This much we can all agree on: triathlon is life. But sometimes, we need balance. Maybe it's a cooking class. (Souffle!) Maybe it's working on that vintage BMW. Perhaps it's football with the kids. Maybe a beach and a good book.
And maybe it's just... a different bike. A different discipline. Something that takes us out of the routine of the aerobars, and into something adventurous. It's for that reason that gravel has become the new go-to for triathletes. Slowtwitch has heralded the advent of the gravel tri category, so much to the point that the gravel category has its own page.
And if we are going to explore gravel, why not do it right? Yeah, carbon gravel bike is all we're fed by the marketeurs, but allow us to throw one other consideration out there: titanium. That wonder material that some folks out there simply adore has a fervent following. And our sister brand, Litespeed Titanium, is widely regarded as the premier builder in the category. So allow us the not upsell you on titanium, but rather side-sell you. Being a completely different material, a titanium Litespeed is about as complementary to your triathlon quiver as it gets. (Because as everyone knows, your bike quantity is always N+1.)
For many in Europe, this one is quite attractive: every Litespeed seat tube aft has a badge with the three stars found in the Tennessee state flag, arched by the words "Made in the USA." While so many carbon bikes are coming out of factories in Asia in order to cut costs, Litespeed has a legacy of building its bikes out of its factory in Chattanooga, Tenn. For many, “Made in America” means something special.
Litespeed isn’t called that for nothing. Litespeed titanium tubing is referred to as a wonder material, because it’s superlative in so many ways, but weight is right at the top of the list, on a magnitude comparable to carbon fiber. For an alloy, it’s remarkable in that regard.
RIDE COMFORT AND QUALITY
A carbon fiber gravel bike has been designed with the ability to be constructed with specific ride characteristics; stiffness at the bottom bracket for when you’re climbing, vertical compliance when riding over chattery gravel. It’s a remarkable capacity to tailor the way the bike handles.
But so too does a Litespeed Titanium bike. Not only do Litespeed’s framebuilders have the ability to shape the tubes to deliver targeted ride characteristics like a carbon fiber bike, titanium has a metallurgic grain structure that allows the material to be shock absorbent in a way that is unique in cycling, while remaining “lively”—a catch-all term that refers to the bike’s steering handling and pop when accelerating out of saddle. Many say it has the ride chatter attenuation and handling feel of steel—a huge selling feature of steel bikes—minus the weight of steel. A titanium ride, when well-engineered, is a thing of beauty. Especially in the late hours of a big ride or race. For many, this is the one centerpiece feature that has folks in carbon coming over to the ti side; it’s just a wonderful (some say soulful) ride feel that enhances the ride.
Titanium has a wonderful that makes it alluring to the aircraft industry, jewelry industry and of course bikes. Because it doesn’t corrode, Litespeed titanium bikes won’t rust. With repeated wet riding through creek crossings or along salt air coastal trails, ti won’t back down.
Another advantage comes with repair. Whether it’s a crash or an unfortunate interaction with your garage when forgotten on top of your car, a titanium bike can generally be repaired without affecting the strength or safety of the bike.
Here, a carbon fiber gravel bike may have the advantage on its face, but when you consider the above categories like lifespan and construction, some things are just worth the price.
Ready to ride ti? There’s but one brand to consider: Litespeed Titanium. Give the Litespeed site a surf and see if your next ride becomes the perfect complement to your Quintana Roo tri bike.
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