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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering about 2005 v. 2006 Litespeeds but bikes in general - what are the advantages of returning to the non-integrated, traditional headset? Anyone know why Litespeed returned to the old ways? My buddy who is a wrench at my local shop told me that Colnagos will never have integrated headsets but he couldnt figure out why either.

I like the integrated, 2005 look a lot better than this year's models but looks are fleeting - safety and performance last just a tad longer. I assume the return to traditional headsets has to be related to one or the other.
 

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powerdan5 said:
Just wondering about 2005 v. 2006 Litespeeds but bikes in general - what are the advantages of returning to the non-integrated, traditional headset? Anyone know why Litespeed returned to the old ways? My buddy who is a wrench at my local shop told me that Colnagos will never have integrated headsets but he couldnt figure out why either.
Making a titanium (or steel) frame for an integrated headset adds both cost and weight, because you need to to flare out the top and bottom of the head tube while making sure there is enough material thickness to hold the integrated bearing seat. Making a head tube for a standard headset is cheaper, easier, and weighs less, because you basically just have to cut the ends of the tube square and ream them to the proper diameter (in addition, you have to make sure the end of the headset have thick enough walls bear the headset loads, but this is easy as well). Also, traditional headsets don't use proprietary standards, so there is complete interchangeability between different brands. Integrated headsets really make no sense at all for titanium and steel frames.

I'm pretty sure that the only reason Litespeed adopted integrated headsets in the first place was because of market demand - and that the reason they dropped them again was also largely due to market demand.
 

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Mark McM said:
I'm pretty sure that the only reason Litespeed adopted integrated headsets in the first place was because of market demand - and that the reason they dropped them again was also largely due to market demand.

Were you spying on us? :D

You are correct though, either move was indeed influenced by market demand.

Herbert
 

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Market demand is a powerful design input

HerbertK said:
Were you spying on us? :D

You are correct though, either move was indeed influenced by market demand.
Actually, I think I read this from one of your postings a while ago, about why Litespeed went back to non-integrated headsets and non-carbon seat stays :)


But there is no doubt that market demand, whether rational or not, is a huge factor in product design decisions. A few years ago, I spoke to an engineer at Sun Rims about some of their rim designs. When I asked about the mechanical affects of hard anodized coating on rims, he immediately said, "You mean how they increase the chances of fatigue cracking?" So of course I asked why they hard anodized so many models of rims. He told me that the reason they did it was that, despite making the rims weaker, it was what customers wanted, and that they sold far more hard anodized versions of their rims than non-hard anodized versions, even though the hard anodized versions cost more.

Of course, product designers love to design products that actually increase quality and value to the customer, and most of the time they do this quite well. But if they want to stay in business, sometimes they have to just throw up their hands and give the customers what they want, even if it isn't a product improvement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So what about performance

Thanks for the replies. I am glad to know the reasons about changes.

As a follow up question, aside from weight, are there any performance issues or concerns one would not want a 2005 version of a Vortex/ Ultimate or any Litespeed for that matter?
 

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2005 Tuscany

Have a 2005 Tuscany, put about 4000 miles on it over the course of a year. Headset bearings crumbled twice thus far. Bike is currently at LBS for possible third set of bearings. Great bike otherwise.

Now currently riding Colnago Master with current Campy Chorus/Record/Zonda. This bike is bulletproof. Guys at LBS love the ride, corners on rails.

Hope this helps!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thanks, Clyde

So, my bike isn't perfect but 99.9% is ok with me too. I bit the bullet and bought the 2005 Ultimate anyways. I am 5'10" and 175 lbs. - in my old days, I was a track racer so I like to still think I can twist and torque a frame. Got a sweethart deal on this bike. Rode a Merlin back in the day (when they offered two models only) and I couldnt tell this bike is even made of the same material. The bike is very responsive, makes riding a joy plus the special moment of riding a new bike, I couldnt be more pleased on my first ride and look forward to lots more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Lamdog. My setup is fairly plain vanilla. Nothing too fancy - no carbon or Ti parts. Deda Newton OS stem and bars, Dura Ace 10, Cane Creek Aeroheads I got on sale when Supergo was doing its purge, and the Fizik saddle, King cages, and SPD SL pedals are carryovers from an old bike. The 31.6 seatpost was the only thing I may change. I got a Salsa post for $25 from eBay but I couldnt find a cheap shorter post so I got a 400mm one - Im debating cutting it down but I think I would rather pay the $30 later on than void any warranties. For now, I just consider the extra weight additional training weight. I may add a computer also but I have been riding for so long without one, I may just "rough it" with the Litespeed as is.

My biggest problem is I feel so guilty for having such a sweet ride. I visited my sister in Pasadena and rode the Rose Bowl - at least 10 people commented on how nice it looked.
 

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Powerdan5. Nice setup. Seems like a lot of thought went into building the bike. I wouldn't exactly call it getting to ride a nice machine like that "roughing it" :). Just out of curiousity, what size is your frame?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My bad - didnt answer you the first time. Its a 55cm. I bought a 55cm LeMond and those extended top tube lengths are killer if thats not what you're bargaining for. I like the fit of this its just right.

And obviously, no one is roughing it with a Litespeed of any kind. I'm very glad to be a new member of the club.
 

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I bought an '05 Ultimate frameset in the fall of '05...for a very good good price. It's probably just a couple of ounces lighter than my 2000 Tuscany, but I find the Ultimate to be not as comfortable. I had to swap out wheels 3 times to find some that my butt could tolerate ok on long rides. I can definitely climb hills faster on the Ultimate though.
 
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