You accept the undeniable advantage that aerodynamic design gives you, but you like to race on the road, and aerobars are a no-go for mass-start races. The Litespeed Archon C3 gives you all the aerodynamic advantage you crave, but in a road-friendly package. Shimano Ultegra drivetrain and controls, combined with a BB30 FSA crankset ensures all the power you put to the pedals turns into speed.
Strengths: A ride that feels alive - from its stiffness and overall handling.
I've been riding Litespeeds now for a decade, and the Archon is the latest, and by far the best. My wife may be getting tired of hearing me say "I just love this bike". But it's true. Handling is almost telepathic, and the power-transfer efficiency is amazing.
For a little background, I'd been riding a 2003 Siena that I liked, but the fact that the seat-stays were carbon just kind of bothered me (seemed like a Ti-maker adding a gimmick to appeal to the carbon crowd?...). The bike handled very well, and felt as if it were custom-fitted. In 2009, I found out that the Siena was being discontinued - and my hunt started to find one. I landed a new 2009 model for a song, and really enjoyed the significantly better (stiffer, lighter, and no carbon!) ride of the newer frame.
Well... then I learned last year 2012 that the Archon was going to be morphed into a model called the T1, and the new model would have a stiffer tapered headset and a BB30 bottom bracket - neither of which I was interested in*. Once again, I started a search for a model that would soon be gone. Found one for a very-acceptable price, though still a bit on the pricey side. Got it, built it up, and upon rolling out of my garage for the first time, I knew this bike was something very special. I've ridden, and raced, carbon before, and didn't like the lifeless feel of it. Yeah, carbon can be lighter, and stiffer, but Ti just feels alive. Out of the saddle, I cannot believe how stiff this bike is. I'm more of a climber than a 1200-Watt sprinter, but even when stomping on this thing, it feels stiffer than I could ever dream. Leaving a stop light, clipping in and stepping on it, I'm across the intersection before I can believe it.
For handling, the Archon continues the classic feel I've come to know and love. It inspires confidence on fast descents and through corners. For climbing, it feels nimble and efficient. Yes, I love this bike, and also love that it's titanium, and will (baring incident), outlast me.
*The Archon is noted for having an incredibly stiff front-end (due to its oversized tubes and unique wrap-around tubes), so having a stiffer head-tube area was of no interest to me, and the "benefits" of a BB30 (slightly lighter, improved leg-line for pedaling), was again of no interest to me... external bearings are tried-and-true, are not prone to creak, and I can work on it myself - plus, the 2009 Siena is going nowhere, so having two-like BB'd bikes makes sense (both will have a similar feel once clipped in).
Paid $3,000 online for the frame, and built it up with hand-selected parts for an amazing ride.
Similar Products Used: Kestral, Schwin, Frejus (old school Italian), Cilo (old school Swiss - and an amazing bike), Quintana Roo, Simonetti, other Litespeeds, Specialized...
Bike Setup: DA 7800, Easton EA-90SLX wheels, Ritchey WCS bars, FSA OS-99 stem, Fizik saddle, Thomson Masterpiece seatpost.
Date Reviewed: September 24, 2012
Strengths: Very good ride quality..very responsive...aero frame..quick
Weaknesses: none so far...very happy with the C3 after purchasing new aero wheelset...Litespeed brand not carried by many shops..
Not too many shops carry the Litespeed Brand... the marketing is poor...I happened upon the C3 while shopping for a new bike...I have heard from other riders that if any issues occur with the frame, Litespeed is slow to respond and not helpful in taking responsibility for backing up the warranty...not good My other ride,a Specialized, recently had a cracked frame on the chain stay drive side...while on vacation, 800 miles from where originally purchased..The local dealer, Boone Bike in North Carolina had me on a new replacement frame within two weeks...The manufacturer stood behind the product and did the right thing.. no problem and Dealer was very helpful ...Love the C3 ...I hope I never have a frame problem......
Strengths: The new Litespeed Archon C1R is not another 'carbon copy' carbon fiber road bike. It is something unique that begs to be heard above the din of high-end carbon fiber road frames. Our designers did strong benchmarking when they designed the new Litespeed Archon C1R. They were thinking about the other bikes in the crowded $5000+ super-bike category. They were thinking about how to differentiate this bike from others in that category and provide something tangibly unique from those offerings, and at a better value. We succeeded in producing something tangibly different that exceeded even our expectations.
The Litespeed C1 for 2012 can be referenced to as the "AIRWOLF" of bike because it is so stealthy. Its AERO design ensures that you will be cutting through the wind and given an advantage over your competator. Know More : http://www.carbonconnection.com/litespeed-archon-c1-dura-ace-road-bike-2012/
Date Reviewed: February 17, 2012
Strengths: stiffness and vertical compliance. The feel is like a racing machine.
Weaknesses: not only will it be a light ride but will lighten your wallet. Any top end road bike will demand top dollar.
Archon wants to be ridden. Power transfer is direct - what you put in gives back extra and still keeps on giving. Dishing our aching Archon pain to fellow club riders. Also a great quality ride on century rides.
a Road Racer
Date Reviewed: February 1, 2011
Strengths: Smooth, Great power transfer, and takes a turn at high speeds.
Weaknesses: I give out before the bike does.
This bike is really light and fast. Very stable when going down the mountains. I have hit 58 MPH and felt comfortable enough to let go of the handle bars. You can ride this bike for hours without feeling fatigue. I'm 6'1" 230 lbs and have never had a problem with the bike.