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  1. #1
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    Question Calling all Le Champion Ti owners!

    Hi!
    Very interested in the Le Champion Titanium kits and I've searched for the past couple nights for reviews with most of them being favorable but with limited use. I'm interested in hearing about any recent updates from owners that have ridden their LC Ti's over 1000 miles already and whether or not they still feel the same, assuming good, about their bikes.
    Also, what type of riding have you mostly done with this bike?
    How does it climb?
    Looking for some reasons to either get one or avoid.
    Your responses much appreciated!

  2. #2
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    I've ridden mine about 900 miles since early July. The last 3 weeks mileage: 220, 140, and this week will be around 190 after tomorrows 47 mile group ride.

    I'm 6'1" with 34" inseam and went with the 59cm. It fits me well. I switched out the seat and used my generic Nashbar (Look style) pedals and added the usual items (lights, seat bag, bottle cages, mirror, bento bag).

    I've done quite a few group rides with it (avg 22mph with long sprints 25+ mph) and am happy with the performance. I really like the way the Ti rides and acts (last bike was carbon/aluminum frame). I commute/train with it 4 days/week and am totally satisfied. The Ultegra drivetrain needed just a couple clicks adjustment on the rear derailleur and just yesterday I adjusted the brakes for the first time. That's all it's needed. The brakes work well and I'm happy with the Mavic wheels: they are attractive, ride well and are durable (my #1 concern). I'm a borderline Clyde (190lbs) and would rather have wheels that last vs. lightweight (at expense of durability).

    It rides well around the squares here in Savannah and also on the cobblestones of River St (watch out for the tracks!)

    The stock Rubino Pro tires also perform well although I cut one while on vacation in Key West last month and replaced it with a Specialized Armadillo (again, looking for durability). A set of Schwalbe Ultremo DD is on the way (the last set lasted 2000 miles with no flats).

    I'm a novice bicycle mechanic and was riding it about 30minutes after opening the carton (the perfect seat adjustment took another 20minutes).

    An aircraft mechanic friend of mine (he used to weld Ti) admired the welds and overall workmanship. The build exceeded my expectations, even the bar tape is done perfectly.

    I'm riding it in the Savannah Century next month and will probably end the year with about 2300 miles on it in 6 months of riding.

    Next year I plan on riding a Century a month with a goal of 5000 miles.

    There's no other Ti frame with this level of components under $2000 (or even $3000 I think).

    I only wish I could get the stickers off (tried Goof off and similar, heat, scraping with no luck).

    I'd post some pics, but I'm stuck at work and the IT goons block the photo-sharing websites.

    Good luck and pay no mind to the folks drinking the Haterade.
    Last edited by dolomoto; 08-20-2010 at 06:51 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dolomoto
    ...
    Excellent review.
    I only wish I could get the stickers off (tried Goof off and similar, heat, scraping with no luck).
    1) Doesn't that void the warranty?

    B) Did you try acetone?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Local Hero
    Excellent review. 1) Doesn't that void the warranty?

    B) Did you try acetone?
    I hope it doesn't void the warranty! lol

    Yeah, I tried acetone, carb cleaner and all manner of strippers, cleaners etc. Those suckers are on there good. I can't even get an edge to lift. I did not have the heat gun on "high" as there were alot of fumes and empty Fat Tire bottles around.

    The stickers aren't unattractive, I just prefer a cleaner look.
    Last edited by dolomoto; 08-20-2010 at 09:25 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dolomoto
    I hope it doesn't void the warranty!
    WARRANTY DETAILS
    This warranty is void in its entirety by any modification of the frame, fork, components, removal of decals or any signs of bending/denting thereof.



    I think the spirit of that rule is to prevent the destruction of carbon fiber.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Local Hero
    WARRANTY DETAILS
    This warranty is void in its entirety by any modification of the frame, fork, components, removal of decals or any signs of bending/denting thereof.
    I think the spirit of that rule is to prevent the destruction of carbon fiber.


    In that case, I may go with the backup plan of covering them with high-quality reflective tape.

  7. #7
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    Excellent review indeed!
    Hey Dolomoto, any opinions on the frame geometry itself? Have you ridden any other bikes that are comparable in geometry to the Le Champ Ti? Is the description on BD pretty correct saying that it can be compared to like a Specilaized Roubaix/Trek Pilot?
    You got one ambitious goal for next year!

    Chalk one up for me getting one!

    Any bad reviews out there from people who actually own one?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by quikslippah
    Excellent review indeed!
    Hey Dolomoto, any opinions on the frame geometry itself? Have you ridden any other bikes that are comparable in geometry to the Le Champ Ti? Is the description on BD pretty correct saying that it can be compared to like a Specilaized Roubaix/Trek Pilot?
    You got one ambitious goal for next year!
    Chalk one up for me getting one!
    Any bad reviews out there from people who actually own one?
    Only that it fits me. No. I don't know. And yes, it's a great goal: reasonable, practical, attainable.

    I probably should've shopped around and rode a few bike at the LBS...but I didn't...

    I've ridden just two road bikes: my mid 90's Trek 2300 and this new bike.

    YMMV.

  9. #9
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    Still Rolling

    About 3000 miles since January on my Ti/Ultegra, through a lot of weather, actually no sleet or hail that I can recall. Got an 80 miler tomorrow with abourt 2500 feet of climbing. Raced it a few times but went back to my old bike for races, mainly so I didn't alway have to be switching wheels, installing/removing fenders, lights, etc. Together with my other 3 BD bikes I've ridden about 5000 miles so far this year, should end up with about 8k by the end of the year.
    In short, as they say here on the forum, regarding my Le Champion: +1 !
    Get one.

    PS: What's so bad about the decals? The ones on the wheels peel off real easily, but I have no problem with the big black MOTOBECANE on the frame.
    PS2: After about 2500 miles, I found that it responded well to new cables and a new chain. The stock Ultegra brakes and pads are wonderful.
    Last edited by Poppadaddio; 08-20-2010 at 09:00 PM.
    It was GREEN, officer!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poppadaddio
    The stock Ultegra brakes and pads are wonderful.

    My Le Champion Ti came with Cane Creek brakes and pads. Others have complained about them, but they are far superior to the stock brakes on my Raleigh.

  11. #11
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    That's +2 for me getting one now.

    Is there anyone out there that got one that regretted it? This is too easy! =P

  12. #12
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    3401 miles as of 08-24-10 I sure do like mine.

  13. #13
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    I just got mine on Friday. Once the (hopefully) minor issues are corrected, I'm sure I will love mine! I hope to have it back from the LBS today.

  14. #14
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    Thumbs up

    I have ridden my Le Champion Ti several hundred miles on both track and road surfaces and still love it. The only parts I upgraded were the seatpost and saddle. The seatpost was fine but replaced it with a carbon post. The saddle was replaced with one with a cut out and carbon rails.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by psykorunr
    I have ridden my Le Champion Ti several hundred miles on both track and road surfaces and still love it. The only parts I upgraded were the seatpost and saddle. The seatpost was fine but replaced it with a carbon post. The saddle was replaced with one with a cut out and carbon rails.
    I'd like to replace my saddle as well. Do you have any recommendations?

  16. #16
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    Replacement Saddle

    Quote Originally Posted by unboringuy
    I'd like to replace my saddle as well. Do you have any recommendations?
    I replaced mine with a Specialized Alias, 155mm width. This is one of the few saddles that come in widths. The saddle that came on the bike wasn't bad, just not for me. Too narrow and no center cutout.
    It was GREEN, officer!

  17. #17
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by unboringuy
    I'd like to replace my saddle as well. Do you have any recommendations?
    I chose a Forte Pro SLX Carbon from Performance Bike. Good luck finding a comfortable saddle...it can be very frustrating.

  18. #18
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    unboring, bike shop fix?

    How'd the LBS treat you? Charge much? Any comments from them on the bike?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cville700HT
    How'd the LBS treat you? Charge much? Any comments from them on the bike?
    They replaced the derailleur cables and housings, and adjusted both derailleurs. They initially seemed quite cold and disinterested...I think because I didn't buy the bike there. The charge was $40, which I thought was reasonable. I called there today because the high gears (two smallest cogs) are noisy and they said that is pretty typical of the Ultegra 10 speed. But they also said they would happy to make additional adjustments if I bring it in. I will probably wait a couple of weeks and simply have them make adjustments when I am there for my scheduled fitting.

  20. #20
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    LBSs are a little butthurt by bikesdirect's business model. Oh well.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Local Hero
    LBSs are a little butthurt by bikesdirect's business model. Oh well.
    I explained to them that I was interested in a titanium frame but wasn't interested in paying $4000, so that BD was really my only realistic option. For the price I paid BD I would have gotten an aluminum frame Specialized with lesser components.

  22. #22
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    I'm in the same boat but my bike is Carbon. The LBS couldn't sell me a sram red group and ksyrium elites (or equivalent) for the price I paid for a COMPLETE Motobecane Inferno. It's not my fault that I went with a better deal.

    That said, there's no reason for LBSs to be hostile towards consumers who shop around. I know some shops are just waiting for something to go wrong on BD bikes though. They'll be in there gleefully rubbing their hands together holding back "I told you so!" if a motobecane frame cracks. But I doubt the frames crack at any higher rate than any other Taiwanese Carbon. I'd wager that when the variables are controlled frames from various manufacturers have about the same reliability.
    Last edited by Local Hero; 08-28-2010 at 11:34 AM.

  23. #23
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    Noisy Ultegra on smallest (Hi) gears?

    Unboring,

    I doubt that's typical of Ultegra, the gears on my Corvus Al seem flawless. I'd say don't be afraid to tweak things a bit, count turns so you can put things back where they started if that's a concern. I'd guess that a few clicks on your rear cable adjuster will help, maybe the cable is too tight and the chain is running near Small 2 rather than being centered on Small 1? I think this is the link that got me up to speed on indexed adjusting.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/derailer-adjustment.html

    Had a break through on my Corvus Al 2011 today. I've been OK with this bike, love the Ultegra shifting, but it hasn't felt honestly comfortable. I felt cramped in the cockpit, uncomfortable on the drops, suspect a 58 cm might have been better for me than my 56 cm. The bars seemed too low and don't adjust on these modern threadless headsets.

    So, I'm a bit bummed, either bought the wrong bike or this 55 year old body don't handle a road bike like it did 30 years ago.

    What changed today: Switched to a Kalloy adjustable stem from jenson.com, about $20. BIG difference, with the bars up about 2 inches my entire relationship with this bike feels better. I like this bike now, I can imagine doing a century on it now where a 10 mile ride this AM (before the stem change) didn't feel good.

    There might be a lesson in here about buying from an LBS, getting a fitting, etc. I wonder how a LBS would have fit me to this bike? The adjustable stem is a bit of a kluge, kinda heavy, but it works and I like my ride now. I'd say any middle ager returning to a road bike might want to look into handlebar height, it made a remarkable difference for me.

    Couple other comments. My last road bike was a 70s vintage 10 speed, nice lugged frame, loved it. A real "ten speed", back when a triple crankset was pretty rare, reserved mostly for hard core tourers / tourists. Ten speeds old, 30 gears on this new Corvus. Which is cool, but I feel like I'm shifting all the time. Anyhow, I suspect an old time 10 speed guy like me would be happier with a compact crank and a paltry 20 speeds.

    Actually I kinda suspect that my perfect bike would be a 1974 PX10 upgraded to Ultegra, especially if I had the same legs I was pedaling with 30 years ago. But honestly, this new bike is gonna be fun now. Glad I didn't get discouraged before trying the adjustable stem.

  24. #24
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    Now that you know the right stem dimension, will you buy a fixed stem that size and angle or stay with the heavy adjustable stem?

  25. #25
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    fixed vs adjustable stem

    Good question. I was already pondering what to search on, maybe "high rise stem" or "high lift stem". Most stems I've seen are 6 or 10 degree things, the scale on this adjustable reads about 38 degrees of up. For now, I'm looking forward to playing with the adjustable, I'm hoping I'll loosen up some and can move the bars down/forward gradually.

    One negative, even after re-torque I get some squeak out of the adjustable joint. But thats a small price to pay for a bike that feels way better. I'm a bit amazed at the difference here, my riding feels confident now, before "bars up" I was very tentative, just not comfortable. Really upped my respect for what "proper fit" means, and I've still got room to tweak it further.

    Any advice on high rise stems?

    Wonder too, if I bought a new fork could I leave the steerer tube 1-2 inches longer and spacer it out?

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