The Litespeed Ku:wa is their new adventure bike that’s named after an Indian word for mulberry, which refers to Mulberry Gap, a famous 350+ mile trail network in their backyard.
It splits the difference between their T5Ggravel bike shown last year (and updated in March) and the Pinhoti 29er hardtail mountain bike. The geometry is right in the middle of the two, giving it a slightly higher BB and slacker head angle than the T5G, but not as much as the MTB.
It’s thoroughly modern, and thanks to the brand’s long history with the wonder material, should last a good long time…
Everything from Di2 to Sideswing cable and wire routing it here, with the non-electronic transmissions kept outside of the frame for easy servicing and installation.
The frame is made from straight gauge 3/2.5, so it won’t be as light as some of their butted bikes, but it’ll hold up to loaded touring and rougher roads. The stock configuration has no rack mounts because they found that adventure riders prefer frame bags, so it’s designed to accommodate those as well as possible. Of course, you can add any custom tabs and doodads you like since they build them all by hand in Tennessee.
It sticks with a standard QR in the rear, but they’re using a new flat mount disc brake dropout design.
Plenty of tire clearance even with 700×40 rubber in there. Frame will retail for $2,400 as shown.
The T1SL isn’t just a tweaked version of their standard T1 race bike, it’s a completely new model that evolved from what’s been done in the past.
It’s an all new tubeset that uses their manipulated 6/4 top tube and 3/2.5 down tubes. All of the tubes come in as aerospace grade hydraulic jet tubing, then the shaping, bending and manipulating is done in their Tennessee factory.
Frame weight is claimed between 1,000 and 1,100 grams. They’re trying to source raw materials that’ll let them get it under 1kg, but they’re not there yet. Because a sub-1,000g ti road frame would be awesome, but they’re not going to build a noodle just to say they did it.
Things like minimalist dropouts…
…and a relieved bottom bracket shell help shed additional grams.
Thick chainstays keep it stiff, though (pic on the right is the bottom of the chainstays…not the seatstays as first glances might suggest). The T1SL frame retails for $4,000.
The new Pinhoti SL cuts 15% off the standard frame’s weight by using butted tubes and more refined dropouts.
The brake mounts saw a bit of change, but were kept durable to prevent flex and brake noise. More weight was pulled out by heavily machining the inside of the BB, which switches to a BB30 instead of the eccentric BB design found on the standard Pinhoti.
…and using a headtube more like those on their road bikes.
Geometry stays the same, and butted stays should enhance the titanium ride quality. Frame is $3,000.
All other frames get slight tweaks, particularly the road frames. Most notably, the T3 road bike gains flat mount disc brake mounts dropouts used on the new Ku:wa, but keeps the standard rim brake mounts, too.
Litespeed’s dealers were requesting some way of easing people into disc brakes, so this new version can be built with rim brakes then upgraded to discs when the time is right.
The dropouts can be swapped between 130mm and 135mm simply by installing or removing spacers on the inside.