2012 Titus Rockstar 29er - First look

First new bike since On-One took over

The news that Britain's On-One had bought US mountain bike company Titus set tongues wagging when it was announced this time last year. This was only compounded when UK design guru Brant Richards revealed he was returning to the On-One fold to head the revitalised brand.

Titus showed a revamped line at the Sea Otter Classic in April, including some previously unseen models. They've now released details of their first new bike, the 2012 Rockstar, described as a "fast-rolling cross-country 29er ideal for trail or race use".

On-One's direct sales model means the frame costs just £999 ($1,299) despite its made-in-the-US (the front end, at least) status.

The Rockstar has been in Titus's line-up for a couple of years but it's had a major redesign for 2012, based on rider feedback. It now has a higher bottom bracket to avoid pedal strikes, a shorter top tube (23.39in/59.4cm on the medium size) to make it easier to get weight over the front wheel, and a new seat tube profile that improves rear mud clearance. On-One reckon it now "handles like it's on rails".

As before, the 100mm-travel frame pairs an aluminium front end with a carbon fibre rear. Features include hydroformed top and down tubes, a tapered head tube (1-1/8 to 1-1/2in), S-bend seatstays for improved heel clearance, full-carbon dropouts and a stainless steel chain suck shield on the swingarm. 

The front triangle is made by Sapa Extrusions of Portland, Oregon – described by On-One as "one of the world's most advanced aluminium-manipulating companies" – to Titus's design. It then travels across town for assembly at the companty's new base, where the rear triangle and shock are fitted. Claimed weight is 2.9kg/6.39lb for a large frame, including RockShox Monarch RT3 rear shock.

This could be the last Titus chassis made by Sapa as they're ceasing production of bike frames due to a drop in demand. However, Titus say they're determined to continue making their bikes in the US and are looking for other potential partners, who could include local start-up Zen Bicycle Fabrication. Sapa will continue to make the custom tubing used by Titus.

The 2012 Rockstar is available now from Titus's web shop and On-One in the UK. The first bikes should arrive on English shores early next month. To find out more, visit www.titusti.com.

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