Colorado Cyclist and Litespeed
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  1. #1
    rgp
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    Colorado Cyclist and Litespeed

    Litespeed no longer carries Colorado Cyclist as an Internet provider. Colorado Cyclist call center says they will no longer carry Litespeed. Where will I get my next Litespeed? I loved those package deals and the occasional sales.

    Being prominently displayed in every Colorado Cyclist catalog kept my interest in the product. Being in the catalog was great marketing for Litespeed.

    I wonder if slow sales prompted Colorado Cyclist to drop Litespeed. Litespeed has reduced the number of models they are producing which would seem to go along with slow sales.

  2. #2
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    This article explains why Colorado Cyclist will no longer carry Litespeed.

    Litespeed Parts Ways with Colorado Cyclist, Focusing on IBD
    http://www.bicycleretailer.com/bicyc..._id=1003494078

    Herbert from Litespeed explains in this thread why they have fewer frames in the lineup.

    http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=76174

    The compay that owns Litespeed does appear to have financial issues.

    Equity Firm Invests in American Bicycle Group
    http://www.bicycleretailer.com/bicyc..._id=1003534483

    You can always buy a Litespeed at a local shop and a bike kit online. I'm not sure why you're focused only on Litespeed. There are lots of companies that make quality titanium frames. You can still get a Merlin from Excel as far as I know. You can get a Moots from Wrench Science. Lynskey Performance is now run by the people who started Litespeed. Seven has a number of titanium models. I would look around at other companies, particularly Moots, who appear to make higher quality products.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by rgp
    Litespeed no longer carries Colorado Cyclist as an Internet provider. Colorado Cyclist call center says they will no longer carry Litespeed. Where will I get my next Litespeed? I loved those package deals and the occasional sales.

    Being prominently displayed in every Colorado Cyclist catalog kept my interest in the product. Being in the catalog was great marketing for Litespeed.

    I wonder if slow sales prompted Colorado Cyclist to drop Litespeed. Litespeed has reduced the number of models they are producing which would seem to go along with slow sales.

    While Colorado Cyclist has been a good partner through the years, we wanted to pursue a different distribution strategy moving forward. It really isn't good for the image of any brand when people think of that brand only as associated with discounts and package deals.

    As for offering less models, we have listened to our customers who have tolds us that we have too many models. Thus the reduction in numbers.

    Cheers,

    Herbert
    Litespeed
    www.litespeed.com
    The Litespeed blog
    Last edited by HerbertK; 01-22-2007 at 08:31 PM.

  4. #4
    rgp
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    If it wasn't for Colorado Cyclist I would never have known and fallen in love with the brand. If it wasn't appearing monthly in the Colorado Cyclist catalog aka "Christmas wish book", I never would have bought the first one and would be ridding a more advertised product such as Trek etc.

    Local Bike stores don't have them sitting around and when they do its usually only one model not the full range of models that appears in the Catalog. Colorado Cyclist will come up with a new brand and the next generation of cyclists will grow up drooling over that brand when the Colorado Cyclist catalog arrives.

  5. #5
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    So if ABG no longer wants Colorado Cyclist to sell Litespeeds, why is ABG still selling Merlins through Excel Sports Boulder?

    I can understand that ABG wants better relations with LBSes that sell Litespeeds, but you'd think that would apply to local dealers selling Merlins as well. Is it because LBS owners hate Colorado Cyclist but don't care that much about Excel?

  6. #6

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    Do many people seriously go to the bike shop and pay retail or close to it for a Litespeed?

    I got mine at REI many years ago when they had a huge sale.
    Everyone I know who has a Litespeed got it on sale from Colorado Cyclist.
    Actually, wait, I think one person got it at the LBS, but got a huge discount.

  7. #7
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    LS always had new car type pricing

    as far as I could tell. They would price their top end models at $4000 or so at the start of the model year, but by the end of August the price would be $3000 with a free fork thrown in, or whatever, the $3000 frames would be selling for $2200, etc.

    Maybe that means they cranked out a large supply of frames every year and then ended up having to move them at the end of summer. Most of the other frames sold at that price point are not built in large quantities. If you want a Colnago C50 (or any boutique $4000 Ti or carbon frame), you're probably going to have to wait for it because they don't have a hundred in each frame size sitting in a warehouse. Because Colnago doesn't have a large supply of C50s sitting in a warehouse or a mega-dealer's supply room, they don't have to sell C50s every fall at 25% off list price.

    By the way, you can still order a Colnago C50 over the internet (e.g., Competitive Cyclist), and that hasn't hurt Colnago's cachet one bit.

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    Yep, that's what so strange.
    There isn't a single shop in my area that says anything about Litespeed. There's Time, Moots, Colnago, Scott, Orbea, Cannondale, you name it.

    When it comes to Litespeed, nada. I'm somewhat disappointed, because I had a good experience with my Pisgah. Now, when I see their prices, it's almost a joke. I wish they'd wake up and start making good value frames.

  9. #9
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    This is an old thread, but if anyone from Litespeed is looking, I would concur with the previous posts. When shopping for my new bike 2 years ago I probably test rode a dozen different models from six or seven brands and couldn't find anything that spoke to me. I happened along a sale flier from Litespeed and realized for a few bucks more I could get a Litespeed. So I contacted the local dealer, who of course didn't have any in stock and they proceeded to quote me different prices than the official flier listing on the Litespeed website. After several fruitless phone calls and visits I finally gave up on that LBS and I contacted two other bike shops 2 and 3 hours away, only to find they didn't have any to test ride or that they had one year old model. I eventually test rode a 55 cm (I ride a 61 cm) just to see how it felt, ridiculous I know, but I didn't have any options. That bike shop did nothing to make me feel like they wanted to sell a Litespeed to me either.

    Then along came my Colorado cyclist catalog. They were offering a complete Tuscany for a 150 bucks more than a Trek 5.2 Madone. I made several phone calls to CC and received excellent service. I finally ordered my bike and though the stock Real Design wheels failed, CC promptly swapped them out for some Easton Circuits, no questions asked, and I have been happy as a lark ever since. In fact, I have been so happy, that I have contemplated loading up the bike and driving the 10 hours to the store to have them service it (I have friends that live near the store).

    My point is that the LBS's I have encountered that ostensibly carry Litespeed, have done the brand no favors. If you don't notice the small window decal on the door than you probably have no idea they carry the brand. I am sure it all comes down to money and I won't attempt to say that Litespeed made a poor economic decision, but this customer has nothing but good things to say about Colorado Cyclist and nothing but bad things to say about Litespeed's local bike shop venders.

  10. #10
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    I think as we all suspect Ti is pretty much out of fashion and therefore the brand is dying. Their recent campaign against carbon is a laugh.

    Even if Ti is the best choice, no one wants it. You have to evolve, even if it doesn't seem to make sense.

    I owned a LiteSpeed at one point and really enjoyed it but I have no interest in any of the current Ti bikes on the market.

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    I have no clue why Litespeed insists on overpricing their bikes only to have them sold at massive discounts at the end of the year.

    It's as though they've skipped econ class over there. Unlike some, I'm not as into the carbon craze. I like Ti, and I think LS has made some badass frames.

    It's frustrating to see how clueless they appear to be from a marketing/consumer awareness standpoint though. Their bikes are overpriced, undermarketed, and generally unavailable in stock. The sad thing is, they're good bikes.

  12. #12
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    It is kind of hard to figure out....

    ...what Litespeed is up tp these days.
    They parted ways with two of their best bike shops, Colorado Cyclist and Competitive Cyclist. It was through the former, for example, that I, living in europe, got a hold of a LS framset at a reasonable close-out price. It would have been very difficult (or should I say, very expensive) any other way and out of the question at prices in Europe. Now, LS appears to want to revamp its image by fielding the Archon, seemingly a step up from the Vortex in performance (and price, I suspect) and obviously intended to the higher-end of the market. I have the feeling that it is mostly the recreational riders, like most of the people in this forum, who have kept the brand going these years and by switching its focus elsewhere (if that's what they're doing), LS might be poised to loose what is probably their biggest slice of the market pie (hey, you you don't see LSs in the pro peloton, do you?). Checking the web, one quickly realizes that LSs as are becoming harder to come by and even more so as close-out deals, words which I have the feeling the new managenemnt at LS are trying to steer away from.

    I don't really care if Ti is fashionable anymore or not ; the main reason I went for Ti was performance, durability and the almost maintenance-free characteristics of the frame's material , and I would dare say that most LS customer buy their bikes based on the same reasons. Once the bike is ridden and the advantages of Ti realized, it is easy to become a fan of the brand. But if LS steers waway from the rec. rider segment, partly by fielding mostly high-end bikes at inflated prices, many people will have to look elsewhere when shopping for a Ti bike which will make them easy preys to the carbon-craze pervading the market today.
    Last edited by lorenzo; 06-20-2007 at 02:12 AM.

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    Overpriced is most likely only a term used by those who have never seen the work that goes into any of the frames. While I worked there (until March 2007) I often helped people during factory tours, and they all left after the tour uttering phrases along the lines of "Wow, that was amazing and with all the detail that goes into these frames and all the hands that touch them, now I understand why the frames cost that much."

    Selling bikes at the end of the season at hilghly discounted prices was certainly not a sign of overpricing, but more so of misjudging which models would be sold when. Plus as the new model season approached, it was tough to get the MSRP for the "older" models. Afterall, it is better to sell an older frame at no margin, versus having it take up storage space.
    Currently Litespeed does not have model years anymore, and thus models don't really age like that anymore. Thus no need for discounting.

    Plus if you look at models like the Ardennes and the Siena, those are not only quite reasonable in pricing, but they are also raced all over the world in major cycling events because they offer great performance.


    Cheers,

    Herbert
    .

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    Overpriced is most likely only a term used by those who have never seen the work that goes into any of the frames.
    Which is about 99.9% of the consumers that are in the market for a new bike.
    Fact is, a consumer in the market is going to compare his/her choices then make the decision. When looking at at LS Frame, they're going to value it relative to other choices. If it's costing so much to do these details, then you guys need to be more cost-effective, because right now, your frames are very overpriced. Your consumers are telling you this. If you don't listen, nobody is going to care about Litespeed, because there are tons of companies there ready to scoop up whatever remnant market share you have.

    Selling bikes at the end of the season at hilghly discounted prices was certainly not a sign of overpricing, but more so of misjudging which models would be sold when.
    They were either not sold because they were a poor value (e.g., overpriced), or because they were judged inferior to other brands, or because they were undermarketed. If you guys don't get this, the market will get it for you.

    Wow, that was amazing and with all the detail that goes into these frames and all the hands that touch them, now I understand why the frames cost that much."
    If that's the case, you're competing against Seven, Serotta, and Moots. Your prices are close to theirs, and they're custom. You're going to lose that fight, and you and everybody else knows it.

    Think about this for a second. Either you listen to your customers, or you're going to be relegated to the dustbin of framebuilding. Which would be a real shame. LS makes nice stuff.

  15. #15
    Call me a Fred
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    Herbert, I just checked the LS web page for dealers near me and found that there is a type in one of the addresses.

    COLORADO BICYCLING ADV
    184 EAST ELKHORN AVE
    ESTER PARK, CO
    80517
    PH: 970-586-4241
    That should be Estes Park.
    Mike

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    As a brand new business owner I am very much aware how important it is to listen to my customers. As for Litespeed, they do listen to their customers, but unlike my business which only has a few customers, they have lots of customers with all kinds of different ideologies and interests.

    Cheers,

    Herbert

    www.GuerrillaCommunication.com


    Quote Originally Posted by FondriestFan

    Think about this for a second. Either you listen to your customers, or you're going to be relegated to the dustbin ....

  17. #17
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    HerbertK,

    You don't even work for LS anymore, still defending them, that is why we all like you haha.

    The point of who the LS customer is was brought up by Lorenzo, was wondering just who the LS demographic is (I understand if that isn't something you could comment on)? Like Lorenzo mentioned, I am one of those recreational riders and I saw a TI frame as just the most durable, least maintenance, best performance, and most comfortable option out there. Perhaps LS sees more of a future in mountain biking? That Geoff Kabush bike is very, very nice. (where can we get the orange Litespeed decals?)

    Anyway, this is the most activity I have seen on a Litespeed thread in awhile, good discusion, and I do love my Litespeed, every single time I ride it or even look at it.

  18. #18
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    A Litespeed buyer, who am I

    I am a 48 year old recreational rider, who likes to ride hard, as fast as I can (most rides), and always works to ride stronger. I got a 2006 Tuscany, on sale (of course) from Colorado Cyclist, just into the 2007 year. I love the bike, much lighter and snappier up hills (we don't have mountains in Kansas) than my custom frame (steel frame and fork) Albert Eisentraut. I am a bit tall in the legs, short in the torso, so gambled a bit on moving away from a custom frame, to an off the rack bike (I bought a 61, as that top tube is just a bit longer than my Eisentraut (maybe a half or 1 cm, can't remember now for sure), and the frame is only 1 cm shorter. Anyway, this discussion is not about frame fit, rather about the price of LS frames, what LS is doing, and how they compare. Honestly, if I had to pay full price for the Tuscany frame, it would have been in the range (maybe not quite there, but close enough) I could have gotten a custom Eisentraut ti frame, with carbon stays / fork, and for me, that would have been a no brainer, as I love (and still ride, though not as much as the LS) the Eisentraut, and it is probably a little better fit (the stem police wouldn't like my 16 degree sloping up stem, however if the Eisentraut didn't have a quill stem, it too would need a sloping (up) stem. Both bikes are level top tube bikes, I just hate the looks of a sloping top tube bike in the larger sizes (I can tolerate a sloping top tube in a smaller frame, don't like the looks at all in a 61 or 62 frame).

    Anyway, if not for the massive sale (I am not sure, I believe it was $1000 off the non-sale price for the Tuscany frame, with a Easton EC90-SLX ($450) fork thrown in, and you get a great component / wheel package price (DA 10, Ksyrium ES), and $175 off for buying a complete bike, AND assembly for no extra, I would have gone custom ti (Erickson, Eisentraut, etc).

    Doug

  19. #19
    Juanmoretime
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    Quote Originally Posted by FondriestFan
    Which is about 99.9% of the consumers that are in the market for a new bike.
    Fact is, a consumer in the market is going to compare his/her choices then make the decision. When looking at at LS Frame, they're going to value it relative to other choices. If it's costing so much to do these details, then you guys need to be more cost-effective, because right now, your frames are very overpriced. Your consumers are telling you this. If you don't listen, nobody is going to care about Litespeed, because there are tons of companies there ready to scoop up whatever remnant market share you have.



    They were either not sold because they were a poor value (e.g., overpriced), or because they were judged inferior to other brands, or because they were undermarketed. If you guys don't get this, the market will get it for you.



    If that's the case, you're competing against Seven, Serotta, and Moots. Your prices are close to theirs, and they're custom. You're going to lose that fight, and you and everybody else knows it.

    Think about this for a second. Either you listen to your customers, or you're going to be relegated to the dustbin of framebuilding. Which would be a real shame. LS makes nice stuff.
    If you were comparing apples to apples I could appreciate what you are saying. All the competition you mention builds bikes with round tubes. I've been in the Litespeed factory and seen how much time and labor intensive all the tube manipulations that are a part of many Litespeed frames really take. Like any company they projected sales and when those projections were off they were left with overstock of inventory. Going to no model years sounds like a smart business move. Its a tough industry and you have to be smart to survive.
    For my next trick I will now set myself on fire!

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Juanmoretime
    If you were comparing apples to apples I could appreciate what you are saying. All the competition you mention builds bikes with round tubes. I've been in the Litespeed factory and seen how much time and labor intensive all the tube manipulations that are a part of many Litespeed frames really take. Like any company they projected sales and when those projections were off they were left with overstock of inventory. Going to no model years sounds like a smart business move. Its a tough industry and you have to be smart to survive.
    The tube design is very nice, I agree, especially the one on the Archon. However, for less, you can get a custom Moots from 6/4 Ti, with basically any fork you want. Do the welds on the LS compare to that on the Moots?

    Granted, the tube design on the Archon looks better, but for $4,500? I don't think so. Then again, the market will decide. I'm just one voice in the market. So far, given LS's inventory and penchant for blowing out fames at the end of the year, I think the market has spoken loudly and clearly.

    But this is the best looking ti bike on the market, I think.


  21. #21
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    Firstly; hi. Lurked for a fair while, and then joined, and as a Litespeed owner and keen long term cyclist and consumer of cycling for many years, find this discussion very interesting. My '06 Teramo came at a hefty discount and brought a Ti Litespeed into the realms of possibility for the first time. Having had an '03 Capella and loved it, it was a move I was keen to make, but I had to be clever about when to buy it.

    The point I'm trying to make is that this isn't something unique to Litespeed. I - and I'm sure many others here - who aren't *totally* prepossessed in having the absolute latest kit can buy bikes at the end of the season with big discounts. In the UK, from top to bottom in the market (including of course the really big guys: Specialized, Trek, Cannondale - who you can't deny know a thing or two about pricing, position and stock control) will find a load of their dealers have overbought certain products in the range. Of course this applies to just about every other manufacturer as well - I'm not comparing LS to Trek, heaven forbid!

    With something like a Ti framed bike, it doesn't really matter much when you bought it, I've got '07 wheels and saddle on mine now anyway and I got rid of the awful decals pretty quick sharp too, so who's to know, and who cares?! If I'm 100% honest, I knew that if I waited, I'd get a deal, but then I'd have waited if I'd wanted just about any other bike with range years too. If the comparison's with the Italian exotica or custom ti brands, then I don't know enough to comment, but pound for pound at my dealer with Colnago, Klein, Cannondale, Trek and alternative ABG products, it was one of many options at that price.

    Thanks for reading and contributing, and for all the advice and inspiration I've had from this group over the years.

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    Just a few comments and observations

    As a recreational rider - but one who appreciates and respects technology and craftsmanship, here's a few thoughts:

    1. We're still in the echos of the Lance era. Cycling hit a positive knee in the curve during his reign, and many of those who were bitten by the bug wanted something akin to what Lance rode. Carbon.
    2. The carbon craze is still peaking. And in part for good reason. It's very good stuff. But you know it's a craze when pedals, nuts, bolts, shoes, wheels, everything is being made out of carbon. Spoke to a nice and informed fellow at my LBS and he just is amazed at the pressure to sell anything carbon.
    3. LS seems to be a tweener - and has made a few mistakes. A tweener in that they build technically challenging and excellent frames/bikes at a scale greater than most high tech items can be built. Are other ti bikes really better? Or are they more scarce and have that rare factor going for them.
    4. LS is also trapped by the Lance-induced carbon craze. That people want carbon en masse right now doesn't make LS's costs any lower. They can't easily price themselves back into a market that is not going their way.
    5. Clearly they erred, as many companies, in many segments do, in having too diverse a product line. This has made their product planning and inventory management very risky - and, combined with forecasting complexity induced by the Lance/carbon factor, it has led to overstock and low-margin pricing that makes the boutique bikes look even more special.
    6. I also think that some on this thread are over-rotating. I went to the LBS to treat my wife to a nice bike. This is a very nice store, with many nice high end brands. The mid-range Trek's were (5.0, 5.2, etc.) were marked down 33%. Astonishing! Shameful

    FWIW, I purchased a Siena last year and love it. Quick, comfortable, beautiful (if you like the brushed metal look). Got it on sale, but nothing like a liquidation. A normal bike shop deal. And felt like I got my money's worth. Tried many carbon's, but just liked this one better.

    OTOH, I bought my wife an Orca today and she's ecstatic. Loved the ride. Carbon, done well, really is outstanding too.

    So, my last bit of free advice for the fine folks at LS - reduce the model line (as you claim you are doing); diversify in to carbon more aggressively (I know it's tough - you've built your reputation on ti - but resisting carbon is like resisting gravity); allocate a bit more money for marketing and sponsorship. You've got great, great products but bikes are discretionary items which sell based on etherial reputation. These days, that's for sale.

    Rich
    Last edited by t32bt32b; 07-07-2007 at 06:25 PM. Reason: typo

  23. #23
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    Anothe reason why LS is losing ground

    I bought a new LS Ocoee and rode it for the first time in May of 2007. To date I've only had 10 rides on the frame. The frame broke in early June and I've been without a replacement for 9 weeks now. LS has not returned phone calls, and pulled some other bone headed moves, such as shipping me a defective replacement. You can read about my interaction with LS here http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...82#post3348182

    LS are over price, and they have the absolute worst customer service in the business. Unfortunately I can't say one thing positive about my ordeal with LS.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by FondriestFan
    The tube design is very nice, I agree, especially the one on the Archon. However, for less, you can get a custom Moots from 6/4 Ti, with basically any fork you want. Do the welds on the LS compare to that on the Moots?

    Granted, the tube design on the Archon looks better, but for $4,500? I don't think so. Then again, the market will decide. I'm just one voice in the market. So far, given LS's inventory and penchant for blowing out fames at the end of the year, I think the market has spoken loudly and clearly.

    But this is the best looking ti bike on the market, I think.

    I have to totally agree w/ this post. I would like to know if anyone from LS but Herbert, who doesn't even work for them anymore, looks at these posts. The new Archon looks DEAD SEXY, but that price cannot be justified. One may be able to justify it when looking at what goes into the frame alone, but when compared to its competition it's just plain too much money.
    Even if you like LS why not go w/ Lynskey Level 4 and get the tube manipulation in a frame CUSTOMIZED exactly how you want it. Oh, and save $250 dollars while you're at it since it'll only cost you $4250.
    You really can't just base price on what you put into the product, at some point you have to look at your competitors. And finally, major kudos to LS for going to a full ti line. I really think you guys have made a great move here; do what you do best and let the other guys do carbon.

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stratmosphere
    I think as we all suspect Ti is pretty much out of fashion and therefore the brand is dying. Their recent campaign against carbon is a laugh.

    Even if Ti is the best choice, no one wants it. You have to evolve, even if it doesn't seem to make sense.

    I owned a LiteSpeed at one point and really enjoyed it but I have no interest in any of the current Ti bikes on the market.

    I love the new campaign against carbon fiber. My hat is off to the marketing department.

    I think Litespeed it taking steps in the right direction. If they went with the carbon craze they would just get lost in the crowd. With Ti they are one of the few choices available and if they can help change public persuasion then they could be sitting pretty as one of the premier Ti bike builders.

    Steel seems like it is already regaining some popularity. I think TI could be in the place for a come back as well.

    I own a Litespeed and appreciate being different that the field of Cannondale and Trek carbon fiber bikes that make up the vast majority of our bike club.

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