Litespeed was established in 1986 with roots as a machine shop in the manufacture of custom metal parts. Considered an exotic material at that time, titanium was not thought to be a material from which one could build bike frames. In the late 1980's, Merlin and Litespeed changed the world's expectations towards titanium with the creation of the first modern titanium frames. With the end of the Cold War and the sudden availability of alloys no longer restricted to use in nuclear and aviation industries, interest in titanium as a viable bike-building material grew. Litespeed became able to manufacture titanium bikes that were both strong and light, while unveiling a ride quality that had been unmatched until that point.
Litespeed's emphasis on technology attracted the attention on other bike manufacturers and high-profile athletes seeking an edge in competition. Most notably, Lance Armstrong famously rode a Litespeed Blade painted to look like a Trek to two wins in the individual time trials of the 1999 Tour de France.
Though Litespeed is frequently associated with titanium, the company has remained current and introduced a line carbon bicycles and frames in 2010. Like the emphasis given to cutting-edge technology first used in its titanium products, the carbon line of bikes continues Litespeed's heritage of unparalleled technology coupled with unique, wind-tunnel tested designs.