From mud and slop-fests in Scotland to never-ending Alpine descents via some beastly jumps on home trails, our long-term test bikes haven’t had it easy! They’ve stockpiled a ton of kilometres and even more vertical metres on some gnarly trails and lung-burningly tough races. Now that the new season has crept up on us, it’s time for the testers to slam down the lawful fist of justice on these bikes and reveal how their test bike fared, and whether it’s convinced them of its value.
Ricky – Liteville 301 MK12 Enduro Werksmaschine
Liteville – a brand I already knew well, and I was even pretty well acquainted with the 301 at the start of this long-term test (but in an older model). This made me even more excited to see how this bike – which is incidentally Liteville’s first-ever complete bike – would perform over the course of the season.
Let’s get one thing out in the open: the past ten months with the 301 MK12 have been amazing. We’ve done a few enduro races, discovered new trails in the Alps, climbed a few summits, and spent four months on La Palma.
I didn’t really experience any issues with the bike during the whole ten months, and the black-anodized Liteville particularly excelled while racing. Even La Palma’s gnarly terrain didn’t faze the 301, although it did leave a few scratches. The Syntace W35 rear wheel had suffered during tire punctures and thus doesn’t run true anymore.
I immediately swapped the stock Rock Razor tires for Hans Dampfs and went tubeless. The RockShox PIKE fork and RockShox Monarch rear shock got serviced before La Palma, and have been buttery smooth ever since. I’ve had to change the brake pads frequently, but that’s not really surprising given how much downhilling I’ve done. I mean, the Liteville climbs brilliantly, but if I want to get a lot out of the day then I would go for a lift or shuttle.
Given the combo of the 27.5″ at the front and 26″ at the back, the bike felt both agile and smooth. Switchbacks proved rideable, and the rear wheel kept on track. Having two different wheel sizes was really only a problem when it came to having the right spare parts – a bit impractical.
Price: € 5,275
Weight: 12.3 kg
More info: Liteville Website
Test duration: 10 months
KMs ridden: 3,000 km
Downhill metres: 114,413 m
- Rim dents (from tire punctures)
- Lockring on the cassette broke
Would I buy the Liteville 301 MK12?
I’d never have guessed it, but the Liteville 301 MK12 is actually a massive improvement on my previous MK11. As a complete bike, it’s a really great total package – good looking and carefree to ride. It can also tackle a ton of situations, and its low weight meant I could take it up pretty much any mountain, ride it in bike parks, and thrash down thousands of vertical metres in one go. I’d keep it or buy it – but add a bit of colour along the way.
If you want to follow our long-term test crew, check the long-term test timeline.
Words: Ricky Westphal Photos: Christoph Bayer / Ricky Westphal
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