The Pull: Litespeed’s Brad Devaney

The Pull: Litespeed’s Brad Devaney

My history with Brad Devaney goes back more than 30 years to Memphis, Tennessee, when we were both students at the University of Memphis and working as wrenches for the Peddler Bike Shop. Even then, Brad was impressive. His work was as thorough as it was efficient.

After I moved away, he went back home to Chattanooga and changed his major to engineering. As fate would have it, he went to work for Litespeed Titanium and ended up designing some of the more beloved titanium bikes ever produced.

Fast forward 25 or so years and Devaney is still playing with titanium. As an employee of American Bicycle Group, he designs bikes for both Litespeed and its sister brand Quintana Roo, which is known for its triathlon bikes.

 

 

The Pull is brought to you by the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, the world’s premier annual gathering of bicycle framebuilders and framebuilding enthusiasts. The 2019 show will take place March 15-17th at the Sacramento Convention Center in Sacramento, California.

 

Show links:

Litespeed Titanium

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3 comments

  1. Fred

    Hi Patrick,
    I enjoyed this episode of the Pull very much, but couldn’t follow/understand everything Brad said.
    I couldn’t quite understand what Brad meant when he talked about the evolution of wheels and components’ stifness over the years and how it influenced how a frame had to be build to make a good bike. Can you help me with that ?
    When I heard Brad talking of making Titanium bikes for pro riders, I was wondering if Ti would an acceptable material to race at pro level these days, you could achieve UCI weight with a bike that could be tuned to any rider’s preference. Of course you can’t take out of the equation the demand of the market and appeal of aero carbon for the masses and bike industry is first and foremost an industry but I’d like to read what you think of Ti bike at the Tour in 2019 for example…just sayin 😉


    1. Author
      Padraig

      The easiest way to explain what Brad was talking is to say that the more you stiffen one component, the more you notice a lack of stiffness elsewhere. Back when frames and forks were fairly flexible, it didn’t matter much if the bar and stem were flexible, or the wheels for that matter. But as farms got stiffer, forks needed to get stiffer and then bars needed to get stiffer and at that point we couldn’t stand flexy stems.

      At the Pro Tour level titanium isn’t going to get it, but as sponsorship and budgets shrink for Division III teams, moving back to ti would be really smart just from a crash-survival perspective. That said, by the time you make a ti bike as stiff as most 1kg carbon frames, you’ve lost the material’s weight advantage, or most of it, but it will be impervious in crashes.

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