Construction and Features What's new?
We reviewed Liteville's 301 MK 14
two years ago and our review bike, the MK 15, looks like an identical twin at a glance. So, what's new? For starters, its aluminum frame uses a new, stronger alloy that Liteville is reluctant to divulge. The only hint may be in the welding, which has transitioned from merely excellent to outstanding - some of the best I've seen in my life. Liteville says the size medium frame weighs only 2760 grams without a shock, which meets or beats the claims of many carbon rivals in the 160-millimeter-travel arena.
The swingarm has been reconfigured to provide more chain clearance, and there are two positions for the rear swingarm pivot that allow owners to run either a 29 or a 27.5-inch wheel without significantly affecting the bottom bracket height or frame angles. That means you can configure the 301 with mixed wheel sizes or, using a Syntace "Level Link" headset spacer, switch to 27.5-inch on both ends (More about that later).
Geometry has changed as well, with a longer reach, a longer wheelbase, a slacker head tube angle and a steeper seat tube angle. The chainstay length has been lengthened slightly too, about six millimeters, depending upon the frame size. (Liteville alters the chainstays to correspond to each of the 301's five size offerings.) Great news, skip to the riding impressionsWhich features carry over?
Liteville's list of stand-out features is long. Some have been available as aftermarket upgrades, like needle bearings for the shock bushings and adjustable-angle headset cups. The 301 also shares its offset rear triangle and dishless rear wheel concept with Cannondale, and it's rare, but a handful of bike makers also alter the frame geometry and chainstay lengths for each frame size to ensure consistent handling and climbing performance.
Liteville's engineers also account for a number of firsts. They were the first bike maker to adapt their frame design for an integrated dropper post, with the award winning Eightpins design. Its X-12 axle uses tapered collets to cinch the axle in tension and torsion, and the 301's Type-3 derailleur hanger, with its breakaway bolt, offers a much stiffer, better shifting alternative that also protects the derailleur more effectively.
The deeper you look, the more you'll discover: the spare hanger bolt in the swingarm yoke; the Allen/Torx wrench that stowes into the rear axle fits almost every screw on the bike; the oil port on the seat collar which lubricates the dropper post; its virtually invisible cable and hose routing; the cable access/storage door under the downtube; and perhaps you'll notice that every piece of its titanium, aluminum and stainless steel hardware is designed specifically for its application, and accompanied by a torque specification. The list goes on, but the message is that, by themselves, few of these enhancements would generate much fanfare. Together, however, they make the 301 an impressive machine.
I could read his reviews all day. As many of you it reminds me mba from the 90’s.
Welcome back RC - hope to see more from you in the future.
Tell a friend
That ‘old guy’ is Carl Fogarty.
stitches down there!
I didn't like how the bike rides as well, but still.
And despite it's such a light bike, it was one of the most troublefree rigs I ever had.
Either way, the top tube does look high for me. Some other bikes have tall seatposts too, but the top tube could still be dropped a good bit. This seattube is 2.5" taller than I have on my hardtail (for my size) and it appears like the top tube would be raised a similar amount. I think it would definitely bother me, which is a bummer as for the rest the bike does look cool. They probably need these long seattubes because, unlike conventional dropper posts, a customer can't just slide the complete assembly up in case of a longer rider. And a low top tube with such steep seatstays would probably not look cool anyway.
So yeah, it may not even be that much the linkage I'd be worried about. But the whole concept of their dropper combined with the suspension linkage dictates a fairly high top tube, which takes the fun out of cornering the bike.
Aren't you forgetting about huge backpacks as well tho?
It is funny actually, how the "very German" stereotype only applies to certain brands. Obviously not to "cool" mass production brands "YT, Canyon etc" but it doesn't seem to apply to all high end brands either (Raaw, Trickstuff, Nicolai). All brands with a lot of attention to detail. I'd almost put Raaw in the same category as Liteville (even though Liteville obviously has a longer history hence a bigger portfolio of little details).
well done sir!
Liteville (Syntace) is also an industry leader when it comes to material science and aluminium construction. They somehow manage to build lighter, stiffer and stronger frames out of aluminium than what the competition does while using carbon.
I’ve ridden this bike before, as a mullet bike. I loved everything about it (240mm dropper post travel in the XL which was perfect for me). The bike handled great, etc. But I just don’t think it’s very good looking. And for that price that’s a big deal. But man, it pedaled well! I shocked myself with how much vertical uphold I rode vs my own bike...
In my experience their W33i wheels are useless for enduro and parks....also their ratchet mechanism fails (they have like 5th version of it now...).
They stand behind their products (give you new parts and so on...) but that is sometimes very slow process and countless mails and sometimes you have to call them by phone.
On the other hand, if my hanger wasn't that sturdy, my derailleur probably wouldn't have looked like this after hitting a stone in a race...
And cheap to replace, other than those stupidly expensive 20-35 Euro hangers.
Liteville new frames (301 Mk14, Mk15, 601 Mk4) are not build as good as in the past - they have serious quality control problems (if you just look at the bike at home they are still perfect, but for serious riding they need to solve some things....).
I ride a 301 as my main sled since ages. And my bits are still complete and have never been in any peril.
My wife has a M10 301, XS with 26 front, 24 back (!). She is extremely happy with it despite the very small wheels and gained more confidence in rough terrain than I have.
And I also have fun riding this as a dirt bike and when going crazy on the local flow trail. Which I only do after I adjusted sth on the bike for testing reasons. Of course. What did you think?
Different topic, Where you at with ebikes? Just curious.
This bike seems very similar to the Ibis HD3: a trail bike that can “enduro” versus an enduro bike that can “trail.”
The price may seem high, but it includes great component spec ( carbon wheels, Sq Labs seat, etc).
I am a fan of the bike.
"What happens when the mountain bike industry runs out of fireworks? Liteville’s 301 MK 15 Enduro may answer that question.
As the smoke clears from two decades of tumultuous innovation and contentious new standards, it becomes apparent that most of us are over it. Pick a bike, any bike, single-pivot, six-bar, faux-bar – they all pedal well, weigh about 30 pounds and descend wonderfully. Components have attained similar parity, and if there were a super geek waiting in the wings with a stupendous suspension patent or a truly revolutionary drivetrain, we would have heard about it by now."
... will hold up to the test of time as well as this thesis:
"The End of History and the Last Man (1992) is a book of political philosophy by American political scientist Francis Fukuyama which argues that with the ascendancy of Western liberal democracy—which occurred after the Cold War (1945–1991) and the dissolution of the Soviet Union (1991)—humanity has reached "not just ... the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: That is, the end-point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.""
Looks like a killer bike. I'd love to put my leg over one.
You can watch it in action :
I'd like the space between my genitals and the bike to vary when I huck to flat
So that I can visit A&E to get my rear shock removed from my anus.
2. That linkage looks like it could neuter you.
3. Calling this a "Super Bike" seems like misuse of the term.
But in my experience 601 Mk4 is the only 601 that really needs some changes in construction (bearings....)....
Carbon is also a lot easier to repair, should you need to.
...When the majority of bike reviews on here these days are done by Levy or Kazimer, who ride in terrain I am familiar with and is similarish to where I live now, I'd far rather read their opinions on the bike. RC, can you ship it up to them for a week or two so we can have another review? Pretty please.