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  1. #1
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    Litespeed Blue Ridge opinions

    Looking for opinions as a general all purpose and light touring bike. Will not ride cross country, but would do a week tour, and would use this for commuting, shopping, general riding. Does anyone have one? Pros and Cons? How is the ride?

  2. #2
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    Seems like a great bike. But the stock Ultegra drive train is too high for loaded touring, in my opinion. And I'm not that crazy about a carbon fork on a touring bike. Mostly becuz you can't mount a front rack. But some would have qualms about a carbon fork failing catastrophically on tour (I'm not enough of an engineer to know if that's a serious concern).

    If I were spending that kind of dough on a touring bike, I'd look into a Bruce Gordon or a Rivendell Atlantis. If you wanted to go further afield, you might consider some of the bikes from the great UK touring tradition--Mercian's King of Mercia or one of the Thorn models are two examples that come to mind.
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

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    The Blue Ridge is a medium tourer, excellent for everyday riding and the occasional week-long tour. It is not a full-blown expedition bike and the lack of front pannier fittings has been noted. A road triple gives acceptable gera ratios on a general purpose bike but switching it is always an option. I changed from road triple to MTB style for mountainous hostel tours.
    Lightspeed make excellent bikes and the Blue Ridge that I have a seen was a fine example.
    As a commuter bike you will need very secure parking to keep it safe.

  4. #4
    No one carries the DogBoy
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW
    ...As a commuter bike you will need very secure parking to keep it safe.
    Or remove all the decals

    I'd look at Seven Muse for another Ti Touring option. I would consider the Blue Ridge, but the Litespeed dealer near me is a .... well, lets just say I won't shop there.

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    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    It's a great bike. The above posts list some of the touring shortcomings. They all can be fixed easily. The only reason I don't have one for a touring bike or a commuting bike is that leaving something like that locked up outside somewhere makes me uncomfortable. I'm happier and more relaxed with a painted steel bike that cost me less than the grupo on the Blue Ridge, when the bike is locked up outside. Also lighter bikes are bumpier, everything else being equal. I like Litespeeds, I have a couple of them. I typically don't leave them out of my sight.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Do the decals come off easily? I am looking at a used bike. Also this is a triple, what rear cogset would you use?
    Any other suggestions? At the moment i think it has 700/28 tires

  7. #7
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Litespeed decals come off very easily. I have two Litespeed frames and they are both completely decal-less.
    Removing decals to deter theft is meaningless. Most bicycle thieves have no idea what a Litespeed is... Besides, the brushed titanium frame will look attractive to them with or without decals....
    .cinelli.olympic.surly.long.haul.trucker.kona.ku.surly.steamroller.
    .litespeed.classic.litespeed.firenze.bianchi.pista.dean.colonel.plus.more.

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    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bakhurts
    Do the decals come off easily? I am looking at a used bike. Also this is a triple, what rear cogset would you use?
    Any other suggestions? At the moment i think it has 700/28 tires
    Never tried to take the decals off. I heard a guy say he rubbed it with an old credit card? Then you need to figure out how to get the head tube badge off too.
    You really need to see what the front three chain rings are before knowing what cassette to use. It may not be stock, there are lots of different gearing options for triples. If it's a stock Ultegra crank and you are going to load it with gear and go up hills I would look into replacing the whole crank and get all three rings smaller. You can ride the bike and see how you like it before deciding. If you use it as a lightly loaded commuter stock Ultegra gearing might be OK.

    If you like the bike get it and you can always change the gearing after you own it. 700 x28's are pretty good . 32's are better loaded touring. Better on a poor surface too.

    The Blue Ridge used to be offered with a steel touring fork with low rider mounts. I don't know if they still do. Ask the owner if he changed from a steel fork and if so does he have the old fork.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  9. #9
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    It's a great bike. I almost ordered one, but switched bike type preferences before ordered one. The rear cassette depends on your environment. Moderate hills, a 12-27 would work well. You might have to reduce the lowest ring to a 26t ring. If steep hills you'll probably need more leverage than that and should go down to -31 or -32 or lower the low chainring more. The ride of TI is really really nice.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  10. #10
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bakhurts
    Do the decals come off easily? I am looking at a used bike. Also this is a triple, what rear cogset would you use?
    Any other suggestions? At the moment i think it has 700/28 tires
    If you can get your hands on a portable hair dryer, blast the decal for a minute or so and then peel away the decal with your finger nail. Within 15 minutes, you will own a decal-free stealth diva.
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  11. #11
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    litespeed

    I have a 1998 Litespeed Appalachian/Blue Ridge (same frame) I bought new. It's my only bike. I had a fork made for me by Steelman in Redwood City, CA. It's nice. I changed the fork angles to make it handle quicker. I tour with a BOB trailer. I am strong and will climb for hours out of the saddle on tour so the Dura Ace triple is perfect for me. It screams by mtn. bikes on all but technical terrain. I commute using it as a fixed gear with the BOB (vertical drops, see http://eehouse.org/fixin/ for details). The decals came off fairly easily with acetone. Cantillever brakes are the reason I'd not buy this model again. I'd buy a Litespeed in a heartbeat, but not this model. I hate hate hate the brakes. I can take the bike completely apart and put it back together and I build my own wheels, but I cannot get cantilever brakes to stop squealing. I am considering a carbon fork and a Dura Ace front brake to eliminate this problem. Of course I cannot eliminate the back canti brake. Head tube badge came off easily (1998, may be different). The original fork would have been alubidumb, which I can't spell and wont trust my life to or ride, not steel. Bike soaks up the bumps, climbs well because it's light (it's not particularly stiff, but I climb in the 52 and don't rub the front derrailer), and has a lifetime warranty (not transferable and they will check if you try). I would not buy it just to tour or used. You'll likely put a lot of money into it. I agree with getting a dedicated touring bike. Couple extra pounds of steel, that's steel, not alumidum, is then irrelevant. But for sanity's sake, if you tour get top of the line wheels from the best wheel builder in your area. 36 spokes. Phil Wood hubs. His/her recommended rims.
    Peace all except motor drivers. (You've no excuse except your self-centeredness. Reality. Deal with it. Change. Then peace.)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackberry
    If you can get your hands on a portable hair dryer, blast the decal for a minute or so and then peel away the decal with your finger nail. Within 15 minutes, you will own a decal-free stealth diva.
    i have not tried the heat method on a LS.

    Acetone will remove the decals almost instantly. However, a small amount of coloration will remain in the adhesive underlayer. I had to use car wax and a sock and a bunch of buffing to get this off down to bare metal.

    I advise no one to buy a decal-less LS unless they know and trust the seller. Some folks are not very clever and they do things like sandpaper the decal off. With 200 grit.

    I know folks claim the decals come off easily, but I don't believe it (maybe they just say that after they took them off). I took mine off purely for cosmetic reasons. When i removed them they were still 99% like new with no cracks after 3 years frequent use.

    I've noticed folks try to redecal older models and pass them off as a newer model on ebay (its difficult to find litespeed vintage info).

    The newer models have what many feel is a more attractive decal design, esp the downtube decal (LS). So you also see older models with the newer Litespeed downtube decal and no model decal. I've seen this many times on ebay.

  13. #13
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    Got the decals off ok. Used something called Goo be gone a citrus cleaner and a towel. Took a little rubbing but it looks ok. I don't plan to sell this bike, so that should not be a problem. The brakes keep squealing and i am not sure what to do about that but otherwise it seems comfortable.

  14. #14
    Senior Member markm109's Avatar
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    I've got the 2003 model. I put fenders and a rear rack on it along with some Top Touring 32 tires. The cassette is a mtb type and with the triple up front, there are plenty of gears to go up hill. I've only had the chance to use it for commuting once in a while. It has a sweet ride.

    Last two summers I had a road cassette on it and 23 tires since it was my main ride. It is a versitle bike.

  15. #15
    TMB
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