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Sigh - about to retire one (old Litespeed content )

Old 09-30-22, 12:06 PM
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DMC707 
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Sigh - about to retire one (old Litespeed content )

This is a rant of sorts more than anything. Bike is in that ethereal age range where it miiiiight be considered C&V or might not , but ive had this thing forever it seems

a bit over a year ago, i sold a very nice late model S-Works Tarmac to fund a mountain bike build, - thinking i would simply dust off my old Litespeed frameset -- , build it up with a 10 speed Record parts kit i had lying about - and ride off into the sunset - Ti being a "lifetime" frame material and all that . (It was first "retired" a decade ago when it was replaced with a carbon Cannondale Synapse , - and the Tarmac replaced that ) - so this will be its second retirement )

After giving this awesome bike quite a few chances, i have come to the unhealthy conclusion that i just can't get comfortable on it anymore with the top tube reach and saddle drop involved (which is by no means extreme at all - as the photos attest ) --- Every ride has ended in pain and soreness and i am unwilling to explore the possibility of installing a longer fork or performing some other dodgy modifications to try and squeeze a few more miles out of it ( you dont put an orthopedic back pillow in your Ferrari --- LOL) - the bike just needs a younger rider who is in better shape. And this particular frameset doesnt have that "magical Ti ride" people rave about -- due to the larger diameter tubes, the bike is a solid handling machine with a ride quality more in line with big tube aluminum

The frameset has some sentimental value or i'd just put it up for sale and wipe my hands of it , ---- but now i'm going to free up this quite nice and great performing parts kit and build up something steel frfom my C&V collection and a bit more mellow. I've got a couple of choices there, or i could just keep it together for a while and keep working on the 'ol beer belly

But for now - so long old friend - you're getting moved from the garage to my loft - where operational bicycles get sent to retire


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Old 09-30-22, 12:34 PM
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What about a threadless stem with a more extreme upward angle? I have a 35-degree one on my old MTB, but I think even a 17-degree one would give you more lift.

In dialing in my Mercian, I noticed that sliding my quill stem up a few mm made the difference between neck pain and no neck pain.
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Old 09-30-22, 01:02 PM
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I love 10 speed Record, so as long as that's going on your new ride, finding something that doesn't hurt is the right choice.
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Old 09-30-22, 01:51 PM
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Seems a shame to let such a nice bike go to pasture. Are you sure your issues can't be solved with a different saddle/seat post/stem/bars or fitting?

I'm not a doctor, but as a fellow guy who's getting older...your body doesn't change THAT much as you age.
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Old 09-30-22, 02:32 PM
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Pass it on then n+1
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Old 09-30-22, 02:54 PM
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Some things about getting older suck. My middle age body wouldnt even attempt to ride a bike set up like that. I think you are right to retire that bike, but I agree its a bit sad. That said there are lots of C&V frames out there using super adjustable quill stems to dial in the best set up for you even as you age.
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Old 09-30-22, 08:05 PM
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Sell it - let someone use it, get a thrill out of it, really enjoy it, and use some of those funds to play around with something that feels more healthy for you. Good luck!
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Old 10-01-22, 06:16 AM
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The saddle to bar drop looks a bit much for a 20 something especially with almost no reach on the stem. It’s like you’re basically doing a crunch the whole ride. I definitely recommend trying a stem with a bit more elevation. How does the size, reach, saddle height etc compare to your other bikes?
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Old 10-01-22, 10:27 AM
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When I look at that set up, I'd say the frame is too small for you,... by a lot. I suspect it cannot be remedied by component selection, it's just too small.

Don't buy a brand name or a tubing material or paint job - get a bike that fits.
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Old 10-01-22, 10:45 AM
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handlebar is much too low - excessively low

as for the ride - ? - is next size up tire and lower pressure an option ?
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Old 10-01-22, 11:03 AM
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I second noobinsf's suggestion of a different stem, and take it one step further.

What about an adjustable stem - a decent one, like a Ritchey - that's considerably stiffer than the average (poorly built) adjustable stem?

I put one on my wife's Madone, and that last cm of adjustment made a world of difference for her.

Even if you didn't want to keep the adjustable stem permanently, it might help dial in the exact rise / reach you need. Then you can get a non-adjustable stem in that dimension.
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Old 10-01-22, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag View Post
When I look at that set up, I'd say the frame is too small for you,... by a lot. I suspect it cannot be remedied by component selection, it's just too small.

Don't buy a brand name or a tubing material or paint job - get a bike that fits.
im the original owner - bikes a 53, Im 57

stack height is just too low now that Im nursing a German boiler

its already got a zero offset post and a short reach stem . If I went up to a 55 , top tube would just be too long

Last edited by DMC707; 10-01-22 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 10-01-22, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
How does the size, reach, saddle height etc compare to your other bikes?

also a 53 , but with all day comfort. (Seat is level and bars are not up-turned that severely - kinda getting a fisheye effect with my photos)





also a 53 I can ride all day. - drops are early Cinelli deep drops so i pretty much just stay on the hoods here though



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Old 10-01-22, 11:58 AM
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Ignore the heretical incantations for modification, a new bike is clearly called for.
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Old 10-01-22, 12:17 PM
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I’d say you should definitely try a stem that will get you upright. I’m on the third stem on this Boarala but frankly I think it just needs to go.

the top photo is the original build and the bottom is how it is now. Much better but still not perfect.







I kinda want to put these wheels in a early’80s MTB/ATB with a real long wheelbase.
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Old 10-01-22, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by BTinNYC View Post
Ignore the heretical incantations for modification, a new bike is clearly called for.
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Old 10-01-22, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
This is a rant of sorts more than anything. Bike is in that ethereal age range where it miiiiight be considered C&V or might not , but ive had this thing forever it seems

a bit over a year ago, i sold a very nice late model S-Works Tarmac to fund a mountain bike build, - thinking i would simply dust off my old Litespeed frameset -- , build it up with a 10 speed Record parts kit i had lying about - and ride off into the sunset - Ti being a "lifetime" frame material and all that . (It was first "retired" a decade ago when it was replaced with a carbon Cannondale Synapse , - and the Tarmac replaced that ) - so this will be its second retirement )

After giving this awesome bike quite a few chances, i have come to the unhealthy conclusion that i just can't get comfortable on it anymore with the top tube reach and saddle drop involved (which is by no means extreme at all - as the photos attest ) --- Every ride has ended in pain and soreness and i am unwilling to explore the possibility of installing a longer fork or performing some other dodgy modifications to try and squeeze a few more miles out of it ( you dont put an orthopedic back pillow in your Ferrari --- LOL) - the bike just needs a younger rider who is in better shape. And this particular frameset doesnt have that "magical Ti ride" people rave about -- due to the larger diameter tubes, the bike is a solid handling machine with a ride quality more in line with big tube aluminum

The frameset has some sentimental value or i'd just put it up for sale and wipe my hands of it , ---- but now i'm going to free up this quite nice and great performing parts kit and build up something steel frfom my C&V collection and a bit more mellow. I've got a couple of choices there, or i could just keep it together for a while and keep working on the 'ol beer belly

But for now - so long old friend - you're getting moved from the garage to my loft - where operational bicycles get sent to retire


* deleted *
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Old 10-01-22, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
i’m the original owner - bikes a 53, I’m 5’7”

stack height is just too low now that I’m nursing a German boiler

its already got a zero offset post and a short reach stem —. If I went up to a 55 , top tube would just be too long
I have no idea what a "German boiler" is but I'll reiterate my advice - get a bike that fits. It has to provide good fit to your leg length and to your combined (torso + arm) length.

JMO, that large vertical offset between the height of the seat and the depth of the bar tops is an indicator of trouble (poor fit). As I said, JMO.

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Old 10-01-22, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
Id say you should definitely try a stem that will get you upright. Im on the third stem on this Boarala but frankly I think it just needs to go.

the top photo is the original build and the bottom is how it is now. Much better but still not perfect.







I kinda want to put these wheels in a early80s MTB/ATB with a real long wheelbase.
would a handlebar with a different bend help ?

the hoods / brake levers appear to be fairly low on that handlebar due to the bend (?)
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Old 10-02-22, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by t2p View Post
would a handlebar with a different bend help ?

the hoods / brake levers appear to be fairly low on that handlebar due to the bend (?)
Perhaps. Ive actually been considering a what do call it North Road bar or Dove bar but Im not certain the shifter will fit them.
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Old 10-03-22, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag View Post
I have no idea what a "German boiler" is but I'll reiterate my advice - get a bike that fits. It has to provide good fit to your leg length and to your combined (torso + arm) length.

JMO, that large vertical offset between the height of the seat and the depth of the bar tops is an indicator of trouble (poor fit). As I said, JMO.

Its code for a beer belly

and i think you for your insights - but clearly its been a while since you've pinned on a number and lined up for your local criterium. (but obviously - its been a while for me too or i wouldnt be sad about the bike ) - Race fit can be a bit more aggressive than JRO fit (Just riding around ) - but it still has to work for ideally a few hours

Im going to have to break out the tape measure and compare the numbers to my Italian bikes - the saddle top to bar top height differential doesnt seem that far off, but Litespeed's geometry could be quite a bit longer
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Old 10-03-22, 01:20 PM
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German boiler = LOL! Good one.

Thoughts of racing are long since over for me. For me, it is now about fitness.

Perhaps, it is time to adjust the bike set up to your aging body and current physical situation. Sometimes half an inch one way or the other makes a big difference in comfort, especially if it reduces an over-extension (as opposed to not extending far enough).

Ten years ago, I bought a new stem that was 20 mm shorter than my youthful 120 mm version. Now, I'm wondering if an 80 or 90 mm would be better still.

I started comparing and measuring your bikes using some computer tools I have but, sorry, did not finish.

Last edited by Bad Lag; 10-03-22 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 10-04-22, 03:31 PM
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DMC707,
Sounds like you might be willing to part with that bike we spoke about eons ago.......
PM, me if you interested.
Best, Ben
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Old 10-04-22, 03:41 PM
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I do a simple TT size measurement. I rest my elbow on the front nose of the saddle and reach forward to the handlebars. If my fingers reach the bars, good. If my fingers are short of the bar, time for a shorter stem. Fingers past the bar, time for a longer stem. I use a lot of dirt drop type stems to get the bars ~ level with the saddle.
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