Litespeed Tellico Frameset

4.33/5 (12 Reviews)
MSRP : $2650.00


Product Description

Litespeed Tellico


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Reviews 1 - 12 (12 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by tyler watkins a Racer from atlanta ga.

Date Reviewed: April 30, 2005

Strengths:    lightest and best ride available

Weaknesses:    weld at head tube and down tube

Bottom Line:   
I have been riding mtn bikes since 1986, and this is the finest riding machine inthe world.... until it breaks!
I weigh 150 pounds soking wet with rocks in my pockets and this thing snaped on me and I landed right on my face. but before that I rode the dogmess out of it and the bike rode unlike anything i've ever seen, heard, or read about. I did many 24 hour races on it in W.Virginia and in Ga. I took it to Mexico and many places in between and it only wanted to go faster on every kind on terra you can imagine. The weld at the head and down tube gave and down "we" went.I loved the ride so much i bought another litespeed, the ultimate...And it is!But I'm scared to death that it may break too! Oh yea, Litespeed is so big for their britches now that they won't even entertain the thought of a "warranty". So I'm riding a second hand purple GT. Hopefully purple will be back in style soon! The Tellico gets Five chili's Litespeed gets NONE. You should buy this bike if God himself tells you it will not break.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   tsali n.c.

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $3000.00

Similar Products Used:   merlin

Bike Setup:   xtr, chris king, easton carbon bars and post, salsa stem

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Alex Elton a Cross Country Rider from Bristol

Date Reviewed: February 11, 2002

Strengths:    So far...... Amazing ride qaulity, Looks... and feeling smug. The weight (just over 3 lb's for the frame)Crafsmanship)

Weaknesses:    I guess if bought new it would be pretty pricey..... I can't really coment on durability as yet as i have only ridden it a handfull of times.... other than that, None as far as i can tell, other than the deacals (stickers) i fear that their life may not be a happy one, and i don't know how easy it eill be to souce new ones!! and Price! i know i bought it cheap - but i'll bet getting a new drop out welded on won't be if i break the thing!!! (no garantee as second hand)

Bottom Line:   
I was lucky enough to buy this complete bike second hand on Ebay for £1200 (UK) which i was probably the best buy of my life, and worth every penny, the bike had probably less than 50 miles on it (or if it was more it doesn't show) I swapped the SIDs that came with it for the Z2's off my old Marin IFT, and the tires too, so i could notice if there were manym, or any differences... The geometry of the two bikes is very similar, as are the components, so i didn't have great expectations, being a Ti virgin. I was blown away once i got to the first hill, only about 2 Pounds difference in weight but the bike flew up with half the effort, i put this down to a tail wind at the time, when it came to a really fast, rocky fire road the Ti came into its own, on the Marin my eyes were loose by the time i got to the bottom, the ride of the Ti is sooooo different, smooth and controlled, confidence building and fast. After reading various reviews i was sure that all this ride quality stuff was bogus, but no way, it was an eye opener to how frames could be, and should be made....

The workmanship of the frame 'looks' second to none, i haven't noticed any of the flaws stated in other reviews, but this bike has not by any means had a hard life (yet) and i will endevour to provide any further updates as events warrant!!!

I can not stress enough that this is the bike i was born to own, if it were a choice between this bike and the wife, i'd pack her bags for her...

Sell everything you own - Buy one!!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Mendips

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   Generous chap from London

Similar Products Used:   Marin IFT for 3 1/2 years, Orange, Giant G.T etc...

Bike Setup:   CrossMax, Z2 super fly's, IRC, Syncros Titanium Post, Flight Titanium, 747's and XTR-full stop.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Mike a Weekend Warrior from San Diego, CA

Date Reviewed: December 29, 2001

Strengths:    Excellent power transfer

Weaknesses:    Cost

Bottom Line:   
I've tried similarly equipped bikes (and I've tried a lot) in the same trail a number of times, in average I can ride the Tellico one speed faster than the others. Compared with the Owl Hollow there is no difference in power transfer that I could feel, you just pay more for a little weight savings and for the proud ownership of a full Ti 6/4 frame. Called customer service a couple of times with general questions, the representatives were very friendly and helpfull. Overall I'm very pleased.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   BCUSA (now part of Cambria)

Similar Products Used:   Litespeed Obed, Owl Hollow.

Bike Setup:   Tellico frame, 98 SID with Englund cartridges, full XTR 27 speed, Crossmax UST wheelset

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Jeff a Racer from Birmingham, Al

Date Reviewed: May 1, 2001

Strengths:    I loved the ride and feel of this frame so much that I bought it's sister the "Vortex." Placed in many races on my frame. Light

Weaknesses:    First of all I bought this frame from the shop owner. He told me he had not sent in the warranty card so if anything happened, there would be "no problem." The first time the frame broke (at the head/downtube weld) the shop sent it off got it back within a month. New stickers, brushed, welds were flawless. I basically had a new bike. Litespeed took care of me. This February 2001 my frame broke again. This time at the head/top/downtube junctions. Sent it back to Litespeed. Colins Bishop the warranty specialist said they would not warranty the frame. Said there was dings on every tube of the bike. Excuse me here, I thought this was a "mountain bike" here. A $2650.00 frame at that. Do you want me to ride around the parking lot at the trailhead so everyone will see the stickers so another person will be let down by your company? I ride and I ride hard. And I only weigh 143lbs. So to sum it up Litespeed is trying to charge me for a repair for one of their top of the line "6/4 titanium, flawless welds" because I didn't baby the thing. I have learned that the company has grown and some of the original founders have left. This company has gone from being my unspoken choice to nothing but scrap metal. You don't let someone down and cop out on the warranty, especially when you state a bunch of propaganda about how your product is superior on your website and when it is time to do some service you turn your head. They told me I should look into another tougher frame, but would not pro-rate my useless frame towards the new one.

Bottom Line:   
Litespeed what happened? A certain someone at Bob's Bikes misrepresented the warranty factors when we made the deal. Why did you not just tell me "no warranty"? And people at the lbs wonder why people turn to mailorder. Why shouldn't you? When your local shop doesn't stand behind the products they sell. And say, "Well it's the second time you've broken it." So. I guess I should have bought a Trek or Specialized for $600-800. They would have sent me a new frame. And not welded up a tweaked frame and sent it back to me. I will not buy another thing w/ their name on it. They have outgrown their once outstanding business. Litespeed why would anybody want to trust your product? Bottom line, if you ride hard don't buy Litespeed.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Purchased At:   Bob's Bikes in Vestavia, Al

Similar Products Used:   Vortex


Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Bill a Cross Country Rider from Lancadter, PA USA

Date Reviewed: March 9, 2000

Strengths:    Ti, light

Weaknesses:    not as light as a merlin, medioccre welds, way overpriced

Bottom Line:   
Stiff yet compliant, climbs well, handles well. Quality not what you would expect.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   French Creek

Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only

Similar Products Used:   MERLIN XLM

Bike Setup:   XTR, Mavic, White

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Mike Edge a Cross-Country Rider from Palm Beach, Florida

Date Reviewed: November 20, 1999

Strengths:    
Beautifully finished
Light, of course
Great ride


Weaknesses:    
I know perfection has a cost...but $2,700...?


Bottom Line:   
The bottom line is that quality ALWAYS costs good money. If you care enough about your biking to spend the big bucks and are fortunate enough to be able to do so, the difference is like night and day. In the end, it is a matter of taste and there are those that think titanium is for girls and steel is for boys...Happy Trails

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   
less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   
Litespeed Owl Hollow


Bike Setup:   
Marzocchi Superfly forks, Ibis titanium stem, Litespeed titanium handlebar, dean titanium seapost, Shimano XTR complete groupo (cranks, derailleurs, cassette, shifters) Avid Extreme brakes, Chris King titanium headset (yep,they make one and it is beautiful)and Chris King black hubs with black Sun Rhyno Lites and black DT Comp spokes. Michelin Wildgripper Sprints with Silicum (these babies roll)and a treat for my butt...a WTB SS98T saddle on...yep, titanium rails...

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Mark a cross-country rider from Phoenix, AZ

Date Reviewed: February 13, 1999

Bottom Line:   


First of all I would like to thank the thief that lifted my GT Avalanche. This allowed me to buy the best bike I have ever owned. The only way I can really describe this frame is WOW!!!!! I purchased the bike through Colorado Cyclist for a smokin deal (under 3 G's). I got the frame for 1500, and threw on 98' XTR, Chris King headset and hubs, Mavic rims, Kore stem, Easton CT2 bar, Syncros seat post, Flite saddle and Rockshox Judy XC(it was on sale, prefer Zokes). Anyways the bike is fabulous. I cannot feel any flex while riding, and the frame absorbs alot of shock from the slate and rocks that litter the trails in Arizona. As for the climbing and descending, it's so fast that I almost soil my drawers. I feel faster and stronger on this bike. If you have the opportunity to come across a Tellico, you too can soil your drawers. Any questions I can answer for ya' feel free to e-mail me. :-)

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Shane Flores a racer from Golden, Co.

Date Reviewed: October 4, 1998

Bottom Line:   


This is the only bike in production to be made af full 6/4 ti. It's the best bike I have ever ridden. I've ridden and worked on countless bikes. I purchased my bike at a great shop in Jacksonville Fl. They were the only Litespeed dealer in town. I decided to get the Tellico and only two days later it arrived. I couldn't be any happier with the frame. It went together beatifully and the ride is spectacular. It follows the line you want, it's fairly stiff due to the 6/4 ti, yet it's still forgiving and it soaks up a lot of the bumps. It climbs like a madman. Living here in Co., I see some pretty narly sruff, but this bike gives me the ability to conquer just about any terrain. I've won several races on this bike including a world cup event in Ga., and a couple races here in Co. I have my Tellico built up with XTR, Raceface, and Mavic components. It's simply the best bike you can buy.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Michael C a racer from Houston TX

Date Reviewed: August 2, 1998

Bottom Line:   


I have owned many bikes and have ridden even more I worked in a bike shop for some time, and i must say that the tellico is the sweetest, lightest, most forgiving XC hardtail frame I have ever ridden. If you can fork over the money the frame is defintly worth it.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Clarke Clingenpeel a racer from Cary, NC US

Date Reviewed: June 3, 1998

Bottom Line:   


I have been mountain biking for the last 8 years & racing for the last 6. I started off with your basic cro-mo frame, then moved to aluminum. I weigh 130lbs, and found the aluminum way to stiff. I would never recommend aluminum for anyone under 150lbs that riding technical singletrack. I bought my first litespeed frame used for $800. It was a 90' model (two years old) with the elevated chain stays. It was so light and soaked up the nasty bumps so well. I noticed one day the weld at the downtube/headtube junction pulling away. I sent it back in to litespeed, with a note telling them I was a racer. They called and said they could fix it, but if I was riding hard, it probably eventyually come on done. They offered to send me free of charge a brand new Obed. Instead, I asked how much to upgrade to the Telico. Compared to the cost of new, it was too good to pass up. I have owned the bike for three years now, and have been extremely pleased. The 14 frame ways less than 2.5lbs. The whole bike is 20.5lbs. The brakes are Magura, and the frame does flex, but with the eastern singletrack, it works well. I would recommend litespeed to anyone looking for a great singletrack bike.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Michael C. a racer from texas

Date Reviewed: March 30, 1998

Bottom Line:   


I have owned many bikes from road frames to mt. bike frames, from cro-mo frames to aluminum frames. And this is my first Titanium bike it is awsome if you can afford it. it will make you ride so much faster and if feels so good. i put all XTR and Chris King components on mine as well as some cherry picked items that come on this team issue bike and picked the white bros. SC70UL fork for it because unlike the sid it is a fork and is not supose to flex nor is it supose to break after a couple of rides after talking to the team rep. at litespeed and talking to others i bought the litest frame wich is also the stongest and also the longest lasting frame on the market this is due to the frame being 6AL/4V TI. you can't get any better than this! as for the XTR nothing needs to be said cause we all know it's better than anything else out there (the reason why is because it is made in JAPAN) as for the Chris King headset and hubs SWEET no one else comes close to quality or durability. (they make their own bearings unlike everyone else who buys someone elses mismatched bearings (also 10 year life time warrenty! HELLO!)) as for the Fork WHITE BROS. HAS BEEN MAKING FORKS LONGER THAN ALL THE OTHERS THEY WERE MAKING THEM FOR DIRTBIKES WHEN MT. BIKES HADN'T EVEN BEEN INVENTED YET SO THEY KNOW HOW TO MAKE A STRONG LITE, (KICK SID'S BUT ALL OVER THE PLACE) FORK AS FOR THE REST OF THE STUFF LIKE THE MAVIC 517X RIMS AND TIRES AND STUFF THEY ARE NICE AS WELL BUT NOT WORTH THE TIME WRITING ABOUT. this COMBINATION will WIN you MANY championships!

Overall Rating:3
Submitted by Alen Linsley a cross-country rider from Victoria, Canada

Date Reviewed: February 9, 1998

Bottom Line:   


Boy, have I ever got a story about the Tellico. I recently hung up my racing wheels, after having spent
many years as a pro-elite racer. It was time to get a real life, and move on. I knew I wanted a bike that
was high tech, light, durable and looked good. Titanium was the obvious choice, light, strong, with no
paint to chip. When you look at the coices around today, ther are a lot of very fine builders. Merlin and
Litespeed come first to mind, but Seven, Kona, and many others also need to be considered. I chose
Litespeed's Tellico for one main reasosn. Built entirely with 6/4 tubing, the Tellico is a unique bike, as no
other builder has yet to use a full 6/4 tubeset. The Tellico is billed as the lightest, stiffest, and strongest
frame on the market. I figured that this would be a frame I could keep for a very long time. I ordered it
up, and after a few weeks, the bike came. When I unpacked this jewel of cycling perfection, and
inspected it, I had a few concerns. One of the rear brake bosses had been incorrectly cut. This did not
hamper the bike's performance in any way, but it did make adjusting the rear brakes a bit difficult. More
alarming, however, was that the front of the headtube had been 'flattened' at the bottom, almost like the
bike had been dropped somewhere. The box it was shipped in was still parfect, and Litespeed does an
exceptional job of packing frames, so we assumed the damage had been done befor it was shipped. No
worries, we thought, the headtube has aluminum inserts where the headset presses in, and the damage
will be undone once we press the headset in. The headset went in easily, and the bike was built up. The
fact that there were problems with my new frame bothered me a bit, but hey, Litespeed didn't think it
was a problem, so neither did I. The bike is simply amazing to ride. It is light, almost as light as
Litespeed claims (mine is a 19), and it is STIFF, stiffer than my previous aluminum team bikes. I feel
comfortable on the downhills, but no more so than on previous frames. It is on the technical uphills
where the bike really shines. On my first ride, I rode up things I've never even come close to doing
before. I was very impressed. I was less impressed about five rides later when I noticed my seatpost
was 'sinking'. I tried to raise it, and lo and behold, not only did the seatpost come out, but the aluminum
frame insert, which should be bonded in, came out as well! I was even more distressed when the
headset inserts came loose and started to creak! I sent email down to Litespeed, and waited for a
response. I was impressed when JEANETTE from Litespeed promptly sent back a nice note, asking me
to call down to get things sorted out. Well, there was quite a difference between Jeanette and Ruby
Lynskey, who I ended up speaking to. She was NOT very sympathetic, was not willing to do much of
anything and didn't seem to care that one of her most expensive, flagship frames had just literally fallen
apart in about 10 days. Needless to say, it was no a pleasant experience. Eventually, I got an RA# and
paid to have the bike shipped down. I was dissapointed in the product, I even regretted buying it. After
all, I bought the bike based on durability and here I was, sending it back after only a few rides. The way
I figured, I could have bought a basic Sandvik bike, had no problems, and had a lot of money left over.
Anyways, over the course of the warranty period, which was abount a month and a half (over
Christmas) I kept in contact with Jeanette via email. I was extremely impressed with how she returned
my messages almost immediately. Unfortunately, apart from a few others, nobody else at Litespeed
seemed to care much. Phone messages would go unanswered, and when I did finally get a hold of the
warranty dept. they couldn't tell me anything anyway. Jeanette stands out above all other industry people
I have ever dealt with. If anybody from Litespeed is reading this, they should make sure that they keep
her on staff, in terms of customer service, she is outstanding. Anyway, I finally got the bike back, and it
has been fixed, sort of. The headtube was still a bit bent, again as if the frame had been dropped. My
theory is that the Titanium itself is bent, and that when the aluminum is inserted into the bent tube, it forms
the bent shape. The seat tube insert was in, but when Litespeed was recutting the slot in the insert, they
cut too far and went a bit into the Titanium. A little detail, but when a frame is this expensive, it should be
perfect. The ride is the same, outstanding. Overall, I would give a 'perfect' Tellico a five chili rating, my
tellico a 4 chili, Jeanette a 6 chili rating, and Litespeed a 2.5 chili rating. I assume that these problems are
rare for Litespeed and that they normally put out an exceptional product. However, if you are unlucky
enough to get a 'bad' frame, don't expect much from Litespeed. Customer service is, with some notable
exceptions, poor. I'm giving the overall package a rating of 3.5 chilis
This has been a long note, but I felt it was warranted. When I was researching my dream bike, I used
the internet, and this page, extensively. If you are dropping down the money it takes to buy any litespeed
product, a few minutes of reading shouldn't be a big deal.

Reviews 1 - 12 (12 Reviews Total)

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


1996 Litespeed Tellico Build - NeoRetro 16 Ibs 13.4 Oz

Posted the pic up in the weenie forum but as its mainly a 1996/97 build, I thought I would show it here as well, am ready for the subsequent flaming for using a smattering of non retro components to get it lightweight, but the core (frame/wheels/post/saddle/bars/chainset/mechs/brakes/overall look) i ... Read More »

Litespeed Tellico

I have a 19" Litespeed Tellico and want to sell it. It has only V-brake bosses and the decals are not in their best shape. Other than that, the frame is in good condition, with no dings or dents. How much should I ask for it? If anyone is interested and want pics, let me know.Read More »

Litespeed Tellico

I have a 19" Litespeed Tellico and want to sell it. It has only V-brake bosses and the decals are not in their best shape. Other than that, the frame is in good condition, with no dings or dents. How much should I ask for it? If anyone is interested and want pics, let me know.Read More »

Fork 4 Litespeed Tellico 99. They recommend 60/63mm any ideas $$ and where

Hi I have a 1998/99 Litespeed Tellico and I need to get a new shock. Litespeed/Merlin recommend that I stick with 60/63mm travel as this frame was designed with that travel. Any ideas on Fork choices, where I can get them and if an after market disc conversion is possible. The non drive dropout doen ... Read More »

My Litespeed Tellico build

[IMG]http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2122/2463732212_71f450baea_b.jpg[/IMG] '97(I think) Tellico recycled from fleaBay. Had a rear disc tab welded on by James Kish. Last years XT group, Hope Pro2 hubs with Mavic XC717, Fox F100RL fork, Thomson post and stem, BB7 mechanical disc. That's Montana de O ... Read More »

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