I have one of these on order, the XT build, and I really look forward to it. What has your experience been since your writeup?I picked up a Lynskey Livewire in may 2020 during their 20% off sale (Large, mill finish, silver (no anodized color) etching). I'm 5'11, 220 lbs.
Short version: My bike cost me less than 3k to build, and I highly doubt I could have gotten something better without spending at least another $1000 on the frame alone. Working with Lynskey was awesome and they did some modifications for free for me, and their customer service saved a near-doomed weekend trip.
Type of riding/rider:
I wanted a boost 29/27.5 hardtail around 68 deg hta with threaded bb for an abundance of reasons, happy to share in painstaking detail why if anyone is interested. Eventually I will add a fairly large travel carbon FS bike to the quiver, which this bike is meant to complement well.
parts from a new full bike on a good clearance deal. Fox rhythm 120, GX eagle, dropper, alu rims. I run 2.4s on the front and 2.2 tires on the back I believe. I regret not taking the chance I had to swap someone a new pike 130 for my new fox 120, otherwise I'm very happy with the components. Plan to get two sets of carbon wheels in 29 and 27.5. In a few years I will switch to wireless shifting (more on that below). Have cush cores but haven't gotten around to installing them yet
In terms of the brand which I know is controversial around this forum - I was planning on a litespeed but didn't like the geo of the kitsuma as much and the pinhoti was too XC. kitsuma was not in stock and despite dueling discounts would have been a solid 400 more for the kitsuma and 600 more for the pinhoti ($250 to tap threads for the BB is a joke). Not a deal breaker but I wanted the bike asap to build up for the season and I doubted litespeed was any better beyond the name. I also seriously considered a carbon santa cruz chameleon and a specialized carbon fuse 6fattie (new old stock on good clearance) among not seriously considering about 280+ other bikes and basically avoiding all work at work and home for 4-6 weeks. made in america and warranty important to me.
Frame was $1480 all in (20% off list about $400 off). Build brought me up to just about $3k with the cushcores, king cages.
Weight was 1962g for a Large (Hmmm, basically same weight as SC carbon chameleon...). That included the bottle cage screws and the seatpost collar but I don't think it included the rear skewer that came with the frame. All the welds are nice. Not bingham, but no sloppy welds anywhere.
One of the best experiences I've had purchasing gear in my life (and I am a gear hog). I called them up, a real human who actually works at their factory picks up the phone and spends a half hour talking to me about the bike, how I planned to use it, and what would be the best way to build it up (at no point did he try to sell me one of their pre-builts). While building it up with cabled shifting, this bike is eventually destined for wireless, so I had them remove all the cable stops from the frame with the exception of the rear brake line. I use cable stops that attach under my bottle cages and have a few temporary cable stops zip tied to the frame in the meantime. I left the hole for the dropper as I have an internal dropper now and that doesn't protrude from the bike and can be easily covered if needed so I feel this bike is future proofed as best as possible. They accommodated my requests for free. I did have to wait for the next production batch of larges, which delayed my order about two weeks (ymmv). so far, excellent.
First experience with Lynskey customer service:
I'm racing to build this frame up before a weekend trip with some buddies. This is the day my old trusty torque wrench became my old untrusty torque wrench. I'm tightening the seat post, no clicks, and snap the collar in two. Turns out its an odd size and after visiting and/or calling 12 bike shops around me I realize I can't get one. I call Lynskey at 4pm and they overnight me one which arrives the next day, one day before my early morning departure for my trip. That night, I'm kicking myself for not ordering two (I always keep spares of any difficult to find part). I get the package and they've thrown a second collar in for free. nice touch on top of saving my trip.
I'm mostly a roadie so I only have about 20 rides on this thing. It's been great. I took it up to north Conway NH (worth a trip for anyone out east) and I could really rip on those trails. I was with more experienced buddies on much more expensive FS bikes with 130-150 travel and I could handle every trail we went down (it was maybe my 5th or 6th mtb ride in decades). I was definitely more limited by my inexperience, my fitness and my strong aversion to breaking bones (and thus being unable to work) than by the bike. I wish I had gone with the pike 130 (I am a clyde) but I still need to dial in the right tire sizes, pressures, try out the cush cores and try out 27.5s so maybe I will keep the fox fork long term who knows, but I doubt it.
While I lack a lot of MTB experience, I think frame falls into the "does everything well but nothing amazing" category. For me its great and I think it will capture about 80% of the riding I do in a low maintenance and long lasting frame, giving me more money over the years to keep up a fancy expensive FS carbon bike for the other 20%. I can imagine about 5-6 different builds for this bike that I could pivot to if my riding changes or my quiver changes. IMO, I don't think any review of a 27.5/29 hardtail is complete without someone who has two sets of quality wheels to swap out depending on the riding they are doing. When I get to that point, or if I have issues with the frame/lynskey, I'll post an update.
I think this is the longest essay I have written since high school, but feel free to hit me up with any questions.
View attachment 1912420 View attachment 1912421 View attachment 1912422 View attachment 1912424 View attachment 1912423
Sweet bike. I am excited.You'll be happy I guarantee. Also having two full size water bottles is a huge plus if you do any real distance and dislike packs (which should be everyone). I got a valais seat post protector from wolf tooth I'm going to put on next time I service my dropper to add a small seat bag for tube and tools. I'm not really a frame bag person but you could easily add a frame bag in addition to the two water bottles (this is a Large). If I did that I'd probably get some bosses added and a custom bag so there's no straps.
Here's mine with the new fork. (I also cut my handlebars which is why the cables all look ridiculously long. I'll get around to shortening those eventually...) The only thing I'll do in the future is upgrade to wireless shifting/dropper when they are more reasonable to get rid of some cables and maybe some carbon wheels when I figure out what type I'd want.
View attachment 1940494