Liteville 301 MK14 Enduro Factory Machine - Review

Feb 28, 2018
by Richard Cunningham  
Liteville's 301 Mark 14 is about as technically advanced as an all-mountain trail bike can be without looking like an alien creature. For those who are not in the know, Liteville is a German brand that produces exceptionally well engineered aluminum suspension bikes. Closely affiliated with Syntace components, Liteville showcases its sister brand's products, which are equally uber-engineered.

The fourteenth iteration of the 301 introduces a number of technical improvements, but the stand-outs are its "Scaled Rear End," which means that the chainstay lengths grow along with the sizes, and the suspension and leverage rates are also adjusted for larger riders. The second major change is that the 301 is configured for the innovative Eightpins integrated dropper seatpost we recently reviewed.
Liteville 301 MK14 Enduro

Intended use: AM / enduro racing
Travel: 160mm
Wheel size: 27.5" (varies with sizes)
Frame construction: aluminum
Head angle: 66º
Chainstay length: 417mm (XS) through 450mm (XXL) proportional to each size.
Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL
Weight: 27.9 lb (12.7 kg) - size medium, w/o pedals
Price: € 5640 standard build (€ 6680 as reviewed)
More info: Liteville

Six frame-sizes are available from X-small through XX-large, and the wheel diameters begin with 26-inches on the XS, and also grow proportionately through 27.5 for the mid- to large-sized models, and 29-inch wheels for the XXL size. Liteville offers the 301 MK14 as a frameset, and two ready-to-ride models: The 140-millimeter travel All-Mountain Factory Machine and the 160-millimeter travel Enduro.Factory Machine. We review the 160-millimeter-travel Factory Enduro in this feature in size medium and with 27.5-inch wheels. With a capable build, our bike weighed in at only 12.7 kg (27.9 pounds). The base price for both models is 5,640 Euros, but maxed out with Syntace C33i wheels, SRAM Guide RSC brakes and Eagle X01 drivetrain upgrades, our test bike would run closer to 6,680 Euros.

Standard components for the Enduro Factory Machine build begins with RockShox suspension: a 160mm Pike RCT3 SA fork and a Deluxe RT3 trunnion shock. Surprisingly, the standard drivetrain is a Shimano XT two-by, and the brakes are also XT. From there, the component list may as well be written in German: Schwalbe tires, Syntace MX 35 aluminum wheels, A Syntace cockpit and the aforementioned Eightpins dropper post, topped by an SQlab saddle. You can choose between anodized black or a natural silver frame finish.

bigquotesIt's an easy bike to ride in every respect. The only difficulty I encountered aboard the 301 was fielding questions about the bike anytime I stopped at a trailhead.RC





LiteVille


Construction and Features

Liteville takes aluminum frame construction to the next level. The 301's profile, with its four-bar Horst-Link rear suspension and top tube rocker, has been around for over a decade, but its designers are crazy about details, no matter how small, and each year the 301 is upgraded to reflect riding progression, extend the lifetime of the machine, or (the Holy Grail of German bike makers) nudge the bike's stiffness-to-weight one notch ahead of its competitors. Liteville is nerd, times the square root of the speed of light.

Liteville designs and rigorously tests their bikes in Germany and the frames are made at a high-end factory in Taiwan. The frame tubes are butted and profiled to maximize strength. Most of the welds are double-pass, a technique which has been proven to extend the fatigue life of the joints. Up front, the tapered head tube is fitted with a press-fit Syntace VarioSpin headset with zero angle. An optional headset can increase or decrease the head tube angle by 1.5 degrees. The standard head angle is 66 degrees.

Liteville301 MK14
Asymmetric design: (From left) Evo6 offset swingarm; the SuperYoke swingarm junction; the wider, left-offset swingarm bearing stance; and the set-back seatpost clamping head.


Like most frames these days, the 301's brake hose, dropper seatpost and gear housings are internally routed. Liteville uses screw-on fittings to ensure that the control conduits feed in at proper angles, and to simplify installation, they included a hatch on the bottom side of the down tube to access the inside of the frame where they turn towards their final destinations. The swingarm is machined to guide the housings around the tire and, unless you look closely, you won't see a cable or hose until they emerge from the clevis pivots near the rear dropouts. Clean and elegant.

Liteville was the first brand to adopt the EightPins integrated dropper post, which allows the rider to customize both the upper and lower saddle heights to suit, and features a stiff, 33-millimeter stanchion diameter. Liteville has always been a proponent of oversized seatposts because they allow greater extension and lower stand-over heights with less flex. The 301's straight seat tube is set forwards 52 millimeters (similar to Knolly) to clear the rear tire at full compression, while a special setback seatpost head maintains the correct top tube/front-center distance and effective seat tube angle.

LiteVille
The swingarm bridge sits below the pivots to maximize tire clearance. Cable and hose routing is best in class.
LiteVille
A red dot on the link lines up with the protruding button at proper sag (about 30%).

LiteVille
The 301's unusual linkage provides ample clearance for a seatstay bridge, and a more rigid rear end.

LiteVille
Liteville prefers the Horst Link four-bar suspension for its consistent leverage rates and simple design elements.
LiteVille
Sturdy gussets are welded at the down tube junction. Optional Vario Spin headsets allow owners to adjust head angles up to +/- 1.5 degrees.

The thread-in bottom bracket is 92 millimeters wide and welded into a massive, hollow box-section. Proper chain-line and crank clearance is made possible by using boost-width hubs and then offsetting the swingarm an additional six-millimeters to the right. The "Evo6" asymmetric swingarm produces a zero-dished rear wheel with same-sized spokes and enhanced stiffness. The second benefit is that the chainring can be moved outwards to make plenty of room for 2.6-inch tires and still be perfectly aligned with the center of a 12-speed cassette.

Smaller details abound, (some carried over, some new). A spare break-away bolt for the X12 thread-in rear axle and derailleur hanger is stored in the left side of the swingarm. Our test bike also had the optional X-Tool Allen key, which snaps inside the hollow axle. To maximize mud clearance, there is no chain stay bridge - the chain stays are connected by a yoke below the pivot bearings, and should you desire a front derailleur, Liteville provides mounts for a Shimano side-swing type. Of course, you can mount a large sized water bottle on the down tube of all frame sizes. More tech details here.


Geometry and Sizing

Liteville 301 MK14 geometry



Liteville dances to its own rhythm when it comes to some of the 301's frame numbers. Its 66-degree head angle is fairly in step with current all-mountain/enduro fashion. The medium-sized test bike's reach is 435 millimeters and the chainstays are clipped short at 427 millimeters. The steeply sloping top tube provides plenty of stand-over clearance, while the 33-millimeter Eightpins dropper allows up to 200 millimeters of drop (I set mine at 160mm for a 32"/81cm inseam). The stated seat tube angle, however, is on the conservative side at 73.5 degrees. With vanguard frame makers posting 77-degree seat angles, I expected the 301 to be at or over 74. Looking a the bike in profile, it appears to have a steeper angle and, because the seat tube is set forward over 50 millimeters, the chassis looks much shorter than it rides.

Views: 27,340    Faves: 5    Comments: 1


Suspension Design

The nerdy explanation for Liteville's Four-Pivot shock linkage is that the rocker geometry loads the top tube more or less, on its centerline, which puts less stress into the frame. Another advantage that comes into play is that the seatstays are positioned higher in the frame, which leaves plenty of mud clearance over fat tires for a bridge.

The bridge creates stiffness without much additional weight. A similar bridge on the low-angle seatstays many suspensions use would collide with the seat tube at 160 millimeters of wheel travel, so sturdier (heavier) links must be used to compensate for its absence. At first glance, the action of the 301's top-tube rockers incites circumcision comments, but the linkage does not pose a threat.
LiteVille
Liteville's four-pivot rocker arrangement has been updated to fit trunnion-shocks. Larger frames feature lower leverage rockers.

The main improvements to the 301's suspension is a lower leverage rate, made possible by a longer-stroke, trunnion-mount shock. In this case, a Rock Shox Deluxe RT3. Liteville has not yet sent us a graph of the kinematics, but on the ground, the rear suspension feels planted like I'd expect from a coil shock in the mid-stroke, and progressive enough to mute the effects of a bottom-out event. I'd expect that from the 301's Horst-Link configuration, because I've ridden previous models. The linkage has an indicator to set sag at 30 percent, so it's easy to get it right - which initially feels too soft, but plays well once underway. Up front, Liteville chose a 160mm Pike RCT3 fork, which was well balanced with the shock out of the gate. Syntace hubs had matching over-sized "Torque Cap" axle flanges, which also may have played a positive role.


Specifications

Specifications
Release Date 2017
Price
Travel 160mm
Rear Shock RockShox Deluxe RT3
Fork RockShox Pike RCT3 SA 160
Headset Syntace VarioSpin zero degree
Cassette SRAM Eagle X01 12-speed
Crankarms SRAM Eagle X01
Chainguide Syntace SCS II EVO6
Bottom Bracket SRAM
Pedals na
Rear Derailleur SRAM Eagle X01
Chain SRAM Eagle X01
Front Derailleur Mounts for Shimano side swing
Shifter Pods SRAM Eagle X01
Handlebar Syntace Vector Carbon
Stem Syntace Megaforce2 40mm
Grips Syntace ergo clamp-on
Brakes SRAM Guide RSC 200/ 180 mm (upgrade)
Wheelset Syntace C33i Straight (upgrade)
Hubs Syntace straight-pull
Spokes Syntace/Sapim
Rim Syntace C33i carbon
Tires Schwalbe Magic Mary 2,35 / Hans Dampf 2,35
Seat SQ Lab 611 Ergowave Liteville Edition
Seatpost Eightpins integrated dropper



LiteVille







Test Bike Setup

Most up-to-the-minute designs are a little too long for me in the medium size option. The new 301 fit me perfectly. I stand five foot, seven inches, with a 32-inch inseam, while fellow test rider Harold Preston (the guy in the photos) was a little cramped on the bike at five foot, nine inches and the same leg length. Liteville offers the 301 MK14 in six frame sizes, so there should be one that will fit you.

Neither Preston nor I fell in love with the Syntace Vector handlebar and the ergo grips were a take it or leave it option. The sweep angle begins close to the stem, which puts the hands well back and shortens the cockpit a little. Also, the bulbs on the end of the grips force your hands inwards, which effectively turns the 760 millimeter bar into a 740. Rotating the bar upwards helped. It was more unusual than bad, so I left the cockpit unmodified - curious that I may like it later. (I didn't).

Disclosure: No fault of Liteville's, but the shipper trashed both brake rotors. I didn't have SRAM replacements, so I used Magura rotors, and they worked so well, I never bothered to right the wrong. Liteville's standard brakes are Shimano XT, but our review bike had the SRAM Guide RSC upgrades, which I prefer when matched with a 203 millimeter rotor. XT has more power. Guide modulates better.
Harold Preston
Harold Preston
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Age: 40
Height: 5'9"
Inseam: 32"
Weight: 170 lbs
Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Instagram: @prestons_ginger_beer

Surprisingly, it did rain over the winter months while I was riding the 301, first to review the Eightpins dropper post, and in continuation, to see how the new Liteville stacked up against some of the enduro-style machinery I had been riding. After a month of hero dirt sprinkled with some mud and snow, the lion's share of riding was on dry, slippery dirt and the usual boulders and rock gardens.

LiteVille
Even with the shock wide open, the 301 is one of the better climbing trail bikes - in or out of the saddle.


Climbing

Technical climbs were this bike's happy place. Leave the shock wide open and as long as you keep the cranks turning, chances will be good that you'll top the grade. The chassis rocks back just enough to keep the rear wheel hooked up - which was helpful, because once the dirt dried out, the Schwalbe Hans Dampf rear tire (the new Addix rubber version) had nothing for San Diego's decomposed granite. Dropping the pressure to 22psi or lower provided enough grip, however, and kept me in the game, largely, because the 301's suspension tracked the ground so well under power.

At speed, on smoother, rolling terrain, I tended to leave the suspension wide open, ignoring that the suspension (back and front) was moving underfoot. When faced with a long grade, where I expected a steady cadence or a long, hard stint, I would always switch the shock to the "trail" position. The sensation was subtle, but my legs liked the crisp feeling on the pedals and the bike still tracked well enough to justify the crutch.

Compared to a good dw-link suspension, like a Pivot or an Ibis, you can feel more movement from the Liteville's tail end, but I found that when I was climbing up and over roots and rocks, the Liteville required less momentum to get the job done. Preston, who spends a lot of time out of the saddle, remarked that the 301 felt really good on the steeper pitches. Seated climbing is smooth and steady. Both of us came off of bikes with 75-degree seat angles, and both of us guessed that the seat tube angle was steeper than the 73.5 degrees listed.

LiteVille
With 30-percent sag in the shock, the Liteville MK14 feels too soft at the outset to be a playful jumper, but it manages to impress.

Descending

The 301 is not a drama queen on the downs. If I overcooked a turn, the tail end would drift until I burned off enough speed or I ran off the trail. Either way, I never felt like I had a "moment." The chassis encourages you to stay centered and it feels natural to compress at the apex of quick turns or steep, punchy BMX-style ramps. The bike was like a chill pill on sketchy chutes where jumbled rocks revealed no promising line choice. I was burning down a familiar singletrack and hit a section where loggers had obliterated the trail. I banged over the ruts and log litter and that was it - the MK14 handles like it's longer and slacker than it actually is on the downs, but it climbs and accelerates way better.

Add the instant action of its Eightpins dropper and the 301 becomes king of the unknown. Instant up or down and anywhere in between eases the decision making process. There is so little resistance to the mechanical dropper that adjustments occur almost automatically. Fold in the Liteville's no-chatter rear braking and you'll most often be in control near the edge of control.

Is the 301 the enduro race bike it claims to be? I'm not the one to make that call. It's certainly capable in all of the realms, but if enduro at its highest expression approaches the intensity of DH, the 301 will likely fall a little short for some riders. Its rear suspension bottoms softly, but even at higher-than-recommended spring pressures, both Harold and I could run the shock out. No doubt that some tuning could firm up the 301's shock and fork to handle the punishment, but at that point it would be a rougher ride and a slack 29er with dual-ply tires and 150 millimeters of travel would probably outpace the 301 on an EWS stage.

What makes this bike great is how versatile it is and how intuitively it handles in technical situations. It kicks ass, but without the attitude. I can push it hard If I want, but I don't feel like I have to punch, shred and slash every meter of trail to squeeze a positive experience from this bike. Hopefully, I won't piss off a million people with this statement, but Liteville's Enduro Factory Machine may mark the look-back point where the fun began to dry up and enduro bikes went flashing past on an evolutionary race to nowhere.

LiteVille
Just-right weight balance between the wheels, a predictable ride height and a Schwalbe Magic Mary front tire turned corners into candy.




Commencal Meta AM V4.2 review
Commencal Meta AM V4.2 Race Eagle
LiteVille
Liteville 301 MK14 Enduro Factory Machine

How does it compare?

Liteville and Commencal are committed to aluminum, perhaps not for all of the same reasons, but mostly so. Commencal's Meta AM V4.2 Race Eagle has a similar build, the same 160 millimeters of travel and a similar mission statement. Its suspension is upgraded with a RockShox Lyrik RCT3 Solo Air, 170mm fork and a Super Deluxe RC3 shock.

Liteville's product is admittedly over the top, while Commencal's wares are more value-oriented. The MSRP of the V4.2 Race Eagle is almost two thousand dollars less than the 301 MK14's, and while it's doubtful that Commencal's key customers would spend 700 dollars a pound to reduce the Commencal's 31-pound heft to match the 28-pound Liteville, it's equally dubious that Liteville's target audience would jump at the suggestion that they save some cash and take on three pounds of ballast.

Both bikes are built well, both have innovative suspension systems and both rip the downs. The Commencal is the more capable of the two in all aspects when the downhills get nasty - except for braking, where the Meta V4 bounces around, and the 301 MK14 stays planted and calm. The Meta's advantage is not huge, but in a race situation where pedaling was an insignificant factor, the Meta V4.2 would steadily creep ahead. After three days of pedaling up transfer stages, however, the Liteville's advantage over the Commencal's less efficient pedaling could turn the tide.

The comparison here is not to bash Commencal or Liteville, it's to underscore how much refining it takes to take a good aluminum chassis like the Meta V4.2 to the point where its weight, stiffness and durability can truly rival frames made from carbon, or any other material for that matter. Liteville achieves this with relentless improvements that often challenge convention and they back their products with a ten-year warranty. There are only two, perhaps three bike makers willing to take aluminum to that level.

LiteVille
Eightpins for the win: The best dropper I have used. Minimal friction, zero flex and so easy to compress.
LiteVille
Syntace chainguide: Too noisy for such a quiet running chassis. If I raced, I'd leave it on for insurance. Otherwise, I'd remove it.


Technical Report

RockShox suspension: The engineers in Colorado Springs have breathed new life into their suspension. The Pike RCT3 fork and Deluxe RT3 shock were well matched and super smooth in the mid-stroke where most of the action happens.

Evo-six Asymmetric swingarm: Offsetting the swingarm to the right to correct the chain line and spoke angles makes so much more sense than enforcing another hub standard to accomplish only half the job. Cannondale's AI frames use the same technology. It's the simplest solution.

Syntace C33i rims: Have to say that I was surprised that Syntace would even consider a carbon rim, but they did, and it has all the features I want: a bead-locking groove to keep a flat tire on the rim, low flanges to let the tire flex in a natural arc, a stabilizing 33mm inner width, and a thinner profile engineered with enough give to keep the bike tracking in the chatter.

Scaled frame geometry: Not a huge fan of restricting wheel diameters across the frame-size spectrum, but I am a huge believer that chainstays, seat tube angles and elements of the geometry and suspension kinematics should be tuned to deliver similar performance and handling traits for riders of different height and stature. It's a difficult way to produce bikes, but Liteville's never been afraid of difficult.

Liteville 301 MK14 Syntace C33i carbon rims are impressive
Syntace C33i Straight wheels: Super strong carbon rims with rapid-engagement straight-pull hubs deliver precise control without a harsh feeling ride.
Liteville 301 MK14 Schwalbe 2.35 Hans Dampf tire
Hans Dampf tire: Schwalbe fixed the disappearing tread issue and it wears well, but its lackluster cornering grip is a bad match for the 301.


Pros

+ True do-it-all AM/trail bike
+ Aluminum bragging rights
+ Eightpins integrated dropper
Cons

- May not be aggressive enough for enduro bros
- Needs a more progressive shock tune
- Ditch the rear tire for an alternative with proper edging tread


Is this the bike for you?

Riders with skills who seek one bike that can handle everything from all day adventure epics to bike park flow trails should consider Liteville's 301 MK14 Enduro - especially types who geek out on technical innovation. If aluminum is your material of choice, this one sets a high bar. I own a 26-inch 301 and it rides like new, five years later. The possible downside of the new 301 is that most of the size options are based upon 27.5-inch wheels, which contradicts the present renaissance of aggressive 29ers.



Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesLiteville's 301 MK14 Enduro Factory Machine is refined and capable. Its range of performance is what the sport needs most. It's an easy bike to ride in every respect. The only difficulty I encountered aboard the 301 was fielding questions about the bike anytime I stopped at a trail head. RC









207 Comments

  • 241 33
 Don't fancy getting my nut sack jammed in that linkage.
  • 72 7
 This design has been around a while. Has anyone got evidence of lost testicles to show? Instinctively, this is a fear I agree. Probably not justified though.
  • 18 12
 @BenPea: testicles is just "worse case scenario"... seems a dangerous pinch point for any other dangly bits as well
  • 130 23
 @BenPea: No, because nobody actually owns a Liteville.
  • 80 5
 @codfather1234: I've seen a couple of them, but never thought to ask the riders what the duct tape mankini was for.
  • 151 1
 Wearing clothes when riding will solve that problem without to much inconvenience.
  • 16 3
 More worried that it will eat my shorts.
  • 52 5
 Ahh the ol Liteville testicular guillotine
  • 9 0
 then you should stop riding commando without shorts, mate Wink
  • 16 4
 The Widdow Maker
  • 89 1
 Go to your bike. Drop the saddle and get on it. Now try to wedge your ass (and all the rest) underneath the saddle whilst holding the bars and keeping your feet on the pedals like you would if the suspension were compressing... if you manage that plz post pics for the rest of us to enjoy.

I own an ageing 26" liteville, a third hand mk. 8. It rides fantastically, gets me out of trouble and has made me a better and more aggressive rider, and it shows no signs of slowing down; plus I'm still covered by the 10 year warranty. It's never even come close to eunuching me; it isn't physically possible!

Like everyone on here I have a wandering eye and I've test ridden a few things over the years but I've never found something which improves on it, and if it does die I'll probably get another.
  • 3 1
 That was my first thought when I saw it ????
  • 5 9
flag harrybrottman (Feb 28, 2018 at 2:04) (Below Threshold)
 I like how they raised the back of the Commencal up 4 inches on a stand to make the seat post look much steeper than the Liteville. This really helped prove their point.
  • 6 0
 @mych79: why wear clothes when you can go full RAW!!!
  • 6 1
 Don't put your hands anywhere you wouldn't put your d!ck
  • 14 1
 @codfather1234: I personally know 3 people who own one, all with large families made at least in part since owning a Liteville, I guess they still have working bits but never asked directly how they got the kids.

I was given the Liteville advent calendar a few years ago, that was also safe and progressively gave birth to a great Wera socket set that my son (I ride a Nukeproof Mega) has since stolen.
  • 7 2
 No worries guys. You will never crack your nuts with that linkage. I own that MK11+12 for couple of year without kicking the balls with the linkage - family plans works very well Smile

This bike works perfectly to handle very much of every trail on earth - also some bike park lines. But it's not a DH bike. Please consider this.
  • 16 0
 @Creg: how do you eat pizza?
  • 11 18
flag WAKIdesigns (Feb 28, 2018 at 5:29) (Below Threshold)
 I rented the 401 few years ago. Definitely not for bros doing aggressive Enduro on playful bikes in technical terrain. And I hope this one has more twang to it, because the one I rode had as much character as Opel Astra. 601 was raising my brows much more and suited the trail I rode it on that ironically had the same name.
  • 21 0
 @Herge2000: One undeniable curious fact is that the higher the density of Liteville bikes there are in the area the more you pay for ice creams and coffee. Lago Di Garda is a prime example.
  • 6 0
 @Kickmehard: without the chili oil I'd guess
  • 10 10
 @Riggbeck: hahaha, that’s where I rented two of these. But it’s much worse with Votecs, if you see more than one within one day, you know you’re in a wrong place. I also noticed that numbers of these are counter proportional to nr of DH bikes and proportional to the number of bar ends
  • 4 1
 @Riggbeck: Haha so true! Lago di Garda = Liteville territory.
  • 6 1
 The suspension graphics on Liteville site kind of terrorize me...

www.liteville.com/~mi/67/99/federbeinbefestigung-lv-101-301@2x.png
  • 6 0
 One of the guys from our club has a 301, his first child has just been born - looks like he’ll have to try another method of contraception....
  • 14 0
 @mych79: "Wearing clothes when riding will solve that problem without to much inconvenience."
Well that's a deal breaker then. Moving on.
  • 1 0
 I'll stick to my pronghorn bike.
  • 2 0
 @RedRedRe: what could possibly go wrong with that design?? Haha
  • 1 0
 First thing I thought....I have tears thinking of the possibility... :-)
  • 2 0
 It could be worse, do you guys remember the Nicolai Lambda?!
  • 2 2
 @Smilingtom: I googled it and it was worse than blue waffle noooohohoho ho hoooo whyyyh
  • 1 0
 wife asks for a vasectomy--- gets a liteville 301. didnt even need to get it
  • 4 0
 @BenPea: I have the MK8 since two years.
"Stuff is working." (quote from my gf)

This argument is pops up in every test/review, but in my opinion you shall do something really nasty with that linkage to hurt yourself.
  • 3 0
 @SztAmaas: yeah I'm finding all this talk of genital injuries a little testi-ing too.
  • 3 0
 @mych79: wearing clothes while riding IS definitely an inconvenience. Calling it now, the next trend in mtb is a different spin on the classic version of free-riding. Wink
  • 3 0
 What linkage would you like your nut sack jammed in?
  • 2 0
 i like PB
  • 2 0
 @wolf-amongst-lambs: That linkage might be potential problem, but getting your testicles caught in the spokes is the worst-case scenario.
  • 4 1
 @Marcencinitas: I beg to differ: chain suck... you can’t just back pedal on that one
  • 3 0
 How the hell you’d get the beans above the frank?
  • 1 0
 @dominic54: I like it. But it needs to be looonger. Like Pole longer.
  • 1 0
 @RedRedRe: Don't be a pussy. Nothing to see there. (sarc)
  • 3 1
 Dude, getting your nut sack jammed would be the best case scenario. Getting your little Juanito decapitated would be the worst...and the most likely, given both the human anatomy and the geometry of this strange guillotine-like linkage.
  • 1 0
 lol... reminds me of a Pronghorn. That looks dangerous.
  • 1 0
 @mych79: without too much inconvenience says who, Mr. I Ride Fully Clothed Every Time?

No, just kidding, well put, upvoted.
  • 1 0
 I was going to velcro my tube and tools there...
  • 1 0
 @rms195: You, sir, win the internet/PB forum for the day, if you intended what I'm thinking. lol Salute
  • 1 0
 @BenPea:
Good point buddy, but from first hand I can tell you that there is no problem even for the boys with balls like melons... Wink
  • 1 0
 goriest comments section EVAH, btw. i didn't need to sleep anyway....
  • 1 0
 @Riggbeck: nevertheless i love that region Smile
  • 3 0
 Noooo way! Nope. Been there / done that (stitches in my sack)
  • 1 0
 @Herge2000: outside of Bavarian holidays, I do as well. It was great the first week of January. Empty dry sunny trails and no need to reserve tables in the good restaurants. :-)
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I think you mean en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eunuch

A vas is done by a surgeon, not hedge clippers.
  • 40 0
 Are aluminum bragging rights a thing now? Good thing I never went to carbon then.
  • 5 1
 Nah, more than enough brands stuck with aluminium but it may be more an European thing. Alutech, Nicolai, Orange, Liteville...
  • 12 3
 And then it has carbon rims... used the material the wrong way around.
  • 11 1
 There are a number of small British companies now making steel frames, even more hipster Smile
  • 3 2
 @SickEdit: You feel carbon rims a lot more than you feel a carbon frame vs. alloy.
  • 1 3
 @korev: How are steel frames hipster? I've been riding steel hardtail frames since 2006 or so. And the first one was a Voodoo Erzulie. By Joe Murray, so not British. My current frame is from DMR. British but not a small brand.
  • 5 0
 @vinay: Well if alutech went carbon that'd be just silly wouldnt it?
  • 26 0
 "You can choose between anodized black or a natural silver frame finish. "

For 250 Euro extra, you can actually get in any color you want.
  • 22 0
 Nice, growing chainstays and wheel sizes with larger frames. Always thought that XS 29ers and XXL 650b's looked strange, this makes more sense to me.
  • 4 0
 Think they got the sizing idea right, 26" small is right for me, could maybe stretch to a 27.5 but can get hit in butt with 26" rear wheel often enough.
  • 17 1
 See new bike review, nervously check for a water bottle mount and breath a sigh of relief knowing I don’t have to read all the comments about the pros and cons of freaking water bottle mounts.
  • 10 2
 Yet you comment yourself...
  • 18 0
 WOW, that's a stunner.
  • 8 0
 Agreed. There's something to be said for the simple and elegant shape of this bike. If there was a less expensive steel [Large] 29er version I'd be sold
  • 15 0
 Syntace, most underrated components ever!
  • 3 0
 yup
  • 13 0
 The square root of the speed of light is 432, but I don't know how to multiply that by "nerd" Frown
  • 7 0
 Nerd= 3.141592 times the liteville 301 frames weight, squared.
  • 6 0
 What unit are you using? That number looks more like the speed of sound (at sea level, in m/s). Speed of light is about 3x10^8m/s. Square root of that is smaller of course but also carries an awkward unit. Not too sure about pi being nerd though. e=(2.718281828 or the sum of 1/0! + 1/1! + 1/2! + 1/3! etc) seems like a better match.
  • 1 0
 I too wondered about that section. RC should have squared C, not square rooted it, judging by the context.
  • 14 0
 Guys. 42 is the nerd number. Facepalm
  • 14 1
 @Caiokv: You are mistaken. 42 is the ultimate answer to the meaning of life, not the total amount of nerd,
  • 3 0
 Just thinking though, shouldn't a nerd number at least be in the complex plane (and not real)? But I suppose a nerd likes something elegant too. The number i (or j, depending on where you're from) might do. But is that nerd enough? I'd take -i, just to be sure.
  • 5 0
 @vinay: i is the reason I gave up engineering. f*ck i.
  • 11 0
 @Caiokv: I thought it was 28.99
  • 1 0
 I don't think "nerd" has to have a value assigned to it. The dimensions of nerd (and Liteville) are unsettling, though.
  • 2 0
 Maybe it could follow a simple cipher, so N-E-R-D = 14-5-18-4
  • 3 0
 @Caiokv: So that makes -13.
  • 10 0
 "Surprisingly, it did rain over the winter months while I was riding the 301, first to review the Eightpins dropper post, and in continuation, to see how the new Liteville stacked up against some of the enduro-style machinery I had been riding"

Uh...yeah what he said.
  • 10 0
 "The possible downside of the new 301 is that most of the size options are based upon 27.5-inch wheels, which contradicts the present renaissance of aggressive 29ers."

mhhmmm :>
  • 2 0
 I could see the 101 being upgraded soon to satisfy that need. It might not be 160mm, but I could see a 101 Mk2 maybe have adjustable travel up to 135mm or something.
  • 9 0
 I love the design of these... For me, no bike looks cooler than a nice double-triangle hardtail. This has the same clean lines as that seminal design but with a lovely suspension system at the back.
  • 4 1
 Too bad the clean lines are lost the moment the linkage starts to move when weighted.
  • 8 0
 @Gamsjaga: True, but by then you're too busy shredding and don't have time to worry about the aesthetics.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, but this is a size M. Larger sizes used to have triangular reinforcement at the seat tube. Not sure if they still do. They look like different bikes...
  • 8 1
 frame makers/designers really need to get out of the really terrible habit of bending seat tubes to accommodate rear wheel travel. obstructions in seat tubes mean shorter dropper posts. i have a transition patrol that i can't run a 150 mm post in, stuck with stupid 125. so disappointing, well done liteville
  • 1 0
 I have an XL transition patrol with a 9.8 200mm dropper.
  • 1 0
 what model year is your patrol?
  • 2 0
 @colemanb: last years, size M. the dropper i was trying to use was a fox 150mm internal. since i couldn't run that i'm using a 125mm xfusion internal
  • 1 0
 @upchuckyeager: Ah that's good to know. I'm looking at the 2018 patrol in medium and am wondering if I'll have the same problem.
  • 3 0
 @upchuckyeager: The fox post is long at 480mm long for the 150mm travel version.
Other posts are shorter like the 160mm travel Bike Yoke is 463mm long and the 9point8 is 455mm for 150mm.
Checkout the VitamlMtb dropper post faceoff. They list all the different numbers.
I fit a 160mm Bike Yoke in my bike and could only fit a 125mm long post of many other brands.
  • 3 0
 @acali: thanks dude (assuming dude), i'll look into that
  • 1 0
 @acali: Yeah Bike Yoke seems like a great option. I've only heard good things.
  • 9 2
 Seems like the people perfect bike to run XTR DI2 with a front derailleur on. Incredibly well refined, relentlessly engineered, the product of a clear vision and laser focus. but not quite what what I want in a top of the line product. I appreciate it and it will signal to everyone in the parking lot that you are a bike expert but id rather have the flavor of the month disposable carbon bike made by child labor with a side of ocean fill.
  • 16 9
 If you slip a pedal and land on that top tube, shitson, your balls would be guillotined off
  • 57 0
 Indeed. Wear pants when riding this bike.
  • 5 14
flag mokydot (Feb 28, 2018 at 1:14) (Below Threshold)
 comment of the year.
  • 4 0
 I have owned my 301 for 4 years and love it! love not being part of a follower crowd. Running 27.5 x 2.8 DHF front and a 26 x 2.8 DHR2 rear for this spring and will report back, I have ran 27.5 x 2.6 DHF and 26 x 2.4 ardent rear now for a year and love that combo! I am 5'8" and 200 lbs with a medium and its a burly bike. When it dies I will justify another but just getting out and pedaling is all its about, have fun! bikes are awesome!
  • 9 6
 Lots of Liteville bikes on the trails over here, usually bought by 45+ "dentists" ;-)
I still think that the design ist very unsatisfying! It's as "unsexy" as they come...
I would prefer the Commencal over the Liteville any day of the week!
  • 12 4
 Function over form and fashion. A good way to find a wife too,
  • 4 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Sometimes function depends on form.
  • 7 1
 I find it to be a sexy as hell industrialish design.
  • 1 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I like to go downhill. Therefore the function of the Commencal is better for me as per the article.
  • 4 3
 @heffernw: I was mocking people who think that function and construction are the only aspects worth caring about and anyone being into aesthetics or any form of "fashion" is pathetic. Somehow the affection for bikes like LiteVille or Nicolai seem to be symptomatic for those people. Which makes it into a yet another kind of fashion... Kumba ya
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns:
True, but a bike can still be a looker and work well! I need both worlds in a bike! I love the looks of my Spartan, and it's a fine working piece ...
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Me too but you do need a modicum of form and fashion, or you may as well just have a housekeeper. Cheaper in the long run.
  • 6 3
 "Liteville prefers the Horst Link four-bar suspension for its consistent leverage rates" is not a correct statement. Horst link has NOTHING to do with the leverage, this depends on the upper link configuration and how the shock is mounted (meaning its direction). The same way the statement was made that VPP (eg Santa Cruz) provide a rising and then falling rate, despite it was already not the case on the V10. Kinematic and leverage are de-coupled. One could design a Horst link with rising rate, falling rate....
  • 4 2
 correct.. and my armchair degree tells me the leverage ratio is high for 160mm travel and what seems like a short stroke shock.not good zeeGermans
  • 1 0
 Yeah totally agree. I've had 2 horst rear-end bikes. A Spesh, which was linear and either bottomed out constantly with a 450 spring or was too hard with a 500. The other is what I own now, a Nikolai, which is nice and progressive, still with a coil shock
  • 4 2
 If you're not riding DW Link you might as well stay home ... Big Grin
  • 6 0
 @enduromaniac The longer leverage arms of the Horst Link arrangement is the advantage that provides a more consistent rate to full compression, which gives the designer more options to use the secondary linkage as an enhancement rather than a means to moderate the rapidly changing rates of short link four-bars.
  • 4 0
 12.7KG seems very low for ally enduro bike when most carbon bikes are around 13KG. Interesting read in this months endure mag if you want to check my statement.
  • 3 1
 As a engineer I do like to read these kind of statements!The nerdy explanation for Liteville's Four-Pivot shock linkage is that the rocker geometry loads the top tube more or less, on its centerline, which puts less stress into the frame." True that.
Also do like the layout of the rocker cause of its aesthatics. It seems to be a hardtail. And dropper is a real good idea from engineering perspective
  • 2 0
 The one advantage to their design is the lower weight. I believe the 301 in a large size frame with shock weighs under 7lbs. Liteville is kinda the king of a lightweight alloy long-travel bikes. The downside, of course, is that the frame can't accommodate a reservoir, 2.6" tires might be limiting to some, no 29er option, wonky hub spacing thing, and expensive.
  • 2 0
 @PHeller: imho: there is place for a waterbottle, 2,6" is just a trend. Admit 29 is a must have. Theb hub spacing thing is just the best idea of boost. Just remain with 148mm but make it then real good. They have done a better job than Sram at this point.
  • 1 0
 It is sheer nonsense unless one quantifies it. And obviously the normal ways of setting up a linkage works: or at least nobody seems to have problems with it!
  • 4 2
 Ok, much was said about nut-to-linkage connection, but every time Insee it, I just visualize myself missing the pedals on landing. Sequence as follows:
1 - I miss pedals on a jump
2 - I hit my balls to top tube as it is high as fck (stand over height is crazy)
3 - I compress suspension with my weight and linkage is just going up into my body (bals or my legs)
4 - I pray for very slow rebound on my damper in hope, that being in pain, I will be faster to pull whatsoever melted of my croch area into link and frame interface
5 - God does not listen to ma as I am A BADPOTATO
6 - Something is being cut off of me as my suspension comes back to SAG
7 - I scream because my left ball is now pinched by “protruding pin that works as a ‘fckg’ SAG indicator” and it is stuck between that pincher and linkage.
8 - I cry because many of you, here at pinkbike, warned me and I just could not resist the uniqueness and all that from above
  • 3 0
 Practically perfect, but not for my broke ass. That's like my mom, I ask her what her favourite car is in a video game, basically the most expensive one.
  • 2 1
 Curious about that wheelset in combination with EVO6. I recently got a Syntace MX35 wheelset (26" aluminium) for my next frame with a symmetric hub spacing (142x12). These aluminium rims are asymmetric though and the use thinner gauge spokes on the non-drive side than they do on the drive side (and the opposite for the front wheel). So that already (kind of) balances the spoke tension. So now I'm wondering as these wheels are supplied with the frame, do these (carbon rims you have there) also have asymmetric spoke drilling and do they also use different gauge spokes left and right? If so, does that still make sense?
  • 3 0
 Handles like it’s longer and slacker but isn’t?!?!
Holy shit that keeps both camps happy we might have a bike of the year!
  • 1 0
 The cable routing looks very tidy but it looks to me like it's rubbing right up against bottom bracket yoke (and no way to move it) plus the brake hose is making some super tight turns getting from the chainstay up to the brake.
  • 2 0
 @RichardCunningham would you name the 2 or 3 bike makers you consider willing to take aluminum to "that level"? Liteville, and I am guessing Nicolai, but who's the third? Orange...? Guerilla Gravity...?
  • 1 0
 Giant
  • 1 0
 Lenz. Most underrated out there. I rate it above the others you mentioned, however never rode a guerrila. Anybody that is seriously into bikes should try one. Too bad they are concentrating on plus and fat bikes nowadays but the 29ers are very special.
  • 1 0
 Regarding the cost of the weight differential, here is a bit of advice for ALL riders. The cheapest way to shed weight is to lose weight yourself. The cost is essentially zero $. In fact, you may even come out at a negative expenditure, in that you are spending less on food. For most of us weight loss in ourselves is just as good as weight loss on the bike, if you think weight is holding you back.
  • 5 1
 Nicely welded, sleek looking and fits a water bottle! By god, I want one.
  • 1 0
 "the 301's top-tube rockers incites circumcision comments"

aka: The Ball Chopper !!!

Isn't it possible that you could fall in just the right way while the suspension was compressed and...?
  • 5 0
 No. You are far more likely to castrate yourself with your wheel, disc brake rotor, or impale yourself with a handlebar than you are for this suspension linkage to hurt you (unintentionally).

Now, if you're stupid enough to stick your winky in the linkage while your buddy is bouncing on the bike, then well...I've got nothing for ya.
  • 2 0
 I love their willingness to think outside the box and reexamine every design decision. I love the concept of wheel size based on height, as well as growing chainstays.
  • 1 0
 Not sure why you penalize a bike for the tires they spec. You can’t spec a tire for all conditions and to test it fairly you should change the tires if they aren’t suited to your terrain.
  • 1 0
 It‘s amazing, i owned a 301 MK9 and have always been annoyed by it bottoming out to easy ... 5 Generations later and they still didn‘t manage to fix this ... not what i would pay 6000+ for ...
  • 8 5
 They should call it "the Castrator"
  • 3 1
 or the NutCracker
  • 3 1
 @RedBurn: bean grinder
  • 5 2
 Deez Nutz get scared looking at that shocker.
  • 3 0
 make all the salami slicer jokes you want...i think the bike looks badass.
  • 2 0
 Redefines the term 'brick shithouse' - something about the seatpost being a similar diameter to the fork tubes gives it a rake that looks TOUGH.
  • 7 7
 TL;DR: Heavier than an Ibis Mojo HD4. More expensive than an Ibis Mojo HD4. Cuts your man bits off. No bashguard mount. Weirdly high bottom bracket. Dated suspension design.

I think I'll just keep riding my Mojo.
  • 8 3
 1) depends on the build
2) depends on the build
3) shut up, it doesn't
4) I also dislike that
4) HD4's stated BB drop is 12mm, 301's is 10mm, so that's not at all weirdly high.
5) just stop
  • 1 0
 @just6979:
1) Frame weight: 301 is more than half a pound heavier. Build weight is whatever you want it to be.
2) You're right, the aluminum is frame is $188 cheaper than an Ibis full carbon frame. Again, build it as expensive as you want from there.
3) Have you ridden one? What's your inseam? Notice Liteville doesn't include the standover height in the geometry diagram?
4) I didn't say BB drop, I said BB height. Since you apparently don't know the difference, BB drop is the distance the BB is below a line drawn between the hubs and BB height is the distance of the BB above the ground.

The Liteville BB HEIGHT (distance above the ground) is higher than every other 27.5 160mm travel bike I could find, higher than two 27.5 170mm travel bikes, and even higher than some 29ers, thus making it an outlier, or "weirdly high."
  • 1 0
 @maddslacker: as you said BB drop is the distance the BB axle is below the hub axles. For a given wheel size we know the height of the hubs, thus BB height can be derived from the BB drop. They're directly related, just a different way of stating the same dimension.

BB drop is actually more precise, because the height will be slightly different with different size tires: 2.2 vs 2.8, though this is actually very minimal when the bike is being ridden because the bigger tires will be run with less pressure thus having more "tire sag" and giving a very close effective wheel radius, which then gives a very close hub height, which we can then derive the BB height from if we know the BB drop.

We also don't know if those height measurements are made when the bike is static (full suspension extension) or at the suggested sag positions.

And yes, the Horst-link style four-bar suspension design has been around for a while, but it works very well and can be designed with quite varying kinematics. Now that the Specialized patent has expired in the US, almost every manufacturer that didn't already have a dual-short-link design is now producing Horst-link designs for sale in the US. And in fact, dw-link style dual-short-link designs are also effectively four-bar designs, so the Mojos are more closely related to the Liteville than you know.
  • 1 0
 Anyone who owns one of these ever knock a knee into that link? Seems like if you put a knee in the TT on hard cornering it could cause some issues.
  • 1 0
 What happened to the mix- match wheel sizes? They were on to it there...so many now running 29f/275r- works good with bikes that start with steep seat angle(75+)
  • 2 0
 Those mixed wheelsizes always seemed like a lame excuse for not having up to date geometries at the time.
  • 1 0
 @Gamsjaga: not really. If u didnt have up to date geo(slack seat angle) u wouldn't throw on a smaller back wheel.
Rather, the point is to have up to date geo matched with best attributes of wheel sizes. Front-roll over & rear snappy-more crotch room for steeps/jumping.
  • 1 0
 @jrocksdh: As far as I know they didn’t change a bit before moving to bigger frontwheels.
  • 1 0
 Love seeing the hometown trails get some action...looks like I need to get out more when it's not an hour before sunset after work, so thanks for the motivation!
  • 2 0
 I like the way the frame stands tall. Better than all the low-slung frames that look like they've already bent or snapped.
  • 1 0
 I don't know about everyone else's comments but I wanna take a stroll on this sleek machine, and by stroll I mean try and slam it everywhere I can.
  • 1 0
 I was surprised to see Rc at my local trailhead on a liteville a long time ago. Thanks for stopping and letting me badger you w questions! I feel special haha
  • 1 0
 Dear pinkbike,

the new Liteville 601 mk 4 has been out for more that a year...
test? review? anything on the bike most other enduro manufacturers copy shamelessly...
  • 3 1
 ware appropriate PPE when riding ( a cricket box )
  • 2 1
 hey i thought you could get these with 29" front wheel and 27.5" rear wheel, am i mistaken?
  • 1 0
 Not sure, but I think that option is on their bigger bike, the 601
  • 1 0
 @Lookinforit yeah that comes with 27.5/26 though iirc
  • 8 6
 the best bike you can buy, wish I had 6k to spare.
  • 4 2
 yo thanks for the downvotes, I rode a lot of different bikes in 2016/17 and the 301 Mk14 actually felt the best....It almost felt like an ewwbike for accelerating so good.
The guys at LV are also pretty competent and friendly. I "only" got the cheap 301 Version (H3 Hardtail) but Im so happy with it.
And Id would rather go with LV, cause when built from frame, you also get a good dropperpost.
  • 2 1
 @Dan278: You’re welcome.
  • 1 0
 Here you can check Liteville 301 MK14 kinematics:

mrblackmorescorner.blogspot.com.es/2017/11/liteville-2018.html
  • 2 0
 So , should i buy the Commencal or not?
  • 2 0
 You can fit a 2L water bottle in there, PinkBike approved!
  • 2 0
 So many overpriced bikes (6680 euros=8147 USD) to ride....so little time.
  • 1 0
 Great review, particularly the brand comparison to put things into perspective.
  • 1 0
 did anyone hear the squeak when the rear shock was compressed? need grease already
  • 1 0
 yea i was wondering the same....pretty creaky bike!!
  • 1 0
 Extending the lifetime of the machine is the Holy Grail of German bike makers. Has anyone thought to let Cube know?
  • 2 0
 Hmmm. Nice Welded.
  • 5 4
 i dont want to buy this bike after reading this haha
  • 2 1
 Bad Q factor and chainguide. Everything else looks great.
  • 1 0
 The 92mm bottom bracket is a typo, and you could remove the chain guide. Actually, the 140mm travel version built up with 26" wheels and the right components could make a for a killer trail bike. Something light, nimble and with pop to slot in on a conceptual straight line between a DJ and an Enduro sled.
  • 2 1
 can it fit a water bottle though...?
  • 6 6
 It doesn't look like this has an iscg mount? So there's no way to mount a bashguard?
So this isn't a mountain bike.
  • 1 0
 I always want a liteville until I realize this...I've been so close to pulling the trigger but won't ride a bike without a taco.
  • 3 1
 5600€!?!?! No thanks.
  • 2 1
 Price ist their USP.
  • 1 1
 @Gamsjaga: USP, ESP, GSP, PSP... They can call it whatever they want, it's about 2800€ too much.
  • 1 0
 @m1dg3t: But how could a dentist justify the purchase of a Liteville for 2800€ less?
  • 1 0
 Really interesting bike, something different wish i like a lot..
  • 2 0
 bah, lets just ride....
  • 1 0
 terrible paintjob, almost makes it look like carbon Frown
  • 1 0
 i do not want to be the tech who has to service that thing.
  • 1 0
 Massively falling shock rate?
  • 1 0
 Still waiting on the Pivot Mach 6 review..
  • 1 0
 nb; ca

(nice bike; can't afford)
  • 1 0
 Sick! Want everything about it.
  • 1 0
 That bike would be mad dope in carbon!!
  • 1 0
 One day I might own one of these. Kinda like them.
  • 1 1
 ballbaggingly nifty linkage. Nope!!
  • 1 0
 I like it a lot.
  • 1 1
 Enduro, instant $10k price tag!
  • 1 1
 Honey, we're prego! No we're not, I got Liteville! Who's the Dentist?
  • 1 1
 Taiwan? Meh. Get it welded in Germany, like Nicolai.
  • 1 0
 LOL that dropper
  • 2 3
 Best comments section ever... lol re testicles
  • 1 1
 For small balls only Wink
  • 3 5
 Better than made in china “boutiques” but still 2nd after Nicolai
  • 1 0
 "made in China boutiques" is a very illustrative term
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.044197
Mobile Version of Website