Titus is a small American bike manufacturer with an extensive range of bikes. You don’t see many of them on the trail unless you go riding in the mountains surrounding Titus HQ in Arizona, where it has a loyal fan base. Of all the full-suspension bikes in the Titus line-up, the Moto Lite platform is probably the most suited to UK trail riding. But since Titus offers four different frame packages, which one should you choose?
The basic Moto Lite has a full aluminium chassis, or you have the Moto Lite 2, which gets carbon seatstays and carbon rocker links that combine to save almost a 1/4lb in weight. If you want something more exotic you can get the carbon rear end of the Moto Lite 2, with a Ti front triangle, for £2,200. Finally, if money really is no object, there’s the Moto Lite Exogrid, where the Ti down tube is inlaid with carbon-fibre for maximum stiffness and a staggering £2,700 price tag.
We picked the Moto Lite 2, as the 6.25lb frame weight means it is relatively easy to build into a sub-27lb trail bike without having to remortgage your house. The front triangle of the Moto Lite 2 has a hydroformed 6061 alloy down tube, swathed top tube and a nice clamshell monocoque bridge supporting the seat tube. Cable routing is neatly tucked under the top tube to keep it away from mud and stop the gear housing sawing its way through the fork crown.
LIGHT AND STIFF
At the rear, lightweight carbon seatstays and hydroformed alloy chainstays are light and stiff, while carbon rocker plates further reduce weight and improve lateral stiffness. Two shock mount positions in the rocker links give you the choice of 130mm or 100mm of travel. Swapping between travel options is very easy, but due to the change in leverage, you will have to adjust the spring rate of the shock accordingly.
Suspension-wise, the Moto Lite is a true four-bar design, and because the Horst Link pivot tends to be very small, Titus has opted for nylon bushings rather than bearings in the chainstay pivots. The other pivots are sealed cartridge bearings, with a double complement of bearings in the main pivot for improved stiffness. If you are worried about replacement costs, a full complement of bearings will set you back £37, or the Horst Link bushing can be bought separately for £2 each.
While the Revelation U-turn Air fork offers a plush ride and can be easily adjusted to match the travel on the rear of the Moto Lite 2, it seemed somewhat at odds with the rear suspension. It felt overly active and we couldn’t help feeling that a more progressive fork would offer a balanced ride, front and rear. Climbing traction on the Titus is excellent, and with a few spec changes, such as the fork and brakes, we could maximise the Moto Lite’s ample potential.
FRAME: 6061 aluminium front triangle with alloy chainstays, carbon seatstays
SUSPENSION: Fox RP23 rear shock, RockShox Revelation 426 Air U-turn
WHEELS: Magura Pro wheelset with DT XR4.1d rims, Kenda Blue Groove/Nevegal 2.1in tyres
GROUPSET: Shimano XT cranks and front mech, SRAM X-9 shifter and rear mech, Magura Louise disc brakes
COMPONENTS: Maxm Saddel, Maxm AM seatpost, Maxm AG5 handlebar and Maxm SG6 stem
COLOURS: green painted, black and silver anodised
SIZES: XS, S, M, L
CONTACT: Fat Tread Bikes 01479 812019