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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm about to pull the trigger on a new setup. I'm just about indifferent between the Cannondale R3000 and the Litespeed Vortex (or maybe Tuscany) (big price difference I know). But my question is, since this is my first high-end frame purchase, I'm a little inexperienced w/ the life expectency of these things. Both are pretty comfortable but I was hoping to get this investment/expense/capital outlay (call it what you will) to last me for some time. My guess would be that the Ti frame might be a little tougher but I want to see if anyone has gotten some decent (30k+) out of a CAAD7 frame. I don't want to be buying a new ride in 3 or 4 years. Nuff said.
 

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BrutusBuckeye said:
I'm about to pull the trigger on a new setup. I'm just about indifferent between the Cannondale R3000 and the Litespeed Vortex (or maybe Tuscany) (big price difference I know). But my question is, since this is my first high-end frame purchase, I'm a little inexperienced w/ the life expectency of these things. Both are pretty comfortable but I was hoping to get this investment/expense/capital outlay (call it what you will) to last me for some time. My guess would be that the Ti frame might be a little tougher but I want to see if anyone has gotten some decent (30k+) out of a CAAD7 frame. I don't want to be buying a new ride in 3 or 4 years. Nuff said.
You will likely want a new frame in 3-4 years. If you take care of it both will last you way longer than you probably will want the frame. Bikes are not investments either. They depreciate really fast. Buy it, ride it and when you are sick of it buy a new one.
 

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I own a 2004 Cannondale R3000 (CAAD7). Obviously, I can't speak on how it will hold up over 30,000 miles... but I'm almost positive you're better off with a Vortex if you're looking for longevity.

Or... you could get two R3000s for the price of one Vortex... (seriously)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
forgot to note...

I guess I forgot to state that they did not have any other cannondales (i.e. Team Replica or R5000) in stock and I negotiated prices on the LS and C'Dale. That is why it may seem that there is somewhat of a discrepency (especially in price) between the 2 bikes.
 

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What are you riding now?

You are comparing two different animals, a Litespeed Vortex vs a Cannondale CAAD7. I ride two bikes, a steel Colnago and a aluminum Klein. They are different as night and day, but it's not saying one is better than the other. If it was me I'd go with the Vortex, but that's just me. The Vortex has to cost a lot more than the Cannondale. My Klein has well over 30K on it and it's been ridden hard, lots of knicks and I even crashed it once. The Colnago fits me better and has a nicer group and I spend more time on it. What I did when it came time to buy a new bike is just go with what spoke to me and gut feeling. I logged on the site that has used Litespeeds, saw a couple of Vortexes, don't know if they had your size, but if I had the money, I would seriously consider a used Vortex. Or it you have the bucks, just go out and buy what you want.
And if you are riding an al bike now, it doesn't make sense to own two al bikes, it's nice to have something different to ride. You will get bored riding the same thing day in and day out, so it's nice to have a bike of a different material so you can swap back and forth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Dinosaur said:
You are comparing two different animals, a Litespeed Vortex vs a Cannondale CAAD7. I ride two bikes, a steel Colnago and a aluminum Klein. They are different as night and day, but it's not saying one is better than the other. If it was me I'd go with the Vortex, but that's just me. The Vortex has to cost a lot more than the Cannondale. My Klein has well over 30K on it and it's been ridden hard, lots of knicks and I even crashed it once. The Colnago fits me better and has a nicer group and I spend more time on it. What I did when it came time to buy a new bike is just go with what spoke to me and gut feeling. I logged on the site that has used Litespeeds, saw a couple of Vortexes, don't know if they had your size, but if I had the money, I would seriously consider a used Vortex. Or it you have the bucks, just go out and buy what you want.
And if you are riding an al bike now, it doesn't make sense to own two al bikes, it's nice to have something different to ride. You will get bored riding the same thing day in and day out, so it's nice to have a bike of a different material so you can swap back and forth.
what site would that be?
 

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I have a CAAD5 Cannondale and a Litespeed Tuscany. Between the two, the Tuscany feels much more durable than the Cannondale. The tubes feels "thicker," but that could be just me projecting. The rides differ, too, of course, and I like the smoother feel of the Tuscany over the CAAD5. CAAD5 isn't harsh, but it's not as smooth as the Tuscany.

I'd consider the Tuscany over the Vortex unless you have money to burn and a good reason to spend it on the Vortex. Or, if you ride a 56cm frame, you can buy my CAAD5 and have $$$ to begin saving toward your next bike.
 

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Think about how long you want to own the bike

I buy a bike with the "buy and hold" mentality. 10 years is a typical life cycle. I got a Vortex with Campy Record and a Litespeed stem and seat post. My assumption was that I was going to keep this bike for a long time. 56K miles later, the frame looks like new except for a few nicks in the decals. I never give durability a second thought. Not sure I could feel the same way about a super light aluminum bike at my weight (180 lb). If you get bored with a bike after 2-3 years, the Vortex might not be the best value, though it still is a great bike. My own mind set is that quality lasts, and this kind of performance is worth it. If you have a "gotta have the latest" approach, take a different path.
 

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Some you hold, some you think sell but still hold

I've had a Vortex for 5 years with about 20k miles. A great bike that I will keep until the end. I still have my 1975 Gios which I used as a beater bike until I moved from the States and put it in storage so they don't exactly turn into scrap if you do regular maintenance. That is unless you hit something (that's Deda SAT 14.5 showing that it's DOT compliant in crash testing- the dummy riding it is another story)!

Personally, I'd go the Ti route for longevity. I have steel, CF, Ti and Al. The latter's now my beater. A Coppi I bought for $75 on EBay made out of Aluthron. Solid as a rock and fits.

I like the CAAD7 but for value, the Tuscany, especially if you can find it on sale, is hard to beat. Light, durable, low/no maintenance rig. You can change out the fork and components over time, and still enjoy it years from now.

Some people like changing bikes over time, some don't and some just accumulate them. I'm in the latter camp although it helps if you have storage capacity.
 

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Go to EFBe to see the fatigue testing these guys do on frames.

If you are worried about anything from Cannonhell holding up, check it out. The CAADs are one of the only frames that survived the first round of fatigue testing at EFBe. EFBe had to lower thier standards so that more frames would pass. After reading up on it, I feel confident that anything listed on thier site as "EFBe Certified" will be plenty durable..
 

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EFBe testing doesn't include road shock and vibration or plain everyday mishaps that might occur. A CAAD7 may be one of the most durable frames when you just pedal it, but sneeze on the top tube from the wrong angle and you got a nice dent. This is common to any lightweight bike with very thin wall tubing.
 

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Good customer SVC

Dinosaur said:
http://www.preownedbikes.com/

This is a banner on the VeloNews Tech Talk forum. I was checking out the Litespeeds on it yesterday. They also do advertising on Ebay. They have a lot of Litespeeds listed. I have no feedback on this company, but the prices look inviting...

I bought a Specialized S-works full duraace from Dave Cash there. Great customer service and they went above and beyond to make sure I was happy
 

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Agreed

I have a friend who had a CAAD7 last year (notice past tense). His girlfriend borrowed it to ride to the bathroom after a race. She didn't have on cycling shoes. Her foot slipped off the pedal and she landed on the top tube putting a huge dent in it. Based on the size of the dent, you would have thought she should have been hurt

Titanium provides a nice ride. It absorbs more vibration than aluminum. I have a LS Siena and love it. Keep in mind the frame weighs 3.1 pounds so you need to spend money on components if you want it light. I tested its durability last year in a pretty bad crash just 3 months after I bought it. Besides a scratched sticker, there is not a thing wrong with it. Had the bike been AL or carbon, I'm pretty sure I would have kissed it good-bye. LS customer service is awesome too.

Good luck.
 

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I am going to start with TWO assumptions:

1) You are not a racer and
2) You will do almost all of your cycling on one bike.

You definitely want a bike that will last. I suggest steel.

At the very least, you can get the top of the line Lemond steel bike, equip it well, and save money on the pricey TI. Even better you can get a Gunnar or a Waterford and still save a few bucks on the TI. Best of all, you can get a custom steel lugged frame that is made just the way you want and need it formed to your body type and riding style.

I think that AL frames last much longer than the gossip on boards like this implies. But unless you are racing, I just can't see the need for a superlight AL frame, when you are stating for certain that you want a frame to last you a good, long time.

I love Lightspeed's TI products. Very well designed and wonderfully crafted. They should last a very long time. But I kinda see LS as a kind of flashy, market-driven product that's high on the bling-bling scale.

It's hard to beat a well-crafted steel bike dollar for dollar.

Plus vite...que toi???
 

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One of 'em is mine

Dinosaur said:
http://www.preownedbikes.com/

This is a banner on the VeloNews Tech Talk forum. I was checking out the Litespeeds on it yesterday. They also do advertising on Ebay. They have a lot of Litespeeds listed. I have no feedback on this company, but the prices look inviting...
I traded in my Classic for a Merckx Majestic using these guys. If others customers are like me, these bikes were babied and well cared for. I noticed that whatever components shown wear were replaced. The prices are a bit higher than Ebay and the like, but at least you know real mechanics have gone over the machines carefully.
 
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