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Las Vegas, USA, September 26-30, 2005
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Part 24 - Weight watchers: Titus and Scott
James Huang takes a look at two companies that seem to have a common mission: shedding grams from your ride.
Titus continues to churn out some very impressive-looking (and light!) off-road machines for 2006. Their venerable Racer-X has been updated with some new frame tubes as well as carbon fiber seatstays. The capable Moto-Lite and others carry on with mostly minor changes. No sense in fixing what isn't broken, eh?
As much as Titus is known for their mountain bikes, they've also quietly been building some very impressive road machines as well, including their Isogrid Ultralite and Vuelo (previously known as the Exogrid Road) frames. Both of these, and even some of Titus' mountain bikes, meld titanium and carbon in a process dubbed Bi/FUSION. Isogrid is one tubing version and refers to a process where an internally-reinforced carbon fiber center section is co-molded into a pair of titanium ends, producing a finished tube that is nearly as light as a full carbon tube but with the flexibility of weldable ends.
Exogrid is another co-molded carbon and titanium tube, but in a different flavor. Here, a titanium tube is laser-cut into Swiss cheese, and then the carbon is molded in, again to produce a lighter tube than the titanium it replaces, but with tunable ride characteristics. I'll assume it works since I haven't ridden one personally, but it sure does look way cool.
Finally, Titus has added to their road lineup with the Modena, a carbon and aluminum frame that is intended to get people on to a Titus, but at a lower price point. It uses a more conventional means for attaching aluminum ends to a carbon tube, but should still be a capable performer.
Despite its full name, Scott USA has only been back in the US for a short period but they're making big waves. Their Scale carbon hardtails continue to impress with their incredibly light weight, and the line has been expanded with over a dozen hardtail iterations, including aluminum versions from the mid-range on down.
The Ransom is Scott's new all-carbon all-mountain bike. Carbon may not be quite as impact-friendly as aluminum, but the folks at Scott look to have done their homework to make sure you don't have to carry home a Camelbak full of carbon splinters after casing that jump and hitting that boulder. The new Equalizer shock also offers on-the-fly adjustability with a bar-mounted remote lever.
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Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews
Images by Steve Medcroft/Cyclingnews