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Old 03-26-2012, 05:10 PM
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Default Titus Cycles Rockstar: First Impressions

Titus Cycles Rockstar: First Impressions: by Guitar Ted
The Titus Cycles Rockstar has been ridden enough times now to render a First Impressions and enough to warrant a major component change. I’ll get to that in a bit here, but first, if you missed all the tech intro stuff, you can go here to check that out.

I did a few test rides leading up to what I thought should be a great chance to put this bike in a severe situation down in El Paso, Texas on the Franklin Mountain State Park trails in the Tom Mays Unit sector. This bit of trail is super technical, laden with rocks, rough bedrock, and features lots of techy ups and downs. Perfect for finding any niggling issues with a design, and definitely not a place for sub-par equipment. The terrain here demands razor sharp skills and bike design chops that can take what this place dishes out.

I made one concession to the stock set up, which was to replace the saddle and seat post with a WTB Pure V saddle, (my favorite), and a Specialized Command Post for dropper duties, which these trails really call out for. Otherwise, it was a purely “as sent” set up. The Rubena Scylla tires even stayed on, set up tubeless, of course.

Ride Characteristics: As I stated, these trails are really physically demanding, and put stresses on equipment unlike those that can be had here in the Mid-West. (That’s solid, chunky bed rock in the photo above, not dirt.) I’ve ridden here several times, so I have some background to judge things by. Well, I was seriously dismayed to find that the Crank Brothers wheels sent with the build were just not up to the task of riding here. I’m not reviewing these wheels for this test, so to my mind, they are dispensable, but I like to give bikes a fair shake as sent out first before making any major changes. Unfortunately, the wheel set is going to have to go, since it is coloring the feel of the bike to such a degree that I will not be able to properly review the frame with them on here. Expect to see a different wheel set in my next update.

So what can I say so far? Well, forcing myself to get around what the wheels were doing, I can say that the suspension action on this bike seems to be a bit more on the “firm” side than the “plush” side, but it is very balanced and the tires seemed to track well over the rough, uneven desert rock. (That is when the wheel set was behaving itself, which was rare.) I expect that once the offending wheels have been jettisoned, I will find that the suspension is better than I think it is now.

In terms of steering and handling the bike is reminiscent of the Diamondback Sortie Black 29, a bike I really enjoyed the handling of, so this is also encouraging. I did get on some tamer, but not by much, twisty down hill trail and the Rockstar turned easily and shows potential given a stiffer wheel set. I can’t wait to see what this frame can really do.

Once I have the wheel set sorted and a few more rides in on the frame I will report back. For now, let’s just say that I see some good potential here that is being held back by a less than good wheel set. Stay tuned….

Note: Titus Bicycles sent over the Rockstar for test/review at no charge to Twenty Nine Inches. we are not being bribed or paid for this review. I will strive to give my honest thoughts and opinions throughout.

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