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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:06 pm 
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shaun wrote:
snip sarcastic fanboi rant


Now now Dear, don't be spitting the dummy out because I used the words Litespeed and cheapest in the same sentence. I was merely pointing out how industry works and the probable reason why a cycle frame builder got a NASA contract. Do you really think that David Lynskey has better titanium fabricating pedigree than the likes of the chaps at Lockheed, or was he just cheaper?

For the record, I only clicked this thread because I'd love a mid to late 90's Litespeed some day. As for the Lynskey brand and all the other companies they build for, that's about the only modern titanium frame that I wouldn't have. Far too many stories of frames cracking followed by terrible customer service from Lynskey, which is a bit of a shame really.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:57 pm 
retrobike rider
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Fudd wrote:
I only clicked this thread because I'd love a mid to late 90's Litespeed some day.


You have a wonderful collection of mountain bikes 'Fudd' and obviously have a keen eye for understated detail and have an appreciation of high quality engineering, to which a mid to late 90's Lynskey Litespeed would compliment. Good luck with finding a nice one and I, for one, can't wait to read your posting on how it rides here on Retrobike in the near future. :D


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:29 pm 
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CTK wrote:
Do retro Litespeeds sell for less than comparitive Dean or Merlin models?


I don't think so... a lot of people I have talked to think Dean is some of the lowest end titanium (other than China) out there.

They do sell for less than Merlins definitely.

At the price I bought my last Litespeed I'll buy another, since I bought it for MAYBE component cost (aka if I were to have bought the components used on ebay.... that may have actually cost more than I bought the whole thing for)

My first one was pretty S*itty though.... it was an older Ocoee (that may have been one of the larger sizes.... I honestly forget) I'd get bored and stand on the pedals and just bob up and down and watch the BB flex (I weigh 137lbs and I'm 5'9" so it's not like that's much force) The rear brake probably could have been classified as "anti-lock" since the seatstays would flex plenty before you had enough force to lock up the rear tire.

&Shaun I wouldn't sweat it.... I've put more miles this month on my litespeed than either of the Kleins I own. It's a great bike. To me a LOT of the collect-abilty on this site is either because the brand had some amazing paint and REALLY caught somebody's eye back in the day, but they can only now afford it, or it was a knacker that they had as a kid and remember it fondly so they want another. I still love my Proflex 857, and would never get rid of it, even though it's not that highly respected around here. Your litespeed is an awesome bike, and the longer litespeed stays under the radar as a desirable bike I'll keep buying them up!

P.s. Shaun I like how you put it with the marin team titanium and everything, even litespeed to litespeed can be a world of difference (my 1993? Ocoee vs '99 Obed.... hands down Obed, I couldn't even stand the Ocoee)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:06 pm 
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I think you have a point, but you’re way over-stating your case. Litespeeds were good bikes, but there was always more love for Merlin, at least over here.

Where Litespeed gained over Merlin was in the business skills of the Lynskeys, especially in building up the dominant position in the US market for building ti frames for other brands. But business skills is one thing, soul is another, and I don’t think Litespeed ever created a persona for their bikes. They were just the Trek of the ti sector.

I notice you said “Close up picture of a Lynskey weld for all those who have never seen the sheer quality!” and then showed a very ordinary ti weld. Ti welding is nothing special, the nice fine bead is just a function of the standard welding techniques. There are many thousands of welds like that in every airliner, and you’d better hope they’re all of a similar quality to that, otherwise you’ll need your parachute. Also by calling it a Lynskey weld, you imply that David Lynskey made that weld. David Lynskey was just the boss, he no more made that weld than Enzo Ferrari dressed in overalls or got oil on his hands.

I was interested to see this 1997 Obed, a good example with correct decals, just made £430 on eBay the other day.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/320837749135
That’s a decent price, but less than a Kona Hei Hei would make and not much more than a Marin ti made a few days earlier. I think this may illustrate your point that Litespeeds are under-rated. But on the other hand, was Litespeed’s reputation for durability and build quality as high as Ti Sports, even before David Lynskey left? I don’t think so, not on what I read. Do people like the shape or geometry of a Litespeed any better than a Kona? No, advantage Kona on that one. So maybe the market has it about right. Good bikes, but nothing to stir the emotions.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:25 pm 
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with bikes collectabillity is about nostalgia, its about what we grew up on. i bet a lot more people grew up on konas than lynskeys. i used to ride a kona in the 80/90s and always wanted a ti bike but i never heard of lynskey till i found this site. i guess thats why the obed that anthony mentioned went for £ 430 but this raleigh burner has a bid of £471

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1984-RALEIGH- ... 33719378e7


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:28 pm 
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"I was interested to see this 1997 Obed, a good example with correct decals, just made £430 on eBay the other day.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/320837749135
That’s a decent price, but less than a Kona Hei Hei would make and not much more than a Marin ti made a few days earlier. I think this may illustrate your point that Litespeeds are under-rated."

That goes to prove my point well, £430 is not a lot for what you are getting. I have paid £200 for a quality old steel frame in the past and by the time you have painted and stickered it you are up to around £350 for a mint job. I have to admit though, if you are the sort of person that likes fat tubes and 'pretty' paint and graphics, then they will not appeal. I personally think that the understated look and feel of hand brushed raw titanium very pleasing.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:44 pm 
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lumos2000 wrote:
with bikes collectabillity is about nostalgia, its about what we grew up on. i bet a lot more people grew up on konas than lynskeys. i used to ride a kona in the 80/90s and always wanted a ti bike but i never heard of lynskey till i found this site.


Great valid point 'Lumos2000' and I think you have finally solved the reason why such a great bike is not deemed as collectable as is, say, my 2 Kona Explosifs in my collection. Its more about looks and nostalgia than looking for the best ride. I would love to see the persons face who buys what he thinks is a 'boring' old Litespeed on Ebay for around £400 when he takes it out for a blast the first time! Bet he can't believe his luck. People who rave about how well a Kona Explosif rides really should try one of these late 90's Litespeeds. As a lucky owner of both, I should know! :oops:


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:49 pm 
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shaun wrote:
That goes to prove my point well, £430 is not a lot for what you are getting.


Eh, I think discussing price is moot, because I've bought a klein with full XTR for 221GBP (350 usd) and I bought the litespeed you saw for 252gbp ish (280 cash usd + 120 usd klein mantra + drive time + a couple hundred miles of gas).... I've bought a Klein Quantum Pro fuselage for 51GBP (80 usd) It's all about the market I've seen all sorts of brands go for a lot and a little, if you pay attention you can find ANYTHING going for cheap... except for maybe a bow-ti, I have yet to find one of those going cheap.

Long story short I've also seen people sell fixies for $1,000. Price is whatever somebody is willing to pay on that given day

I'd personally say 430 GBP isn't bad.... particularly for what you're getting. I feel as though components make at least as much of a difference in purchase price as the frame.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:07 pm 
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bwhsh8r wrote:

Shaun I wouldn't sweat it.... I've put more miles this month on my litespeed than either of the Kleins I own. It's a great bike. To me a LOT of the collect-abilty on this site is either because the brand had some amazing paint and REALLY caught somebody's eye back in the day, but they can only now afford it, or it was a knacker that they had as a kid and remember it fondly so they want another. I still love my Proflex 857, and would never get rid of it, even though it's not that highly respected around here. Your litespeed is an awesome bike, and the longer litespeed stays under the radar as a desirable bike I'll keep buying them up!


Hi 'bwhsh8r', really great to hear a positive comment from another serious collector/rider that actually owns and rides an Obed. To be honest I am not really bothered by what the majority think about this bike as I will never sell it and feel privilaged to actually ride a bike of such quality and 'feel'.

This will sound hypicritical as I own 2 Konas, but my friends and I call Retrobike 'KONABIKE' sometimes as a joke as all we seem to talk about and read about is mainly Konas. To be honest they are great and loved bikes, but I thought with this debate I could make people realise that there are other great brands out there that you may have never heard of and will never be seen as 'collectable' but will make up for in sheer ride quality.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:08 am 
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shaun wrote:
anthony wrote:
I was interested to see this 1997 Obed, a good example with correct decals, just made £430 on eBay the other day.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/320837749135
That’s a decent price, but less than a Kona Hei Hei would make and not much more than a Marin ti made a few days earlier. I think this may illustrate your point that Litespeeds are under-rated.

That goes to prove my point well, £430 is not a lot for what you are getting. I have paid £200 for a quality old steel frame in the past and by the time you have painted and stickered it you are up to around £350 for a mint job. I have to admit though, if you are the sort of person that likes fat tubes and 'pretty' paint and graphics, then they will not appeal. I personally think that the understated look and feel of hand brushed raw titanium very pleasing.

You completely miss the point. I'm not comparing the value of a Litespeed to a steel frame, I'm pointing out that Litespeeds are not valued as the premium-level frames you believe them to be. What makes you think that a Litespeed Obed is better than a Hei Hei and on a par with a Merlin XLM? Have you ridden them all? I'm wondering what is the substance underlying this long thread.

Incidentally the short answer to your overall question is no. I'm not aware of anybody with a collection of Litespeeds, nor anybody on here who has taken any great interest in their history.

Maybe they just spread themselves too thin and devalued their own brand. Since Litespeed built the Marin Team Titanium, why should anybody believe that a Litespeed is better than a Marin? Merlin didn't fall into that trap, nor IF, Serrotta, Seven etc. They all preserved their superior status. And the Lynskeys' business model for Litespeed didn't save their company anyway, so you'd have to say the Lynskeys seem to have got it wrong both ways.


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