It’s nice to hear from old friends. Litespeed’s launch of the new Watia gravel bike certainly feels like hearing from an old buddy who’s been up to quite a lot since last you spoke. The titanium bicycle brand is back in the spotlight with a new gravel bike made for versatility.
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The Watia starts with 3AL/2.5V titanium tubing and is cold-worked to tailor the ride quality. That’s complemented of course by the ride characteristics that make titanium frames sought after to begin with.
Litespeed has also wisely included three sets of water bottle bosses for the more adventurous gravel riders looking to go on all-day grinders. There are other mounting options as well, including fender mounts. And of course, like any modern gravel bike worth its salt, the Watia has wide tire clearance — up to 45mm tires in a 700c configuration, or 53mm tires on 650b setups.
The geometry, according to Litespeed, should deliver a nimble ride feel that’s similar to a road bike. And, it’s built in Litespeed’s facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Notably, Litespeed offers a T47 bottom bracket option on the Watia as well. That means you get the benefits of oversize BB bearings, but in a threaded setup that should help you avoid the dreaded BB creak that seems to come stock with just about all pressfit-style options.
The Watia is available in sizes small through extra-large, and Litespeed says it will be adding an extra-small size to the range in the near future. A size medium frame weighs 1,565 grams, so while you may not be able to build the Watia up as light as a carbon bike, it still allows you a respectably light build with lots of durability for peace of mind.
The top of the line Watia build comes in at $5,775 and includes Shimano’s GRX Di2 group, along with internal cable routing. The most cost-effective option features GRX mechanical components and external routing and will run you $3,500. You can configure your own bike, too, on Litespeed’s website, and then you can order it direct. It arrives 90 percent assembled, so home mechanics with basic repair skills can get the Watia up and rolling quickly.