Building off they say is the world’s lightest titanium road bike frame at a production level, the Litespeed T1SL Disc adds a mere 175g to the rim brake model to come in at a claimed 1,175g. With many rim-brake ti road frames topping 1,400g on a good day, the attention to detail throughout the frame paid dividends in creating an ultra lightweight disc brake road frame.

2017 Litespeed T1SL Disc brake road bike with ultra lightweight titanium frame

Litespeed introduced the latest T1SL road bike in 2015, showing off their chiseled dropouts and bottom bracket shell, and top-shelf tubeset that gets every piece weighed before assembly to ensure they’re using the best (lightest) pieces available. At Sea Otter 2017, they showed off a prototype disc brake version built with most of the same parts but pulling an early rear dropout into duty to make the show’s early spring dates. Now, the production model is shipping, and it gets the same streamlined flat-mount disc brake dropouts as their Gravel model.

2017 Litespeed T1SL Disc brake road bike with ultra lightweight titanium frame

2017 Litespeed T1SL Disc brake road bike with ultra lightweight titanium frame

The frames are all handmade in Tennessee at their own factory and come ready for wired or mechanical drivetrains, everything running internally.

2017 Litespeed T1SL Disc brake road bike with ultra lightweight titanium frame

Up front, the headtube is butted internally and gets an engraved logo rather than a head badge to save more grams. Inside it is their own carbon fork, and both it and the frame get 12mm thru axles. All frames use a 3/2.5 downtube, and custom made 6/4 top tube that’s formed from a single sheet of titanium, and all get size-specific tubing to keep ride characteristics uniform across the size range. Retail is $4,899 for the frameset, complete bikes start at $8,399 for Ultegra Di2 and $14,899 for the latest Dura-Ace Di2.

Litespeed.com

13 comments

  1. Brian on

    I’ve never riden a litespeed but having had multiple road bikes from a competing company it has been my experience that the lighter the ti bike the more drivetrain flex you get compared to carbon. If you make the bike stiff as a mid level carbon bike for road racing you gain frame weight and lose some of the magic ride quality of Ti. Then the only benefit vs carbon is durability in a crash. Granted I’m a larger rider with little to no supplesse but I’m not that large.
    I currently have a new warranty replacement Ti frame that I never bothered to build up because a carbon frame retailing for less than 2k (which I obtained through a team) seemed much better for my needs.
    I think Ti is a good option for a gravel/touring bike where ultimate drivetrain stiffness is less important and Durability is paramount.

    Reply
  2. Kernel Flickitov on

    Hmmm, $1700 more than a custom rig from Carl Strong. $1k more than a Moots Routt 45, $250 more than a Firefly. My God man, a focking Firefly?!?… Uh, pardon while I fall out of my chair laughing uncontrollably. You kids at Litespeed are pretty audacious. Good luck with that!

    Reply
  3. Robert S on

    I’ve had 10+ carbon frames (pick the 5 top brands) and loved/liked most of them. I’m a cat 2 racer and always wanted a ti frame since the 80’s. So I just built a Litespeed T2, SRAM red eTap, hydraulic disk! I have to say was was suprised by the stiffness and handling characteristics. It feels surprising like my carbon bikes, so much so it’s hard to decifer. Geometry is spot on! Yes there is a slight weight penalty but the craftsmanship, engineering and beauty is stunning. I had all custom Ti bolts made for the disk, brake mounting and all other connection points. It puts a smile on my face every time I look at it. The bike is 16 1/2 lb with 55mm carbon wheels and 61cm frame. Pretty light for any disk bike! In addition, I’ll have this one for 20 years! 10 grand well spent!

    Reply
    • Rick on

      Been seriously considering building up a T1 Disc. I sold my Archon a few years ago, and regret it. I to have had several carbon bikes. Miss the Ti ride but I’m hesitant of the weight penalty. My Tarmac is 14.5. It’ll be tough. Any update on your analysis on the T1?

      Reply
  4. Andrew D on

    Building the lightest frame is great, but it’s not for every rider. The lighter frames will have other characteristics that are diminished. It is a balance that every frame builder and major manufacturer has to consider. I would rather have a frame that is built to fit my needs and sacrifice a bit of weight to accomplish those goals.

    Reply
  5. VeloKitty on

    Geez, $5,000 is one-quarter of the price a new car. The geometry isn’t even custom.

    The welding on a Firefly or Independent Fabrication is exquisite. From the photos above, this is not in the same league.

    Reply
  6. Peter A Stratmoen on

    I currently ride a Bianchi Infinito CV. I am looking to add a Ti bike to the stable. Which frame is ‘endurance’ in geometry? Also, I live in Minnesota, the land of 10,000 potholes. Our roads leave a lot to be desired, so I would want something that isn’t too harsh on the many patches and gashes our roads offer. Thanks.

    Reply

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