Guitar Ted from 29er-specific mountainbike website twentynineinches.com has had a Titus Rockstar 29 on test for a couple of months now. Ted does things properly. He's spent a while tweaking some componentry stuff. Now he's got that dialled, he's been tweaking with the rear shock setup.
The rear shock on the Rockstar is a RockShox Monarch that offers a range of platform damping settings. Ted has been flicking his lever about. He's come up with some interesting findings...
"[With] 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"
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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."
You can read Ted's full mid-term report here. Stay tuned for his final review on the Titus Rockstar coming in a few weeks or so.
Check out our new Titus Rockstar 29er XT complete bike.
23 April 2012