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For other uses, see Litespeed (disambiguation).
Litespeed Bicycles
Type Subsidiary
Industry Bicycles
Founded 1986
Headquarters Ooltewah, Tennessee, United States
Key people Peter Hurley, CEO
Products Bicycles
Parent American Bicycle Group
1994 Litespeed Ultimate with 8-speed Shimano Dura-Ace groupo, early Trek carbon fork, Bontrager carbon seatpost, Cinelli Criterium handlebars and Grammo stem, and Speedplay pedals

Litespeed is a U.S. bicycle manufacturer founded by members of the Lynskey family in 1986 in Ooltewah, Tennessee.[1][2] The company has its roots in a family-owned custom machine shop known as Southeast Machine that specialized in exotic metals. Its interest in bicycles began while one of the members of the founding family took up cycling while recovering from a running injury; this led eventually to manufacturing its first bicycle in 1986.

Litespeed makes titanium and carbon fiber-framed road racing bicycles and mountain bikes. Litespeed is owned by the American Bicycle Group, parent company of bicycle manufacturer Quintana Roo as well as component fabricator Real Design (ABG also owned Merlin (bicycles) from 2000-2011).

In the 1999 Tour de France, Lance Armstrong rode a titanium Litespeed Blade painted and labeled as a Trek during time trials. Several professionals have ridden Litespeeds painted as other brands. European brands such as Eddy Merckx and Bianchi have contracted Litespeed to construct titanium frames in their own lines.

Litespeed sponsored the DFL-Cyclingnews-Litespeed and Calyon/Litespeed Pro Cycling road teams and the Maxxis mountain bike team. The ITU Triathlon World Cup champion Vanessa Fernandes (Portugal) also raced on a Litespeed.

Litespeed has been a contractor and consultant to NASA for projects that require titanium-intensive subassemblies including the Mars Curiosity Rover.[3]

In 2014, Litespeed announced that they would sponsor the Astellas Pro Cycling Team for three seasons.[4]

Road Models[edit]

T-Series: The T-Series includes award-winning T1 (formerly the Archon), the T3, T5, and the T7 which was introduced in 2013.

L-Series: The L-Series was introduced in 2012. Litespeed has four L-Series bikes: L1R, L1 (SRAM Red), Li2, and L3 (Ultegra). The L-Series is an all-around road racing bike, with an asymmetrical frame, and UCI-approved.

C-Series: The C-Series was introduced in 2008. Litespeed has four C-Series bikes: C1R, C1 (Dura-Ace), Ci2, and C3 (Ultegra). The C-Series is an aero road bike series.

Archon: The Archon racing bicycle (renamed 'T1') incorporates 6/4 titanium in its top tube for torsional stiffness and reduced weight. A number of tube junctions are welded in a contoured pattern called a wrap, claimed to increase the stiffness of the junction. The Archon is available in flat and sloping top tube. The Archon does not utilize an integrated headset but a traditional threadless headset with external bearing cups

Icon: A racing bicycle that incorporates many design elements of the Archon but a more supple ride at the expense of greater weight and reduced stiffness. The Icon utilizes softer 3al-2.5v titanium for its entire frame. The Ardennes features impact-damping tapered seat stays similar to those on the Siena and geometry similar to the compact layout of the Ghisallo. Less aggressive tube butting and shaping accounts for higher weight and lower price.

Sportive: A road bicycle that favors comfort and stability over weight and race response. It is designed as an entry-level model to offer a comfortable ride.

Ultimate: (discontinued) The flagship model from 1991 to 2006 featuring a tapered and ovalized down tube and a curved seat tube.[5]

Mountain Models[edit]

Citico: Named after the Citico Creek Wilderness in Southeastern Tennessee, the pro-grade, Archon-inspired Citico is the first MTB frame to use a T1 engineered 6Al/4V, 6-sided and flared top tube and an over-sized bi-axially ovalized down tube to maximize steering feedback, accuracy, and front end stiffness. Compatible with both 26" and 650b wheels.[6]

Pisgah: Geometry identical to the Citico, the Pisgah puts Litespeed performance into service for any cross-country, single-speed, or urban MTB build. Compatible with both 26" and 650b wheels.[6]

Sewanee: A full-suspension cross country race bike, the Sewanee features 90 mm of rear travel in a cold-worked 3Al/2.5V titanium frame. Compatible with both 26" and 650b wheels.[6]

Cohutta: Features the industry's first 29er-specific titanium tubeset.[6]


A key feature of Litespeed's C-Series of aero road bikes, AeroLogic is the incorporation of aerodynamic elements into frame design without the penalty of excess weight. AeroLogic features on the C-Series include a shrouded water bottle mount on the down tube, aero-tuned tube cross sections, a "morphed" shaping of the seat stays, and a proprietary bladed and bowed aero fork. [7]

Reactive Pressure Molding[edit]

Litespeed's Reactive Pressure Molding (RPM) is an advanced molding method utilized during manufacture of Litespeed's newest composite frames. The three primary benefits of RPM are weight reduction, increased stiffness, and improved durability. This advanced process allows designs elements far beyond what can be accomplished with conventional bladder molding. Unique features such as an all-carbon head tube, compatible with the most precise ZS style press fit headsets, as well the multitude of AeroLogic aerodynamic elements are incorporated without the need of solid, permanent components and unwanted filler materials. The result is higher performance with no weight penalty plus additional benefits of improved strength, impact resistance, and stiffness. [8]


  1. ^ "Lynskey Helix OS". Bicycling. Mar 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-12. "The Lynskey family formed Litespeed in 1986" 
  2. ^ "Titanium's First Family". Bicycle Guide. Nov–Dec 1992. Retrieved 2013-09-12. 
  3. ^ Matt Cole (Oct 4, 2007). "Litespeed Titanium is going to Mars". BikeRadar. Retrieved 2012-07-17. "NASA has built the landing gear using titanium fabricated by Litespeed." 
  4. ^ "Litespeed Returns To The Pro Peloton". February 1, 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-01. 
  5. ^ "Model history – Litespeed Ultimate road frame". Titanium Rides. January 19, 2011. Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  6. ^ a b c d . Litespeed Retrieved 6 April 2014.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ "AeroLogic Windproof". Litespeed. Retrieved 8 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "Reactive Pressure Molding". Litespeed. Retrieved 8 April 2014. 

External links[edit]