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aka Zoo
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From reading Lynskey's about page it looks as if Lynskey is basically the same as pre-1999 Litespeed, am I correct? Any opinion on which has the best quality now a days?
 

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Not really

As I understand it, the Lynskey family designed and built the early Litespeed frames. But, now thet they've returned to the business doesn't mean they've gone back to doing things the same as they did 15 years ago. From what I've seen, their designs, tube shapes, etc. look as advanced as any ti frames on the market, and they seem to get great reviews. Whether that makes them 'better," I don't know. Litespeed makes great products, and so do a bunch of other ti framebuilders. Lynskey seems to be up there among the 'upper tier" of custome ti frames.

If I were going to buy a custom, or even stock, ti frame at that price level, it would be a really tough decision. So many good ones to choose from -- just have to spend some time researching, looking at frames, hopefully riding some, talking with the builders, etc.
 

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Dear Mayday and DRLski, I wanted to jump in and say that Mayday did a good job of describing who and what we're about nowadays. We would like to believe that we are a very innovative group with some pretty cool stuff going on. I would disagree that picking a top level ti bike is difficult. The fact that so many people are doing great work means that it will be hard to go wrong. The best suggestion I can give would be to determine what kind of performance or design you're looking for and see who has it. While we all offer excellent quality, not everybody offers a complete range of designs.
 

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Defender of Freedom...
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Mark Lynskey said:
Dear Mayday and DRLski, I wanted to jump in and say that Mayday did a good job of describing who and what we're about nowadays. We would like to believe that we are a very innovative group with some pretty cool stuff going on. I would disagree that picking a top level ti bike is difficult. The fact that so many people are doing great work means that it will be hard to go wrong. The best suggestion I can give would be to determine what kind of performance or design you're looking for and see who has it. While we all offer excellent quality, not everybody offers a complete range of designs.
Mark,

Nice to see you guys responding to the masses :thumbsup:
 

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Hi,
I own a "Lynskey" Litespeed Classic from back in the day (1996) and it is a great bike. I also own a newer Litespeed which in many ways is a better performing bike with great quality as well. I think people like to perceive a lot of differences between the smaller builder and the larger companies.
The newer Lynskey frames are great looking but seem very similar to what Litespeed has been doing. I commend your honesty about how many builders are doing great work as a lot of people here will see their own differences in quality between a Moots weld and all the others. It make me laugh when I see the arguments.
As far as customer service, I don't think Ltiespeed can match what you guys and Seven etc can do for customers. Therefore I would tell anyone nowadays to consider you guys over Litespeed as they seemingly have had too many changes.

Mark Lynskey said:
Dear Mayday and DRLski, I wanted to jump in and say that Mayday did a good job of describing who and what we're about nowadays. We would like to believe that we are a very innovative group with some pretty cool stuff going on. I would disagree that picking a top level ti bike is difficult. The fact that so many people are doing great work means that it will be hard to go wrong. The best suggestion I can give would be to determine what kind of performance or design you're looking for and see who has it. While we all offer excellent quality, not everybody offers a complete range of designs.
 

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Lazyrider said:
I commend your honesty about how many builders are doing great work as a lot of people here will see their own differences in quality between a Moots weld and all the others. It make me laugh when I see the arguments.
It makes me laugh every time I read this drivel. Moots welds are fine, and they certainly are better than Litespeeds were at one time... But not anymore. My Litespeed is the weld equal of anything out of Steamboat Springs, and it doesn't have bead blasting to hide behind.

Our friends in Chattanooga do some fine work, too. I'm not digging the Helix pipes, but that's what makes a horse race, I suppose.
 

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Litespeeds

Mark Lynskey said:
Dear Mayday and DRLski, I wanted to jump in and say that Mayday did a good job of describing who and what we're about nowadays. We would like to believe that we are a very innovative group with some pretty cool stuff going on. I would disagree that picking a top level ti bike is difficult. The fact that so many people are doing great work means that it will be hard to go wrong. The best suggestion I can give would be to determine what kind of performance or design you're looking for and see who has it. While we all offer excellent quality, not everybody offers a complete range of designs.
Mark, I have to chime in. I have a 1998 Litespeed Vortex with your brother's (I assume) signature on the left chainstay. I just turned 100,000 miles on it today (not counting winter roller miles). I'm wondering if it will hold up in the long term :)

If I were to buy another bike today, I would look very hard at your product, as it is quite impressive. But maybe I'm biased.
 

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Lynskey stuff

It's always been a funny but frustrating issue about the whole quality thing. When I think back on the early years when it was Litespeed vs Merlin I have to laugh. Gary Helfrich always referred to it as The Poodle fight. Thank goodness all that seems to have passed. We really don't get those kind of questions anymore.

Kerry from a materials fatigue perspective your frame will last forever. The fatigue strength of both 3al-2.5v and 6al-4v is so high that if all your 100,000 miles were sprinting and climbing you have never pushed the material to it's fatigue point even once. Much less enough to fatique the frame to the point of losing performance.

The Helix pipes certainly are unique looking, and perhaps a bit too out there for some tastes. But man do they work. We just finished a polished/etched custom finish that was just plain sexy. We'll have pics and a video posted in the next few days. We showcase the tubes in our Helix roadbike but we're also using the technology in several of our other models. For example our 2009 version of the Pro-29 mtb will have a Helix downtube. With those big ole 29"wheels/forks and the leverage they generate you need all the stiffness you can muster
 

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Mark, nothing to do with bikes.

But I recall sending some technical documentation in the mid-1960s from what is now the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL to what I remember only as a "small metalworking shop in Chattanooga, TN." Was that your family's shop, by any chance?
 

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Mark Lynskey said:
The Helix pipes certainly are unique looking, and perhaps a bit too out there for some tastes.
Just to be clear, that wasn't meant as a slam - you guys are on my short list for the next bike. But yeah, it's out there a ways, and while I haven't seen meaningful technical arguments, it's tough to buy as a genuine structural improvement - for me, at least. But I'd happily be wrong.

If'n I ever come into a few extra $k, I have a custom in mind I'd love to see you guys execute. Would make Helix seem positively tame, design-wise. Just different strokes, I suppose.

Meanwhile, please don't bet the farm on the aesthetic. Even if it is genuinely better, I'm afraid it will be perceived as I see it for too many folks. Run a line of it - but leave the more traditional shapes (including the level 4 style) intact.

I'd like to hear an explanation of how the asymetrical nature of helical tube shaping is a) beneficial and b) compensated for. Unless, of course, it doesn't really matter...:smilewinkgrin:
 

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Juanmoretime
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Lazyrider said:
Hi,
I own a "Lynskey" Litespeed Classic from back in the day (1996) and it is a great bike. I also own a newer Litespeed which in many ways is a better performing bike with great quality as well. I think people like to perceive a lot of differences between the smaller builder and the larger companies.
The newer Lynskey frames are great looking but seem very similar to what Litespeed has been doing. I commend your honesty about how many builders are doing great work as a lot of people here will see their own differences in quality between a Moots weld and all the others. It make me laugh when I see the arguments.
As far as customer service, I don't think Ltiespeed can match what you guys and Seven etc can do for customers. Therefore I would tell anyone nowadays to consider you guys over Litespeed as they seemingly have had too many changes.

Lazy, lets just say I agree to disagree. I own two Lynskeys. A Pro 29 and a R320. Neither are anything like the line up that is produced by Litespeed. While Lynskey builds light frames it appears that instead of competing with carbon they take properties of what titanium does best and build it into a frame. Lynskey saw what I did with mine and put it on their blog. I have made changes since this posting and have it down to a 12.6 lb daily rider. I plan to ride both of my Lynskeys for many years to come.:D

http://lynskey.blogspot.com/search/label/weightweenie
 

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It could have very well been our shop that you reference. My Dad and Uncle started out as a small machine shop in 1962. They did solicit business from around the region (Huntsville, Tullahoma, Oak Ridge, etc...) The original company name was Threadco, as they started out by specializing in threading, then it evolved into Tennessee Machine Works. In 1984 Dad retired TMW and the kids (Mark, David, Theresa, Chris, and Tim.. with Mom and Dad still helping of course) started Southeast Associated Machine.

Danl1: By no means did I take the Helix comments as a slam. And we have absolutely no intention of eliminating our other tube shapes. They each serve their own purpose both structurally and aesthetically.

Explaining the Helical shape and its performance under different directional forces and varying magnitudes is a mouthfull and quite frankly its been quite a challenge to fiqure out how to verbalize it in a Readers Digest version and not put everybody to sleep. Keep an eye on the website. Over the next 3-4 weeks we'll be doing additional postings that will hopefully answer some of your questions. The core of the Helix shape is that it is a combination of 2 basic structural elements; a beam(which resists bending well and torsion poorly) and a tube or cylinder(which resists torsion well and bending not so well). Add to that a corrugation (visualize a cross section of the helix shape) that follows the path of the torsional loads and you've got quite an interesting structural shape that does a very good job with all the load variances that happen as you ride your bike. Keep in mind we're not saying that its better than all of our other tubesets. We're saying it's different and it brings to the table a new set of performance characteristics that enables us to design a better bike for a given set of circumstances

As you have further thoughts please keep firing away. The feedback does nothing but help.
 

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Mark Lynskey said:
It could have very well been our shop that you reference. My Dad and Uncle started out as a small machine shop in 1962. They did solicit business from around the region (Huntsville, Tullahoma, Oak Ridge, etc...)
Thanks! We may well have dealt with your shop. Many small metal shops tapped into the Huntsville space flight business at that time. I remember one in particular, aptly named SPACO. But the name had nothing to do with space at all—it was an old name and stood for Southern Permanent Awning Company. :D
 

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Juanmore,
I saw your bike on that blog awhile ago and love the orange headset. It looks great but the weight of your bike is less attibutable to the frame and more to your build as you know. Lynskey is a great bike and I would consider one if I didn't already own so many bikes.

As far as what LS is producing now, the Archon and Icon are some fine looking bikes and about as good as it can get in titanium. Like I said, customer service isn't the same with ABG, and I would tell people to look towards a Seven or Lynskey if they were in the market for high end ti.

My 2005 Litespeed Solano which is essentially a 2001 Tuscany is a phenomenal bike and for what I paid, it cannot be beat. My "Lynskey" Litespeed Classic has been flawless over the past decade too. Any differences in quality, welds, performance are purely in the head if I compared it to a Seven or comparable Lynskey (ie, similar tube shapes and design mind you as there are differences in ride quality within the brands themselves). Even Mark Lynskey admits on this thread telling the difference between well made ti is difficult. I would actually prefer you geometry to my LS actually. Didn't think I liked sloping tt but now I am sold. Wanna trade?

Juanmoretime said:
Lazy, lets just say I agree to disagree. I own two Lynskeys. A Pro 29 and a R320. Neither are anything like the line up that is produced by Litespeed. While Lynskey builds light frames it appears that instead of competing with carbon they take properties of what titanium does best and build it into a frame. Lynskey saw what I did with mine and put it on their blog. I have made changes since this posting and have it down to a 12.6 lb daily rider. I plan to ride both of my Lynskeys for many years to come.:D

http://lynskey.blogspot.com/search/label/weightweenie
 

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Seen this bike as well and kinda used it for inspiration to upgrade my Litespeed. Put an Aspide FX saddle and Easton SLX fork in addition to Easton carbon bars. Dropped a pound off my 57cm LS and it is around 16lb with HEAVY stock wheels. Love your Lynskey build the most. What is the weight?
 

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How did Juan get his down in the 12 lbs range? If your bike is in the 15s, it looks like a similar build, but I know anything is possible. Not to hijack the thread, but here is my LS with the new saddle and easton fork.

Since I got a sloping geo frame, I must say it suits me well. I would go for your bike if I were in the market. My Solano is awesome ride though but my short legs and long torso are custom made for a sloping tt.
 
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