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  1. #26
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    Champion Team Titanium

    I picked up the bike when it was already dusk so I couldn't take a photo outside and the lighting inside is horrendous in my house.




    Some observations:
    I foolishly didn't look into the pedal situation and for some reason thought the pedals that came with it are Look compatible. Nope. So, I'll have to order Look pedals before I'll be able to test ride it. My other two bikes have them so it makes sense to make the third interchangeable with the existing two.

    The stem has a really sharp angle! The guy at the LBS thought so too. I'm comparing it with the Heat pictured earlier in this thread and the Heat appears to have a nearly flat stem. He lowered it by one space when I came to pick it up. He said something about cutting the stem after I decide exactly where I want it.....? I had never heard of that before but I guess he thought it sticks out too much.

    This is a symptom of the angled stem but the drops are pointing downward to such an extent, I'm likely to feel like my hands will slip off them.

    The wheels are perfectly true.

    He said the derailleurs needed adjustment. I'm glad I had that done because the frisbee is thankfully gone.

    The lettering is the same color as the bike instead of black like the Heat pictured above.

    The guy at my LBS asked the price and was really impressed when I told him. He couldn't get over the wheelset that came with it.

    It is really light!

    Good thing I have two other bikes as it will still be a while before I can ride it. Grrr...

    The box definitely said size 53 but I can't find a decal that states that which I found surprising. My other bikes have had this. When I straddle the bike, I have a good amount of clearance. I thought the 53 was going to be bigger based on what's been said. I'm very glad I didn't get the 51!

  2. #27
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    The stem has a really sharp angle! The guy at the LBS thought so too. I'm comparing it with the Heat pictured earlier in this thread and the Heat appears to have a nearly flat stem.
    LOL, that's because I flipped the stem on my LeChamp Ti Heat.. That's why the stem looks almost level in my photo.

    Yes, that Ritchie stem is flippable. I'm a bit puzzled your LBS mechanic didn't know about that!

    From one LeChamp Ti owner to another, congrats!

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by froze View Post
    This frisbee is really more essential with old school friction shifters, such as one of my touring bikes, then it is with index shifting as my other touring bike has, but the possibility is still there howbeit very remote.
    Why would a dork disc be more necessary with friction shifters? The limit screws on derailleurs work exactly the same regardless of what kind of shifters are used.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by LongIslandTom View Post
    LOL, that's because I flipped the stem on my LeChamp Ti Heat.. That's why the stem looks almost level in my photo.

    Yes, that Ritchie stem is flippable. I'm a bit puzzled your LBS mechanic didn't know about that!

    From one LeChamp Ti owner to another, congrats!
    Thanks!

    Have you seen some builds with the stem flipped in the direction mine is? I think I'll give it a go like this because it would mean less bending forward which is better for my back. I can always have it flipped the other way.

    Just ordered my Look pedals tonight... They are all named "Keo" now. Hopefully the cleat system is compatible will my older PP206 pedals.

  5. #30
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    Yeah, some people wanted to have the handlebar higher (to sit more upright), so they have the stem pointed upwards and all the steerer spacers stacked underneath the stem to maximize handlebar height.

    If you flip the stem, the stem will be pointed more downwards, which will make the handlebar lower. That's what I did on my Ti Heat.

    BTW: You could have swapped the Look pedals from one of your other bikes onto the Ti to give it a test ride, you know.

  6. #31
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    Comments on new LC Ti

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonB176 View Post
    He said something about cutting the stem after I decide exactly where I want it.....? I had never heard of that before but I guess he thought it sticks out too much.
    Cut the stem? Are you sure he didn't mean cut the steerer? That would make a lot more sense.

    Anyway, congratulations on the bike! I think I do like the outline decals more than the solid. Did you weigh it out of the box before pedals? It would be great if you could get back to us with a sizing report after some test rides since fit seems to be a big issue with these bikes.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcalans View Post
    Cut the stem? Are you sure he didn't mean cut the steerer? That would make a lot more sense.

    Anyway, congratulations on the bike! I think I do like the outline decals more than the solid. Did you weigh it out of the box before pedals? It would be great if you could get back to us with a sizing report after some test rides since fit seems to be a big issue with these bikes.
    People who followed the fit advice given by Bikes Direct have had very few fit issues, no more then getting a production bike at an LBS. Any time you buy a production bike there will be some dialing in to get it to fit perfect. But if that's the "big" issue with those TI bikes then the owners are going to be really happy with those bikes.

  8. #33
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    Beautiful bike -- much nicer with the "hollow" stickers.

    Now, as others have intimated, go invest ten bucks in a set of Allen key wrenches. A bike store guy who doesn't know stems can be flipped isn't doing you any favors, and you can flip the stem, borrow pedals from one of your other bikes, and be riding your Moto after 20 minutes of pretty simple wrench turning. (Programming Note: Left pedals are reverse threaded ;)).

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by LongIslandTom View Post
    Yeah, some people wanted to have the handlebar higher (to sit more upright), so they have the stem pointed upwards and all the steerer spacers stacked underneath the stem to maximize handlebar height.

    If you flip the stem, the stem will be pointed more downwards, which will make the handlebar lower. That's what I did on my Ti Heat.

    BTW: You could have swapped the Look pedals from one of your other bikes onto the Ti to give it a test ride, you know.
    I had this same bike shop flip the stem on my Jamis to the more upright position and I like riding it way better this way. Granted, its angle is not as extreme as the Champion but I still want to try the Champion with its stem the way it is now before making any adjustments. I don't ride in the drops that much anyway so the slipping probably wouldn't be that big of an issue.

    Yes, I could switch pedals but I'm waiting for the salt to disappear off the streets anyway so would probably have not ridden the Ti for a few days. Hopefully my new pedals will be here by then.

    Quote Originally Posted by marcalans View Post
    Cut the stem? Are you sure he didn't mean cut the steerer? That would make a lot more sense.

    Anyway, congratulations on the bike! I think I do like the outline decals more than the solid. Did you weigh it out of the box before pedals? It would be great if you could get back to us with a sizing report after some test rides since fit seems to be a big issue with these bikes.
    Thanks!

    Yes, the STEERER, doh! I was in a bit of a daze when I went to pick it up. Honestly, I don't even know what the steerer is compared to the stem, LOL.

    No, I didn't weigh it. I can just say that my subjective impression is that it is very light.

    I will definitely give a complete report of my impressions of the sizing for the 53 but, as mentioned above, my initial feeling is that I got the right size based on just sitting on it. I feel the 51 would have been too small.

    Quote Originally Posted by froze View Post
    People who followed the fit advice given by Bikes Direct have had very few fit issues, no more then getting a production bike at an LBS. Any time you buy a production bike there will be some dialing in to get it to fit perfect. But if that's the "big" issue with those TI bikes then the owners are going to be really happy with those bikes.
    I agree. At least up to this point, I have nothing but good things to say about Bikes Direct. They were responsive to my request to alter the UPS delivery and got the bike out on schedule. It was my own fault that I didn't analyze the pedals properly. Anyone want a pair of Shimano pedals?

    The LBS guy couldn't help but be really impressed to see the titanium bike in front of him with those components for $2799.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Overly View Post
    Beautiful bike -- much nicer with the "hollow" stickers.

    Now, as others have intimated, go invest ten bucks in a set of Allen key wrenches. A bike store guy who doesn't know stems can be flipped isn't doing you any favors, and you can flip the stem, borrow pedals from one of your other bikes, and be riding your Moto after 20 minutes of pretty simple wrench turning. (Programming Note: Left pedals are reverse threaded ;)).
    Yes, I like the hollow stickers better myself. I'm even going to keep the sticker that says it is aerospace grade titanium!

    I have allen wrenches. I plan on doing a few rides with the stem as is.

    Thanks about the pedals. It's been a long time since I've installed pedals and I remember something being funky. So, do I have this right? For the right pedal, I turn the wrench to the left to loosen it but for the left pedal, I turn to the right to loosen?

  10. #35
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    Give the LBS a break...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Overly View Post
    A bike store guy who doesn't know stems can be flipped isn't doing you any favors
    I think you guys who are saying that the bike store employee doesn't know that stems are flippable are reading too much between the lines of Jason's post.

    Flipping the (17 degree) stem would drop the bars by over 50mm (two inches). From the photos, it looks like lowering it by one spacer (as reported by Jason) dropped it about 10mm.

    I would give the LBS the benefit of the doubt, particularly when the story is being conveyed by our OP who admittedly is not the most knowledgeable about mechanical things.
    Last edited by paulfeng; 11-01-2011 at 05:55 AM. Reason: "would drop the bars"

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonB176 View Post
    This is a symptom of the angled stem but the drops are pointing downward to such an extent, I'm likely to feel like my hands will slip off them.
    Not so much a "symptom" of the stem, but rather of how the bars are being held/clamped by the stem (which does look pretty extreme in your photo).

    You can loosen the four bolts at the front of the stem, rotate the bars to where you want them (many people would make the tops of the bars leading to the brifters level w.r.t. the ground), then tighten the four bolts.

    (While those four bolts have an indicated max torque for tightening, I suspect that is to protect carbon fiber handlebars, which you do not have.)

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulfeng View Post
    I think you guys who are saying that the bike store employee doesn't know that stems are flippable are reading too much between the lines of Jason's post.

    Flipping the (17 degree) stem would drop the bars by over 50mm (two inches). From the photos, it looks like lowering it by one spacer (as reported by Jason) dropped it about 10mm.

    I would give the LBS the benefit of the doubt, particularly when the story is being conveyed by our OP who admittedly is not the most knowledgeable about mechanical things.
    That is correct. He did know about flipping the stem. He's the mechanic that did the flip on my Jamis. He would have flipped it right then if I had wanted him to but like I've mentioned, I want to try it in its present position. I did appreciate him lowering it a notch, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by paulfeng View Post
    Not so much a "symptom" of the stem, but rather of how the bars are being held/clamped by the stem (which does look pretty extreme in your photo).

    You can loosen the four bolts at the front of the stem, rotate the bars to where you want them (many people would make the tops of the bars leading to the brifters level w.r.t. the ground), then tighten the four bolts.

    (While those four bolts have an indicated max torque for tightening, I suspect that is to protect carbon fiber handlebars, which you do not have.)
    Thanks for the tip. I might get courageous and try to make the adjustment.

  13. #38
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    First Ride Report

    First, here's an outdoor image with the necessary add-ons. The only difference is I now have PP256s as pedals instead of those Look Keos:


    Notice the rotated handlebars that I like so much better now. I'm pretty sure I will leave the stem as is but those handlebars definitely had to be rotated to the level position they currently have.

    I imagine it's fairly common to have a number of issues and tweaks when getting a new bike particularly when it's mail-ordered. I had a lot of problems with the wheels when I got my Specialized but don't recall as many tweaks with my Jamis. Anyway, as mentioned in a thread I started, I found out the hard way that Look Keo pedals are not compatible cleatwise with the older Looks. I was left with two sets (the Shimanos that came with it and the Keos) that were useless to me. A bike shop saved me and gave me a used pair of PP256s which appear to be the solution.

    So, I finally was ready for my first ride today. I clipped into the 256s and off I went. Almost immediately I felt a smile come across my face. I have never been on a bike this light and responsive. Feathery is how I would describe it. It will actually take a bit of getting used to handling-wise because it could be described as twitchy but that is only due to my lack of familiarity to the bike. It wasn't long before I was already adjusting to it and LOVING it. The fit felt just about perfect.

    Alas, I was about to discover that the fit was not feeling so great. In adjusting my seat, I had failed to tighten it back hard enough! My seat gradually sank all the way to the very bottom making for a horrid rest of the ride. I foolishly didn't bring the allen wrench with me so I had little choice but to plod through the ride, standing a lot and hoping my knees wouldn't be wrecked by this ridiculously low seat position.

    I also discovered that the bike shop that put it together did a terrible job with the front derailleur as it refused to keep the chain in the big ring. This wasn't that big a deal because I normally do most of my riding in the 39 tooth ring but it will mean another trip back to the shop.

    So, the ride was a mix of elation and frustration but I know that soon these last few tweaks will be worked out and I'm going to be left with a bike that I truly love. I was pretty shocked to read some of the disparaging remarks made in the Bikes Direct thread that I discovered yesterday. I think they offer quality bikes and components at prices bike shops can't match. Yes, there are some frustrations but bikes bought at shops aren't free completely of these initial problems either.

    I will do a further analysis after I've had some complete rides without the seat and derailleur issues.

  14. #39
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    Beautiful ride

  15. #40
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    I agree, it's one sweet looking ride.

    Typically by the way, the quick releases should be pointing in an upward angle with the front in line with the fork, and the rear in line with seat stay. But I've seen people do it all sorts of ways, so not sure if my way's the "right" way.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonB176 View Post
    Alas, I was about to discover that the fit was not feeling so great. In adjusting my seat, I had failed to tighten it back hard enough! My seat gradually sank all the way to the very bottom making for a horrid rest of the ride. I foolishly didn't bring the allen wrench with me so I had little choice but to plod through the ride, standing a lot and hoping my knees wouldn't be wrecked by this ridiculously low seat position.

    I also discovered that the bike shop that put it together did a terrible job with the front derailleur as it refused to keep the chain in the big ring. This wasn't that big a deal because I normally do most of my riding in the 39 tooth ring but it will mean another trip back to the shop.
    Did the bike shop put grease or antiseize on the seatpost? If not, put some on so you won't end up with a stuck seatpost in the future. Definitely carry a multi-tool with you on your first few rides so you can "dial in" your fit. Remember tiny adjustments to your seat height, horizontal positioning, seat angle, and handlebar angle can make a huge difference in ride feel.

    It would do you well to learn how to do the drivetrain adjustments yourself. Those are simple to do, and if you know how, you can spend more time riding and less time leaving the bike at the bike shop.

    I find my Moto LeChamp Ti Heat to be the most forgiving bike I have ever bought. Aside from the SRAM bottom bracket crapping out (which I easily solved by swapping in a Chris King BB), the rest of the bike has been remarkably trouble-free and noise-free, compared to my old CF-frame Specialized Roubaix.

  17. #42
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    DO NOT USE petroleum based grease your seat post! There is a product called Tacx Dynamic Paste that is intended for that purpose as is carbon paste, or Grey Anti-seize, or Finish Line Carbon Fiber assembly paste. Calfee, who makes fantastic CF bikes as this to say: "is that if it is tight, use grease. If it slips, wipe it clean". BUT, read your paperwork from the seat post manufacture, they will tell you what you should use.

    And since it did slip don't go crazy tightening it or you could crush the seat post. You need to have a inch pound torque wrench and torque the seat bolt to the specified seat post manufactures torque rating.

    And do not scratch the seat post to mark your height, instead use electrical tape or paint a line.

  18. #43
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    The Ritchey Pro seatpost on our Moto Ti bikes are aluminum alloy. Petroleum-based grease works fine with it.

    I have to admit I do feel a bit scandalized to see an aluminum seatpost on my Ti bike. A carbon seatpost, or even better a Ti seatpost like a Moots would look far more appropriate on the Moto LeChamp Ti!
    Last edited by LongIslandTom; 11-06-2011 at 09:57 PM.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by LongIslandTom View Post
    The Ritchey Pro seatpost on our Moto Ti bikes are aluminum alloy. Petroleum-based grease works fine with it.

    I have to admit I do feel a bit scandalized to see an aluminum seatpost on my Ti bike. A carbon seatpost, or even better a Ti seatpost like a Moots would look far more appropriate on the Moto LeChamp Ti!
    $340 for a Moots Ti seat post? YIKES! Nothing wrong with AL seat post on a TI bike, it's much more durable then a CF seat post and you can get them nearly as light and cost less the CF and far less then TI.

    What I want to know is why don't they make a wide aero profile TI fork instead of Carbon fiber? Any flex could be gotten rid of by internal splines.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by LongIslandTom View Post
    Did the bike shop put grease or antiseize on the seatpost? If not, put some on so you won't end up with a stuck seatpost in the future. Definitely carry a multi-tool with you on your first few rides so you can "dial in" your fit. Remember tiny adjustments to your seat height, horizontal positioning, seat angle, and handlebar angle can make a huge difference in ride feel.

    It would do you well to learn how to do the drivetrain adjustments yourself. Those are simple to do, and if you know how, you can spend more time riding and less time leaving the bike at the bike shop.

    I find my Moto LeChamp Ti Heat to be the most forgiving bike I have ever bought. Aside from the SRAM bottom bracket crapping out (which I easily solved by swapping in a Chris King BB), the rest of the bike has been remarkably trouble-free and noise-free, compared to my old CF-frame Specialized Roubaix.
    No, they didn't but if I had just left it alone I probably would have been alright. I tried a few different heights and ended up settling on the one they had set it at. I already have the tool packed for my next ride! I matched it up against my Jamis and everything is remarkably similar so it was pretty easy to pick the seat height.

    I would try to adjust the derailleur myself if this was another situation. I just feel like for the $72 I paid for them to put it together, it should work correctly to start with.

    I was just starting to notice the nuances of the titanium ride when the seat started to descend. I'll have to fully analyze it once I have a problem-free ride.

    Quote Originally Posted by flatsix911 View Post
    Beautiful ride
    Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by froze View Post
    I agree, it's one sweet looking ride.

    Typically by the way, the quick releases should be pointing in an upward angle with the front in line with the fork, and the rear in line with seat stay. But I've seen people do it all sorts of ways, so not sure if my way's the "right" way.
    Thanks. I agree about the quick releases. That is the way the bike shop assembled it and I just haven't changed them yet. I thought it was it was strange that it was left that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by froze View Post
    DO NOT USE petroleum based grease your seat post! There is a product called Tacx Dynamic Paste that is intended for that purpose as is carbon paste, or Grey Anti-seize, or Finish Line Carbon Fiber assembly paste. Calfee, who makes fantastic CF bikes as this to say: "is that if it is tight, use grease. If it slips, wipe it clean". BUT, read your paperwork from the seat post manufacture, they will tell you what you should use.

    And since it did slip don't go crazy tightening it or you could crush the seat post. You need to have a inch pound torque wrench and torque the seat bolt to the specified seat post manufactures torque rating.

    And do not scratch the seat post to mark your height, instead use electrical tape or paint a line.
    I'm afraid I already did *go crazy* with the tightening when I adjusted the seat after arriving home. I probably shouldn't have done it in such a frustrated state. I'm not going to touch it though until I see what the next ride produces. As far as my seat post goes, it's already totally wrecked lookswise. The Ritchey label is almost completely scratched off. The slow scraping of a 1 hour 45 minute ride did it in.

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    I'm afraid I already did *go crazy* with the tightening when I adjusted the seat after arriving home. I probably shouldn't have done it in such a frustrated state. I'm not going to touch it though until I see what the next ride produces. As far as my seat post goes, it's already totally wrecked lookswise. The Ritchey label is almost completely scratched off. The slow scraping of a 1 hour 45 minute ride did it in.
    Don't worry about "going crazy" with the Ritchey seatpost. Froze's advice is for carbon seatposts, which can indeed get crushed if overtorqued. Not going to happen with an aluminum seat post like the Ritchey on our Ti bikes.

    I'm a bit surprised your LBS didn't debur the seat tube and grease/anti-seize the aluminum seat post when they put it together for you. That's a no-no in my book. That would have prevented the scratches.

    The Ritchey seatpost on my bike is pristine and unscratched because I did do those things when I did my own assembly, natch.

    Even though your seatpost's surface is now AFU, you still need to grease/anti-seize it, lest you risk a stuck seatpost in the future.
    Last edited by LongIslandTom; 11-07-2011 at 07:50 AM.

  22. #47
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    Damn my bad, I thought the seat post was CF no AL. Then right, you're not going to crush a AL seat post thus no need to worry about the torque, but you should never go crazy tightening anything on a bike because in this case you could break the seat tube collar. But grease (or Anti Seize) won't hurt to use in this case at all. Then just remember to regrease it once a year. I think anti seize would work better then grease when it comes to AL in TI.

  23. #48
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    I wish Moto did hollow decals on all their Ti frames. It's just so fitting.

    Not like what they've done to the CF frames with the grossly retarded solid text. It's so cheesy.

    Congrats on the bike. A Moto Ti bike is on my short list.

  24. #49
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    Second Ride Report

    The good news: my front derailleur is now working correctly and the pedals seem to be fine.

    The bad news: I again had a problem with the seat! I started off my ride with the seat in the position that I thought would be best. It felt okay at times but it seemed like I wasn't generating quite the spin that I do on my other bikes - that wiping the floor motion that is so effective especially for climbing.

    I stopped after 5 miles and lowered the seat some. I admittedly tightened it hard and even scratched the post to make sure that I would know that it wasn't slipping down on me. There was some improvement but I lowered it more a few miles after this and then, 19 miles into the ride prepared to lower it a third and final time. As I'm going to retighten it, I hear a loud snap! I managed to break the bolt holding the seatpost in two. I just learned the hard way to not overtighten seats. Now I'm again stuck way from home with a seat problem. I spent the ride home yanking it up and trying to lean against it in a way to slow its descent back down the post.

    I went straight to my LBS and the mechanic spent almost 30 minutes looking for a matching bolt. He said he wasn't too suprised about it breaking because it was aluminum and thin. He finally suggested that I go to a local hardware store to see if I could find a match there. Just as I'm about to leave the store, he found one that he removed from something else and it fit! That was very nice of him to do that as he will have to reorder that bolt. He had to cut the end of it as it was too long but I think it looks alright. He only charged me $4.50 for the bolt which was much appreciated.

    I'm obviously going to have to find a happy medium between tightening too little and too much. I will try erring on too little until I find the right pressure.

    I'm still finding it hard to give a full report on the bike due to the problems with the rides. What I thought at first was a great fit, is perhaps not so much so and may be on the slightly too big size as I initially feared before ordering the bike. I still have tweaking to do though and can't fully judge an overly impression of the bike until I've had several problem-free rides.

    I remember I went through an adjustment period when I first got my steel Jamis after having only ridden aluminum before that. At first I wasn't sure how much I liked it but have now grown to love the steel ride and the fit of that bike. It could be that it will take time for my body to adjust to the feel of titanium and the slight differences attendant with any new bike.

    Another review will be forthcoming!

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    The bad news: I again had a problem with the seat! I started off my ride with the seat in the position that I thought would be best. It felt okay at times but it seemed like I wasn't generating quite the spin that I do on my other bikes - that wiping the floor motion that is so effective especially for climbing.
    I had the same issue when I took out my LeChamp Ti Heat for its first ride.

    The problem for me was the Ritchey Pro seatpost and saddle. Those two together have a ridiculous amount of setback. Even with the Ritchey Pro saddle moved as far forward as it will go on its mounting rails, my butt is still seated well behind the rear wheel's hub. Sitting so far back, I couldn't generate any power off the pedals.

    I swapped in the saddle from my retired bike (which fits me well), and its mounting rails allows me to put the seat about 1.5 inches further forward than the Ritchey saddle, which puts my knees closer to over the pedals. No problems generating power ever since I swapped in my old saddle.

    You might want to check your horizontal positioning on your LeChamp Ti vs. your old Jamis. If you are also sitting way too far back on the Ti, you might want to consider either a new seatpost with less setback (good excuse to get a new one that isn't all scratched up!), a new saddle that can be mounted a bit more forward compared to the Ritchey, or both.

    And I hope you greased your seatpost. Never had any seatpost clamping issues like yours on my LeChamp Ti.

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