The question: is a Lynskey Litespeed Titanium MTB Collectable?
A few facts:
Titanium is considered the ultimate material for a hardtail mountain bike and can last a lifetime
It needs no paint and never rusts, so is perfect for the harsh conditions of mountain biking.
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.
Lynskey is considered one of the best builders of titanium bikes and builds desirable bikes that are built for function.
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.
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.
In the 1999 Tour de France, Lance Armstrong rode a titanium Litespeed Blade painted and labeled as a Trek during time trials.
Litespeed has been a contractor and consultant to NASA for projects that require titanium-intensive subassemblies - COOL!
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.
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.
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.
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
1998 Kona 853 Explosif, 1999 NOS Kona 853 Explosif, 1999 NOS Lynskey signed Litespeed Obed Ti, 1999 Marin Mount Vision (custom), Cannondale Bad Boy 700c Disc (everyday hack) and a 1993 Marin for the Wife. Latest build in progress is a 1993 Marin Eldridge Grade with original paint.
"Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever."