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.
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.
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.