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Litespeed Debuts Lightweight, Shapely New Toscano Gravel Bike

new litespeed toscano titanium gravel bike being ridden
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Using the same house-made 6/4 titanium top tube as their ultralight Spezia road frame, the new Litespeed Toscano claims to be the lightest production titanium gravel bike on the market.

It shares the same size-specific tubing and tighter tolerances for tube wall thickness, too. And the insides of the head tube and bottom bracket are machined to remove weight. The result is a claimed frame weight of just 1,240g in size medium. That’s for the Toscano FI (Fully Integrated) model, and there’s a base model with standard cable routing, too. Let’s take a look…

Toscano Frame Details

closeup details of litespeed toscano titanium gravel bike top tube

The Toscano’s frame features go well beyond the actual material, but the top tube is worth highlighting. Unlike most tubes, this one’s folded from a sheet of 6/4 ti, which lets them fine-tune the ride quality.

closeup details of litespeed toscano titanium gravel bike bottom bracket and downtube

A triaxially ovalized downtube has a partial teardrop shape to “aerodynamically shield the water bottle” before widening at the BB to maximize torsional stiffness.

closeup details of litespeed toscano titanium gravel bike chainstays

The dropped driveside chainstay also creates more tire clearance, up to 700×48 gravel tires, while still allowing 2x gravel drivetrains.

closeup details of litespeed toscano titanium gravel bike seat stays

The seatstays land on the sides of the top tube. They say this wider stance adds lateral stiffness without giving up titanium’s signature ride quality, and it adds tire clearance.

closeup details of litespeed toscano titanium gravel bike dropouts

The dropouts are slightly relieved to save a few more grams and fit a UDH for future compatibility. Both models are offered with Di2- or AXS-specific designs, but you can order them with mechanical shift cable routing. That gives you the full range of gravel drivetrains, including the latest SRAM Apex XPLR and Shimano GRX groups, not to mention Campy Ekar.

Toscano Pricing & Options

litespeed toscano titanium gravel bike shown from side

The FI model uses a larger diameter head tube with their own carbon fork and the FSA ACR cockpit to hide all cables and wires. An ENVE InRoute fork/bar/stem upgrade option is also available. These models use a threaded T47 bottom bracket and are the lightest option. Bikes start at $7,550, and framesets are $4,550.

litespeed toscano titanium gravel bike with standard cable routing

For those who like to keep it simpler (or save a few bucks), a non-FI model has standard internal routing. These start at $6,899 and come with a PF30 bottom bracket shell, but you can upgrade to T47. Claimed frame weight for this standard version is 1,355g, which is still pretty light for a titanium frame. Frameset is $4,295.

litespeed toscano titanium gravel bike leaning against a wall

Choose from standard vinyl decals or their TiDize color anodization and etching for a more custom look. Frames come in XS/S/M/ML/L/XL sizes.

Litespeed.com

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will
will
7 months ago

unless you love the material, the value just isnt there. if you look at the ultimate g2, which is heavier and doesn’t have the new top tube:

– significantly heavier than carbon
– significantly flexier laterally than carbon
– not as vertically compliant as carbon
– the aerotube is looks and marketing, this bike hasnt seen a wind tunnel

this could be ok, but then it cost nearly 5k with a t47 bb and the light frame. or you could get a sworks crux frame (yea made in tw). or a revel r+ (usa) for 2.7k

the delaney ultimate g2 video also summarizes this well too

Last edited 7 months ago by will
Mitch
7 months ago
Reply to  will

I have been riding this bike as a prototype since June and love it. I ordered mine with the exact same geometry as the 2022 Crux frameset (size 52) that I sold to get this one. Ultimately decided to get Ti for a more durability. No more protective tape, etc. My version did not have the UDH on it. I have mine weighing in at an ACTUAL 17.55 lbs with gravel tires and sealant, Dura-Ace pedals, bottle cages and computer mount. Compared to the Crux, it is a smoother more forgiving ride and is plenty “stiff” for me. Granted, I weigh 135 fully kitted out. I do race gravel and cross as well so it’s not a greenway cruiser. Raced it at BWR Asheville as well in June. Obviously to each their own, but until you have actually ridden it I wouldn’t dismiss this bike.

IMG_1164.jpeg
Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 months ago
Reply to  Mitch

I’ve definitely ridden it. It feels just like the other two titanium bikes I’ve owned taking tire size into account. Absolutely nothing special about it. It do get the durability thing if you expect to crash but most crashes don’t result in your frame hitting anything. As for protective tape, I really don’t care if my paint chips

will
will
7 months ago
Reply to  Mitch

135lbs is quite light (61kg) so maybe it works out better that way too. I love the look of titanium bikes, but my 2013 Crux size 56 with aluminum wheels and old stuff weight the same – and i guarantee is stiffer – I’m 180lbs.

Now, i had some cracks in the paint and it yellowed a bit (I’ve riding this bike for over 10y now, about 5d/week outside of vacations). I had the frame checked by specialized about 4 month ago and theres no crack no give etc still good as new, other than the look. Few litespeed owners actually keep their bikes 10y (or they do but get a new one by then).

And for me thats kind of the thing, i love the titanium bikes, but everytime i push into them, its just not the same, so paying that much for them feels wrong (i know n22 and seven and stuff are much more expensive)

G-Bike
G-Bike
7 months ago
Reply to  Mitch

beautiful bike and build…

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 months ago
Reply to  will

As someone that put over 200k miles on a Seven, I don’t see the purpose in buying titanium unless you want a lightish bike and NEED custom geometry or you want a touring bike. My Seven was $12k over 15yrs ago. It’s on lifetime trainer duty now. I bought a new Domane for about $5k last year and it’s better in every way. I don’t think there’s a single bike available since ~2020 over $4500 that I wouldn’t take over ANY titanium frame on the market.

TomBrady
TomBrady
7 months ago
Reply to  Veganpotter

The good thing about your opinion/advice is that it is yours and no one needs to heed it. I’ll never comprehend why one is so critical of something that they do not wish to ever acquire.
And your plastic trek will die in 5 years. Not an opinion.

Kool Stop Tyre Lever Sales Dept.
Kool Stop Tyre Lever Sales Dept.
7 months ago
Reply to  TomBrady

In 5 years there will be bikes so much better than the Domane,
bikes get, lighter, stiffer and more compliant every year,
haven’t you ever read a Specialized product announcement?

Last edited 7 months ago by Kool Stop Tyre Lever Sales Dept.
Dinger
Dinger
7 months ago

They get lighter and stiffer but not more compliant. That’s bigger tires you’re feeling..

Dinger
Dinger
7 months ago
Reply to  Veganpotter

To each their own. I have a late 90’s Litespeed that I’ll never give up. I’ve owned over a dozen carbon bikes across the time I’ve had my ti bike (including a Domane RSL) and while the aero bikes are faster in racing-intense situations no other bike I’ve ever owned or ridden rides as nice. I’ll continue to own and turn over modern bikes that the ti bike will stay in the quiver as long as I can bear the fit.

Jay Ess
Jay Ess
7 months ago
Reply to  will

I went down the Ti rabbit hole for a new gravel bike 3 years ago, after shopping and coming to grips with sticker shock ($5000.00 for a bare minimum custom frame) I got a chance to ride a few very high end demo’s. I then rode a friends Giant Revolt……..I now ride a Revolt.

Last edited 7 months ago by Jay Ess
nooner
nooner
7 months ago
Reply to  Jay Ess

I also have a Giant Revolt for gravel. While i do like it, I don’t love it. I love my Litespeed and will always keep it.

G-Bike
G-Bike
7 months ago
Reply to  will

I guarantee every rider who was on a Titanium frame at the end of Unbound 2023 was laughing at every plastic frame that died on that course…

Chader
Chader
7 months ago
Reply to  G-Bike

True for the frame, but fork could also be an issue. Seems that most of these ti bikes use a carbon fork for stock, so riders would need to have applied some good frame protection tape or have massive clearance to prevent mud & rock abrasion there too. If someone is running a steel or ti (rare) fork, they’d be ok as well.

I did a solid section of tape on the back and inner portion of the carbon fork for my new ti bike, just to be safe.

carbonfodder
carbonfodder
7 months ago

I get the arguments for and against ti and carbon…. and have both types. If I had to make a single bike choice, it would be ti. Why? In my mind ti rides nicer than other materials, full stop. Yup, it is WAY heavier than carbon, but you can mitigate the extra kilo of frame weight with reasonable parts picks. Then, you get a lifetime frame that rides beautifully.
The only downside I can think of for ti is that it simply doesn’t fail, so ‘justifying’ a new bike to oneself or the significant other is a bit more difficult.
If you like to ride bikes, do that. On your perch(es) of preference. Marketers will market whether you are on your bike or not.

Ben
Ben
7 months ago

I’m lucky to own both a new Crux with SRAM Red components as well as a Moots Routt 45 with Ti components. I’m taking the Ti bike all day over the plastic bike.

will
will
7 months ago
Reply to  Ben

so hum, you’re selling the crux right? cuz id buy a new-used crux 🙂 (seriously!)

Chris
Chris
7 months ago

If you love titanium this seems like a neat option. If you love carbon, then it’s not for you.

I ride in fast paced group rides on road and gravel, I average 5,000-6,000 miles per year. I compete in a handful of races. Not a professional. I just love the sport.
The bottom line is this:

It really isn’t about the bike or the tech. They want you to think it is, but it really isn’t.

I ride steel, I shift mechanically, I use rim brakes (for road). And I’m still either keeping up with or very often beating, people on their custom titanium bikes and their specialized Aethos’ or Factors with electronic this and power metered that.

Unless you’re only a few seconds away from a podium finish and racing professionally, my advice is to spend the money on more bike trips and some nice wheels and tires. Because it really has very little to do with the bike. As long as your bike fits you and you can easily lift
It, you’re good to go.

And if it’s about status for you, then be a true player and go with a custom steel bike from a small builder. Player status indeed.

Don’t be that slow guy on the featherweight $10k bike. Nobody likes that guy and every group ride has one.

Roger Pedacter
Roger Pedacter
7 months ago

Unsurprisingly lots of armchair engineers and 14,000 mile/year (lol) riders here giving their, ahem, “well informed” opinions…

Is no one going to comment on how terrible the front end looks on the FI model with that weird fork and short/small diameter headtube? Talk about lazily chasing fads, sheesh.

Roger Pedacter
Roger Pedacter
7 months ago
Reply to  Roger Pedacter

Also, “triaxially ovalized”? That could be the most embarrassing thing I’ve read here in a month. Just to mansplain a bit, tubes like that are a 2 axis profile extruded into 3D space and then formed. You can shape it along the X and y axes. Or you can bend it or hydroform it. But no matter how many changes you make it’s still just a biaxial ovalization.

Oliver
Oliver
7 months ago
Reply to  Roger Pedacter

It’s because half their clientele will rule it out, out of hand, if it doesn’t use Chris King external headset solution. Same for Moots.

Kelvin C
Kelvin C
7 months ago

Damn! love Ti or love carbon, if everyone here is still in love with cycling, who cares what you ride. If it continues to put you on the saddle for many years to come, that is the ultimate gift a bike can do for you. Ride on everyone!

Steve
Steve
5 months ago
Reply to  Kelvin C

I have had 4 Seven Ti’s built for me and one Ti-carbon. The reason was neck issues from a fusion and needed a higher headtube. All the small sizes in off the shelf bikes had very short headtubes which wasn’t going to work. I wanted a comfy ride as everybody else doesn’t pick the tubing tailored to the ride requested. I rode an Open upper and loved the ride and weight but the HT was just too short for me otherwise I would have gone that way.

Steve
Steve
5 months ago
Reply to  Kelvin C

FWIW: I kept my Axiom SLX FOR ROAD and my Evergreen SLX FOR GRAVEL. Extremely comfortable and takes up to a 48 700 tire
Still 150 grams lighter than the litespeed frame
Came in at 17. 8 pounds with Dura ace components and enve wheel set

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