Wednesday, October 31, 2007

08 Litespeed Archon

So. I was asked to check out this bike. It showed up at the house on Thursday, courtesy of Marty. I threw it together and showed it off at the DCCX race. It got some looks and some questions. That's always interesting. I guess the bike looks good. You tell me.

I spent a few hours on the bike and it reminds me why I love titanium.

I spent a lot of the year on a Cannondale Six13. This bike is obviously different but I mention that so you know from what perspective I am speaking.

Ti rocks. It absorbs a lot of vibrations which makes it comfortable. I think that the boys and girls at Litespeed but all aluminum parts on this bike to make a point but that's just a guess. Over the grated-up road near my house, it sucked up the severe vibrations very well. I felt almost none of it.

Standing up on this sucker with my ample 185lbs of self didn't feel bad. I mean, it feels bad hauling all that around (sorry Joel) but the bike didn't seem to mind. It transmitted my pedaling force to the rear wheel and kept me moving.

The bike is a size too small so it's no wonder that the bike felt very responsive. With the larger size and requisite longer wheelbase, it should become a bit more mannerly. No worries on the 57cm, but I did notice the short top tube as well. I had to put a 11omm stem on there but would have to ride it at 130mm if it was mine. It's not. I don't know how long I'll have it.

Ti is still viable. It's comfy, has plenty of performance, it's light, it's purty. It will most likely last longer than carbon stuff so it's probably more of a lifetime bike. Now that Litespeed has gotten off of the whole 'BUY ALUMINUM' kick it was on a few years ago, they seem to have gotten smarter as well as improved their product. This frame is over $4k at retail meaning this is something like a $7k bike so it will be important to see what is going on with the less-expensive stuff they are doing. There's rumor of a trip to the factory in TN so I'll let you know how that goes.

Bottom line: it's pretty enough to own and ride every day. The Archon also happens to back that up with real performance and a thoughtful product.


At 11:59 AM, Blogger Darren said...

Titanium..... I know you don't like that carbon bike I bought, and a friend of mine, has a merlin Extralit e that he wants me to sell for him. I thought I might want to have it for myself. It was almost my size, So I rode it to work today. Titanium has a good feel to it I must say the bike was responsive, but alas I think I need a 58cm the bike as a 57 or 56 and felt a tad small too bad(with a 130mm stem), but makes me think maybe a Ti-Road bike is in my future?


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