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Seven Alta vs. Litespeed Ghisallo?(16 posts)

Seven Alta vs. Litespeed Ghisallo?kapalua
Jun 20, 2002 12:02 PM
Hi folks,

I'm underway at building my dream bike: sub-16 lbs. I've narrowed my frame choices down to the Seven Alta and the Litespeed Ghisallo. I'm 5'9" - 145 lbs, and ride a 54-56cm (depending on frame).

Does anyone have any experience or recommendations on these frames? The Seven can be custom made, where I can specify the flex/ride rating as opposed to the stock Litespeed. Any preferences to either brand?

Thanks for your help!
Lenn
re: Seven Alta vs. Litespeed Ghisallo?RCole
Jun 20, 2002 2:45 PM
Personally I would get the Alta. You're not that heavy so flex really isn't an issue but if you want to avoid the possibility of flex all together you can have Seven stiffen in up for you. Also, Seven is more unique than LS. I'm not a Litespeed basher either - I have a 2001 Vortex and love it. However, paying that much $$, it would be nice to have a custom, boutique rig.
How about a Calfee?alansutton
Jun 20, 2002 3:21 PM
For about the same amount of money you can get a Dragonfly or a custom Tetra Pro. The Calfee will be both stiff and light. Also you can custom spec a "compact" style frame.
Thanks for the suggestions fellas!kapalua
Jun 20, 2002 4:54 PM
I'm leaning towards the Seven 'cause I prefer a Ti ride, but the Calfee is very intriguing!

Cheers,
Lenn
re: Seven Alta vs. Litespeed Ghisallo?weiwentg
Jun 20, 2002 7:00 PM
the Ghisallo has been described as noodly. I don't suppose I would really notice, but you might very well notice. I would go for the Seven, since it costs a few bucks more, and can be made full custom.
does it have to be a crazy light bike? if I had the dough, I'd get the Axiom, and I weigh 25lbs less than you do. durability does count for something, even among weight weenies. of course, this is just my opinion, in the end it's your bike and your enjoyment.
Both are noodles and if you have the 7Lazywriter
Jun 20, 2002 7:40 PM
built up to be stiffer, it will negate the whole purpose of wanting a light bike because it will add weight. Go for the Axiom or even better, the Vortex. LOL
Both are noodles for SOME peopleweiwentg
Jun 20, 2002 8:57 PM
I think even a stiffened Alta is lighter than an Axiom, though. and as the title says, some people won't find anything noodly. me, for instance.
Litespeed custom builds too!Juanmoretime
Jun 21, 2002 2:19 AM
I would love a Seven and own a Litespeed. I'm not really saying which bike to buy since I haven't ridden either. Some of the posters hear are saying go Seven since you can custom build. Well, in defense of Litspeed, they do custom build too!
Inside scoop on SevenBipedZed
Jun 21, 2002 4:22 AM
My new teammate was a welder at Seven until last month when he moved to Colorado. As a confirmed bike geek it was like having a celebrity on the team for me. Here's what he has to say about the Alta. The main reason for the lightness of the frame is due to the extreme sloping top tube. This eliminates much of the seattube. The BB shell, headtube, and dropouts are thinner and each tube is heavily butted. I couldn't get him to say it outright, but he didn't disagree when I said the frame must be pretty flexy.

The Alta can only be stiffened to a certain range, and most of the stiffening occurs by less butting of the tubing. In this case you end up with a stiffer AND heavier frame, something akin to a medium stiff compact Axiom.

As an aside, he races a one-off Odonata Steel he built himself with a carbon top tube and cool paint job. Why steel? He couldn't afford Ti on a Seven welder's pay.
Very interesting....carbon fiber instead?kapalua
Jun 21, 2002 5:48 AM
The Seven brochure indicates that the Alta's range for frame stiffness is narrower than the Axiom's, and more towards the flexible side. I also would assume that specifing a stiffer Alta would make it (slightly) heavier.

Well, I was primarily interested in the Ti frames for the lifetime warranty. It's not like I crash a lot of anything, but that is peace of mind to me...

I was also considering the Colnago C-40, but think the Ti frame is more durable. Sounds the C40 would be stiffer than either Seven or Litespeed...

What do you think? Is durability a concern if all I'm doing are training rides?

Thanks,
Lenn
Best Carbon FiberSherpa23
Jun 21, 2002 7:05 AM
The best carbon fiber bike that I have ever ridden is a Parlee XL (www.parleecycles.com). The frame is custom made, has a lifetime warranty, and the finish is 10 times better than any other high end carbon frame. I should know as I used to race on a C40 and a Calfee. Tyler Hamilton used a Parlee XL in the Giro and he was on it when he crashed on stage 5. Nothing happened to the bike and he used it for the rest of the Giro and is going to use it for the Tour. According to the rumour mill, CSC is going to supply their three top riders with Parlees for the Tour.
re: Seven Alta vs. Litespeed Ghisallo?RCole
Jun 21, 2002 7:35 AM
I know i replied earlier but I wanted to add that if it were me I would still get a Seven but would probably get an Axiom with a sloping top tube of about 10 degrees (the Alta is 12 degrees). In traditional geometry the Axion is lighter than my Vortex but getting it in compact form would stiffen it up a bit (I weigh 175). Love my Vortex but the customization and uniqueness intrigue me!

I also like the fact the Seven is still using the tradition non-integrated headset...
re: Seven Alta vs. Litespeed Ghisallo?legs
Jun 21, 2002 9:00 AM
with a large grain of marketing salt,
"this is the best bike i have ever ridden" Tchmil after riding a ghisallo during his final race....

I never liked compact frames but now that i own one i dont think i will ever go back to traditional...
so far a lot of what i have read is true.. seven is really good at making stiff bottom brackets (they have some technology that merlin and litespeed dont have)..
but at my weight (153) i cant get the BB on my xlcompact to budge...

c-40s have a very distinctive ride.. i think you will love it or hate it (i loved it)

parlees are beautiful.. if i was going to get a CF rig that's what i would chose..
durability is an issue with CF...anyone that tells you other than that is lying.. (i have talked to the guys at seven about this directly and my above sentiment is a qoute)..
the other thing is that a lightwieght rig is kind of funny in that.. a frame is maybe 2 lbs of a 15 lb bike.. its tempting to focus your wieght loss on the components and get the exact ride characteristics from the frame without compromise...

all of the brands mentioned are beautiful bikes.. and they guys that make the frames are always an email
away and so i think its ok to figure in their accessibility into the decision (after all you are looking at over 5k for a bike)..

i think at some point in the arc.. lightwieght has diminishing returns...because of durability and fatigue..

my rig wieghs about 16.5 and when i am descending down a hilside i am not worried about failure or speedwobble.. that extra pound of whatever is like a safety blanket for me...

luck on your new bike..
Great points, All! Thanks...kapalua
Jun 21, 2002 10:00 AM
RCole, I just emailed Seven about building the Alta using the Axiom's (Argen) tube set which is double-butted. That way, save a little $$$ on the frame since the Alta tubeset is a pretty penny AND make it stiffer. It will be a little heavier, but legs had a good point about diminishing returns on weight.

I'll post Seven's response, and let you know the outcomes...

Thanks again All for your comments!
Lenn
Good luckRCole
Jun 21, 2002 7:22 PM
and I look forward to hearing your final decision. When you get it, make sure you post a picture.

Oh yeah, what about the components... now there's another debate!
A lighter guy at my LBS just got an Alta.Leisure
Jun 22, 2002 3:58 AM
He looks about the same weight as you. He specified stiff drivetrain and light everywhere else. He sure seems to like it. I weigh 170 (still trying to work Winter off) and stepped on it briefly but didn't stomp on the pedals or anything. Seemed stiff enough, with that ethereal smooth acceleration I seem to feel on all Sevens I step on, but I don't think my test ride around the clothehangers in the store was anything to make final conclusions from. ;-)