Friday, April 12, 2013

The Last Ride of the Litespeed

It's a very sad time here at the JBar Bunker. I've been chasing a noise on my beloved Litespeed Ghisallo and last night I discovered the source---a cracked seat tube. I've had the bike since September 2005, and have never really lusted for anything else. It just met my needs with understated true elegance. I liked hearing the owners of new carbon bikes celebrate a sub-1000g frame, as this ti frame weighed in at 880g and was a pleasure to ride on the harshest of roads. I was approaching 50,000 miles on the frame and was ready to ride it 50,000 more.

The Ghisallo is a beauty!
 I guess that this crack had been creeping over the last couple of weeks
Now, my quandary.What do I do for a bike? The Litespeed has a lifetime warranty and I can't find my damn receipt. I have the original build order and the the folks at Competitive Cyclist know the bike well, but apparently no validation other than the original proof-of-purchase will suffice. I file everything, and have the original paperwork for my 1983 Trek 560, but I'm at a loss as to why this is not in my bike file! I recall running across it some time back in an odd place, but the I've explored every nook and cranny today with no success. Bummer!
I'm trying to get my old Cannondale fit to ride, but it won't do for the long haul, and I don't have a clue as to what my next bike will be if I can't make a deal with Litespeed.
I'm just sharing a little pain here, folks. The weather finally gets squared away and I'm stymied for the moment. I guess that I'd better get back to work on the Cannondale!


Unknown said...

I'm pretty surprised litespeed won't honor it - I mean, it's clearly their frame, right? I guess maybe they're concerned you're not the true first owner maybe? Either way, good luck with your next frame. Carbon's great, and now it can be had for pretty affordable (<1kg @ <$1k!), but I'd sure love to have Ti myself. 'Course I'd have said that's because no way will a Carbon frame last like a Ti.....

JBar said...

There is no question that I'm the original owner. One of the then-owners of Competitive built it up for me and most of the guys knew the bike by sight. I was a friend and loyal customer. I have the original build order, a photo from the CC bike gallery,the box that it came in, and all the original manuals, etc. I just can't find a receipt. They tell me that it's a nonstarter with Litespeed without it. I will relate my experience as we move forward. I hope that Litespeed will accept some reasonable documentation. I may have to depose my friends at CC! I'm hoping for a reasonable disposition. I love my ti!

roger said...

Jbar I've just got my 2003 vortex back from litespeed it had a crack in the headtube and unbelievably I too have every receipt for every bike I have except the vortex.
Colorado Cyclist vouched that I'd bought it from them although THey couldn't find a receipt either.
It took a lot of arguing, crying pissing and moaning and a year to get it back.
Ask CC to check their records for you.

Roger Smith.

PS. Is the life of a ti frame 10yrs?

JBar said...

CC says that their records were in a long-abandoned computer system,but I would bet that the information still exists. You give me hope. Being local, the principals at Competitive Cyclist all have personal knowledge of the fact that I bought the bike from them. I thought my ti frame was forever, but there isn't must that lasts that long!

ChrisC said...

6V4Al Titanium alloy is nice and hard (great for dropouts and the like) so it builds into a super stiff frame, but it can also be quite brittle. 3V2.5AL is a bit more flexible, but probabaly more durable overall. When I lived in Chattanooga I used to ride with some of the Lynskey-era Litespeed guys and they would talk about a strong hand being able to ever so slightly crush/flex the top tube of a Ghisallo. A lust-worthy frame, but old technology in this day and age.

Mike C said...

Not that I wasn't admiring your poor deceased Litespeed bike, but is that an original Sonny Boy Williamson "King Biscuit Flour" corn meal bag on the wall?

JBar said...

Chris, yes, the top tube is scary thin. A tap on the bottom of the toptube near the midpoint sounds as strong as a throwaway aluminum foil turkey roasting pan, but...
the bike is soo sweet, and the lifetime warranty was their idea, not mine! I just bought it. The failure is at the top bottle cage insert in the seat tube. Thin tubing made more vulnerable by the drill hole.
Mike, yes. Probably not vintage. I picked it up at the King Biscuit festival 14-15 years ago.