Sea Otter 2011: Titus Cycles back in business

With new owner Planet X, the celebrated manufacturer barely misses a step

Things looked bleak for Titus Cycles last October, but you wouldn’t know it from the looks of their booth and new bikes at Sea Otter. The manufacturer showed an already revamped line filled with the manufacturer’s best-known models, including: Racer X and Moto Lite.

The Titus brand was bought in November by Planet X, the UK-based manufacturer-to-rider direct sales company, which also owns On One mountain bikes. “It’s a great fit,” said Peter Hollingsworth, who works for Titus’ US distributor told BikeRadar. “If you look at the line, Planet X is predominantly skinny tires, road, track, triathlon; On One predominantly mountain hard tail and now Titus, predominantly mountain suspension. So they just all complement each other, really.”

While the entire Titus line has, for the most part, been reworked, additions include the brand new Racer X 29 Carbon full suspension model and a US made hardtail called, Riddler. “One of the things that you’ll see straight away is that all of the names have all gone back to the originals,” said Hollingsworth.

The Racer X 29 Carbon is positioned as a modern day cross-country racer. It features shorter chainstays, wheelbase and steeper head tube angle when compared to last year’s equivalent model, the Rockstar. The new monocoque carbon frame continues to use the FSR suspension design to produce 100mm of suspension travel, and also incorporates modern construction features, including a tapered head tube, internal cable routing and carbon shock link.

Titus have plans to build many of their alloy bikes in the US, but their carbon models are built overseas including the new Racer X 29 Carbon

Titus claim the medium frame and shock to weigh 4.5lbs in its pre-production form, as shown at Sea Otter. Titus target a sub-5lb weight for the production version. The bike will initially be offered in small, medium and large sizes, with a possibility for an extra-small, depending on demand. The new carbon model will cost somewhere around US$2,000, while a US-made aluminum Racer X model, which shares the same geometry and carbon rear triangle, will cost $1,500.

The Racer X alloy models are made by Sapa           

The Riddler is a new US made alloy 29-inch wheeled hard tail, which was hot off the welding table and also still in prototype form at Sea Otter. The new frame is positioned as a race-ready hardtail to complement the Racer X suspension bike, which actually uses many of the same tubes. Sapa makes the Riddler, along with the majority of Titus’ alloy range, in Oregon; Hollingsworth said that Titus plans to build their alloy bikes in the US “as long as it’s financially feasible.”

Finally, Titus has plans to offer a final 20-bike limited edition run of Fireline titanium bikes. The limited run of bikes will be made in the US by one of the brand’s original welders in commemoration of the manufacturer’s 20th anniversary.

Titus will offer the 20 bikes complete, with SRAM’s XX group and a complement of cockpit components and wheels from Enve. Custom, numbered head tube badges will complete the package.

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