Competitive Cyclist
Orbea USA
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Red Rose Imports
Upland Sports Group

Interbike show

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.


Take one titanium tube
Photo ©: James Huang
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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?

Hanging on a scale, the Titus Racer-X
Photo ©: Steve Medcroft
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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.

The Isogrid Ultralite
Photo ©: James Huang
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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.

Scott bikes

Scott throws
Photo ©: Steve Medcroft
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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.

got a serious junior racer
Photo ©: Steve Medcroft
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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.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews

  • A closer look at the Titus Racer-X suspension assembly reveals new carbon fiber seatstays and revised aluminum chainstays. The carbon fiber rocker arms are carryover from last year.
  • In the all-mountain category Titus offers the up-to-five-inches-of-travel Moto Lite. It features Titus’ Horst Link design, enough chainstay clearance for a 2.6 tire and comes in aluminum (shown here), titanium and Exogrid (ti/carbon mix) versions.
  • The Isogrid Ultralite is Titus’ lightest road frame and uses Isogrid carbon and titanium tubing.
  • Isogrid doesn’t just add a titanium end to a carbon tube. The carbon is actually cured into the titanium, plus Titus adds a couple of cutouts to provide some mechanical hold between the two materials as well. You can’t see it, but the carbon is also internally reinforced, sort of like old Columbus SLX tubing used to be.
  • Take one titanium tube add one part laser…. now where’d I put that carbon?
  • Oh, right, there it is. Here’s Titus’ Vuela featuring a complete Exogrid tubeset.
  • Want a Titus road bike but are a little short on funds? Try a Modena on for size.

Images by Steve Medcroft/Cyclingnews

  • Hanging on a scale, the Titus Racer-X weighed in at only 19 ½ pounds. Titus says they lightened the bike partly with component choices but also with a new hydro-formed chain stay and carbon seat stay; losing a quarter pound in the rear end alone.
  • The 2006 Titus FCR Mountain cross-country hardtail.
  • Titus’ big-hit bike the Super Moto, has five linkage options to accommodate pretty much any rear shock on the market. It also features an oversized OnePointFive system compatible head tube to fit the newer, stiffer long-travel forks. The bike ships with 1-1/8-inch head cups and Titus says they’ll offer a half-degree offset 1-1/8-inch cup to give buyers setup options up to 7-1/2 inches of travel.
  • Scott USA designed adjustability into the seat mount assembly of their High Octane big hit bike.
  • Scott’s High Octane is new for 2006.
  • Thomas Frischknecht won the Marathon World Championship on a Scott all-carbon Scale cross country hardtail. Showing faith in the hardtail format, Scott offers something like thirteen different work ups of the Scale, from almost $6,000 down to the $500 and less price point. The Scale 10 (shown here) comes with the 80mm Fox 80, SRAM X10 and Avid components. The one-step-higher Scale Limited comes equipped with Shimano XTR.
  • Scott throws their new six-inch Ransom into the all-mountain category.
  • A close up look at the core of the Ransom with the six-inch Fox 36 Talas.
  • got a serious junior racer in your family? Scott offers this 24-inch wheeled hardtail (RC Jr Team Issue) equipped with a very adult set of components (Shimano XT, FSA cranks).

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