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No Clue Crew
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The new Titan has been my only bike since I bought it. Delivered on Jan. 14, so I’ve had a bit more than a month of ride time on it (minus two weeks off the bike after one of the worst crashes I’ve had in years). It’s been ridden about 100 miles on a variety of trail systems in Phoenix and Sedona.

IMG_0770 by dbozman1173, on Flickr

Basics: It’s a size L frame built out with all the parts off my Ripmo. It’s a decent build with solid parts that survive in a desert environment, including real tires and Cushcore in the rear. The only carbon part is the bars. I don’t know how much it weighs, but it isn’t light. Also note, I ran this most of the listed miles with the Lyrik at 160; I’ve since swapped it to 170.

I’m 6’2, 34 inseam, +2 ape index, 180 pounds before gear. I’m an experienced rider, generally just above average in the climbing department and pretty fast down the mountain (generally top 3% to 10% descending, based on Strava).

IMG_0701 by dbozman1173, on Flickr

I’m very happy I followed the sizing guidelines. I generally ride XL, but the L fits really well with a 45mm stem.

I find the bike to be beautiful, but I’m a sucker for industrial design. I really wanted the black ano, but the raw was going to get to me faster so I went with that. Shout out to Ethan and Dirt Merchant for taking care of my order when he was out of town on a riding vacation. The build was painless and straightforward. As I’ve said elsewhere, the cable routing is a little bit fiddly, but once it’s secured, mine has been dead silent.

I’m searching for some nugget of negativity about the bike, to be honest. Banshee is a small company and I’ve owned previous generations of the Prime, Phantom (one of my favorite bikes of all time) and Rune. While you get a dialed product, you don’t get the subtleties like you do with, say, Ibis. I mean like a nice book or brochure detailing cable routing, chip placement, stickers, etc.

That’s what I’ve got on the negative front.

IMG_0703 by dbozman1173, on Flickr

On the positive front is, well, everything else. I suspected it would be nice as I’ve enjoyed all my previous Banshee bikes, but I wasn’t prepared for just how well this rig rides. It’s really superb.

Here’s your grain of salt: All of my riding is on steep-ish rocky gnar terrain. Our trails are not what I would consider tight; generally fairly open and very, very technical with drops, big climbing ledges, rock gaps and choppy high-speed terrain. I do not shuttle or utilize lift service. All turns are earned. I can’t speak to terrain that’s radically different; if I generally rode flatter or less technical stuff, I very well might have a different opinion. Oh, that brings up another negative point. I was also wanting to build up a new Phantom for more pedally days; the Titan so far has made that unnecessary. Listen up, Banshee, your big bike is so good it’s costing you additional sales!

Suspension setup with the low-end X2 has been super-simple. I plopped about 220 psi in the can, twiddled on a couple clicks of low-speed compression and rebound, and I’ve been riding it that way since. The frame appears to have a pretty big sweet spot for setup.

IMG_0713 by dbozman1173, on Flickr

Look, if you’re reading the numbers and, God forbid, looking at the weight of the frame, you’d probably be appalled at the thought of humping this beast up a mountain. There is just no way the Titan should pedal as well as it does. While it doesn’t have the sense of crispness at the pedals that a well-tuned DW Link bike has, it offers a less jarring and overall equally efficient pedaling platform on the terrain I ride in. There’s no weird dead zones or pedal feedback that those bikes sometimes have. It tracks the ground calmly with excellent traction. Even with the longer rear, I’ve had no issues getting either or both wheels off the ground when needed.

I’ve bettered nearly all my climbing times from quite few other very nice bikes, including the Ripmo. In fact, I set my third-fastest time ever climbing UP National Trail at South Mountain on the Titan. If you’re not familiar with National, it’s not the craziest trail we have here, but it’s a pretty tough climb.

Downhill, the Titan is pretty much what you might expect. It’s a bruiser. It’s plush. It’s also quiet. But it can be ridden with finesse and changes lines with ease. I don’t know that I’d use the word “poppy,” but I’ve had zero issues clearing gaps, doubling up trail features or generally getting the bike off the ground. You do kind of sit in the pocket with the additional rear length, but I think that’s part of what makes the bike so comfortable and intuitive.

And the bike turns. Technically, turning is probably the weakest aspect of my personal game. And we don’t have groomed catch berms here. To illustrate, I PRd a South Mountain trail called Corona de Loma the first time riding it on the Titan. It’s a fall line trail, a little steep, only a mile long but with 20-odd switchbacks on the way down. And these are Phoenix switchbacks, meaning they’re loose, off-camber, strewn with rocks and often have drops right at the apex.

I like bicycles and I tend to go through them at a regular clip. I don’t get emotionally involved and generally view them as pieces of equipment. That said, I can’t tell you how astonishingly pleased I am with the Titan. It’s not exactly short money at $2,300 for a somewhat heavy overseas-built aluminum frame. But, by God, it’s been worth every penny to me.

As a group, we tend to be really fixated on weight and travel numbers and carbon fiber. By those metrics, this bike should not be successful. And yet, it proves to me that there IS something magical when a company is able to get the geometry and suspension kinematics so dialed that nothing else really matters.

The Titan is the best example of that philosophy that I’ve ever owned. Is it for everyone? No bike is and I’m sure this is no exception. But for what I need in a bike, this is the closest thing to a unicorn that’s ever lived in my garage.

Sorry this was so long. Hope it’s helpful for someone.
 

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flailer
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Awesome review. I have the same frame (color and size) and while I am certainly not riding at the level you are, I agree with all the points you have made. FWIW, my Titan weighs 35 lbs with coil shock and fork, carbon bar and carbon wheels. Not a lightweight by any means, but I don't notice it. The one aspect that always catches me by surprise is the amount of speed you can carry on the descents. It's pretty nuts how fast you can go and still feel like you have total control.
 

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Nice review. My large Titan frame was delivered two days ago and I've started the build.

I decided to go for it in small part based off your impressions. Looking at the geometry I knew it had the guts to be good, but real world experience on how it climbed and the suspension action is what I needed. It's maybe a bit of an experiment but I'm looking forward to getting it out although we've got a lot of snow here so it might be a while.

I'm taking parts from my SB150 to build. I do have a new 210mm OneUp dropper to use but looking at max seat post insertion and my saddle height and I think I'll have to shim down to 200 maybe 190 so I wish seat post insertion was longer but that's my only quibble so far. Frame seems to be high quality and I really like how the shock is mounted. Lateral and fore aft center of mass is so much lower than my SB150.
 

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The new Titan has been my only bike since I bought it. Delivered on Jan. 14, so I’ve had a bit more than a month of ride time on it (minus two weeks off the bike after one of the worst crashes I’ve had in years). It’s been ridden about 100 miles on a variety of trail systems in Phoenix and Sedona.

IMG_0770 by dbozman1173, on Flickr

Basics: It’s a size L frame built out with all the parts off my Ripmo. It’s a decent build with solid parts that survive in a desert environment, including real tires and Cushcore in the rear. The only carbon part is the bars. I don’t know how much it weighs, but it isn’t light. Also note, I ran this most of the listed miles with the Lyrik at 160; I’ve since swapped it to 170.

I’m 6’2, 34 inseam, +2 ape index, 180 pounds before gear. I’m an experienced rider, generally just above average in the climbing department and pretty fast down the mountain (generally top 3% to 10% descending, based on Strava).

IMG_0701 by dbozman1173, on Flickr

I’m very happy I followed the sizing guidelines. I generally ride XL, but the L fits really well with a 45mm stem.

I find the bike to be beautiful, but I’m a sucker for industrial design. I really wanted the black ano, but the raw was going to get to me faster so I went with that. Shout out to Ethan and Dirt Merchant for taking care of my order when he was out of town on a riding vacation. The build was painless and straightforward. As I’ve said elsewhere, the cable routing is a little bit fiddly, but once it’s secured, mine has been dead silent.

I’m searching for some nugget of negativity about the bike, to be honest. Banshee is a small company and I’ve owned previous generations of the Prime, Phantom (one of my favorite bikes of all time) and Rune. While you get a dialed product, you don’t get the subtleties like you do with, say, Ibis. I mean like a nice book or brochure detailing cable routing, chip placement, stickers, etc.

That’s what I’ve got on the negative front.

IMG_0703 by dbozman1173, on Flickr

On the positive front is, well, everything else. I suspected it would be nice as I’ve enjoyed all my previous Banshee bikes, but I wasn’t prepared for just how well this rig rides. It’s really superb.

Here’s your grain of salt: All of my riding is on steep-ish rocky gnar terrain. Our trails are not what I would consider tight; generally fairly open and very, very technical with drops, big climbing ledges, rock gaps and choppy high-speed terrain. I do not shuttle or utilize lift service. All turns are earned. I can’t speak to terrain that’s radically different; if I generally rode flatter or less technical stuff, I very well might have a different opinion. Oh, that brings up another negative point. I was also wanting to build up a new Phantom for more pedally days; the Titan so far has made that unnecessary. Listen up, Banshee, your big bike is so good it’s costing you additional sales!

Suspension setup with the low-end X2 has been super-simple. I plopped about 220 psi in the can, twiddled on a couple clicks of low-speed compression and rebound, and I’ve been riding it that way since. The frame appears to have a pretty big sweet spot for setup.

IMG_0713 by dbozman1173, on Flickr

Look, if you’re reading the numbers and, God forbid, looking at the weight of the frame, you’d probably be appalled at the thought of humping this beast up a mountain. There is just no way the Titan should pedal as well as it does. While it doesn’t have the sense of crispness at the pedals that a well-tuned DW Link bike has, it offers a less jarring and overall equally efficient pedaling platform on the terrain I ride in. There’s no weird dead zones or pedal feedback that those bikes sometimes have. It tracks the ground calmly with excellent traction. Even with the longer rear, I’ve had no issues getting either or both wheels off the ground when needed.

I’ve bettered nearly all my climbing times from quite few other very nice bikes, including the Ripmo. In fact, I set my third-fastest time ever climbing UP National Trail at South Mountain on the Titan. If you’re not familiar with National, it’s not the craziest trail we have here, but it’s a pretty tough climb.

Downhill, the Titan is pretty much what you might expect. It’s a bruiser. It’s plush. It’s also quiet. But it can be ridden with finesse and changes lines with ease. I don’t know that I’d use the word “poppy,” but I’ve had zero issues clearing gaps, doubling up trail features or generally getting the bike off the ground. You do kind of sit in the pocket with the additional rear length, but I think that’s part of what makes the bike so comfortable and intuitive.

And the bike turns. Technically, turning is probably the weakest aspect of my personal game. And we don’t have groomed catch berms here. To illustrate, I PRd a South Mountain trail called Corona de Loma the first time riding it on the Titan. It’s a fall line trail, a little steep, only a mile long but with 20-odd switchbacks on the way down. And these are Phoenix switchbacks, meaning they’re loose, off-camber, strewn with rocks and often have drops right at the apex.

I like bicycles and I tend to go through them at a regular clip. I don’t get emotionally involved and generally view them as pieces of equipment. That said, I can’t tell you how astonishingly pleased I am with the Titan. It’s not exactly short money at $2,300 for a somewhat heavy overseas-built aluminum frame. But, by God, it’s been worth every penny to me.

As a group, we tend to be really fixated on weight and travel numbers and carbon fiber. By those metrics, this bike should not be successful. And yet, it proves to me that there IS something magical when a company is able to get the geometry and suspension kinematics so dialed that nothing else really matters.

The Titan is the best example of that philosophy that I’ve ever owned. Is it for everyone? No bike is and I’m sure this is no exception. But for what I need in a bike, this is the closest thing to a unicorn that’s ever lived in my garage.

Sorry this was so long. Hope it’s helpful for someone.
How come I can no longer 'like' posts? Only gives me the option of 'gift'. I did enjoy the rider review but don't want to donate money to said reviewer!

Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
 

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Reviews on this bike are kind of scarce, so thanks for posting up your thoughts. Also, you’re about my size and weight (I’m 6’2”, 185lbs without gear), which helps a bit.

I’m kind of surprised at the relatively conservative reach numbers on the titan. I’m currently on a size large with 475mm reach, and a 50mm stem, and have been wanting to try something with a bit more reach to see how that feels.

Our of curiosity, what made you go with the Titan over some of the other similar bikes (primarily meaning the Raaw Madonna, privateer 161)?

Also, I’m in the PNW, and ride in the slop fairly often. How well are the titans bearings sealed, and does it look like the frame/pivots would accumulate a lot of mud?

Thanks again :).
 

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Dig your reviews Blatant and wow are you skinnier than I pictured
Question, have you owned bikes with industry short chain stays that you've liked?

Sent from my moto g(6) forge using Tapatalk
 

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No Clue Crew
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Discussion Starter #14
I chose the Titan because I've really liked all my previous Banshee bikes and wanted to see how the new suspension system compared. I have no input on bearing or seal shielding as I don't ride in the wet.

I'm running the short drops.

Interesting questions about short stays. I certainly have owned hardtails with short stays that I really liked (N9, Stache). Now that you ask, I guess most of the suspension bikes I've liked the most have had average stays or longer; exception would be the Enduro, which I've always been a fan of and works really well in this environment.
 

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For info, I have a large frame and I have fitted a 170mm travel AXS dropper. Full insertion leaves approx 20mm from seat post clamp to the bottom of the dropper collar which means it just works for me with 170mm cranks with my shoes on (I'm 185cm tall).
AXS Dropper.jpg
 

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For info, I have a large frame and I have fitted a 170mm travel AXS dropper. Full insertion leaves approx 20mm from seat post clamp to the bottom of the dropper collar which means it just works for me with 170mm cranks with my shoes on (I'm 185cm tall).
View attachment 1313149
I'm about the same height and will have no problem with running a 170mm One Up, was just really hoping to run a full 210 and now hoping for 200mm. The issue is the insertion length on the frame. Longer drop = more post inside the frame. I think I might have a chance of running 200mm, certainly can do 190mm which would be pretty cool. 170mm is probably plenty but for jumping and really moving the bike around more drop is better.

Also I think that the steeper a seat tube is the more drop is needed as the seat is more central and more in the way.
 

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I’m kind of surprised at the relatively conservative reach numbers on the titan. I’m currently on a size large with 475mm reach, and a 50mm stem, and have been wanting to try something with a bit more reach to see how that feels.
You are at a height where you could go XL, pretty much comes down to priorities. Personally I've come to prize a balanced bike, a bike where front center and rear center lengths are more balanced and that right there is the draw of the L Titan for me. Very good balance on paper. RAAW Madonna V2 looks awesome and I would have highly considered one but they were sold out by the time I was ready.
 

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do you miss the ripmo at all ? only asking as i'm trying to get a demo on one (the ripmo af) to possibly buy. also the banshee primes on me list
 

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You are at a height where you could go XL, pretty much comes down to priorities. Personally I've come to prize a balanced bike, a bike where front center and rear center lengths are more balanced and that right there is the draw of the L Titan for me. Very good balance on paper. RAAW Madonna V2 looks awesome and I would have highly considered one but they were sold out by the time I was ready.
Thanks for the response.

I do tend to be in that middle ground between L and XL. But I would assume most people feel "in the middle" like this. Its just with smaller brands like this, its harder to get a bike to sit on/demo in person, so I try to get as much out of reviews like this as I can :).

I'm currently on a Kona Process 153 29'er (2018). It was my first real mountain bike, and I got a great deal on it, but didn't really get a test ride on it before buying. So I bought it without knowing exactly how the bike rode, with the intention to use it as a platform to figure out what my preferences really were (as I didn't really have any yet, and had only ridden ~10yr old XC hardtails, so I had no real geo experience to base my decisions on).

In the past 2 years, the plan has worked. I've found that I struggle with the super short rear end of the Process (425mm chainstays for the 29'er), and am looking for my next bike to be more balanced. This means that I'm looking at bikes like the Titan, Madonna V2, Norco Sight, etc. Bikes that have a much longer rear end, or vary it by frame size/etc.

The Titan looks good, and as you mentioned, it is available, which is a major plus. But, I'm not in any hurry to buy at the moment, and I'm a smidge worried about the long(er) seattube and dropper length (especially if I went for a size XL). And, with the frame being more intricate/etc, I'm curious how it handles wet weather rides.

I know Pinkbike has a Titan in for review at the moment, so I figure if its a problem (wet weather), they'll bring it up, as we've had an incredibly wet start to our year out here.

The Ripmo AF is on my radar as well. But, its comparatively short chainstays have me a bit worried. I should be able to demo that one this year though, so that should help.
 

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No Clue Crew
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Discussion Starter #20
do you miss the ripmo at all ? only asking as i'm trying to get a demo on one (the ripmo af) to possibly buy. also the banshee primes on me list
I don't miss the Ripmo. Which is not a knock on that bike at all. I loved it so much I owned two of them (one early in release, sold, missed, bought another). Prior to the Titan, I argued it was the best all-arounder I'd owned.

For some riders, depending on where you are and what you're looking for, the Ripmo may still be the better choice. For me, the Titan is a no-brainer.
 
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