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  1. #1
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    Litespeed Veneto - bad case of the shimmies!

    I bought a used 2004 Litespeed Veneto on ebay this winter. I have long legs, short torso, and some hereditary lower back issues, so I went for the taller headtube frame after reading some good responses in these and other forums. I've gone on a few rides so far this spring, but Saturday was my first long ride with a few descents. On the first descent I hit about 30 mph, then as the hill was flattening out I pedaled hard to keep my speed, and started to notice a bit of a shimmy in the front. I backed off and it went away. A bit later I hit a short steep hill, and reached about 40-45 mph, and the front wheel started to shake like crazy! I barely got it under control by feathering the brakes and squeezing the top tube between my knees. I got off the bike and checked the usual things...quick releases tight, wheels seated properly in the drops, loose hubs etc. Everything seems tight. I have Krysrium Elite wheels, I'm I'm unsure as to how tight the hubs should feel, but there is no side to side play.

    So I'm wondering...is this a characteristic of the frame geometry? I've got a 1984 handbuilt steel bike, and I've gotten that up to 50-55 mph and it's rock solid, but it's a traditional geometry. Other reviews of the Veneto have stated that it is very stable on descents, so I'm wondering what's up with mine.

    I'll probably take it to a mechanic for a once-over, but I'm a bit gun-shy of it now.

    I'll cross post this on the Frames forum as well, but I'd be interested in any ideas.

  2. #2
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    What size frame is it? Have you lowered the fork from the head tube enough to see the rake sticker and compare it with the geometry table on Litespeed's 2004 website?
    Last edited by rmsmith; 04-28-2008 at 06:04 AM.

  3. #3
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    RE: What size frame

    It's an XL. I haven't dropped the fork, but I'll try that tonight.

    It's a Litespeed carbon fork, sort of an Aero bladed looking thing...not sure the model.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny LaRoux
    It's an XL. I haven't dropped the fork, but I'll try that tonight.

    It's a Litespeed carbon fork, sort of an Aero bladed looking thing...not sure the model.
    The larger frames with a tall head tube are easier to twist; my Siena XL is flexible, and very comfortable to ride, but certainly not stiff enough for racing, IMHO.

    I have the original Real Design Signature fork on my Siena. I tried a Real Design HP Aero style fork, but it was susceptible to harmonic wobble, so I returned to the Signature fork.

    You have to go to a Carbon frame if you want real stiffness.

    BTW, there is a Tall Guy Litespeed 63-cm frame with a tall head tube and a carbon seat stay on eBay right now:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=190216958904

  5. #5
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    Litespeed frame on ebay

    [QUOTE

    BTW, there is a Tall Guy Litespeed 63-cm frame with a tall head tube and a carbon seat stay on eBay right now:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=190216958904[/QUOTE]


    Wow...65cm TT! that's huge! I'm all legs, so I need a top tube closer to 59!

  6. #6
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    Does your fork look like this one on eBay?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=280222120928

  7. #7
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    That's it...

    Yes, except mine is painted red with Litespeed decals on it. Same cap as well, but no writing.

    I pulled my fork, and although the stamp is kind of smudged, it looks like it says 40, which I assume is the rake?
    Last edited by Johnny LaRoux; 04-28-2008 at 03:20 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny LaRoux
    Yes, except mine is painted red with Litespeed decals on it. Same cap as well, but no writing.

    I pulled my fork, and although the stamp is kind of smudged, it looks like it says 40, which I assume is the rake?
    Is the frame red or the brushed titanium finish?

    Yes, that 40 is the rake of 40-mm.

    When I tried the Real Design HP fork it was a stiffer ride with little flex fore and aft. However, when on the descent along my fitness route I'd get a weird shimmy or wobble when I had my weight supported by one arm like when taking a drink from the bottle. I tried it again several times over the next few days, and sure enough the offset loading on one arm produced the same results. Then I switched the fork back to the original Real Design Signature fork, both 40-mm by the way. Again I tried the one arm loading, and I could feel it trying to shimmy, but it was barely there. The Signature fork also rode better allowing some flex fore and aft.

    In summary, the HP fork has narrow blade like legs, which are stiff fore and aft, but not so with lateral loading. The Signature fork has legs that have more of a rounded tear drop shape that are allow some flex fore and aft, but they are more stable when laterally loaded. I ride for fitness and pleasure, not racing. A forgiving frame and fork are my style.

    BTW, I have a second (integrated style) Signature fork in 40-mm with an uncut 300-mm steering tube, and it has the Cane Creek crown race already in place. You are welcome to try it out if 'ya promise not to cut-down the steering tube; just add spacers to the top side. Oh yeah, it's color is black with aluminum dropouts.
    Last edited by rmsmith; 04-28-2008 at 06:27 PM.

  9. #9
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    Thanks RM

    ...jr

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