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  #1  
Old 06-08-2017, 11:31 PM
rchman rchman is offline
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Third Time's a Charm: My Litespeed T3

It's been awhile since I posted one of my builds here. I usually post them on WW. This was my third Litespeed. One of my first road bikes was a 2007 Siena. I went carbon then came back to a Litespeed Xicon. I went back to a sleuth of carbon bikes and then got this. It's one of my favorite bikes. It's the godilocks of bikes: not too stiff, not too soft, not too heavy, not too light and whatever else you want to wax poetic on.

Without further ado:





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  #2  
Old 06-08-2017, 11:33 PM
mhespenheide mhespenheide is offline
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Well, that certainly looks the business.

I love the touch of metal bottle cages rather than carbon.
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  #3  
Old 06-08-2017, 11:35 PM
rchman rchman is offline
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Actually, those are 5g carbon bottle cages ;-)
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Old 06-09-2017, 04:27 PM
ean ean is offline
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So money!
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Old 06-09-2017, 08:10 PM
old_fat_and_slow old_fat_and_slow is offline
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Beautiful frame and build!

Are you riding this plus carbon frames or just this?

Curious why you went back to Ti from carbon, especially for a weight-conscious rider.
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  #6  
Old 06-09-2017, 08:45 PM
rchman rchman is offline
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Right now I also have an 11ish pound Evo and a Litespeed Classic. For most of the last year I primarily rode this and had a few project bikes that came and went. Before this, I had a 2016 Scott Foil, an R5ca and a Colnago C59 (in reverse order). So, I've had a handful of carbon bikes over the past couple years. I also race a decent amount and ride about 10k miles annually, so a Titanium bike is often seen as an unusual choice in a sea of carbon these days, especially for a racer.

But, modern Ti has come a long way. This is a big step up in performance from my first Litespeed, the Siena.

For me, I have found that there is a thing as too much stiffness (cough, Tarmac, cough) and others can come across with little personality. Titanium bikes aren't perfect, but they have personality. They have a liveliness to their pedal stroke. And, it's always nice knowing that it's unlikely to be harmed cosmetically by doing something stupid like riding on fire roads and hitting the deck.

With that being said, the top tier carbon bikes are getting really good at taking the best properties of Ti and blending it with the benefits of carbon. The R5ca mastered this but it's Achilles heal was its noodly 256g THM Fork. The C59 was a pretty amazing bike. The Foil was probably one of my most comfortable carbon bikes but it tended to understeer. And the Evo? It's probably the best overall bike I've ever ridden. It's insane how good that bike is on descents and the pedaling feel is similar to the Litespeed (until you really grind up something steep then you notice it's also stiffer). But, if I had to keep only one bike it'd be the T3.

The T3 is still noticeably more comfortable on bad pavement and even though I can descend faster on the Evo, it still feels like a blast on the T3. It's weird and hard to explain. When you take a hard corner with the Evo, you come out of it going, oh, I should've taken that a lot faster. With the Litespeed, you think, oh, I could maybe take that faster but that felt just right. Everything about the Litespeed feels just right and that's what makes it an awesome bike.
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Old 06-14-2017, 11:48 AM
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velofinds velofinds is offline
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This is a great-looking bike! Well done.
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  #8  
Old 06-14-2017, 01:08 PM
Clean39T Clean39T is online now
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That is so hawt. I love decals on the top-side of the down-tube. And you just nailed the black/ti/skinwall balance. This is one I'll show my wife as a "this is what you want, right?". She loves the aesthetic.
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  #9  
Old 06-15-2017, 09:49 AM
hollowgram5 hollowgram5 is offline
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This thing has a great aesthetic and looks very proper. Well done!
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  #10  
Old 06-23-2017, 11:26 PM
syplam syplam is offline
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Ryan do you have issues with ur skewers? Im running tune skewers with bora on my T3 and its making some creaking noise :/ i tried to tighten it as much as i can already.


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Old 06-24-2017, 12:14 AM
rchman rchman is offline
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Any skewers with Ti dropouts is tough, especially during the summer months where Temps change 20+ degrees. I find that grease on the drop outs helps but once you remove the wheel it needs to be redone. Kcnc skewers seem to fair a little better and then obviously Dura Ace or Campy work regardless.
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  #12  
Old 08-13-2017, 06:17 AM
Climb01742 Climb01742 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rchman View Post
Right now I also have an 11ish pound Evo and a Litespeed Classic. For most of the last year I primarily rode this and had a few project bikes that came and went. Before this, I had a 2016 Scott Foil, an R5ca and a Colnago C59 (in reverse order). So, I've had a handful of carbon bikes over the past couple years. I also race a decent amount and ride about 10k miles annually, so a Titanium bike is often seen as an unusual choice in a sea of carbon these days, especially for a racer.

But, modern Ti has come a long way. This is a big step up in performance from my first Litespeed, the Siena.

For me, I have found that there is a thing as too much stiffness (cough, Tarmac, cough) and others can come across with little personality. Titanium bikes aren't perfect, but they have personality. They have a liveliness to their pedal stroke. And, it's always nice knowing that it's unlikely to be harmed cosmetically by doing something stupid like riding on fire roads and hitting the deck.

With that being said, the top tier carbon bikes are getting really good at taking the best properties of Ti and blending it with the benefits of carbon. The R5ca mastered this but it's Achilles heal was its noodly 256g THM Fork. The C59 was a pretty amazing bike. The Foil was probably one of my most comfortable carbon bikes but it tended to understeer. And the Evo? It's probably the best overall bike I've ever ridden. It's insane how good that bike is on descents and the pedaling feel is similar to the Litespeed (until you really grind up something steep then you notice it's also stiffer). But, if I had to keep only one bike it'd be the T3.

The T3 is still noticeably more comfortable on bad pavement and even though I can descend faster on the Evo, it still feels like a blast on the T3. It's weird and hard to explain. When you take a hard corner with the Evo, you come out of it going, oh, I should've taken that a lot faster. With the Litespeed, you think, oh, I could maybe take that faster but that felt just right. Everything about the Litespeed feels just right and that's what makes it an awesome bike.
Over the years, I've read an awful lot of reports here about how various frames ride. This, sir, is up there with the best. Thanks for writing something really useful_and_evocative.
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  #13  
Old 08-28-2017, 01:25 PM
Geekonbike Geekonbike is offline
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Heck of a ride. Really well done.

Question for ya, I've always ridden steel (started low end and now riding a Bishop) and I like the "springiness" of steel but have never ridden a Ti bike.

Do you have any opinion on comparing the two materials?
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  #14  
Old 08-28-2017, 01:41 PM
rchman rchman is offline
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Nothing that would be worth sharing. I've only ridden one steel frame and that was a classic tubed frame that the owner of Wabi cycles lent me for a few weeks to test. I'd need time on a Stinner, English or Speedvagen to give you an accurate comparison (if anyone is holding ). Tube shaping makes a pretty big difference, and one of the reasons I think the Litespeeds are such a good deal as they do a lot of tube manipulation to get the most out of the material.

I will say though that I did just get rid of my Crumpton to just ride this. I enjoy it more. It's also seen a Scott Foil, Evo, and a R5ca comes and go.

I'd like to consider myself a pretty aggressive rider too. On Saturday I made it in a small break with Phil Gaimon. Out of a group of about 70, I managed to bridge up to him on the 2 min kicker climb as he attacked and then sucked wheel as hard as I could for the next 10 minutes.

Point of that being, I'm probably not in the standard demographic for Ti bike shoppers. I'm particular with my bikes and this delivers on everything in spades.
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  #15  
Old 08-29-2017, 12:41 AM
Clean39T Clean39T is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rchman View Post
Nothing that would be worth sharing. I've only ridden one steel frame and that was a classic tubed frame that the owner of Wabi cycles lent me for a few weeks to test. I'd need time on a Stinner, English or Speedvagen to give you an accurate comparison (if anyone is holding ). Tube shaping makes a pretty big difference, and one of the reasons I think the Litespeeds are such a good deal as they do a lot of tube manipulation to get the most out of the material.

I will say though that I did just get rid of my Crumpton to just ride this. I enjoy it more. It's also seen a Scott Foil, Evo, and a R5ca comes and go.

I'd like to consider myself a pretty aggressive rider too. On Saturday I made it in a small break with Phil Gaimon. Out of a group of about 70, I managed to bridge up to him on the 2 min kicker climb as he attacked and then sucked wheel as hard as I could for the next 10 minutes.

Point of that being, I'm probably not in the standard demographic for Ti bike shoppers. I'm particular with my bikes and this delivers on everything in spades.
Good write-up! I hope to settle into my "just right" bike before too long..
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