As of this morning I'm at 205 and I'm riding a Tuscany. I've had it for just under a month, so only have about 600-700 miles on it so far, and I'm not a "big clyde" but I'm happy.
Although I'm not a "big" clyde, I do put out a decent amount of power for a non-racer (based on the various calculators and a friends powertap, I can sustain 350+w for an hour). I guess that's what I get for developing my riding while I was still 250-260.. At any rate, I don't get any of the "noodly" effects of titanium that everyone else always complains about. I think the GET (shaped and larger diameter tubing) is what makes the bike stiff. But I thoroughly enjoy the dampening feel of titanium.
Depending on your weight though, I might be a little worried about the Supersphere/Ultrasphere wheels. They're pretty light and have a low spoke count. A guy from ABG (the parent company that owns litespeed and real design) said they should hold up fine to my weight, and they felt pretty bombproof for the first three weeks, but I did break a spoke this past weekend while climbing a steep hill at close to 20mph.
After breaking that spoke, and learning how much of a pain in the rear it is to replace one on those real design wheels (let's just say you need to take the hubs apart to get to them), I'm thinking that some Mavic Ksyrium Elite's will be arriving in the near future.. If you're going to be buying new, you might be able to work out a deal with the shop at the get-go and upgrade the wheels without taking too much of a hit.
I Rode a Vortex until it was recently destroyed in a run in with a car. I absolutely loved it. I'm ordering another one as soon as I'm able to ride. My suggestion for larger riders is to stick to the Vortex or similar frames to take advantage of the multishape tubing (which definitely stiffens the BB shell) and perhaps even the 6/4 Ti.
I think that the oversize shape of the tubeset is more determinative than the Ti Alloy from which it is made, however, from what I have read, the 6/4 may be irrehently (and only slightly) stiffer. The Tuscany is a fine bike.
'01 Gary Fisher Tassajara; '03 Litespeed Blue Ridge; '04 Cannondale Road Tandem; '93 Schwinn Traveler
I've bought a 2003 Litespeed Blue Ridge - full ultegra w/ Mavic Open Pro's. I've got almost 4,000 miles on it and have only had to true the rear wheel once and put a new chain on it. I had 23c tires but last fall switched to Conti Touring 28c tires.
I have fenders, rear rack and lights on it as well. It is used as a light touring and long ride bike.
I weight 240 and am 6'1". I have a 59cm frame.
I also have an older 1998 Lemond Alpe D'Huez steel 525 bike that I bought this past spring. I have put over 1,000 miles on it with no problems at all - all stock - lower end Campy and Mavic wheels. I have 25c Conti gator skins on that bike. I use this on shorter go fast bike rides <40 miles.
I have a B17 on the Litespeed and a B17N on the Lemond.
While I'm just under the Cydesdale category now, I have spent 1.5 years now on a 2005 Solano. It's basically the same tubing and geometry as the old (prior to 2005) Tuscany. I race and have a good powerful sprint and have enjoyed riding on it much better than some of the Carbon bikes I've tried from the bike shop I ride for. My only suggestion is that you avoid the Real Design wheels. A customer weighing around 220 can't keep his true. I had a little trouble with mine at first, but under 190 I haven't had an issue.
My only suggestion is that you avoid the Real Design wheels. A customer weighing around 220 can't keep his true. I had a little trouble with mine at first, but under 190 I haven't had an issue.
I can't speak about keeping the wheels true, but I can say I've had a number of nipples break and problems with the hubs on the real design superspheres (in 6 weeks!). Although I now currently have a brand new set (well, they have 85 miles on them), I've relegated them to "backup" duty and am now riding ksyrium elites.
I'm 6"6" and 230lbs and I ride a litespeed Ultimate. When I bought it I weighed 240 and I bought a set of AC Hurricanes to ride on and sold the Open Pro's that came with the bike. I've put 5,000k on the bike this year and never trued or retensioned the wheels.
I also replaced the Real Design fork with an Alpha Q Z pro as the Real Design was too light and felt twitchy uinder my weight.
The ride of the Ultimate is great as the bike is very responsive and has a super stiff front triangle and a compliant rear triangle. I've put in regular 5 to 7 hour rides with no shoulder, back or hand problems.