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  #1  
Old 11-24-2017, 11:54 PM
Imaking20 Imaking20 is offline
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Hitting Reset: My Litespeed T2

A couple months ago I was having a conversation with friends - discussing the point of diminishing returns on rum, whiskey, and cigars. This reminded me of the moment I realized that while my first C60 was excellent (the best bike I've ridden actually) I felt like the amount it was better than other bikes I've owned was not relative to the delta in cost. While I already owned such a dream C60, and it wasn't like I needed to convince myself to fork over the cost of admission again, there's still something I appreciate about having something that's punching above it's weight - rather than justifying what it had damn well better justify. For instance, how many people are surprised when you say your $6000 frame rides really nicely? But how many people expect a Raleigh Militis to be every bit as good as a Felt F-series or Tarmac? (Spoiler alert: it is). When I was into sportbikes, before cycling, there was something immensely satisfying about showing up to the track on my 600 with street tires and destroying that Aprilia RSV-4 APRC with slicks.

There's the philosophical bit out of the way - but there's a practical driver as well. About a year ago, I decided "enough" with having more than one road bike. I want one bike that I'll ride anywhere I want to go. That means mostly pounding asphalt but never wanting to turn around if I can just find a little bit of gravel or dirt to connect and make a loop. It also means I was commuting to work almost every day over the summer which resulted in being run off the road several times, hit by a car, and threatened more times than I can count (once was specifically threatening to run over my bike). So I've set out to find something closer to that point of diminishing return (hopefully without passing it), and wanting a bike with clearance for 28s and no paint to mess up. Why not give titanium a try?!?!

We all know and love Ryan's T3 - but how often do you see a cool Litespeed? After reading about their factory and their process, I was convinced that they're easily deserving of being in the conversation about the best ti bike builders in the world. Sure, there's something super appealing about a small shop slowly churning out handbuilt customs - but how many of them are producing a 1000g frame? That doesn't happen by accident.
So after a few stray paths, the loss of a little (more) sanity, and a lot of searching - I snagged a new Litespeed T2 directly from the factory in Tennessee.



Most of the build came straight over from the C60.

2017 T2 frame (M)
3T Rigida LTD fork
Cane Creek AER II headset
Kalloy Uno 120mm
Deda Superleggera post (temp, maybe)
Berk Lupina (custom)
Thomson Road Carbon bar (40cm)
SRAM Red22 crank
SRAM Force chainrings (temp)
SR/Record mixed group
Bora One 35 tubulars w/ Veloflex Arenberg
SRAM Red 11/25 cassette

Total weight as shown is 6040g. I just moved so I'm still looking for a proper backdrop for some better photos. Bear with me!
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  #2  
Old 11-25-2017, 01:10 AM
Kontact Kontact is offline
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That frame has a great look, without being complicated. Really nice.
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  #3  
Old 11-25-2017, 02:24 AM
Andy sti Andy sti is offline
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Great looking bike. Litespeed is killing it with their own frames.
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  #4  
Old 11-25-2017, 03:51 AM
beeatnik beeatnik is offline
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Nice bika.

Last edited by beeatnik; 11-25-2017 at 04:14 PM.
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  #5  
Old 11-25-2017, 06:37 AM
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bianchi10 bianchi10 is offline
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Gorgeous!!!
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My Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/nickarend/
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  #6  
Old 11-25-2017, 07:06 AM
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velomateo velomateo is offline
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Perfect. Really great build.
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  #7  
Old 11-25-2017, 10:27 AM
KarlC KarlC is offline
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Really nice build as to be expected

Looking forward to the further enhancements you may make and more info on your ride reports and comparisons to other bikes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Imaking20 View Post
Any answer I gave on T2 vs T3 or T5 would be a total guess. I've ridden the T2 for 20 miles and no experience with the other two frames. I wouldn't expect much difference in comfort on the rear of the bike compared to the T3 - I believe the only differences are the top tube and the BB shell. T5 is different geometry and tubeset.

This is not to say the bike is uncomfortable. The general ride is still very much devoid of the buzz you get with carbon - I just smacked a few cracks that made me take notice today (one also knocked my bars down). And I tweaked my back doing deadlifts this week - so it's not unlikely that I'm a little overly sensitive about the rear of the bike right now.

Lynskey frame is 1540g and T2 is 1238g.
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  #8  
Old 11-25-2017, 10:33 AM
Mzilliox Mzilliox is offline
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cool bike, I dont know his Ryan guy. but looking at the link, hes really obsessed with his scale.
i just want to know how it rides. its it stiff and dead like most overly stiff (er i mean powerful and fast) bikes or does it have some feedback for the rider?
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  #9  
Old 11-25-2017, 10:48 AM
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AngryScientist AngryScientist is offline
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what cages are those??

bike looks good, the newest litespeed decals are a big improvement.
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  #10  
Old 11-25-2017, 11:10 AM
Mzilliox Mzilliox is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryScientist View Post
what cages are those??

bike looks good, the newest litespeed decals are a big improvement.
i bet these are Carbon Works cages. I was just reading about these yesterday actually.
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  #11  
Old 11-25-2017, 03:05 PM
Imaking20 Imaking20 is offline
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The cages are indeed Carbon Works.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mzilliox View Post
i just want to know how it rides. its it stiff and dead like most overly stiff (er i mean powerful and fast) bikes or does it have some feedback for the rider?
I feel like you're contradicting yourself. I've never ridden a bike that I would describe as "dead" because of stiffness. I would normally say that more stiffness results in more feedback.
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  #12  
Old 11-25-2017, 07:51 PM
Clean39T Clean39T is offline
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Location: Portland, OR
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Hitting Reset: My Litespeed T2

Saw an Archon on my group ride today (mid-00s) - Litespeed was doing some cool stuff before they went dark, and it seems like they are storming back in a big way.

How hard was the sand-job on that crankset? Being able to remove the Red22 logos would open a new PM option when I return to Campy..

Did you get some miles in on it before the rain today?
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  #13  
Old 11-25-2017, 08:04 PM
Mzilliox Mzilliox is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imaking20 View Post
The cages are indeed Carbon Works.




I feel like you're contradicting yourself. I've never ridden a bike that I would describe as "dead" because of stiffness. I would normally say that more stiffness results in more feedback.
Perhaps i am, but i dont think its a contradiction. some stiff bikes i have experienced have felt sort of dead, other stiff bikes i have ridden have been delightful. Im light though, so a lot of bikes feel stiff comparatively to other riders ive ridden with. its all subjective right?

so you like the ride and the feedback? enjoy it as much as some of the other wonderful bikes you have ridden?
its always nice to have feedback from guys and gals who have ridden a lot of different bikes.

its a lovely looker no doubt
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  #14  
Old 11-25-2017, 11:25 PM
Imaking20 Imaking20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clean39T View Post
Saw an Archon on my group ride today (mid-00s) - Litespeed was doing some cool stuff before they went dark, and it seems like they are storming back in a big way.

How hard was the sand-job on that crankset? Being able to remove the Red22 logos would open a new PM option when I return to Campy..

Did you get some miles in on it before the rain today?
The sand job is not a walk in the park. This is the second red crank I've stripped. I'd definitely suggest starting off with a razor blade because the clear coat is thick. With razor, 4 different grits of sandpaper, then polishing compound on a buffing wheel, I've probably got 2.5-3 hrs of labor into it. Maybe less.

I did get out yesterday and today for a bit. More below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mzilliox View Post
Perhaps i am, but i dont think its a contradiction. some stiff bikes i have experienced have felt sort of dead, other stiff bikes i have ridden have been delightful. Im light though, so a lot of bikes feel stiff comparatively to other riders ive ridden with. its all subjective right?

so you like the ride and the feedback? enjoy it as much as some of the other wonderful bikes you have ridden?
its always nice to have feedback from guys and gals who have ridden a lot of different bikes.

its a lovely looker no doubt
For sure it's all subjective. Just how we build our own verbiage to describe certain things.

I've only got about 3 hours on the bike so far but I am getting just what I wanted out of the bike. I wasn't searching for something more comfortable than the C60 - that bike is a smooth ride without being a couch - but the subdued road vibration through titanium is certainly welcome. I wanted a bike that could compete with carbon as far as front end and BB stiffness and, to some extent, weight. This bike does it. I gave a few kicks today and there was zero BB deflection that I could notice. And the front end stiffness is immediately noticeable in how responsive the bike is - not in the sense of "stiffest HT ever tested" kinda BS that vibrates your hands to death and gets kicked out of shape on rough roads.

It's still too early to say where this bike will rank among others I've owned. I can say without question it is not deficient. The biggest question mark will be whether in can match the heavenly descending ability of the C59 and C60.

Answering an earlier question about if this provides for me what was lacking with the Lynskey - yes. This wheelbase is ~12mm shorter which feels more familiar to me. The 31.6 post is more aesthetically pleasing to me. The 30mm BB gives me lighter crank options and more heel clearance. My biggest gripe with the R350 when it arrived was all of the shapes in the DT and seat stays. The more I looked around, the more I realized that any titanium bike with the ride/performance characteristics I'm after is going to have some heavy tube shaping. I didn't like the T2 TT when I first saw it - but it serves a purpose. This is a race bike made of titanium. The Lynskey can also easily serve as a race bike - and it's definitely more compliant than the T2 - but I think this bike is slightly more geared to "performance oriented" than it is "race" - which is perfectly OK. If that thing was 200-300g lighter and had a 31.6 seatpost, you wouldn't be reading this thread.
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  #15  
Old 11-26-2017, 12:03 AM
Kontact Kontact is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imaking20 View Post

Answering an earlier question about if this provides for me what was lacking with the Lynskey - yes. This wheelbase is ~12mm shorter which feels more familiar to me. The 31.6 post is more aesthetically pleasing to me. The 30mm BB gives me lighter crank options and more heel clearance. My biggest gripe with the R350 when it arrived was all of the shapes in the DT and seat stays. The more I looked around, the more I realized that any titanium bike with the ride/performance characteristics I'm after is going to have some heavy tube shaping. I didn't like the T2 TT when I first saw it - but it serves a purpose. This is a race bike made of titanium. The Lynskey can also easily serve as a race bike - and it's definitely more compliant than the T2 - but I think this bike is slightly more geared to "performance oriented" than it is "race" - which is perfectly OK. If that thing was 200-300g lighter and had a 31.6 seatpost, you wouldn't be reading this thread.
I thought it was funny that you didn't like the top tube. I generally like round tube Ti bikes, but the T2 TT's unique flat in front taper and the way the stays connect above the TT is an aesthetic revelation - so much better than the T1's fat TT at the head tube. This brings much more balance to the frame.

Just curious if you've ever ridden a Serrotta Ti? I wonder if your enjoyment of the T2 is the geometry or amount of tube manipulation.

Ti is such nice stuff.
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