Interbike 2012 Dispatch: Liteville’s innovative full-suspension bikes

By Justin Steiner,

Though Liteville may not be a household name in the US, it’s been going strong in Germany for years. For 2013, Liteville’s 301 and 601 frames will be coming stateside and distrubted by Syntace USA.

Liteville utilizes an interesting fit concept it calls “Scaled Sizing,” which shortens and lengthens a bike’s chainstays with each frame size—four to five different chainstay lengths in total, depending on model. For instance these Tuned Chainstay Lengths yield an extra small Liteville 301 with super short 405mm (15.9”) chainstays that will only accommodate a 24” rear wheel while a XXL can run 26” or 27.5” rear wheels. Along that same vein, varying sizes of front wheels can be used depending on desired fork travel; 26” wheels on the smaller bikes or 26”, 27.5”, and 29” front wheels on the bigger frame sizes.

Though this seemed like a strange concept to me at first, it makes a lot of sense to tailor wheel sizes within a specific model; select your desired bike, then choose which wheel size you are willing and able to run.

The 140mm-travel 301 offers a slack 66.5-degree headtube angle, a 13.5” bottom bracket height and 16.9” chainstays on a size medium—overall a pretty aggressive setup for a 140mm bike. A second set of suspension links can be purchase to increase wheel travel to 160mm as well. The 301 frame and shock will retail for $2,495.

Liteville’s burlier 601 offers 165mm or 190mm of suspension travel and is designed to be run with 160mm or 180mm single crown forks for all mountain and bike part/light duty DH use. In the 165mm-travel mode, a 222mm eye-to-eye shock is used, while a 240mm shock eye-to-eye shock damps the 195mm-travel mode. In addition to shock length, geometry can be adjusted by 1.5-degrees, from 65 to 66.5 degrees in the shorter travel mode or 64.3 to 65.5 degrees in the 190mm mode, via a multi-position upper shock mount. Frame and shock will sell for $2,999.

Both models utilize a Horst link pivot on the chainstays, which Liteville has been allowed to use thanks to Syntace’s close relationship with Specialized. Additionally, both frame utilize Syntace’s X-12 rear axle system as well as offing all the latest standards; tapered headtube and ISCG chainguide mounts. All Liteville bikes are covered by a 10-year warranty. Liteville is currently seeking dealers in the US, so do inquire at your LBS if you’re interested in Liteville’s bikes.


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