Litespeed Obed 29Er 29er Hardtail

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DESCRIPTION

The Litespeed Obed 29er is equally at home in the High Country or the High Desert, it is great on climbs climbs and descends with equal prowess add it's reliability, mellow geometry, and lightweight, and it make this an all-out fun frame.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-6 of 6  
[Aug 31, 2011]
alex.keil
Racer

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
1
Strength:

It's titanium. Replaceable dropouts for single/multi speed are kind of cool. Lots of standover room.

Weakness:

The welds. The headset/downtube junction weld busted after about 300 miles of moderate/light riding.

The dropouts were cool, but I had to replace the bolts with larger bolts that wouldn't have the heads strip (I had to drill out 3 of them) and put in washers. That's just penny pinching by the manufacturer. They are also expensive and proprietary one-offs.

The geometry was a little funky, which I didn't notice until I started riding other bikes. Definitely less consideration put into handling of this bike.

The braze on for the front derailleur cable stop is in a really awkward place that puts the inner cable at a really weird angle and increases the resistance a lot. Setting up front shifting on this was a bear.

Not a lot of clearance room in the back end. I had a 2.2 that started rubbing on my front derailleur when the wheel went even a touch out of true.

I haven't ridden other Ti bikes, but this one is not worth the cost. My bike is busted and not under warranty, but I'm refusing to repair it at $700 because I'd rather have some good steel for that price than pay to keep riding this bike. It was fun for climbing, but there are lots of little thoughtless things about the bike that would steer me away from Litespeed in the future.

I would not recommend this bike to anyone, unless you can find it for <$200.

Similar Products Used:

Scott 29er

[Oct 26, 2010]
Duratai
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
2
Strength:

The Obed is a fairly basic but well-built titanium frame. It features traditional geometry, clean welds and a worry-free satin finish. The frame, if sized correctly - rides like titanium should. Not as harsh as aluminum, not as heavy as steel. A comfortable medium between the two, without the negative characteristics of either.

I suppose it climbs well for it’s weight, descends... well… it descends like a hardtail. I guess descending on a hardtail depends more on rider finesse than anything else anyway, and the Obed responds well to rider input. The Obed is most definitely not an all-mountain hucking or dirt jumping frame. I’d go so far as to say it was designed strictly for cross-country duties and that’s where it excels.

What can I say - Ti’s great. It doesn’t need paint. It won’t rust. It won’t corrode. You can ride in confidently the rain - even acid rain if you wanted to.

Weakness:

Tire clearance – my biggest pet peeve on the Obed. Those big titanium stays don’t allow for as much clearance as I’d like, and this is where the Obed’s Ti flexiness is a real bugger. If I’m carving hard into a turn, my tire can flex and rub the stays making a “brrt-brrt-brrt” sound. It’s more of an annoyance than anything else, but it’s still a gripe. I guess I could just run a narrower tire, but…

The Obed’s basic ti tubing (non-butted, 3AL/2.5V) also puts it on a slightly heavier scale than competing titanium frames from Lynskey or Moots (the only 2 that I can compare to). It’s not as “fast” feeling as my Moots, nor is it as light (the Obed is about a whole pound heavier for the same size frame). But then again, I guess you get what you pay for…

If I have to get picky, I’ll also point out that the welds aren’t up to par as they are on my Moots. If Ok, I’ll shut up about the Moots already…

Titanium when built correctly, should last a lifetime. My Obed is still holding up great, but search on-line for cracked Ti Litespeeds and there’s plenty of ‘em. I know I won’t keep my Litespeed around forever, but I would be weary of buying another one used - Buyer beware I guess.

The Obed’s dropouts are one-offs from Litespeed. Good luck if you bite the rocks and need to replace them. Why they did this is beyond me.

Litespeed decals are a joke – peeled them off before they self-littered themselves on the trail. Hope you like a plain grey metal frame.

Make no mistake, the Obed is a hardtail through and through. I wouldn't say that it feels "compliant" in the rear end like some reviewers claim. Maybe it's just my 'ol bones, but the Obed feels like a regular hardtail to me. Ride it for an hour over rocks, and it'll beat you up . You're only kidding yourself if you think that titanium will smooth everything out on its own… It’s called hype.

If you're looking for compliance, get a full suspension, or at the very least a soft-tail. My Moots is significantly smoother than the Obed, hence the reason that the Moots sees more trail time than the Obed. Then again, I guess you get what you pay for as the Moots did cost an extra mortgage payment or two …. And there’s more than enough room for knobby 2.35” rubber on the Moots…

No serious complaints, I’m just glad I didn’t pay full price, as I can’t justify Litespeed’s entry fee. I bought my Obed frame as a demo - at significantly lower than retail cost. Even though Litespeed claims the Obed as the "everyman's" titanium bike, at $2500+ for a frame (only) puts the Obed well outside “everyman’s” budget. I feel like I got a decent deal on mine.

I suppose if you can score a good deal on craigslist or eBay, the Obed may be a good choice. Otherwise, I'd invest in something more custom. Support a local frame builder if you can! I’m looking to clear out a few of my bikes before winter, so look for my Obed on eBay.

Similar Products Used:

Moots, Lynskey, Older Ti Mongoose frame

[Sep 16, 2010]
Matt
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Strength:

After one year of riding and racing the bike has held up flawlessly. Ti seems to be doing what it was advertised to do.

Weakness:

I haven't found any weaknesses in the frame. I'm still not completely converted to the 29 in platform. I also tend to miss the full suspension that I have ridden for the last 7 years.

Over more than a year of riding this bike I have no regrets. This was a great way to get introduced to the 29er scene. Paid a lot less than other Ti bikes. Wouldn't hesitate to recommend to others. I don't know if they are still making this bike however. I see them for sale on the web but the Litespeed site doesn't mention anything about the Obed line anymore. Maybe that's a red flag?

Similar Products Used:

First 29er. Other bikes were Titus Racer X, Rocky Mtn Element, Trek Fuel 100

[Oct 26, 2009]
sunchaser
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Strength:

Lightweight. Great and comfortable climber, fast downhills...just point and shoot.

Weakness:

non-traditional top tube look, but actually very functional on descents with plenty of clearance

What a great work horse. Does NOT really turn heads, except to say goodbye. Climbs like a billy goat, begging you to keep pushing. Buckle up on the descent because it will fly. Nicely balanced overall.

Similar Products Used:

trek 830
Diamond back apex
old univega

[Oct 02, 2008]
pokeysbeau
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
2
Strength:

Still falling in love with titanium. My first non-alum, and wow! My hands don't hurt after a long ride anymore.

Jury still out if I love the size of the 29er wheel, the tires, or both...this bike is fast both on the road and cornering on hardpack. I asked Rbikes for Small Black Eights but they swapped with Jones XR on the front and WTB Nano Raptor's on the back. They perform really well on dry gravel and the road to Bear Mtn but the Jones is totally useless in the mud.

Weakness:

The shape looks like a 1955 woman's bicycle. Tell me all you want about triangles or the need to get the frame over the large tire; for $4,000 I expect a "Whoa!" response from passer-bys, not comments about hoop dresses. Litespeed's website doesn't have any pictures forewarning of this design; I might have opted for a 26 if I had known. Rbikes didn't warn me either.

Paraphrasing an old joke, this bike is like a moped. It's fun to ride until a friend sees you.

Similar Products Used:

N/A.

[Aug 11, 2008]
john9iner
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Visually this bike appears low to the ground, this bike turns heads everywhere I go. The curved top tube gives the most stand over height (28") of any medium sized 29er available. This is so important on technical trails with drops if dismounting or slipping off the pedals occur.

Titanium tends to flex. Litespeed addressed these issues using round oversized and shaped ti tubes in the front triangle and square tapered to round shaped ti tubes in the rear triangle (work of art). Lateral rigidly is solid, tracking is dead on straight and carves effortlessly. Litespeed did their homework on the geometry, its not fast and twitchy, but smooth and predictable. Climbing is incredible, hooks up and does not loose traction while seated or standing like other hardtails. Descending there is no vibration or chatter, the titanium absorbs unlike other metals.

Weakness:

Visual inspection only - I believe Litespeeds are now made in Asia, my old (2002 Ghisallo) Litespeed was made in Tennessee USA, the welds were perfect, I can tell the craftsmanship has gone down some, the weld beads are not as consistent and smooth as the USA made 2002, even my 2007 Ghisallo is not as good (made in Asia too). If I compare the weld beads on a Blacksheep, Moots, Seven or Inde Fab, you can see these welds are perfect...but these frames are more expensive too. Most folks would overlook this, I spent some time welding and am amazed what skill it takes to make a perfect bead.

This is a great bike, my Obed 29er tipped the scale at TOTAL BIKE WEIGHT 24.36 LBS. not a featherweight but reliable. Its perfect for the cross country racer to weekend warrior, folks who have ridden allot of different bikes will appreciate this geometry.

Similar Products Used:

Salsa Dos Niner
Everti Ti 29er
Gary Fisher Paragon 29er
Spicer Ti 29er
Van Diesel Buzz Bomb 29er
Intense Tracer 26
Litespeed Obed 26
Santa Cruz Blur 26
Santa Cruz Heckler 26
Amp B3 26
Amp B4 26
Amp B5 26

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