Last year, Zach reviewed the T3. And then the Litespeed T2 debuted as its replacement, offering a lighter frame with important updates like a rear thru axle, bridge-free seatstays, and additional tube shaping and butting.
The result is a bike that rides immaculately, whether I was cruising for hours or sweating out a sprint interval workout in the hills. I mentioned these positive impressions to their national sales manager, to which he replied that, yeah, a lot of people are surprised at how they’ve managed to make a bike that’s stiff in all the right places, similar to a carbon frame, yet still retain that characteristic ti vibe. While it won’t ever be as light as a carbon bike, chances are it’ll outlast two or three of them and keep you smiling for decades…
The complete bike in size XL weighed in at 18.5lb (8.39kg). That’s built with an 3T alloy bar/stem and carbon seatpost, Shimano Ultegra Di2, Prologo saddle, and the Reynolds Assault SLG carbon wheelset upgrade. Base price for the complete bike is $6,700 with Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels & Yksion tires. Add $750 for the Reynolds hoops.
All of the tubes are size specific, meaning each one is tuned for the size frame it’s going on. That lets them tune it according to the correct rider size and weight typical of short, medium and tall people. The additional machining on the headtube, but it’s all on the inside, and it doesn’t seem to diminish front end stiffness or steering response. In fact, likely because of the heavily shaped top tube and oversized downtube, the front end is very stiff, which gave the T2 very direct and instant steering. The angles work well to keep the bike easy to control, which adds up to a fine balance of strong, predictable handling and stable cruising.
The fork is an important part of any bike’s performance, and Litespeed’s full carbon fiber one not only complements the aesthetics but also felt great. Even with the alloy bar, road vibrations weren’t overwhelming, and it’s stiff in the right ways. I couldn’t notice any front wheel flex or torsional deflection under hard corners or power. One thing worth mentioning is the angle of entry for the front brake hose can end up having it rub along the head tube, which can discolor the titanium. Shortening the hose would likely solve this, but the way our test bike came, it quickly left its mark.
Tire clearance, visually anyways, looks to be very conservatively limited to 28mm wide…there’s room for more rubber if you don’t mind ignoring their guidelines. Also plenty of clearance for crank-arm based power meters (first-gen Stages shown).
If you’ve been riding a while, you might hold dated perceptions of titanium road bikes as being a little, um, soft under power. Some early models from Litespeed (and to be fair, others) that prioritized low weight were lacking stiffness in the power transfer chain (DT-BB-CS). The T2 quickly dispels any notion that Ti road bikes are flexy. It’s solid ride under power, standing or seated, and the rear end tracked true.
Tuned seatstays made it comfortable, and thru axles kept the rear end in line. As mentioned, it’s not noodley at all.
Claimed tire clearance is 28mm, shown here with 700×25 Kenda Valkyries that I’m testing.
My only gripe is a rattle over bumps. I isolated it to being the rear brake cable running through the downtube, which could be remedied during initial install by attaching uncut cable ties (which will press and hold the hose against the tube) or foam tubes along the stretch of hose placed inside that tube. Because of the cable ports’ placements, that can be a little tricky, you’ll likely need to reach into the BB holes to do it, but that should solve the problem (assuming you can find a friend with small hands).
At 6’2″, the XL felt just right. I usually prefer bikes with ~585mm ETT, and this bike’s geo worked fantastic for me and had the right amount of seatpost extension to look good, too. Because that matters.
If it weren’t for so much March and April travel, I’d have held on to the T2 longer. Most everything I’ve ridden for the past couple years is carbon, especially on the pavement, yet Litespeed’s latest do-it-all road bike holds its own against them all. If you’re looking for your next bike to last a decade, or just want something different without sacrificing performance for being unique, the T2 is very much worth a look.