Can I or are there better choices?
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  1. #1

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    Can I or are there better choices?

    I posted this same message on another forum elsewhere in case some of you are crossover readers....

    To make a long story short, my 2001 LS Tuscany was on a trunklid carrier on my buddy's car. The car was smashed like an aluminum can by a dump truck (we were miraculously OK). Needless to say, the bike is no longer useable. I got insurance money (not quite enough for a replacement Tuscany, but a decent check) and I was about to replace the bike. I am going off to college this fall and hope to ride collegiately. I am hoping to make Cat B by soph and A by junior year. Anyways, I am not going to be able to afford a new ride in the middle of college so I need this one to last. My question is....is an "all-purpose" (that's what the salesman told me when I bought it) bike like a Tuscany going to be ok for racing at the collegiate level? I know that there are some things done with the design of the bike to make it a more comfortable and forgiving bike than something like maybe a Vortex or Sienna. In other words, from what I gather, Litespeed did not intend this to be primarily a racer. I really liked (make that loved) the bike but now is the only chance I'm going to have to get something different (if need be). So anyways, before I ramble to much further, my question again.....can I ride a Tuscany in competitive collegiate cycling and not suffer a disadvantage of it not being LS's "real racing" bike? I could be dead wrong on that so please correct me if I am. Thanks!

    p.s. If my digital camera wasn't in the trunk of the car....I'd have some damn good pictures to post too.l

  2. #2
    hi, I'm Larry
    Reputation: bimini's Avatar
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    I believe you can race any bike

    that fits and has good geometery for you. 3-4 pounds extra weight is not a big deal unless you are climbing mountains. Good stiff aero wheels are important. I've seen a guys at who races competatively and win on many bikes the are old or brands that you would not consider premium

    On the insurance settlement did you get to keep the wrecked bike or did they take it. If you got to keep it many of the parts may be usable. If so spend the money on a good frame and rims or wheels and move the groupo over from the wrecked bike. You may end up with a nicer bike than the one that was totalled.

  3. #3
    classiquesklassieker
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    Check with your new team first...

    Many collegiate teams have bike/LBS sponsors. You might do yourself a lot
    of good by asking the club people what kind of deals they might have. If you're
    committed to racing, I'm sure they won't have a problem with helping a new
    member out.

    As far as bikes go, people ride all sorts of bikes in collegiate races. I doubt
    that you'll be disadvantaged at all. Most college students are in the same
    situation as you are, as in financially limited.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Slick
    So anyways, before I ramble to much further, my question again.....can I ride a Tuscany in competitive collegiate cycling and not suffer a disadvantage of it not being LS's "real racing" bike? I could be dead wrong on that so please correct me if I am. Thanks!

    p.s. If my digital camera wasn't in the trunk of the car....I'd have some damn good pictures to post too.l

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by bimini
    that fits and has good geometery for you. 3-4 pounds extra weight is not a big deal unless you are climbing mountains. Good stiff aero wheels are important. I've seen a guys at who races competatively and win on many bikes the are old or brands that you would not consider premium

    On the insurance settlement did you get to keep the wrecked bike or did they take it. If you got to keep it many of the parts may be usable. If so spend the money on a good frame and rims or wheels and move the groupo over from the wrecked bike. You may end up with a nicer bike than the one that was totalled.
    Yeah, I kept it, but you should see the thing. This dump truck probably weighed 15 or 20 tons. I think the rear cassette and possibly the headset are the only salvageable items. This would not be a good advertisement for Litespeed's frame toughness, but hell I think this impact would destroy ANY bike out there.

  5. #5

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    Not the bike that matters...

    I raced collegiately on a Schwinn Paramount for 3 years. Your bike is not what makes you as a rider, the sum total of your legs, heart, lungs, and head do.

    It sounds to me like you really want to just come out and ask if the Tuscany is a good bike or not. So the answer is "sure it is" if you like it, are comfortable on it, it fits you, and it makes you happy. But if you are asking if it's a good enough bike to race on.... again, the answer is "sure it is" and you will most likely show up to the start line at a race or two and be able to look around and notice that you will have one of the nicer bikes on that line. But you will also see some kid on a lesser bike who may just whoop your butt too. Why? Because it's not the bike that matters! If the other guy is faster, his bike choice won't play a big role in his beating you in the race.

    Now, I also understand that you are most likely trying to ask if this bike is an OK race bike. The sales guy told you that it is more of an "all day" type bike and not a racing pure bred like the Vortex. That may be somewhat true, but I think you are over analyzing what he told you. He is not saying you can not race the Tuscany, but is more saying that you really wouldn't want a Vortex if you weren't racing it, as it's geometry and the 6/4 tubing will better suit it to shorter races than all day century rides. Think of it as the Vortex being a slightly more "design specific" bike than your Tuscany. It's like a sports car.... you can drive one across the country just fine, but it won't be as comfortable as say a big ol' Caddy. The Caddy may not take corners as well as the sports car, but that doesn't always mean it won't get you from point A to point B just as fast or as well as the sports car.

    Just remember when you get to school and start to race there to have fun. Some schools have great programs and you will learn a lot when you first get there. Don't worry if you are racing for their "C" team. Some of the riders on the "C" team are super fast and may or may not kick your butt. Just relax and roll with it. Learn what you can from each ride or race and remember that every racer has to start somewhere and every racer has up days and down days. I work with a kid who races for the Univ. of Florida's "C" team on the road, but races for their "A" team off road. He doesn't care about road races and likes to stay in the "C" races just to help younger racers learn, and he likes to work for them. Road racing isn't his thing. But get him on a mountain bike and you may not see him for very long in the race except for the start line and the podium. Just don't get hung up on what level you are racing at.... everyone starts as a Cat 4/5, a "C" racer in college, a beginner... have fun and enjoy your time there... it only gets harder and more intense as you move up. I personally thought the best times I ever had racing took place when I was racing Juniors and as a Cat 4.

    Russ

  6. #6
    classiquesklassieker
    Reputation: orange_julius's Avatar
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    Great advice, but...

    ... now we have a 'D' category in collegiate racing. So the 'C's are not the
    bottom of the ladder anymore ;-).

    If you're not careful you might be giving a hint to how long ago you were
    in college! j/k

  7. #7

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    This info is fantastic

    Thanks to all who have responded. Russ, your insight is invaluable. It seems that I can't really get an un-biased opinion from the guys who sold me my first bike and most of my buddies are on that "trade up" attitude whereby I would financially strap myself by expending the remainder of my savings right before college. I am glad to hear that most of the guys I'd be riding against are not going to be riding the top of the line bikes. It is reassuring to know that everyone is kind of in the same boat so to speak. Thanks again!

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