I was dreaming a lot about titanium mountain bike and this one has become true. It`s opened me the doors to a conservative and incredible world of hand-built and welded titanium frames and cutting-edge titanium components. After a long time of searching, I decided on the company with a long history - Litespeed Sewanee.
What to say about the frame. It`s a hand-built titanium full-suspension frame from the U.S.A. with a FOX FLOAT RP23 Boostvalve shock (originally used DT Swiss XR Carbon shock that I swapped with FOX one). The frame concept was updated by the Litespeed factory in 2010 at least and this is the model I ride. I replaced all original suspension pivot bearings with the Enduro MAX alternative in my home workshop.
The FOX shock is fixed within the frame with the Amachete roller kit. A place of the fork has been occupied by a reliable product of FOX Racing Shox - F100RLC Disc PROTUNE version, which is a standard RLC model with a FOX factory Protune tunning. The upper fork legs have been replaced with the newest ones having Kashima surface. All control knobs have been re-anodized in black.
For this project, I`ve selected classic XC disc brakes SRAM Avid X.0 in silver edition with carbon levers, Matchmaker X clamps, and all-black titanium bolts. Ashima rotors (160/140) and Extralite titanium disc bolts complete the brake set.
SRAM X.0 trigger shifters used with this setup were fixed together with the brake levers (using Matchmaker X clamps). The shifters have been tuned with carbon shifter levers (by Z-Components), body and small parts re-anodized to black, and removed SRAM logo.
Gearshift cables and synthetic inner liners have been produced by Shimano (XTR) and PowerCordz. I`ve tuned SRAM X.0 rear derailleur with Carbonice carbon pulleys (inc. ceramic bearings) and a custom carbon inner cage.
Other bike components came from Extralite (stem and seat post clamp), 3T (carbon XIDA Team handlebars), ESI grips, cutting-edge Enve offset seat post, legendary ChrisKing (NoThreadSet Series) headset, and other top-line Shimano XTR bike components.
The Hollowtech Shimano XTR crankset has been completed with a full set of titanium X-Ring MTB Full-Ti chainrings by Italian`s CarbonTi. The original chainring bolts have been replaced by CarbonTi (X-Fix MTB series). The Shimano XTR bottom bracket has been upgraded with Enduro`s Zero Ceramic bearings. The Shimano XTR clipless pedals have been tuned with ActionTec titanium spindles.
Titanium got more opportunities to cover some other bike components, such as titanium water bottle cages by MT Zoom (Titec) or carbon/titanium tune DC16 and AC17 quick releases. Naturally, almost all bolts have been replaced with their titanium variants.
I firstly used the tune Speedneedle saddle at my Trek and since then I have been pretty sure that the saddle has to come on Litespeed too. From my point of view, this light-weight saddle is very comfortable for riding either on a hardtail or fully (I feel better than on SLR TT), though. Therefore I`ve chosen the tune classic Speedneedle Marathon saddle again.
A specific chapter of this project is a set of custom-built wheels. They have been built on brand new Extralite HyperHubs 2011 with Enduro Zero Ceramic bearings, Sapim CX-Ray spokes, and Sapim aluminium nipples. Normally I replace the bearings in my home workshop.
The rims have been produced by NoTubes - a new ZTR Alpine edition. I used NoTubes rim tape and valve stems. The wheels run on Schwalbe Rocket Ron tubeless tires in a 26x2.1" version with a NoTubes sealant. A complete set of wheels weighs 1242 grams.