I first saw the 301 at Sea Otter when the US rep Kenny Roberts let me take it out for a quick spin, and then in May when I was at the Magura press camp in Sedona, I procured it one afternoon when Kenny was sleepy away the day.
I have been riding the Liteville 301 for a couple of weeks, and it’s a pretty interesting beast. It’s exceptionally well-made, and is tough and stiff, and it has a slew of well-engineered and highly functional features, and everywhere you look; little details keep popping up that all make sense. This bike likes to hammer, and feels best at speed, and it’s especially entertaining in fast and swooping terrain, where it feels the most at home.
Liteville 301 MK 10
The frame has impeccable welds and is made with custom drawn marine grade 6000 series aluminum alloy (resistant to corrosion) and has special heat treating, and it uses butted tubes throughout. It has a tapered head tube with pressed in stainless steel bearings, an oversized upper top tube for additional stiffness, and the chain and seat stays are butted differently to deal with the forces from the chain pull and brake loads, respectively. It has a couple of interesting features, such as the DynaLevel sag indicator which gives one the bike visual cue for sag measurement, Neutral Center Path (NCP) which provides non-length changing and uninterrupted gear cable routing, the Syntace Chainguide System (SCS), and a derailleur hanger that utilizes a shear bolt. There is an optional Syntace RockGuard, which protects the rear derailleur from impacts and general abuse. The frame retails for $2,595, and comes in black.
The suspension is a four-bar link design with a unique reverse shock linkage, in which the rear shock is mounted to the connection of top tube and seat tube of the main triangle. This design puts all the forces into a very solid area within the frame, and it partially neutralizes the forces introduced by the rider via the seat post and seat tube. The bike has an adjustable rear travel of 140mm or 160mm, via the shock’s swappable linkage side plates, and this design allows the same shock to be used for both travel lengths. The bike comes in XS, S, M, L, XL and XXL sizes, with a Syntace X-12 rear thru-axle, and a Fox RP23 rear shock that is specifically tuned for the frame. In another innovative design, they utilize TCL (Tuned Chainstay Length), in which each frames size has a different chainstay length, which makes the geometry more appropriate for each bike size.
Liteville now has a 10 year (5+5) warranty on all material and manufacturing defects, with no DH or race usage exclusions.