LiteSpeed’s long history of building titanium frames has led them from their renowned road bikes to mountain bikes and now their updated all-road Gravel bike. It claims to offer sporty and agile handling in a comfortable setup ready for long gravel epics or loaded bike packing trips. We saw a preview earlier this year during the Sea Otter Classic and from what we saw the production model gets wider clearance and a few slight tweaks.

The Frame:LiteSpeed GravelLiteSpeed GravelLiteSpeed GravelLiteSpeed Gravel

Simply named the Gravel, the frame is spaced to fit up to 700 x 45mm tires front & back and it’s convertible to 650b with space for 2.1″ tires. It has front and rear thru axles measuring in at 12 x 100mm front and 12 x 142mm rear. Rack and fender mounts make an appearance on the carbon fork and rear triangle in addition to 3 bottle mounts and top tube bag bolts. Plus, the Di2 wires are threaded internally through the frame [the mechanical option has externally routed cables with barrel adjusters].

LiteSpeed Gravel

At the bottom of the frame, you’ll find a press-fit PF30 bottom bracket.LiteSpeed GravelLiteSpeed GravelLiteSpeed GravelLiteSpeed GravelThe Litespeed branded carbon fork is listed with rack and fender mounts, though there are just three mounting holes – one at each dropout, plus the usual hole through the crown. Fitted with flat mount disc brakes, the fork runs an internally routed brake line.

The SpecsLiteSpeed GravelLiteSpeed Gravel

The drivetrain is composed of Shimano’s Ultegra Di2 system and FSA’s aluminum Hollow Forged Energy crankset with super compact direct mount chainrings. Tooth counts are 48/32[front] and 32/11[rear]. The Di2 model is set up with R785 Hydraulic brake levers and uses 160mm Ice Tech rotors.

LiteSpeed GravelLiteSpeed Gravel

The Gravel is rolling on Stan’s NoTubes ZTR Grail wheels with their Bead Socket Technology [BST]. Keeping the rubber side down is a set of Panaracer’s Gravelking SK tires. They’re 700 x 38c and come setup as tubeless out of the box.

LiteSpeed GravelLiteSpeed GravelLiteSpeed Gravel

Rounding out the cockpit is a 31.8mm titanium LiteSpeed seatpost and a Prologo Scratch Pro T 2.0 seat. Up front are 3T’s 120mm ARX II Pro stem and their ERNOVA Pro handlebar, both are aluminum.

The WeightLiteSpeed Gravel

Without pedals, the large LiteSpeed Gravel weighs in at 20.8lbs. After a week of riding its titanium build has proven to be a smooth ride on gravel and beaten roads, but we look forward to how it performs across the full spectrum of technical trails and smooth roads – plus an upcoming bikepacking trip down south. Check-in down the road for the full review.

LiteSpeed.com

LiteSpeed Gravel

31 COMMENTS

    • PF gets a bad rap because of companies doing a half ass job in frame prep, or more often than not bad shop mechanics…which is becoming more common.

      Done right, it works trouble free.

      • For Ti and steel frames I pretty much agree, they don’t suffer the same wear problems that Alu/carbon frames with press fit bbs have. 68mm Birmingham Small Arms is still a better way to mount a bottom bracket though, much easier to work on.

    • I don’t think I’ve owned a bike since the 90’s that didn’t have bearings pressed into the bottom bracket. And that BB was probably the worst creaking I have ever had out of a bottom bracket / crankset. The question is why can so many BB manufacturers manage to get the processes and tolerances right to press in bearings yet frame builders can’t? And if a frame builder can’t (or won’t) get the bearing fit right, why would you trust them to machine then tap a BB shell?

      • Threaded is more tolerant of a sloppy fit, due to the tightening action of the threads, and in the unlikely event that it is so bad it causes a problem for the BB install, then you can likely fix it with a shop quality BB tap/facing set. Press fit, not so much…That is why you would trust a frame builder to do a threaded BB prep but not press fit.

  1. Thank goodness they got rid of the ugly Papyrus font “gravel” that was gracing the top tube before. This is a nice-looking bike now!

    • The font doesn’t matter. The fact that it says “gravel” in the first place is the equivalent of writing your name on your hand so you don’t forget. Lame.

  2. Clearance for 45c tires: YES!!!
    Titanium: yes!
    External Routing: yes!
    3 bottle mounts: yes!
    sub-compact drivetrain: yes!
    flat-mount: yes!

    Press-Fit: NOOOOOO!

  3. Not a fan either of the PF30, would have preferred T47. I have an original version T5 Gravel and also a T5 road bike, both with PF30 and combined over 5000 miles with no creaks or other BB issues. Both use a Chris King PF30 BB with the Chris King adapters for Shimano 24mm.

    Agree on the dropout design, definitely detracts from the overall aesthetics. Litespeed has a ton of machining capability in house. I would have expected something with more machining, possibly with cutouts for a bit of weight loss. Nice to see a bit more clearance in the rear, I can barely fit a 38 G-One on the same Grail rim.

    • If you want T47, and have a PF30 BB, just go to a GOOD shop and have them thread it for T47. A PF30 is the proper diameter to be threaded with a T47 thread

  4. With a Praxis conversion bottom bracket, I’m sure this frame would be fine. Could even use a Hollowgram crankset with a Chris King bb, for a super light setup.

    • Or you could have a BSA and stop kidding yourself that the 100 grams makes a difference. I’ve run all sorts of high end press fit bbs. Do you want to know the quietest bottom bracket in our house? An 18 dollar Ultegra BSA fitted 10,000 miles ago to my Ti lynskey.

  5. There’s no reason they couldn’t have gone with T47 on this bike if they’re adamantly opposed to 68mm BSA. It’s a titanium frame, for Pete’s sake!

    No sale, Litespeed!

    • Birmingham Small Arms (a major player in early bicycle production) chose British Standard Cycle for the bottom bracket of their bicycle production. In the modern lexicon, BSA and BSC can be used interchangeably, and current manufacturers seem to be split on what to call it. It doesn’t matter, as long as people don’t say “BRITISH Small Arms” when they’re trying to sound fancy.

      …now if people would just stop saying “I could care less” when they actually mean “I couldn’t care less”….

  6. The dropouts are utilitarian and elegant, imo. I really want that bike. I guess it the bb loosens up, you could always tap it later to T47, right?

  7. From a distance, this bike looks great. Loads of clearance and that gorgeous Ti finish… But I really don’t understand why you’d go for a PF BB on a Ti bike. All the arguments for speccing them on carbon bikes don’t hold water when applied to Ti. I agree that PF can work well – I have a Praxis converter PF30 BB on my Yeti and it’s been just fine – but the added complication versus a threaded BB seems unnecessary. Plus, at almost 21ibs, doesn’t that seem a little heavy for a Ti bike with Ultegra? And of course, the dropouts…

  8. Having owned a couple of titanium bikes, as well as steel, aluminum and carbon, I really like seeing this bike and love the feel of Ti. Definitely would like to ride one. Its funny that people pick apart the drop outs on this bike, they look fine to me. PF bb’s, currently have One on my Dedacchi Supercross, problem free for over 3 years, on my Cannondale Ego, even longer.
    One question I have though and it doesn’t relate to Lightspeed, what is the largest cog for Shimano DI2? I’m into 1x drivetrains and found a 40t chainring with a 11-40 cassette to be perfect for my riding style.

  9. If you run Di2 in 1x mode you can run the Di2 levers w/o a front derailleur setup with an XT or XTR Di2 RD, this will allow an XTR 11/40 or 11/42 or the XT 11/46 cassette. I have this setup now running 40 x 11/40 and swapping to 44 x 11/40 for flatter terrain. With this setup you can also reprogram the Di2 buttons to use both levers in a similar pattern to how eTap shifts the RD.

    I like this for winter as I have both buttons on each shifter programmed to do the same thing, with a glove on it does not matter which button you activate (of course you can also setup the climbing buttons or sprint shifters).

    Otherwise you can run 2X with Ultegra R8000 series Di2 easily with 11/34, often 11/36 (this is without fiddling with derailleur optimization parts such as the Roadlink).

    • jman:

      I have set up several bikes as 2x Ultegra R8000 with 11-34 cassettes, but I find that the RD-R8000-GS derailleur’s capacity won’t allow 11-36 if there’s a 16tooth difference on the chainrings (eg 46/30, 50/34). 11-36 cassette was no problem with 46/36, and there was one bike that I think I setup as 44/32.

      Have you found otherwise with the RD-R8050-GS?

      • My Seven Evergreen SL uses an R8000-GS mechanical derailleur with a SRAM WiFLi PG-1170 11/36 cassette and 6800 50/34 crankset. Aside from the B-screw backed out about 75% there are no issues. Note I had this frame built with the Paragon Machine PolyDrop Insert/Dropout system (amazing design by the way).

        The R8050-GS states the same capacity specifications but I have not tried the Di2 derailleur with an 11/36. I may try it later this fall though on a new Diverge, planned to run 11/34 but since I have the 11/36 cassette I’m now curious on the functionality.

  10. It’s pretty difficult to achieve good tire clearance with a reasonably short chain stay and road cranks with a BSA bb shell. Harder yet with titanium, which is very difficult to shape/work. A plate/yoke arrangement might’ve worked, but I’ve never seen that done with Ti.

    Not sure what could’ve been done about the dropouts without omitting the rack/fender mounts. It needs to create the space to clear the caliper (probably clears post-mount w/flat-mount adapters, too). Superfluous machining just adds cost and Ti bikes are already very expensive.

    I think they did a great job here. If I were in the market, this would be high on the list.

    Exodux – for Di2, you can combine an XT M-8050 R/D with road shifters for 1x. Many CX racers do this, making 11-40 and even 11-46 possible. You cannot combine with a road F/D because they don’t “talk” to each other and the MTB F/D is problematic with road cranks.

  11. Hah! All the “PF” hate…I have had my T5G for 2 years and had ZERO issues with the PF BB (King)…same with my ASR (Praxis) that I have had for over 3 years. I love my T5G and this Gravel version is even better! Kudos Litespeed!

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