Litespeed Sewanee XC Full Suspension

Available At

DESCRIPTION

SEWANEE The Sewanee represents a new development in full suspension cross country race bikes. Perfect for your next XC race - 90mm of rear end travel, cold-worked 3Al/2.5V titanium frame, the ultimate combination of durability and weight savings - the Sewanee features a CLR suspension design that allows for constant acceleration and nimble handling even in the most challenging terrain. - DT Swiss XM180 Shock - Tubular shock mounts - CLR Balanced Ratio Suspension

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 15  
[Aug 15, 2013]
Rod Batycky

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Strength:

None.

Weakness:

Poorly built. I felt like I was some sort of frame alpha tester for them. Poor warranty replacement repair. Takes forever to get a repair done.

I've owned this bike for 7 years. And I swear it's spent more time getting ship back to the factory than I have spent riding it. It had 2 rear suspension crappy bushing wear-outs within the 1st year before litespeed finally replaced the bottom linkage with a proper beefy one. I had one seat tube crack that litespeed replaced under warranty. After that I had one top tube (took 4 months) and one rear chainstay crack that were not replace under warranty. Then one rear axle linkage bushing blow-outs after one ride on new rear triangle. The kicker however was that a rear disk mount tab broke after 1-year of riding, which litespeed then told me I broke either by trials riding or riding backwards (yeah good one) meaning it would not be repaired under warranty. So I had a local Ti-frame repair guy fix it, who said that the original piece litespeed used was completely under-designed and not to ISO standards to begin with. Frame now repaired yet again. Now going to give this bike to my 9-year old.

[Aug 25, 2008]
caiello
Racer

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

I bought the Sewanee complete setup at Rbikes.com. It’s very comfortable and excellent quality (welds are superb). It took a little while getting used to, but I’ve actually found it more comfortable than my hardtail now. My ride times have dramatically been reduced as well (much lighter than my hardtail was).

Weakness:

Not sure if it is my lack of knowledge with FS or what, but the rear shock ring slides off the shock (meaning I'm traveling all the way). I have pumped it up some (using the guidelines of the Fox website and my SAG/weight). I also notice that the shock must be leaking a little oil too (seems to when it fully travels). Not sure of any other issues as it is so new to me.

I Love it...worth every penny.

Similar Products Used:

Demo'd a bunch of bikes, including but not all: Titus Racer-X both Carbon (loved it) and TI (29'r); Seven Duo 5.0; Turner Sultan (29'r)

[Aug 15, 2008]
slatersplace
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

I bought the 2008 Sewanee SS frame at Rbikes.com (Awesome Retailer…if you’re at an APO, AE address like me…they are very easy to work with). It’s light, smooth, and very comfortable. The 60mm of travel is plenty even for someone of my weight (185lbs). The top tube was bit longer that what I’m accustomed to riding, but I’ve actually found it more comfortable than my hardtail now. All the welds on it are certified and signed off on the card that accompanies the bike. The threads on the bottom bracket and bottle holder are sharp and professional. The bike is just so smooth and crisp. It’s everything you would expect a frame in this price range to be.

Weakness:

Litespeed replaced the headtube badge with a sticker. I guess if I have to complain about something here, that would be it. However, I was able to purchase an older one from Litespeed....problem solved.

If you've got the money, the frame is worth it.

Similar Products Used:

Liteville 301L, Cube

[Aug 26, 2007]
Jeff Young
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Light weight,handling...everything except price

Weakness:

Price!

This is a short term review. I bought this 2007 frame (which came with a RP23 shock) from ebay and it is in "new" condition. I had my LBS build the bike up with parts from my 2005 Stumjumper FSR Expert. Now, for the ride...I'll try to hold back my excitement a little. The ride is perfect! 2 inches of firm, smooth travel is better than 4 or 5 inches of slop. The Sewanee works. There is very little pedal bob but the suspension works when it should. As someone else said, the sewanee feels like it has more travel than it does. I'm over 200 pounds and I use all of the shock's travel but it never feels harsh or like it is bottoming out. Now, if you're taking big drops, you're probably not even reading Sewanee reviews...but if you're reading this you are probably a cross country rider/racer and if you have the bucks to drop on this frame (or complete bike) you will not be disappointed. I don't care if some guy named Kabush is winning on a Sewanee...who the heck cares. This review is about a bike that YOU can own. I ride mostly east coast singletrack...rooty, rocky, tight and twisty. This calls for a bike that can be hammered without bobbing, that has enough suspension to absorb the roots and rocks, that keeps the rear wheel connected on short steep climbs and that turns with little effort other than a little body english...the Sewanee is that bike. Period.

I kind of look forward to rooty, rocky sections...I can pedal right through without spiking my pedals at all...something that always happened on my Stumpy with twice the travel (and lower BB). Thie bike really does inspire some confidence...I am going much faster and clearing more obstacles than I would have even attempted before.

I love my Sewanee...it's beautiful (don't under estimate the importance of your attraction to your bike), it performs flawlessly (I will have to improve my riding to take full advantage of the bike), and because it is nearly perfect, I plan on riding much more than I have been in the past. Other than the high price (buy one used if it's in good condition) I have no complaints so far. I'll do a follow up post after I have had few months on the bike. Now quit reading this and get out and ride!

Similar Products Used:

Stumpy FSR 120, Litespeed Owl Hollow

[Mar 16, 2006]
ROD TOWART
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

The strenghs of this frame are the weight, very light 4.5 lbs, the stifness of the swingarm which I think is comparable with most 100mm travel bikes and the quality of the ride. This bike just floats across the rough stuff and with an all in weight of under 24lbs it climbs extremely well too. What I have noticed with this bike compared to other bikes that I have owned/tested is although the frame is extremely light it doesn't feel fragile. The bike/frame gives you a lot of confidence and it certainly doesn't appear to be flexy.

Weakness:

After reading the other reviews before posting this, I would take Chris+Guy's with a pinch of salt. I managed to demo this frame (standard) before I purchased my own bike and really enjoyed the ride. The bike that I used for demo came with v-brakes and Crossmax sl v-brake wheels which were a complete let down. These wheels are very flexey with noticable brake rub when cornering (due to fewer spokes) now some testers may have thought that the flex was in the frame but its not! If I was to pick one problem with the frame it would be the cable routing although I changed mine with the custom build.

Because I managed to test the bike before I bought one I new what to expect. The changes that I made in the custom build have made a really good frame a little bit better. For endurance racing or just long days in the saddle this bike will reward you all day long, If big drop-offs and lots of rocky decending are your thing then you may want to look else where. As you may guess I am really happy with my new bike, and if you are happy who cares about the large cost.

Similar Products Used:

Used to own a Cannondale Scalpel. Pace rc200.

[Mar 03, 2006]
Sebastian
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Nice ride, I sold my BMW motorcycle for a chance to give the soft-tail scene a shot. I was unwilling to part with my IF Deluxe but wanted to treat myself to a new toy while living in Europe for a couple of years. The bike is light, rides very similar to a hardtail but tracks smoothly through rocks fields and decends with ambition. This was also an opportunity to transition to disk brakes and the new XTR shifting system.

Weakness:

Pricey and a bit more maintenance than a hardtail - I ride a M/L and don't understand the complaints about the flex, this frame seems to have ample flex and I'm not a lightweight at 6'2" and 195lbs. A seal in my rear suspension just blew but that is an issue with Fox and not Litespeed.

Worth the investment if you move to Europe and need a single bike to get you around the Alps but I will not sell my IF hard tail waiting for me stateside. The Sewanee is a good second bike - I guess that is what our sport has come to.

What happened to the days of bio-pace, rigid forks, and toe straps.

Similar Products Used:

Tried a lot of soft tails before picking this one - the Sewanee is most similar to a hardtail in my opinion which gave me the courage to pony up the cash. I think the 2006 frame modification looks interesting although I'm not sure why Litespeed changed the upper pivot point to the center of the top tube - does anyone else wonder that?

[Feb 24, 2006]
brian
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Light, super smooth, great climber (even out of the saddle). Like riding on air over the small bumps. Easy to dial the RP3 while riding.

Weakness:

can't take the big kits. but that is not the intended use.

This bike is great. The guys dissing it must work for Moots (because this will blow the YBB out of the water). Keep in mind that I am 5'8" and 160# and riding a medium frame. So I cannot speak for bigger riders. But I have NO flex issues. Riding this bike is like riding on air. The combination of frame material and suspension makes it the smoothest ride I have ever had. I am 40 years old and feel like I am descending faster than I ever have. And I think it is due to the qualities of this bike. It dices the single track and will fly on smooth double track or jeep roads. Lite enough to even enjoy on the road.

Keep in mind, it is a a "short travel bike", so it does have limits. It is not a big hit bike. It rides more like a hard tail when it comes to really rough terrain. But if you want a great XC bike that will take the edge off and save your lower back from the typical hard-tail beating, then this is your ride. Oh, it is expensive. But compare to a YBB or IF Titanium and it is inline with their pricing.

I have been riding MTB for 18 years. The only other bike I have liked as much was my 1993 Bontrager Race Lite. But my "old man back" can no longer take the beating that a hard tail provides.

If you have the money and want a XC full suspension bike, then this is a great bike. If you want to huck and do big hits, get something else.

Like riding on air. Super fast, smooth and quiet.

Lastly, the new XTR setup is flawless. Shifting and braking have been perfect since the first time I rode the bike.

Similar Products Used:

Ellsworth Truth, Titus Racer-X, Giant NRS, Moots YBB

[Jan 30, 2006]
Todd
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Super light with all the rigidness for climbing and climbing all day. Excellent stability for that fast downhill bomb. Ti frame can be locked out and still have a little flex for the unexpected drops. The bike is built for durability and it shows with craftsmenship. You have to see it up close!!

Weakness:

None: if any the cost but worth every nickel.

Try it on all the trails types you possible can. It is a great bike for XC racing and AR. Can easily hoist on your back after hours of racing. No need to look at any other Ti frame manufacturer. Oh yeah, It DOES look awesome on the back of your SUV.

Similar Products Used:

Litespeed Unicoi

[Nov 24, 2006]
Jason
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

This bike is awesome, it flies up the trail, then back down, I've not noticed any flex whatsoever (it was a problem with my previous bike thought), anyone complaining of that maybe it's in the wheels or the fork. The main reason I went with this bike was for a light weight cross country racer, not a big hit machine. I came off a bike with more travel and I notice it, but this bike is so much faster it's exactly what I wanted. The weight is great although to get it really light (hardtail range) could get pricey. In my opinion Ti provides such a great ride it's worth the price. The Fox shocks are the way to go, my previous bike had Manitou and they were super flexy and the swinger leaked air all the time.

Weakness:

Really none. It's not cheap but I scored a deal on mine so it was well worth it.

If want light weight, a frame that'll last a long long time and a fast light weight cross country racer this would be tough to beat. Yeah you can find cheaper aluminum racers that ride almost as good but having come from those this is taking it to the next level.

Similar Products Used:

Tomac Revolver, Trek Fuel, Santa Cruz, Yeti, I've ridden them all...

[Jan 15, 2006]
Guy Spiher
Racer

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
1
Strength:

Its Titanium and looks Schweet on your SUV or VW Tourag Yeah, it rides great as described previously by other reviewers but no better than many bikes out there

Weakness:

FLEXY. I am 158 pound Expert Class XC and endurance class racer. BB flex is very apparent on standing climbs. rear suspension no better than my Fuelly 100 Carbon.Kinda wonder about durability. Hmmmm Ti does not mean its indestructible see below. BRAKE FLEX. Remember brake boosters??? Yeah, they went out with Purple Ano stems and bell bottoms. Well get yourself one. You will need it.

Dude, spend your clams elsewhere. Yeah its a GOOD bike but a lot of less expensive bikes are just as good if not better. If you just got to have the ultimate SUV accessory then this is it. Litespeed MTBs are meant to spend more time on the SUV roof rack then on the trail. I have two XC Racer friends who have broken a Tansi and a Pisgah. No, not hucking either. RIDING, as in on singletrack. Me?? I have broken an Ocoee not once but twice. I cracked the frame @ the headtube downtube area and sent it back to Litespeed. I marked the Downtube to see if they replace the frame , weld in a new downtube or simply do a junior high school vo tech double pass over the old weld bead. Guess what VO TECH!! My old tube, my old frame and a bright shiny new weld bead with new decals... OOOO Neat stickers... Ohh Well What the Heck, its Litespeed gotta know what they are doing,,, Right??? NOT!!! Frame cracked again same spot after two seasons of riding as a spare bike to my Fuelly 100. I confirmed that with a Dye Penetrant inspection of affected area. I do that sort of thing for a living. Litespeed said they will take it back AGAIN!!! Guess what!!! They can deal with all of the red penetrant in the downtube HA HA HA. Is the third try a charm??? Once brand new, twice warrantied and refubished and now the third time???? GUess what the other folks mentioned earlier had their frames crack in the same area. Hmmm Go figure.. BUYER BEWARE I SAY.

Similar Products Used:

Trek Fuel Various Kona Bikes etc.

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