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Thread: Hey y'all... it's been a while since... (LITESPEED ?'s)

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    Cool Hey y'all... it's been a while since... (LITESPEED ?'s)

    Well, even though I got ripped off by a builder, I do have a geometry, and I do have a very specific vision for a bike. And I want a bike.

    That loss has crimped my budget significantly. Not a matter of revenue/reserves, more a matter of philosophy, I'm $3k away from a debt free household, designing the retirement home, (scouting plots has been on hold because COVID)... happy wife/happy life, just bought a PRECOR Elliptical.. yadayadayada.

    Anyhow...

    I'm no longer operating with a $15k budget, and want to get a bike together, my geo, for South of $8k.

    Bikepacker 650b (light stuff- my tent is 19oz) /Gravel.

    So, opinions on Litespeed "Ultimate Gravel" frames? They'll do my geo without a significant upcharge.

    Any other frame fabricators I should consider who deliver a no-nonsense well regarded product (who can do custom geo) at significant savings versus boutique?

    In tip top shape I'm 190#; I just slide in under the Clydesdale metric- no noodle frames. Have been riding a Ti Salsa Warbird for a long time now. Bike is a tank, just too long for me.

    And I want 1x (1 less derailleur is half the trouble) wide range, climb like a mule, not wreck my bad knee (Skiing, flight decks).

    I'd really like to go electronic shifting but I don't want to be logistically tied down by a gearset that would require frequent charging over a multi day trip so mechanical is a pragmatic consideration.

    Hydro brakes of course.

    I know I can probably dig up a lot of stuff researching the 'net, and I am beginning that process once again but...the intelligentsia here has always proven to be an enlightened and experienced resource.

    I hope all is well with everyone weathering the plague.
    Martin

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    Default Re: Hey y'all... it's been a while since... (LITESPEED ?'s)

    alliance seems like good value for custom ti

    Frame Pricing › Alliance Bicycles › alliancebicycles.com
     

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    Thumbs up Re: Hey y'all... it's been a while since... (LITESPEED ?'s)

    Thanks for the rec' but I won't do business with a sole proprietor considering my experience. I'm looking for companies that have some meat to them in terms of assets.
    Martin

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    Default Re: Hey y'all... it's been a while since... (LITESPEED ?'s)

    Quote Originally Posted by UnfilteredDregs View Post

    I'm no longer operating with a $15k budget, and want to get a bike together, my geo, for South of $8k.
    Sorry to hear about getting fouled up with another builder.

    You must be spending too much time on bespoke websites, because with a budget of 8K, you can have almost any bike you want. For kicks i just strolled over to Firefly's website and the price for a custom titanium bike from their "Utility" category, which sounds like you is $4,500 bucks. That leaves you a serious chunk of change to outfit the thing and be well under your budget. Firefly can be considered the cream of the crop and spending any more than they charge for a custom frame sounds ridiculous to me.

    That said, i have a Lynskey and they are lovely frames. Buying new you get welded in USA and lifetime warranty that they DO stand behind. I bought mine new and the customer service was top notch, it's a very good value option.

    Beyond that, mama mia - there are a lot of guys working in custom ti right now. With your budget you can have whatever your heart desires really.

    Good luck on the hunt!

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    Default Re: Hey y'all... it's been a while since... (LITESPEED ?'s)

    Quote Originally Posted by UnfilteredDregs View Post
    Thanks for the rec' but I won't do business with a sole proprietor considering my experience. I'm looking for companies that have some meat to them in terms of assets.
    i hear ya...had a bad exp myself but managed to get my money back...there are some stand up dudes out there
     

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    Default Re: Hey y'all... it's been a while since... (LITESPEED ?'s)

    This one is finally finished and fitted to me and after a bit of anxiety about the sizing I no longer have any anxiety. I took it out for a hard ride on some pretty punishing unpaved roads this past weekend and it more than proved itself. The best part is the super stable handling, even on loose surfaces. This bike gives me way more confidence than I have had in the past on sandy or loose gravel roads.

    I don't think there's any need nor any desire for Titanium for me at least. It has advantages but also some disadvantages and on a budget, aluminum might make more sense.

    Mike's current price for this frame/fork combination is $2900 - aluminum frame and the Parlee fork. I don't recall if that includes the headset but I chose the less expensive Cane Creek 40 option and it's been good so far.

    Due to my own naiveté regarding Shimano Di2 setup, I wish in hindsight I had had Mike just sell me a complete bike, which is something he wanted to do all along anyway. I would go that route next time. And he likes Next Cycling wheels, which are probably as nice as my DT-Swiss wheels at a more budget friendly price. Boyd wheels are also less expensive.

    I'd recommend contacting Mike to see what his lead times are and if he's able to meet your budget constraints. I'm guess it's possible, especially if you're willing to go with mechanical instead of Di2 or Sram AXS. The hydraulic brakes on this bike are superb and I know you mentioned that.

    Call Mike and see if he's able to help you out. I like this one more every time I ride it, and I'm about to head out for a quickie shortly.

    La Cheeserie!

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    Default Re: Hey y'all... it's been a while since... (LITESPEED ?'s)

    Quote Originally Posted by AngryScientist View Post
    Sorry to hear about getting fouled up with another builder.

    For kicks i just strolled over to Firefly's website and the price for a custom titanium bike from their "Utility" category, which sounds like you is $4,500 bucks. That leaves you a serious chunk of change

    Good luck on the hunt!
    Thanks for the tip on that... I had no idea they've expanded their range.
    Martin

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    Default Re: Hey y'all... it's been a while since... (LITESPEED ?'s)

    routt 45 with di2 for 8875

    we'll crowd fund the difference
     

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    Smile Re: Hey y'all... it's been a while since... (LITESPEED ?'s)

    lmao
    Martin

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    Default Re: Hey y'all... it's been a while since... (LITESPEED ?'s)

    Curious of you have a material preference? Are you looking for Ti specifically? If yes and you have the time, I’d highly recommend Firefly. Best experience I’ve had with a custom builder. (All have been good, this was the best though). If you would consider steel or aluminum, there’s other options out there as well.

    I know you said mechanical but if you are going 1x, SRAM AXS Mullet is a pretty good option. I can’t imagine killing the battery on a multi-day trip and if that’s a concern, packing a spare is a light and easy proposition. Much easier to have that back-up than it is with Di2.
    Nathan H

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    Default Re: Hey y'all... it's been a while since... (LITESPEED ?'s)

    Dean bikes can do custom and it looks like they have a good bang for the bucks ratio with a gravel custom ti frameset starting at 2600usd. They are not the instagram newcomers.
    --
    T h o m a s

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    Default Re: Hey y'all... it's been a while since... (LITESPEED ?'s)

    My wife and I both have custom Carvers. He outsources to China but at least you have a point of contact that is stateside. I had no complaints with him but there is no sex appeal of a Carver vs something like a Firefly. If you already have your measurements it isn't a bad option.
     

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    Default Re: Hey y'all... it's been a while since... (LITESPEED ?'s)

    As has already been asked-you still want Ti?

    So you had a bad experience with a sole proprietor framebuilder. Don't let that sour you on a builder. This forum can recommend to you MANY reputable builders.

    If you still want a company in titanium-Independent Fabrications.

    Sole proprietor titanium-Carl Strong.

    If you're willing to look at alternative materials-Paul Sadoff at Rock Lobster in steel.

    All three of the above have threads dedicated to them on this forum. Do a search.

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    Default Re: Hey y'all... it's been a while since... (LITESPEED ?'s)

    I'm happy riding my 22 y/o Litespeed Appalachian cross frame on-and off road now.
    Ti can take abuse from every angle.
    Still, once you start packing gear, frame material does not matter much anymore imo.
    You will not kill a steel frame in your lifetime if you wanted to.
    BB height low, tire clearance and a head angle <= 72 degrees, and shortish cranks is what I would pick.
     

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    Default Re: Hey y'all... it's been a while since... (LITESPEED ?'s)

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Polack View Post
    Sole proprietor titanium-Carl Strong.
    +1
    Martin, as you probably know (and as we've probably already done), Betsy & I will happily talk your ear off about the pleasures of doing business with Carl. Irrespective of the quality of his framebuilding (which is irreproachable), the quality of his business ethics and customer service are without peer. Highly recommended just for the satisfying experience of knowing that your money is going to a reputable company that stands behind their work and honestly values their relationships with the end-user.

    Plus Carl isn't really a "sole proprietor" ...his wife Loretta is a pretty significant part of the workforce!
     

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    Default Re: Hey y'all... it's been a while since... (LITESPEED ?'s)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
    +1
    Martin, as you probably know (and as we've probably already done), Betsy & I will happily talk your ear off about the pleasures of doing business with Carl.
    Hey Bob...(I suspended my facebook account btw...just not conducive to positivity) thanks for the plug for Carl. I hope you two are weathering this surreal time well!
    Martin

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    Default Re: Hey y'all... it's been a while since... (LITESPEED ?'s)

    Martin, I'm gonna chime in here and say that my Lynskey has been nothing but awesome.

    I've put 17,000 miles on it in two years with no complaints at all.

    Plus they cut me a hell of a deal...I would definitely check them out.

    SPP
    My name is Peter Miller.

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    Default Re: Hey y'all... it's been a while since... (LITESPEED ?'s)

    Titanium & Steel Gravel, Mountain and Road Bikes | CHUMBA

    Made in Murica, last I heard, Lynskey was making their Ti.
    Weight Doper

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    Default Re: Hey y'all... it's been a while since... (LITESPEED ?'s)

    I can't really imagine having this amount of money to spend on this type of bike and not going straight to Firefly...

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    Default Re: Hey y'all... it's been a while since... (LITESPEED ?'s)

    Canecreek had Ultimate G's on the demo truck last year to show off the cranks. I was lucky enough to babysit one my size for a week. The frame coupled with some NoTubes carbon wheels had a pretty fantastic dynamic. The tubes on the Ultimates are REALLY DOPE.

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