Litespeed has been in the titanium game almost since the very beginning, offering cyclists extremely high quality and high performance American made titanium mountain, road, and cyclocross bikes. After launching their T5 Gravel bike a couple years ago, Litespeed has made some refinements to its original design, dropping the T5 name and simply calling it the Gravel.
The numerous enhancements to the new Gravel are highlighted by increased tire clearance for either 700x45c or 27.5x2.1 tires. The new Gravel also features integrated rack and fender mounts in the frame and carbon fork, a third bottle mount on the down tube, and a top tube storage mount. The headtube length is slightly shorter while maintaining more aggressive quick handling geometry with a 72-degree head tube angle (size M/L) and 430mm long chainstays.
Other highlights include front and rear thru axles, a flat post rear disc brake mount that's been precision machined to save weight, and titanium cable stops on the head tube that can be removed depending on whether selecting a 1x or 2x drivetrain. The Gravel is also Di2 compatible and has internal cable routing. Its larger diameter seat tube can even accommodate a dropper post.
The frame will be available in five sizes (S, M, ML, L, XL) and availability will be mid to late May. Pricing is unchanged from the T5 Gravel, with the new Gravel priced at a reasonable $2475 for frame only, and full build with Shimano 105 starting at $4425, a solid value considering it's made in the USA and backed by Litespeed's longstanding reputation for quality.
A top tube storage mount is another nice feature that's perfect for long rides and adventure travel.
For those in the market for a handmade American titanium drop bar bike that can serve virtually all riding purposes, the Litespeed Gravel is incredibly versatile and an outstanding value, easily swapping duty from road to cyclocross and from gravel to fully fledged adventure bike.
More information on the new Gravel can be found at litespeed.com.
This article is part of RoadBikeReview's coverage of the 2017 Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California. For more from Sea Otter CLICK HERE.