Litespeed Sewanee

Discuss light weight issues concerning mountain bikes & parts.

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SamG
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Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2005 7:13 pm
Location: Fulham

by SamG

Having called up a UK MTB magazine to garner opinions on top-flite hardtails, I was very soon told that I'm too old for youthful, spirited bikes that are suited to streaks of piss, that I should live in the 21st century and do myself a favour by going full suspension.

I tried out a Yeti ASR, but found it so brilliantly active across all surfaces that I felt like I was 'playing the video game' of offroad-riding rather than getting the bone-jarring feedback to which I was accustomed. That brought my selection criteria down to two bikes:

The Titus Racer-X is a well-regarded lightweight full suspension XC race bike, but has anyone had the opportunity to ride it in comparison to Litespeed's new XC full-sus offering, the Sewanee?

Image Image
Titus Racer-X image from titusti.com and Lightspeed Sewanee image from AW cycles, Caversham

Specific regard might be whether the aluminium rear triangle is stiffer than the titanium, is more or less compliant, accelerates as quickly. Equally does either bike offer the 'feel' of a titanium ride or is this negated by the suspension and if so, which frame offers the least 'bob' whilst maintaining a lively ride?

Also, would both frames offer low maintenance/ high durability in muddy UK conditions?

by Weenie


SamG
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Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2005 7:13 pm
Location: Fulham

by SamG

My decision was made without healthy rationale.

Titus UK www.titusti.co.uk offered me a test bike towards the end of this month (Feb 2005) and were very helpful in offering both a bike-fitting and a trail-ride.

However, the insurance company that will be paying for 3/4 of the new cycle sent a further reminder that I should have replaced my stolen bike that was taken at the end of last summer. I now have a sheaf of letters requesting the same. The last thing I want to do is upset the guys with cash, even if I'm not, and should not be, beholden to them.

AW Cycles www.awcycles.co.uk in Caversham were only an hour away, and those guys quickly arranged for a test Sewanee to be available within the week.

Despite my misgivings about full-suspension cycles, the Litespeed answered 90% of my questions above. It still rides in the 'dream-like' full-sus manner, but having a full titanium rear triangle it had some of the life returned that seemed so missing from the Yeti. The travel at the rear is much less pronounced, being two inches as opposed to four, and therefore reduces the possibility for the 'bobbing' phenomenon. The Sewanee is also suitably light for this 10 1/2 stone rider coming in at around 4.4 pounds, and being a full ti frame is less prone to salt erosion than aluminium whilst is also very easy to clean and maintain.

At 5'9" I now have the 'medium' size on order. I pushed the shop to get me a 'small' and so they measured me up using the BioRacer method. Seems I have long arms. Weird. I see no scraping on the knuckles.
Medium it is.

I will be going for a conservative, non carbon, build-up when the time arrives. Records will not be broken.

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Adri
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by Adri

You will not regret switching to Ti. It really gives you no bother.
Will you put on disc brakes or go for V's?
The Titus looks to have a more racy stance (lower front end)
Auribus teneo lupum

SamG
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2005 7:13 pm
Location: Fulham

by SamG

Adri, I'll be running discs with flat bars.
So far the build is looking a little but like this:

Frame: Litespeed Sewanee
Fork: Fox F100X (reduced to 80 travel by www.mojo.co.uk in order to maintain frame angles).
Headset: Chis King regular
Brakes: Hope mono mini (darn fine UK product, easy for spares)
Chainset: Race Face Deus 175 with XTR bottom bracket
Pedals: Time ATAC XS carbon
Hubs: Chris King ISO 32h
Spokes: Sapim CX-Ray
Rims: Mavic X717 disc
Casette: XTR 11-32
Seat Post: Thompson Masterpiece straight
Saddle: Selle Italia FliteTT/ SLR XC
Stem: Thompson Elite X4
Bars: Race Face Deus XC flat
Rear mech: Sram X:0
Front mech: Sram X:0
Shifters: Sram X-9 trigger
Chain: Sram PC990

Cables and tires as provided by the store. Panaracer Fire XC 2.1 likely.

I'm pretty sure that the list will have changed by breakfast once my wallet sees it.
Still, I'm now 75% financially committed.

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Adri
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by Adri

Nice build. Instead of the F100X, you might try the F80RLT.. a tad lighter and the geometry is right the first time.
I have the same wheels (and also the Hopes) on my Moots , and they are top class (check my www for some pics) for reliability, strength and weight
Auribus teneo lupum

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mpap89
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by mpap89

yeah every one i talked to about the f_x said that it sucked. i did my first ride with my f80rlt and it was really nice.

SamG
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Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2005 7:13 pm
Location: Fulham

by SamG

I do appreciate the input; having not tried the Terralogic all information is gratefully received.

My reasons for choosing the F100X are these.

My stolen cycle was an old Titanium DNA with a rigid Pace fork up front with Cook bros/ XTR. A glorious and light ride that woked well both on, and off, road.

I was going to replace this with a modern UK equivalent such as the Omega Predator XL, using a Pace carbon fork and Sram groupset.

www.omegacycleworks.co.uk/predatorxl.htm
www.pacecycles.com/product.asp?catID=2&subcat=433

However, the build seemed too close to what had been stolen and did not offer much difference to my other ride, which is a steel hardtail Chas Roberts DOGS BOLX with Pace RC36/ Race Face/ XTR.

www.robertscycles.com/p_mtb.html

If, as the journalist (above) recommended, I should live in the 21st century then I thought that the age, and its corresponding technology, should be addressed fully.

The Litespeed offered the best full-sus lite XC solution without venturing into YBB territory.

The F100X seems to have the lockout and anti-bob solution already built in. Additionally, should I want to run a more relaxed trail bike as I get older and more creaky, then it is little cost to change and lengthen travel. Such changes are not possible with the F80X.

Taking heed of your concerns I contacted www.mojo.co.uk.

The Terralogic can be de-tuned so that the fork runs comparatively similarly to the RLT. The brass stopper can also be removed and the cartridge changed. I believe that if you do the latter change then either the adjustible rebound or damping is lost. As a rider coming from an eight year old Pace fork to the plushness of the Fox product, I hope that this would be a change that might little affect me.

Either way, if 'push comes to shove' then there are tuneable options. And if I really dislike the fork then it can always be sold.

The F100X does tend to polarise riders. I have my fingers crosed that I'll fall into the 'like-it' categoy.

SamG
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2005 7:13 pm
Location: Fulham

by SamG

Did the build go according to plan? Of course not!

The bottom bracket is now the corresponding Deus unit.
Spokes are Sapim Race.
Cassette is XT.
Seatpost is Thompson Elite.
Saddle is an older Kevlar-sided Flite.
Bars are Token Mono-Q.
Rear mech is LX.
Front mech is XT.
Shifters are LX.

Future changes and developments will be SRAM X0 2006, Sapim CX-rays and SLR XC when available. But these are unneccessary changes. The ride is excellent as is.


Here are a few shameless 'Thunderbirds intro' shots:

Image Image Image Image
Image Image Image Image Image Image
Image Image Image Image

The total overall weight is currently 24.9lbs/ 11295g.

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Adri
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by Adri

I've found the big pics :D
Very nice bike SamG !!

Don't forget to check the CK hubs for play regularly the first couple of 100 k's..they have to settle.. oh yes, and remove the rear v-brake studs :wink:

Do you have any idea what the frame-shock combination weighs? You mentioned 4.4 pounds but is that with the shock?
Auribus teneo lupum

HOWMUCHDOESITWEIGH?
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Location: Toronto

by HOWMUCHDOESITWEIGH?

Great bike, but why skimp on the drivetrain?
BILL NIKO, YOU WILL NOT EVER BE FORGOTTEN.

SamG
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2005 7:13 pm
Location: Fulham

by SamG

Good call on the hubs. AW cycles said to keep an eye on them too. I'm typically a Hope person and find their hubs pretty bombproof; the King hubs were an indulgence (as is 90% of the bike) and so it looks like I'll have to be a little watchful for the first few miles.

I'm waiting on replacement fillers for the v-brake studs in order to prevent the ingress of mud.

The individual weight of the RP3 shock is 195g, so I believe that the quoted weight of 4.4lbs is inclusive of the unit. The bike was weighed as a complete rather than by individual component, so I could be proven wrong!

As for the drivetrain? I'll be taking the bike for a trip to the Atlas mountains in Morocco for a bit of a blast pretty soon, so I put on kit that would be robust but workable and ultimately disposable. Baggage handlers. Rocks. In the South of England, mud and roots are the biggest tests for the XC rider.

Also, the 2006 SRAM kit sounds so good that I thought that it'd give me something to aspire to. Best not to have it all in one go.

Here's a plug for the shop that put the Sewanee together and proof (if it be needed) of UK conditions on ride 1:

Image Image

pieterp
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Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 7:06 pm
Location: Belgium

by pieterp

That's a very nice bikes! Your finished bikes looks much cooler then the pic in your first topic.

SamG
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Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2005 7:13 pm
Location: Fulham

by SamG

Thanks Pieter. I WAS worried that the bike would cost a packet and look as bland as bland thing on a bland day. Final shots:

Image Image Image

I can't be a WW dude. There's a lamp on my bike. And if I continue in that vein then next I'll have a basket full of puppies on the front.

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beane
Posts: 258
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2005 2:16 pm
Location: York,United Kingdom

by beane

Hi Sam congrats on a beautifull bike ! :thumbup:

I am about to replace my 97' Kona King Kahuna with a new bike and was looking at the Litespeed Tanasi..but have been moving more towards the sewanee.

The only problem I have is working out what size to get I ride a 18" kona now which is measured center to top of the collar or 15" Center -Center.

My seat hight is 75cm from center bottom bracket to top of saddle could you you tell me what measurment that is on your bike ?

Many thanks !!! :D

P.S what do you think to the ride characteristic's ?

by Weenie


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Adri
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by Adri

The is a big difference between the ride quality offered by a Tanasi (harsh, even for a titanium frame) and a Sewanee (smooth as silk) :shock:

Ii think an 18 incher will suit you fine.
PS: the top tube length is a far more important measurement !
Auribus teneo lupum

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