Litespeed Mountain - 1991... 1991?

MuchAlohaNui

Senior Retro Guru
Hello and thanks for stopping by.

::Intro and Discussion::

What I think I have here is a 1991 Litespeed Mountain. I digress, I don't know much about these frames or brand, but am looking forward to the slow burner of a build. First, any insight on what I am dealing with here?

There is a bit of backstory here, where some of you already chimed in regarding value and whether or not the acquisition was worth the trouble. In here you will find the original condition of how I bought the bike: https://www.retrobike.co.uk/threads/litespeed-mountain-value-early-1990s.466134/

A few physical characteristics to determine year of manufacture:
- Head tube badge is the diamond sticker
- "Litespeed TINANIUM" stickers on the top tube rule out 1990
- cable routing @yakboy is two along the bottom tube, one along non-drive side top tube (see pictures)
- serial number 4041, in 1992 the supposedly went to five digits plus a period, such as 12.500 stated here (I also think the owner is here on Retro... http://www.vintagemtbworkshop.com/1992-litespeed-mountain.html )
- serial number and frame look like this one, claimed as a 1992: https://www.retrobike.co.uk/threads/1992-litespeed-mountain-frame-6956.412644/
- this one sold locally to me this year and is claimed to be a 1991. Same cable routing, same sticker set
- 1" heat tube
- Non-existent bungs for chain-suck plate on drive-side chain stay
- 31.8 mm front derailleur clamp size
- seat tube 26.8? mm (1991 catalog says 27 mm)

With all things considered, I **think this is a 1991. Size 19"/48.5cm with a 100 mm head tube. This frame has the "oversized" downtube option.

So what to do with this frame? All things considered. From what I have been told via PM's from a few of you is that coming up on the original front fork is next to impossible and likely cost prohibitive. Irrespective, the bike needs to remain a rigid with a fork around the same geometry/rake as the original. Finding the original seat post...maybe. stem...seems more likely.

Component-wise, I'll consider your ideas. I'll try and stay away from XTR m900 though. Definitely needs a 1" CK headset though. Original color motif was polished parts, black grips, skin wall tires, black shifters/levers, grips and saddle.

If an original fork is ever found, what can I expect to pay? That would help me hide money away for that moment.

::Known (and Unknown) Issues Big n' Small::

I went into buying this frame knowing there was at least three issues:

1) Seat tube rivnut is cracked and rattling around. I'll need to get that fixed...not sure where? Maybe just buy the tools and do it myself.

2) Seat post! Ahhhhhh! In the prior thread where I asked for a value, the seat post was brought up as being suspect. Upon inspecting the bike in person the seat post was stuck solid. I mean, rock solid. See pictures below for extraction. Also! Carbon wrapped aluminum seatposts!? What were you thinking!?

3) Rear derailleur hanger is a tad off and the rear dropouts are a tad off, but I have the tools to correct that.

4) The cable stop on the top tube nearest the head tube is slightly crushed. Not terribly crushed, but getting a cable in there would be a small PITA.

5) The frame is dingy as heck. Needs a serious degreasing and some kind of polish. All the other examples I see online are of matte or bead-blast finish. This frame is polished.

6) Stickers are toast, some missing. Not sure if I want to put on new ones or just leave as-is. The stickers tell a story...

7) The seat post tube was fricking disgusting with old grease that had solidified into a super hard plaque. I had to scrape this out by hand, then get in there with steel wool and scotch brite and chase the entire tube

8 ) Bottom bracket housing was completely caked with old greases of various types and viscosity

9) The sleeves for the head set are a bit beat. See photos.

10) The non-drive side rear brake mount bung is crooked. There is no 7 or 8 mm slots to use a wrench to loosen these up to turn the little spring preload plate. Ideas on how to remove the brake bosses?

:: Photos!!!::

- More photos of how I bought the bike can be found above in the link.

Litespeed 02.jpg3O1F4884.JPG3O1F4885.JPG3O1F4886.JPG3O1F4887.JPG3O1F4889.JPG3O1F4890.JPG3O1F4891.JPG3O1F4893.JPG3O1F4896.JPG
 
- Strong Lite headset, totally shot
3O1F4898.JPG

- Aluminum headset sleeves are a bit tattered and will need refacing
3O1F4899.JPG

- Cable route arrangement
3O1F4901.JPG


- Crushed cable stop
3O1F4902.JPG


- Old Race Face bottom bracket, 110 mm axle width, cup threads poked out both sides. Bearings still very good.
3O1F4912.JPG


- Tange Cro-Mo fork. In spite of the rust, it polishes up very nicely. 777 grams.
3O1F4907.JPG3O1F4913.JPG


- Tons of gunk in the bottom bracket housing
3O1F4914.JPG3O1F4916.JPG


- Custom seat cover
3O1F4918.JPG
 
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- Seat Post! I tried torquing it out with cheater bars, I tried heat with a heat gun. Had to use the old fashioned method of cutting the stupid thing out 🤬 ;). Always a fun learning process though. Shown below are also the tools I used to extract then clean up the tube internals. Cut off the post with a hack saw or band saw. Leave a nub about 3 cm long. Drill two holes across the diameter. Use those to stick in some kind of steel rod you have to torque the post later. Get your sawsall with a short height blade. TAKE YOUR TIME cutting a groove and check often!!! If you are lucky you only need to cut one grove. I like to cut a grove in line to the pinch grove made by the frame maker to accommodate the seat clamp.

Use channel locks to pinch the seat post together, reducing the overall radius of the seat post. Spray some kind of penetrating oil around the seat tube. Let it sit for a few minutes. Insert your torque rod into the two holes you drilled earlier and start turning and pulling. Eventually you will get that post!

3O1F4922.JPGF11A7D34-1F3A-4EF8-BA41-CDEE87E2E096.jpeg9DE0525F-D5BF-40B9-A8D0-472C5AA56A8A.jpeg4656FEF0-4893-4232-93F4-760279B7222C.jpegE2B584D6-EFD3-402F-8426-737A2BD061B6.jpegB4A33E30-2042-4F82-B361-05AD6EA49F79.jpeg6096797D-48DD-4212-8A26-6C1275F5DCD7.jpegF8A377D0-D014-4C34-BA3F-781F68977E1A.jpeg6791E945-3B7A-4337-A60E-09603C13447B.jpegDE486CF1-3CF0-458D-AD3A-95259A941856.jpeg
 
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Mavic would be cool, but very rare. At least a mavic headset. For forks I would try pace rc30s in chrome?

There’s nothing wrong with xc pro mind.
 
I'm really looking forward to your build.

I also had the opportunity to build up a Litespeed few years ago. It would have to be a 1990 frame as it came with a straight titanium fork as advertised. Unfortunately the fork had cracks and I could no longer use it.

I opted for a classic XT setup and used a Ritchey Logic fork.
 

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Very nice bike and find, although initial pics showed a rather shocking condition.

If I'm not mistaken, Litespeed offered a choice when it comes to the frame finish. So polished is a variant, and not related to a year or model.

Good job in documenting but also addressing the issues 👍
I'm sure this is about to turn to a hot ride again.

The CroMo fork is to me perfectly fine, and the weight indicates that this was good quality product too.
Just polish it up again.
Personally, I would rather look for a replacement of the stem, never liked this Zoom kind of style with widening of the quill towards the top.
 
Thank you all for the kind words and suggestions.

The two that issues need to be addressed are:

- Rear brake boss: In the photo above, the brake pre-load three-hole tab has been spun around and off center. These (titanium) brake bosses do not have notches to accept a wrench for removal. Any ideas? The brake boss is tight tight tight to the frame. I cannot spin the three-hole tab with my fingers and I would like to not mar any metal at all or risk marring or bending.

- Cable routing stop: The top tube cable path has a bent bung. Me thinks I'll use a heat gun and bend that back into shape slowly.

Subscribing to this one... :cool:
Radical 🤙

Yes, called mavic Paris gao Dakar. If you had headset and hubs then that would be awesome😎. That pattern looks so cool against ti.

Famously bulletproof
Ah yes. I know what you are talking about now. I have the headset, 1". I also have the bottom bracket too but the lock rings are chamfered and may not work. Will need to look into that and try it out.

Those Mavic cranks come up from time to time on eBay but I think they always sell for a TONNE of money. Hubs? I don't think I've ever seen a set personally. I need to refresh myself with the catalog and see what was available. If this road is too problematic, I'll maybe default to all-back XT.
 
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