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Litespeed versus Douglas Precision Ti(26 posts)

Litespeed versus Douglas Precision Ticmp
Apr 10, 2002 10:15 AM
I am eyeing the Litespeed low end Titanium bicycles for my next bike purchase. But I got the Colorado Cyclist catalog the other day and am floored that I can get the Douglas Precision Ti with Shimana Dura-Ace for $2400. What am I missing, how can the Douglas be so much less expensive than the Litespeed? How does the Douglas Precision Ti compare with a Litespeed Arenburg or Siena? Does anyone even own a Douglas Precision Ti? I didn't see anything when I looked in the review section of this web site. Thanks in advance, you guys have great advice!!
re: Litespeed versus Douglas Precision Tipmf1
Apr 10, 2002 10:25 AM
These are manufactured by Titanium Sports Technologies and stickered with Douglas stickers (CC house brand). Check out their website:

The frame is sold by TST for $630. The package CC offers with the bike is indeed a good deal. There are no substitutions, but what they have on the bike is decent stuff. The frames are probably the best bargain ti you'll find (I looked around for a friend once). The tubes aren't butted or shaped like some of the more expensive LS bikes. I don't know the details of the low end LS frames.

The LS prices you see in CC are retail/bike shop prices. You can always find a deal on a LS bike if you shop around and are willing to ride last year's model. If you absolutely wanted a Dura Ace equipped ti bike for less than $2500, I doubt you could do better than the Douglas. By shopping around, I built up a DA equipped LS Ultimate for around $3300 (including Time ti pedals).
re: Litespeed versus Douglas Precision Ticyclopathic
Apr 10, 2002 11:56 AM
actually it's butted. TST is a subsidiary of Sandvik one of 3 major US cycling Ti producers.

Agree on resale value Litespeed will sell for ~200$ more
re: Where are the Litespeed bargains?cmp
Apr 11, 2002 10:05 AM
I am willing to wait if I can get a good bargain on a Litespeed. What websites should I be monitoring to get a Litesped below retail? Thanks!
Seen some posteddjg
Apr 12, 2002 6:30 AM
at Labicicletta (bought some wheels there and found them to be decent folks). I've also seen some ads from Hi tech bikes. And Colorado Cyclist usually has a late fall sale.
re: Litespeed versus Douglas Precision TiNessism
Apr 10, 2002 10:26 AM
They are made by TST. Great frame and well worth the money. Almost as nice as the Litespeed stuff in my opinion. The only downside I can see is low resale value.
Nessism, since your so bent onLazywriter
Apr 10, 2002 5:56 PM
proving me wrong with regards to the difference in weight between the Vortex and Ultimate, please go to litespeed's website and see that the difference between the frames are 1/2 pound. As for 6-4 ti being stiffer than 3-25, litespeed informed me that their 6-4 bike is about 30% stiffer than their 3-25 bikes. Can that be attributed to tube manipulation, yes, but a metallurgy site said the same thing that it was inherently stronger and stiffer.
Ok, you got me on the weightNessism
Apr 10, 2002 6:22 PM
Serves me right for trusting Colorado Cyclist. But I won't give in regarding the stiffness of the 6/4 metal. The stiffness is determined by the modulus of elasticity of the metal and this modulus does not change due to alloying elements. Bottom line is that given the same dimensions, both metals are the same stiffness.

In order to increases the stiffness of the tubes, Litespeed would have to increase the moment of inertia by changing the shape factor. The most common way to do this is by increasing the diameter of the tube. I can believe that the Vortex tubes are slightly larger in diameter than a Classic for example, but I'm not so sure they are able to achieve a 30% stiffness increase without some other tradeoffs.

I have the Classic and the VortexLazywriter
Apr 10, 2002 6:45 PM
and I assure you that the Vortex (both 57cm) is substantially stiffer (at least 30% if I had to quantify it) but just as comfortable as the stiffness is concentrated in the BB. The tube diameters on the Vortex are larger, but not in a circular manner but in a bladded one and ovalizing at the bb. The seattube is very bizzare because it is perfectly round near the top of the seat tube, but then turns into a 10 sided tube as it goes down towards the BB. There are no trade offs with this frame as it is their best all around racing frame. It is a very fast but compliant ride which is usually the main tradeoff (one for the other), but not in this case.
Help me understand?bic
Apr 10, 2002 8:28 PM
I will preface this question with this. I'm not trying to flame anyone or anything. But I don't understand how some can say things and I know some of it is taken off a manuf. web sight.

But one tube set is 30% stiffer then another? How is that measured? By putting the frame in a jig without anything else addded and then twisted and or dropped? Or is it just the tubing measured before used in a frame set?

Modulus of elasticity, now thats a term that only someone from MIT could love! Come on. Even if you know what and how it applies to cycling it still sounds funny! :)

And how can you tell when something is 30% stiffer. Do you ride with a dial guage on your ass? And then say that it's concentrated in the BB!

Again, I only ask this to better understand. I know I might be told to kiss off and that I don't know anything.

But I do understand one undenialable truth. Sometimes, Ignorance is Bliss!!
Apr 10, 2002 9:00 PM
I mean how many times can others dissect everything someone says. I was told by LS that from their R&D, they estimate that the Vortex was 30% stiffer than the Classic. How they get at this is probably similar to the deflection test site that was bounced around on the internet. Rinard Deflection Test was able to put some quantitative results down about different frame materials and flex. You people assume that all that I say comes from no research throught the years I have done on my own. I am not making ridiculous statements.
The Vortex is at least that much stiffer than my Classic. Case closed. On e ride and it is obvioius to see that it is especially stiffer in the BB. I have ridden my Classic for 5 years and it is an extension of me and when I get on any other biek, I immediatley feel the differences. When I test rode the Seven Axiom for instance, I didn't feel any difference whatsoever. If I were blindfolded, I woiuldnt have been able to tell, but the Vortex was an immediate difference. The Ghisallo was a total noodle that I flexed just by putting my foot down heavily on the pedal and I coiuld see the BB swaying. Go to the following website and become educated and stop with all the skepticism.
GEEEZ it's bicbic
Apr 10, 2002 11:25 PM
Deflection test...oh I see its the bounce test. I use that on every check I get. If it bounces it's no good! I assume nothing. So when anyone says they can tell the difference between one frame an another. And tell me that they can measure the difference and then say where that difference is. So I ask you how stiff is the Classic. And what measurement do you use. And based on that how do you ex....... that to your statement that its stiffer by 30% in the BB?
Far be it for me to defend Lazywriter...Nessism
Apr 11, 2002 5:20 AM
...but cut the guy some slack. I think it's fair for someone to share his personel experiences regarding one bike relative to another. If he feels the Vortex is stiffer than the Classic so be it. It would be nice if he prefaced his comments more though, a simple "Litespeed told me bla, bla, bla..." would go a long way toward explaining some of his statements.

And lets not take what one manufacture saids about something as gospel. These companies have a business to run and they market their products to make them look better than the others - even if they are not.
DIC, I mean BIC, So whatLazywriter
Apr 11, 2002 1:36 PM
you are saying then is that there is no difference to be felt between frames? Are you insane? My Vortex is less stiff than overbuilt aluminum and I can feel the diefference immediately. I gave you the link for the one test and that wasn't good enough. You show me something to the contrary. I didn't say the LS told me it was 30% stiffer in the BB. They said it was overall stiffer by about that amount. I am adding you to my douchebag list.
Just to dump in some theory:Leisure
Apr 12, 2002 2:19 AM
It is true that modulus of elasticity does not change with alloying. Identically-shaped pieces of 6/4 and 3/2.5 will have identical stiffness, but the 6/4 will have more toughness; i.e.- it will withstand more energy and distortion before fatigue or failure. Thus you could redimension the 6/4 into something stiffer in exchange for some resiliency, using bigger tubes that can still withstand the same deformation of smaller 3/2.5 tubing but with better stiffness.
The stiffness of a round tube increases by the fourth power of the increase in diameter. Thus, for a round tube, an increase of 30% in stiffness requires less than an 8% increase in diameter. For a shaped tube, specifically in reference to a tube which starts out round and is linearly extended in one direction (ovalized) while maintaining constant width and tube-wall thickness, the stiffness increases in that direction by the third power of the elongation. Then 30% more stiffness would require about 10% more diameter. In the Vortex, the stiffness will not increase quite that quickly, as the ovalization is localized around the BB rather than being throughout the length of the tube. Beyond this, all sorts of unaccounted variables enter the equation, however the theory I'm talking about is established. But just making ball-park speculations, I do actually think a near-30% increase in stiffness is feasible as Litespeed claims.
What I still don't know anything about is how Litespeed creates their 6/4 tubes. If it's the folded/welded stuff, then some of the 6/4's toughness is traded off in the form of internal stressing and stress risers. Cold-working and stuff like that also enters the equation. I didn't happen to find anything browsing their site; I figured if they had come up with a legit way of drawing 6/4 tubes they would have highlighted it somewhere. Anybody happen to know?
LS 6/4 tubingNessism
Apr 12, 2002 5:37 AM
My understanding is that the tubing is rolled from sheet stock and welded. I haven't looked myself but some people claim the seam is visible if you know what to look for - particularly on the megatube shapes.

I understand how the moment of inertia increases with diameter and I agree that it is feasable to increase stiffness by using 6/4 tubes over 3/2.5 - by making the tubes larger diameter. What I wonder about is the actual application of these principals. I would love to get some information regarding the actual tube sizes for some of these super steeds such as the Vortex. It would be fairly easy to perform some rough calculations to see if Litespeed is telling the truth regarding the "30% stiffness increase".

One other thing that is often overlooked regarding overall frame stiffness is the effect that the chainstays have. Many of the high end Ti models use very similar stays to those used on the low end models. Just thinking out loud.

FYI: This link provides some good information regarding the actual distribution of stress in a bike frame. Good read.

Doubting TomnessismLazywriter
Apr 12, 2002 7:41 PM
You cannot see the seams on the 6-4 from the outside. If you look at an unbuilt frame in the light, you may be able to see the seam on the inside of the seattube. But this is only a very faint line.
My LBS is the largest LS dealer in NJ and he has never seen a Vortex fail at the seam. I spoke with LS several times and they never had to warranty a 6-4 bike due to failure at the seams.
Why all the questioning of whether one bike is stiffer than the other? I mean, isn't it obvious that bikes vary from one another in ride characteristic? I appreciat Leisures comments although he didn't probably have intention of defending me, but he is obvioiusly knowledgable but when I said that it was possible, everyone jumps on me.
Man O Man
Be fair.Leisure
Apr 13, 2002 2:42 AM
Nessism encouraged cutting you some slack. Reciprocate a little. Information is good.
Seamed tubingNessism
Apr 13, 2002 7:27 AM
There is nothing wrong with seamed tubing and I never said that seamed tubing is bad. Why are you defensive?

True Temper makes some of the best steel tubing in the industry and it is seamed. In fact, some engineers prefer seamed tubing over that of drawn because it afford better control over wall thickness and overall consistancy.

Further, True Temper seamed steel golf shafts have a steller reputation in the industry and are used by about 90% of all pros these days.

My comments relative to seeing the seam are based on several magazine articles that I have read. I have never seen the frames myself as I have stated.

Regarding Ti frame stiffness, an old engineering saying goes "to measure is to know". What's wrong with wanting infromation relative to the tube sizes on these frames? There is a simple equation that can be used to calculate the relative stiffness of a tube - area moment of inertia. Calculation will tell the story not a subjective opinion from one person to the next. And while a simple calculation can not be used to judge the overall frame stiffness, it will put you very close to knowing the story.

Your new Vortex is about 30% too big for you.arafat_fan
Apr 11, 2002 6:57 AM
Or is it time for a hybrid with upright bars Lazy?
Where on earth do you get too big?Lazywriter
Apr 11, 2002 1:31 PM
I am about 6 feet tall and my inseam is 33 1/4 inches. My frame is 57cm. How do you come up with such a ridiculous conclusion you moron? Even if it were too big for me, I would glad to have it. Douchebag.
re: Litespeed versus Douglas Precision Tidirthersh
Apr 10, 2002 11:16 AM
Last year I bought a Airborne Zeppelin. Ti frame with Ultegra components and high end wheels, rims, and the rest of the bells and whistles for around $2400. I was riding a Trek 2120 with Shimano 105 components, which I paid $1200 for in '97, and the ride on the Airborne is so sweet in comparison. Check out Airbornes website and read the reviews on this site. Airbornes frames are manufactured in China. The finish and quality are fantastic as far as I'm concerned and they are warrantied. Even Bicycling magazine gave rave reviews on their product-see the latest buyers guide. So unless you just want to pay for the name, I'd give Airborne serious consideration.
Litespeed = Low end?????.....Sacrilege! Blasphemy!eschelon
Apr 10, 2002 11:50 AM
Have you looked at Macalau or Sampson? NMLone Gunman
Apr 10, 2002 1:42 PM
Have you looked at Macalau or Sampson? NMcmp
Apr 11, 2002 7:04 AM
I checked out the Sampson, but since it comes in 52 cm instead of 51 cm, fit would not be as good. Where can I find the Macalau bike on the internet, my search engine couldn't find it. (NM) A litespeed product?Lone Gunman
Apr 11, 2002 7:57 AM