Titus Cycles Rockstar- Mid-Term: by Guitar Ted

In my last update on the Titus Cycles Rockstar, (seen here), I had a clouded view of the frame’s performance due to a sub-par wheel set. That has since been rectified by using the Project Wheel Build wheel set, (seen here), and now I can comment more directly on the Rockstar’s performance out on the trails.

Ride Performance: With the better wheels on the Rockstar, the bike was now free from any distracting componentry, and my first impressions of the Rockstar now are somewhat modified. I made use of the word “firm” when speaking of the suspension. This led some commenters to believe the Rockstar was not a smooth feeling suspension bike. Let me now allay any fears of such a thing. The Rockstar suspension is definitely laterally stiff and firm, but as far as ride feel, you can tune in a great feeling smooth ride if you want to.

Typically, with a shock like a Fox RP 23 with ProPedal, I’ll leave the lever in the platform position most of the time, since on most bikes with that damper, I like the firmer feeling coming out of corners and on climbs. With the Monarch RT3 on the Rockstar, I did the same thing initially and set the sag. Off I went, and never looked back for the first few rides.

In this setting, (the middle setting-lever parallel with the top tube), I was quite pleased with the way the Rockstar would jump upon accelerating and climbing showed absolutely zero bobbing while in the saddle. The subtle bumps and jolts could be felt a bit, but I normally have that anyway, so I was not disturbed by this. Tracking of the wheels felt exceptional, much akin to the Diamondback Sortie Black, which I think is a benchmark in that regard.

So, I am happy, why change anything, right? This is a test though, so I did stop during one loop and flipped the switch on the RT3 to wide open, suspecting I would be stopping soon to flip it back, because normally wide open shock settings just do not work for me. Typically the wide open settings tend to be too plush and I end up not liking that at all. I feel it negatively affects climbing by inducing squat and the beginning of the suspension’s travel gets blown by too easily for my tastes.

This wasn’t the case when I flipped the lever to wide open on the Rock Shox Monarch on this bike, however. It wasn’t a huge, all of a sudden super-plush feeling, but a subtle, yet easily discernible “shift” in the spring feel to the softer side. Yes, it bobbed very slightly now, but on the other end, the big hits were swallowed in a nicer way with smaller trail chatter just erased. I would liken it to a coil spring type of feel, at least to the beginning of the stroke. It was really an eye opener for me, since this was a Monarch, and as I have said, I didn’t like any of the previous uses of this rear damper.

With this plusher setting, I still had a great, albeit a bit softer, climbing feel with great traction, and of course, better down hill feeling to boot. This seems to me to give the rider a choice in a useful way. Leave the damper wide open for times the trails demand it, or if you are fatigued. Turn the lever to the mild platform setting for a bit of an edge on climbing and sprinting out of corners with a slight increase in trail chatter feel. Both settings are very useful, and of course, you can fully lock out the rear and front for those times when the ride calls out for such a thing.

Cornering feel is very good, since the front to rear balance can be fine tuned to match, and the rider’s weight seems to be well balanced front to rear. Although the head angle is listed at 70 degrees, I did not feel that the Titus was difficult to navigate through very tight corners at all. The long-ish stays do make lofting the front end a bit more difficult, but it pays off on steep climbs and in the stability department.

And that RT3 lever? It is still on the wide open setting. πŸ˜‰

Stay tuned for my final review on the Titus Rockstar coming in a few weeks or so.

Note: Titus Bicycles sent over the Rockstar for test/review at no charge to Twenty Nine Inches. we are not being bribed or paid for this review. I will strive to give my honest thoughts and opinions throughout.