Litespeed Niota Al XT disc XC Full Suspension

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 26  
[Jun 05, 2018]
jsncs


OVERALL
RATING
5
Strength:

Own a 2014 Al litespeed. I'm 80kg Very fast n light uphill, through corners and downhill trails This bike handles beautifully and has very good geometry Note: Expect more XC then downhills as this is not a downhill bike. So dun go and punish it like a Santa Cruz or ibis! Weight wise not very much different from its TI brother, but toughness definitely Ti ones are better imo.... I don't know as so far I'm riding 80% XC trails, 20% DH rides. Nevertheless, this is a very good bike and very worth the price. I recommend it for intermediate riders looking for an upgrade but dun wish to spend too much money. Much lighter and stronger than anything in its class Setup: Front Rock Shox SID Team Rear fox rp23 (came with frame) Full XT components KMC gold chain Kore Headset and Bar Thomson Elite seat post Mavic Crossride Total Weighs sub 11kg

Weakness:

None so far. One of my best rides

Purchased:
New  
Model Year:
2014
[Jun 05, 2018]
jsncs


OVERALL
RATING
5
Strength:

Own a 2014 Al litespeed. I'm 80kg Very fast n light uphill, through corners and downhill trails This bike handles beautifully and has very good geometry Note: Expect more XC then downhills as this is not a downhill bike. So dun go and punish it like a Santa Cruz or ibis! Weight wise not very much different from its TI brother, but toughness definitely Ti ones are better imo.... I don't know as so far I'm riding 80% XC trails, 20% DH rides. Nevertheless, this is a very good bike and very worth the price. I recommend it for intermediate riders looking for an upgrade but dun wish to spend too much money. Much lighter and stronger than anything in its class Setup: Front Rock Shox SID Team Rear fox rp23 (came with frame) Full XT components KMC gold chain Kore Headset and Bar Thomson Elite seat post Mavic Crossride Total Weighs sub 11kg

Weakness:

None so far. One of my best rides

Purchased:
New  
Model Year:
2014
[Jun 05, 2018]
jsncs


OVERALL
RATING
5
Strength:

Own a 2014 Al litespeed. I'm 80kg Very fast n light uphill, through corners and downhill trails This bike handles beautifully and has very good geometry Note: Expect more XC then downhills as this is not a downhill bike. So dun go and punish it like a Santa Cruz or ibis! Weight wise not very much different from its TI brother, but toughness definitely Ti ones are better imo.... I don't know as so far I'm riding 80% XC trails, 20% DH rides. Nevertheless, this is a very good bike and very worth the price. I recommend it for intermediate riders looking for an upgrade but dun wish to spend too much money. Much lighter and stronger than anything in its class Setup: Front Rock Shox SID Team Rear fox rp23 (came with frame) Full XT components KMC gold chain Kore Headset and Bar Thomson Elite seat post Mavic Crossride Total Weighs sub 11kg

Weakness:

None so far. One of my best rides

Purchased:
New  
Model Year:
2014
[Oct 04, 2005]
Jeff Bomke
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Fast, Light, Very Stiff, Balanced Geometry. The bike corners and manuvers tight singletrack very well. Accelerates very well. Can stomp on the pedals and not notice any bob.

Weakness:

American Bicycle Group (ABG) customer service is horrible. I was having trouble setting up the suspension even after I downloaded the manual for the RP3 shock. The shock requires much less pressure than normal. I am 180lbs and have it set at 120lbs. No internal memo or training on the setup of this bike. I told him i read the manual and set the shock up with the proper sag but ramps fast. The guy told me how to setup the wrong shock on the wrong bike (brain shock). Called Litespeed and they passed the buck to fox. Fox said that is basically the nature of an air shock. Suspension ramps up fast, so can only get 2/3 of the claimed travel and feels harsh. I feel the shock is not right for the bike. Needs adjustible spring rate or revalved for bike. The RP3 is gemicky with the 3 pro pedal settings.

Litespeed claims this bike is "all-mountain", but it is a long travel XC bike. It is very, very fast, but does not have the actual travel necessary to bomb downhill with the current shock. Maybe i am being critical coming off of the tomac eli (broken frame), which was very plush with the swinger 4 way. XC riders will absolutely love this bike. It is the fastest trail bike I have riden and would race this bike even at it's current 28 lb weight. You could easily get this bike to 26 lbs too. That is why I will give this bike 5 chilis overall. This bike is just needs a rear shock that will let this bike use it's full travel.

Similar Products Used:

Blur, Tomac Eli, Cake, Enduro

[Aug 15, 2007]
Caleb
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Strength:

Really nice ride when the rear suspension is tuned right.

Weakness:

This frame was a replacement for 2 broken Tomac Eli's - frame cracks. So I was very disappointed when I found the rear triangle cracked on a ride in Moab. The rear triangle was returned to the American Bicycle Group mid-May and I am still waiting a new rear triangle. They sent out an old version 8-7-07 but it did not match the frame, and I don't want to have to warranty it in another year given what a hassle this has been.

I only weigh 165. I put the bike through the paces but I don't ride unreasonably hard. I called the warranty department myself and they said they had to redesign the rear triangle and the new triangles are still 2 months out.

The bike rides great.

The rear triangle is weak.

The customer service from American Bicycle Group is poor.

With a new re-designed rear triangle I will be happily ripping the trails again.

Similar Products Used:

Tomac Eli

[Jul 18, 2007]
Andy Dallibar
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Strength:

none

Weakness:

It's just bad through and through

I bought this frame as a replacement for my Heckler. It felt strange from the start, The back end was never convincing and I was always concerned about the amount of lateral play in the swingarm. The small pivots at the top of the swigarm arm just screws in brass bushes and they always came loose. I attached a small camera on the frame once and video'd the trails as I rode along and was horrified by how much the wheel swayed from side to side.Suffice to say the frame has broken twice. The first time I blamed the shop but when it broke the second time I was convinced it's just a bad design. I got a full refund which cheered me up but I smell a rat because they offered it I didn't ask for the refund.

Similar Products Used:

Heckler, Yeti 575, Turner 5 spot.

[Mar 03, 2006]
Warren Ennis
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

First off I need to come clean and say this is my 3rd frame from Douglas. First I had a Tomac 98 which I broke at the bottom bracket, weld cracked. The 2nd was a Tomac 98 Pro which broke at the shock mount, metal fatigue would be the best explenation. On the Litespeed Niota AL I am a little baffled, this frame was a beauty, plush but reactive, predictable and fun to ride, I would say out of the five or so bikes that I own or have ridden the Litespeed rates at the top of the list, I would compare it to the Santa Cruz Blur for quality and performace, and beats the dickens out of my Trek Fuel 90.

Weakness:

Frame paint was beautiful but chips very fast and do watch out for the front derailer, that one got me. 'The biggest problem is the bike I got from Litespeed was out of true on the rear triangle by 3mm or more and had to send it back' that was in EARLY DECEMBER AND I STILL NOT HAVE A NEW FRAME. I am a litte more than disapointed with Litespeed as the turn time and the effort to work with me has been less than stellar, early March and I still do not know when my frame will come back.

One of the better frames I have ridden, just want her back so I can really put it to the test. I am a very good Cross country rider and at the age of 40 do not jump or freeride as my body will not handle that but I am still a strong rider and am not intimidated by anything up or down.

"THE POOR RATING IS FOR SERVICE ONLY"

Similar Products Used:

Santa Cruz Blur, Trek Fuel 90,

[Feb 19, 2006]
Jeff
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Beautiful finish, attention to detail, innovative design, high quality

Weakness:

the frame didnt come with any setup instructions, or warranty card, or touch up paint etc.. I bought the frame alone and set it up myself, and it wasn't until i had it built up that i realized the front derailleur was gonna get creamed by the rear triangle cross brace, i was using an XTR 961, but the bike needed the 960 top swing unit, at least i figured that out before i rode it for the first time.

I took it out today for the maiden voyage, I think I had the setup pretty good from the start, right pressure in both fork and shock, correct sag as per manual, being the first time out itook it slow, waiting for the new bike gremlins to show up, but for the most part it was uneventful. The transition from the softail to this will take a bit getting used to but I have had dualies before, so i adapted quicklt. I have to say this bike rocks! the fork is by far the trickest thing i have ever ridden on, the lockout works great, and the overall feel is very "moto" the back end with its CLR (constant leverage ratio) never felt overly active, I never sensed any bob, I just have to remember to ride in a slightly higher gear, to smooth out the rebound (or adjust the shock!) My only complaint, is that my heels were hitting the chain stays, and i rubbed the clear coat off on both sides, if i payed attention to what i was doing there was no contact, but when i stopped thinking about it, i rubbed. the c-stays on this bike are a full 1 1/2 inches wider than the Tsali. Maybe I need a wider BB, but i'm thinking the better solution would be stylized stays (they are just straight tubes) I would have bought the Niota Ti, (the full susp equivalent of the Tsali) but at $4k for the frame alone, I couldn't justify the half pound weight saving, that plus the fact that I chased squeaks and creaks on that Ti bike for years. i'm gonna give this bike the full boat for chili's the price was great and the ride phenomenal. If they change the rear triangle next year, maybe I will try to replace just that.

Similar Products Used:

Litespeed Tsail softail, disc

[Dec 13, 2006]
Jay
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Light, FAST, great climber- even without the propedal, fairly plush, looks like a piece of art hanging my wall.

Weakness:

Takes a while to truly dial in the suspension.

Excellent bike. I'm 35, and wanted a bike that would be plush, so the body can take less of a pounding now and in the future, but also light for the climbs. I ride mainly technical cross country- lots of gnarly ups and downs, but not a lot of drops, etc. I do an xc race or two a year. I didn't need a beefy bike that could handle a lot of air. The five inches of travel eat up the trail. Could I deal with a bit more travel at times? sure. Would it be worth the weight penalty? no. Would it be worth less efficent climbing? no.

I wanted a bike that would get me off my aging ass to ride, even when I'm not in the best shape. That's just what the niota does.

It takes a bit of tinkering with both the front and rear suspension to find the sweet spot- the Fox shocks are infinitely tunable- but once you do, the bike can take you over just about anything. Smooths out rock gardens and rooty sections- which PA trails have plenty of- with ease.

The bike climbs beautifully. I have the suspension set up with no propedal, and low air pressure, and there is still no bob on technical climbs- provided you stay in the saddle. That's all the linkage design. The rear axel follows a vertical path when the suspension engages, which limits pedalling imput, and is basically what every other design tries to achieve. With the propedal turned up (there's 3 settings) and some more pressure, it climbs even better- in or out of the saddle- but I like the cushiness on the descents. Lateral stiffness isn't an issue.

So basically, the niota meets all my needs. I can put in on 4 inches of rear travel and full propedal for XC races/rides, or 5 inches of plushness for the epic/tech rides. While other bikes like the Nomad, Intense 6.6, Ellsworth Moment, have more travel and can be set up fairly light- I don't think you'll see them in many XC races. This bike successfully straddles both worlds. And did I mention it's fast? FAST!

Lastly, its just nice to look at- the rear triangle and linkage is simple and seamless, downtube is thick, geometry is on the slacker side, but not too much. Black gloss is makes it look lean and sleek.

Gotta give it all the chilis.

Similar Products Used:

Blur, Trek Fuel 98, Specialized Enduro, single pivot FS designs, Giant hardtail

[Mar 07, 2004]
Steve Young
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
Strength:

Very stiff bike - rides stiffer than my hard tail. Climbs very well and handles well in technical sections.

Weakness:

Downhills well but is not plush.

Great Bike. I just did my first ride on the bike today and loved it. It was a little stiffer than I thought it was going to be (coming off a hard tail) but what else could you ask for if it can be stiff and still have a great suspension system.

Similar Products Used:

Giant VT1, Trek Liquid, Trek Fuel (recently demo'ed before buying Litespeed) and many other bikes

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