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Thread: Litepeed Tandem

  1. #1
    WATERFORD22
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    Litepeed Tandem

    Aniy information on the 2003 Litespeed Taliani would be appreciated - I found a used one. Looks like litespeed got of the Tandem business the last couple of years - but showed a new one at the 2006 Eurobike show. Thanks Mike

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    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    They started out as customs, then Litespeed played around with production-model tandems for a few years ('98 - '02 or '03?) and then switched back to build-to-order / custom fabrication: http://www.litespeed.com/2007/custom.aspx

    The first Taliani's used Rick Jorgenson's Tango uptube design but shifted to a more conventional, full-length internal tube before kicking into production and the basic road tandem design has remained the same since then. Here's a link to an '01 Taliani's specs: http://www.epinions.com/bicycles_200...ay_~full_specs
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 01-15-07 at 09:27 PM.

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    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    The Lynskey family is buidling bikes again, but under their family name, as they sold the Litespeed business a few years back.
    Talking with them at Interbike '06, they said they'd build custom bikes. We asked 'including tandems?' and got sort of a tentative sounding 'yes' reply.
    If you like the ti ride and it fits and the price is good, then go for it. There aren't too many Talianis around!

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    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    As a possible lead regarding Litespeed tandem info, I would note that a couple from Seattle acquired a custom Taliani from Gregg's Cycles last year whom you could probably track down without too much trouble.

    Although they had some problems with their wheels, they have generally been very complimentary of their Litespeed's performance, etc... Here is a link to a summary posting that may be of interest from the Hobbes archives: http://search.bikelist.org/getmsg.as...10611.0233.eml
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 01-16-07 at 09:19 AM.

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    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
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    That is really strange how they went for a recumbent to an upright tandem....

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    Litespeed Tandem

    It's even stranger yet that this tandem is for sale in the Seattle area? From the picture's it looks to be near new. Who ever put it together spent some $$ - FSA Carbon, Chorus 10 speed - hooked to a shimano drive train, hubs look to be Hugi's.

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    Senior Member Zonker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem
    The Lynskey family is buidling bikes again, but under their family name, as they sold the Litespeed business a few years back.
    Talking with them at Interbike '06, they said they'd build custom bikes. We asked 'including tandems?' and got sort of a tentative sounding 'yes' reply.
    If you like the ti ride and it fits and the price is good, then go for it. There aren't too many Talianis around!
    I remember reading an interview with Mark Lynskey in Bicycling Magazine a few issues ago. Here's a quote:

    "How many frames have you built?

    I've built about 160 road bikes. Most cost $1,600 to $4,000 for the frame alone. I'm about to start building mountain and tri bikes. Then I'll start designing tandems, because I've had people ask about those."

    Rest of the article is here: http://www.bicycling.com/article/1,6...5208-1,00.html

    If the Litespeed tandem is anything like my Litespeed Tuscany road bike, that would be one sweet tandem!
    waiting for a (Bike) Friday!

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    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vosyer
    It's even stranger yet that this tandem is for sale in the Seattle area? From the picture's it looks to be near new. Who ever put it together spent some $$ - FSA Carbon, Chorus 10 speed - hooked to a shimano drive train, hubs look to be Hugi's.
    "this tandem", as in a Litespeed Taliani... not Ralph & Carole's. Looks like it would be a nice catch for a very small captain with a cozy stoker compartment, i.e., size is probably 52/49.

    Components look to be a mixed bag, e.g., Shimano HF-07 or 08 tandem hub in back, different Shimano hub up front, Campy 10, Shimano 9, Winwood? carbon fork.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 01-16-07 at 06:18 PM.

  9. #9
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    I understand that there are a lot of things that determine how a bike rides, moreso than frame material. That being said, it would seem to me that Ti may not be the best choice of materials for a tandem. Its relatively flexy nature, which gives it the "magic carpet" ride tag, would seem to work against making a tandem stiff enough, particularly for a larger or stronger team.

    but again, I'm sure it depends on what your looking for in a bike, and how the particular bike is made.

    To those of you with experience, do Ti tandems tend to be more flexy than high end tandems made of other materials?

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    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
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    Mark knows a team that rides a Lightspeed tandem. Having ridden with them I know they are fit and fast. I am not convinced that frame flex (excepting the most extreme examples) actually makes a bike 'slower' other than not offering the team captain the confidence to descend as briskly as he might on a stiffer stead. Some folks say a Calfee flexes quite a bit but it's light as can be and costs a bundle.

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    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by galen_52657
    Mark knows a team that rides a Lightspeed tandem.
    Mark knows several team's that ride Litespeeds.... and most of them are very fast... and they'd be fast on anything with two wheels. You can't buy performance and speed; you must earn it through hard work, discipline, and training. I lack the time & discipline to train hard so I speak from a humble place near the back of the pack.

    That said, Galen is referring to David & Christen and perhaps David will chime in if he steals away from tending to Christen and their newborn. In the mean time, here are David's comments hosted off of Litespeed's website with a photo taken on Brasstown Bald as he and Christen powered their way to a spot near the top of the climb to watch the Tour de Georgia a couple years back:
    http://www.litespeed.com/2006/owners...ls=true&oid=57

    Note: Their previous "steel" tandem was an Ibis EasyStreet.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 01-16-07 at 03:58 PM.

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    How a frame feels or performs is dependant on so much more than just frame materials. Tube shapes.. diameters.. wall thickness plus more... all contribute. Look at aluminum.. in single bikes... some of the stiffest bikes have been made out of this metal... but so has some of the whippiest.

    designs have become sophistocated enough that bikes can be laterally very stiff and vertically compliant. That they can be stiff for efficiency yet very comfortable. I would say my 91 Sovereign was as efficient as a Cannondale of the same era... yet it was much more comfortable. It was also considerably more expensive. It had a higher tech frame... that cost more.

    While frame stiffness ... can help make a bike "faster" as others has said it really is the engine.

    One's own efficiency or riding style can affect all this. Back in hmm was it 86.. I somehow ended up getting a Bridgestone MB1 mountain bike as well as the equivalently priced Cannondale[a pre-beast of the east] [really a beast of the east before they came up with the name]. They were both of about the same price and quality.. but both very different bikes. the handling.. comfort and efficiency stiffness were all very different. I learned a lot by riding the two of those... often switching back and forth. The Cannondale was obviously alum. and quite stiff.. the Bridgestone was steel and of the steel is real era.. it had the "right" amount of flex.

    At that time I had a bear of a driveway. 1/2 mile of steep loose dirt. just coasting one would hit 40mph. using the old school lower gear spin tech [the right way ] standing or sitting. I could consistantly climb this hill faster on the Bridgestone. If i overgeared and mashed my way up.. the Cannondale would get to the top faster than the Bridgestone. The Bridgestone did not like being mashed. The best times overall were on the Bridgestone with the proper tech.

    Glenn

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    We've been riding a Taliani for a few years now, and what a sweet light ride it is! We would be happy to answer any specific questions you might have.

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    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    The only titanium tandems we have ridden are the Santana and the Serotta. Nice ride, but in our opinion a bit overpriced . . . but then what isn't?!
    Owned a Merlin single for several years. Nice bike 'til it dumped me (harmonic vibration!) descending a beautifully paved canyon road in Utah at 38 mph.
    The next year I switched to a custom carbon fiber . . . nicer ride yet . . . and no harmonics!

  15. #15
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    I fully understand that there's more to a bike than its material.

    I also get that the motor is what makes any bike fast. (Think of the bandwidth than could be saved if you took out every post going off about how you can't buy speed in any thread about high end equipment.)

    It still seems to me that the particular problems of designing a tandem make Ti less than the ideal choice for a high performance tandem.

    And comparing a Ti tandem to a 10 lb heavier steel bike, of course the Ti tandem is going to be a better ride.

    The fairer comparison would be high end AL and CF, and some high end steel, of comparable, or lower price, and comparable or lower weight.

    If longevity is the key requirement, and rigidity is not overly important, then I could see Ti, as still a viable choice.

    However, if you want a very light tandem with little flex and rock solid handling, I would think you're better off starting with CF or AL. Doesn't mean a good designer can't make a good Ti tandem, and a bad designer, a bad CF tandem. But the nature of the materials would tend to indicate that a good designer could make a CF tandem that better meets the above criteria.

    I have a Merlin Extralight, and a TCR ADvanced Team. The same characteristics of Ti that make the Merlin a very nice bike for a century, and of CF that make the TCR Advanced a great bike for a crit, or descending at high speed, would tend to indicate to me that Ti is no longer the material of choice in setting out to build a high performance tandem.

  16. #16
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
    Think of the bandwidth than could be saved if you took out every post going off about how you can't buy speed in any thread about high end equipment.
    This admonishment is usually invoked when someone (like myself) starts to feel the sucking sensation that develops when either marketing hype or bovince scatology regarding "high performance" begins to pull on a consumer's wallet.

    .

  17. #17
    Cyclist- Bike 'n a half
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    From the first time I was able to keep up with front of the club ride, the "couple to keep up with" were on a custom Seven Ti Tandem. I still want to be like them when I grow up.

  18. #18
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Regomatic:
    Decades ago we were 'one of those couples to keep up with.'
    Now that we are in our 70s, we no longer worry about where in the group we are riding, but we get there just the same
    Enjoy the ride!

  19. #19
    WATERFORD22
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    Litepeed Tandem

    Thanks for everyones insights - the bike I have determined is to small for us. You guys really make me laugh often and sometimes at myself. You/ME make such mountains out nothing at times. Most of what you and I are discussing is pretty subjective. Bikes are moving pieces of of art in my opinion - I had to stop and admire a custom Co-Motion single today - ss couplers - Phil Wood tandem hubs - disc brakes - Tubus racks. I just couldn't help myself but give the guy a complement on what a beautiful buke he had - he turn out to be a fellow tandemist and said he was just riding his half bike today.

    Thank everyone for the info - as always TG you were most helpful. MW

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    You either got legs or you don't, and a Ti frame won't matter in that. It may look nice, last long, be cool... but it ain't a second faster given the same legs.

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