a Cross Country Rider
from New York
Date Reviewed: September 13, 2002
Strengths: Well crafted, stable and forgiving,
Weaknesses: Lack of disc brake mount. Separate adapter can be purchased.
I scooped this frame up at a great price. It has taken some time to get use to the increase in frame size and travel ('96 15" GF steel X-Caliber with 63mm Judy XC), but the 16.5" Pisgah is really more appropriate for my size. Just was able to toss the other where I wanted. The more I ride it, the more I love it. It's nimble and quick. Can't say I feel a difference in vibration absorbance over the OXii GF. But it's very stable (part bike/part fork) and decends incredibly well. For the price, no one can say an IF ti deluxe is 3.25 Xs better (not to say I wouldn't buy one if I had the $ - shot pean, yum, and custom fit!) But, for a 'value' Ti frame, you can bet it packs a lot of value, especially if you can pick one up for around what I did. Attention to craftsmanship is well evident in the welds and finish. Looking forward to many good years of use from this one.
Bike Setup: Fox Vanilla R (set to 100), CK hs, Tompson post and stem, SRAM Rockets, Easton cf low riser, Sun RPM wheelset, Avid 2.0 Vs, and assorted XT/LX drivetrain.
a Cross Country Rider
from new york, ny, usa
Date Reviewed: May 8, 2002
Strengths: the head tube badge is a work of art.
Weaknesses: cheap decals, otherwise just about perfect.
got the frame for $850, splurged on spec'ing the components with everything from my wish list. just don't ask jensonusa to build it for you, a BIG mistake. this is the bike to buy for all xc riders in the northeast.
Similar Products Used: cannondale scalpels, trek fuels, giant nrs.
Bike Setup: xt/xtr, SID race carbon, king headset, easton monkeylite, mavic 517's.
a Cross Country Rider
from chicago, IL
Date Reviewed: November 21, 2001
This is a follow up on my earlier review of the 14" frame. Rebecca from Litespeed and the shop where I made the purchase were able to come up with a solution to the frame issues I was having. For the record, we again tried moving up to the 16.5 frame but it provided too little standover clearance. Rebecca was a pleasure to deal with and did go out of her way to help me. Eventually I switched to a different model entirely, which fits in every way and is wonderful. I now DO have the Ti bike that we all love, and am enjoying it immensely. Litespeed do make beautiful bikes using unsurpassed craftsmanship. Though I would have preferred to have not made such unflattering comments in my initial review, this is a forum designed to provide honest, real world experiences, and they can't always be great. Bottom line is that I am very thankful to Rebecca for helping me be as happy with my Litespeed as everyone else is with theirs.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: November 11, 2001
Strengths: Can't believe how much better Ti is than aluminum! Accelerates beautifully yet takes the edge off being on a hard tail.
Weaknesses: I can complain that I've never spent that much on myself but f@@@ it worth every penny!
Feels like a feather between my legs. I'm a mid level rider who does about 650 miles of single track (plus about 800 road bike miles) a year. Helped me to bring my general ride from 12 to 18-20 miles of single track.
Ti is an amazing material. I'm 49 and this bike really takes the edge off technical single track in New England. Climbs fantastic. Previous bike is a Diamond Bake Z-tec (5 yrs) so the geometry is very similar. Tried a bunch of full suspension bikes including a Super Light at Pedro Fest. They felt good but I didn't want to haul that much weight around in the woods. Honestly, it didn't seem worth it. I went for light.
Similar Products Used: Tried an Airbone at Pedro Fest. My local bike shop offered me such a deal for a better bike for around the same price.
Bike Setup: Combination of XT and XTR. Monkey Light high rise bar and carbon seat post. King hubs brings her to 22.5 lbs.
a Cross Country Rider
from mesa az.
Date Reviewed: October 15, 2001
Strengths: very easy to to keep looking good,just wipe down.very forgiving and holds a line very well.
this bike is great.climbs very well.rides good.is very quick handleing but is very stable at speed.i put a sid 100 on mine and its still handles very quick.the bike is real nice to look at when clean. what i can't understand is how someone can blame a bike manufacturer for their egnorance and be bold enough to tell us how great the bike shop was when the shop is the one to blame for selling him the wrong bike.the fella in the reveiw before this just got the wrong size bike.thats not lite speeds fault.you got had by your bike shop.i'm 5'7 and my 16.5 is perfect.you probably could have fit the 16.5.but if not get another brand.i've also had 3 canondales and there is no comparison.i've go around $3000.00 in mine with pretty much all the good stuff.if you got $4000.00 in yours then your great shop done ripped you off some more. but any how this is a very nice bike and i have no complaints what so ever with mine or lite speeds customer service. 5 chilis from me./
Strengths: Compliant ride, good finish, good standover for midgets like me. Seems to be a very fast climbing bike. Very light in the rear.
Weaknesses: Heavier than I hoped, much too short wheelbase on the 14" frame, no 15" option, Litespeed customer service is deplorable (they have not once replied to many e-mails and calls-Shame on you). Weight bias is unbalanced-a bit front-end heavy, which you can feel bunny-hopping and in other similar technical situations.
I have been trying my hardest to love the bike, but the longer I have it, the harder it is to like. I had my Cannondale (similarly equipped, XTR, CrossMax etc.) stolen and was in need of an immediate replacement. Insurance covered replacement value so I hit all the local shops with an open mind. Nobody had a bike in stock that was on par with what I had. Sprockets had this frame and all of the correct parts in the shop. The standover was great, allowing for proper frame-to-sack clearance, they sold me on Litespeed and the Ti experience so we went ahead. A couple days after I got it I was acclimating myself to my new pride and joy and took a few unexpected tumbles. My forward foot would foul the tire and over I'd go...Once I got onto the trails it just got worse, as the (roughly 2" from most I discovered later) short wheelbase made the bike a bit unstable in certain situations such as decents, obstacle clearing, like logs and small drop-ins, and braking whether heavy or light. Through the dealer I changed everything I could to eliminate this instability but have thus been unsuccessful. After each incident (the last of which broke ribs and my pride) I sent e-mails to Litespeed through their site, and after the last one, actually called them through the Merlin customer service line from a dealer to see if they could help. They said they'd call. I've been holding my breath for a week now...
The shop where I purchased the bike has been excellent. They have done all the right things in terms of trying to get it fitted. I would in fact highly recommend them for anyone locally, as the service has been outstanding. Problem is that the bike is wrong for me and neither the shop nor Litespeed have been responsive enough to these concerns to justify the cost (which was actually more than if I had gone to Litespeed directly for the purchase). When you spend 4K on any bike, it should be as close to perfect as possible. For all the great features this bike has, excellent ride, reasonably light (23lbs. as I ride it), beautiful craftsmanship, etc., the lack of concern from Litespeed related to this frame size makes it all seem like a big waste of money.
I know a few other Litespeed riders and they all love the bikes. I do appreciate that this particular frame is the issue, and think Ti frames definitely are the way to go. This size frame (small, or 14")is well suited to someone with very small feet (I am an 8 or 41 euro), that is much shorter than 5'5", and isn't stocky (wide shoulders, muscular, heavy top end makes the short wheelbase especially evident). I ride around 150-200 miles a week, am not a new rider nor an elitist complainer (normally). I have been hoping to find resolution of the issues noted above for much of the three months I have owned the bike. Maybe this evaluation will prompt some action (hopefully I won't get blackballed by the lbs).
Similar Products Used: Cannondale and Fisher hardtails.
Bike Setup: Full XTR, Mavic Crossmax UST, Selle Italia Ti Flite, Race Face stem and lay back post, 2002 SID SL w/lock out, Shimano deathtraps (858's), Michelin CompS tires (very good fyi), Performance brake booster (front only for now).
from St Charels
Date Reviewed: July 6, 2001
Strengths: The frame is sweet, litespeed lengthened the top tube about an inch this year, so the cockpit inspires confidence on steep downhill descendents and jumps. The extra inch means you don't have to composite with a long stem, which in turn produces a kick ass center of gravity. This bike is the most stable ride you will ever experience. This is a durable bike with a finish that is better then any paint job.
Weaknesses: The head tube should be longer, and reinforced at the ends. I was also disappointed with the inserts for the seat and head tube. The inserts look like scrap metal that obviously were not fabricated with the same standards as the frame. Also when litespeed applied the insert for the head tube the bottom of the tube was bent out of shape, but the insert was perfectly circular. Fortunately this did not affect the installation of the headset so this was only cosmetic. Man those guys must be in a huge hurry.
This is the best frame anybody can by for close to 1000 dollars period. Beware to clean the metal shavings and possible a little file work to the poorly applied inserts before installing the headset or seat post. From the very first ride you can tell that this bike is the one. The one that inspires confidence to try things that you should be really scared of doing. It feels smooth as butter and handles like no other. Buy this bike from anywhere but jensonUSA. This company continues to quote lower prices then they charge on your credit card.
a Cross Country Rider
from Sante Fe, New Mexico USA
Date Reviewed: May 29, 2001
Strengths: Light, Fast, handles technical downhill single track very well. Responsive to various terrain (i.e. mud, deep soft sand, loose gravel, scree of every size and dimension) My first Titanium bike so I chose the less expensive version to maximize component setup and have been extremely pleased. In the last four weeks I have taken this bike through every environment the New Mexico highlands has to offer: deep soft sand canyons, hundreds of river and stream crossings, mud, rocks, 11,000 foot downhill rides to base camp, snow; It handles everything very well. An excellent bike and the price was right for this Ti frame.
Weaknesses: None so far.
This bike is fantastic. For a Ti frame the price was great too. Litespeed bikes can go anywhere and rule.