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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:37 am 
retrobike rider
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Location: Norfolk. Rides at Thetford Forest
The question: is a Lynskey Litespeed Titanium MTB Collectable?

A few facts:

1. Titanium is considered the ultimate material for a hardtail mountain bike and can last a lifetime

2. It needs no paint and never rusts, so is perfect for the harsh conditions of mountain biking.

3. Mid to late 90's hardtails seem to be the most sought after retro mountain bikes by collectors - they just seem to have got it right then.

4. Lynskey is considered one of the best builders of titanium bikes and builds desirable bikes that are built for function.

5. Lynskey is passionate about his bikes and this is reflected in the high quality of welds and finish, they are almost perfect - which is almost unheard of these days.

6. If you want a 'proper' Litespeed it simply has to be a 1999 or earlier one before it was sold to ABG as they then only produced average frames and thus went on to have many craking problems due to poor quality.

7. In the 1999 Tour de France, Lance Armstrong rode a titanium Litespeed Blade painted and labeled as a Trek during time trials.

8. Litespeed has been a contractor and consultant to NASA for projects that require titanium-intensive subassemblies - COOL!

9. Litespeed sponsored the DFL-Cyclingnews-Litespeed and Calyon/Litespeed Pro Cycling road teams and the Maxxis mountain bike team. The World Cup ITU Triathlon champion Vanessa Fernandes (Portugal) also raced on a Litespeed.

10. Because of the high quality control at Litespeed during the late 90's as many as half the frames were rejected (far higher than any other frame builder) in the name of durability and perfection - thats why they look so beautiful and last so well.

11. Only the finest grades of Titanium were used unlike some other Ti bikes that used lesser grades of tubing to keep to a budget. Lynskey put quality first and the price second - that's why they were so expensive at the time.

12. It gives the ultimate addictive ride and feel off-road that only a quality top-end titanium frame can give - you will know what I mean if you have ever ridden one at speed on hardpack!

So put all that provenance together and I think its one of the best made, finest riding, understated mountain bikes ever made. OK, some say Kleins are the best, but they can be harsh on longer rides and a little overstated for some tastes. I would not swop mine for any new bike made today as I don't think a better mountain bike has been built since. I do like the new Linskey stuff, but its just not classic enough looking for my tastes.

In summary, I have attached a marketing advert from 1992 which states that Litespeed had one aim and that was simply to build 'THE ULTIMATE' and I think personally they did!

....but what do you think:?:

You can read the history of Litespeed on the MOMBAT site and download pdf's of old catalogues:
http://mombat.org/MOMBAT/BikeHistoryPag ... speed.html


Attachments:
1998 Litespeed, last of Linsky signed frames.jpg
1998 Litespeed, last of Linsky signed frames.jpg [ 458.88 KiB | Viewed 11194 times ]
192Litespeed.jpg
192Litespeed.jpg [ 456.66 KiB | Viewed 11194 times ]


Last edited by shaun on Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:36 am, edited 7 times in total.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:00 am 
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I know Mark Lynskey and the boys over the pond and they are some of the most dedicated people in the cycling industry. With a heritage as good as theirs.......as well as being a pre ABG....... Defiantly collectable! :wink: :D


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:07 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 12:28 am
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Probably not a collectable item, but for sure a bike to use and abuse for the next ten years while still being proud of it and able to look sconfully at the new modern Taiwanese wonderbikes wannabe.

Merlin, Seven, Mc Mahon, IF, Fat are for sure more attractive for collectors but not necessarily better.

Ah, concerning the Obed it is for sure better than the top of the line Tellico. One of the best Litespeed bikes, along with the Ocoee.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:21 pm 
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Re point 10:
I think that any company that rejects 50% of it's output needs to sort itself out, fast!


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:33 pm 
Gold Trader / PoTM Winner / RB Rider
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3. Mid to late 90's hardtails seem to be the most sought after retro mountain bikes by collectors - they just seem to have got it right then.

not sure i agree with that fact


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:44 pm 
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Location: No brakes? Way to commit soldier.
The answer is: No.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:11 pm 
retrobike rider
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novekili wrote:
Probably not a collectable item, but for sure a bike to use and abuse for the next ten years while still being proud of it and able to look sconfully at the new modern Taiwanese wonderbikes wannabe.

Merlin, Seven, Mc Mahon, IF, Fat are for sure more attractive for collectors but not necessarily better.

Ah, concerning the Obed it is for sure better than the top of the line Tellico. One of the best Litespeed bikes, along with the Ocoee.


I tend to agree with your very valid comment. There is not much love for the original Lynskey Titanium bikes on Retrobike and thus they do not make a great deal of money on the second hand market. I have ridden and bought just about every type and make of mountain bike over the last 20 years of continual mountain biking and still own several including two classic Kona Exposifs, but nothing compares to the ride and quality of build of this bike, not even the Kona Explosifs which seem to get loads of love! It leaves me a little confused. :?

Is it just down to the fact that people put looks and familiarity first before performance, quality and sheer ride quality?

How many have actually ridden or raced a top end Ti hardtail? :oops:


Last edited by shaun on Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:17 pm 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
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Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:33 am
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Location: Riding my Woodsie.
What do you mean by collectible?

That rich people should buy as many of them as they can and hoard them in display cabinets or hermetically sealed basements?

For them to be bought as depreciation proof investments?

That they should all be owned by museums of technology and on display to educate the masses of how good a bike can be?

Given that the term 'collecting' has certain connotations I would say that this model is not collectible.

But I do think that they should be owned by enthusiastic riders who can appreciate a fine hardtail and ridden regularly. :wink:

Sweet bike btw. :D


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:11 pm 
retrobike rider
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firedfromthecircus wrote:
What do you mean by collectible?

That rich people should buy as many of them as they can and hoard them in display cabinets or hermetically sealed basements?

For them to be bought as depreciation proof investments?

That they should all be owned by museums of technology and on display to educate the masses of how good a bike can be?

Given that the term 'collecting' has certain connotations I would say that this model is not collectible.

But I do think that they should be owned by enthusiastic riders who can appreciate a fine hardtail and ridden regularly. :wink:

Sweet bike btw. :D


Brilliant constructive answer! :D

You are 100% right that these bikes need to be owned by enthusiasts who in turn can then share their passion with like minded others. Apart from riding, chatting about each others bikes and having a 'go' on friends different types of bikes in all part of the fun of it!

I love watching the grins on friends faces after they have come back from a 'blast' on it around Thetford Forest. When you are used to a 28lb full suspension modern bike, a 20.3lb Ti hardtail can be an education that the new modern stuff isn't nearly as fast or as much fun as the marketing gurus have lead them to believe! :shock:


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:28 pm 
retrobike rider
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Russell (fortes fortuna calvus) wrote:
The answer is: No.


Tibi semper insidebant a titanium cursoriam?


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