Another Project Bike? Are You Kidding me?

Joey Bacala and I have been talking bike parts and possible swaps for a couple months. He has this, I have that, and our respective wives would probably like it if we had less of each. Wives are like that. That's why I try to shield my wife from too much knowledge of exactly what I spend on bike parts. She, in turn, shields me from knowing how much she spends on scrapbooking and sewing crap. It's a fragile balance that we'll try to maintain until the creditors come calling, and then we'll transition seamlessly into the finger-pointing and profanity element of our relationship. Works for us.
Joey needed parts, and I had parts. Joey had a frame, and I had no need for a frame. That doesn't mean I didn't want it. The deal was done standing in my garage, surrounded by countless half-finished projects that acted as witnesses.
I've always wanted a titanium bike. It's the only common frame material I haven't owned, mainly because titanium frames come at a price that would be hard to hide from the wife. A lot of titanium bikes that begin to approach my price range could be generously referred to as "limp as overcooked spaghetti". That's not a characteristic wannabe racer types usually look for in a frameset. I'd researched custom build options to make a bike I'd want to ride and keep for the long term, but decided having heat, electricity, and water at the house were more meaningful in the short term. I don't know how to suffer enough to be any good at this sport.

When Joey threw this one out there as a possibility, I figured this was my chance to dip my toes in the material. He says he won a lot of races on it, but Joey could win on a Disney Princess Razor Scooter. Its winning days ended as soon as it rolled into my garage.
Is this Litespeed Teramo the titanium bike I've always dreamed of? Um, no.
Immediately I noticed that it had a ginormous head tube. Freakishly tall. I figured it was an endurance geometry thing, and started making plans and a few key purchases. Nothing says "get your consumer on" like a new frameset. I was practically drooling.
To overcome that head tube I was going to have to run a slammed -17 degree stem. I usually run a -6 or -7, but this was a special case. Hello eBay. While I'm there, is there a seatpost that would match? Because the original seatpost was a heavy aluminum number with a super-classy carbon fiber sticker wrapped around it. Great, now that I've got those two items dealt with I can start digging in the parts pile and start my build.
I put a stem and handlebar combo I had laying around on the frame and immediately thought it looked a bit long. A little measuring here and there on the frame and my other bikes showed me my NASA-calibrated eyes weren't deceiving me. It was 3cm longer. I found several old Litespeed catalogs and compared my measurements to the geometry charts. This is a XL frame (59cm) instead of the ML (56cm) I would actually fit. That huge head tube is starting to make sense.

My hopes and aspirations suitably dashed, I began to redirect my efforts towards building a solid bike that would fit into the local environment and market. It's going to make some tall roadie very happy. Just not this one. It will be fun to work on, though.
The day after the Litespeed rolled into the garage, Pete's bike rolled out. As happy as I was to have the additional floor space, it was also kind of sad to see it for what will likely be the last time. I've spent a lot of miles drafting behind that bike and a lot of hours wrenching on it. Hopefully the next owner puts some miles on it and it doesn't quietly rust away under a blue tarp somewhere. It was never a top-tier bike, but even workhorses like that deserve a little respect.
Now, with actual bare concrete showing on a small part of the garage floor, I'll start my next projects. eBay will be scoured for parts to complete them (as if I needed an excuse), and chances are I'll end up with far more than I need.
Hopefully I can still hide it all from the wife.


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