AM Mean green DVO/Liteville Machine

Oddjob

Eats Squid
I am DVO.





Frame - Liteville 301 mk13 XL, set to 140mm
Rear shock - DVO Topaz
Front shock/fork - DVO Diamond 150mm with an SD Components DVC
Handlebars - Nukeproof Horizon Carbon Riser Bar 780mm
Stem - Thomson X4
Headset - Syntace Variospin
Grips - Odi Rogue
Saddle - Selle SMP Hybrid
Seatpost - DVO Garnet
Front brake - Shope (Shimano M785 lever/Hope RX4 caliper)
Rear brake - Shope (Shimano M785 lever/Hope RX4 caliper)
Cranks - XT M770, Straitline alloy bashring, Chris King bottom bracket.
Chainguide - Liteville integrated chainguide.
Chain - KMC X10
Pedals - Time ATAC MX
Front derailleur - XT m780
Rear derailleur - XT m780
Front shifter - XTR m980
Rear shifter - XTR m980
Cassette - XT m780
Front hub - I9 Torch
Rear hub - I9 Torch Boost
Front rim - Nextie Asymmetric
Rear rim - Nextie DH premium
Spokes - DT Competition
Nipples - DT
Tyres - F: Onza Ibex R: Onza Lynx
Tubes -
Total weight - 14.7kg


Look at that baby glow!
 
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Oddjob

Eats Squid
The Build

Liteville has a bit of a cult following in Germany, but unlike Nicolai doesn't have much of a presence beyond Germany.

In many ways the 301 is a typical German made bike, the build quality is excellent and it has a lot of nifty features built into it. For example, it can run 26 or 27.5 wheels, depending on the position the seat stay is bolted into. You can change the linkage plates to run it in 140mm or 160mm travel mode. The drive side seat stay mounts an integrated chainguide. The frame takes internal or external cabling on the front triangle. All of the pivots use needle bearings. Etc etc.

The Frame

The frame itself is very light for an alloy frame, at 2.5kg for a medium without shock. For reference the new Focus Sam 9.9 carbon which is one of the lightest enduros out there is 2.33kg.




The linkage design is probably the most notable feature of the frame, it's an FSR but not. Check out the linkage design report here.





Those are some crazy low anti-rise numbers. The anti-squat is almost perfect for an enduro bike as well. Lots of anti-squat near the sag point in climbing gears which quickly drops away as the bike moves into its travel or goes up the gears. This translates to reduced pedal kickback when you're trying to haul ass through gnar.

The Shock

The frame came with a Monarch rt3 custom tuned shock as stock but I can find the limit on a Monarch pretty quickly. I had heard that the 301 had a tendency to bottom out but was very sensitive to compression tune. Initially I was going to run a CCDBA but was talked into a DVO Topaz by Nsdynamics due to the more solid rebound circuit, better air chamber adjustment and bladder control for fine tuning the compression response.

Initial impressions are that the Topaz does indeed have a very strong rebound circuit. Even with 300psi in the can, full slow is bloody slow. The car park test ride indicates the shock is quite sensitive, but I will have to wait till I hit my favourite rock garden to see if the high flow ports and bladder match the hype.

The Fork

If I was going to run a DVO shock then I needed a suitable fork, and for a bike of this pedigree that only left the Diamond. In bright green of course.

The fork comes with the requisite hsc/lsc/lsr external controls but has some nifty features. Instead of a negative air chamber it uses a spring to dictate break away behaviour - or Off The Top (OTT) as DVO refer to it. This differs from the Suntour's Durolux in being externally adjustable, with something like 40 turns of adjustment.

The lsc has 5 preset positions including a soft lockout for climbing, which will be handy given the Liteville's all mountain purpose.

The only missing feature was volume adjustment for the air spring. This was fixed with an SD Components DVC. It's similar to a MRP Ramp Control but relies on a second positive air chamber and in theory gives better control of the mid stroke behaviour.

Dropper

And if I'm going to run a Diamond I might as well get Garnet dropper as well. The DVO Garnet dropper is very nicely finished, and has some well thought out features like the air pressure valve is accesible without removing the seat.

In terms of the the rest of the build kit, the aim was to make the Liteville the most flexible bike possible. This was driven by the fact that the frame can accept 26 or 27.5 wheels, have seperate linkage plates (and leverage ratios) for 140 and 160mm and accept a variable angle headset cups.

In order to meet that flexibility goal, the build needed to be as light as possible without compromising strength. The main areas for managing weight are typically the wheels, cranks and controls.

Wheels

For the wheels I tried to get the lightest enduro capable wheels I could. I went with I9 Torch hubs for their low weight, 120 poe, and 700nm torque rating. The Liteville has a 6mm offset swingarm which let me have even length/tensioned spokes at the rear with a Nextie Premium DH rim at 440g. I used an asymmetrical Nextie NXT27AS33 at 410g and 3mm offset for the front to get even length/tensioned spokes. With 64 DT Comps and nipples the total weight came in at 1700gms.

Cranks

For cranks I went with some oldies but goodies. Middleburn RS8 X-types. And then guess what, my boutique Middleburns had a funky boutique chainline which rubbed on the frame. SoOoOo I went some even olders and gooderers, M770 XT cranks. Yeah baby, the last of the proper XTs with a 104 bcd. They still look pretty schmick if I say so myself.



For the bb I'm going to run a Chris King gen1 for shits and giggles. I don't really buy into the whole Chris King religion but I got this one cheap so why not.

For pedals I went with Time Atac MX8s which have a carbon platform body and supposedly tougher cleat springs compared to the lower models. They weigh 364 grams, or less than the old Atac Carbon XS pedals I have on my XC bike, and most flats. They were also rated the perfect pedal by Singletracks. https://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-gear/time-atac-mx8-pedal-review/

Cockpit

Steering duties are handled by a Thomson X4 stem, Nukeproof Horizon Carbon bar at 780mm and Odi Rogues. The Thomson needs no introduction. The Nukeproof is good enough for Sam Hill my man crush (although I have a thing for Eddie Masters as well, what a dude!). Finally the ODI Rogue is one of the few grips that can fill these big big hands.

Shifting duties are handled by 10 speed XTR shifters and XT derailleurs. Shifting is reliably excellent as always.

Brakes

The brakes are probably a Rotorburn first: hybrid Shopes - Shimano M785 levers, Goodridge lines and Hope RX4 (nee E4) calipers. This allows me to do the pepsi challenge between my M785/M755, M8000/M755, Saint M810 and Zee M640 brakes.

First impressions are that the Hope calipers are harder to perfectly bleed than Shimanos. The grub screw always lets in a bit of air, and is inferior to the bleed port on Shimano calipers. The brakes also seem to be spongier then their M785/M755 brethren. I haven't bedded the pads in yet so I have yet to see whether the bigger Hope E4 pads make up for the spongier calipers.

Final Weight

So the final weight came in at 14.7kgs. Heavier than I was hoping for but competitive given the capability of the parts.

I suspect the Diamonds are the main lard ass component but the only fork that is close on performance and significantly lighter is a Mattoc Pro which will be flexier and less green. I've also got a bit of a love/ hate relationship with the Fox36 RC2. The Fox36 Grip 2 is the almost the same weight as is the Lyrik RC2.

I could lose weight on the cranks and the brakes but this will impact capability.

The scary things is that my Focus SAM runing Fox36s and a Float X is only 200g heavier and I could lose 200g by changing out the heavy ass Atac Z pedals.
 
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Oddjob

Eats Squid
The Ride

I went for the first shakedown this morning and its hard not to fill this post full of expletives and hyperbole. My current favourite bike is my Lynskey monstercross, but this is very much up for review.

The chosen test track was the world famous Manly Damschliefe. Rocky one day, sandy the next.

General Impressions

This is a lovely bike to ride. It shifts beautifully, the suspension action is very smooth and well controlled, the hubs deliver a satisfying but gentle buzzing.

The general feel of quality is helped by the geometry, it feels just right. Compared to the Pole and SAM where you feel like you're perched on the bike while seated, the Liteville feels like you're sitting in the bike. Standing up, there's lots of room to move about and its easy to pump or hop the bike.

Who would have guessed that 13 generations of iterative improvement would give you such a lovely riding bike. Using a Mercedes Benz simile would honestly be selling it short.

The Suspension
Lets start with the star of the show - the suspension.

My typical mid week ride involves a 5am start and a quick ride to the train. It was already pretty clear from this short ride that the suspension on the bike is something special.

The rear linkage feels smooooth. Unless you're looking down, the pedal bob while seated is imperceptible. Added to the smoothness is the bonus anti-squat when you drop down into granny ring. No bike is going to fly up the hill with me as the pilot, but with an appropriate amount of lsc the Liteville will minimize the wasted energy.

Speaking of lsc, fuck the DVO Topaz is good. Not quite Float X2 good but for $600 from Bike24 it's definitely the bang for your buck champ. Out of my recent shocks: Float X, Float X2, Monarch Plus, Vivid Air and CCDBA the Topaz goes straight to the number 2 position behind the Float X2 and in some ways it's better.

The main thing going for it is the way it provides lots of mid travel lsc support without feeling harsh, in a very similar way to the X2. This means that it tends to remain high in it's travel and allows you to slow down the rebound without risking packing down over repeated hits. It also means that the suspension always feels tightly controlled so you don't waste energy.

The rebound circuit is also excellent. The range of adjustment is huge and has more capacity then either the X2 or CCDBA. In fact I would happily trade the lsr/hsr adjustments on the X2, CCDBA and Vivid for the rebound circuit in the Topaz.

The 3 way lever has a useful range adjustmemt. The climb position will still smoothly blow off into the hsc shims, but most importantly the bladder pressure adjustment has enough range to leave the lever in the middle position and get the support that I want for almost all riding conditions.

Of course when the shock provides oodles of support, there's more pressure on the fork - and the Diamond doesn't dissapoint. In fact I would rate the Diamond as being comfortably better than a Fox 36 RC2.

Similar to the Topaz, the Diamond shines because it provides so much mid stroke support and smoothly blows off into the hsc circuit. Being a heavy guy who runs a lot of rear lsc I run the Diamond with the lsc in position 4 out 5. Even with this much lsc, the Diamond has no problems smoothly dealing with hits.

The Off The Top (OTT) feature also allows me to tune its breakaway behaviour. I've currently got it set at about half way through the range of adjustment (10 out of 20 full turns), and that's probably too senstive for 150psi and my weight.

The SD Components DVC on the air spring is currently set at 250psi and this is supportive enough to get full travel around the Damschliefe. I can up this for more end stroke support or I could up the DVC and lower the main chamber pressure for more sensitivity.

Overall I'm really pleased with the suspension package on the bike. It feels taut, supportive and efficient. About the only change I would consider at the moment is an offset bushing and angled headset, both of which I have, to get the bb up a bit to reduce pedal strikes.

The Drivetrain

Not all that much to report on the drive train. The 6mm offset boost rear end works reallly well with the 2x setup. I can shift the full range of the cassette in either the 36 or 24 ring and the shifting is perfect as you would expect from XTR/XT.

One added bonus of the 2x drivetrain is the impact on the anti-squat. There's noticeably less pedal bob in granny ring while climbing. This means that I can more or less ignore the climb switch on the shock and just drop into granny for added efficiency.

The Brakes

As mentioned previously the brakes are a Shimano m785 lever/Hope RX4 (nee E4) caliper hybrid. So far the brakes feel good, not rock solid like my Saints but still very good. The only let down are the brake pads that Hope include with the RX4s. You get two sets of pads with each caliper one set for the road (blue) and one set for CX or mud (red). I expect the blue pads organic and the red are semi-sintered. Neither set of pads are great. If you're a heavier/faster rider I would advise getting a set of the Uberbike finned race matrix pads.

Controls
It's a bit early to say too much about the controls. The Garnet dropper feels solid. It's lever requires a bit more force than some others I've used but I expect this to free up.

The seat has proven to be a contentious one amongst the RB peanut gallery but it works for my ass and in time the green is probably going to scuffed with crap until it looks pretty close to the forks.
 
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Oddjob

Eats Squid
I'd love to see a photo of your entire fleet of.mtb porn.

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I would need a fish eye lens I think. A fair chunk of it is in boxes as I slowly lose enough weight to get onto them without blowing up shocks.

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Zaf

Gearbox Frother
The Build

Liteville has a bit of a cult following in Germany, but unlike Nicolai doesn't have much of a presence beyond Germany.
They have an entire Australian Distributer in EightyOneSpices. They also have a dealerships and importers for:
USA, Korea, UK, China, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Chile, Taiwan, etc.
Nicolai doesn't even have a dealership page, or an importer or network outside of Europe.

Liteville are beautiful bikes, with such incredible details to them!!
A Liteville that is bought only to try and one up a Nicolai is a sad bike though, and you should have just bought a Nicolai if that's what your heart desired.
 

jenk0s

Likes Dirt
Can't go passed a raw frame, keen to see it done. Also curious as to how the DVO shock holds up, you lose some adjustability over the cane creek right? Granted adjustments aren't everything and quality damping will trump tune-ability...
 

Oddjob

Eats Squid
They have an entire Australian Distributer in EightyOneSpices. They also have a dealerships and importers for:
USA, Korea, UK, China, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Chile, Taiwan, etc.
Nicolai doesn't even have a dealership page, or an importer or network outside of Europe.

Liteville are beautiful bikes, with such incredible details to them!!
A Liteville that is bought only to try and one up a Nicolai is a sad bike though, and you should have just bought a Nicolai if that's what your heart desired.
True dat, but how many Liteville's have you seen in the wild? I've seen a few Nicolai's and was friends with a previous importer.

Although the Liteville and Nicolai are both absolute beauties they are very different bikes.

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Zaf

Gearbox Frother
Buying things to cement snowflake status instead of buying something you want.


Shiggy diggy doo!
 

Oddjob

Eats Squid
I prefer the term bike-curious.

The only bike I want and don't have is a BMW racelink.

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Ultra Lord

Beanie Fitment Specialist
Hasn’t this been sitting in a box in your garage for ages?

Looks mint. Keen to see it built and a cheeky ride report
 

Flow-Rider

Wheel size expert
Looks like a pretty neat intersection of 3 welds to me. Given my love of brake dragging it's going to get a good workout regardless.

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The welds look ok considering all the different thickness base metals and angles but having it so close together like that isn't the greatest. It doesn't look neat with so many different weld fillet sizes close together too
 
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