Litespeed 1999 Classic Older Road Bike

1999 Classic

1999 Litespeed Classic, road race & triathlon, Shimano Ultegra components, Look LDS fork

User Reviews (38)

Showing 1-10 of 38  
Veronikafan   Recreational Rider [Mar 09, 2007]
Strength:

Comfortable, yet stiff where it's supposed to be. Durable and beautiful to look at. Rides like a dream.

Weakness:

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.

Similar Products Used: Tommasini SLX, Walter Croll 531, Trek 660, Trek 1200
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Dennis Morawski   Recreational Rider [Sep 21, 2002]
Strength:

Light weight (less than 18# with pump, wbtls, computer and patch kit), enduring finish, compliant ride.

Weakness:

None

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.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Forjador   Recreational Rider [Apr 22, 2002]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Pasopzene   Road Racer [Jan 07, 2002]
Strength:

Light weight; cheaper than Moots

Weakness:

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.

Similar Products Used: Trek OCLV 5200; GiEsse Columbus SL steel frame
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
1
Jose   Road Racer [Jul 18, 2001]
Strength:

This is a great all around bike that does most things well. It is a balance of comfort and performance put into a quality built frame. Titanium is bulletproof, rustproof and light. My bike is under 18lbs with Dura Ace. It is so comfortable, it is hard to describe. If you need/want a super stiff frame there are others more suited for that but at 185lbs, I feel no noticeable flex and am not robbed of any power. Handling is exceptional and descents at over 50 mph are safe.

Weakness:

Decals were away, but are easily replaced. The high polished frame shows scratches but it is a bike, not jewelry and it looks better used.

The previous negative reviews seemed more to do with bike fit rather than some inherent problem with frame quality. So their reviews here seem unwarranted as not all bikes are well matched for all people. If it fits you, you will be happy with this frame. If you have a romanticized idea of having an Italian racing bike, then look at Colnago, Pinarello etc. If performance, durability and comfort are what you seek, then titanium is the way to go. There are other beautiful Ti bikes but the Classic seems to be a better value than most.

Similar Products Used: Variuos Italian, American and Japanese bikes of all metals.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ken   Recreational Rider [Jul 20, 2001]
Strength:

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."

Weakness:

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.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ken   Recreational Rider [Jul 20, 2001]
Strength:

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."

Weakness:

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.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
JohnM   weekend warrior [Dec 27, 1998]
Strength:

None

Weakness:

None

I own a '98 polished classic, Look carbon fork, Campy Record...Ti RULES!!! I'm
5'6 and 145lbs.Best bike I've owned, really responsive on climbs, fast, stylish and the chicks
dig it. I always get double-takes from roadie chicks when I go riding. Don't
know if they're looking at my butt or at the bike ;-)I liked Litespeed so much, that I'm getting the '99 Tellico for mt biking. (own
a Trek aluminum now). If you want one, call Reggie at Willow Glen Bike Shop in
San Jose.

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Jordan   weekend warrior [Nov 20, 1998]
Strength:

None

Weakness:

None

I'm 5'10 and weigh 160 lbs...I have a '96 version of the Classic. I purchased it in Feb. of '96 and just ticked of 7000 miles. Being my only road bike, It sees every imaginable road and condition available. The lack of weight(with DA 9-speed) helped on my 20-mile climb up Clingman's Dome in the Smokey Mountains, but it is also quick enough to ride on our fast group rides of 20-23mph...It's never the bike's fault when I get dropped!! I have had Cannondales, Trek OCLV's, steel Schwinn's, and a Klein, but now I only have one road bike-my decision has been made!! The Classic has any and all of the attributes of a hard-core road bike that you are looking for. If you are a super-big gear masher, you may feel flex, but I haven't been strong enough for that to ever be an issue. Plus it is now coming in so many finish and component choices, you can have it custom to you for very little extra. I know it costs some bucks, but it will last a lifetime. Enjoy!

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
B.J.   weekend warrior [Dec 07, 1998]
Strength:

None

Weakness:

None

It's great to see MTBR expanding. I'm 6'3 @160lbs and recently purchased my 99 polished Classic equiped with a Look HSC full carbon fork, 9sp. Ultegra & Mavic Heliums. Let me tell you that after much research and saddle time on steel, aluminum and other Ti bikes this is an excellent choice. After @500 miles I can't get enough. I find it very stiff but that Ti really makes for a nice ride. It has to be able to keep me competative on hard group rides averaging @20 mph. It costs a quite few bucks, but if you're sticking with the sport...its WELL worth it.

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 38