Riding coach Piet Weeghmans shows off his bike
While taking a mountain biking class on the technical trails in Spa, Belgium, we thought we were faster on our all-mountain fullies than all the hardtails around. Not quite, there was one lone exception: the Liteville 101 of instructor Piet Weeghmans showed us up!
Piet Weeghmans (31) is a true bike freak. In the shed of the Belgian from Alkenaar seven bikes have their place: a Helius RC full suspension from German builder Kalle Nicolai; a Sultan and a Five Spot from Dave Turner; a Kona Kula 29er singlespeed and the bike of our article, a Liteville 101.
Piet Weeghmans, working in an IT company, rides mountain bikes since 2001. Before he rode road bikes. „Since my first mountain bike, a fully is my favorite,“ he tells us. „My first bike was a Specialized FSR XC. That is the reason for the large collection of fullies. The Nicolai I am using for XC competitions and marathon races. For flat courses I am using the Kona 29er.
One could ask: why another bike? „For a time now, I am an instructor for the mountain bike school in Spa. Usually, for the classes I am using a fully. Many of the participants – usually on hardtails – thought that most of the courses are easy for fullies. It is bull, of course, but I wanted to get rid of the discussions and was looking for a hardtail – and I found the Liteville, light, strong and versatile.
Most modern hardtails are made for cross-country but the Liteville is much more than an XC racer. The bike is an all-mountain hardtail.
The frame I got at Rob Akkermans in Elsloo, I built it up myself. Most parts were left from my old frame that broke earlier, the Fox TALAS X TT for example. It is height-adjustable, a nice feature.
For technical trails I’d rather have a fork without an auto lock-out. I am thinking about a RockShox Pike as an upgrade.
Tires are 2.4” Rubber Queens from Continental. Those have traction even in heavy terrain with roots and when conditions are wet. For the wide tires you need wide rims – the DT Swiss EX 1750s are a good compromise between durability and weight – Sam’s racing DH with those! The weight is pegged at 1750g and they even look good.
The Liteville 101 has the Syntace X-12 through-axle and so the DT Swis rear hub works perfectly. What else is special about the Liteville 101? Bar and stem as well as seatpost are from Syntace, Liteville’s sister company. Light and super strong. The wide Vector Carbon bar is a real gem. I am riding a Truvativ Noir double crank with bashguard. The large outer ring I do not need and without it there is more clearance.”
We ask if he likes the bike: “ Completely, especially the stiffness and the awesome geometry. Even with fully extended TALAS up to 130mm the bike still climbs like a scalded monkey. And thanks to the low bottom bracket turns are a doozey…”