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Hi-Light Bikes

Old 03-27-24, 04:24 PM
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Hi-Light Bikes

I stopped by my local bike store today to see their new line of bikes that they are considering selling. They have been telling me about a Chinese company that builds Titanium bikes called Hi-Light. They ordered a couple of them to check them out and see the quality of the welds etc. They have a road bike and a gravel bike. These guys are all serious riders and know what they are talking about. They spoke very highly of the road bike, the gravel bike wasn't ready yet. I'm considering one and they invited me back to try them out when I can. I would like to get a Lynskey or a Lightspeed Titanium but the travel up there to check them out adds to the cost. I won't buy one unless I see one in person and see what I am spending my money on plus I really like the local shop and they will be the one servicing the bike plus if there are any warranty issues they are close by. I was against getting a gravel bike as 95% of my riding is road / paved trails. I will be taking a 4-5 month rv trip this summer and I am seeing a lot of the trails I will be on will require a gravel bike. Have any of you ever heard of this brand and if you have, what are your thoughts ? I appreciate your thoughts, boomer.
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Old 03-28-24, 06:57 AM
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I don't think that there is a way to know until the brand has a history. Lightspeed and Lynskey (what I ride) are well known and respected. As a layperson, I doubt that there is much you can tell from visual inspection.

My personal conclusion is to buy a trusted name. I bought the frame and had my LBS build it up for me.

How much cheaper is it?
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Old 03-28-24, 07:43 AM
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Asking because I don't know:
- Can you discern the "quality" of a weld from a visual inspection?
- Are there some materials for which a visual inspection can evaluate the quality of a weld whereas for other materials a visual inspection is not sufficient?
- Do welds of different materials look different? In other words, does a "quality" weld in aluminum (aluminium) look the same as a "quality" weld in steel?

Just curious, thanks.
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Old 03-28-24, 07:52 AM
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https://www.hilite-bikes.com/en/s-gr...ium-frame.html

Is this the 'gravel' bike you are referring to?
It has pretty relaxed drop bar frame geometry and limited tire clearance of 32mm...so the worst of both worlds. It doesnt have typical road bike frame geometry and doesnt have typical gravel frame tire clearance.

72.5deg STA, 71deg HTA, and 50mm fork- that is 67mm of trail with a 32mm tire. Thats on the high end of trail for a paved road bike, so slower steering feel.
And a 32mm on gravel?...thats fine with me for 1mi sections of unpaved roads that connect paved roads, so maybe I do 4 of em over a 40mi ride, but it sounds terrible for actual gravel rides where I will be on gravel for 40% or more of the miles.
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Old 03-28-24, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
https://www.hilite-bikes.com/en/s-gr...ium-frame.html

Is this the 'gravel' bike you are referring to?
It has pretty relaxed drop bar frame geometry and limited tire clearance of 32mm...so the worst of both worlds. It doesnt have typical road bike frame geometry and doesnt have typical gravel frame tire clearance.

72.5deg STA, 71deg HTA, and 50mm fork- that is 67mm of trail with a 32mm tire. Thats on the high end of trail for a paved road bike, so slower steering feel.
And a 32mm on gravel?...thats fine with me for 1mi sections of unpaved roads that connect paved roads, so maybe I do 4 of em over a 40mi ride, but it sounds terrible for actual gravel rides where I will be on gravel for 40% or more of the miles.
32mm tire width is not gravel territory, and it's barely even 'all road' territory. And that price currently converts to $3048 -- which is CRAZY for a no-name frameset. If someone really wanted an off-the-shelf ti gravel frame, just a couple hundred dollars more would get this, which has the right specs and is from a reputable brand.

OP, if your shop is really trying to sell you that frame for $3k, you need to find a better LBS.
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Old 03-28-24, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
32mm tire width is not gravel territory, and it's barely even 'all road' territory. And that price currently converts to $3048 -- which is CRAZY for a no-name frameset. If someone really wanted an off-the-shelf ti gravel frame, just a couple hundred dollars more would get this, which has the right specs and is from a reputable brand.

OP, if your shop is really trying to sell you that frame for $3k, you need to find a better LBS.
Or go cheaper and get one of these:
https://www.rencycles.com/bike-shop/ivan
Made in America by someone who knows this stuff, Dave Levy, who has done it since the 80s and flown under the radar but has been around doing all sorts of cool stuff both for bikes and in the automotive space.

The All City is nice though not knocking it did want one but it is not quite the bike that I have dreamed in my head and I don't have the money but it is a valuable frame in that no more AC in the future and people liked AC.
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Old 03-28-24, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
Or go cheaper and get one of these:
https://www.rencycles.com/bike-shop/ivan
The All City is nice though not knocking it did want one but it is not quite the bike that I have dreamed in my head and I don't have the money but it is a valuable frame in that no more AC in the future and people liked AC.
That looks like a great value.
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Old 03-28-24, 10:19 AM
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Personally I would avoid buying a bike directly from some company in China.

There was one guy who bought a "high-end" titanium bike frame directly from a Chinese ti bike manufacture, he started to build the bike and couldn't get the headset to fit, so he took it to a bike shop, the bike shop discovered the headtube was out of round. He contacted the manufacture and they said to send it back and they would take care of the problem, so he did, months went by and no word, so he started to contact them many times, finally they responded and told him that they would not warranty the frame because he damaged it, except how do you ovalize a titanium headtube when I watched on You Tube a 3/4 ton 4x4 pickup run over a ti frame tube and did no damage to it, and yet somehow he damaged it? He never got the old frame back and never got his money back.

This sort of thing happens a lot more than you realize, and Western laws have no power whatsoever to get any of your money back. If you want to take the risk, and can afford to lose that money if things go south, then that's fine, go ahead and order the bike and take your chances, you might be fine, but then again you might not be fine.

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Old 03-28-24, 10:53 AM
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This company is in Switzerland though.
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Old 03-28-24, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata
Personally I would avoid buying a bike directly from some company in China.
Okay...but that's not what the OP is talking about.
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Old 03-28-24, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
https://www.hilite-bikes.com/en/s-gr...ium-frame.html

Is this the 'gravel' bike you are referring to?
It has pretty relaxed drop bar frame geometry and limited tire clearance of 32mm...so the worst of both worlds. It doesnt have typical road bike frame geometry and doesnt have typical gravel frame tire clearance.

72.5deg STA, 71deg HTA, and 50mm fork- that is 67mm of trail with a 32mm tire. Thats on the high end of trail for a paved road bike, so slower steering feel.
And a 32mm on gravel?...thats fine with me for 1mi sections of unpaved roads that connect paved roads, so maybe I do 4 of em over a 40mi ride, but it sounds terrible for actual gravel rides where I will be on gravel for 40% or more of the miles.
It seems that Hi-Light is different... https://www.instagram.com/hilighttitaniumbicycles/

IG page has a link to this site... https://www.tibicycle.com/
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Old 03-28-24, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee
This company is in Switzerland though.
True, looks like a different company. My uncertainty is why I put a question mark at the end of my question when I responded to the OP.
Classic case of someone asking questions and not giving much info, so people start guessing when responding.
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Old 03-28-24, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
It seems that Hi-Light is different... https://www.instagram.com/hilighttitaniumbicycles/

IG page has a link to this site... https://www.tibicycle.com/
That looks like a better bike...
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Old 03-28-24, 10:18 PM
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My opinion is that if you are running wide tires and/or 'lowered' tire pressures, then the frame material (weight aside) really is immaterial to ride characteristics.
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Old 03-29-24, 09:32 PM
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Thank you for all of your responses. You all have brought up some excellent points. The bike I am looking at is the Hi-Light, not Hi-lite. I stopped by the bike store today and he was in the middle of a fitting so I couldn't talk to the owner. The bike he has is not road ready yet. As far as the workmanship goes, it appears to be excellent. I have done a lot of welding ( not titanium ) and the only way to really check them is to x-ray them. The bike that Mstateglfr showed is not the same bike. I will sit down with the owner next week and price up a build with one of these frames. As far as saving a few hundred dollars goes, that is not really the issue. I want to deal with a local shop for obvious reasons. I really do appreciate all of your responses and will keep you posted on my decision, boomer.
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Old 03-29-24, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
Okay...but that's not what the OP is talking about.
Really? then why did he say this: "They have been telling me about a Chinese company that builds Titanium bikes called Hi-Light."
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Old 04-01-24, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata
Really? then why did he say this: "They have been telling me about a Chinese company that builds Titanium bikes called Hi-Light."
This...
Originally Posted by boomer58
I stopped by my local bike store today to see their new line of bikes that they are considering selling. They have been telling me about a Chinese company that builds Titanium bikes called Hi-Light..
Is not the same as this...
Originally Posted by rekmeyata
Personally I would avoid buying a bike directly from some company in China.
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Old 04-01-24, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
This...


Is not the same as this...
Right but it also said "They ordered a couple of them to check them out" which means the shop ordered them directly from China, I guarantee you that if there is a warranty issue and the buyer takes it back to the shop, and shop has to send the frame back to China, and China refuses to anything about it, the consumer will bite it in the ass.

That is not the same thing as buying a Trek made in China, you have a frame warranty problem and Trek takes care of it, not China.
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Old 04-01-24, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata
Right but it also said "They ordered a couple of them to check them out" which means the shop ordered them directly from China, I guarantee you that if there is a warranty issue and the buyer takes it back to the shop, and shop has to send the frame back to China, and China refuses to anything about it, the consumer will bite it in the ass.

That is not the same thing as buying a Trek made in China, you have a frame warranty problem and Trek takes care of it, not China.
So, it's the same as buying any other bike in a shop that isn't from a US-based company. Some people do that. As long as the buyer understands the situation, I don't see an issue. I expect that an LBS carrying any brand, regardless of where it's made, will have an understanding of how the warranty process works, and will assist their customer in making things happen.

If you have a personal issue with it being a China-based company, maybe you shouldn't buy one. For someone else, it might be a good value.
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Old 04-01-24, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
So, it's the same as buying any other bike in a shop that isn't from a US-based company. Some people do that. As long as the buyer understands the situation, I don't see an issue. I expect that an LBS carrying any brand, regardless of where it's made, will have an understanding of how the warranty process works, and will assist their customer in making things happen. You

If you have a personal issue with it being a China-based company, maybe you shouldn't buy one. For someone else, it might be a good value.
Good luck with that! You obviously are not aware of the difference between doing business directly with China vs say the UK.
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Old 04-01-24, 03:44 PM
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I did not mean to start an internet feud, I will NOT be buying a bike directly from China. My local shop is a Moot dealer and I was in there quite awhile back looking at one. It is a gorgeous bike but something I would not get the full benefit of compared to someone else who is in much better shape and abilities than I am. I told him it would be way out of my reach to purchase the Moot he had on display. He told me about Hi-Light and that he was considering carrying their line and he would have a couple coming in soon to see how they are. He has them put together but I wasn't able to ride one. The quality of the bike looks excellent, as I stated before the welds all looked very clean and the only way to tell is to x-ray them but who does that. The reason I would rather deal with him is he is 1/4 mile from the trail I ride, super nice people, if there is a problem he is there vs sending it back to Chattanooga. The Lynskey's and Litespeeds look excellent and have a great reputation but being close by the local shop is a big plus, boomer
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Old 04-01-24, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata
Good luck with that! You obviously are not aware of the difference between doing business directly with China vs say the UK.
It may be that the Chinese bike frame company being discussed is interested in establishing a relationship with a U.S. bike shop(s), in the hope of selling, say, a dozen frames at a time. The shop would likely attempt to negotiate at least some semblance of warranty coverage for those frames. If I were a shop owner, I probably would be too suspicious to even entertain the idea, but not everyone is as risk-averse as I am.
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Old 04-01-24, 07:04 PM
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If you want a inexpensive Chinese made TI bike, your best bet might be Planet X and their Titus Roadrunner Sram Force 1 TI bike for $2,443. If that price is still a bit high, then go to the Pros Closet, they sell used TI bikes without the headaches that Ebay could give you.
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Old 04-01-24, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata
If you want a inexpensive Chinese made TI bike, your best bet might be Planet X and their Titus Roadrunner Sram Force 1 TI bike for $2,443. If that price is still a bit high, then go to the Pros Closet, they sell used TI bikes without the headaches that Ebay could give you.
The OP stated his preference pretty clearly, and it does not include buying something through the internet:

Originally Posted by boomer58
I did not mean to start an internet feud, I will NOT be buying a bike directly from China. My local shop is a Moot dealer and I was in there quite awhile back looking at one. It is a gorgeous bike but something I would not get the full benefit of compared to someone else who is in much better shape and abilities than I am. I told him it would be way out of my reach to purchase the Moot he had on display. He told me about Hi-Light and that he was considering carrying their line and he would have a couple coming in soon to see how they are. He has them put together but I wasn't able to ride one. The quality of the bike looks excellent, as I stated before the welds all looked very clean and the only way to tell is to x-ray them but who does that. The reason I would rather deal with him is he is 1/4 mile from the trail I ride, super nice people, if there is a problem he is there vs sending it back to Chattanooga. The Lynskey's and Litespeeds look excellent and have a great reputation but being close by the local shop is a big plus, boomer
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Old 04-18-24, 09:28 AM
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Hi all. Quick update, I was able to ride the Hi-Light gravel bike that the local shop had built. Really nice ride and a big difference in comfort from my current bike even though I only rode it for a few miles. I am leaving for a 4-5 month trip across Canada and the PNW and want to have a new bike for the many rides that I want to do while traveling. I ended up with the best of both worlds here. I was scepticle about asking him if I purchased a Lynskey frame, would he build me a bike. He did not think the Chinese frame would be here in time for me to leave so I asked him about the Lynskey and he said no problem. I went home and called Lynskey and purchased a GR300 frame and fork and it will be here in a couple weeks. My local shop is going to build the bike for me and it will give me the satisfaction of having a frame that has a great reputation with my local shop doing all of the rest. He gave me some great advice on components for the bike and everything is on order. Unfortunately I had hand surgery last week and I will not be riding for awhile but who knows, the 12 -15 stitches don't come out until next week and then it will be a few weeks until I can think about riding. Anyways, I got a new bike coming. Now for some pedal and shoe suggestions for the bike. I have been watching some You Tube videos on people doing some rail trails and that has me interested in doing some of those. boomer
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