Litespeed has followed the trends in recent years to remain relevant by providing the latest drivetrains, geometries and parts. Campagnolo’s 13-speed Ekar drivetrain and Spinergy’s aerospace-spoke technology and carbon wheelsets were spec’d on Litespeed’s Watia. Situated in the center of Litespeed’s spectrum of gravel bikes, the Watia blends the performance-tuned refinements of the Ultimate Gravel frame and the adventure-ready geometry of the Cherohala.
The Watia is available with either externally or internally routed cables, and our bike was the latter, which enjoys a $260 upcharge. It isn’t a fully integrated design, though, as the cable and two hydraulic hoses are visible from the handlebar, the shift cable and the rear hydraulic line are routed through the frame, while the front hydraulic line is run through the fork. Each tube is purposely shaped to amplify titanium’s attributes. The top tube is ovalized nearest the seat-tube junction to better capture frame vibrations, and the downtube is ovalized at the bottom bracket to add stiffness. The chainstays are asymmetrical with the drive side featuring a CNC-machined plate to increase tire and chainring clearance. It’s an eye-catching design that’s as attractive as it is utilitarian. The seat stays are skinny and bridged to allow for a fender.