etc...

Here's a thought, though - you could always email or call them up - they have been very responsive whenever I have made inquiries.
re: Where is proof Litespeed uses butted tubing?HENRY K
Mar 11, 2002 4:05 PM
I AGREE. AS THE OWNER OF MY SECOND LITESPEED I CONCUR THAT LITESPEED HAS ALWAYS BEEN VERY RESPONSIVE ABOUT QUESTIONS(A LITTLE BETTER ABOUT PHONE CALLS THEN E-MAILS).
Thanks Guysjtolleson
Mar 11, 2002 4:32 PM
I knew I wasn't making this up, and I was also fairly certain that I wasn't losing my mind. But of course that's in the eye of the beholder.
Butted TiNessism
Mar 12, 2002 5:52 AM
Titanium can not be butted in the same way that steel and aluminum can. So what the Ti companies try to do is develop a "butt profile" to the tubes: create a tube that is thick in some areas (on the ends) and thin in others (center section).

I don't have all the details about the following but I'm close:

Litespeed manipulates their tubing through cold working creating shaped and tapered tubing. The difference in tube wall thickness this process creates is fairly small - thus calling these tubes "butted" is a stretch.

Merlin made/makes? their "butted" tubing through a secondary machining operation. My understanding is that a regular straight gage tube is lathe turned (or similar machining operation) to remove material in the center section of the tube. These tubes have a true thickness difference between the ends and the center section.

The last method I know of to make butted Ti tubing is a process called Chemical Milling. In this process a tube is coated with a rubberized material in the places that are NOT to be reduced. Next, the tube is submerged in some sort of acid etching liquid. After some prescribed period of time the tube is removed from the bath and the rubber coating is stripped off. The end result is a tube that has the thickness reduced in the desired areas. My understanding is that Sandvik butted tubing is made this way. I'm not sure but I suspect that Seven uses tubes butted in this way also - maybe supplied by Sandvik?

At any rate, there you have it. I might be wrong about some of the finer details but the basic information should be correct.
Ed