This video is sponsored by The Pro’s Closet – Use coupon code GRAVELCYCLIST121 until January 31, 2022, to receive free shipping on your bike order!
Due to popular request from interest on a recent Instagram post to Gravel Cyclist (https://instagram.com/gravelcyclist), this late 1990’s Litespeed Appalachian Titanium Cyclocross Bike is proof you don’t need the latest and greatest bike, drivetrain, and so on, to enjoy riding on the gravelly road less traveled, and beyond.
This bike belongs to JOM, founder of Gravel Cyclist, and was acquired around 2007 / 2008, as an answer to building the perfect bike for riding mixed-surface roads at that time. It has seen many upgrades and changes, originally being equipped with a mixed groupset Campagnolo mechanical shifting drivetrain. In 2011, the bike was upgraded to Shimano’s first generation of Ultegra Di2, and barring a crankset swap, has remained the same to the current day.
Litespeed Appalachian Ti CX Bike Video
Continued from Above:
Gravel bikes have continually evolved since they first began appearing several years ago. The bike in this video was built before a “gravel bike” existed, and was the third such bike built by JOM to tackle mixed-surface roads. Lessons learned:
Bike #1, 2005 Trek Fuel 98 Full-Suspension Mountain Bike, 26″ wheels, Shimano XT drivetrain. Eventually, this bike proved unsuitable, particularly during fast-paced mixed-surface rides at night time, a fixture among the Gravel Cyclist crew during the cooler months of Winter.
Bike #2, Redline Conquest Team Edition cyclocross bike, aluminium frame / fork, 700c wheels, mixed Campagnolo groupset. This bike was a fine steed, but due to aluminium frame design of the time and some inappropriate wheelset choices (deeper and stiffer alloy wheels), it was decided to pursue titanium as the material for mixed-surface roads. Titanium rides much better with more comfort than these older aluminum frames.
The bike has returned to active duty, after a long hiatus of inactivity. Nowadays, when JOM isn’t aboard a review bike, it serves as his primary bike for riding mixed-surface roads at nighttime in his USA home base of Gainesville, Florida.
- Frame: Litespeed Titanium Appalachian Cyclocross
- Fork: Easton EC90X
- Headset: Chris King 1 1/8″
- Stem: Ritchey WCS 4 Axis 110mm
- Handlebar: Kestrel EMS Pro 42cm
- Handlebar Tape: Fizik
- Brakes: Avid Shorty Ultimate
- Brake Rotors: N/A
- Brake / Shift Levers: Shimano Ultegra Di2 Non-Hydraulic
- Front Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra Di2 6770
- Rear Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra Di2 6770
- Cassette: Shimano Ultegra 10-Speed 12-25
- Chain: KMC X10
- Crankset: Rotor 3D+ 172.5mm, 46/34 Chainrings
- Bottom Bracket: Rotor BSA BB30
- Pedals: Shimano XTR 9100 Short Axle
- Wheelset: Stan’s No Tube Alpha 340 Rims, XTR 9-Speed era hubs, 32 DT Competition Spokes Front & Rear, Alloy Nipples, Brass on Drive Side
- Tires: Panaracer Gravelking SK 700c x 38mm
- Saddle: Fizik Arione Titanium Rails
- Seatpost: Ritchey WCS 27.2mm x 300mm
- Bottle Cages: King Titanium
Links of Interest:
- The Pro’s Closet (sponsor of this video)
- A Look Inside the Pro’s Closet
- Garmin Varia Radar Taillight Review (RTL510)
- Garmin Varia RVR315 & RTL515
- Ridden & Reviewed: Ergon SR Pro Men’s Saddle
- Panaracer Gravelking SK Tire Review
- Orange Seal Endurance Formula Sealant Review
- Gravel Cyclist’s Route Library