These days, when it comes to full suspension XC bikes, they usually come in two flavors. There’s the all out speed machines, and then for lack of a better word, there’s the downcountry specials. Those of course, are essentially same frame platform but with more capable parts and suspension to make it more of an XC/Trail hybrid that can be raced or ridden aggressively. Now, Titan Racing is joining in on the dual XC bike party – but they’re doing it with one frame with split personalities.
Called the Cypher and the Cypher RS, the two bikes use identical carbon frames save for one key detail. Each bike uses the same metric shock and with a simple change in the shock stroke, the frame can switch from 100mm to 120mm of travel without changing the eye to eye length of the shock. Titan Racing says that a 7.5mm different in stroke length results in a 20mm change in travel at the rear axle, so the two bikes have a 37.5 and 45mm stroke. The result is a balanced bike with either 100mm of travel front and rear or 120mm travel front and rear.
Since the eye to eye measurement of the shock doesn’t change, the only difference in geometry comes from the use of a 100 vs 120mm suspension fork and slightly larger tires on the Cypher. There’s also a flip chip on both models which adjusts the head tube angle by 0.5° and raises or lowers the BB by 6mm. The frame geometry falls in line with current XC trends with a slightly longer reach, steeper seat tube angle, and slacker head tube angle.
Built around 29 x 2.25 or 2.35″ tires and 1x drivetrains, the Cypher frame is fairly standard in its other features. A Boost 148 x 12mm rear axle, threaded bottom bracket, internal routing with provisions for a dropper and remote lockout are all found. You do have the ability to carry two water bottles inside the frame which is a plus for longer races.
To go along with the additional travel, the Cypher includes a wider 780mm bar, dropper post, and larger 2.35″ tires which is the maximum the frame will clear.
Pricing for both bikes isn’t provided, and the company currently has a “request a quote” option on their website (which seems to be limited to the South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana). Along with Southern and Eastern Africa, Titan Racing also has dealers listed in Oman, Qatar, and UAE. In addition to the carbon Cypher and Cypher RS, Titan Racing says that full aluminum models will be offered as well in the near future.