Tubby tires, a sizable downtube and an aggressive stealth-like image – the Liteville H-3 shares more than just its model code with the monstrous Hummer H3 from the States. Fortunately, the differences in their riding styles couldn’t be further apart.
Based in the Allgau Alps, Liteville claim that the H-3 is the 301 of their hardtails: versatile, variable, and potent. Having deliberately limited the H-3 to frame set sales, Liteville don’t want to dictate your bike’s bike. But don’t worry if you end up wracking your brain for ideas: they’ve also unveiled a handful of build examples, including the B+, Trail bike and Enduro. We picked the B+ in our pursuit of sussing out the H-3’s potential.
The spec of the Liteville H-3 B+
The Liteville H-3 B+ has a spec list that’ll see you nodding your head all the way down it, featuring the superb FOX 34 FLOAT 27.5+ 140 Fit 4 Factory which iron out trail chatter. Not just ergo and comfy, we were won over by the weight, stiffness and flex delivered by the 760 mm carbon Syntace Vector bars linked with a 50 mm Syntace Megaforce 2 stem. It’s unfortunate that the Shimano XT M8000 brakes on this test bike bring along the all-too-familiar issue of an inconsistent bite point. But there’s salvation from the flawless Shimano XT 2x drivetrain with a Side Swing front mech – although we’d have preferred a 1x setup.
The Syntace W-40 rims team well with the wide 3.0″ Schwalbe Nobby Nic tyres, and the MX hubs are kitted out with the new Syntace Evo 6 standard, meaning symmetrical spoke lacing for added durability. Plus-size tires are nothing if they’re not tubeless, otherwise you’ll spend your entire ride mending punctures. Liteville also opted for the proven RockShox Reverb dropper post with 125 mm of adjustment and a SQLab 612 saddle.
The geometry of the Liteville H-3
The figures speak for themselves: the Liteville H-3 has some real potential. Its slack 64.5° head angle, short 435 mm chainstays and moderate 406 mm reach for the medium-sized frame render it a serious contender against many other enduro bikes. Thanks to the 110 mm headtube, the bars are kept really low (stack 615 mm). The frame comes in S, M, L and XL sizes.
Riding the Liteville H-3
For starters, the riding position on the medium-sized test bike for our rider (174 cm tall) is pretty upright. Even with the plus-size tires, the super steep seat angle is a serious asset when climbing. Providing you’ve got the right air pressure in your tires then it should still generate ample traction on steep and technical climbs. The only thing that might limit your riding here will be your own strength.
The Liteville plays its card right upfront on the descents, and some cheeky pedal strokes into the trailhead will shuttle it into life. Its short chainstays mean it has unbridled agility when cornering. The plus-size tires roll generously over the trail chatter and medium-size bumps, helped in no small part by the firm and precise FOX 34 forks. The bike is begging to be manualled and bunny-hopped, and – much like the coolest and liveliest kid on the playground – it always retains its sense of balance. So even with those bigger tires, you can expect to constantly build up speed with each ride. The slack head angle helps the bike to hold its line at high speeds – but it is still a hardtail, and the tires have a tendency to wallow in the mud.
Long, technical tracks are well within its capabilities and the plus-size tires grant sufficient grip if you encounter any slow, puzzling sections – and it’ll even turn its hand to some trials riding.
Our conclusion: the Liteville H-3
Entering the crop of new rapid and fun-fuelling enduro hardtails, the Liteville H-3 has a ton of comfort to offer thanks to its plus-size tires. Not only are its grip and handling sublime, it wouldn’t be a worthy Liteville if it didn’t come hand in hand with a wealth of cool details. On flow trails it’s a bike that’ll break Strava records, although don’t expect the same speeds on more technical terrain. It’s a hardtail after all – and that’ll suffice.
More information can be found on the Liteville Website.
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