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Litespeed Tuscany question(9 posts)

Litespeed Tuscany questionprebles
Aug 3, 2003 5:29 AM
I'm considering pulling the trigger on a Litespeed Tuscany and would like to make sure I'm in the right ballpark for size. I'm 5'10.5", 160 lbs with a cycling inseam of just over 83 cm. A quick fit-kit at the LBS (not the Litespeed dealer) gave arm length of 58 cm, sternal notch at 142 cm.

The 55 c-t Tuscany has a TT = 56.5, STA & HTA of 73, standover = 79.3, head-tube length = 14.8 and front-center = 58.

The LBS didn't have the Tuscany in 55 and before I ask them to set one up for a test ride, I'd like to ask the fit gurus on the board if they see any reason why the 55 cm isn't the right size.

Any opinions on the Tuscany also greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your help and all the knowledge you've provided.
should be correct...C-40
Aug 3, 2003 1:00 PM
If you've properly measured your inseam to hard crotch contact in bare feet, the 55cm would be the only reasonable choice.

My cycling inseam is 83cm, but I'm 4 inches shorter. I rode a 55cm Litespeed with a 110mm stem one season and it fit fine. If I were to buy one today, I'd get a 53cm. Depending on where you set the saddle fore/aft position, you may require a 120+ stem length.
should be correct...jtolleson
Aug 3, 2003 3:44 PM
My cycling inseam is 81.75 cm and I'm 3 1/2 inches shorter. I rode a 55 cm Catalyst (kind of the precursor to the Tuscany) for 4 season before finally getting tired of being slightly too stretched out on that 55.5 top tube (and unwilling to go to a disfunctionally short stem).

You must be a LOT of torso. That would be my only concern. Agreed that you are looking at a stem of at least 120mm.

You may be a good candidate for compact geometry; good standover but longer effective top tube.
Correction & follow-up for C-40prebles
Aug 3, 2003 5:27 PM
A re-measure of inseam with "harder" crotch gets me to between 83.3 and 83.82 (absolute max). As 03Vortex correctly points out, TT is 55.5, not the 56.5 I mis-read from the catalog. Would that change your opinion about the 55 being OK?

Thanks again.
probably not...C-40
Aug 3, 2003 7:21 PM
There's not a lot of difference in the effective top tube length of other brands that you might be considering. I made my recommendation knowing the correct TT length (I have geometry charts for many models).

My other opinion is that there are a lot better looking and better value frames out there. Saw some new Litespeeds just the other day at a local shop. Dull grey Ti just doesn't do it for me.

It would help if you had a current bike with known seat tube angle, TT length and stem length for comparison.
2nd followup for C-40prebles
Aug 4, 2003 4:33 AM
My current ride is a late 1980s Trek model 400 with 531. The size is 22.5" (I guess Trek measured to top of collar then too - probably 22.25 c-t). The TT is 22" and stem is 4" w negative rise. Unfortunately I don't have the STA.

Asthetics aside, I thought that the $1595 for the Tuscany frame at GVH was a pretty good value.
As you can see, I've haven't shopped bikes for quite awhile so any opinions on better values are welcome.

Also, not as long-torsoed as it seemed. My significant other kindly pointed out my delusion of grandeur. A re-measure of height gave about 69.25" - not the 70.5" in original post.

The tape doesn't lie - I must be shrinking.

Thanks again for the time and patience - you've helped a bunch.
Aug 4, 2003 5:39 AM
You won't have any problem with a 55cm Litespeed. GVH does have some good values. With a carbon fork, his price is quite reasonable.

You might take a look at They have some really low prices right now. Many models reduced by $600. I got a Madonna di Campiglio (only $800 for frame fork and headset) as a second bike geared for the mountains and really like it.

The Carb level for $1300 would also be a good choice. You would need a medium size (54cm). Just remember that they take an Italian bottom bracket. These frames have been on sale for quite a while, so colors and sizes may be limited. You can call direct and get confirmation of size/color availability. You don't have to fill out the order form on the web site.

I also like the new LOOK KG461 at Excel sports. It's not discounted, but looks like a nice frame/fork in the same price range. You would need a 55cm.
re: Litespeed Tuscany question03Vortex
Aug 3, 2003 1:52 PM
I own a 2003 Vortex and think its a great bike. I know thers with the Tuscany and they feel same. I just don't think you will go wrong at all with LS.

I have a 55 w/110 stem but just thought I would mention to you that the TT on a 55 is 55.5 and not the 56.6 you mention. Important to know. The Tuscany and Vortex geometries are pretty much the same.
fit/sizing guidanceKerry Irons
Aug 3, 2003 5:13 PM

For adjusting the fit of the bike, there are roughly five starting points:

1. Seat height (top of saddle to center of pedal axle) at 108-110% of inseam.
2. Saddle parallel to ground.
3. Saddle fore/aft adjusted so that a plumb bob from the bony protrusion just below the kneecap passes through the pedal axle when the cranks are horizontal. This is known as KOPS (Knee Over Pedal Spindle)
4. Front hub axle obscured by the handlebars when riding in your "regular" position (drops, hoods, or tops).
5. Top of handlebars 1 to 4.5+ inches below the top of the saddle depending on your flexibility and size.

These are all starting points for "average" proportioned people, and many folks like to move away from these starting points as they learn what makes them more comfortable, powerful, or efficient. You want to get the fit of the frame as close as you can, then do minor adjustments with the stem, seat post, saddle position, etc.

A lot of this is personal comfort, and we all tend to adapt to a given position over time. For example, a given stem length may be right for you, but it may feel long at first. I use the "handle bar obscures the front hub" rule for my fit, but others claim better position (for them) with the hub in front of or behind the bar. I'm 6' tall and ride with 11.5 cm drop from saddle to bar, probably more than most people would like but fine for me. Some are suggesting zero drop from saddle to bars - it's about comfort, efficiency, and aerodynamics. The ERGOBIKE calculator is pretty good, but it is not infallible. I would suggest riding some miles (over 100 total, and over 500 would be better) and see if you adapt to the position. There are no hard and fast rules, just general guidelines, when it comes to these things.

Just as important as your size is your flexibility. If you have a stiff lower back, you may not be able to lean over and stretch out as much. If you are very flexible, you may get away with a longer top tube, with the stem in a lower position. Over time on the bike, too, you may become more limber, or at least become accustomed to being lower and stretched out. So, your first 'real' bike may not be anything like what you will want 5 years from now.

Someone new to road riding is highly unlikely to find their ultimate position on the first go. As they become accustomed to the riding position and get some miles in, sometimes over several seasons, people often find their desired position changing. What was "stretched out" now feels OK, or what was "just right" now feels cramped. With time, if you are working on your position along with all your other riding stuff, seat position tends to rise, handlebars tend to be farther below the saddle, saddles tend to move rearward, and handlebars tend to be farther forward from the saddle. You simply cannot say "this is the right position for someone of your body dimensions" because there are too many variables and things that change with time. Get used to your position, and then occasionally make small changes: raise/lower your saddle, move your saddle forward/backward. Ride a while with the changes (a few 100 miles, anyway) and decide if it is better or worse. If it is better, keep moving in that direction. If it is worse, try moving the other direction. If you don't try, you won't find out, but it is a long term process, often taking years, to really dial in your position. And since your strength and flexibility are changing with time, it is reasonable that your position would need to change also.