As one of the original American titanium companies, Litespeed has always been at the forefront of titanium bike design and is made in the United States. What’s more, Litespeed was considered one of the earliest bike brands to offer riders a test bike (in 2015) when it comes to gravel bikes.
In other words, Litespeed specializes in manufacturing high-performance titanium bikes, including the world’s best road, mountain, and gravel titanium bicycles. There are many more interesting things about this “titanium brand”. Let’s explore this in the article.
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Table of Contents
- Overview of Litespeed Bike Company
- Litespeed Bike Categories
- Most Popular Litespeed Bikes
- Litespeed Bike Price Range
- Are Litespeed Bikes Any Good?
- Litespeed Vs. Lynskey
- Litespeed Titanium Road Bikes
- Litespeed Titanium Gravel Bikes
- Litespeed Titanium Mountain Bikes
- Litespeed Titanium City Bikes
Overview of Litespeed Bike Company
History of Litespeed Bike Company
As you might know, Litespeed is one of the famous bike brands manufacturing titanium bikes in the United States. They were one of the earliest companies to manufacture a mass amount of titanium bikes but not the first; that honor went to Teledyne Titanium in the 1970s.
In those days, commercial grades of titanium were considered the standard in titanium frame manufacturing. However, people found that the variant of the unusual metal wasn’t right for the job.
On the other hand, Litespeed was better known for its more stable use of 3AL/2.5V titanium. Hence, the company was referred to as Southeast Machine. It is a custom machine store that engages in exotic metals, having manufactured their first titanium bike frame in 1986.
After quite a long time of trial and mistake to create a bike worthy of the show, Litespeed brought their first show bicycle to the Long Beach bicycle show in 1987.
A lot of time has passed since those formative years. However, Litespeed, a division of the American Bicycle Group, is still doing very well in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
In addition, 2019 saw a completely different world than it did in 1987. It was the time when various advanced technologies appeared, such as thru-axles and disc brakes on road bikes, 1x 13-speed hydraulic powertrain, 12-speed electronic drivetrain, gravel and all-road bikes, and more technology.
Some short-term experiments with carbon and aluminum aside, Litespeed has remained true to titanium. Today they are adjusting and developing titanium to the point where it is possible to fabricate a single 6AL/4V titanium plate to become a conical and multifaceted tube.
For those who don’t know, Litespeed introduced its first flagship 3AL/2.5V racing bike, the Litespeed Ultimate, in 1987. It has been raced to the USPRO National Championship. And anyone who has been riding for a while will absolutely remember the LA Sheriff’s cycling team, which won their races, the Polished Ultimates, all around the United States.
Where Are Litespeed Bikes Made?
Litespeed is a famous bike manufacturer in the United States that was established in 1986 in Ooltewah, Tennessee. And all of the Litespeed titanium bikes are produced at the company’s headquarters in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The Technologies of Litespeed Bikes
Litespeed titanium frames have been handmade in the United States for more than 30 years. The brand is delighted about its ability to be at the forefront of the industry, bringing riders the most exquisite, refined, and technologically advanced titanium bikes.
In particular, the company has developed its titanium frame technologies into three different hierarchies, including T1, T2, and T3. All of them are typically designed to make their bicycles perform at a higher level.
Every frame type is determined by the inventions in production and their implementation in the finished model. However, they all obey separate tube weight and size specifications, and each offers a very different cycling experience.
T1 frames are particularly built to be durable and stiff but also offer rider mobility and deliver seamless performance while minimizing power output. In addition, T1 frames are designed to go the distance.
In fact, these T1 frames perform better than any other models from Litespeed to date. This makes them not only the top option for serious racers and riders but also the most technologically innovative bicycles out there.
T2 frames are manufactured to enhance performance. The company created a lightweight, windproof frame working in tandem with other bike components to deliver outstanding performance in any cycling conditions.
As a result, the ride quality is very stable, and the bicycle itself will provide the rider with excellent performance for many years. You can find the complete use of T2 frame technology in Litespeed’s Sewannee mountain bike.
And the last technology, T3 frames, is considered the everlasting option for professional riders. It has also been used in many competitions. This technology is integrated into different models, including the Pisgah and Xicon. They are not only light, versatile but also typically built for endurance missions like the Tour de France, where they have performed well for many years.
T3 frames are the result of thorough research and performance-specific design, which makes them able to take various punishments and still deliver a controlled and constant ride.
Performance of Litespeed Titanium Road Bikes
Litespeed titanium road bikes are considered among the most lightweight, highest-performance models out there. There are different bikes in this range, but the best ones are the Litespeed T1SL and Ultimate. These are the bikes that offer a top-notch ride with unparalleled compliance, aerodynamics, and sturdiness.
Actually, it is no exaggeration to say that the Litespeed Ultimate embodies all that is required in a pro performance racing bicycle. Aerodynamics, lightweight, compliance, and rigidity are all infused into this skillfully built titanium bicycle. And those features also make it the most technically innovative racing bike available on the market today. Indeed, the Litespeed Ultimate is so distinctive and comprehensive that it truly deserves its legendary name.
And as being at Litespeed, it offers the signature titanium riding experience. It includes the stiffness as you desire while still being comfortable for a long-distance ride because the material can absorb shocks on even the roughest trails.
For the T1SL model, it is built with the most lightweight titanium frame and features the highest rigidity-to-weight rate among any other titanium road bicycles available right now.
The way that Litespeed built this powerful, sturdy, comfortable performance race bike and this light are what sets the T1sl outstanding among all the other bikes on the market. It all starts with a groundbreaking top tube, handmade from an aerospace grade 6AL/4V titanium plate, formed into a multifaceted taper tube that reduces weight while enhancing torsional hardness.
Litespeed Bike Categories
Since Litespeed targets high-performance bikes for serious riders, you will find any model for kids. The company is also best well-known for titanium frames. Therefore, all of their bikes are made from high-quality titanium. The major bike categories that Litespeed focuses on are gravel, road, mountain, and city bikes. Each range includes different sub-categories and models suitable for different riding styles.
- Litespeed Titanium Road Bikes
- Litespeed Titanium Gravel Bikes
- Litespeed Titanium Mountain Bikes
- Litespeed Titanium City Bikes
Most Popular Litespeed Bikes
As you might all know, road bikes are Litespeed’s heritage. And of course, it would be remiss if not to mention their road bicycles. However, there are still some popular models in city, gravel, and mountain ranges. Let’s have a look at the most popular Litespeed bikes on the market:
- Litespeed Titanium Road Bikes: Litespeed Ultimate
- Litespeed Titanium Gravel Bikes: Litespeed Watia
- Litespeed Titanium Mountain Bikes: Litespeed Pinhoti III
- Litespeed Titanium City Bikes: Litespeed Cherohala City
Litespeed Bike Price Range
Because Litespeed bikes are typically designed for high-performance customers, they are not as cheap as some brands. What’s more, the company’s high-end titanium and other premium materials make it highly valued. Here is the price range of Litespeed bikes that you can find on the market.
- Litespeed Titanium Road Bikes: $2,995 – $6,529
- Litespeed Titanium Gravel Bikes: $3,945 – $4,695
- Litespeed Titanium Mountain Bikes: $4,745 – $5,395
- Litespeed Titanium City Bikes: $2,799
Are Litespeed Bikes Any Good?
As you might know, Litespeed is one of the most famous bike companies manufacturing titanium bikes in the United States. It would make for a great commuter and light touring bike for the way it gets the job done, and it is unique. The brand has been producing some of the best titanium bikes in Chattanooga for over 30 years, which is proof of its bike quality. Besides, the company has continued to improve and expand its line of award-winning gravel, mountain, and road bikes.
Litespeed Vs. Lynskey
When you think about the titanium legacy of the United States, the two names might quickly come to your mind, Lynskey and Litespeed. A very fun fact here is that even though these brands are competitors right now, it was the Lynskey family that established Litespeed in 1986 when they decided to combine their history and commercial business as industrial metal manufacturers into a titanium frame corporation.
Even if both bike brands are famous for titanium bicycles, they have their own target customers. Each company has a flagship bike that makes it a legendary name of the brand or even a category in the industry. For example, it is the Litespeed Ultimate and the Lynskey Helix.
The Litespeed Ultimate is really expanding the boundaries of performance with its delicate yet efficient tube shaping. The Lynskey Helix, on the other hand, is going beyond the bounds of metalworking. This, as a result, makes their bikes more compliant and a little bit heavier than Litespeed bikes.
Litespeed chose to do things slightly more difficult and didn’t use any type of alloy adapters, which made it cheaper to manufacture their bike frames. The Lynskey models tend to have more room for tires. What’s more, the geometry is also a bit more comfortable across the spectrum.
When it comes to variety, both bike brands provide the market with a wide range of options and upgrades, making their own bike a unique one. Nevertheless, Lynskey offers finished models with less cost than Litespeed. The reason why Litespeed doesn’t offer such a low build is because they are aiming at performance riders.
In these times when craftsmanship seems to be blurring, fading in the cycling industry, both these brands still shine with incredible welds and build.
Regardless of which brand you choose and the model you opt for, you might want to go for a wheel upgrade. While the Ti seat post looks great, you can add it later. What’s more, the finish should be considered since a matte bicycle looks really great, cool, but you will find it more difficult to maintain.
In general, Lynskey’s appearance or outlook is unique and a starting point for conversation. However, the performance of Litespeed speaks for itself. Litespeed may cost you a few dollars more, but in reality, there is only a little difference in price if you try to build Litespeed bikes by yourself.
On the other hand, if you have a tight budget, Lynskey is an ideal choice that will last you many years. It also allows you plenty of time to elevate and custom on your own.
Litespeed Titanium Road Bikes
It could be said the Titanium Road Bikes are Litespeed’s legacy. However, in the hands of the most creative and innovative craftsmen, their road bikes are now and future of the bicycle industry.
Litespeed has built its respectable name on criterium victories and Tour stage wins. Nowadays, the company continues to drive innovation in titanium road bicycles. It is believed that Litespeed road bikes can take you up steep alpine bends with lots of confidence and ultimate comfort on rocky, gravel roads. They also provide the rider with incredible speed, confidently around corners.
Whether you are a busy racing day or simply hanging out with your friends on a weekend group riding tour, the perfect performance on Litespeed titanium road bikes awaits you.
Typically, Litespeed not only offers its signature titanium road bicycles, but you can also custom your dream bike with different colors and build options. Among various popular models, the TL1SL Disc High-performance road bike might be the most versatile one.
T1SL Disc High-Performance Road
This model is produced with the most lightweight titanium frame. What’s more, it features the highest stiffness-to-weight rate among any other titanium road bike available out there.
What’s more, it can be completely customizable. You have different options to custom your dream bike, including the brand’s standard decal presentation, engraving finishes, and even a tailor-made paint elevation.
In addition, you can even add more gear to your T1SL Disc model, such as rack or mudguard mounts, SRAM builds, etc. Litespeed can accommodate almost any requirement to turn your very own T1SL Disc into a truly custom ride.
Litespeed Titanium Gravel Bikes
If you are a fan of gravel bikes, you can’t ignore Litespeed. In fact, it is the bike brand that has set the standard in the titanium gravel bike in the industry.
With Litespeed titanium gravel bikes, it is simply the breathtaking excitement of racing, a drink reflected by the creek, even a 10-hour of conquering midwestern epic, or just a lazy one-hour excursion with your cycling buddies.
Whether you run to cobblestone streets, wide, well-kept roads, winding gravel trails, and the beckoning of a mountain, just get your Litespeed titanium gravel bike and enjoy every ride.
In fact, Litespeed titanium grave bicycles are considered one of the very first models in the country. They are not only excellent at speed but also comfort, taking you to different places where there are no limits.
In addition, Litespeed offers custom frames and titanium gravel bikes that fit every rudimentary comfort, style, and speed. So, no matter where you go, to explore new gravel trails, race some races for a memorable gravel epic, or simply enjoy paddling around with friends, there is a wide range of models for you to choose from.
It could be said that the Litespeed Watia is the newest and wildest titanium gravel bicycle that the brand has ever offered, no matter if it is speeding up for a race day or simply looking for versatility in a weekend escape tour.
With race-ready speed, a high-quality titanium frame, the ultimate comfort for long distances, and tire clearance for all-terrain handling, the Litespeed Watia is a completely capable bike. The Watia is typically designed to be versatile enough to take you no matter what your playground or adventure ahead looks like.
Litespeed Titanium Mountain Bikes
With a Litespeed titanium excellent performance mountain bike, nothing can stop you from enjoying new trails in your own way. It could be a weekend trip with your friends on a full-suspension Nolichucky mountain bike, a singletrack cross country ride on the Litespeed Pinhoti hardtail bicycle, or a big day in the control and comfort with another full-suspension Unicoi model.
All of the brand’s handcrafted titanium mountain bicycles are typically designed to symbolize the purest, clearest riding experience on every trai, regardless of your definition.
Litespeed Pinhoti Iii – Trail/Marathon
The Litespeed Pinhoti Iii is considered the best titanium hardtail trail bicycle on the market you could find.
In fact, the Pinhoti has a history that perfectly matches the Litespeed field of rick mountain biking legacy.
The company has built the new Pinhoti into a trail bike to expand its mountain offensive capabilities. With a looser head angle, a little bit longer front center, and the sturdiest head tube ever, the Pinhoti III becomes even more dexterous and predictable in tight areas.
In addition, the chainstays have been shortened, adding to the agile and flexible handling of the Pinhoti III. So, you can easily perform speed on the track, move to the steepest pitch, carve a narrow path through the trees, and much more. The Litespeed Pinhoti III allows you to confidently go where you need to go.
No matter if you are looking for a full-day marathon race, trail sculpting with your friends, or anything in between, the new Litespeed Pinhoti III will absolutely further improve your riding experience. It has never been so fun when playing on the trails with the new Pinhoti III like that.
Litespeed Titanium City Bikes
Go anywhere in your city with style using the Litespeed titanium city bicycles.
Every titanium city bike at Litespeed is something of timeless sophistication that comes from moving away from champions and instead of aiming for something better.
In other words, Litespeed’s city bike category is an extension of that elegance. Made with heirloom-quality titanium and handcrafted in the United States, a really unusual bike riding cycling combination that can be experienced on the way to work. And that’s exactly what you will feel when riding a Litespeed titanium city bike.
And the surprising standard in urban bike riding is here: The Litespeed Cherohala City Bike.
Litespeed Cherohala City
The first great thing about the Litespeed Cherohala City model is that it can take you anywhere you want to head to. What’s more, it is built on a platform that is truly incomparable. They are lightweight and have excellent performance, responsive handling, and unmatched durability and organic, ultimate comfort that the high-end titanium bike offers.
It can be said that the Litespeed Cherohala City Bike is your ticket to the best urban cycling experience possible, no matter if it is a daily ride or a machine that gets you to a beautiful place for your weekend getaways.
When you think about the titanium heritage in the United States, Litespeed might come quickly to your mind. The brand is considered the best in titanium bikes with handmade heirloom quality and industry-leading design. No matter what bike you choose, titanium gravel, road, or mountain bikes, Litespeed bikes will provide you with an unmatched riding experience, technological benefit, and great custom capability.