New Litespeed Pinhoti III Ti hardtail MTB brings larger tires, extra perspective
Named after one of Tennessee’s most aggressive singletrack trails, the new Litespeed Pinhoti III titanium trail hardtail mountain bike brings updated geometry, room for huge tires, and gorgeous new tube shapes.
Here’s the full tech overview, plus our first ride impressions and actual weight of an XL with an admittedly high end build…
Litespeed Pinhoti III tech details
Aimed at marathon and trail riders looking for a light, efficient bike that climbs with all the efficiency you’d expect from a hardtail, the new Pinhoti makes adjustments to handle the downhills better, too.
The new version increases tire clearance to 29×2.6 (up from 2.4″) and 27.5×3.0 (up from 2.8″). Recommended fork travel grows to 120-140mm (up from 100-130mm).
To accomplish that, they gave it a stiffer headtube, but you wouldn’t know that from looking at it. It’s still sleek, using a 44mm headtube to accommodate modern tapered forks.
Additional shaping of the top- and down-tubes limit torsional flex, and position the head tube with a 67º or 67.5º head angle, depending on frame size. That’s 2-2.5º slacker than before, and top tube/reach has been stretched a bit longer, too.
To make up for that, they bent the seat tube more to tuck the rear wheel in tighter. Chainstay length dropped to 16.9″, down from 17.25″ before. Here’s the full geometry chart:
Note that there’s a new XS size offered, which comes with a shorter 120mm travel fork and 27.5″ wheels as stock. All other sizes are sold with 29er wheels and 130mm forks.
A new CNC-machined driveside chainstay yoke drops slightly, allowing the chainring and mountain bike tire to both clear the frame without having to lengthen the bike’s rear end.
All that translates to modern long, slack, quick geometry, plus huge tires.
But they’re not relying entirely on the extra rubber for comfort. Seatstays are bent slightly throughout most of their length to add compliance, aided by a reverse bend above the dropouts.
They also say the new design further reduces vibrations, something titanium was already well known for, while remaining comparatively light for a metal bike.
To summarize in their words, the new Pinhoti III was designed to give you “more confidence, more agility, more comfort, more fun.”
So, does it deliver?
Litespeed Pinhoti III actual weight & first rides
Before we could throw a leg over the new bike, we had to get it, and it’s worth showing off Litespeed’s Home.Delivery.Right service. The bike literally shows up ready to ride, setup tubeless, and 100% assembled.
Our size XL test bike came in at 26lb 10oz (12.08kg) without pedals, setup tubeless. That’s with:
- Full XT group (but XTR cranks for some reason)
- Stan’s Arch wheels
- Maxxis Rekon 29×2.6 tires
- Fox Factory 34 130mm fork with Fox dropper seatpost
- Alloy Race Face handlebar and stem
- ESI foam grips
- WTB saddle
Litespeed says a size Medium Pinhoti III frame weighs 1,649 grams, which is 95 grams lighter than the previous version.
This is definitely a “first impressions” post, not a full review…but we’ve got a couple of hardtail fans putting miles on it right now for a future long-term review. But that’s me in the meantime, swapping my full suspensions for a hardtail for the first time in a long time.
Once over the “daaaaang, this thing’s fast” feeling of going back to a hardtail, the first thing I noticed is how much pop it had.
I have a titanium cyclocross bike and will verify that everything good you’ve heard about the material is true. It’s lively, ages well, and lasts forever. And now that we seem to have figured out this “trail” geometry thing, this is a bike you’d want to keep around forever.
It’s quick around the corners. Their slackening efforts haven’t tamed the snappy response I’d want from a hardtail, but the extra travel and reach was appreciated coming down a few drops and short descents.
The Pinhoti III literally launches off jumps. It has a springy feel that seems to boost the bike off ramps, so if you’re a jumper, you’ll appreciate how easily it gains altitude. Landings were more muted than I expected, too, which I’ll chalk up to both the frame material and their shaped tubing.
It’s fun, and now it’s in the hands of our long term testers to see how it compares to their personal bikes…
Pinhoti III Features & Specs
- 3AL/2.5V cold-worked tubeset
- Oversized 3AL/2.5V downtube
- Updated geometry
- Asymmetric and dropped drive-side chainstay
- CNC-Machined titanium chainstay yoke
- Updated dropper cable integration port
- Standard Ti, Brushed, and new Two-Tone Polished finish options
- Internally butted and oversized head tube
- Max tire size: 29 x 2.6 or 27.5 x 3.0
- 51mm fork offset
- optimized for 120mm to 140mm fork travel
- PF30 bottom bracket shell, with T47 threaded BB upgrade option
- Boost spacing, 12X148mm
- Sizes available: XS, S, M, L, XL and custom
- Handcrafted in the U.S.A.
- Average weight 1,649 grams (size medium frame)
Complete bike prices range from $4,745 (SLX) to $7,445 (XTR). Framesets will also be available for $2,349.