Litespeed Firenze Road Bike

DESCRIPTION

Frame Material: 3Al/2.5V titanium
Frame Angles: 73.0 head, 73.0 seat
Sizes: 49cm, 51cm, 53cm, 55cm, 57cm, 59cm, 61cm
Colors: Satin
Fork: LSP Carbon
Rear Shock: Not applicable
Brake Levers: Shimano Ultegra STI Dual Control
Handlebar: ITM Mantjs Super Over
Stem: ITM Mantjs Super Over
Headset: 1 1/8" threadless Cane Creek
Front Der: Shimano Ultegra
Crankset: Shimano Ultegra, 39/53 teeth
Rear Der: Shimano Ultegra SS
Pedals: Not applicable
Tires: 700 x 23c Vittoria Rubino Pro

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 36  
[Apr 02, 2021]
jeffbozo


OVERALL
RATING
4
Strength:

None really in regard to quality and performance. One reason the bike is less expensive than other ti bikes is because the frame is not polished. But who really cares as long as it performs just as well. Pay to upgrade the saddle. The stock one is kind of uncomfortable.

Purchased:
Used  
[Mar 25, 2020]
Matt G


OVERALL
RATING
5
Strength:

I bought my 2004 Firenze in April of 2004. Best new bike purchase I've ever made. I had to convince my wife that the sticker shock would make sense many years later when I haven't asked to buy another bike. And I held true to that. I've rode thousands of miles on it; very demanding rides with hills in the river valley (I don't really ever do a recovery ride). This bike still has way more left in it than I do. I've kept it very tuned over the years and this winter had it stripped down, bathed, and re-tuned by and excellent wrench. New cassette, chain and its ready to go again. It has full original Ultegra components in excellent condition. I did upgrade the Mavic Cosmos wheel set with Ksryium SSL in 2007. Just last month I put on new Ultegra R8000 pedals and a new Selle Italia SLR Ti saddle. It's so clean and tuned right now that I'm hesitating to take it out on the sandy salty spring roads until later. I might actually put it away into storage for my son to see if he grows to the same frame size. I think he would appreciate the craftmanship and top quality Shimano components on this bike even 16 years after it was built for me. My bike guy built me a sweet touring bike that I'm enjoying right now and also has a vintage Italian steel road bike almost ready for me that I would ride in place of the Firenze if I put it into storage. What else are we going to do with COVID-19 ruining our livelihood? Let's ride! Social distance at 20 mph is a good start! Stay safe as always.

Weakness:

There are none except if new buyers built it with lower end components. I decided to spend more and use high end components which still perform amazingly well. Back in 2004 this titanium bike costed only $2000 with full Shimano Ultegra components. I upgraded the Mavic wheels to SSL at $700. Try and duplicate the build in 2020 and see what it costs you. It'll be at least double.

Price Paid:
2000
Purchased:
New  
Model Year:
2004
[Aug 07, 2013]
RBatsch
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Comfortable ride, great looking Ti, extremely durable, titanium frames make you go stronger and longer (something about the characteristics of the material), non-integrated headset model.

Weakness:

Ugly decals

I've owned my Firenze for almost 8 years and it's still going strong. I bought the bike used with the components of a wrecked Roubaix and slowly upgraded over the years. From the first day I've always felt that I can perform better on this bike than my steel bikes or any carbon or aluminum bike I've ridden. I'm a big guy and this frame is perfect. I did notice some flex in the bottom bracket when hill climbing but corrected that with a Chris King bottom bracket that puts the bearing outside of the BB for greater support. The bike is smooth and non fatiguing.....a great ride!!! I only wish the Ti was polished like some of my Litespeed mountain bikes. Love the performance, welds and colour of Ti!!

[Oct 18, 2010]
SaddleTime
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Comfort, long-distance/sporting performance, ease of maintenance, liveliness, durability, construction, price (yes, price: Ti bikes are more expensive than carbon or alu, but this one was very fair considering how it was kitted-out), looks (after it was liberated from its gaudy decals).

Weakness:

A bit on the flexy side for racing & all-out riding, overly-short head tube means more spacers.

I originally bought this bike from my LBS as new old stock two years ago when I wasn’t sure if I’d like cycling. I was looking for a steel bike as recommended by a cycling zealot friend of mine, but got a really good deal on this bike instead. (Someone put a deposit on the bike and never came back to the store!) I had never heard of Litespeed but saw the positive reviews on RBR and decided to give it a try.

Over the last two years and 10,000kms my cycling has improved a lot, and I’ve learned a lot about my riding style and things I like and don’t like, which has led me to change a number of components on the bike. Now I love this bike. The biggest upgrade was the fork. I can’t believe how much difference that made: descents that were nervous are now totally solid and the bike generally feels WAY more stable, quiet and maneuverable than with the original Real Design HP fork. Another big improvement came from new wheels I had made – they feel much lighter, smoother and more maneuverable than the FSAs the Firenze came with. (I also removed the bike’s original ‘1980’s-Flock of Seagulls’-styled decals and replaced them with clean black “Litespeed” decals so the bike looks much better!)

My riding has focused mostly on longer “spirited” rides (pushing hard, lots of hill sprints, occasional flat sprints, for 100+kms) and some charity tours (800+kms over 4 days). The Firenze is great for this type of riding: really comfortable, reasonably light weight, with great road feedback and very little harshness for long rides. You can go fast and feel great when you arrive at your destination.

I wouldn’t describe this as a race-oriented bike: I am not a large rider (146lbs, 5’-9”) but have found there to be too much flex in the bottom bracket and head tube areas under hard accelerations and maximum out-of-the-saddle power climbs to make it the first choice for racing. Some of the head tube flex might have been avoided if the head tube wasn’t so short: I’m reasonably flexible with a 5” saddle-bar drop but I still have 30mm of spacers under my stem. However, I don’t think this model was designed for racing, anyway.

It is a wonderful frame to build a bike from. Even though you can tweak it by changing a few “personal” items (bar, saddle, stem, wheels), I would argue that nothing NEEDS to be done to the stock bike to have a very competent, enjoyable ride that should last you a lifetime.

Overall I’ve been very happy with my Litespeed Firenze and would recommend it to anyone who wants a comfortable, good-performing bike for the “real world”.

[Nov 04, 2009]
Anonymous
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Ride quality, responsive, the Ti frame is super easy to keep clean and will likley last longer than I will!

Weakness:

A little pricey but worth every penny.

I left my intital review way back in May or June of '06. Back then I was a happy camper with my then brand new 2006 (the last year they made the Firenze) model Litespeed. It's been a wonderful bike. I've upgraded twice, Easton Circuit wheels with Michelin Krylion Carbons (Dec 2008)+ swapped the FSA Gossamer crank for the Ultegra SL compact last April and both upgrades have only made it a sweeter ride. It's fairly light, really responsive and I love the ride that the ti frame (which is also so easy to maintain) provides. It's a keeper!!

Similar Products Used:

'05 model Trek 1500, Cannondale six-13 - both great bikes

[Sep 16, 2008]
Anonymous
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Fantastically smooth, supple, comfortable and safe ride. Great handling. Terrific brakes. Very comfortable geometry for long fun rides. Practically a touring bike in the traditional Italian sense.

Weakness:

Well, Carbon bikes can be lighter than this, but I don't care. The road feel is so much more supple with Titanium.

i checked off that I am a recreational rider, because i don't race, but I ride 2000 miles a year, mostly on the Firenze. What a great frame and great design! My longest rides are 75 miles,but a few times a year i do more than 3000 feet of vertical ascention on a 50-60 mile ride around Marin County. The bike is plenty light for that, and so comfortable. The handling is so good, i feel very safe on the descents.

Mostly, I love how supple and shock-absorbing, but accurate feeling the Titanium frame is. Kind of like steel, but at half the weight. I wore out a Carbon Bike (20,000 miles), and while I know they have improved, they always seem to lack the true road feel and liveliness that this particular Titanium frame has. Just love it.

Similar Products Used:

Cadex Carbon Fiber by Giant was my previous bike. No comparison though. Tried a variety of mid-priced Carbon bikes before I bought this.

[Feb 01, 2008]
Mabecane
Road Racer

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

strong, light and sturdy.Great bike for the money.Would buy one again.Easy to adjust.

Weakness:

the cosmos wheels were making a lot of noise when new, they needed adjustments often.I took me a while to figure that the noise came from the spokes, titanium exemplify noise and make it hard to diagnose.

I love this bike, put in around 6000 mile. The cosmos wheels are a little heavy, I only use them for fall and early spring training. I bought a new set of FSA that are great and were cheap,also updated to a Sram 11/23. I have a full Ultegra 9 speed and it's great, the bottom bracket was hard to remove the first time I tried, use a good tool to remove it not the junky park,the head set will need replacing this summer ,this is my fourth year with this bike and it's normal wear, the Cane Creek last pretty good.

[Aug 15, 2007]
Todd Papke
Road Racer

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Comfortable, quick, and suprisingly simple to keep clean (no paint - just naked titanium) Seems to be less noisy than the clicking, clunking carbon fiber bikes when we jump a hill on our group rides. Great brakes! The carbon fork also seems to be nicely done. It soaks up a lot of the little "jolts". The Rubino Slicks are wonderful tires, but started wearing thin at 800 miles. Replaced with Michelin Pro 2s.

Weakness:

I haven't really found any yet. Even though I'm riding a 61 cm frame and I'm pretty strong, the frame flex is a a minimum. I think the handlebars could be a little wider for a frame of this size. Stock wheels (FSA 80s) immediately went out of true and I had to buy a tool from FSA since the nipples are sunk into the aero rims. I'll save them for cheap racing wheels. Stock seat is junk.

I rode several bikes, determined not to be "seduced" by titanium. However, after aluminum, carbon fiber, and steel, I couldn't shake the instant confidence that the titanium Litespeed gave me. I was lucky enough to find a '05 leftover equipped completely with Ultegra at Pacific Bikes in San Francisco (thanks Joe!). I swapped out the FSA-80s for a pair of Ultegra hubbed open Pros (I'm 6'2"- 190lbs.), the seatpost for a Thomson, and the seat for a Fizik Bobi. The bike has been so much fun for about 1,000 miles now, and I'm confident that it will be a trusty steed for many years to come.

Similar Products Used:

Late 80s Trek 1200 which was raced heavily.

[Feb 09, 2007]
qwiknews
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Very stable. Bike gives the rider complete confidence in turns and quick changes in speed, direction or quick stops. Long distance rides with superb comfort & handling.

Weakness:

Relative high cost of titanium frames.

A titanium ride is like none other. It is very smooth even over mildly rippled pavement. Very good feel of the road, bike to rider. Ideal for long distance rides where you can arrive relaxed at your destination.
Its factory running gear configuration is ideal for sport riding, climbing trail bridges and speed on the open trail. It moves quickly with only modest pedal effort. Cruising at 18 mph on open stretches is relatively easy for me as a senior citizen (age 67) sport rider.
Superb braking power with Shimano’s newest design of 105 brakes.
Compared with my new 2007 Schwinn Peloton Pro, this bike is easier to handle and only slighty rougher ride over brick streets or rippled pavement. Much better road feel which I like at age 67.

Similar Products Used:

LeMond steel road bike with Sora components. 2007 Schwinn Peloton Pro (reviewed also at this site.)

[Nov 22, 2006]
CAMPYBOB
Road Racer

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Smooth ride, all-day comfort. Good geometry for long rides and it's fast enough to race on. Easy to take care of...no rust, no paintwork to worry about, just wipe it down. Easy to inspect for cracks. Low frameset price. 'Should' be durable...we'll see how well it ages.

Weakness:

Easton fork is a bit 'flexy'. It's not as stiff as most of my old steel forks.
'Feels' like some flex in the bottom bracket under hard accellerations or climbing. I've expirienced no chain/derailleur rubbing, but it just 'feels' a bit flexy. Decals are plain and could have been easily improved on, but that's hardly worth mentioning.

I'm a 170-pound rider that has been racing/training since 1972.

This is a 2005 frame w/2006 components. I had this built with 10-speed Campy Chorus thru out, including hubs, pedals, seat post, bottom bracket, headset, chain, etc. The supplied fork is an Easton EC90SLX. The bar & stem are FSA. Rims are Mavic Open Pro, 32-spoke, 3-cross with Vredstein Fortezza clincher tires (I also have sew-up wheelset with Mavic Reflex rims for racing). I've put 5000+ miles on this bike and I have had no problems with it. The frame rides easily over our crappy roads. It's forte is soaking up harsh pavement and small bumps. It turns in and holds a line thru a turn well. The Colorado Cyclist build-up and wheel building were top notch. After all those miles on poor roads the wheels are perfectly true. This isn't the fastest feeling bike I've owned or ridden, but it is a good balance of ride and handling. I think a stiffer fork work would help its' response and stiffness. I would have also liked to see larger seat stays (even if some of the ride compliance were sacrificed).

I'm pretty happy with this frame overall. It's just plain 'comfortable' and the geometry is what I look for in a road bike. It made it easy for me to dial in my position and i felt 'at home' on this frame in a couple of short rides.

Similar Products Used:

Paramount, several Pinarellos, DeRosa, Cinelli, several Colnagos, Battaglin, several Gardins, Raleigh, Peugeot, Bottechia, Masi road and track bikes owned over the years.

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