Litespeed’s top level race road bike, the T1SL, will soon be available in this disc brake version. It’ll use the same geometry as the rim brake model, but get thru axles front and rear. That allowed them to use differently shaped chainstays that are lighter because the rear thru axle increased the stiffness. It also means braceless seatstays, all of which adds up to a mere 150g weight gain over the rim brake version. Claimed weight is 1150g (size medium/54), which is very impressive for a metal bike…

Litespeed T1SL disc brake race road bike

Litespeed T1SL disc brake race road bike

The top tube is bent from a sheet of titanium to create the hexed shaping…

Litespeed T1SL disc brake race road bike

…then welded together to create a tube. The outside is then polished to smooth it over and make it look more like an standard tubeset.

Litespeed T1SL disc brake race road bike

An internal welded Ti tube guides the rear brake hose through the downtube to prevent rattling and ease installation. It passes the hose out and around the bottom bracket shell, then back into another tube through the chainstay.

Litespeed T1SL disc brake race road bike

Shift wires run internally as well, while mechanical drivetrains will have external routing.

Litespeed T1SL disc brake race road bike
The new T1SL (shown at back) will get sleeker dropouts for production, similar to what’s shown on the Gravel model in the foreground.

Litespeed T1SL disc brake race road bike

Litespeed T1SL disc brake race road bike

The bike’s bottom bracket shell shows off just a small amount of the additional machining and attention to detail the T1SL receives to save weight and dial the ride quality. Look for it to deliver in June 2017 with several builds, including a full group of the latest Dura-Ace Di2 with hydraulic disc brakes and a sticker just under $15,000.

We spotted an early version of this at the Taipei Cycle show and got most of the details from them there, but the Litespeed Gravel bike is now official and will soon replace the T5G (shown directly behind it against the tent wall).

Frame weight will be about 1,550g for a medium/54. Look for external shift routing on mechanical builds, Bento Box top tube mounting bolts…

…rack and fender mounts, and clearance for at least a 700x40mm (left) or 27.5×2.0″ (right). The frame on the left is a preproduction test bike, and they told us the seatstay bridge will be higher up for production to improve top-of-tire clearance.

Their matching carbon fork will also get lower mounts for racks and fenders. Look for it to start shipping in mid May.

Lastly, they’ve started machining head tube extensions that press into the frame just like a headset’s upper cup would, but extends the tube by 20mm or 30mm. For riders that want a more upright position without resorting to normal steerer tube spacers, they now have options. They’ll retail for $100, all machined in house.

Litespeed.com

27 COMMENTS

  1. Find it difficult to imagine how a tube that has welded seem the lenght of it would fair better than a drawn tube. Is that whole process for anusual look or is there an actual structure reason

    • If I recall correctly , 6/4 Ti is too hard to draw tubes from, thus they use the roll and weld technique using sheet titanium to make tubing.

    • Pretty much all tubing is welded… Before being drawn and manipulated. There are some extruded steel tubings but it’s for very specific purposes. Not sure how they weld their tubing (assuming it’s just TIG welded) but if it’s friction-stir the additional stressors to the tube is minimal.

      • Seamless tubing is extremely standard in bicycles. Reynolds and Columbus have been doing it since forever. It’s not an extruded tube. The classic 531 and SL tubesets were seamless. They’re not extruded. They’re drawn out from a piece of billet with a hole in it which forms a very thick tube, which is then mechanically manipulated into something suitable for a bicycle.

  2. Thanks for putting “gravel” on the top tube, wouldn’t want your customers to get confused where this bike is allowed. The ‘cheese’ factor when you’re jumping on bandwagons is unavoidable by some I guess. [sigh]

  3. “Papyrus” font for the branding on the gravel bike is either the worst design decision ever or trying way to hard to be ironic (and still the worst design decision ever)

  4. Hardly jumping on a bandwagon. First T5G came out 2015. Also has Gravel on the top tube. Most excellent bike. Only wish they’d put the full set of rack and fender mounts on to start with, would have saved a lot of bother for my LBS!

  5. 15k…
    I would rather save most of that money and pick up a dated Litespeed Vortex (shares the 6/4 Ti welded tubing at a similar or same weight, with the benefit of a threaded bb).
    Perhaps I’m just getting old, preferring to save money instead of throwing it at my ego / LBS. 🙂

  6. HA! Never mind…It’s the T1SL. Well ok then Just under $15k? hmmm. I’ll be giving Carl Strong a call about that one.

  7. Still a chunk of change, but a Moots Routt 45 could be had for about 40% less. Threaded BB and options for rack and fender mounts. Better yet, the Baxter has clearance for 2.25″ MTB rubber without having to resort to 650b wheels.

    • BMW site should have gone to the 800 series, not 1600 series. 80 series costs are in the $12-16k range, 1600 series about 2x that.

  8. Geez!!! BR haters are raging on this one!
    While I’m not a huge fanboy of Litespeed, I do like their product. I’ve owned a few over the years and truly enjoyed them. From those experiences, $15k doesn’t seem out of the norm for the T1SL. First of all, Ti is a more expensive material for bike production…the labor is more (it’s made in the US), the material is more, and the tooling is more. Secondly, the $15k price a for a Dura Ace ($$$$$)…Di2 (DA plus a couple $$)…Hydro Disc (pepper in a few more $$) equipped bike with carbon ($$) disc ($) wheels… Lastly, Litespeed is in a sort of no-mans land…they are just big enough to get SOME better pricing on things, but yet, they are too big to operate at smaller margins like custom people can/do.

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