Litespeed Vortex Dura Ace 10 Speed Road Bike

DESCRIPTION

Frame Material: 6Al/4V titanium, butted
Frame Angles: 73.5 head, 73.0 seat
Sizes: 49cm, 51cm, 53cm, 55cm, 57cm, 59cm, 61cm
Colors: Polished
Fork: Lite TEC
Rear Shock: Not applicable
Brake Levers: Shimano Dura-Ace STI Dual Control
Handlebar: Buyer's choice
Stem: Buyer's choice
Headset: 1 1/8" integrated
Front Der: Shimano Dura-Ace, bottom-pull/clamp-on 35.0mm
Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace, 39/53 teeth
Rear Der: Shimano Dura-Ace SS
Pedals: Not included
Tires: 700 x 23c Continental Grand Prix 3000

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 29  
[Sep 15, 2013]
Jay Cahow

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Light Weight, Responsive, Stiff, Good Looking, Won't Rust, Free Repair and Reconditioning

Weakness:

Top Tube Vortex Decal Wears Off, Litespeed Head Plate Fell Off, Cracked Rear Dropout, Expensive Price

Bought mine in 97 and have loved it ever since. I have well over 50,000 miles on it and it is still going strong. Replaced the original 1" threaded fork with a threadless Time Featherlite right after getting the bike and swapped stock 9 speed setup for 10 later. Handles fine, I have never experienced the wobble others talk about. Climbs up the steepest hills no problems. My friend bought a Voretx in 98 on my recommendation and still rides his as well. My frame cracked at rear drive dropout after 10 years but was fixed for free (they buffed entire frame, replaced all decals, replaced Head Plate for free). Only negative for me is my 1" head tube as the 98 models forward have 1.25" head tube. My frame is from the original Litespeed company so I can't compare to later 2000 models. Just love my bike!

[Jun 16, 2012]
Sam

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Light and comfortable.

Weakness:

None noted yet.

I have a 97 Vortex and have ridden over 15k miles on the frame. I am 6’ 1” and at my lightest I was a svelte 230 at my heaviest 290. Most of my miles are from west Texas. I have not put many miles on the frame in the last 4 years, but I have not had any “cracking” of the frame welds. In stressing the frame I have taken train tracks and cattle guards at speed and always felt solid on this frame. I do agree that the geometry is aggressive and you have to pay attention. I have not had to request any warranty work on the frame as yet, but I am looking at sending it in to have it refurbished and new decals applied. I will update this post as to the customer service as I go through this process.

[Jul 07, 2011]
Conrad Brazzel
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Weakness:

the Litespeed warranty

Great bike to ride until the frame cracked at the down tube and head tube juncture. This happened within 2 years of riding. Litespeed repaired it and the frame cracked in the same place again. The Lite speed warranty committee refused to honor the warranty. The claim "the frame has lived it's life".
What happened to the "Lifetime warranty"?
Very upset with this company.
This will be the first of many letters around the web.

[Feb 10, 2011]
Orestes
Road Racer

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
Strength:

Dont have to worry about the paint, strong, fairly light, and good looks.

Weakness:

Wobble at high speeds, Costumer Service stinks, Lite speed refuses to correct the problems.

I love this bike. I got it on sale over the net from a great store. However, I have experienced the famous wobble at high speeds with or without Aero-Wheels. I have not even tried to contact costumer service because of the experience that my friend Gonzalo had with his Tuscany where they are very rude and willing to honor the lifetime warranty(his downtube cracked). By the way, I bought the Vortex on his advice. Based on reviews here, I see that a lot of people have experienced the wobble and bad costumer service. I will never buy a Litespeed again.

Similar Products Used:

Orbea Orca

[Dec 27, 2009]
Richard Pynn
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
3
Strength:

Good fast bike. Durable..until. Excellent climbing bike. Bladed seatstays are a mixed blessing - they add some flex that adds power since they are flat - but I can flex the rear wheel into the brakes sometimes. I loved the bike - hate the company.

Weakness:

Pricey. Especially considering the customer service & warranty issues above. Uncalled for. A Mercedes price means Mercedes service if anything ever - ever - goes wrong. Walmart warrants their bikes better, really !

Great bike....until. With 35,000 miles on it, we found a huge crack in the downtube that went through the weld and into the head tube, 40 miles into a 42 mile ride. Downtube crack was 2/3 of the way around. I bought a lottery ticket that night because the thing was seconds away from splitting in half with me on it at speed. I was very lucky that day even though I did not win the lottery. I see on here a lot of complaints about customer service & warranty repairs at Litespeed- that's why I am writing. It will take 3 months to get my bike back, they want to charge me $200 for replacing the stickers, with fright & all I'm out $400, for a clear mfg defect. Should not have cost me a dime. The bike has never been wrecked or even fallen over. Customer service is rude and arrogant (Todd - that's you). They don't care. I don't think they even ride bikes. The happy ending is that I got a loaner frame from a great bike shop (JTRG above) a Cannondale SuperSix and the Litespeed will be on EBay if I ever get it back from the Wall Street Bankers at LiteSpeed. I'm falling more in love with the Cannondale by the day.

Similar Products Used:

Trek, Cannondale

[Feb 13, 2008]
Anonymous
Road Racer

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

magic ride especially on centuries, good looking, reasonably light

Weakness:

wobble and warranty

This was my first Ti road bike and after riding every other frame material I really am a believer is this magic material. After reading many reviews I am suprised that many things that I thought were unique to me have happened to others with the Vortex. The speed wobble has about made me crap myself but has only happened on rare occasions. I have had many 45+mph descents with no problem but 4 months to repair (I have suggested replacement since this is the 2nd time and I really don't want to be without my bike 4 months out of each year). I could pay more money for a newer model but am torn since other than my rare issue of speeed wobble I absolutely love the bike. My rating does not include customer service issues.

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Trek, Clark Kent, Kestrel, Wilier, Raleigh

[Jan 11, 2008]
Anonymous
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Great all around bike. Too bad they don't make this frameset any longer. Not to mention it is a piece of art. The Tube shapes, aero seat stays though not as teardrop pronounced as on some of the '06 bikes i.e. Tuscany, are gorgeous. Form really follows function here. The top and down tube are balanced and compliment the overall design. The Cornerstone of this framset has to be the Head tube. It's an integrated head tube and it's bullit proof. Round on the top and bottom yet aero in the center. Do you know how much leverage is required to cold work this tube into shape? Simply amazing artwork! All those who own the '05 frameset count your blessings. As Keith Bontrager, one very astute bicycle design Guru (who has no allegience to Litespeed) said to me "don't ever sell that bike, you'll be sorry". The internal Cups are massive. They're simply over designed and that's a good thing when it comes to head bearing races. Frame is stiff where it needs to be, yet compliant for my 230 lb. frame. (Thor Hushvold is tiny next to me...) All I can say is it rolls baby, and it rolls fast.

Weakness:

I can't say this is a weakness so much as a characteristic. The steering geometry is very quick and thus the Vortex can seem a little nervous. You better be paying attention at all times or it will go left and you will go right. Be very careful if you decide on sitting up to grab something from a pocket and you let go of the bars with your hands. It's stable enough to ride and peddle with no hands but is very susceptible to weight transfers. Those who get to know this bike will love it, those who instantly compare it to another or previous bike without getting to know it will be better suited to a Buick than a Porsche or Ferrari.

I'm 6'2 and weigh 230 lbs. Pretty fit, ex racer. I'm baffled when I hear of others experiencing any kind of head shakes or wobbles? I wonder if this is happening with other '05's or if this other years?

On Paceline...
Tracks true and solid, holds a very solid line despite it's "ability to turn so sharp a doctor could use it to carve out your Kidney" geometry, delivers the goods up the River, on the flats, on the sprints and if Robo was riding it on the climbs, he'd be G-O-N-E like a goat!

On Climbing...
It climbs better that me, for sure. It tranfers power so efficiently that when I stomp on the peddles the nose of the seat tries to get intimate with me. Bottom bracket takes all my sprinters short lived yet considerable power and transfers it to the rear wheel. How can these lighter guys be having problems??? I wonder if it's the model year?

On Descending...
My '05 Vortex is drop dead solid. On descents such as from Glendora Mtn. Road at full tilt boogie through corners it has never given me anything but pure confidence inspiring feedback. What ever the road ahead can through at us, it will handle without as much as a yawn. Never a waver, and once in the corner it tracks like a MotoGP Ducati. The '05 frameset with the 10 sided seat tube, Curved Seatstay and the piece of art Head Tube offers a very compliant ride over the bumps but tells me when I'm on less that smooth pavement.

General Miles...
I've done sprints to Centurys and longer on this bike and it keeps on delivering. I have almost 10,000 miles on it in two years time and it perfoms flawlessly time and time again. It looks as good as it did the day I bought it and upkeep is SIMPLE! Scratch, what scratch? Hand me the ScotchBrite!

Like one reviwer said it looks fast just siting in the garage, he was right. Two years of ownership and I sit in my garage just starring at the Vortex with my back to the $17,000 Italian motorcycle that it shares space with...it moves me in more ways than one.

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Six Thirteen, System Six, Serotta Ottrot, Seven Odonata, Trek Madone 5.9, Merlin Extralight I tried 'em all...

[Jan 05, 2008]
Jason Edling
Road Racer

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Responsive, agility and climbing prowess

Weakness:

You really feel the big bumps... a very active ride.

The bike it excellent, I've found that the responsive ride translates to a rough ride when things get bumpy. I'm led to believe that this has more to do with the HP Pro fork, wich is exceptoinally stiff, than it does the frame. I've read lots on negative feedback about decending... I regularly bomb down descents at 40+ MPH with no wobble. I've found that the frame is well matched to the Ksyrium SL wheelset.

I only weight 155 lbs and I typically spin rather than hammer past my competition in races so I haven't noticed any flexing problems.

After reading the 20 preceeding reviews I'm led to believe that the 2005 frame lacked the welding problems of the 2006 frames and the handling problems of the 2004 frames.

Love the Vortex.... too bad Litespeed discontinued this frame.

Similar Products Used:

Litespeed Classic

[Nov 27, 2007]
Paul Disbennet
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Smooth ride, quick acceleration, great descender.

Weakness:

Horrible support. For a $3300 frame, warranty work shouldn't even happen.

Warranty support is abysmal. Took over 2 months to get cracked head tube repaired. Before and after, I think my bike is awesome. Actually it is an 04. Shoots up hills, screams down them. Only wobbles when I take my hands off around 25 or so. I've had it up to 57mph straight down...solid as a rock, straight as an arrow. Smooth as can be on centuries. Lovin' it. Overall rating is not counting warranty misery.

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[Nov 14, 2007]
Anonymous
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Strength:

Looks Good

Weakness:

Weak frame - only lasts 6 months
Lack of customer service


I purchased this bike the end of April 2007 (2006 model) with a full Dura-Ace Group. While riding up a hill on November 4th, I experienced a loud crack and felt the bottom bracket area get extremely mushy. I stopped immediately looking at the crankarm, pedal spindle - trying to diagnose the problem. You can imagine my surprise to see a crank in the frame on the down tube. As I looked closer, the frame was cracked along the weld of the entire rear section of the seat tube, continued on the crank side, and across the down tube (not along the weld) to the center of the tube. So much for the durability of titanium. I got the bike home and called the shop. It would have to be stripped down & returned to Litespeed. I emailed photos (attached) to them and received a couple of emails "sorry to hear" etc. I am working on a replacement which is where it gets even more interesting. They are offering to replace my "traditional" geometry Vortex with a "Compact" only at no charge. If I want "traditional" geometry I can pay an additional $1200 for the Archon (with a fork, $1000 without-even though the rake is different on my old one). This is a 6 month old bike that costs about the same as the Archon (which is listed with a fork/ Vortex without). Litespeed says that it costs a lot more to make the Archon than the Vortex - why did they charge almost the same price? Over the last 30 years, I have ridden several Treks (no hassle warranty), Serotta (still have) and would definitely look elsewhere - there are better bikes for the same or less money & no hassle warranty - especially in the first year!

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Trek Madone (s)
Trek 5500
Cannondale

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