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New Litespeed Watia titanium gravel bike offers wide tires, choice of cable routing & BB

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It’s been a bit since we’ve heard from Litespeed, but it’s not because they haven’t been busy. Yesterday, the company launched an all new gravel bike. Called the Watia, the bike is named after the Watia Creek in Tennessee’s Cherokee Forest that is well off the grid – fitting for a gravel bike meant to continue where the road ends.

 Litespeed Watia titanium gravel bike internal frame  Litespeed Watia titanium gravel bike external frameStarting with a full 3AL/2.5V U.S.-made titanium frame, Litespeed uses their shaping and cold-working magic to deliver a frame with targeted stiffness, flex, and compliance. The result is a frame that weighs in at 1,565g for a medium, has the ride and durability of titanium, and clearance for 700c x 45mm or 650b x 53mm tires.

 Litespeed Watia titanium gravel bike internal vs external routing

It also has a choice of cable routing. Those that prefer the ease of maintenance for exposed routing benefit from a lower price tag. But those that want the clean look and protected cables from internal routing are in luck as well. Two completely different versions of the Watia frame are available to cater to both crowds.

 Litespeed Watia titanium gravel bike PF30 BB

Both frames include a PF30 bottom bracket – unless you’d prefer one with threads. In that case, a T47 bottom bracket upgrade is available for an additional $250.

 Litespeed Watia titanium gravel bike seat stays

That plate behind the bottom bracket is the key to the generous tire clearance (and chainring clearance) without resorting to a dropped chainstay design.

 

 Litespeed Watia titanium gravel bike with bags

Fender mounts and three bottle cage mounts are the standard option for the frame, with other mounts available as upgrades. Rack mounts are offered for a $95 upcharge, and top tube storage mounts run $55.

 Litespeed Watia titanium gravel bike fork options

 

If you haven’t noticed yet, options are the name of the game here. The standard Litespeed carbon fork offers fender mounts, but if you want three pack mounts on the side of each leg, that fork is offered for a $45 upcharge. There’s also an option for an ENVE G Series fork for another $109.

 Litespeed Watia titanium gravel bike drivetrain

Compatible with 1x or 2x drivetrains, the frame uses a standard front derailleur clamp. Additional frame details include a 12 x 100mm front thru axle, 12 x 142mm rear thru axle, and 160mm minimum rotors.

 Litespeed Watia titanium gravel bike pricing

With all the options, the pricing is more or less just a starting point. I was surprised to see that even though this is a brand new bike, Litespeed actually has the Watia on sale at the moment – and not just a few dollars. Not only that, but it looks like they’re offering the etched finish instead of decals right now for free (normally a $195 option). Given what we’ve heard about potential supply chain shortages on components for new bikes in 2021, it might just be the perfect time to buy (and we’re not getting paid to say that).

litespeed.com

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12 Comments
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nooner
nooner
2 years ago

I LOVE my LItespeed.

BMX
BMX
2 years ago

my ti bike is the best thing I’ve ever bought, thousands of miles on her, every day commuting ,lock up in building site getting a shite blasted out it with concrete and grit. just seems to resist anything. And rides great of course.

Frank
Frank
2 years ago

Looks like it checks all the boxes and prices on complete builds are pretty reasonable for a Ti bike, but….

$250 seems pretty steep for a T47 BB. Do they really cost that much more to fit to a bike than a press-fit BB (which I wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot-pole).

Also, lets see a Campy 13x build!

PL
PL
2 years ago
Reply to  Frank

No, they don’t. Exactly the same external dimensions and internal dimensions, you can actually tap PF30 frames for T47 (Ti is going to be harder). But no need to change fixture or tube mitres, so $259 is a rip off, given they must know it’s preference for most.

AL
AL
2 years ago
Reply to  PL

My wild guess. They make all frames with PF30 and tap the threads for T47 post order. This is easier for manufacturing/inventory, but add steps and cost.

John
John
2 years ago

I like it. Would prefer a SRAM Red or Force option since I and just not a Shimano lover. All my bikes are SRAM.

K-Pop is dangerous to your health
K-Pop is dangerous to your health
2 years ago
Reply to  John

So you get the frame and whatever group you want separately. Then all of a sudden just like magic you’re riding a Sram equipped Watia. …How hard is that?

None Given
None Given
2 years ago

A tad harder than we want to infer….I am NOT a Ti welder (but have) nor a machinist (but have seen it many times).

The BB on my (and I think all Ti Litespeeds) are not tapped until after the bike is built (faced and threaded). This would add at least a few hours of labor to the build. So, if I had my plumber do it I suppose it would only cost about $500 at $125hr or so…..,. on my bike the BB shell is 6/4 and a bit harder than 3/2.5…that may add some fun to the mess as well.

Greg
Greg
2 years ago
Reply to  None Given

Tapping and facing a bottom bracket shell should take five minutes, ten max. Considering a PF30 should be reamed and faced anyway, I’d say it’s a wash. There is more wear going into a more involved tool for threading, but that’s it.
Then again, I have no issue with charging for perceived value.

K-Pop is dangerous to your health
K-Pop is dangerous to your health
2 years ago

BTW; don’t you void warranties when you tap PF30 shells to T47? I’ve heard it done in both alu and Ti frames, but I don’t think any bike brands honor any warranty claims if you do that.

Robin
Robin
2 years ago

^This.

BigC
BigC
2 years ago

Any idea how they route the Di2 cable down the rear seat stay (because of the flat drive side chain stay)? Curious how this is managed with the seatpost. Nice looking bike.

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