You don’t need the Latest Bike to Ride Gravel: Litespeed Titanium CX Bike

litespeed appalachian review
Huffy? You’ll have to watch the video to learn more

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!

cyclocross bike on gravel

Due to popular request from interest on a recent Instagram post to Gravel Cyclist (, 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.

cyclocross bike on gravel

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.

you don't need the latest bike to ride gravel

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.

you don't need the latest bike to ride gravel

you don't need the latest bike to ride gravel
JOM’s home-made LED lights

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.

cyclocross bike on gravel


  • 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
cyclocross bike on gravel
Shimano Ultegra Di2 10-Speed

Additional Photos

litespeed appalachian review
Easton EC90X Fork

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  1. Avatar James Allen


    You have me on video from the 2015 Kanza on my trusted ‘97 Moots Psychlo-X. It has been ridden in 4 Kanza events, got me a third place podium in Singlespeed at Gravel Worlds this year, and won the 2014 Hellhole Open Men’s stage race, along with thousands and thousands of miles full of smiles. Still riding and racing it today…

  2. Avatar Jason Hewerdine

    Good stuff JOM,
    Love the retro stuff more than the new but that’s just me.
    Keepem comin

    • JOM JOM

      Hey Jason, I have a few more retro, personal bikes I will be featuring soon.

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