Click. Click. Click. 3.75", 4.5", and 5.6" of rear wheel travel. Going up or going down? Titus and Fox Shox have teamed up to provide the most versatile, easy-to-use, adjustable travel trail bike on the market. Just move the lever as you are riding to adjust to the travel you need. The Switchblade is totally redesigned for '03 with a new seat tower and hollow box chainstay. If you ride a variety of terrain, click the Switchblade up and down on the fly. The choice is yours.
a Cross Country Rider
from Pasadena, CA
Date Reviewed: July 17, 2006
Strengths: Light, well made,cool monoque design, clean welds, Hoist-link, 5" travel trail bike. GREAT customer service
Weaknesses: They made these with V-brake post and cable guides.
This is a light 5" travel trail bike. Great for epic rides, a very effective climber on technical stuff. I did not get the Talas version because I just don't want to fuss with travel and height variations. The same reason I don't lower my seat for descents. The Talas fork would have been nice for steep climbs but I opted for stable platform. Fox did not have their Terrilogic 5" fork yet. It took a while to set up this bike and I try to remember and check it every month. Air shocks are not made for hucking and I try not to go off too big of drops when able to avoid. This is not a plush big hit all mountain bike nor a harsh ball beating XC racing bike. It's a set it and forget it, epic trial riding bike. Go to a TITUS dealer and make sure you are specific about every detail and option. BTW, I sent back my swingarm so I could get the disc only version. I also got the wider chain stays.Then I found out I had the short travel rockers and shock so I bought new rockers and Progressive was cool about replacing my shock with a longer one. Like I said a TITUS dealer.My first shock had to be replaced(warranty:) Happy riding!
Similar Products Used: none. my first full suspension bike
Bike Setup: 5Th Element Air, Minute 2 130mm,Easton XC90 ML riser, Thompson 70mm stem, CK HS, Sram XO GS, Hayes Mag Plus 6", XT fr.der, XO rear, Thompson seatpost.Salsa Lip lock binder WTB rocket SL saddle. CK disc hubs with Mavic 819, Nokian NBX 2.3 tires, RF Dues X-type cranks and BB. Shimano XTR pedals. around 27-28# depending on tires
from Palm City FL USA
Date Reviewed: March 11, 2004
Strengths: No flex in rear suspension, adjustability, PROPEDAL version of TALAS shock eliminates bobbing in full travel mode. Titus customer service and their commitment to the customer's needs has to be considered a strong strength.
Weaknesses: Limited range of adjustability and lack of QR clamp on seat post, if you're into changing it often. If not, it's a moot point. If you're into running some of the new generation, lightweight fatty-fat tires on the rear you may run into clearance issues.
Bike handles very well, geometry is a little "quick" and is great for slow-speed trailwork. TALAS feature is great, but the thing rides so good in full travel mode you won't really use it. Overall a great trailbike. If you can only own one bike and really did 95% trailriding but also wanted to enter an occasional race on it, this might be the bike for you. You could build this thing fairly light and be competetive in the sport class on it in the short travel setup, and still romp around on the trails with it for the rest of the year. If you are looking for a serious race bike, get a racer-X and keep the switchblade as a play/trail bike, as they complement each other well.
A word about tires and clearance in reference to earlier posts since a lot of us like to run large volume tires in our trailbikes: some of the tire width depends on how wide of a rim it's on. But the biggest issue is that most manufacturers simply call their tires "2.5" when in fact they may only measure 2.1" in width. Hard to believe, right??. If you have any questions on true tire widths, try this site: http://www.themudzone.com
Right now I am running a Mavic 317 rim F&R, which is a pretty narrow rim and not ideal for running the fat tires. In this setup with the Mutanorapter 2.4, it's about as fat as you can go on the back without rubbing. I am having a set of wheels built with a 27mm wide arrow racing XCL rim, which will probably make the tires even wider, and we'll see how the clearance is then. Post me if you're interested in the clearance issue, I can send some pics.
Overall you can't go wrong with Titus or a switchblade.
Similar Products Used: have owned or still own the following: 02 switchblade, '03 racer-X, '03 heckler, '04 TALAS switchblade. Have ridden countless other top-quality rides of friends.
Bike Setup: The bike is set up as a true trail/play bike and is only used as such. TALAS RLC fork, RF Next LP ISIS cranks, thomson post/stem, AVID juicy disks, MAXM bars, XTR everything, AM classic hubs, mavic 317 rims, intense CC 2.25 up front, WTB mutanoraptor race on rear.
Date Reviewed: March 4, 2004
Strengths: This is a 04 Talas/Propedal, the bike is a great, it excels in every aspect. I tried the 5th air on it as well but opted to keep the talas because of what it offered with adjustability and most importantly durability. It is a perfect do everything bike
Weaknesses: NONE..to knock it's rating cause ya can't fit a giant tire on XC BIKE is ridiculous!!
Titus did hit a homer with this bike cause it handles everything very well, goes up and down great, handles extremly well in every setting.. VERY STIFF.. can be built up pretty light, great do anything bike
Similar Products Used: Spec.FSR, 01 Switchblade[5.7"], Superlight, Turner XCE, Giant AC - All are nice bikes
Bike Setup: Talas/propedal rear, Talas R upfront, Mavic 317 hugi hubs, SRAM 9.0 rear, X7 trigger shifter, LX hollowtech cranks..basics...
a Weekend Warrior
from South Africa
Date Reviewed: March 4, 2004
Weaknesses: Weaknesses , where ?
The first ride on the bike I hated it,I was so pissed that I had spent all this cash on something I am going to hate.The bike was Squatting in the back when climbing and it felt awful .. I was out of control on tight singletrack and was all over the place.
I changed one thing on the bike from my first ride , My stem. I had put all the components on from my Sugar over on to my SB ,including the short stem used for the geneses geometry. After putting a 110 ml stem it changed the whole way the bike handled. This bike fly's , not as plush as I though it would be , until I got back onto my hardtail... OUCH .I love this bike,and don't notice the squatting at all anymore and managed to climb a loose steep climb I had never been able to do before. In the short 2 weeks that I have had the bike I have used the Lockout once ..and that was a tar road sprint with one of my track cycling buddies.I suppose a propedal will make the lockout redundant. and that the guys from Push Industries can do wonders with floats .I am happy with everything on the bike and if the shock had to give problems I will have the Push Industries conversion done. I would suggest this bike to anyone looking for a balanced bike that smoothes out anything you can throw at it.Someone who is faced with steep loose climbs followed by tight root infested singletrack.
Look it is expensive and I cant justify to you how to spend your money. But I have no regrets at all, and am in the process of saving up for another bike from Titus for my partner.
Similar Products Used: Nothing like it where I live to try out.
Bike Setup: Blue Switchblade , Med , Std Float RL Black Super Air "100/120" -100 used Cross Max UST Maxim Carbon Bar and Seat post. XT group set with XTR rear mech and brakes. King headset Gore cables.
Bike weight 26 lb
a Cross Country Rider
from Chester/Lake Almanor,Ca. USA
Date Reviewed: January 23, 2004
Strengths: See below.
Weaknesses: See below.
This is a response to a few guys whose reviews complained about the rear end on the 'Blade being too tight to fit anything but a 2.1 tire. READ ON -
HERE'S THE TRUTH: - Either they have old, 02 'Blades that might have had tight clearance, or they are making it up. My '03 'Blade EASILY fits a Nokian 2.3 in the rear, which I ran at Downieville(the place is fast & deadly),with no rubbing at all. I ran a Tioga 2.5 in the front, both of which were perfect for downhill runs. Downieville would have exposed any weaknesses running a 2.3 in the rear; no problems at all, worked perfect.I actually thought about trying to sqeeze a 2.5 Michelin Hot S in the back, but its probably too much. A skinny 2.4 might fit however. Do your homework & check out everything you hear.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: January 23, 2004
Strengths: Exceptional build quality in all respects.
This is a follow up review from my first posting. I've had the bike for just over 9 months now, and logged about 700 or so miles.
Everything I said the first time still stands, however I must admit I am very surprised at how well the bike has stood up to abuse. After many many miles of rough singletrack, hellacious climbs, and killer descents this bike still feels like new. It actually took a few months of hard riding to really feel comfortable on the bike and realize its full potential.
I have no doubt become a better rider in every aspect - climbing, descending, and technical ability. I think the best rides are still yet to come, as every week this bike gives me more and more confidence.
The pivots and all those little things you worry about on a FS bike have given me no problems. The TALAS rear shock has been flawless, and I find myself actually using the different settings. The bike definitely has a different ride quality when it's in short mode vs. long travel mode.
A few other notes - I switched over to the Stans No Tube system and they work awesome - major difference in ride quality, I highly reccomend trying them.
One of the best deals about this bike is still where I bought it - from The Cycologist in Fort Collins (www.thecycologist.com). I ride with the guy almost every week and he runs an A+ outfit. Check him out if you want to buy this bike, or any bike - he can ship anywhere and is the real deal.
The Switchblade is an awesome, awesome bike that for some reason does not get a lot of press. Go demo one and find out for yourself what a great secret it is. Absolutely no complaints whatsoever.
Similar Products Used: Old GT Hardtail for many years
Bike Setup: Talas front & rear, XT drivetrain, Hayes disc, Thomson, etc. etc.
a Cross Country Rider
from Chester, Ca USA
Date Reviewed: January 20, 2004
Strengths: A technological marvel. Fox Air Talus shock is spectacular. Adjustable travel: 3.7,4.5 & 5.7" & lockout option=like 4 bikes in one.Builds up light.Has lower Horst-link pivots.A tough,do*it*all frame.Anodized & shock options.A knowledgable,old school company.Great customer service. Welds are perfect,CNC pieces are perfect, burly rear tubing. Worth the $$$$$$$. I'm very, very happy with this frame & company. YOU MUST TEST RIDE ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Weaknesses: Petty stuff. Cannot use remote Fox thumb lock-out kit for rear shock.Expensive.Stock stickers/decals are hideous-finishing cosmetic touches could be better.Hard to clean, i.e., lots of nooks and crannies.Tight rear shock clearance.Watch the pivots.Interrupted seat tube design means cutting off seatposts - a pain. Should have disc brake cable guides integrated into frame.
If you can only afford one bike, this bike does it all. Great for Cross Country & freeride, and it can handle moderate hucking and basic downhill use.This frame deserves more acknowledgement from the cycling press;it is mostly unknown, but it excels in all respects!!!!!!!!!!!! The Fox Talus rear shock and fork perfectly compliment each other. My bike is 25.5lbs,(no stupid light parts)with 5" of travel."Freeride" cannot get any better than this. It's like 4 bikes in one: 3.7,4.5.,5.7" travel & lockout. Handles well, well balanced front to rear: good weight distrubution. I believe in quality & only ride high-end, boutique maker frames. The Titus Switchblade is one of the best on the market, with Turner, Santacruz, Intense, etc.
Similar Products Used: 2 ProFlex's,A flexy Mongoose Amp & 2 awesome Turners: A Burner & XCE. Will only ride "real" Horst-link pivot, fully active frame designs.
Bike Setup: Fox RLC Talus,Full XTR disc,XT levers/shifters, Easton,King,Thompson,Mavic,SLR,Michelin.Custom gold anodizing.
from Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Date Reviewed: January 2, 2004
Strengths: Versatility, durability, and rideability!
Weaknesses: You end up riding around with a silly grin on your face all the time.
Having thoroughly enjoyed racing my Racer-X for a year I bought this bike as a "FUN" bike. The truth is, this bike rocks! If you can only live with one mountain bike, then this is it. The TALAS functionality really adds to the fun factor. With the suspension dialed down to 3.75" and with race tires the bike feels exactly like my Racer-X. It wants to climb and accelerate like a great race bike. With the suspension set at 4.5" the fun begins. On really nasty high speed descents, I'll set it at 5.6" and feel like a hero. Set the fork to full travel and set the rear to 4.5" and the bike becomes stable on real steep descents. Changing travel is so easy. You can change travel while riding, pedaling or coasting. Titus has nailed it when it comes to an efficient full suspension design. The Racer-X and the Switchblade share the same suspension geometry and efficiency. The rear suspension tracks the terrain like it's part of the ground. You can lay power down and the bike will accelerate. No worries about losing grip on even the steepest and loosest climbs. A fully active rear suspension is the only way to go. Why have a rear suspension that locks out when you are in your lowest gear and you need the suspension the most? Avoid bikes that lock out with chain tension. I'm not sure what Timo from Albuquerque (see below) is talking about when he says that he can only fit a 2.1" tire in the rear. The 2.25" IRC Trailbear that Titus sent with the bike fits with 1/4" to spare on either side. My bike was one of the first 2003 bikes made and I'm told that it was the first 2003 Switchblade in Canada. So it's definitely not a problem on 2003 bikes. If you're looking for the best thoroughbred race bike, look at the Racer-X. If you need a versatile mountain bike that can be raced, ridden on epic rides, and take some drops and nasty descents, the Switchblade is right on.
Similar Products Used: Racer-X, Fuel, Truth, Super-light, Obed
Bike Setup: Fox TALAS fork and shock, XT components, Hayes HFX Mag Plus, Bontrager Race Disc Wheels, Selle Italia saddle, Egg Beaters
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: December 8, 2003
Strengths: Versatility, etc. We know the details
Weaknesses: Rear Triangle will not support most tires wider than 2.1. Serious shortcoming of the bike and Titus does not want to make the rear end any bigger.
Good bike and Itend to ride it either in XC mode or in full travel, but usually not too much in between. XC mode for burning through the trails and full travel for the gnarly.
Bike is good, but Titus did not hit a homerun here. I spent the money, I enjoy the bike - put well over 1000-miles on it this summer - but the bottom line is they really failed with the narrow rear end.
A 5.75" travel bike that only allows 2.1-in tires just won't cut it on some of our "axe-head" embedded rocky trails out here. We need beef on the rims, and titus seems to think that by allowing larger tires people will start hucking this bike. Baloney.
I complained to Titus and they offered to sell me Quasimoto rear end. Wish they would just widen the end to allow at least a 2.4 WTB.
Similar Products Used: Specialized Enduro, Giant VT1, Tomac Eli
Bike Setup: SRAM X.0, Talas all the way, Race Face, Easton, Thompson, Hayes/Avid.
a Cross Country Rider
from Seattle, WA
Date Reviewed: December 6, 2003
Strengths: New 5th Element Air with 5 inches stable/platform pedaling, super adjustable,highly responsive/plush, fast/light; climbs all day long and rocks and rolls on the way down. Awesome craftmanship/beautiful welding
Weaknesses: For a light/weight trail bike with 5 inches of stable/platform pedaling...NO limitations, the bike is a work or art.
I upgraded my bike from the 04 Talas Propedal to the 5th Element Air shock with 5 inches of stable platform pedaling. The 5th Element Air rides like the 5th Element Coil-Over shock I had on my Heckler-it's Awesome. The 5th Element Air is way more adjustable than the Talas and is way more plush. Going up over logs and boulders reminds me of how the Romic felt on my Id; the 5th Element Air made the Switchblade a way more stable bike(IMO).In addition, I dropped about half a pound with the 5th Element.
By the way-Progressive Suspension's customer service and tech support is incredible. They revalved my shock and custom tuned it for my weight and riding style and they provided me with one day turn around time;I sent my shock in on Monday night and it was in the shop and back on my bike on Wednesday-I call that quality service. and they paid for return shipping the same way I shpped it-Overnight.
The Switchblade is truly one of the highest quality trail bikes made; bikes don't get better than the Switchblade, they only get more specific to your riding style.
I wanted bike with 5 inches of rear wheel travel that would handle well on tight/twisty mountain trails and track well on rapid decents. So far, the Switchblade has performed like a champ over everything that has come my way. In addition, this bike has more than paid for itself by carrying me over, around and through some very narrow escapes.
Big thanks to Chris,Stephanie,Allen at Titus and all the crew at Progressive Suspension and big thanks for all the awesome support from Bicycle Centers of Everett/Silver Lake, WA; you guys rock
Similar Products Used: 02 Ellsworth ID,2003 Santa Cruz Heckler/Blur/Superlight,Uzzi/SLX, Giant AC Air
Bike Setup: Medium Black/Ano,5th Element Air,TalasRLC,Race Face Carbon NextLP, Hope Mini,Mavic CrossMax SL,Thompson stem/seatpost,LazerTi, Nokian NBX XC
a Weekend Warrior
from Redwood City, CA USA
Date Reviewed: October 17, 2003
Strengths: Excels in every aspect of mtn. biking, single track, gnarly downhill sections with baby heads, climbs great, SUPER well built, looks very cool.
Weaknesses: Weaknesses? We don't need no stinkin' weaknesses!
This bike is waaaaay too fun. I was a hard-tail snob for a few years, tried a few of my friends full suspension rigs and realized I needed to take the plunge. Had the SB set up perfectly for me at Bike Works, thanks Matt & Chris! I took a long look at other bikes but the closer you look at Titus, the more solid the construction is, not to mention the SB looks like it should be in the Smithsonian. These suckas are built to last and are pieces of art. In terms of performance, I'm still getting used to the fact that the SB will bail my ass out of trouble if I give it a chance, and I need bailing out quite often! The balance and geometry on this thing are amazing. If you're shopping for a full suspension rig that does it all, you've found your rig. 5 scorchin' hot chilis. Nuff said.
Similar Products Used: Titus Racer RX, Specialized StumpJumper
Bike Setup: Chris King, Hayes, XT, Psylo
a Cross Country Rider
from seattle, wa
Date Reviewed: September 28, 2003
Strengths: Excellent craftmanship,awesome geometry, perfect ballance between cross country and freeride = #1 trail bike. Stephanie, Chris and Alan provide consitent/quality customer centered service.
Weaknesses: Instead of Switchblade, I think Chris should have named the bike Swissblade; like the Swiss Army knife, this bike has several special applications.
On the trail, the Switchblade is quick, stable and sure-footed; it climbs better than the other bikes I've owned. On a technical trail, the Switchblade out performs the other bikes I've had because of it's perfect ballance, awesome suspension, quick handling and light weight.
My bike weighs just under 27lbs and I've got 5.6 inches of plush rear wheel travel and 5 inches up front-hard to beat.
The Talas ProPedal is an awesome set up; you get a stable platform ride with adjustable travel-it doesn't get much better.
I'm a heavy rider so I use the extended travel setting most of the time. In the extended position, the Talas/Switchblade combination provides a stable ride going up and down the mountain.
In terms of stability, the Uzzi SLX and the Switchblade are evenly matched;where they separate is in their intended application. The Uzzi SLX is a heavy duty machine built for hardcore riding and racing, the Switchblade is a light weight trail bike; I think it's awesome the way both bikes perform like magic on the trail.
On the trail, the Switchblade blows the Heckler and Id away when it comes to performance. The Switchblace is simply a better handing bike when you put it to the test; the bike is magic.
The 04 Switchblade will be available with the Talas ProPedal or the new 5th Element air shock-I'm not sure about the availability of the Float models.
Chris says the Switchblade with the 5th Element rear shock will give you 5 inches of stable platform pedaling where the Talas ProPedal will provide 5.6 inches and a more plush ride. Consider how you want the bike to preform and what you want it to do before you choose a particular set up;Either way you go you're in for an awesome ride.
So far the Switchblade is exactly what I've been looking for in a bike, it handles technical stuff well and climbs like a cat. I've managed stay up on this bike way better than any of the other bikes I've had. Like they say in the other reviews, you really get what you pay for with the Switchblade-money well spent.
Favorite Trail: Victoria Tract/Pillchuck Tree Farm
Duration Product Used: 3 months
Purchased At: Titus via Bicycle Center of Everett
Similar Products Used: Santa Cruz Heckler, Superlight, Blur and Elssworth ID
Bike Setup: Medium Switchblade,Adjustable Talas ProPedal rear shock, Talas Fork, Crossmax SL, XT/Sram, Thompson seatpost/stem, Hope Mini's.
Jose Antonio Soares
a Cross Country Rider
from Brasilia DF Brasil
Date Reviewed: September 1, 2003
Strengths: Anodized option; component customization; simple graphics (I hate fancy stickers); good customer service; active suspension.
Weaknesses: Bushing on Horst link instead of sealed cartridge; cable routing on rear shock area.
First of all, the weakness is lowermost compared to the whole. Customer service, provided by Alan and Eric, makes the difference. The other reviews stated a lot on this bike, so I'll try to make personal point of views. Changing the bike geometry is a big plus when you get used to. The comfort is awesome on long rides. As a Litespeed Tellico owner, I thoughted that climbing would be more difficult due to extra weight and suspension movement, but, for my big surprise, I'm climbing in a more efficient fashion with this bike. When the trail points down, then, my riding buddies call a plastic surgeon to remove that fancy smile going ear to ear on my face.
My final quote is, if you want a trail bike to enjoy the heart and soul of mountain biking, this is one great machine and, picking a good component selection, the final weight is very reasonable.
Similar Products Used: Santa Cruz Superlight; Giant NRS. Not so similar, because I guess only Trek Liquid can be matched as similar.
Bike Setup: Fox TALAS front and rear; XTR disc kit; Mavic X317; MAXM seatpost and low rise handlebar.
a Cross Country Rider
from Seattle, Wa. USA
Date Reviewed: August 7, 2003
Strengths: amazing verstaility, great craftsmanship, light weight, strength, and awesome 4-bar suspension
Weaknesses: won't accept a coil over shock. air shock not ideal for 5.7" travel- too progressive. Still great though.
This is a bit of a follow up review- I bought mine in late 2002 right as the talus was anounced. initially I was bummed to miss out on the talus but as soon as I got the bike I was very happy- plus I got the frame very cheap.. Originally I set it up with the 4.5" linkage and a 4" marzocchi MX pro ETA fork. As the bike opened up new doors for my riding style, I felt it was time to try more travel. I found a used 5.7"travel kit and bought a marzocchi Z-1 coil fork. The bike has been even better set up like this. I've taken it up to whistler and done 5' to flat wheelie drops on it. I've endo'd it off of stunts. No problems. It climbs just as good as it did with the shorter travel, even better now with remote lock-out.
Talus is a great idea, but I'm totally OK with not having it. In fact, I'm happy I don't. Too many switches and settings to think about while I ride- I prefer a simple bike. Plus, how often does one want less travel? In any case, get the talus if you want it. Just know that if you're on a budget, want to shave a tiny bit of weight, or just want a no-frills version of the switch, you will be happy without the talus.
Don't be afraid to put a 5" fork on this bike- it LOVES it.
My only complaint; I wish I could run a coil-over shock. Tuning a 6" travel air shock is tricky- it's going to ramp up fast. Maybe a fox AVA air shock might be better for this. I think a coil shock would be easier to tune, to provide a compromise between getting full travel and getting the bike to not sag too much. Anyway it's nit-picking- I love this bike.
Similar Products Used: santa cruz superlight (owned) santa cruz heckler, titus racer-x, ellsworth truth and Id, Kona stinky & bear (ridden buddies off road at length)
Bike Setup: 5.7" travel kit with remote lock-out, Marzocchi Z-1 free-ride fork, XT with dics, king headset and hubs
a Cross Country Rider
from AZ, USA
Date Reviewed: August 3, 2003
Strengths: Extremely well built, attention to detail.
Talus adjustability allows you to fine tune your geometry and suspesion to the trail you are on.
Very solid stable feel on long climbs.
Tracks very well at speed in ugly stuff
Weaknesses: Price, if you dont like spending money.
Few rear shock options, fortunately the Fox Talus works well.
There are a lot of great bikes out there and this is one of the best. On the fly adjustability may not be needed by everyone, but is a nice addition.
Titus and Absolute Bikes provided excellent customer sevice. I had gone to the other bike shop to check out the Blur, and was handed a manual. I went to Absolute and talked to Anthony who was excited about the Titus bikes and knew the equipment very well. I spent $1000 more on then I had planned because of a fine product, and good customer service.