Strengths: Comfortable, yet stiff where it's supposed to be. Durable and beautiful to look at. Rides like a dream.
Weaknesses: None, other than the fact that they don't make 'em anymore.
I guess it's quite late in the game to be posting a review of a model year 1999 frame, but I've only owned it for a year and a half. I bought the 1999 Classic with Look LDS fork and King headset on ebay for $800 from Litespeed when they were still refurbishing trade-in's and auctioning them. Litespeed even gave me a lifetime warranty on the frame, the same as a new bike. Needless to say, this was the best $800 I've spent on a bike. I've owned 3 steel bikes and an aluminum, and there is no comparison in terms of comfort and efficiency. The geometry of the Classic is almost identical to my old Tommasini SLX, but this frame, while being at least a pound lighter, is actually stiffer in the bottom bracket, and way more shock-absorbent on rough roads. I feel a lot less beaten-up after a 60 or 70-mile ride than on that, or any of my old bikes.
Mine is the brushed natural titanium finish, and a quick spray of Windex and wipe with a rag is all that's needed to keep it clean. No paint chips or rust to worry about. I really like the traditional touches like the brazed-on "ears" for the seatpost binder, and the brazed-on FD mount. Riding this bike never fails to put a smile on my face. It tracks like it's on rails and low speed or high. I've gotten it up to about 53 mph on descents, and it's smooth as can be. The only thing wrong with the Litespeed Classic is that Litespeed doesn't make them anymore. Now all their bikes have the same ugly compact geometry that makes them look like overgrown kids' BMX bikes.
a Recreational Rider
from Youngstown, Ohio,USA
Date Reviewed: September 21, 2002
Strengths: Light weight (less than 18# with pump, wbtls, computer and patch kit), enduring finish, compliant ride.
This is actually a review of a 1997 frame. In the six seasons I have ridden thousands of miles on this bike. To-date, not a single problem, just glad I took the plunge and purchased ti when I did. Lively but compliant ride, enduring finish. (Recently I polished the brushed original finish, purchased new decals from Litespeed, and now have a finish BETTER then new!)
Similar Products Used: Steel Schwinn Paramount, Cannondale aluminium, other various steel frames.
Bike Setup: Campy Record 10, Neutron wheels, Look HSC2 fork, Chris King hs, Deda HB & stem, Terry seat, American
a Recreational Rider
from Austin, TX
Date Reviewed: April 22, 2002
Strengths: Beautiful lines & geometry; a supple ride combined with acute responsiveness. When I finish a long ride, even with heavy headwinds and bad pavement, I no longer feel as fatigued as I did when riding steel or aluminum frames.
Weaknesses: Occasional creaks from bottom bracket.
Many here have complained that the decals rub off too easily. I say, that's a *good* thing. It's too bad Litespeed makes such beautiful frames, then slaps such garish, cheesy, downright butt-ugly stickers on them. I took mine off with nail polish remover!
I've never raced, but am a weekend warrior who regularly piles up 100-150 miles per week on central Texas back roads. After years of pushing steel and having my butt numbed by aluminum frames and badly paved, chattery ranch roads, Litespeed Ti has become my salvation. I'm a chunky middle-ager (5'11", 185 lbs), with a long torso and short legs. The longer top tube on the Classic was a natural fit for me. I had to experiment with stem length and height, but once I got the fit dialed in, I've had no complaints. And although I don't race, I can apply some serious torque when my buddies decide it's hammer-time, but I've detected no BB flex with the Classic frame. I don't plan to replace this bike for a long, long time--and when I do, it'll be another Litespeed.
Similar Products Used: 30+ years of steel and aluminum frames, most recently Cannon-whale R1000.
Bike Setup: Dura-Ace gruppo, (8-spd.: 12-23/42-53)
Mavic Open Pro wheelset, with Mavic hubs
Look HSC carbon fo
a Road Racer
from San Diego
Date Reviewed: January 7, 2002
Strengths: Light weight; cheaper than Moots
Weaknesses: The frame breaks.
The frame has cracked two times. The first time, it was the chainstay, and they repaired it. This time, it's the seat tube above the bottombracket, and I hope they replace the frame. Sooner or later, this bike will break.
a Recreational Rider
from Taos Ski Valley, NM USA
Date Reviewed: July 20, 2001
Strengths: Stiff frame, transmits and accelerates well. Damped enough to absorb lumpy NM roads. Fast and stable; quick and responsive. Made beautifully. Lean, clean, peformance machine that is a real pleasure to ride. Every time I get on it for a ride I say "...ahhhhhhh."
Weaknesses: Can't say I've found any yet. Crashed it once very hard into a drainage culvert hole and scratched one decal slightly. The bike stayed true and strong. I went to the chiropractor.
I'm a life-long athlete, working in the ski industry every winter for 30 years and skiing 100-120 days per winter. Summer it's the bike and it's a great complement to the winter season. Turning 50, I bought this bike to treat myself for all the great years I've been enjoying life. I've always wanted a bike of this caliber and it has not disappointed. My old Puch Reynolds 531 was a great bike (a friend on ski patrol still rides it), but this is such a smooth refinement in riding performance. I have not had any problem with the decals wearing like others have. I tend to really take care of my "things." I'm 6 foot and only 130 pounds, but very strong. I'm riding a 61cm bike with the 172.5mm crank arms due to the fact that most of my height is in my legs, which are very strong. Got a great fit at the Colorado Cyclist and have not changed anything on the bike since I got it (September 99). I only wish I could ride more (most summers it's 3 or 4 days a week--other years less). I'm an aggressive recreational rider--not a sightseer--and I love getting on this bike. They are expensive, but that is to be expected for machines and components of this quality. I expect to keep it for quite a while, so I feel the bike has really been worth the expense.
Similar Products Used: Mostly a high-end Puch (don't think they're made anymore--a Daimler Benz company) made of Reynolds 531.
Bike Setup: All Campy--Chorus, tip to tail. Thomson post, Selle Flite Trans Am, Look 296 pedals, Campy Nucleon wheels (SWEET!), 172.5 crank arms, no gizmos (bottle cages, computers, etc.). Look HSC-1 fork. Nothing but bike!