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Yet another info needed post...Litespeeders chime in....(16 posts)

Yet another info needed post...Litespeeders chime in....teoteoteo
Mar 1, 2003 8:13 PM
Okay boys and girls my shop just picked-up Litespeed and have an exclusive in town.

I wanted feedback on what you like and don't like. It can be owners and past owners.

Since they'll want employee's on them I am sure I'll have a shot at a good deal. I don't like stiff frames so should I dodge a Vortex? I like compact so I was thinking Siena as it's more in my $$ range than a Ghisallo or Vortex...possibly a Tuscany.
More info needed.NASA Noddler
Mar 1, 2003 8:24 PM
Not enough info about you. Weight, hieght, riding preferences, etc.
re: Yet another info needed post...Litespeeders chime in....roadcyclist
Mar 1, 2003 8:32 PM
I LOVE my Classic! Pretty traditional geometry, dives into corners, descends great, climbs a little bit slow (oh, that's me), VERY comfortable. I don't think I'd want to race crits on it, but it's a great "all day" bike (Campy Chorus group. Open Pros laced cross 3 db w/alloy nipples. Deda Magic bar & stem). Test rode a Tuscany, that I would race crits on. I don't know anything about compact frames as I am a fan of the "traditional" look.
re: Yet another info needed post...Litespeeders chime in....russw19
Mar 1, 2003 9:39 PM
Don't get a Vortex if you don't want a stiff frame. It's one of their 6/4 frames and is very stiff. It is still semi-compliant, but stiff none the less. Stick with a 3/2.5 bike. If you like the Siena, you would probably like the Classic and the Ultimate. I rode a friend's Ultimate for a day last year, and it was sweet. I like my bike a bit better, but I like really stiff bikes. I rode his bike as I was checking out getting a Vortex and wanted to see the ride quality and all that. They are some beautiful bikes. I am pretty sure EP is 20% off high wholesale (Level 1) or whatever the highest wholesale is. That should put a Dura-Ace Siena in the $2200-$2400 range, give or take a hundred. Keep in mind, that is employee purchase pricing, retail is near $4000. But if you are looking for a Ti bike, theirs are some of the best.

Yeah, more info would help...Fez
Mar 1, 2003 9:54 PM
I guess I'm jealous that you can get an employee deal. I would probably get a new road AND a mtn bike if I had that deal.

Do you want a stiff 6/4 bike? Vortex. The Ghisallo is a little too crazy light for me. I'd rather have the extra 3/4 lb and have rock solid reliability. Lots of pros race on the Vortex.

Do you want a 3/2.5 bike? Tuscany. I don't care for compacts, so I don't really like the Siena. If you want the most comfortable one for long rides, the Classic is also nice, but the Tuscany looks more modern with more curved and shaped tubes, integrated head tube, and a semi-ovalized and semi-oversize downtube.
Mar 2, 2003 4:37 AM
I have the Ultimate (2001). I like it a great deal; real fast, real smooth, accelerates and climbs really well. But I sometimes think that it's way too much money for what I'm doing with it (Everyday riding and some racing). I could have and should have gotten two or three less expensive racing bikes (for cyclocross, road and crit racing) for what I purchased the Litespeed. I originally got this bike before I got hit with the racing bug, I simply wanted a great bike that would last for a long, long time. But overall, I really like it.
re: Yet another info needed post...Litespeeders chime in....Juanmoretime
Mar 2, 2003 5:05 AM
I own a Vortex and while it is very stiff, it still has the ability to dampen the ride and give somewhat of a compliant ride. It's definitely harsher than a 3.25 bike although you woun't receive the trashing that a large tube aluminium bike would give you such as a Klein, I have both. The Vortex has the stiffness where it counts, in general the frame and the bottom bracket. To really find out I would strongly suggest to test ride one before discounting it. Plus as another poster had mentioned, it depends on the frame size and your weight too. I ride a 59cc, am 6'2" at 170 lbs.
re: The detailsteoteoteo
Mar 2, 2003 8:11 AM
Details 5'10" 155ish on the Ullrich plan 145ish in the summer. I have never been a "big power" guy (imagine that at my size) but do well with climbs. I don't need stiff and though I probably won't race any crits the compact is nice becuase I like the quicker handling.

I am a Cat 3 who has slowed on racing but will have some 300-350 mile weeks late spring/early summer as I guide for a bike company and need to be in shape before the Tour starts.

I am pretty comfy on the compacts having owned an Orbea XLR8R with Record 10. It seemed to climb well and I had no issues with longer ride comfort. I don't find that my body has problems with bikes that ride a bit rougher as I have had nice stiff Alum and I was fine. I'd probably like something "in the middle" and based on my size, I know I don't need a Vortex--but wanting it is a whole other matter and the bike interests me--but maybe just on a curb appeal level.

Ghisallo is too light as I never take the lightest of any product and so the Siena and Tuscany where choices. My main concern with Vortex is price and stiffness.

Want to get a bead on peoples experience with Vortex, Siena, Tuscany. Also keep in mind that I will re-sell this bike in a year and if people hate Siena's that could factor in my decision. I know the re-sale thing sound stupid but being a shop nerd is too easy to get my hands on cool stuff. The reason I like the Litespeed is same reason most of you do--that and I owned everything but Ti
I wouldn't worry about the stiffnessboneman
Mar 2, 2003 9:25 AM
I've had a Vortex for 5 seasons and weight 59-60kg. Stiffness is not an issue, even when riding with Ksyrium wheels. I also have a Merckx EX which is mostly 3/2.5 and the Vortex ride is just as compliant. That being said, it's stiff enough in the BB area and downtube.

I have a number of steel bikes and their ride is less compliant. If you're okay with the Orbea, you'll be fine with the Vortex. Pricing is another matter altogether. If you wait until the end of each year, you can usually find Litespeed's on sale.
I wouldn't worry about the stiffnessNessism
Mar 2, 2003 12:31 PM
First off, I have never ridden a Vortex and don't have first hand experience with one. That said, I just don't get all the "stiff Vortex" talk - pre 2003 model that is. The down tube, which is the most important tube regarding bottom bracket stiffness, has a small diameter and is very thin, thus the light weight. Both of these factors lead to a fairly flexable frame through the bottom bracket, not a stiff one.

I think a lot of the Vortex stiffness talk comes in regarding the overall ride compliance. The head tube angle is fairly steep and the top tube is a little larger than some other Ti frames. These factors lead to a lack of vertical compliance and thus "stiff ride".

For a number of years I also rode a Merckx EX frame. While the bottom bracket stiffness was OK, it was not all that stiff really. My 3.75 lbs. steel frame is stiffer. I can believe that the Vortex bottom bracket stiffness is similar to the EX since the tube sizes are similar. But I don't believe the hype about the 6/4 Ti tubing being stiff.

The Vortex is a all aroundLazywriter
Mar 2, 2003 1:04 PM
bike. It is not aluminum stiff, but the ovalization in the downtube where it meets the bb stiffens it up considerably (2002 and earlier models)compared to my Classic. I do feel an overall difference in a 6/4 vs 3.25 frame. The Vortex feels "harder" and more rigid. Geometry can play a role, but 6/4 doesn't seem to absorb road shock in the same way. It is a more rigid ride which may explain the fact that 6/4 is said to be more brittle than 3.25. Not that you will see many broken Vortexes, but 6/4 is more brittle in a crash lending credence to the idea that 6/4 seems "stiffer".
Bottom line is that the Vortex has been one of the most "rebadged" frames in the Peleton for years. Professional reviews have only ever stated that the ride was "sublime" and as far as well roundedness, it is hard to beat. I have a 2002 Vortex am glad I got mine before the 2003. I am not a big fan of the aesthetics of an oversized bladded downtube. Plus those big yellow decals are overwhelming.
My Classic however is my favorite ride of all time. I will never get rid of this bike. My Vortex is a great ride and more responsive, but the Classic is beyond comfortable.
Mar 2, 2003 2:35 PM
I owned 2 identically equipped Classics. Only difference was in frame size (55 and 53). The larger one was VERY comfortable. The smaller one was quite a bit firmer feeling - to the extent that I would feel a bit more fatigued after 35 mile rides.

So I'm split on the Classic - its either the most comfortable bike I've ever been on, or its "just" a damn nice titanium bike.

P.S. I like the Tuscany best of the 3/2.5 Litespeeds.
That was a lame responserussw19
Mar 2, 2003 2:19 PM
Nessism, how can you type what you just did? You say you haven't ridden a 6/4 bike and then go on to what sounds a lot to me like you are telling those of us that have that we don't know what we are talking about. You don't believe the hype about 6/4 Ti tubing being stiff, well no wonder, you have never ridden it.
I am not trying to be a dick, but why tell us your opinion of a 6/4 bike when you have no experience with one? You talk about your own steel Merckx frame as if that is any indication of what a Litespeed Vortex is going to ride like, as if the two share any similar traits. Just because you looked at a picture of a Vortex and saw how the tubes were shaped, you feel you need to tell us who have ridden or owned the bikes that we are wrong. What's that all about?
I have ridden the Vortex, and I own a 6/4 Ti bike, a Colnago Ovalmaster. I have ridden 6/4 Ti bikes. They are stiffer than 3/2.5 Ti bikes and ride totally different than a steel bike. It doesn't matter if the steel bike is Nivacrom, SLX, 853, or any other tubeset... they ride different. If you had ridden one and then offered your opinion, I guess I wouldn't have written this reply, but you say you don't believe the hype and you have never ridden the bike either... no freaking wonder!
As for specifics of the Vortex's ride.. here's a summary...
It is very stiff at the power transmission end of business. The bottom bracket doesn't exhibit much flex or sway no matter how hard you crush the pedals, be it sprinting or jumping out of the saddle. The bike dives into corners and comes out equally snappy. It doesn't feel at all washed out. Mated with a proper Carbon fork (best for this frame is actually something like the Millennium Stiff fork) and this bike is an absolute joy to ride. It will respond to everything you put into it like a super stiff Aluminum bike would, yet the rear end is surprisingly compliant. It doesn't have the feeling of "kicking back" as you go over bumps and potholes. Sure you know what you went over, but it absorbs enough to take the edge off the bump. You have a good solid road feel with this bike, but it is not overly harsh to big and powerful riders. It is not for everyone, and makes best a crit bike or sprinter's bike (hence Robbie McEwan's usage of it) but it is not a light bike, not by titanium standards, nor by any other standards. It is designed to be a workhorse in the peleton, not the climber's bike. If you are looking for amazingly light bikes, pick the Ghisallo. It you want all day comfort and durability with the stiffness to help you sprint to the line at the end of the day, it's your best choice.

That is my objective review of the Vortex. If you want to know more about the bike, ask me, I have ridden it. But don't take the advice of someone who first says that they have never ridden the bike and then proceeds to trash it based on unsubstantiated observations of the steep headtube or the small diameter downtube. The person who gave that advice has never ridden ANY 6/4 Ti bike by their own admission and is telling you how the bike would not be any stiffer than the 6 year old steel bike they are riding.
And if you don't want to take my word for it (and at least I have ridden the bike) go ride it for yourself before you rule it in or out of your choices. If you don't like it, or if you love it, well at least you would know by your own test ride, and not based on silly opinions of those who may or may not have any time on the same bike.

Mar 2, 2003 9:10 AM
I've put about 1k miles on my '03 Tuscany since October and I couldn't be happier. I don't race, but of course everyone likes speed.

This bike is a great combo of the comfort of Ti and stiffness. I'm 6'2" - 190 lbs. While there is no significant flex under power, the bike is not so stiff to beat you up on long rides. It has an ever so slightly springy feel when hammering, sprinting or standing to climb. Ride it, you'll like it...
I vote Vortex12x23
Mar 2, 2003 2:13 PM
I have a 2003 and it is fast becoming my favorite bike. I have a Classic too, and I prefer the Vortex. My other bikes are 110, 120 and 150 oclvs. The Vortex compares closest to my 5900 in ride. I don't find it harsh at all, but I ride Vittoria tubbies and Michelin Pro Race clinchers(Mich at 100 lbs).

Fwiw, I'm 6'1" and ~145lbs and ride a 59cm Vortex.
you work in a bike shop and you are asking this silly ??the bull
Mar 3, 2003 9:45 AM
what is your riding style are you racing or just chill riding?
personally I like the bikes they make
I think the company sucks(customer service)