Having just come back from the ashes earlier this year after being bought at auction by Planet X Bikes, Titus is now shipping their first bike under the new ownership.
The Rockstar 29er full suspension mountain bike has an alloy front triangle built by Sapa Extrusions in Portland, Oregon…for now…and a carbon rear end. Quick story: Sapa, the largest U.S. frame manufacturer that builds frames for several brands, recently announced that they’re quitting making frames. Sapa will continue to to produce tubing and parts, though, and Planet X Bikes’ marketing head John Stevenson says they’d like to work with upstart Zen Bicycles to continue making the frames in the U.S.
“Making frames in the USA has several advantages,” wrote Stevens in a press release. “Shipping from Asia is increasingly costly, and we can do small runs in the US, with quick turnaround. US manufacturing has business advantages as well as heritage values for us.”
The “Made in the USA” sentiment is particularly appealing since owner Planet X is based in the UK. Cool, no? OK, now, about the bike…
Compared to the 2011 model, the new Rockstar gets a shorter head tube to help keep weight centered and a slightly higher bottom bracket for better clearance. The seat tube shape was modified to improve clearance at the stays and rear wheel. The suspension design and action remains the same.
The butted, hydroformed alloy front end is powdercoated, then the shock and rear triangle are assembled. The chainstays have stainless steel chain guards to protect the carbon. Rear wheel travel is 100mm and the geometry is designed around a 100mm fork.
Claimed weight for a Large with Rockshox Monarch RT3 rear shock is 6.4lbs. They come as frames only for $1,299 and are sold direct via Titus’ online store. Hopefully that full carbon version (possibly still to be called the Racer-X) is up next.