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My Litespeed Classic

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My Litespeed Classic

Old 06-25-20, 12:57 PM
  #1  
HighAltitude
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My Litespeed Classic

I have another thread in the MTB section where I agonize over whether to "Love It or List It" with my 1998 Specialized Stumpjumper. After deciding to update and improve it, I've gradually come to the conclusion that if I MTB more in the coming years than in recent, I'll probably want a new bike.

But the story is different with my road bike, which is a 90s era Litespeed Classic. It's great, fits me perfectly. No doubt road bike tech has come a long way in 20 years, but I like this bike and plan to keep it. Just thought I'd make this thread so could post the picture.


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Old 06-25-20, 01:11 PM
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Bike looks great and titanium frames are certainly timeless. Enjoy riding it and just upgrade components as needed or wanted!

I just purchased a Lynskey R300 disc road bike. I plan on doing the same thing for the next 20 years as well. Not the classic lines of your Litespeed, but in 20 years, this may be the classic look lol


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Old 06-25-20, 02:32 PM
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Old Litespeed = Best Litespeed
My 2000 Vortex, bought frame used in 2003, been running Chorus 10 since then, upgrading as necessary. Still perfect after >50,000 miles and a bike I'll keep as long as I can still ride a bike.


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Old 06-25-20, 03:00 PM
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Same story here, in a sea of cookie-cutter carbon fibre bikes, titanium always turns heads.

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Old 06-25-20, 05:30 PM
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Here's my contribution to this conversation. My Litespeed Arenberg, circa 2002 with a Campy Daytona 10-speed build that I just bought a month ago and am really enjoying. This isn't my first experience with the buttery smooth ride of Titanium. I had a Litespeed Classic with the Shimano Ultegra 9-speed build that I loved like a Son until my idiot ex-wife left the garage door up one day and I came home to find it gone. Nothing beats the smooth, silky ride of Ti.
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Old 06-25-20, 09:30 PM
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I"ve been posting this picture on the other Ti frame discussions, but here it is again. '99 frame updated to 5800 105 a couple of years ago.

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Old 06-26-20, 06:55 AM
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I love all these Litespeeds! I'm new to this forum and didn't know to expect this much Litespeed community. Awesome. Let's go ride.
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Old 06-26-20, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by HighAltitude View Post
I have another thread in the MTB section where I agonize over whether to "Love It or List It" with my 1998 Specialized Stumpjumper. After deciding to update and improve it, I've gradually come to the conclusion that if I MTB more in the coming years than in recent, I'll probably want a new bike.

But the story is different with my road bike, which is a 90s era Litespeed Classic. It's great, fits me perfectly. No doubt road bike tech has come a long way in 20 years, but I like this bike and plan to keep it. Just thought I'd make this thread so could post the picture.
Yes, they're nice.

I've been riding the same Litespeed Natchez frame since 1997. It was 8 cog Campagnolo when I first built it up, although I moved on to 9 with a new right index cam plus freehubs when they discontinued my favorite cassette, then 10 when I broke a discontinued small part in my shifters.

Currently I run Record Titanium brakes/derailleurs, 2010 Centaur Carbon Ultrashift levers, an FSA SLK-Light carbon triple crank with 50-39-30 rings, 13-14-15-16-17-18-19-21-23-26 cassette, SON28 dynamo front hub, PowerTap rear hub, and 25mm deep Velocity Fusion rims with retroreflective powder coating.

It's very comfortable on one day rides past 200 miles.

Apart from more cogs, carbon fiber brake levers that feel nicer in cool weather, electronic shifting without cables to wear out, and disc brakes allowing wider tires road bike technology hasn't changed since the early 1990s when we got integrated brake/shift levers and dual pivot calipers providing more mechanical advantage.

Threadless headsets which can lose adjustment from heavy braking and compact frames that don't leave room for frame pump plus 750ml water bottle on your seat tube are not advancements.


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Old 06-26-20, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle View Post
Same story here, in a sea of cookie-cutter carbon fibre bikes, titanium always turns heads.

Nice bike -- although there are other good ones on this thread, this is my favorite.

I am always interested in how older road bikes can compete ably against the current offerings.
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Old 06-26-20, 11:06 AM
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Ti is fly.
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Old 06-26-20, 11:41 AM
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these older frames are definitely worth a rebuild to modern components despite the 1" front end. I was surprise it had enough clearance for 28mm tires.
94' Ultimate - the polish Ti threadless Stem took me a while to find.
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Old 06-26-20, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by SSRI View Post
these older frames are definitely worth a rebuild to modern components despite the 1" front end. I was surprise it had enough clearance for 28mm tires.
94' Ultimate - the polish Ti threadless Stem took me a while to find.
That's really sweet, too -- that's probably my favorite crankset of all time (quibble with the rubber mountain biking end protector, aside) and the Campy aero seatpost is a nice touch.
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Old 06-26-20, 12:31 PM
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From an actual performance advantage, I’m not sure we’ve come that far. I ride my1990’s Merlin Extralight at my second home. Can’t say I really miss my Willier Zero 7, or feel like the Merlin is holding me back. The differences are pretty marginal.
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Old 06-26-20, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
From an actual performance advantage, I’m not sure we’ve come that far. I ride my1990’s Merlin Extralight at my second home. Can’t say I really miss my Willier Zero 7, or feel like the Merlin is holding me back. The differences are pretty marginal.
No knock on current bikes; I'm always impressed with what manufacturers are doing to push the boundaries, but the past competition is so tough. Your example is a perfect one: A Merlin Extralight. It's really difficult to get better than that.

In 25 years, road bikes have gained disc brakes, 2 or 3 more cogs, more aerodynamic tubes and rims, stiffness (particularly in the front end), and regained the ability to run larger tires. For a while they were lighter, but now most aero bikes with disc brakes are no lighter than they were in the 90s. In the toss up category, I would put internally routed cables, more mounts for this and that, and a wide range of different bearing standards and options.

I would argue that most of these advances result primarily in greater comfort and sense of security on the bike, not speed. Sure, there are some aerodynamic improvements, but deep rims have been around for a long time, and not all modern frames are aero.
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Old 06-26-20, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by SSRI View Post
these older frames are definitely worth a rebuild to modern components despite the 1" front end. I was surprise it had enough clearance for 28mm tires.
I used to run 27mm cyclocross tires on snow days with my 1997 Litespeed.
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Old 06-26-20, 04:08 PM
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Old ti bikes with quills deserve an innicycle headset adapter and new groupsets if they feel dated. It'll bring the life right back.

The new R7000 stuff is nothing short of fantastic.

One of these older ti frames and/or an older lemond with 753/853 is on my shortlist... someday.
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Old 06-26-20, 04:30 PM
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its not the oldest Litespeed in the thread but its my dream bike... as long as i have this i will never buy another bike.. period..

litespeed vortex 2007
DA 10 and stuff

Last edited by scuzzo; 06-26-20 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 06-26-20, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by SSRI View Post
these older frames are definitely worth a rebuild to modern components despite the 1" front end. I was surprise it had enough clearance for 28mm tires.
94' Ultimate - the polish Ti threadless Stem took me a while to find.
cool, you finally found polished stem , huh? looks like a LA sheriff team ride... awesome
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Old 06-26-20, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by scuzzo View Post
its not the oldest Litespeed in the thread but its my dream bike... as long as i have this i will never buy another bike.. period..

litespeed vortex 2007
DA 10 and stuff
I fully concur - beautiful bike👍
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Old 06-26-20, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by scuzzo View Post
its not the oldest Litespeed in the thread but its my dream bike... as long as i have this i will never buy another bike.. period..

litespeed vortex 2007
DA 10 and stuff
Good to see your lazarus Vortex is still rolling along.
glad the weld is holding up.
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Old 06-26-20, 10:11 PM
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I love my 2004 Litespeed Ultimate that I recently rebuilt with a full Shimano Ultegra R8000 groupset. This bike is a lovely ride. 🙂
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Old 06-27-20, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by scuzzo View Post
its not the oldest Litespeed in the thread but its my dream bike... as long as i have this i will never buy another bike.. period..

litespeed vortex 2007
DA 10 and stuff
what happened to your bike that it required welding? If you don’t mind me asking..
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Old 06-27-20, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle View Post
Same story here, in a sea of cookie-cutter carbon fibre bikes, titanium always turns heads.

even if I hadn’t noticed your location in your profile, the pebble dash wall screamed “Ireland” to me. I’m originally from Ballybrack, between Killiney and the M50 👍
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Old 06-27-20, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Litespud View Post
even if I hadn’t noticed your location in your profile, the pebble dash wall screamed “Ireland” to me. I’m originally from Ballybrack, between Killiney and the M50 👍
Well spotted! Small world indeed. Quite a change I imagine, to where you are now.

I'm in Donnycarney (D5), my usual route takes me up and around Howth, through Portmarnock and Malahide, Swords, and around the airport.
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Old 06-27-20, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle View Post
Well spotted! Small world indeed. Quite a change I imagine, to where you are now.

I'm in Donnycarney (D5), my usual route takes me up and around Howth, through Portmarnock and Malahide, Swords, and around the airport.
Cycling here in central NC’s pretty benign, quiet roads, rolling terrain, rideable year-round, albeit chilly in winter. No real hills to speak of. Way back in the day (80’s), my usual route was to head south (when the motorway was just “the Bray Dual Carriageway”) as far as Kilmacanogue, then climb up into the mountains - just me and the sheep!🐑 I did it on a 12-speed steel Peugeot that probably weighed a ton, but I knew no better. I’d love to ride those hills now with a decent bike!

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