New Bike/Frameset Choices - Undecided
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  1. #1
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    New Bike/Frameset Choices - Undecided

    I'm in the market for a new road bike or at least a new frameset and wheelset. Currently ride a 12-13 year old Masi Vincere aluminum frame with 10-sp Campy Centaur and Fulcrum 5 wheels. It never really fir me well, rides harsh and is uncomfortable on rides >40 miles. I'm looking at the following options:


    1) A new-old-stock Bianchi Infinito CV Rim Brake Frameset ($2600) and a set of Campy Shamal Ultra clinchers ($986) and swapping over my Centaur parts.The eventual plan here would be to upgrade to Chorus 11-speed in the future.

    3) New 2019 Infinito CV w/ Ultegra Disc and Fulcrum 5 wheels.


    2) LBS Parlee Ultum Disc w/ Ultegra, DT Swiss (not sure model) wheels for $4800.


    The Parlee was about 1.5lbs lighter than the Bianchi Oltre they had on the floor. I saw it weighed. And it definitely feels lighter, too.


    The LBS guy is trying hard to steer me away from Campy and toward Shimano, probably due to industry direction and profits. He's also saying there won't be much in the way of rim brake bikes in about a year. I don't have a use for disc brakes as they aren't really better in dry conditions and areas where there aren't long descents. Discs require more maintenance, are heavier than rim brakes and can be noisy until adjusted. I LOVE my Campy stuff and there's nothing wrong with it other than sowing a little cosmetic wear from years of use. It's been bombproof for 10 years. That said, I know the Shimano stuff is far better than it was in the past.


    Anyone have any input on either of these setups? Is Shimano, specifically Ultegra, really that much "better" than Campy? I told by the shop that has the Infinito that I want it and I plan to order the frames wet and Shamal's on Monday. It's what I really think I want, and have listed after for a few years now. Matte Black and Celeste is a sweet-looking bike, too.

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    I have absolutely no experience with Campy or Shimano for over 15 years but the Parlee would be my choice. Make sure it fits and ride it into the 2030s. Disc is the choice over rims I think.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    It's full of factual errors. :nono:

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    I don't have experience with any of your choices.

    But I can offer some advice: If discs aren't your thing, then don't get the Parlee. You won't be happy.

    If you're content with rim brakes then stick with them. But if you plan to switch to carbon rims, THEN definitely get disc brakes to retain quality braking. As long as you plan to run aluminum rims, your rim brakes will be fine.

    And stay with Campy if you like it. I do think Shimano has eclipsed Campy as they constantly innovate, the quality goes up, and the prices are lower vs. a comparable Campy setup.

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    why would you look at disc if that's not your thing? you should be buying a bike and not be sold one. is the bike salesman even listening to his customer? buy what you want but don't get disc because you think you won't get support for a rim brake solution. not even close to reality

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    I'd rather get a root canal then get into disc v rim and camy v shimano. I'm sure you can make your own decision but if you want hours of reading on the matter use the search function here or google.

    I don't know if it's a differentiating factor between these two frames but tire clearance is always good to look at. There's no down side to having more and even if you don't think you'll use the extra clearance, things change and you may be glad you have it in the future.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TnTA2 View Post
    I'm in the market for a new road bike or at least a new frameset and wheelset. Currently ride a 12-13 year old Masi Vincere aluminum frame with 10-sp Campy Centaur and Fulcrum 5 wheels. It never really fir me well, rides harsh and is uncomfortable on rides >40 miles. I'm looking at the following options:


    1) A new-old-stock Bianchi Infinito CV Rim Brake Frameset ($2600) and a set of Campy Shamal Ultra clinchers ($986) and swapping over my Centaur parts.The eventual plan here would be to upgrade to Chorus 11-speed in the future.

    3) New 2019 Infinito CV w/ Ultegra Disc and Fulcrum 5 wheels.


    2) LBS Parlee Ultum Disc w/ Ultegra, DT Swiss (not sure model) wheels for $4800.


    The Parlee was about 1.5lbs lighter than the Bianchi Oltre they had on the floor. I saw it weighed. And it definitely feels lighter, too.


    The LBS guy is trying hard to steer me away from Campy and toward Shimano, probably due to industry direction and profits. He's also saying there won't be much in the way of rim brake bikes in about a year. I don't have a use for disc brakes as they aren't really better in dry conditions and areas where there aren't long descents. Discs require more maintenance, are heavier than rim brakes and can be noisy until adjusted. I LOVE my Campy stuff and there's nothing wrong with it other than sowing a little cosmetic wear from years of use. It's been bombproof for 10 years. That said, I know the Shimano stuff is far better than it was in the past.


    Anyone have any input on either of these setups? Is Shimano, specifically Ultegra, really that much "better" than Campy? I told by the shop that has the Infinito that I want it and I plan to order the frames wet and Shamal's on Monday. It's what I really think I want, and have listed after for a few years now. Matte Black and Celeste is a sweet-looking bike, too.
    A) He's probably doing this because any and all Campagnolo spares or replacement are likely special-order items that take a while to get and cost both of you more money.

    B) IOW they're like un-adusted rim brakes. Between my Di2 Ultegra hydro disc rig and my 2015 Chorus 11s rim brake rig, the Ultegra brakes better in every way. They're different to setup, but that is all it is--different.

    C) This is down to user taste. IMHO I'd take my Di2 Ultegra over Chorus--it shifts better, it brakes better, spares can be bought over-the-counter. It just is better. Mech Ultegra is a different animal, because of the limits/differences of Shimano STI versus Campagnolo mechanical shifting (shifting only after the lever release, max number of shifts in a lever throw, feel of the brake lever on rim brakes, and so on).


    As mentioned already. If you ever plan on having carbon rims--get disc brakes. Personally I'd skip the Fulcrum or Campag wheels, for $1000 you can get the choicest of alloy rims and the best of hubs built for you--and they'll be easier to repair/service.
    Last edited by Marc; 03-10-2019 at 05:12 AM.
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  7. #7
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    all three major group sets work, whether you go campy or switch to shimano should be nohting more than your own preference. do you prefer buttons or the shimano system? you can't poll on something that will be your own preference

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    There's no convincing argument that Shimano is better than Campy or vice versa. They're both great products. Get what you prefer, not what the LBS sales guy is pushing. You can easily find affordable replacement parts on the web.

    Disc brakes on road bikes are just wrong IMO. I guess if you are going to use carbon rimmed wheels they make sense. But I don't get carbon wheels either. You can get a nice set of custom wheels for around $800-$1000.

    You seem to be limiting yourself to what the LBS has on hand. If you're willing to buy a frame and the parts to build it up, you've got a lot of options. It can be costlier than buying a bike off the rack, but you get exactly what you want. I think it's the best way to go.

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    Thanks for the insights, all. Some good advice! I think I have decided to at least go test ride a few options in my price range at my LBS this week. I might even pay their fit fee to at least see which size Infinito CV frameset I should choose if I go that route. If I buy something online, they will help measure and make adjustments to dial in the fit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TnTA2 View Post
    Thanks for the insights, all. Some good advice! I think I have decided to at least go test ride a few options in my price range at my LBS this week. I might even pay their fit fee to at least see which size Infinito CV frameset I should choose if I go that route. If I buy something online, they will help measure and make adjustments to dial in the fit.
    I'll mention it again because I just noticed your problem with your current bike is "rides harsh":

    Look at tire clearance. Actually I'd suggest new/bigger tires (if possible) or your current bike rather than a whole new bike if you didn't also say there are fit issues.

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    Used to ride a '16 Infinito CV (rim brake) and loved the dang thing until a car took it out from under me. I know people can get carried away in how much better a frame can ride without taking into account tires/wheels but it really was insane how much smoother it was. No road bike can smooth out the big lumps and potholes but the road chatter is truly muted.. I ride a Ridley Fenix of the same year now, picked up on sale thinking all 'endurance' bikes are the same comfort wise, and while it is good the Fenix just isn't as smooth as that Bianchi..

    Long story short I'm looking at a disc '19 Infinito CV myself now. Only reason I'm looking at disc is because I got stuck on a mountain pass descent in a hailstorm last fall and swore to myself I'd never get stuck in that situation with rim brakes again. One side note, I don't know about the '18 model but with the '16 rim brake model I couldn't fit 28mm gp4000s in the back without catching the frame.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TnTA2 View Post
    I'm in the market for a new road bike or at least a new frameset and wheelset. Currently ride a 12-13 year old Masi Vincere aluminum frame with 10-sp Campy Centaur and Fulcrum 5 wheels. It never really fit me well, rides harsh and is uncomfortable on rides >40 miles.
    Stop right there. Before you go spending $$$ on a new bike, I have a few things to point out:

    1) Tires are your most effective shock absorber and both the cheapest and most effective way to improve your ride comfort. If you want to make your ride less harsh, the best thing you can do is try wider tires. Wider tires will allow you to use less pressure. And no, wider tires and lower pressure will not slow you down. That myth has been debunked. More supple tires with a higher thread count can also soften your ride.

    Wheels and frame material have a negligible effect on ride comfort. Frame geometry has some effect on ride comfort, but still less than tires.

    2) Get a fit at a reputable bike shop. A good shop will put you and your bike on their trainer, watch you pedal and make adjustments to dial in your fit just right. Unless the frame is the wrong size, this is all you will need. This service will probably cost you around $100-200, but hey, it's way cheaper than a new bike.

    3) When you say "uncomfortable on rides >40 miles", are you talking about anything beyond "harsh ride" and fit?
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

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  13. #13
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    Well, I went and test rode the Parlee Altum Disc LE and the Bianchi Oltre XR3, both in a size 50cm, both disc brake versions and with Ultegra. The Parlee felt just about perfect to me, and the Oltre felt a little too stretched out, as expected. The Parlee was fast, responsive and smooth. Unfortunately, the Oltre needed a derailleur adjustment and seemed to have a bottom bracket squeak, which kinda soured the experience. I did come away impressed with the Ultegra gruppo, far moreso that I was expecting. It shifted with precision and was very smooth. Brake modulations was very good and I had no issues adapting to the shifter operation or the brake feel. I wish they had a Chorus-equipped bike to compare, but I could ride Shimano and not have any issues as long as it proved as reliable as my old Centaur setup.

    I could get a brand new 2019 Infinito CV Disc version from the online retailer I've been chatting with for $3,800 shipped to my door. I just don't have the most faith in what I'm being told by them and if something is wrong, it could be a nightmare to get sorted. I'd pay about $1200 more to buy the Parlee, but would be working with the LBS through the entire process and know I'd get good service and support after the sale. The online retailer tells me there are several Bianchi warehouses in the US and they get updated inventory lists regularly. I called yesterday to ask about pre-built Ultegra Infinito CV and was told they conveniently had just received an updated inventory list an hour prior, at 3:00 on a Friday afternoon. Can anyone confirm the existence of these Bianchi warehouses? My LBS says they can't get the bikes/frames the online seller seems to have access to. Weird.

    I still haven't even decided whether I'd even want disc brakes or not. The negatives outweigh the positives, at least in my situation, but it means more options to choose from. I can get a 2018 Infinito CV in Ultegra rim brake for $3084 shipped (supposedly). Part of me still wants to try to get the 2017 Infinito CV frameset, Shamal Ultra wheels and move my Centaur stuff over. Anybody think re-using 8-10 year old Campy components is a bad idea? It's only 10-speed, but I think I'd be fine with that. I have a new Centaur 12-27 cassette to swap over if I keep the current stuff.

    I've got the new bike bug but I am still struggling with making any solid decisions. As for my current bike's issues, geometry is one of the big issues, comfort (harshness, buzz, etc) is secondary. I could change stem and seat post and position on my bike, but I'm ready for a bigger upgrade. Should I also consider a Ti bike? Something like a Litespeed T5 or Mosaic RT-2? My LBS sells Mosaic and I'm thinking about asking them about the RT-2. They haven't recommended Ti probably because I went in there looking specifically at carbon, based solely on my longstanding desire to have an Infinito CV.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TnTA2 View Post
    Well, I went and test rode the Parlee Altum Disc LE and the Bianchi Oltre XR3, both in a size 50cm, both disc brake versions and with Ultegra. The Parlee felt just about perfect to me, and the Oltre felt a little too stretched out, as expected. The Parlee was fast, responsive and smooth. Unfortunately, the Oltre needed a derailleur adjustment and seemed to have a bottom bracket squeak, which kinda soured the experience. I did come away impressed with the Ultegra gruppo, far moreso that I was expecting. It shifted with precision and was very smooth. Brake modulations was very good and I had no issues adapting to the shifter operation or the brake feel. I wish they had a Chorus-equipped bike to compare, but I could ride Shimano and not have any issues as long as it proved as reliable as my old Centaur setup.

    I could get a brand new 2019 Infinito CV Disc version from the online retailer I've been chatting with for $3,800 shipped to my door. I just don't have the most faith in what I'm being told by them and if something is wrong, it could be a nightmare to get sorted. I'd pay about $1200 more to buy the Parlee, but would be working with the LBS through the entire process and know I'd get good service and support after the sale. The online retailer tells me there are several Bianchi warehouses in the US and they get updated inventory lists regularly. I called yesterday to ask about pre-built Ultegra Infinito CV and was told they conveniently had just received an updated inventory list an hour prior, at 3:00 on a Friday afternoon. Can anyone confirm the existence of these Bianchi warehouses? My LBS says they can't get the bikes/frames the online seller seems to have access to. Weird.

    I still haven't even decided whether I'd even want disc brakes or not. The negatives outweigh the positives, at least in my situation, but it means more options to choose from. I can get a 2018 Infinito CV in Ultegra rim brake for $3084 shipped (supposedly). Part of me still wants to try to get the 2017 Infinito CV frameset, Shamal Ultra wheels and move my Centaur stuff over. Anybody think re-using 8-10 year old Campy components is a bad idea? It's only 10-speed, but I think I'd be fine with that. I have a new Centaur 12-27 cassette to swap over if I keep the current stuff.

    I've got the new bike bug but I am still struggling with making any solid decisions. As for my current bike's issues, geometry is one of the big issues, comfort (harshness, buzz, etc) is secondary. I could change stem and seat post and position on my bike, but I'm ready for a bigger upgrade. Should I also consider a Ti bike? Something like a Litespeed T5 or Mosaic RT-2? My LBS sells Mosaic and I'm thinking about asking them about the RT-2. They haven't recommended Ti probably because I went in there looking specifically at carbon, based solely on my longstanding desire to have an Infinito CV.
    I'm just thinking that if you get a Mosaic you'll be living with it a lot longer than the other bikes. Titanium frames don't get paint chips and they're apt to make something very special for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek_5200 View Post
    I'm just thinking that if you get a Mosaic you'll be living with it a lot longer than the other bikes. Titanium frames don't get paint chips and they're apt to make something very special for you.
    Yeah, I definitely don't want "just another road bike" for the next one. I've never ridden a Ti bike, so I'd probably have to see if my LBS has something that fits to test ride before even considering the Mosaic. They used to be Lynskey dealers but I think Mosaic is their only Ti line now. In the past I took a liking to the looks, durability and expected comfort of titanium. Maybe it's time to widen my research a bit.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TnTA2 View Post
    Well, I went and test rode the Parlee Altum Disc LE and the Bianchi Oltre XR3, both in a size 50cm, both disc brake versions and with Ultegra. The Parlee felt just about perfect to me, and the Oltre felt a little too stretched out, as expected. The Parlee was fast, responsive and smooth. Unfortunately, the Oltre needed a derailleur adjustment and seemed to have a bottom bracket squeak, which kinda soured the experience. I did come away impressed with the Ultegra gruppo, far moreso that I was expecting. It shifted with precision and was very smooth. Brake modulations was very good and I had no issues adapting to the shifter operation or the brake feel. I wish they had a Chorus-equipped bike to compare, but I could ride Shimano and not have any issues as long as it proved as reliable as my old Centaur setup.

    I could get a brand new 2019 Infinito CV Disc version from the online retailer I've been chatting with for $3,800 shipped to my door. I just don't have the most faith in what I'm being told by them and if something is wrong, it could be a nightmare to get sorted. I'd pay about $1200 more to buy the Parlee, but would be working with the LBS through the entire process and know I'd get good service and support after the sale. The online retailer tells me there are several Bianchi warehouses in the US and they get updated inventory lists regularly. I called yesterday to ask about pre-built Ultegra Infinito CV and was told they conveniently had just received an updated inventory list an hour prior, at 3:00 on a Friday afternoon. Can anyone confirm the existence of these Bianchi warehouses? My LBS says they can't get the bikes/frames the online seller seems to have access to. Weird.

    I still haven't even decided whether I'd even want disc brakes or not. The negatives outweigh the positives, at least in my situation, but it means more options to choose from. I can get a 2018 Infinito CV in Ultegra rim brake for $3084 shipped (supposedly). Part of me still wants to try to get the 2017 Infinito CV frameset, Shamal Ultra wheels and move my Centaur stuff over. Anybody think re-using 8-10 year old Campy components is a bad idea? It's only 10-speed, but I think I'd be fine with that. I have a new Centaur 12-27 cassette to swap over if I keep the current stuff.

    I've got the new bike bug but I am still struggling with making any solid decisions. As for my current bike's issues, geometry is one of the big issues, comfort (harshness, buzz, etc) is secondary. I could change stem and seat post and position on my bike, but I'm ready for a bigger upgrade. Should I also consider a Ti bike? Something like a Litespeed T5 or Mosaic RT-2? My LBS sells Mosaic and I'm thinking about asking them about the RT-2. They haven't recommended Ti probably because I went in there looking specifically at carbon, based solely on my longstanding desire to have an Infinito CV.
    From what you say here, the Parlee sounds like your bike. Reading between the lines, that is the bike that will make you smile when you ride it.

    Go ahead and test ride a Ti bike, but don't be surprised if you are underwhelmed.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  17. #17
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    I'm thinking about taking a drive out to Chattanooga to visit Litespeed's showroom and check out a T5 in a week or so. I think with my plan of buying a long-term bike, I should consider titanium.

    Titanium has a lot of things going for it. Stiff (but not as stiff as most carbon), comfortable ride, long-term durability, relative light weight, satin finish would hold up better than paint, classic-looking design, would be supporting a local business (Litespeed), and buying an more environmentally-friendly product made in the USA.

  18. #18
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    Whatever you do, leave the 10 year old Centaur parts on the existing bike and buy a new component group for your new frame. If you like Campy, get s Chorus group from one of the UK places. That's what I do. You won't find Campy on any bike at any LBS. I switched over to Campy after riding Dura Ace components for many years. I like the stuff.

    I get it that you like the looks of the Bianchi. Celeste green. However, the bike is Italian in name only. The frame is mass produced in Asia. And it sounds like it doesn't fit as well as the Parlee (which is the better choice IMO). Disc brakes ... ugh. I guess they make sense if you want carbon wheels, but why on earth do you need those? Oh yeah, they look cool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    Whatever you do, leave the 10 year old Centaur parts on the existing bike and buy a new component group for your new frame. If you like Campy, get s Chorus group from one of the UK places. That's what I do. You won't find Campy on any bike at any LBS. I switched over to Campy after riding Dura Ace components for many years. I like the stuff.

    I get it that you like the looks of the Bianchi. Celeste green. However, the bike is Italian in name only. The frame is mass produced in Asia. And it sounds like it doesn't fit as well as the Parlee (which is the better choice IMO). Disc brakes ... ugh. I guess they make sense if you want carbon wheels, but why on earth do you need those? Oh yeah, they look cool.
    Wow, someone not brainwashed into thinking disc brakes on a road bike are the greatest thing since round wheels. I’m not saying discs don’t have merits, but I think a Ti bike with rim brakes will be a timeless bike and give me all the braking performance I require. I’m fairly certain that there won’t be any issues with repairing the brake system. All I’ve done in 10 years with my Campy is replace brake pads. If Litespeed has a S or M T5 available I’m gonna go for a test ride ASAP.

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    Well, I’ve just put down a $200 refundable deposit on a built-up T5 to test ride. I plan on joining the Litespeed crew on one of their shop lunch rides and taking a tour of the factory. Pretty excited to check out the Ti!

  21. #21
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    If you're near Chattanooga, see if you can visit Lynskey. David Lynskey was the original Litespeed before he sold the company to American Bicycle Group.

    https://lynskeyperformance.com/

    My wife rides a 350 (now its 370) and likes it. I've got a 1999 Litespeed Ultimate that's on it's second set of components.

    Do you lose the $200 if you don't buy their bike?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    Do you lose the $200 if you don't buy their bike?
    No, hence my use of the word “refundable”

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    With regard to components, I still prefer Campy, but I've used nothing else for over 20 years. I like the shorter reach brake hoods and combine them with short reach bars, so I can use a 110mm stem instead of a stubby 90 or 100.

    With 12 speed out, I'd have to look closely at a Record 12 group from some euro source. By next year, Chorus 12 should be available. I built up a Colnago C-RS with Chorus 11 last year and like it a lot. I got the frame for under $1000. I chose not to go with 12 speed only because a 12-32 cassette works fine my hilly/mountainous rides and all I'd gain with 12 speed is an 11T sprocket that I don't need.

    Campy works for me because I don't need LBS support for anything. I buy everything online and do my own work. For a modestly priced build, the Campy Zonda wheels are great.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TnTA2 View Post
    No, hence my use of the word “refundable”
    So what's the point of collecting $200 in the first place? Sounds fishy to me. Litespeed isn't the same company it used to be. Frankly, I'd avoid them. Tell us how the $200 test ride goes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    So what's the point of collecting $200 in the first place? Sounds fishy to me. Litespeed isn't the same company it used to be. Frankly, I'd avoid them. Tell us how the $200 test ride goes.
    They do have a showroom, but apparently don’t have one of every model and size built up, which is understandable. The “deposit” is used to have one of their guys build up a full bike since they usually only stock framesets. I trust they will hold true to their word if I decide not to buy a bike/frameset from them. I could buy a Moots or a Mosaic but neither of the shops near me have the model and size I’d want, and one doesn’t even have road bikes on the floor. So I could spend $4k for a frameset that I can’t even test ride before committing to. A refundable $200 deposit seems like no risk to me.

    I've read too many negative reviews on Lynskey's customer service to make me not even want to consider them. Avoid Litespeed? Which other brands do you recommend, then?
    Last edited by TnTA2; 03-29-2019 at 09:13 AM.

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