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Holy Crap, I have a criticism of Litespeed.(20 posts)

Holy Crap, I have a criticism of Litespeed.Lazywriter
Aug 13, 2002 3:11 PM
Before I get to that though, I just want to clear up the perception that Litespeed is a huge company that sells 10s of thousands of frames per year. I received an email today from them and the move about 3000-5000 frames per year. So the idea that they are a huge company is false.
Now the criticism. Beginning in 2003 Litepseed will offer only complete bikes. No more buying a frame only. I think that is ridiculous but I understand it from a business standpoint (higher profit for them). My LBS said that stores will probably buy the complete bikes, and pirate the parts not wanted, but what a hassle.
The buyer will be able to get the stem, bars and other components of choice, but it all comes as a complete bike. Not liking that too much. My LBS wasn't too happy about that but that is life.
They "diamond shapeed" the 2003 Vortex downtube as well which looks more like the Ultimate downtube. Glad I got the 2002, I don't like the aethetics of a big downtube but that is just a preference. Probably will increase the lateral stiffness a bit but I cannot imagine by that much.
Anyway, bash away as I think this is a legitimate beef but they are still awesome rides.
No bashing form mePhatMatt
Aug 13, 2002 3:42 PM
I agree that it sucks. Some day I will get the opertunity to ride a litespeed and make up my own mind. But alas I am riding a Viner that I so love.

re: Holy Crap, I have a criticism of Litespeed.swvegg
Aug 13, 2002 5:24 PM
Hmm... thats's weird, cause my LBS is already selling the '03 frames.
Probably not a 2003 then, if you go toLazywriter
Aug 13, 2002 5:52 PM and on home page there is a link for 2003 bikes and it says right at the top left that the Vortex is sold as a complete bike. Check it out, it is all there.
Why do they need a new model?Chainstay
Aug 13, 2002 6:29 PM
What's wrong with the last bike. Lightspeed looks like a huge company because they have a huge Marketing Dept dreamiing up new ways to convince you that the next design is an improvement over the last. It trashes the resale value of the bike you just bought. Maybe if they combine 3 Ti alloys, a few tubes that are half carbon, maybe some 7000 series Al and a boron head tube they can optimize the marketing mix on out to 2100.
That's what happens when they can't change paint schemesfiltersweep
Aug 13, 2002 6:59 PM
That's what happens when they can't change paint schemes every year, like Trek.

Resale value? On the last frame you'll ever own? On something that should never break or rust? You bet they will do everything in their power to make last year's model obsolete!

If the LBSes had more built LSes, maybe more people would test ride them or make an impulse buy- they'd sell twice as many that way, rather than having three frames hanging from the ceiling over the register.

Ordering a custom buildup is a very abstract retail experience for most people. It is like reading a hospital bill- every charge is itemized, and if any one charge, like BAR TAPE seems excessive, the customer feels screwed. How many "mystery OEM parts" are on a Giant or Specialized or Trek that are invisible to the buyer, yet keep the cost down? Ignorance is bliss!

Makes sense to push built bikes. Seems like they are already "synonymous with" titanium frames to the general bike-buying public that walks into a garden variety LBS.
Probably not a 2003 then, if you go toswvegg
Aug 14, 2002 8:29 PM
Nope, it has to new tubing and bladed seat stays, and the Sienna had Carbon stays and the white lettering.
...fault CC!!seyboro
Aug 13, 2002 5:28 PM
The way I understand their decision is that it's based on the fact that mail order companies can heavily discount complete Litespeeds because of the low price they can get from shimano/campagnolo/reynolds/mavic/thomson/TTT/cane creek/selle italia. I'm pretty sure that the boys in TN don't discount the frames themselves.
The local shops can't compete with a $3999 complete-vortex-offer. As a result guys wait for the big Colorado Cyclists LS blowout and get theirs with the usual "CC package". If LS sell only complete bikes EVERYBODY, you will most likely see CC's discounts become much less significant.
No differnce to me, I got mine as a frame only and chose what to hang from it. Too bad, future 'ti-heads' won't have that pleasure...
Too badpmf1
Aug 14, 2002 4:03 AM
Its nice to be able to buy a frame and put whatever you want on it. Their speced parts are pretty nice though. And how easy is it to buy a Cannondale CAAD 7, Trek 5XXX or Specialized frame?

I bought a 1999 Ultimate frame in early 2000 that was heavily discounted. I like the bent seat tube and lack of integrated HS and carbon stays.

I've noticed that LS has gotten better at not ending up with a ton of last years frames when the new ones come out. You can still find deals if you look.

BTW -- I really like the bladed downtube. It adds a lot of stiffness to the bike and looks kinda cool.
Fully built LitespeedsFez
Aug 14, 2002 5:15 AM
Sure its always nice to acquire the frameset separately, especially if you wore out a frame, broke a frame, or got a great deal on a gruppo, etc.

But in Litespeed's defense, I have found their build kits to be excellent. Quality parts everywhere, so if I had to be "stuck" with a prebuilt bike, the Litespeed is pretty good, especially if the price is right.

Other large production companies like Specialized, Cannondale, and Trek simply put too many house brand parts on their higher end bikes. I've always liked the OCLV, but I never cared for the wheelset, saddle, seatpost, stem, etc. I found that upgrading the parts I didn't like on those bikes made it much more expensive than a bike like a Litespeed where every part on it is pretty decent.

Cannondale has too many CODA parts and Specialized I think uses even more house brand parts, especially on their mtn bikes.
Some coda stuff...Marcocyclo
Aug 14, 2002 5:47 AM
has disappeared from the '03cdale's r1000 caad7 and up. I only noticed a c-dale seat & post on the caad7 that I got the other week. Bar and stems are 3T's now.

Too bad about LS, still the appearence is they are going big time and the resulting lack of flexibility. Heard they are getting harder to deal with over warranty and repair issues too.

Fully built LitespeedsET
Aug 14, 2002 11:13 AM
What they do now (nice build kits) can change overnight.
Merlins still available as a frameset?ColnagoFE
Aug 14, 2002 5:19 AM
That would seem to make sense from a marketing standpoint. If not, this seems like a mistake to me. Some of the Litespeeds are positioned well for the high end market and the high end market wants framesets...not complete bikes. So are they shooting for a different market now?
Merlins still available as a frameset?mfuchs1
Aug 14, 2002 6:06 AM
I think Merlin is going the complete bike route too. At least for their new Cielo. I would not not mind the whole "complete bike" concept if they went to something like Trek/Klein project one program where you can have a choice about how you would like your bike spec'd just add more choices for parts like wheels, bars/stem ,saddle, etc
Vortex's bladed stays. Tres bitchin' nmSintesi
Aug 14, 2002 6:13 AM
re: Holy Crap, I have a criticism of Litespeed.mackgoo
Aug 14, 2002 7:05 AM
I couldn't happen to notice how many Litespeeds I saw at the back of the pack, the last stage of the Tour.
Nelson Munce.Turtleherder
Aug 14, 2002 7:31 AM
HA! HA! Bad idea, the bean counters must have come up with that one.
This is being blown WAY out of proportion,TJeanloz
Aug 14, 2002 9:34 AM
Yes, Litespeed has announced that they are selling only complete bikes from here on out. This has been bantered around the internet quite a bit lately, but nobody who understands the system is commenting, and people are jumping to conclusions. I'm going to try to dispel some myths I've seen floating around lately:

Myth 1: Litespeed will pidgeon-hole you into specific parts, which they choose.

Response: Every bike will be custom spec'd by your bike shop to how you want it built. Want Record cranks on a Dura-Ace bike? Fine. They will substitute just about anything per customer request.

Myth 2: Litespeed will be building the bikes in-house and shipping them partially assembled ala Trek.

Response: Litespeed will continue to ship out the frame and parts kit, to be built by your mechanic of choice.

Myth 3: Litespeed is a bunch of greedy bastards who are doing this to increase profit margins.

Response: Litespeed will face pressure to keep their kit pricing in-line with industry norms. They know that they probably can't get away with charging more than anybody else- and their margin on kits is quite low.

Anyway, this whole issue should not effect consumers at all, unless your Litespeed dealer does very low volume of high-end parts. Bike shops will just use Litespeed as the source for some of their parts, but it won't really effect the consumer. If you walk into your bike shop and say: I'd like to pay 2850 for a Vortex frame (that's retail now, right?) they will sell it to you.

Myth 4: This whole thing is a set-up so that I won't be able to pay pennies on the dollar at years end or from Colorado Cyclist.

Response: O.k. That one's true. The program is designed to end the days of below-retail pricing on Litespeed frames.
So what you're saying is...ET
Aug 14, 2002 11:43 AM
Lazywriter doesn't have a criticism of Litespeed after all? You had to ruin it. Thanks a lot.

LOL, I stated in my post that LBS will "pirate" the partsLazywriter
Aug 14, 2002 2:03 PM
and what a hassle that will be. You can still get whatever you want, but if you really wanted just the frame, your LBS has to be willing to buy the whole bike for you and sell you the frame. Let's say a number of people make that request, it creates a nuisance.
I also said that I don't blame LS as it is more cost effective for them. If you want to build a LS on your own with slavaged parts and big sales you pick up here and there on the internet, you can't do it that easily anymore.