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More info on this knockoff frame?(7 posts)

More info on this knockoff frame?Fez
Nov 17, 2003 7:07 AM,223,277&TextMode=0

Until now, I heard TST made the Douglas CC titanium 3/2.5 frames and they came with a 5 year warranty.

But this new one has some striking similarities to last year's (2003) Vortex. Some of the similarities include lifetime warranty, rear dropout design, same headtube, downtube and toptube). It does have different seat and chainstays and a different seat clamp. And the headtube is engraved with the cheesy Douglas logo.

Anyone have more info on this thing? Is it worth 2/3 the cost of a geniune Vortex? Funny how it is sold right next to the 2004 Litespeed lineup.
Probably is built by Litespeed,TJeanloz
Nov 17, 2003 7:24 AM
Litespeed has historically built a lot of bikes for a lot of people, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if they were building this bike for Douglas. They are the only US ti builder that I'm aware of that uses the folded-sheet method for 6/4 - which this bike obviously does - so, at the very least, it seems safe to guess that the tubes came from Litespeed. They could well have had an overstock on the tubes from last year's Vortex, or they could be building them new. Litespeed does not typically build any bikes other than its own with the trademark radius seatstays, so that matches.

However, it's worth noting that this would be directly comparable to last year's Vortex - not the current one - and you wouldn't have the brand name that is of critical importance to so many cyclists.
I guess they will pretty much build anything?Fez
Nov 17, 2003 7:58 AM
Regarding the curved seatstays, I believe the Macalu Ti (generic Arenberg) had them for years.

This is the first time I have seen Litespeed build such a high-end frame for a house brand. A few years back they made a Team Issue, which was part Classic and part Tuscany, but it was still a branded as LS.

Even more interesting is that this creation is sold right next to the Litespeed branded ones.
Nov 17, 2003 8:09 AM
Eddy Merckx has historically had a relatively high-end ti offering built by Litespeed, though now I believe their line is limited to one ti bike. They built a very high-end LeMond several years ago (pre-Trek).

I guess your argument is around the "house brands" of mail order companies - but this is a sort of new phenomena. Bike shops have had "house brands" forever, but they haven't really gone national until recently. Litespeed will build just about anything for anybody, as long as it isn't exactly the same as one of their bikes.
re: Looks like a Litespeed to meteoteoteo
Nov 17, 2003 7:26 AM
Since Litespeed also (or at least used to) make Macalau for Excel Sports I find it easy to believe that Litespeed is making this Douglas. It sure looks like an LS product and I don't think TST would decide to start copying Litespeed just to make Douglas happy...

I'll call my Litespeed rep and ask...since I sell a fair share of Litespeeds it's only good infor for me to know.
TST built Douglas framesNessism
Nov 17, 2003 12:53 PM
The geometery of the TST built Douglas Ti frames is a direct copy of Litespeed's geometery. This is most likely at the request of Colorado Cyclist who specs. the frames.

For what it's worth, I think TST makes a fine frame which rates high on the value side of the ledger. Cache value is nill though so label buyers need not apply.

I must be differentFez
Nov 17, 2003 2:53 PM
Over the years, I have owned 4 Litespeed frames. On every one I eventually removed the decals. Looked so much better IMHO. Got fewer "nice bike" comments from strangers.

I did leave the headtube badges on.

When I sold them, I either reapplied the decals or enclosed a replacement set as part of the deal.

Brings an interesting dilemma - if you buy a Vortex and remove the decals, it looks a lot like the frame pictured (minus chainstays and seatstays).