1999 Specialized Allez vs. 2002 Litespeed Siena
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  1. #1
    hrv
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    1999 Specialized Allez vs. 2002 Litespeed Siena

    Sorry for yet another vague, open-ended, subject to each rider's impression post, but I'm looking for some feedback on possibly moving to another bike.

    My current bike, a 1999 Spec. Allez with 105, except Dura Ace shifters, size 56, tt 56.5, 73 deg. head tube and seat tube, aluminum fork. A teammate is selling his 2002 Litespeed Siena (no carbon stays), size Large, with full Dura Ace, tt 57, 73.5 deg. head, 73.0 deg seat, carbon fork, for what seems like a killer deal, so I'm considering it.

    What would be some of your first thoughts on what I could expect to notice between the 2 bikes? I took the Siena for about a 1 1/2 hour ride, half of it uphill. I was really tired from several days of hard riding prior, but I gave it a go anyways. Although I didn't feel immediate relief from the titanium reducing the harshness of my ride (much of it on chip n' seal), when the ride was over the overall feeling was it was a definite smoothed out feeling.
    It also gave the appearance that each pedal stroke transferred to less loss of power, more direct movement. I really noticed that feeling when I sprinted in a big gear. Was I dreaming that? How could this 'lower end' Litespeed be stiffer than my aluminum bike? But at the same time an overall smoother ride? Don't know, maybe 1 1/2 hours isn't long enough, but the bike sure didn't hurt my teammate, a top ten cat 3 rider who weighs more than me, placing in crits and stage races with the bike.

    Any input would be appreciated. I know you can't just say 'all aluminum bikes will do this', or 'all ti bikes will behave like that', but what do you all think? Anyone go from aluminum to ti and will never look back? Will probably keep the Allez for rain/trainer, but would you ride the Litespeed in the rain, maybe put it on the trainer?

    Thanks for letting be babble,
    hrv

    p.s. I tried a Giant TCR1 and it didn't 'speak' to me like the Litespeed did. I really wanted it to for all the glowing review I read about it. I was sure it had to be a really stiff bike, but it didn't give me the direct transfer of energy feeling that the Siena did, and something was rubbing when sprinting hard. Must just be me. The Litespeed felt like more of a finely jeweled machine. Maybe I should try the TCR again.
    Last edited by hrv; 02-17-2004 at 08:41 AM.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    dreaming...

    I think that anybody who believes that they can feel a bike having better power transfer is generally dreaming. Every bike is a bit different, but I doubt that any model has an advantage of even 1% over another when it comes down to how much power gets to the rear wheel and nobody can feel a difference of 1% or less.

    If you like it and it's eally a steal, buy it. Just keep in mind that the value of last year's old models drops like a rock as soon as the new ones come out. A 2-year old, well used model better be real cheap.
    Last edited by C-40; 02-17-2004 at 03:11 PM.

  3. #3
    flinty-eyed moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by C-40
    I think that anybody who believes that they can feel a bike having better power transfer is generally dreaming. Every bike is a bit different, but I doubt that any model has an advantage of even 1% over another when it comes down to how much power gets to the rear wheel and nobody can feel a difference of 1% of less.

    If you like it and it's eally a steal, buy it. Just keep in mind that the value of last year's old models drops like a rock as soon as the new ones come out. A 2-year old, well used model better be real cheap.
    Set up the same on average yes. But given the swap from 105 to Dura-Ace in this case I wouldn't be surprised if the D/A bike did have a stiffer drivetrain. But between the two frames there shouldn't be a drivetrain stiffness issue, although the Ti bike will ride nicer.

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by hrv
    Sorry for yet another vague, open-ended, subject to each rider's impression post, but I'm looking for some feedback on possibly moving to another bike.

    My current bike, a 1999 Spec. Allez with 105, except Dura Ace shifters, size 56, tt 56.5, 73 deg. head tube and seat tube, aluminum fork. A teammate is selling his 2002 Litespeed Siena (no carbon stays), size Large, with full Dura Ace, tt 57, 73.5 deg. head, 73.0 deg seat, carbon fork, for what seems like a killer deal, so I'm considering it.

    What would be some of your first thoughts on what I could expect to notice between the 2 bikes? I took the Siena for about a 1 1/2 hour ride, half of it uphill. I was really tired from several days of hard riding prior, but I gave it a go anyways. Although I didn't feel immediate relief from the titanium reducing the harshness of my ride (much of it on chip n' seal), when the ride was over the overall feeling was it was a definite smoothed out feeling.
    It also gave the appearance that each pedal stroke transferred to less loss of power, more direct movement. I really noticed that feeling when I sprinted in a big gear. Was I dreaming that? How could this 'lower end' Litespeed be stiffer than my aluminum bike? But at the same time an overall smoother ride? Don't know, maybe 1 1/2 hours isn't long enough, but the bike sure didn't hurt my teammate, a top ten cat 3 rider who weighs more than me, placing in crits and stage races with the bike.

    Any input would be appreciated. I know you can't just say 'all aluminum bikes will do this', or 'all ti bikes will behave like that', but what do you all think? Anyone go from aluminum to ti and will never look back? Will probably keep the Allez for rain/trainer, but would you ride the Litespeed in the rain, maybe put it on the trainer?

    Thanks for letting be babble,
    hrv

    p.s. I tried a Giant TCR1 and it didn't 'speak' to me like the Litespeed did. I really wanted it to for all the glowing review I read about it. I was sure it had to be a really stiff bike, but it didn't give me the direct transfer of energy feeling that the Siena did, and something was rubbing when sprinting hard. Must just be me. The Litespeed felt like more of a finely jeweled machine. Maybe I should try the TCR again.
    Double check the geometry/numbers on the Siena. I'm not sure the 2002 Siena is sized like the 2004. I think in 2002 the Siena was basically like a compact Tuscany, so it would either be a "57" with a 56.5 tt or a "59" with a 57.5 tt (both with a 73 degree STA).

    Regarding differences between frame materials:

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-materials.html

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    had a 1999 allez comp

    rode this bike for 2 years. almost 10,000 miles. Al frame with carbon fork. Purchased a Ti frame with carbon fork and the ride difference was so much smoother. I enjoyed the specialized but fell in love with the Ti bike. If it fits and is a good price..why not....

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