The Super Bike is complete.  It is built around a Litespeed Archon C2 aero road bike frame.

2010 Litespeed Archon C2 (Bike Build)

Considering my passion for cycling, it may surprise you that I didn’t have a single two-wheeled non-motorized vehicle that was designed and built in the 21st century. Until this year. I actually skipped a whole decade (the 2000s) and, in late 2010, purchased a heavily discounted Litespeed Archon C2 frame. It would become the basis for my Super Bike.

Litespeed is famous for their legendary titanium frames, but aside from a brief foray into using carbon fiber between 2002-2006, never used the black magic material until their 2010 Archon C1, C2, and C3 range. After years of development and leveraging some carbon fiber and aerodynamic know-how from its sister company Quintana Roo (a triathlon bicycle maker), Litespeed came out with a unique product that not only is sexy in its lines, but boasts a number of features that distinguish it from other carbon fiber bikes coming out from Taiwan.

Below is a list of modern day features the Archon incorporates (some are proprietary, where noted). In the column next to them are what my Cannondale 3.0 features in order to compare and contrast some of the advances in bicycle technology made between 1992 and 2010.

ItemLitespeed Archon C2Cannondale 3.0
frame & fork materialhigh-modulus T40 carbon fiberTIG-welded 6061-T6 aluminum
tube shapesAerologic*round
fork steererunthreadedthreaded
headtube1-1/8″ top, 1-1/2″ bottom (a Cannondale innovation)1″ straight
headsetintegratedpressed-in cups with ball bearings
bottom bracketBB30 (a Cannondale innovation)English threaded with 68mm-wide shell
seat postintegratedconventional
chainstaysasymmetricsymmetric and cantilevered (a proprietary design only used on the Cannondale 3.0 and 2.8)
rear axle spacing130mm126mm
shifter bossescable stops on headtubedowntube shifter bosses
electronic provisionsholes for wires to make it DI2-readynone

*Aerologic is Litespeed’s proprietary tube feature set that includes “invisible” water bottle shrouds, bowed out fork and seatstay tubes for reduced airflow pressure and increased comfort, and Reactive Pressure Moulding.

As you can see, about the only things the 2010 Litespeed Archon C2 and 1992 Cannondale 3.0 have in common are 1) the basic double-diamond frame shape and 2) having replaceable, aluminum rear derailleur hangers (which I think was another Cannondale innovation back in the 80s).

To complete the Super Bike, I mounted SRAM components (mostly Force) and other lightweight goodies as listed in the table farther below.

Despite having an aerodynamic frameset, the Super Bike currently weighs only 14.9 lbs. with pedals, compared to the Cannondale’s 19.0 lbs. That’s a four-pound difference. With water bottle cages, she’d be right at the UCI weight limit for the Tour de France!


I cherry picked all of the components, all from online vendors (particularly eBay). Huge dollar savings came from Real Cyclist, which at the time seemed to be one of Litespeed’s preferred blow-out distributors.

ItemComponentWeight, pounds (grams)Comments
FrameLitespeed Archon C2, medium2.54 (1150)1190g with uncut seat mast
ForkLitespeed C2.86 (390)415g uncut
HeadsetLitespeed integrated.18 (80) 
Integrated seat mast topperFSA ISP aero.39 (178) 
Spacers (2).01 (5) 
Front wheelYishun YS-AL27C1.41 (640)27-mm alloy clincher, bladed spokes, with cloth rim tape
Rear wheelYishun YS-AL27C1.82 (825)27-mm alloy clincher, bladed spokes, with cloth rim tape
Quick-release skewers (pair)Dixi Ti.09 (42)red anodized
Shifter/brake leversSram Rival0.67 (302)Left: 155g; right: 165g
CranksetSram Force BB30 compact1.37 (620)50/34 chainrings, 110mm BCD
Bottom bracketSram BB300.14 (65) 
Brake calipers (pair)Mr. Control CNC brakes.50 (224)red anodized
Rear derailleurSram Force.39 (175) 
Front derailleurSram Force.19 (85) 
CassetteSram Red 11-26.39 (175) 
ChainNashbar 10-speed (by KMC).54 (245) 
StemRitchey 4 Axis 44 Pro.33 (150)11cm; was supposed to be 134g
HandlebarsFSA Wing Pro anatomic compact.57 (260)alloy; 40cm; was supposed to be 265g
SaddleSelle Italia SLR Carbonio Flow Specialized Romin Evo Pro.36 (165)Replaced in April 2014
Tires (2X)Michelin Pro 3 Race.90 (410)700x23c; 205g each
Tubes (2X)Continental.47 (212)106g each
Handlebar tapeFizik Microtex (only used half).07 (30)red; did not cover bar tops
Cables .09 (40)for brakes and shifters
Cable housing .21 (95)for brakes and shifters
Bar plugs 0 (2) 
PedalsSpeedplay X/3.46 (210)stainless steel axles
TOTAL 14.9 (6775) 

All weights listed above are actual weights confirmed with digital scales. The individual components were weighed with a postal scale, and the total weight was confirmed with a lower-resolution bathroom scale.


My Archon C2 is a size Medium (M).

Top Tube Length (cm)52.554.056.057.0
Head Tube Angle72.573.073.073.0
Seat Tube Angle74.073.573.073.0
Seat Tube Length71.
Chainstay Length (cm)39.539.539.539.5
BB Drop (cm)
Fork Rake (cm)
Head Tube Length (cm)
Seat/Chain Stay Angle61656870.5

Ride Impressions

After I first put together the Litespeed and rode it, I couldn’t immediately tell if it was any faster than my Cannondale—a little surprising considering the above technological “advances” listed above and a weight of several pounds less. And though the ride felt different, I wasn’t even sure if it felt any more comfortable.

But after riding the Super Bike in 300km, 400km, and 600km brevets in Colorado, I think there may be something to its weight, stiffness, and comfort advantages. At least my times for those distances were superior and I felt relatively fresh afterward.

Regarding the supposed aerodynamic advantage, however, I cannot confirm it either by subjective feel or objective numbers. Litespeed claims a 20-watt savings at 30mph at various yaw angles versus a conventional bicycle, but in unscientific coast-down tests, I actually think the Cannondale goes faster. (For example, going down the north Horsetooth Dam in Fort Collins, I routinely can exceed 50 mph on the Cannondale, whereas the one time I went down it on the Litespeed I only hit 46 mph.) Whether this is because of weight—particularly the C’dale’s significantly heavier wheels—or because my position on the Cannondale is a little more aggressive and aerodynamic, is up for speculation.

Her Most Epic Rides

In August 2011, I rode the classic Boston-Montreal-Boston 1200km (750 mile) course, which included over 30,000 feet of climbing, in 3.4 days. The Litespeed did great.

Then in June 2015, we did the 4,233-mile Trans Am Bike Race. Despite getting Shermer’s Neck, I finished in 8th place. The race was too much for my body but not too much for the bike!

Her Name

I’ve named all my wheeled machines, and thought of names like Litey and Speedy. But the name that stuck over years was simply “the Super Bike.”

Tubeless Conversion (September 2016)

In September 2016, I successfully converted the existing wheelset to tubeless.

This added a mere 8 grams:

ComponentOld PartOld Weight, gramsNew PartNew Weight, gramsWeight difference, grams
Rim tape (pair)cloth30Stan’s 21-mm tubeless tape10-20
Tires (pair)Michelin Pro Race 3 700x23c410Hutchinson Fusion 3 700x23c tubeless tire560 (30g below advertised)+150
Tubes (pair)Continental212no tubes; use valve stems & sealant90-122

The Super Bike, therefore, should have weighed 6783 grams (14.9 pounds) after the tubeless conversion per all the calculations above.

However, none of the above included a few accessories. Two Serfas Cirque SL carbon fiber water bottle cages (26g each) and the Italian Road Bike Mirror (54g) added another 106g. So the total bike weight should have been 6889 grams (15.17 pounds).

But somehow, the measured weight (which is presumably more accurate than the calculated weights) with accessories came out to be slightly less, at 15.02 pounds (6.81 kg)! See the photos below.

The Super Bike weighed 15.02 pounds built up.
The Super Bike weighed 15.02 pounds built up.
The Super Bike weighed 6.81 kg built up.
The Super Bike weighed 6.81 kg built up.
Unfortunately the LCD display on the scale is washed out in this photo. But when I weighed the Super Bike, it had Speedplay X/3 pedals, carbon water bottle cages, and the Italian Road Bike Mirror installed. The tires are Hutchinson Fusion 3 with 1.5 ounces of Stan's NoTubes sealant in each.
Unfortunately the LCD display on the scale is washed out in this photo. But when I weighed the Super Bike, it had Speedplay X/3 pedals, carbon water bottle cages, and the Italian Road Bike Mirror installed. The tires are Hutchinson Fusion 3 with 1.5 ounces of Stan's NoTubes sealant in each.