You may not have heard the name Titici (pronounced Tee-Tee-Chee), but this Italian brand has been around since 1961 producing hand-crafted Italian frames. Back in the 1980s it was making in excess of a million steel frames a year, mainly as original equipment for some of the larger, better-known Italian brands.
In 2016 the company joined forces with high-end Italian clothing brand X-Bionic with the aim of building Titici in its own right, and promoting its design and manufacturing philosophy. Titici doesn’t really want to sell you an off-the-peg bike; its in-house construction and design team will take your fit data and preferences and build a bike to your exact specification.
Depending on your weight, the carbon layup can be customised, taking it a step further than most custom carbon where you’re only really considering angle changes and dimensions as opposed to feel.
The price for this amount of personalisation? £3,800 for the frameset, which is exactly the same as an off-the-peg frame. Once you’ve decided on the design, dimensions and finish there is a 50-day turnaround because every Titici frame is made to order.
Shimano 805 brakes are great performers Robert Smith / Immediate Media
The head tube is a shallow squared oval shape, a bit Cervélo if I’m honest, that’s already slim at 40mm. By the time it reaches the substantial seat tube junction it’s flattened to a miniscule 9mm. The theory is that this tube maintains the stiffness at its junctions but the flat plate section is allowed to flex.
The rest of the frame is slickly put together and beautifully finished. The oversized down tube and large volume bottom bracket shell ensure brilliant power transfer, the flat-mount disc fittings on the fork and chainstay are nicely realised and every part of the Titici is beautifully crafted. Weight-wise the company claims 1kg for a standard 56cm, which isn’t bad for a thru-axle-ready disc frame.
Titici Flexy Road Disc ride impressions
On the road, the Titici is remarkably smooth, as it should be when running voluminous rubber, here Vittoria’s 28mm Rubino Control tyres. They came up a generous 28mm-plus when mounted onto Fulcrum’s Racing Quattro 40mm-deep carbon rims.
The claimed 1,605g a pair is decent for a rim of this depth. The Rubinos are a little sluggish feeling and in this Control version a bit more protected and heavier than a standard Rubino. On a bike of this calibre I’d like to see a lighter, faster tyre such as Vittoria’s own Corsa or the excellent Pirelli 28s fitted to the Titici we rode at the official launch last year.
My test model screams ‘Flexy’ but production models won’t be so adorned Robert Smith / Immediate Media
Big volume tyres aside, the frame does its bit for comfort — hit a rut, rough section, cattle grid or deeper road scars and the back end swallows the knock. It’s a remarkable achievement from simple carbon shaping and manipulation with no pivots or elastomers to rely on.
Up front it feels direct, nimble even, and the choice of a superb 3T bar is a welcome touch. As is the drivetrain of mechanical Shimano Dura-Ace and superb 805 brakes, you’ll get full Dura-Ace if you order it now.
Titici Flexy Road Disc overall
The Titici Road is impressive stuff, I may need to start saving… Robert Smith / Immediate Media
This is a stunningly good bike, blending race-bike geometry and snappy handling with a rough-smoothing ride worthy of the very best endurance machines.
The bespoke ordering at no extra cost is impressive, where else will you find a bike that’s been built to your exact needs in sizing, handling and, most importantly, ride feel and comfort?