It has been a while now, but the News And Rumors post is back! These are some of the latest things to come to our attention recently. Sit back and see what’s up……

The new Titus Rockstar (Image courtesy of Titus Cycles)

Titus Rockstar Bows Again: Back at Interbike 2009 we showed you the Titus Rockstar in its aluminum guise. A titanium version was also shown that year, both with carbon fiber rear assemblies. The full suspension bike was a highly anticipated model. Twenty Nine Inches was actually on the schedule to test one, but then things came unraveled at Titus, and with the financial difficulties, that proposed review, and Titus Cycles as a whole, was in limbo.

titus_rs_v2_back(Image courtesy of Titus Cycles)
Fast forward to late 2010. On One Bikes/Planet X takes over Titus and revitalizes the company with the assistance of frame manufacturer Sapa Extrusions, a firm located in Portland, Oregon. This kept Titus’ heritage as a U.S. produced bike intact, and dovetailed in with On One/Planet X’s U.S. based offices which were local to the manufacturer. (More on that in a moment)

The designers at Titus did a re-think on the new Rockstar, which is now only offered with an aluminum front triangle/carbon fiber rear assembly, and tweaked the geometry in accordance with rider feedback garnered from the first generation Rockstar owners and testers. With slightly shorter top tube lengths, the hope is that the front end will be easier to pin down in corners. A higher bottom bracket was also called out for better pedal to trail clearances. Finally, the seat tube shape has been tweaked for better rear tire clearance and rear triangle clearance. Titus claims the rear suspension pivot placements and feel have been retained from the original design.

The bike is designed around a Rock Shox Monarch rear damper with 100mm of travel. Frame weight, including the shock, is a claimed 6.4lb/2,902.99gms. Head angle is at 70* while the seat tube angle is 73* with the recommended 100mm travel front fork length in mind. Titus Cycles has these frames for sale direct at MSRP $1299.00USD. (See Titus Cycles site)

U.S. Production?: Titus Cycles claims it is committed to having Titus bikes manufactured in the U.S.; however, Sapa Extrusions is going to cease production of bicycle frames soon. Sapa believes falling production orders are to be explained by consumers indifference to the origins of their frames production. Titus has frames produced for now, but is in the search process to find another U.S. based supplier. Titus says that as of now, newly started frame building company, Zen Fabrication, is the front runner to replace Sapa as Titus’ manufacturer.

However that all shakes out, the Rockstar is back, and looks great with the Iron Maiden inspired font and blue and white scheme. Stay tuned for a possible test/review on this full suspension rig.

Singular Cycles “Buzzard” short stay/AM hard tail proto (Image courtesy of Singular Cycles)

Singular Cycles To Add New Bird To The Flock: In keeping with Singular Cycles penchant for naming their models with avian monikers, this new, all mountain inspired hard tail 29″er prototype has been dubbed the “Buzzard”. The frame will be steel, (of course), and will sport the requisite short(er) chain stays and slacker head angles associated with this sort of bike. As of now the plans are to keep the chain stay length at 420mm, the head angle at 69*, (sagged measurement with a 120mm fork, but will be designed to accept a 140mm fork), and it will be designed to have a 31.6mm seat tube to accommodate dropper seat posts.

While the rest of the Singular range sport eccentric bottom brackets for ease of single speed/internal geared hub use, this proposed model probably will not sport such an arrangement in its final guise. Eccentric bottom bracket shells and such short chain stays relegate tire clearances to smaller sizes. Sam at Singular did not wish to have this, so it seems a 73mm bottom bracket shell with ISCG tabs is on tap for the final production version which has not been given a delivery date as yet. Sam is shooting for tire clearance to be good with a 2.4″ Ardent mounted out back.

Finally, the head tube is said to be spec’ed at a 44mm diameter, a move that will allow the use of straight 1 1/8th inch steer tube forks, tapered steer tube forks, and/or adjustable angle head sets. This should make the Buzzard a very versatile All Mountain hard tail choice. Stay tuned for any further developments…..

lynskey neon
(Image courtesy of Lynskey Performance)

Lynskey Performance Brings Back Neon! Lynskey Performance is always sharing their newest creations online and this one is a stunner featuring a flat black and neon green scheme. Lynskey’s Don Erwin shared that while they can not do specific color combinations in their line up, they do have access to House Of Kolor’s neon palette and these can be applied with a flat black background to make for an eye-popping look on any Lynskey Performance model.

Furthermore; Don added that their painter has found a way to flat clear coat the Rock Shox suspension fork shown on this bike in the image here for a consistent flat paint look from stem to stern. The model shown here is Lynskey’s own Pro 29 VF and you can check out more details on that bike here.

We remember the “neon phase” of mountain biking here at Twenty Nine Inches with …..ah….some reluctance, but we must admit this does look pretty nice. Let’s just not over-do it guys, okay! (Ha ha! 🙂 )

Czech Tires? Who Knew? SCYLLA-29_rendr_D

Czech tire manufacturer, Rubena, is coming to the U.S.A. with several new 29″er tread designs and by the looks of it, these will be some high tech tires featuring claimed voluminous casings and light weight.

Rubena comes from a heritage of tire manufacturing stretching back to the early 20th Century and is well known in certain parts of Europe for their designs in 26″er tires. Now they have set up a U.S. based office and distribution and will be trying to make their presence known with these newer 29″er designs.

Twenty Nine Inches is slated to be testing a couple of these designs in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for further news on these (new to the U.S.) tires and we’ll see if their claims hold true. For further reading, see the Rubena 29″er page for the Scylla tire model here.

Okay, that’s all we have for this round of News And Rumors. Stay tuned for more Top Ten stuff coming your way soon here at Twenty Nine Inches!