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Litespeed Catalyst

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Litespeed Catalyst

Old 03-04-18, 09:21 AM
  #1  
mongol777
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Litespeed Catalyst

I am thinking of adding Ti frame to my stable. Came across this frameset - seller wants a bit much in my opinion but this thread is not about the price.
I am looking for opinions/thougths on the frame itself (I know several forum members own Catalysts) - how do you like ride quality, is it on the stiff or noodle side (I am OK with both sides of the spectrum), do you think it will take actual 700x25 tires, anything else worth mentioning?
I remember there were some rear triangle alignment problems in some years - were Catalysts frames part of that?
Pictures of course - seller modified frame finish (decals removed, etc) and this is part of the reason I am hesitant to pull the trigger as I'd rather get unmolested example. I also only need bare frame (have fork I want to use and all the parts) and he is not willing to part out.








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Old 03-04-18, 09:42 AM
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Would hold out for something high up in the foodchain, or get a Merlin. Lots of used Ti frames out there. Would go with a CF fork vs. Aluminum.

I remember reviews at the time noted that the Catalyst lacked some of the refinement of the mid-upper Ti frames.

I purchased a brand new 1998 Litespeed Classic frame, and the rear triangle was out of whack. Got a refund immediately.

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Old 03-04-18, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by thinktubes View Post
Would hold out for something high up in the foodchain, or get a Merlin. Lots of used Ti frames out there. Would go with a CF fork vs. Aluminum.

I remember reviews at the time noted that the Catalyst lacked some of the refinement of the mid-upper Ti frames.

I purchased a brand new 1998 Litespeed Classic frame, and the rear triangle was out of whack. Got a refund immediately.
Yep, already have CF fork. Thank you, appreciate the input.
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Old 03-04-18, 11:20 AM
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I had a '97 Natchez, which was a straight gauge base model, below the Catalyst. Other than a BB creak that periodically required plumbers tape and cleaning, it was a great frame. I rolled 10's of 1000's of fun miles on it. I would totally consider another one if it became available. I did run 25mm tires with no issues.
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Old 03-04-18, 12:19 PM
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I previously owned a Catalyst and Classic. Cant say they rode any different but the Classic was polished.....so nice.

If the price is right go for it.
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Old 03-04-18, 12:19 PM
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I've seen that frame on kijiji..the motobecane is better. I almost bought it but the front fork has some scuffs and a chip. Yes, that catalyst is overpriced.
I picked up my basically nos motobecane century frameset for 500cdn last year. Be patient.
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Old 03-04-18, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by dunrobin View Post
I've seen that frame on kijiji..the motobecane is better. I almost bought it but the front fork has some scuffs and a chip. Yes, that catalyst is overpriced.
I picked up my basically nos motobecane century frameset for 500cdn last year. Be patient.
Yes, he has it on Kijiji and pinkbike. IMHO, he listed ebay wish price so yeah, I agree - overpriced for local sale.
And agree on waiting - I am not in a rush and majority of bike funds are going towards All-City Gorilla Monsoon build at the moment. But I can swing some if the frame/price is right
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Old 03-04-18, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
I previously owned a Catalyst and Classic. Cant say they rode any different but the Classic was polished.....so nice.

If the price is right go for it.
Price is just OK and IMHO on the very high side, don't feel it is right. If I get it or similar - it will be for morning before work quick fast paced rides, 20-25 km tops. So agree on polished being super nice but not critical in this case.
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Old 03-04-18, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by royleroy View Post
I had a '97 Natchez, which was a straight gauge base model, below the Catalyst. Other than a BB creak that periodically required plumbers tape and cleaning, it was a great frame. I rolled 10's of 1000's of fun miles on it. I would totally consider another one if it became available. I did run 25mm tires with no issues.
Thank you! Do you recall if tires mounted were true to size 25mm?
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Old 03-04-18, 02:13 PM
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I don't recall actually measuring the width, but mostly ran Grand Prix's. The tire would sit pretty close to the seat tube, but never caused any issues. Better pic attached.
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Old 03-04-18, 03:23 PM
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I had a 1994 Catalyst. The largest tire you can run is about a 25. It was a nice ride.

You should be able to get one of these for about $400 or so.
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Old 03-04-18, 04:40 PM
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OK- I the original owner of a '96 Catalyst, built w/ Campy 8 spd. Have put 1,000s of miles on it. My opinions;
Ride quality - relativity heavy (for Ti), as these frames where early straight gauge. You can push the BB sideways standing beside it, and can feel it move when climbing. Not a show-stopper, just different.
I quickly replaced the AL fork with CF Profile, made a noticeable difference - overall, the bike rides plusher than anything else I've ever had. I call it my "Old man ride-all-day bike. It soaks up road hash and bad pavement like it doesn't exist.
Tire size- I run 25mm Vittoria Open Corsas - the rear clears the front derailleur band by approx. 1 mm. - that's the limiting point.
All in all, this is probably not an ultimate grail bike, but also probably one that they will bury with me- I'm not giving it up.


[QUOTE=mongol777;20204030]I am thinking of adding Ti frame to my stable. Came across this frameset - seller wants a bit much in my opinion but this thread is not about the price.
I am looking for opinions/thougths on the frame itself (I know several forum members own Catalysts) - how do you like ride quality, is it on the stiff or noodle side (I am OK with both sides of the spectrum), do you think it will take actual 700x25 tires, anything else worth mentioning?
I remember there were some rear triangle alignment problems in some years - were Catalysts frames part of that?
Pictures of course - seller modified frame finish (decals removed, etc) and this is part of the reason I am hesitant to pull the trigger as I'd rather get unmolested example. I also only need bare frame (have fork I want to use and all the parts) and he is not willing to part out.
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Old 03-04-18, 06:12 PM
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[QUOTE=aeshultz;20204613]OK- I the original owner of a '96 Catalyst, built w/ Campy 8 spd. Have put 1,000s of miles on it. My opinions;
You can push the BB sideways standing beside it, and can feel it move when climbing. Not a show-stopper, just different.

Yeah, I agree. It wasn't an issue, but was apparent. If I had to describe the ride, I'd say "buzzy".
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Old 03-04-18, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by royleroy View Post
Yeah, I agree. It wasn't an issue, but was apparent. If I had to describe the ride, I'd say "buzzy".
Well- mine is the antithesis of buzzy- muted would be closer to it. I've had buzzy before, and my Catalyst ain't it. Then again, mine wears old Campy box-section Omega rims & Open Corsa Cxs - nothing but smooth.
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