Titus Racer X 29er Titanium

Pro Reviews

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Price: $2695
Frame 5.8 lbs
Bike weight (as tested): 27.64 lbs
BB height (measured): 12.75 inches
Wheelbase (measured): 44.31 inches
Rear shock: Fox Float RP3
Rear travel: 3″

 

Size
Seat Tube
Effective Top Tube
Stand Over
BB Height Head Tube Angle Seat Tube Angle Head Tube
Chainstay
Wheelbase
S 15.50 23.30 29.70 12.60 70.00 74.00 4.00 18.00 44.01
M 15.55 24.00 29.70 12.60 70.80 74.00 4.00 18.00 44.38
L 18.00 24.70 32.09 12.60 71.00 73.00 5.00 18.00 44.65

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Reviews of the Niner R.I.P 9:

Rider/Reviewer: Francis Cebedo

Strengths:

  • ride is very stable and controlled
  • excellent climber
  • very good in twisty singletrack

Weaknesses:

  • Suspension is a bit harsh. The Fox RP3 doesn’t seem like a good match for this frame
  • slack head angle and long wheelbase means this is not a the most agile bike, particularly in tight trails

Overall Impressions:

Ahh, the bling bike. First of all, the only reason we got a titanium bike is because the aluminum Racer X 29ers were not available at the time of the test. Ignore the value factor though as the aluminum versions should be available in early 2007 and they will be a bit cheaper than this frame.

So this bike felt right at home on the swoopy singletrack both uphill and downhill. It was a blast to lean into the curves and power up the rollers. Fire road climbs were handled with ease, too.

On the tightest trails, the long wheelbase and slack head angle got in the way a bit. But since the bike seemed light and the suspension firm, it was fairly easy to put some english to maneuver it around.

Suspension was firm so it climbed like a champ. There was minimal pedal bob and the suspension worked well enough climbing over obstacles. But of course, that comes at the price of comfort. This was probably the least active travel in this group of bikes. We looked for more adjustability in the RP3 with this bike but it appeared difficult to get all the travel out of the bike.

Rider/Reviewer: Karl Etzel

Overall Impressions:

Overall this bike had the best handling/front end feel. Goldilocks effect – not too fast, not too slow, just right. Happy to go fast in the tight singletrack, but did not require constant attention. I really loved the way this bike handled.

Ti – I’m a big fan of bare ti, but loved the look of this bike.

Now for the bad part – Least standover of the bikes I rode. This was a large frame with a suspension design that prohibits Titus from dropping the TT (top tube). Wrong application for Ti. This is true of all full suspension bikes but especially so for large 29er frames where weight & frame flex are even more of an issue. Poor shock selection. I got very little love from the rear suspension with the RP3. Yes, I could fix this but at the price of a Titus I expect the builder to spec what is best and this isn’t it. Overall – the lack of standover clearance and the cost/value would prevent me from buying this bike.

Rider/Reviewer: Joseph Cordova

Strengths:

  • Has a very smooth soft feel to the whole bike
  • Has a very responsive feel while pedaling
  • Race ready
  • This bike also feels like a you’re riding a 26’er, the handling is so great

Weaknesses:

  • All Aluminum swing arm, not a full Titanium bike
  • Rear suspension not so plush, a little stiff

Overall Impressions:

This bike is a race ready machine. With its responsive pedaling and smooth handling this 29er is a great XC racer. With an all Titanium front triangle and an all Aluminum rear swingarm the bike is light and supple and stiff where it needs to be.

Rider/Reviewer: Kevin Kirkhart

Overall Impressions:

Next came the Titus Racer X. This bike feels good from the get-go. I feel the Racer X is not a trail bike to blast through everything like a bull in a china shop. It’s more of a welter-weight fighter that throws jabs and the one-two punch to get the job done The suspension didn’t feel too soft or too stiff, it felt just right (for it’s intended purpose :-)). As expected, it pedaled well and there was no unwanted squishiness due to only three inches of travel. The handling felt very sure and stable without being slow or sluggish. I think this was due to the longer top tube with a 71 degree head tube angle which had my weight spread out over the bike. The bike felt quite intuitive and natural with little input needed to get it do what I wanted. While riding the Racer X I never really much thought about the bike, which is a compliment because I was able to flow with the trail and not worry what it was doing. The look of the bike was quite appealing to me because I’m a sucker for Ti, black, and silver; all business with hints of bling, enough said. Titus is always on their game when it comes to fit and finish, but just like Ellsworth you have to dip into your kid’s college fund to make it all happen. Aside from the money aspect, I really liked this bike, but when it comes to full suspension give me good long travel. This is what stops the Titus from being top dog: it needs more travel. But for some it may be just right.

Rider/Reviewer: Dennis Baker

Strengths:

  • Very strong climber
  • Great handling and overall feel
  • Rock solid rear end felt like a hardtail.
  • Felt like a feather on the trail. While all the bikes were about the same weight the Titus felt like the lightest of the bunch when you were rolling and maneuvering

Weaknesses:

  • Titanium frame is bound to be the most expensive of the bunch
  • Not as plush as some of the other offerings
  • Weaker than other bikes in tight curves

Overall Impressions:

This is a rock solid bike. The build quality, ride characteristics, and just sheer fun factor was off the scale on the Racer X. Whether we were climbing or carving through curvy singletrack the Racer X was a blast.

Ride quality of the Racer X was excellent. The RX was one of the most solid of the bikes, there was zero slop in the rear suspension and the bike generally handled like a hard tail around curves. The relatively shorter travel on the Titus was able soak up smaller bumps and washboarding on the trail and was just enough to take the edge off of the bigger bumps. This is a cross country bike which just begs to be raced and taken on long epic rides.

The one place where I found the bike a touch awkward was on a section of tight switchbacks where the long bars and big wheels seemed to slow me down a bit. This bike also had one of the highest standover heights of the bunch.

From a pure vanity point of view the Titus is a very attractive, severe looking bike. Build quality is outstanding. If you like clean lines, tight looking welds, and raw titanium then you will love the Racer X.

Rider/Reviewer: Nick Thelen

Overall Impressions:

Titanium looks good, rides great, and is just plain sexy. The Racer X 29er is not a “day-glow” look at me sort of rig….it exudes confidence, stability, and quality – and that is exactly how it rides. Climbing technical ST is virtually effortless. The Racer X can rollover most anything, but if you feel the need to pick a better line the Racer X does listen. Suspension is right in the mid-range (not to stiff or plush) and active. Bombing down rock strewn trails really emphasizes the quality of the titanium frame – feels like steel…just lighter.

Overall handling is excellent, climbing is excellent, quality is excellent.

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Click here for MTBR Titus Racer X 29er product review page

 

A word from the Manufacturer

Overview:

You won’t find “passion” or “innovation” on the list of standard features of the Racer X 29er. But it’s those very qualities that make the new 29er such an exhilarating ride. The same harmonious suspension of its little brother, but with the superior rolling of big wheels, it leaves obstacles in its wake.

- The Racer X’s award-winning rear suspension when married with oversize 29” wheels optimizes the tire’s contact patch with the trail

- Box section chainstay and beefy clevis link design provides ultra-precise tracking and efficient power transfer

 

What makes the bike great?

We feel the main thing that makes the Racer X 29 great is the fact that it is based on our proven and award winning Racer X platform which features a modified McPherson strut rear end. Instead of trying to re-invent our suspension design year in and year out like other manufacturers, we’ve realized the performance potential of the original McPherson strut design and continued to iron out its evil traits until the Racer X was distilled into it’s present form. Also, much like it’s 26” brother, the 29’er also features four sealed bearings in the main pivot, which eliminates any free play that may occur over time in a single-bearing pivot. All of this leads to a bike that pedals at least as efficiently as a hardtail, but with ten times the handling and comfort.

 

How did you use the 29inch platform to help the bike achieve its design goals.

Our design was based on the needs of our consumers. The Racer X 29’er was born out of our custom program when customers began requesting us to build them Racer X with 29” wheels. The main design goals for the Racer X 29’er was that we retain all the positive characteristics of the 26” Racer X. It meant more than just lengthening the chain stays to accommodate the larger wheel size. We adjusted the geometry to ensure the handling was as stable and precise as the original. We used beefy box-section chain stays to carry over the incredible stiffness the Racer X is known for. Because of the increasing popularity of the 29’er movement and the increased options in fork, tire and wheel choices we took all that we learned from designing custom 29’er frames and applied that to standard sizing and made the Racer X 29’er a standard offering in our line.

 

Who is the ideal rider for the bike?

We still feel that taller riders benefit the most from the 29” movement and have made our design considerations around that belief. Once a rider is below a certain height the end up having to sit in-between the wheels and ride performance suffers. We could build a bike that would fit shorter riders but we feel the ride quality would be compromised and that wouldn’t be a Titus. However, if a customer strongly feels that they need to be on a 29’er, no matter of their height, we will design them a custom frame to meet their riding goals.

 

Jeff Titone

Marketing Manager

Titus Cycles

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  • Dan says:

    I don’t understand why all the 29er shootouts are with smaller riders, when the bike is made for a taller person! I always see guys 6’3″ or more riding this type of bike! I would like to see a review by a larger person please!

  • Lynn says:

    Agreed! What a silly set of requirements you all had, getting people who fit Medium frames to test 29ers! It’s obvious with a little looking around that 29ers best perform for those of taller-than-average height. It’s hard for me to take the opinions of the reviewers seriously since I know they’re not really pushing these bikes, and their suspension, to their intended limits.

  • Matt says:

    Lynn & Dan: you both are clueless. A 29-inch wheel will give a short rider the same advantages, as a taller rider. So, NO, it is not “obvious that 29er’s best perform for those of taller-than-average height.” It may be easier to fit a taller rider to a 29er, but it doesn’t mean it will perform better for a taller rider as opposed to a shorter rider. Think before you speak or why not actually get out there and try it for yourself.

  • TITUS vs Specialized says:

    Why should i buy Titus if I have Specialized–I am 6ft2in. Do I go TI or Carbon, riding Alu currently

  • Kevin says:

    Ive been riding a racer x 29er ti for a couple of years. I am 6.8 and benefit from the larger wheel base because it makes the entire bike fit me. Additionally the big wheels give me more ground clearance so I can use longer cranks. I would agree taller riders benefit from big wheels because of the fact they bring the entire bike “up.”. Conversely, consider how a 26 inch bike benefits an average size rider over a smaller wheel size, such as a 24. Now I can’t even ride a 26 because it feels small.
    This bike is an awesome trail and cross country bike and I would buy it again.

  • Jimbob says:

    In the “Strengths” you say “Very good in twisty single track”.

    Then in the “Weaknesses you say “slack head angle and long wheelbase means this is not the most agile bike, particularly in tight trails”

    Ummm firstly, make up your mind! And secondly, a head angle of 70-71 degrees is hardly what I would call “slack”.

  • Angelo says:

    I know this was writen in 2008 but would love to see a reply to Jimbob’s comment.I laughed at that myself.

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