Litespeed already had the Gravel, a well-built titanium all-rounder that that we rode though all seasons and all manner of adventures. But now there’s an upgrade. A faster, more aerodynamic, more vertically compliant built to race the toughest dirt and gravel roads – the new Litespeed Gravel Ultimate.

2019 Litespeed Gravel Ultimate ti gravel road race bike

2019 Litespeed Gravel Ultimate premium titanium gravel road race bike

The Ultimate name was first introduced on the road for Litespeed as a premier 3AL/2.5V race bike decades ago. Now with that same go fast mentality they have reshaped their Gravel into a mixed surface race weapon.

What makes this the Ultimate gravel grinder?

2019 Litespeed Gravel Ultimate premium titanium gravel road race bike

The new Gravel Ultimate expands on the Gravel by giving the mixed-surface bike an all-new 3AL/2.5V cold-worked titanium tubeset. Crafted in the US, the new frame gets a custom truncated airfoil downtube and a shaped toptube, wider at the ends for improved stiffness and more stable handling. Out back it gets aerofoil shaped seatstays that dramatically swoop to combine both aerodynamic performance and more rear end compliance. Even the headtube & PF30 bottom bracket shell are butted to keep things light, with a frame coming in at 1,299g for a medium.

2019 Litespeed Gravel Ultimate premium titanium gravel road race bike

The new bike carries over the disc brake only setup, with a flat mount rear caliper and 12mm axles paired with the same 1.5″ tapered steerer full carbon fork as the standard Gravel. Even though it is designed as a race bike, that fork includes fender mounts, and fender mounts are optionally available on the titanium frame as well. The bike is standard with Di2-ready electronic routing only, but is customizable for mechanical drivetrains, too.

Clearance on the bike is generous for whatever type of gravel racing you get into. The frame will fit up to a 45mm wide 700C tire or up to a 2.1″ 650B/27.5″ tire, making this thing pretty trail-capable.

2019 Litespeed Gravel Ultimate geometry chart

2019 Litespeed Gravel Ultimate premium titanium gravel road race bike geometry

The new Gravel Ultimate is meant to move fast so its geometry leans toward a nimble road bike feel vs. the more relaxed Gravel tourer. That means slightly longer toptubes, slightly steeper angles and slightly shorter wheelbase vs. the standard Gravel, while retaining the same Stack & Reach numbers to maintain rider fits. The Gravel Ultimate is available in five stock sizes (S-XL)

Litespeed Gravel Ultimate Pricing, Spec & Availability

 2019 Litespeed Gravel Ultimate premium titanium gravel road race bike

The new 2019 Litespeed Gravel Ultimate is available in three electronic drivetrain builds, one mechanical, or as a standalone frame only. The Di2 ready frame by itself sells for $3500 and is available with either matte black or titanium gray decals.

2019 Litespeed Gravel Ultimate premium titanium gravel road race bike

Complete bike builds will set you back $10,500 with a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 group, the same $10,500 with SRAM eTap, or the slightly more affordable $7,000 Ultegra Di2 build with Stan’s Grail wheels. A Shimano Ultegra mechanical complete bike with Sun Ringle Charger wheels is the lowest cost of entry to the Ultimate at $5,950.

Bare frames are ready to ship out next week, with complete bikes likely to add about a week or two to the delivery process.

2019 Litespeed Gravel Ultimate premium titanium gravel road race bike

And if you are holding out for a new Road Ultimate bike after hearing of the Gravel Ultimate… Rumor has it that Litespeed has a new race version of their disc brake road bike in the works, possibly to debut within a month. #comingsoon!


    • Oh, plueeze. This is ABG Litespeed, not Lynskey (founders of Litespeed). Carbon Litespeeds were bad enough…simple solution is get a bike that is hand mande in Tennessee…Lynskey.

        • True. Litespeed was founded by the Lynskey’s who then sold the company to ABG. ABG has had a number of iterations of Litespeed, let alone Merlin, Tomac , Quintanaroo (Dan Empfield) and others. For the most part ABG is nothing more than a marketing company who has destroyed the history of a number of classic American brands.

          • Ah, so you have nothing objective to say about how well Litespeed’s bikes work or ride. Ah. And yet Litespeed makes Ti bike by hand in Tennessee.

            • I could comment on their terrible iterations of Martec Carbon – had four. Terrible as compared to Ti (then again, people purchase Litespeed FOR the Ti aspect). Now, as per “Ultimate”, reusing the name would be akin to reusing the name “Mercury” for a new space program. Simply silly.

              I do see that someone at ABG got a clue and carbon is out of their lineup. Oddly, my day to day bike does happen to say “Litespeed” on it….Just got a new Record12 kit for it, so, may need to change my moniker.

              • It is a shame that Litespeed’s carbon venture turned out as badly as it did. They had to try as it was obvious that Titanium was never going to be competitive against it in the larger market and as a result, Titanium has been reduced to a niche product. It’s enjoying a resurgence in the gravel segment because it’s so tough, but still so very expensive.

      • I always find it interesting how people authoritatively throw out how the Lynskey family founded Litespeed, and how ABG ruined it, while either conveniently (or ignorantly) leaving out just how much of the time after they sold the business, they stayed on running it and running it so successfully that they management from later sales ran them out. It is also interesting to me when people post about how David Lynskey is the master Ti frame designer in the world, and that all of the design and welding/fabrication skill apparently left Litespeed to go to Lynskey. Makes for a good story, but not really the case. Always interesting to see how much faith people put in brands versus looking at the actual product.

        Probably the most telling thing I see if looking at where the expertise and knowledge stayed or migrated between the two is which one of the two has product on a different planet.

        • I happen to be intimately familiar with how Litespeed was founded, where they got their welders (and it was not David) and on and on. I also happen to be familiar with how ABG thought it was a good idea to produce carbon frames and smack the Litespeed label on them. I suppose it is akin to the new Vitus bikes as compared to the good old Vitus 979 with the integrated Mavic headet (flexy, just ask Sean Kelly).

          Wont say that Lynsky were smart business people. Nor were the founders of many other companies – or were they? Say, Zipp for example? Selling to SRAM was genius (and, Josh still has total control). We may see more now that the going story is a Chineese company is going to buy Mavic/Envy (Amer) in the very near future…time shall tell.

          • So are you also intimately familiar with how Lynskey was founded? If we are going to imply that “ABG Litespeeds” are worse than Lynskey’s or that since they aren’t the original Lynskey run Litespeeds of the late 80’s and 90’s they are inherently inferior, it is probably more relevant to know the talent behind each now and the product they are making now, not in 1986.

            Personally I have no desire to own a Litespeed carbon bike (I like Ti and for the riding I do I think it is a better material choice for me), but not so sure what is so bad about ABG deciding to have a try at a carbon road bike. They have designed and marketed carbon triathlon bikes for quite some time under their Quintana Roo brand (and the success of the PR series could support the notion that they are doing it successfully), so why not in the road bike line/brand? Other brands have moved past their initial niche or material. Cannondale makes carbon bikes even though they started as “THE” aluminum bike company, Specialized started making steel MTB’s, Pivot now makes the ‘Les’ hardtail, Niner makes bikes with 27.5/650b’s and so on. History’s trash bin is full of businesses that didn’t adapt to changing technologies and customer preferences, so what is so inherently bad about putting the Litespeed name on a carbon bike?

            And when will you update your moniker to ’12’? I remember the old dumpster fire days of Record10 on the ST forums, so why not 12 yet?

  1. As a note to the article. The Original Ultimate also had a 6/4 downtube made of sheet Titanium and welded along the top seam. Much of the rest of the bike was 3/2.5.

  2. Nice numbers on that bike, always appreciate it when manufacturers can get a decent height head tube onto a bike without it looking like a clown car

  3. Let’s not kid ourselves here. Unless Litespeed give us actual aero data this frame is no more aero than a round tube frame. Think those curved stays are going to flex with 35-50mm tires at 40psi? No way. And a short wheelbase being faster on gravel? Wrong again. Short wheelbase means the rider is pitched back & forward more on rough terrain meaning more loss of forward momentum, and more rider fatigue, than a long wheelbase. This bike is nothing more than gimmick, gimmick, gimmick. A shame given what Litespeed used to represent in the early to mid 1990’s.

  4. Bought the Litespeed Gravel last month. It’s my 3rd Litespeed and by far the best bike I’ve ever owned.
    (Cannondale’s, Orbea, Colnago’s, and a Masi). People gunna hate no matter what. Say what you want, but I’ll put my Litespeed against any other Ti gravel model.

  5. Never understand why some people consider Ti to be too expensive. Compared to many other carbon frames, they cost the same and sometimes even cost less. I own 2 Ti bikes (a lynskey and litespeed) and can’t imagine riding a carbon frame over these.

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