Readers’ Rig: Mitch’s Litespeed Ultimate Gravel Bike

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Readers’ Rig: There are many carbon gravel bikes out there on the trails, but we’ve not seen so many in titanium, and what a better example than a frame made by Litespeed. Mitch in Winston-Salem has an Litespeed Ultimate equipped with SRAM, Hunt, fizik and TRP.

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Name: Mitch Hopkins
Location: Winston-Salem, NC (USA)
Frame: Litespeed Ultimate Gravel – Size Medium
Group: SRAM 11 Speed ETAP
Handlebar/Stem: Argon 18 – Integrated Stem/Bar – 110 x 42
Wheels: Hunt 50 (Challenger Gravel Grinder-Tubeless) – Zipp 303S (Schwalbe Pro One-Tubeless)
Pedals: Ultegra SPD
Saddle: Fizik Antares – Braided Carbon Rails
Other: TRP HY/RD disc brakes (These were purchased because my existing ETAP shifters are for rim brakes) – These actually work very well.
Weight: 18.2lbs (8.3kg) (Pedals, cages and Wahoo).

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When did you buy it?
I bought this as a frameset from Litespeed in April 2020.

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What made you choose this bike?
I have had many Litespeed bicycles over the years and I wanted to get a bike that was more versatile than just a road bike. The frame and fork can fit 650b x 2.0 or 700c x 45. When purchasing the bike you also have many options, paint, Etched Logos, T47 upgrade, etc. The crew at Litespeed are super helpful in getting exactly what you want. Thanks Chris. I also used to live in Chattanooga, TN, where they are made, so I have a soft spot for the Litespeed brand as well.

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Have you done any modifications/additions to it?
I built it to my specifications with parts from another bike so it’s pretty much custom.

How many miles/kilometers do you do a year?
6000-8000 (9600K-12800K).

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What do you love about this bike?
It is such a versatile bike. I can swap out my gravel wheelset for my road wheelset in just a couple of minutes and be ready to go take on a fast group ride without feeling like I’m leaving anything on the table. The Litespeed fork has extra mounts so during the height of the pandemic when stores were closed I would have 4 water bottles on my bike for extended rides.

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Favorite riding areas?
Boone, NC. Lots of climbing and just a generally beautiful area to explore.

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Top riding experience on your bike?
A ride to Grayson Highlands State Park in Virginia(USA) on a beautiful sunny day in July of 2020. I had 4 water bottles attached and was ready for some climbing. As I approached the halfway mark of the ride I came upon a 3 mile gravel climb that finished on the highest ROAD (not the highest point) in Virginia – Whitetop Mountain. At that point I had ridden 37 miles (59K) with 5700ft (1737m) of climbing. Then came the payoff. Turning around to come back. There was one climb on the way back, but mostly it was just pedaling downhill.

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Future upgrades?
Lining up the logos on my Gravel Tires with the valve stem. Fail on my part. I just saw that in 2 days Litespeed is coming out with a new Gravel bike so………

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Last words:
Don’t take your good health for granted. Lastly, thanks to my wife for being so understanding of my whims.

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Thanks to Mitch for sharing his ride with us. Got a bike that you walk into the room just to stare at? Well, how about sharing it with fellow PEZ fans and getting it featured in Readers’ Rigs so we can all stare at it! Send us a Readers’ Rigs submission direct to [email protected] and your bike could be featured in all its glory here on the pages of PEZ.

Like PEZ? Why not subscribe to our weekly newsletter to receive updates and reminders on what’s cool in road cycling?

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