You may not have heard of the name Lynskey, but you’ve almost certainly heard of Litespeed. The Lynskey family founded Litespeed in 1986, becoming one of the pioneers of titanium frame manufacture. In 1999 the Lynskeys sold Litespeed to The American Bicycle Group, with Mark Lynskey retained to run the company. In 2005 Lynskey left, and now he’s teamed back up with his mother Ruby, brothers Tim and David, sister Theresa, various other family members and ex-Litespeed engineers to start a new bike company.
Lynskey Performance Designs is based in Chattanooga, Tennessee (clearly one of the finest place names in the world). All its frames are made in house and come with a lifetime warranty and satisfaction guarantee. At the moment, all Lynskey frames are made from aerospace grade titanium, although it’ll be offering high-end steel too.
Lynskey has already made a batch of limited edition titanium frames for Marin to celebrate that company’s 21st anniversary. That was something of a full-circle commission for the Lynskeys – one of the family’s first big projects was the original Marin Team Titanium. Chief engineer David Lynskey is also currently working on designs for a full suspension bike. Plus of course there are road and triathlon bikes.
The main focus of Lynskey Performance, though, is customisation. Rather than frame models, it offers frame levels from one to four. The level dictates the nature of the tubing (plain gauge, through butted up to butted and manipulated and other jiggery-pokery) but everything else – geometry, tube dimensions, colour – is a movable feast. If you don’t want or need full-custom geometry, Lynskey does “houseblend” off-the-peg options. You still get a choice of finish, though. Custom paint is available through a range of leading US paint shops, so you can have pretty much anything you want – have a look at the gallery at www.lynskeyperformance.com for inspiration.
Lynskey frames are currently available in the UK from bikelab in Poole, Dorset (www.bikelab.co.uk, 01202 330011) but will soon be available through a select number of dealers. Prices start at £1,300 for a level one “houseblend” – go for a full custom level four with all the spangly finish options and you could spend around £3,500…