Litespeed 1999 Unicoi Full Suspension Bike

DESCRIPTION

1999 Litespeed Unicoi, mountain bike, front & rear suspension, Shimano Deore XT components, Rock Shox Sid XC, 2.5" travel fork

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 21  
[May 04, 2007]
TiGuy
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Frame is flawless. still holding up after 8 years. nothing broken, nothing creaking, nothing.
frame finish is unblemished
rides as nicely as day one

Weakness:

only gripe is the rear brake cable routing. since v brakes use noodles on the left side, the brake cable has to take an awkward path around the seat tube, causing massive friction on the cable. this makes the rear braking a high effort and rough feeling affair. if the frame came with rear disc mounts, i would opt to switch to disc brakes, esp since i ride in wet/muddy climes.

recently however, i discovered that Paul's motolite v brakes have interchangeable noodle placement, so u can put the noodle on the left side or right side, depending on how your cable stops are situated on your frame. so i ordered one set (at $100 per wheel one is more than enough). finally, a rear brake solution that will work with my frame. i also got a set of aztec aluminum brake cable housing (the ones like nokon but have a nylon outer lining to protect your frame), so the rear brake issue i've had in the past will be elimintated once and for all.

this is a long term revisit review. i've since switched mainly to full suspension (intense tracer, epx terrashark, kona stinky dee lux) but still occasionally ride the unicoi when riding with beginners, bike path rides, charity rides etc.

the bike is still as fun to ride as it was back then. it has the perfect blend of riding character. it's light, stiff, forgiving, compliant, nimble, flexy in the right places, comfy, reactive to pedal input, it's just plainly what u'd want out of the perfect frame.

I like how some reviewers have described how the rear shock feels. my favorite and most accurate description would be that it feels like u r running a large volume tire at low air pressure. in other words, there is a small measure of vertical compliance when hitting square edge or chattery surfaces or dropping off. it feels smooth and quick like a low pressure tire does. it really does a good job at taking the spike off of a hit.

the benefit is that unlike a low pressure tire, you really are running your normal tire pressure, ie u r rolling fast and efficient, with no collapsing sidewalls in cornering, yet, you reap the benefit of that sensation of a pillowy and compliant ride.

as for climbing, yes, it finds more traction than a typical hardtail, but no, not as much as a nice 4 bar full susp design. nor does it descend as fearlessly. but, it also weighs much less and is more nimble. and overall it's afaster xc machine, taking much less effort to ride for hours on end. altho, on a full susp, u end up feeling more 'refreshed' at the end of a long ride.

bottome line, it's a must have bike if u like to have a stable of bikes for every occasion. or if u want a super nice xc machine with comfort, it's hard to beat. the tanasi is a superb racing machine, but for comfort, the unicoi gets the nod.

Similar Products Used:

stumpy triple butted steel
tanasi 6/4 ti (wow, super lite and fantastic ride)

[Jan 08, 2002]
matt white
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Lightweight soft tail design
Improved customer service(thanks Rebecca)
Finish will survive nuclear detonation
Lack of bearing/bushings to replace and listen to creak

Weakness:

Can't blame the bike for being slow now

I wasn't in the market for a bike, but got caught on eBay snooping where I shouldn't have been. I placed the only bid on the frame and got it for a song. I liked the softtail idea the Moho was trying for, and the Litespeed gives that thought a reality. The best description I can give for the travel was given below. It feels like you are riding a bike with 10psi in a 3.0" width tire. It won't soak up the big hits, but it does allow you to pedal over small roots and logs without losing traction. I am very partial to this bike due to the fact it fits me very well. I have fit other bikes, but this one seems to feel like those old jeans you don't want to throw away. As for the suspension pogo, I only noticed it when I have my front fork set too stiff. Give yourself some travel up front and the rear is very compliant. I tried my shock locked out just for kicks, and just about got bucked off the bike. This bike is ideal for the aging hardtail rider who doesn't want to go full suspension, but needs a little TLC his hardtail won't give.

Similar Products Used:

99 Schwinn Homegrown Pro
98 Mountain Cycles Moho STS

[Sep 29, 2001]
cse112_bjk25

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Strength:

Ti frame is so so light and I never fear splitting the frame in half

Weakness:

Price of these bikes makes me feal like an ass riding it sometimes. It wobbles like a wet noodle benith my 180 lb's.

I think this bike would rock for Tennesee but it is an XC bike at heart. Not a great thing when you live in the mountains...

[Jul 24, 2001]
Weebs
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Titanium is the best, rides almost as tight as a hardtail but softens things up a tad, great craftsmanship on the frame, fairly light, race geometry, good climber, great ride.

Weakness:

Rear suspension is just a spring so you have no rebound dampening and it can pogo. Of course it wont pogo much since it has little travel so the effect is minimized. This is not an issue most of the time and only shows itself during certain times. This has been addressed in the new designs.

Other than the minor issue of slight pogo it is a great bike. The combination of Titanium and small travel absorbs more punishment than you think it would while basically feeling as tight as a hardtail (but not the same). The frame will probobly last forever and has a lifetime warranty. Climbs good, tracks good fast, does single-track well. Any impact that would scratch a painted frame just polishese titanium...icing on the cake!
Pogo drops it a chili otherwise 5. It does what it was built for well.

Similar Products Used:

Last bike was a Specialized Stumpjumper. Sampled many FS frames before purchasing this one.

[May 26, 2000]
Brad
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Great build quality, titanium ride, climbs like a goat, light.

Weakness:

Some flex in the bb area due to "open" seat stays. You don't feel this when laying down power, only when going through a tight turn that compresses the bike.

I'm in constant awe of this bike--it absolutly rocks! Tracks great on tight twisty stuff, hooks up amazingly well through mud bogs (lot of 'em up here), and climbs technical stuff really, really well. Forest Service roads are smoothed out by the titanium. The bike will bob a little if you hammer squares instead of spinning, but what should you be doing?
I haven't had one problem, and don't expect any. Can't imagine ever replacing this bike.

Similar Products Used:

None, old bike as a Stumpjumper.

[Jan 13, 2000]
TiGuy
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Lifetime Litespeed Ti Frame, looks great, rides great
Frame is light, stiff, comfy, natural finish means no more paint chipping off!
1" coil spring rear shock adds comfort
99 Sid XL fork, light, comfy, adjustable
99 XT build, 9 spd, bulletproof
Cane Creek headset, looks good, works good

Weakness:

rear brake boss is mounted on top right side of top tube, not ideal for v-brake routing. for the smoothest brake feel, it should be on the left side.
Minor gripe: would be cool to see the top tube slope more for greater TT clearance

go for it!

Similar Products Used:

Obed
Owl Hollow
S-works fsr xc
Cannondale HT, Mantra Race

[Jan 20, 2001]
Dragula der Blutfauger
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Light, extremely stable at speed(80+kph Off-road), climbs like a goat, Folds space on the turns. Makes the impossible Possible!

Weakness:

Are you kidding? Ok seriously, I prefer downtube cable routing and the signature decal on the seatstay was tacky.(acetone and a rag...Poof)

This bike is absolutely the pinnacle of human powered devices. It's nimble handling at the limits of physics obscure it's blazingly fast stability. On one descent I was passing a small group of spooked deer. If you've ever seen how fast they can move over rough terrain at a full run you know how fast I was going. If you want to outclimb, out corner, outlast and underweigh your freinds and enemies...Get one. As to those foolish few who cry "moots Ybb!" Now you know it should be, Moots? Y Buy Me!

Similar Products Used:

Got my first mtb in 1980, If they built it I probly rode it.

[Oct 28, 2000]
matt bucca
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

lite, shifts great, just enough rear suspension, when you press on the pedals it goes......

Weakness:

the cockpit is a little shorter then my previous bike.

excellent bike. the shorter cockpit has advantages and disadvantages. the advantage is it eliminates climbing bars and I can get farther back on the saddle to go down hill. the disadvantage is the back comes up easier. this could be due to the lite bike.

Similar Products Used:

litespeed tsali

[Feb 24, 2003]
Dennis
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5

I am just giving a long term ride report. Still love the bike. At times if you hit a bump/log/rock etc.. in the rear the bike will buck you. Granted I am 210 and ride hard!
Added Mavic Crossroc Tubeless Disc and Avid mechanical Disc brakes.
Now the bike is a lot faster on the singletrack ans feels more heavy duty. The added weight was a bonus to keep the bike from being so squirley. (24.3lbs)

[May 11, 2000]
Brian R.
Racer

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Soft-tail design, titanium doesn't rust, titanium is easy to clean, this bike has made me a better rider.

Weakness:

To some extent the soft-tail design

This is my second review of this bike. I have now put extensive miles on the bike and raced it several times. I race Sport and this bike is great for me at that level. I don't train enough for the racing I do but this bike spares me from some of the abuse that would wear me down by the end of a race. The only problem I have with this bike is some pogo action in certain situations like riding stutter bumps and when spinning extremely fast on pavement.

Similar Products Used:

Have test ridden other soft-tails and this is one of the best.

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