Adventure riding continues to grow in popularity partially because of how fun it is, partially because regular roads are boring, and partially because more brands just keep coming out with really fun, capable bikes. Lightspeed is no exception with their latest model, aptly named “Gravel”. Their titanium frames are known for their comfortable ride quality, and paired with their new carbon fork rough roads are no match.

Gravel ready build

Litespeed Gravel

Litespeed’s titanium Gravel is spec’d with Shimano’s Ultegra Di2 electronic system with hydraulic brakes, FSA Energy cranks with 48/32T chainrings paired to an Ultegra 11/32T cassette, Stan’s NoTubes ZTR Grail wheels and 700x38c Panaracer GravelKing SK tires. The frame will fit up to a 700x45c or 27.5×2.1″ tire.

Litespeed Gravel

Litespeed Gravel

The frame uses a PF30 bottom bracket, which ruled the comment section in our introduction. We asked our Litespeed contact why they chose to go press fit over the standard threaded option. They stated, “since we precisely machine our BBs in Tennessee (USA) our tolerances are super tight, no creaking BBs here… Also, with PF30 it allows the use of most any crank on the market and being it is oversized, it allows us to weld in larger diameter tubing in some cases.” A

Litespeed Gravel

The size Large bike weighs in at 20.8lbs without pedals and set up tubeless. The bike is available in a number of different builds ranging from 1x SRAM Force up to our Ultegra Di2 Hydraulic. It’s also available in 650b options with electronic and mechanical Ultegra systems.

Geometry

Top Tube Length
S M ML L XL
52.5 53.5 55.5 57 59
Head Tube Angle
S M ML L XL
71 71.5 72.0 72.5 72.5
Seat Tube Angle
S M ML L XL
74.5 74.5 74.0 73.5 73
Seat Tube Length
S M ML L XL
47.5 49.5 51.5 53.5 55.5
Chainstay Length
S M ML L XL
43 43 43 43 43
BB Drop (CM)
S M ML L XL
7.1 7.1 7.1 7.1 7.4
Wheelbase (CM)
S M ML L XL
101.2 101.9 103 103.7 104.7
Front Center (CM)
S M ML L XL
59.2 59.9 61 61.7 62.8
Fork Rake (CM)
S M ML L XL
5 5.0 5 5 5
Standover Height
S M ML L XL
75.9 77.2 79.3 81.5 83.7
Head Tube Length (CM)
S M ML L XL
11.1 12.5 14.4 16.8 19.6
Stack
S M ML L XL
55 56.5 58.5 61 64
Reach
S M ML L XL
37 37.7 38.6 39 39.3

 

Litespeed strived to shape the Gravel into an agile road machine, and they did a good job. Obviously, the bulbous tires prevent the bike from maneuvering or reaching race-bike speeds on the pavement. But the tradeoff for a slower and well-grounded bike is the comfort. Its stock 38mm tires under a titanium frame and carbon fork work well together to smooth out bumps and road chatter. I was placed on a size large, which even though I’m on the bigger side of – 6’3″ – I never felt cramped. There was ample space to shift forward and back while climbing or descending. This was important while hitting some of Florida’s sandy hills and roads.

Litespeed GravelLitespeed Gravel

Bikepacking, oh my!

The Gravel is built well for bikepacking, touring, adventure riding – whatever you’d like to call it. Its frame is covered with mounting bolts allowing both fenders and racks to be installed along with securing a top tube bag. If you’re not rocking a massive frame bag there is room for a total of 3 bottle cages inside and below the main triangle.

Litespeed Gravel
look fast, go fast

We had the chance to ride it fully loaded on sand, dirt and pavement during Atomik Carbon’s Rocks Roads & Reggae. Previously, I had only been bikepacking on a fat bike which was great for trail riding but was energy zapping and limited hand placement. The Gravel, being lighter and built for the road, was a much more comfortable and capable option. Even with the added pack weight, the bike handled well and maintained its speed.

Litespeed Gravel

The only part I would swap out to make the bikepacking experience better – on this bike – would be its bars. Out of the box, it comes with a standard road bike drop bar with no flare. Swapping it out with something that opens up in the drops would provide more leverage through sketchy sections and more space for any bar bags.

Litespeed Gravel

Gravel wrap-up

All-in-all, Lightspeed’s Gravel is a great handling and lightweight option if you’re looking to adventure past paved roads. It’s buttery smooth over pavement and holds its own on gravel and light single track. I enjoyed how versatile it was. One day I could ride roads to my local trails and get an all-around in. On another, I could pack up and head to a campsite outside of town. Depending on your specific needs there may be a couple part swaps from bars to tires. But ultimately I give the Gravel a thumbs up, and would put it on the radar of any friend looking for a gravel/touring/adventure bike.

Litespeed.com

Litespeed Gravel
until next time…

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18 COMMENTS

  1. So whats the deal with camping with a 4 grand bike, do you lock it to a tree or handcuff yourself to the frame while you sleep. Or your just so wealthy the lose of such a bike its that big a deal.

    • I’ll assume since you think 4k is so expensive for a bike you may be from a poorer country like Somalia, one of the bankrupted EU countries, or a rural asian villiage. 4k is pretty standard for any bike with mid-range components. I suppose if you’re on a minimum wage in UK, Australia, Canada, etc. $2k is a good compromise for something reliable with lower end components, or 1k for used. If you consider many people on an average wage might spend 30k on a boat, and go fishing in it a couple of times a year, 4k is not a lot especially if you ride even once a week, and take it on bikepacking trips which would also save you money on airfares and accommodation.

      • I think 4k is a lot of money.
        For the record, I’m from one of the northern, richer and more innovative tech leading countries in Europe.
        Also for the record, in response to your derogatory reply to BMX, your reply is not only out of line and unsolicited in the light of the topic, but also most likely based on erroneous and flawed assumptions on how the world works.
        I recommend you to take a second look at other countries before you insult them, especially at facts such as debt and debt/person. There are a number of other ratios and facts to look at as well, but country debt and debt/person will be a good starting point and exercise for you.
        Remember, it doesn’t take much effort or intelligence to live on credit (some else’s money), at least until you have to repay your debts. Now scale that up to country level and hopefully you’ll gain a more balanced and educated view on how the world works.

        • Point is if you can’t afford it look elsewhere. It’s not a challenge to find something that resembles a bike for under $500 or even $100. So why complain about a premium product being sold at a premium price? You want a titanium bicycle with an uncompromised spec then put up or shut up. $4k is also a lot of money for me, and I spent that much or more on my MTB. I value quality equipment that won’t fail on me, or pedal like trash when I travel through the country for weeks at a time.

  2. hum…. everything seems great but I would have seen some bolts on the fork for a front rack to give this bike more possibilities (anything cages or front packs).

    • I asked the same thing every time I would see one of these set ups. Can’t they get the center of gravity any higher! Maybe an overhead rack or something. But then I saw a picture of some guy pushing his fully laden rig thru some jungle grass on the side of a hill/mountain, and it occurred to me. These endeavors invariably require a fair amount of dismounted slogging, and the traditional panniers would get in the way of you pushing. And they would catch on all the shrubbery and low vegetation you are passing thru. There are probably other reasons too.

      • I’m glad I’m not the only one. All the bags all over the bike, with a bottle hanging off of the handlebars. Panniers can fit more, are easier to pack. Not sure of the weight difference, but for camping and such I prefer panniers.

  3. Again lost me at PF bottom bracket. Threaded systems are easier and cheaper to replace, are less prone to damage and are more repairable lovely that your tolerances are great but what is the benefit of Press fit in a Ti frame? outside a teeny tiny bit of weight savings?

  4. So who is bought the Litespeed GRAVEL or Cherohala? Tell us about your lightspeed gravel bike. I am thinking about buying a gravel bike and I like the durability and possibly ride quality of titanium as a frame.
    Thank you.

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