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Model history – Litespeed Classic road frame

In the history of titanium road frames the Litespeed Classic is, well, a classic (in other words, Litespeed named the model well).  The Classic was the first Litespeed road frame design, and is classic in that sense. In addition, it “became a classic” in the sense that it was Litespeed’s longest-running model with minimal changes. (The Litespeed Ultimate also had a long run but underwent more changes during it’s history.)  Anyway, the Classic was produced in 1990 and continued to be offered every year for 15 years, with 2004 as its last active model year. The design evolution and geometry/weight specs that ensued between 1991 and 2004 are as follows.

Note: the information below was culled from Litespeed marketing materials, which show inconsistent information over time. I have highlighted the year-to-year changes in design and/or specs. Please comment on omissions and discrepancies below.

1991

  • Internally routed brake cable
  • Integrated seatpost binder bolt
  • Braze-on front derailleur clamp
  • 27.2mm seatpost diameter
  • 48cm to 62cm, 2.5 to 3.5 lbs

1993

  • Tapered/butted 3/2.5 tubing
  • 68mm BB, machined from 6-4 solid bar
  • 48cm to 62cm, 2.2 to 3.5 lbs

1994

  • 48cm to 62cm, 2.5 to 3.4 lbs

1995

  • 48cm to 62cm, 2.91 to 3.56 lbs

1996

  • 49cm to 63cm, 2.82 to 3.42 lbs

1997

  • Cold-worked, tapered/butted 3/2.5 tubing
  • 49cm to 63cm, 3.14 to 3.67 lbs

1998

  • no changes

1999

  • New cable-stop adjusters near headtube
  • 49cm to 63cm, 3.14 to 3.67 lbs

2000

  • Engraved bottom-bracket shell
  • Sculpted dropouts
  • Curved seatstays for improved heel clearance
  • 1” steerer (continues)
  • Braze-on (bottom pull) front derailleur clamp
  • 27.2mm seatpost diameter
  • 49cm to 63cm, 3.13 to 3.65 lbs

2001

  • Taller headtube
  • 1-1/8” headtube
  • Standard seatpost clamp

2002

  • no changes

2003

  • Down tube is flattened at the bottom bracket
  • 49cm to 63cm, 3.2 to 3.7 lbs

2004

  • Biaxially-ovalized down tube at the bottom bracket
  • 49cm to 63cm, 3.1 to 3.7 lbs

One of the more unusual features of the Classic was that it offered internal routing of the rear brake cable–within the top tube. (See 1991 notes above.) It’s not clear whether that was a standard feature or an option, and in what year was that design element phased out. I don’t recall seeing that feature on later model-year Litespeed Classics.

5 Responses to “Model history – Litespeed Classic road frame” Leave a reply ›

  • I have a 2004 Classic and it has a clamp for front derailleur (not sure if 32 or 35).

  • My 2000 Litespeed Classic (with engraved bottom-bracket shell and sculpted dropouts) has straight seatstays. I think the curved seatstays arrived in 2001. Also, mine has an external brake cable. I’ve seen at least a dozen Litespeed Classics from various model years, and every single one of them had the external brake cable. The internal cable routing must have been an option.

  • i have litespeed classic. serial #21692. it has vertical dropouts, but litespeep rep says its a 1995 what gives???

  • How do I find out what the exact year my ultimate is.
    I believe it is a 2000 or 2001. Are there seriel #s that I can trace?
    I love this bike

    Thank you,

    Don

  • I have 1991 Classic and the serial number is on the rear derailleur hanger. There is additional two letter stamp on the bottom bracket shell. You should email Litespeed and ask them to look up your frame. They are awesome!! And responded the same day with answers for me.

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