Only a year after the debut of the Titus X Carbon, Arizona’s Titus has launched an all-new X Carbon for 2010. Geometry (XC-friendly 71/73 angles), travel (105mm) and suspension layout (Horst-link four bar) are all as per the 2009 X Carbon, but all those things have been implemented in a different way.
For a start, the frame is now as completely carbon fibre as it’s practical to get. Last year the main frame, seatstays and upper suspension link were carbon, but with aluminium chainstays, dropouts and other bits and bobs. The 2010 X Carbon has one-piece carbon fibre seatstays, including the yoke at the top and the dropouts at the bottom – there’s a replaceable alloy derailleur hanger, though. Chainstays are carbon too, with an integrated stainless steel chainsuck shield.
Up front is a new, fashionably curvaceous front triangle that manages to cunningly incorporate the bike’s name. We loved the no-nonsense angular look of the previous X Carbon, and the new look is something of a departure from that, but we’re sure it’ll grow on us. It’s certainly distinctive, and internal cable routing adds sleekness. The “Reinforced Under-Belly” plate under the downtube and BB is still there, too. Visually it’s somewhat less chunky than the outgoing frame, but it’s hard to say (what with riding the two bikes a year apart) whether the crossed top tubes make up for the reduced volume around the front end in stiffness terms.
At a claimed sub-5lb for the frame and shock, the 2010 X Carbon is apparently 0.25lb lighter than the 2009 frame, which is significant if not startling. Titus had built its demo bike with decent enough but not notably lightweight parts – XT transmission, 2.2in tyres, FSA cranks, plus our own cheap and heavy pedals – and it came in at 25lb, so there’s definitely potential to go really light here. The ride is certainly lively both in handling and power delivery terms, with the X Carbon being one of those bikes that you feel like you’re letting down if you’re not giving it maximum beans…
More details at www.titus-bikes.co.uk.