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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.
Lynskey has great customer service, they sent me a new set of decals and a display headbadge for free when I asked to buy another set because one of the letters got damaged in shipping. I mounted the headbadge on a piece of cherry wood that's now used as a paper weight on my desk.
 

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I'm sure Litespeed titanium frames are still made in Chattanooga. In fact, Litespeed has a current full page ad campaign going in some bike magazines which shows a Litespeed welder (or model, who knows) telling you he makes Litespeed TI frames in Tennessee. There are a couple of different versions that I have seen, with different welders or models.

Like most everyone else Litespeed makes, or did make, its carbon frames in Asia.
 

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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.

When I visited the Lynskey shop in the summer of 2007 they were just gearing up big time for the TI market under their own Lynskey name. They were receiving a lot of favorable attention in the cycling media. At that time, David Lynskey told me that the first five welders he had hired when his family started Litespeed had jumped ship and come to work with him at Lynskey.

As I recall, when the ABG group bought Litespeed not only did the Lynskey family have to sign a no compete agreement for so many years but that Mark Lynskey also had to stay on as the head of Litespeed for a specified period of time. After those times expired Mark left Litespeed and the Lynskey family started producing Ti frames again in Chattanooga under the family name.

I have been told by a former Litespeed and current Lynskey dealer that there is very bad blood between the Lynskeys and ABG/Litespeed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Ok. Someone suggested I look into the Motobecane Ti with DuraAce. I've done the research and the reviews are great, the price is half that of the Lynskey or Litespeed (or less), the warranty is lifetime, etc., etc., etc. So....what's the catch?

I'm not asking about CF Motobecane bikes; their Ti bikes only.
 

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Music Man
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Ok. Someone suggested I look into the Motobecane Ti with DuraAce. I've done the research and the reviews are great, the price is half that of the Lynskey or Litespeed (or less), the warranty is lifetime, etc., etc., etc. So....what's the catch?

I'm not asking about CF Motobecane bikes; their Ti bikes only.
I don't know anything about their Ti bikes other than they're all made overseas by foreign workers. From what I've read from others, you're much better off to have the bike sent to you completely un-assembled. Once you get it, inspect the parts and make sure they didn't provide you with cheap parts rather than quality parts. I've heard some others say they got cheap axels, or cheap screws and such. For $3K, it seems to be a good price with full DA.
 

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Music Man
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I'm sure Litespeed titanium frames are still made in Chattanooga. In fact, Litespeed has a current full page ad campaign going in some bike magazines which shows a Litespeed welder (or model, who knows) telling you he makes Litespeed TI frames in Tennessee. There are a couple of different versions that I have seen, with different welders or models.

Like most everyone else Litespeed makes, or did make, its carbon frames in Asia.
I never heard back from the email I sent Litespeed. I placed a call yesterday and I got their voice mail after I had to press a certain number to reach the sales department. No return call was made. So, I decided to do a "dealer search" and found a shop 2 1/2 hours away that deals with Litespeed. I asked if the Ti frames are made in the USA, and he told me "yes, in Chattanooga". I asked if he had any in stock, and he said "no", which is understandable. So, I wouldn't doubt if the "no compete clause" is now up, and I can certainly understand if the Lynskey family is upset.

There's a few things that strike my mind:

1. Litespeed doesn't provide good customer service. If they did, they would have emailed back and returned my call.

2. If you ever have a warranty issue, I'd have to question if they would even be available and honor the warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I never heard back from the email I sent Litespeed. I placed a call yesterday and I got their voice mail after I had to press a certain number to reach the sales department. No return call was made. So, I decided to do a "dealer search" and found a shop 2 1/2 hours away that deals with Litespeed. I asked if the Ti frames are made in the USA, and he told me "yes, in Chattanooga". I asked if he had any in stock, and he said "no", which is understandable. So, I wouldn't doubt if the "no compete clause" is now up, and I can certainly understand if the Lynskey family is upset.

There's a few things that strike my mind:

1. Litespeed doesn't provide good customer service. If they did, they would have emailed back and returned my call.

2. If you ever have a warranty issue, I'd have to question if they would even be available and honor the warranty.
Good information. Thanks.

If I did go with Litespeed (not my first choice at this point - though not ruled completely out) it would be through a local shop with a good rep. This is not my regular shop and they are relatively new, but they seem to be gaining a great reputation locally. So, in dealing with a trusted local shop (assume this for the moment), wouldn't they be dealing with Litespeed on warranty issues? Or is that not how it works?

At any rate, I'm still leaning toward the Lynskey Helix, though the Motobecane has gotten my attention lately.....just not sure of that entire situation with BD, etc.
 

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So, I wouldn't doubt if the "no compete clause" is now up, and I can certainly understand if the Lynskey family is upset.

There's a few things that strike my mind:

1. Litespeed doesn't provide good customer service. If they did, they would have emailed back and returned my call.

2. If you ever have a warranty issue, I'd have to question if they would even be available and honor the warranty.
The no-compete clause was over in 2007 when I was at the Lynskey shop. They were actively competing again and Mark Lynskey had left Litespeed and joined David and the rest of the family in starting up the Lynskey.

I bought my Litespeed Tuscany in August 2003 (they said it was their 2004 model) and at that time was available as a frame only. I think Mark was still running Litespeed as they were very responsive to my dealer and I stood beside him while he talked to a sales person at the factory. The dealer had sold, and was selling, a ton of Litespeeds at that time and was very pleased with Litespeed as a company. This same dealer dropped them a few years later after Mark Lynskey left Litespeed.

Fast forward to two years ago this dealer tried to contact Litespeed about a crash related repair to a Litespeed. A combined 10 attempts via phone calls and emails yielded only a single one sentence reply that someone would get back to him. But they never did. As other posters have said, Litespeed (management) is not the same company it used to be.

I'll bet the Ti craftsmen at Litespeed still build an excellent frame that anyone would be pleased to own. But I think ABG management has ruined the Litespeed name with a lot of dealers and riders.
 

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I never heard back from the email I sent Litespeed. I placed a call yesterday and I got their voice mail after I had to press a certain number to reach the sales department. No return call was made. So, I decided to do a "dealer search" and found a shop 2 1/2 hours away that deals with Litespeed. I asked if the Ti frames are made in the USA, and he told me "yes, in Chattanooga". I asked if he had any in stock, and he said "no", which is understandable. So, I wouldn't doubt if the "no compete clause" is now up, and I can certainly understand if the Lynskey family is upset.

There's a few things that strike my mind:

1. Litespeed doesn't provide good customer service. If they did, they would have emailed back and returned my call.

2. If you ever have a warranty issue, I'd have to question if they would even be available and honor the warranty.
The no-compete clause was over in 2007 when I was at the Lynskey shop. They were actively competing again and Mark Lynskey had left Litespeed and joined David and the rest of the family in starting up the Lynskey.

I bought my Litespeed Tuscany in August 2003 (they said it was their 2004 model) and at that time was available as a frame only. I think Mark was still running Litespeed as they were very responsive to my dealer and I stood beside him while he talked to a sales person at the factory. The dealer had sold, and was selling, a ton of Litespeeds at that time and was very pleased with Litespeed as a company. This same dealer dropped them a few years later after Mark Lynskey left Litespeed.

Fast forward to two years ago this dealer tried to contact Litespeed about a crash related repair to a Litespeed. A combined 10 attempts via phone calls and emails yielded only a single one sentence reply that someone would get back to him. But they never did. As other posters have said, Litespeed (management) is not the same company it used to be.

I'll bet the Ti craftsmen at Litespeed still build an excellent frame that anyone would be pleased to own. But I think ABG management has ruined the Litespeed name with a lot of dealers.
 

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Ok. Someone suggested I look into the Motobecane Ti with DuraAce. I've done the research and the reviews are great, the price is half that of the Lynskey or Litespeed (or less), the warranty is lifetime, etc., etc., etc. So....what's the catch?

I'm not asking about CF Motobecane bikes; their Ti bikes only.
The only "cheap" parts I heard was the pedals, but those cheap $70 pedals will at least get you started, or buy a new pair that you like and sell those. Skewers maybe cheap but you can get better ones for not much money like Shimano Dura Ace 9000 for $50 range or go with Ultegra if mixing group up a bit doesn't bother you for just $32. They probably skimp on the chain, so what? you'll be replacing the chain anyway in 2 to 3 thousand miles! (my chains last longer but most peoples chains don't last as long as I can get mine to last) Maybe they skimp on the cables too, so what, you'll replace those every season or two regardless which cables you get. Cheap screws? good golly what a thing to complain about, you can get better screws when those fail for dollar! The headset is a low end headset, but I wouldn't worry about till it begins to wear out then get a nice headset like the Cane Creek 110. My only question is the fork, I don't know anything about the quality of the fork, I do know my friend has that same bike you want (4 years older) with I think is the same fork and he's had no issues, but after riding my bike he's ordered a new Enve 2.0 fork to put on his because he felt the Enve fork tracked better and handled better and I agree; but that fork is not cheap, I got a good deal on mine because I was able to apply the cost of the Lynskey carbon fork towards the cost of the Enve at the time of purchase, you can't do that so a new Enve fork will cost in the $400 range. Any expensive upgrades like the fork especially you can wait quite awhile if ever to do, as long as you don't have any issues with the way the fork feels I wouldn't bother.

So Bikes Direct does put some cheaper components on the bike but you're also not paying another $2,000 to get a TI bike made in America with Dura Ace components either! So you have to expect some corners were cut. All of the lower grade stuff can be replaced as they wear out, so I wouldn't get to excited about all of that "fear" stuff people try to propagate on others about Bikes Direct bikes. All bikes today regardless if mail order or at an LBS in that price range and less (and most above that price range) are going to be made by foreign workers so that's a moot point, but at least it's made in Taiwan and not China, Taiwan is much more sincere in the quality of their work vs China.

HOWEVER I do agree with Adjtogo, and I mentioned this earlier too, that you first put the bike together to save yourself the labor of having a shop do it, then take the bike down to a shop BEFORE you ride it and have the whole thing checked over, this where they'll check spoke tension, torque all the bolts, check the chain for stiff links and make sure it's aligned, adjust all the components, make sure there's grease in all the bearings like the bottom bracket and hubs. It would be worth the $60 or so for that to be done if you're not proficient to do it yourself. You could also at the time you're doing this bike checkup is to purchase new pedals I mentioned earlier, if you want, that will be higher quality, last longer, and be more to your liking.
 

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I have a Lynskey and my wife has a Motobecane Fantom Ti. I can't compare the ride quality but I would have no regrets buying another Motobecane if the geometry meets your needs. Nice welds and the complete bike costs less than a new Lynskey frame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
The only "cheap" parts I heard was the pedals, but those cheap $70 pedals will at least get you started, or buy a new pair that you like and sell those. Skewers maybe cheap but you can get better ones for not much money like Shimano Dura Ace 9000 for $50 range or go with Ultegra if mixing group up a bit doesn't bother you for just $32. They probably skimp on the chain, so what? you'll be replacing the chain anyway in 2 to 3 thousand miles! (my chains last longer but most peoples chains don't last as long as I can get mine to last) Maybe they skimp on the cables too, so what, you'll replace those every season or two regardless which cables you get. Cheap screws? good golly what a thing to complain about, you can get better screws when those fail for dollar! The headset is a low end headset, but I wouldn't worry about till it begins to wear out then get a nice headset like the Cane Creek 110. My only question is the fork, I don't know anything about the quality of the fork, I do know my friend has that same bike you want (4 years older) with I think is the same fork and he's had no issues, but after riding my bike he's ordered a new Enve 2.0 fork to put on his because he felt the Enve fork tracked better and handled better and I agree; but that fork is not cheap, I got a good deal on mine because I was able to apply the cost of the Lynskey carbon fork towards the cost of the Enve at the time of purchase, you can't do that so a new Enve fork will cost in the $400 range. Any expensive upgrades like the fork especially you can wait quite awhile if ever to do, as long as you don't have any issues with the way the fork feels I wouldn't bother.

So Bikes Direct does put some cheaper components on the bike but you're also not paying another $2,000 to get a TI bike made in America with Dura Ace components either! So you have to expect some corners were cut. All of the lower grade stuff can be replaced as they wear out, so I wouldn't get to excited about all of that "fear" stuff people try to propagate on others about Bikes Direct bikes. All bikes today regardless if mail order or at an LBS in that price range and less (and most above that price range) are going to be made by foreign workers so that's a moot point, but at least it's made in Taiwan and not China, Taiwan is much more sincere in the quality of their work vs China.

HOWEVER I do agree with Adjtogo, and I mentioned this earlier too, that you first put the bike together to save yourself the labor of having a shop do it, then take the bike down to a shop BEFORE you ride it and have the whole thing checked over, this where they'll check spoke tension, torque all the bolts, check the chain for stiff links and make sure it's aligned, adjust all the components, make sure there's grease in all the bearings like the bottom bracket and hubs. It would be worth the $60 or so for that to be done if you're not proficient to do it yourself. You could also at the time you're doing this bike checkup is to purchase new pedals I mentioned earlier, if you want, that will be higher quality, last longer, and be more to your liking.

Great response! Exactly the type info I wanted to hear.

Pedals? I'm going with Speedplays, which I've used for a while now and all of my shoes have those type of cleats on them. So, what comes with the bike doesn't concern me.

I hear you on the chain, headset, cables, skewers, etc., and I agree that the thing to do is replace as the need arises. Sound advice all around.

As for the fork, I'm willing to try the stock one for a while, but may upgrade upon seeing what the stock one is like.

The best thing is that I will save enough on the Motobecane to make all of these upgrades and still have $$ left over versus the cost of a Litespeed or Lynsky. Seriously considering the Motobecane now.
 

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I have a Lynskey and my wife has a Motobecane Fantom Ti. I can't compare the ride quality but I would have no regrets buying another Motobecane if the geometry meets your needs. Nice welds and the complete bike costs less than a new Lynskey frame.
Don't forget, Lynskey is an American company. All other things being equal That alone is worth the extra expense.
My Lynskey is slowly moving to all American made parts where possible.
Lynskey
Thomson
Paul
Chris King
Wound Up

Every piece is superb and I am proud to use it.
 

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Music Man
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Don't forget, Lynskey is an American company. All other things being equal That alone is worth the extra expense.
My Lynskey is slowly moving to all American made parts where possible.
Lynskey
Thomson
Paul
Chris King
Wound Up

Every piece is superb and I am proud to use it.
How can you get an "All American" made bike with groupsets such as Campy, Shimano, and SRAM being made overseas, as well as other parts, such as skewers, bolts, and such?
 

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Music Man
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I will just add that I ordered my Lynskey R255 at the right time, got the 35% off for the complete bike, and for paying cash during a Christmas sale. I paid just over $3K with shipping. Had it not been for the sale price, I don't know what I would have ended up with, as $3K was my limit.
 

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I had a 3k budget as well and ended up with the Peloton (with upgrades) from Adrenaline Bikes. I liked all the options I had for customizing.

In my email exchanges with Don at Lynskey, I got the feeling he didn't really care about what I was looking for. He was there to sell me the bike he wanted to sell.
 

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Not a rocket surgeon.
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How can you get an "All American" made bike with groupsets such as Campy, Shimano, and SRAM being made overseas, as well as other parts, such as skewers, bolts, and such?
You cant but, you can do a lot. Shifting is Shimano. Brakes and skewers are Paul. Crank is White Industries.
I am doing my part keeping jobs bere is the US. It makes me feel better and thats all thats important to me. I couldnt care less how it makes others think.
 

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Not a rocket surgeon.
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I will just add that I ordered my Lynskey R255 at the right time, got the 35% off for the complete bike, and for paying cash during a Christmas sale. I paid just over $3K with shipping. Had it not been for the sale price, I don't know what I would have ended up with, as $3K was my limit.
That 255 is a nice bike. I love mine.
 

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How can you get an "All American" made bike with groupsets such as Campy, Shimano, and SRAM being made overseas, as well as other parts, such as skewers, bolts, and such?
There are quite a few parts made in the US, problem is it will cost more. America makes some great brake calipers that are both lighter and stronger than the Campy, Shimano, SRAM stuff, there are also hubs, rims, and spokes made in the USA. Not to mention small parts. The only problem with doing that is will it raise the prices of Lynskey bikes too much to be competitive? However a lot of companies that went to Asia to have stuff built cheaper are having major second thoughts and some companies are already starting to bring production back to the US because they can control quality of the product far better, and dramatically reduce warranty issues. So Lynskey could be thinking along this line too to get a better quality product into the consumer hands.
 
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