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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
57 year old male, 200 lbs., 6'. I ride 25-40 miles at a time, and try for a 50+ miler every two weeks or so. I get in around 125 a week during the months with longer daylight hours. This drops considerably during the darker months due to my work schedule.
Which Lynskey do I want?
I ride on paved roads and avoid riding in wet conditions. I currently ride a Cannondale SuperSix Evo (size 56), so I don't mind the stiffness, but would not mind a bit more upright position. I've ridden a few "plush" bikes, but they just feel "mushy" to me, perhaps due to my being used to the feel of the C'dale. Excessive weight is an issue since I live in a very hilly area, so I want something on the light side, especially in the wheelset. I run 23c tires now and I like them. May try 25c, but not interested in anything wider since I don't ride on gravel; strictly paved roads. No panniers, fenders, mud guards, etc. I will not be racing, but our group does do a few sprints and fast segments, as most groups do. As I mentioned, this is a very hilly area (Greenville, SC), so please take that into consideration.
My current bike has SRAM Red and I like it and am used to the SRAM feel. I would like SRAM Force or better, and would consider Shimano Ultegra or better. Not willing to spend the extra $$ for electronic shifting (I am familiar with it; my wife has it on her CAAD10). Compact gearing in front and maybe 12-32 in the rear.
Budget is $4000, absolute tops....$3500 would be better. Which Lynskey should I be considering? What is the approx weight of the bike you're suggesting?
Thanks.
 

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Call them and discuss. I was interested in a Silver series when they first started shipping. A call to them and subsequent conversation was that @ 210 lb and my riding habits/style [whatever] I would be well served with the upper end. And I do think it was because they want to sell more expensive frames per say. I felt the discussion was productive, honest, and I got the right information. I would be surprised if you don't feel similarly coming away from a consult with them.
 

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Not sure if you found a Lynskey yet, but price wise the Sport model R140 is the same bike as my Silver Series Peloton and is a fantastic deal. The geometry is not a pure racing geometry so it's a tad more laid back and slightly more upright position which provides a degree of more comfort. Also the bike's frame is built to handle up to a 28mm tire which very few road bikes will do, most are tight with just 25's. I think this bike is about 98% of what the more expensive Lynskey bikes are, so you have to judge for yourself if spending a lot more money is worth the extra 2% or so gain. This bike is on sale for $2399 with Shimano 105

If you haven't bought your bike yet consider going through Adrenalin Bikes, see: Adrenaline Bikes Because if you get the R140 a couple of minor cost changes can make a big difference in how it feels, and Adrenalin can do that but Lynskey direct cannot, you simply pay the difference. For example, I changed the 105 rear derailleur to Ultegra for only $36 more, and the standard level Shimano cables to Dura Ace 9000 for just $20 more. I also did some other changes to beef up the headset from the rather low end FSA to Cane Creek 110 which cost about $70 extra, and the fork to a Enve 2.0 for about $175 more. The wheelset at the time was Shimano RS500 (105) now it's Vision Team 25 which I know nothing about, but Shimano offered the RS series in black or silver, for some reason the silver had a deeper dish to it than the black so I got the silver for no extra charge. At Adrenalin you can swap out the wheels for whatever wheel set you like, you just pay the difference. I also opted for SpeedPlay Frogs with Stainless steel spindle because I like to ride to other towns and lakes etc and walk around. I made my changes because once I got the bike I wasn't going to be making any changes for a long time, so better price wise to do it at order time. The only option I considered that I didn't do was to go with the Ultegra crankset, not sure if my decision not to was a good one or not, time will tell.

Matthew at Adrenalin was also very knowledgeable and helpful, and he agreed with my choices, he advised the cables, the headset (because I initially wanted Cane Creek); and the Silver RS Shimano rims because they were a bit more stout and would hold up better to street pounding, so far he's been right about the wheels, I haven't had to true them in 2 seasons. He agreed about the Enve 2.0 because it was the stoutest of the forks by any manufacture, and the rear derailleur because it was built a bit better than the 105 for crisper shifting.
 

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would not the Helix be clser to what jeepsouth is looking for?

i went from a 2013 Evo HM to a 2014 Synapse HM and i did not give up anything in the BB stiffness or handling. but, the position is much more realaxed.

Synapse was a no brainer. i know you are looking for ti, but, i just thought i should give you my experience.
 

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For less than $3500 you can get a really nice Lynskey R140 which if you get it from Adrenalin Bikes you can upgrade like I did and come in at about $2,800 and then spend a bit more up to your budget limit and get nicer wheels. Remember that if you buy direct from Lynskey they can't do upgrades. Another thought is to go with the stock wheels for everyday riding and get a set of Flo 60's for a bit faster wheel if you'll be riding with a group of faster riders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Good suggestions all, and I appreciate all of the advice.

Right now, I'm leaning toward the Helix. I appreciate all of the advice about wheels, tires, etc. I'm leaning toward having just one set of good every-day wheels. I can get the Boyd's here in Greenville (the Swamp Rabbit Trail goes right by their front door) and am leaning toward their Altamonts. Still thinking about tire sizes, but have had very good luck with the Mich Pro 4 Service Course in size 23. I may try a 25, but I don't see myself going beyond that based on the type of riding I do and the roads on which I ride.

But, just recently a shop opened here which carries Litespeed Ti bikes. He doesn't have one in my size currently, but should have one to demo soon. Any suggestions or info on the Litespeed bikes would be helpful. I've visited their website and checked out the warranty, but would appreciate some advice from those really familiar with the bikes. Lynskey, too.

Thanks.
 

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Good suggestions all, and I appreciate all of the advice.

Right now, I'm leaning toward the Helix. I appreciate all of the advice about wheels, tires, etc. I'm leaning toward having just one set of good every-day wheels. I can get the Boyd's here in Greenville (the Swamp Rabbit Trail goes right by their front door) and am leaning toward their Altamonts. Still thinking about tire sizes, but have had very good luck with the Mich Pro 4 Service Course in size 23. I may try a 25, but I don't see myself going beyond that based on the type of riding I do and the roads on which I ride.

But, just recently a shop opened here which carries Litespeed Ti bikes. He doesn't have one in my size currently, but should have one to demo soon. Any suggestions or info on the Litespeed bikes would be helpful. I've visited their website and checked out the warranty, but would appreciate some advice from those really familiar with the bikes. Lynskey, too.

Thanks.
Fantastic. My answer was based on your top absolute budget of $4,000 with a hope of around $3,500, a fully equipped Helix is $1,500 to $2,000 over that "absolute" budget. Great to hear you've increased your budget significantly, it's a great bike that you'll enjoy for years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Fantastic. My answer was based on your top absolute budget of $4,000 with a hope of around $3,500, a fully equipped Helix is $1,500 to $2,000 over that "absolute" budget. Great to hear you've increased your budget significantly, it's a great bike that you'll enjoy for years.

Yes....budgets have a way of ballooning, don't they? Thanks for your earlier suggestion.
 

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Yes....budgets have a way of ballooning, don't they? Thanks for your earlier suggestion.
LOL, yes they do, but I kept to mine when I got my Lynskey. In fact I did something odd, I took what I paid for my bike in 1984 and added inflation and spent that amount which bought me the Peloton (now the R140) with upgrades I mentioned previously. I'm sure you'll love your new bike, but be careful of that twisted frame, I heard that people who exceeded 200 mph ended up corkscrewing through the air.
 

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Music Man
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I'm not familiar with the geometry of the Cannondale bike you have, or if that's the same type of geometry you're trying to stay with in buying a Lynskey.

What I can say is that I owned a Bianchi Infinito and a Giant Defy Advanced 1, which both developed cracked frames or parts. I made up my mind to buy a Lynskey, but had no idea what model to choose. I made numerous calls to Lynskey and talked to Don Irwin and Mike Lunsford. I spent numerous times chatting with them online. I took into consideration, not only my budget, but my medical problems with degenerated discs in both my neck and lower back. I knew I couldn't buy a bike with an aggressive geometry. I mulled over a period of time which model to buy. I watched Youtubes Don had made comparing one model to another.

I was at a crossroads between an R230 and an R255. Both models had features I liked, but I settled on a 2014 R255. It has a similar relaxed geometry to an Infinito. The R230 had a little more aggressive riding position, and I thought that would be a problem with my neck and back. I also had a budget of $4K or less. Luckily, when I decided to buy, it was during a "Black Friday and Christmas Sale", where they were offering low cost financing, or 30%-35% off the total cost of the bike, not just the frame.

I decided to get the Ultegra 6800 groupset, Enve 2.0 front fork, Cane Creek Headset, and Mavic Kysirium wheelset. It all came in for just at $3200 after tax and shipping. I ended up paying cash, so I got the 35% discount.

The bike was delivered by the end of January, 2014. It simply is the smoothest and most comfortable road bike I ever had. There's a huge difference and sound between the way it rides compared to a CF bike. I don't get any thud or weird sounds riding over a bump like I did with a CF bike.

As I said, my R255 is a 2014 model. They've done some very minor modifications with the 2015 model. The rear chainstays now have a slight curvature to add more comfort when riding. Mine are traditionally straight.

Here's something you guys may not know. Lynskey offers 50% off the frame only if you are an active member of the Armed Forces or a veteran. I am. I served 11 years in the Army. They would only offer one discount though. For me, it was cheaper in the long run to buy the complete bike at 35% off than just the frame and buying parts elsewhere to build the bike on my own.

So, there you have it. Call Don or Mike and tell them what you're looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm not familiar with the geometry of the Cannondale bike you have, or if that's the same type of geometry you're trying to stay with in buying a Lynskey.

What I can say is that I owned a Bianchi Infinito and a Giant Defy Advanced 1, which both developed cracked frames or parts. I made up my mind to buy a Lynskey, but had no idea what model to choose. I made numerous calls to Lynskey and talked to Don Irwin and Mike Lunsford. I spent numerous times chatting with them online. I took into consideration, not only my budget, but my medical problems with degenerated discs in both my neck and lower back. I knew I couldn't buy a bike with an aggressive geometry. I mulled over a period of time which model to buy. I watched Youtubes Don had made comparing one model to another.

I was at a crossroads between an R230 and an R255. Both models had features I liked, but I settled on a 2014 R255. It has a similar relaxed geometry to an Infinito. The R230 had a little more aggressive riding position, and I thought that would be a problem with my neck and back. I also had a budget of $4K or less. Luckily, when I decided to buy, it was during a "Black Friday and Christmas Sale", where they were offering low cost financing, or 30%-35% off the total cost of the bike, not just the frame.

I decided to get the Ultegra 6800 groupset, Enve 2.0 front fork, Cane Creek Headset, and Mavic Kysirium wheelset. It all came in for just at $3200 after tax and shipping. I ended up paying cash, so I got the 35% discount.

The bike was delivered by the end of January, 2014. It simply is the smoothest and most comfortable road bike I ever had. There's a huge difference and sound between the way it rides compared to a CF bike. I don't get any thud or weird sounds riding over a bump like I did with a CF bike.

As I said, my R255 is a 2014 model. They've done some very minor modifications with the 2015 model. The rear chainstays now have a slight curvature to add more comfort when riding. Mine are traditionally straight.

Here's something you guys may not know. Lynskey offers 50% off the frame only if you are an active member of the Armed Forces or a veteran. I am. I served 11 years in the Army. They would only offer one discount though. For me, it was cheaper in the long run to buy the complete bike at 35% off than just the frame and buying parts elsewhere to build the bike on my own.

So, there you have it. Call Don or Mike and tell them what you're looking for.

First, thanks for your service to the country.

Second, thanks for the great information. I have spoken with Don and the folks at Lynskey have been very helpful. But, as I mentioned above, a new LBS has started carrying Litespeed Ti bikes and I'm following that trail at present. I don't think this will lead me away from Lynskey, but I'm going to see where it goes. Would be great to be able to support the LBS.
 

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Music Man
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Just a few more thoughts. Litespeed isn't the company it once was when the Lynskey family owned it. Sure, the new company probably makes a good product, but it is not manufactured in the USA. I took that into consideration when I bought my Lynskey. I like the fact that it was hand crafted in Chattanooga, TN, with American workers.

If it doesn't matter to you where the frame is made, then you could consider the Litespeed, or even the Motobecane I provided a link to. Heck, for $3K with a full Shimano Dura Ace 11 speed drive train, you really can't go wrong. I, by no means, ever thought I'd recommend a Motobecane to anyone, but it even comes with Kysirium Elite wheelset.

Review: Motobecane Le Champion Team Ti | Road Bike News, Reviews, and Photos
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just a few more thoughts. Litespeed isn't the company it once was when the Lynskey family owned it. Sure, the new company probably makes a good product, but it is not manufactured in the USA. I took that into consideration when I bought my Lynskey. I like the fact that it was hand crafted in Chattanooga, TN, with American workers.

If it doesn't matter to you where the frame is made, then you could consider the Litespeed, or even the Motobecane I provided a link to. Heck, for $3K with a full Shimano Dura Ace 11 speed drive train, you really can't go wrong. I, by no means, ever thought I'd recommend a Motobecane to anyone, but it even comes with Kysirium Elite wheelset.

Review: Motobecane Le Champion Team Ti | Road Bike News, Reviews, and Photos
Yeah, I also like the fact that Lynskey bikes are made here in the US. It is a definite selling point for me.

I was aware that BikesDirect had some Motobecane Ti bikes, but never even considered them. I figured they were mass-manufactured in China and would not have nearly the quality of the Lynskeys or even the Litespeeds. Is that an incorrect assumption? Are they quality bikes?

Also, no need to go into all of the pluses and minuses of the BikesDirect buying experience. I have read the good and bad experiences on this site for a few years, so I'm just asking mainly about the quality of the Motobecane Ti bike.

Thanks.
 

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Music Man
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From what I understand now, Litespeed is mass manufactured overseas too. There are very few companies in the good old USA that hand craft titanium bikes, and Litespeed is not one of them.
 

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From what I understand now, Litespeed is mass manufactured overseas too. There are very few companies in the good old USA that hand craft titanium bikes, and Litespeed is not one of them.
Care to show us proof of Litespeed bikes not being made in America? I couldn't find any evidence of that on the internet, but maybe I wasn't searching correctly. Last I heard Litespeed still had a manufacturing plant in TN.

I do agree that Litespeed, now owned by ABG group, is no longer the company it once was when Lynskey owned it. AGB has raped the company and it's customers by giving lousy service and will not honor the warranty unless you get an attorney.

If you want a Litespeed then what you really want is the Litespeed of the former glory days when Lynskey owned the company, thus what you really want is a true Lynskey, so buy a Lynskey and deal directly with the legend in American titanium manufacturing and not some large corporation that could care less about their customers. The legacy, reputation, tube shaping and bending, invention of stuff that is used in the titanium industry today, or the titanium shaped tubing that was used in the Mars Land Rover that Litespeed spews was all done by Lynskey, Litespeed today NEVER did any of that! Litespeed is stealing all the glory and thunder of Lynskey and laying claim to it which is false advertising because Lynskey did all of that when he started, owned, and ran Litespeed. Now if Litespeed today is willing to lie about them creating all the wiz bang stuff used in the titanium bike industry today and not give Lynskey the credit than what should that tell you about Litespeed?

By the way here is a review of the latest Motobecane TI bike: Review: Motobecane Le Champion Team Ti | Road Bike News, Reviews, and Photos
 

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Music Man
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Care to show us proof of Litespeed bikes not being made in America?
I just sent an email directly to Litespeed and asked "where are your titanium bikes built"?

I've been told by an LBS owner that the main company HQ is in Chattanooga, TN, but all of their bikes, including the CF ones, are built in Asia.
 

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I just sent an email directly to Litespeed and asked "where are your titanium bikes built"?

I've been told by an LBS owner that the main company HQ is in Chattanooga, TN, but all of their bikes, including the CF ones, are built in Asia.
Again, I've found no proof of that, in fact all I can find is that they claim they're all built in America...more Litespeed lies? probably, but without proof all we have is hearsay. I would strongly suspect the CF bikes to be made in Asia but not the TI bikes. Lets see what Litespeed says.

By the way in this search on this subject I did find out that Quintana Roo which is a Litespeed brand are ALL made in Asia, but those bikes are not the top of the line as compared to Litespeed.
 

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I just sent an email directly to Litespeed and asked "where are your titanium bikes built"?

I've been told by an LBS owner that the main company HQ is in Chattanooga, TN, but all of their bikes, including the CF ones, are built in Asia.
They claim on their website, that their titanium bikes are made in the U.S. Look at the individual models.

"Handmade in the USA using T7 technology"

When ABG bought Litespeed, I assume they bought more than just the name. They also got the shop/factory that Lynskey was manufacturing bikes in. Since Lynskey signed a do not compete agreement with them for a number of years, the guys Lynskey employed probably stayed on and kept welding bike frames. I'd bet some or most of them are still there today. As far as the CF bikes go, only a few manufacturers make CF bikes in the U.S. 99% of them are stamped out in one of a few Chinese factories.

The Bikes Direct titanium frame is manufactured by a reputable outfit in Taiwan.

My wife just got a Dura Ace equipped R350 and likes it quite a bit. I'm not crazy about the BB30 or the integrated headset. I'm still riding my 1999 Ultimate. I completely stripped it down, polished it, put on new decals and all new components, fork, wheels. Its like a new bike again.
 

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Music Man
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As a follow up to the email I sent Litespeed, I still haven't received a response. I bet if I sent an email to Lynskey, I would have received a response the same day.
 
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