Pumped-up XC race bikes like the Specialized Epic Evo, Scott Spark and Trek Top Fuel are growing in popularity across South Africa. Demand in this segment is essentially fueled by three key benefits: speed, safety
and versatility. Whether you are a top contender in your race category or a weekend warrior, the enhanced capability and benefits of these bikes is undeniable.
The 2019 Cape Epic was won on a 110mm travel (front and rear) bike and according to Nino Schurter’s mechanic, the only reason he never used a 120mm fork was he hadn’t yet figured out a way to get the stack height (bars) low enough. Nino felt the longer travel bike allowed him to charge the trails harder, faster and with less consequence when things got wild and rowdy. Now, with most brands, the difference in frame and fork weight between a 100mm and a 120mm XC
If you are not a professional with access to a quiver of race bikes for any given weekend, then success in finding the right bike for your racing and riding boils down to understanding exactly what your racing goals are and where your current skill level is. The question you must ask yourself is: What bike will YOU be faster on? That could be a 100mm front and rear bike, a 120mm front and rear bike or a hybrid of that which would be a 120mm front and 100mm rear. Ode to capitalism and a free-market economy, as consumers we are indeed spoilt for choice in South Africa. The latest offering from Titan Racing, the
INTENDED USE The
BUILD KIT A 125mm Manic dropper post is the big enabler on the Cyper Pro Carbon race bike. A Rockshox SID Select fork in 51mm offset and a Rockshox Deluxe Ultimate rear shock take care of damping while the Onelock Full Sprint remote suspension lockout system ensures efficiency under power. The drivetrain is an all SRAM GX affair, in the 12-speed Eagle iteration. The cockpit has a Promax stem and 760mm carbon riser handlebar with SRAM Level TL brakes. The carbon wheelset from TR is 28 hole with 25mm inner diameter and they have 2.35 Vittoria Barzo tyres. The saddle is a Fizik Taiga.
STANDOUT FEATURES As with the Cyper RS 100mm bike, the Cyper Pro Carbon has slightly larger reach numbers across the size curves. These longer reach numbers couple with marginally shorter stems produce a more dynamic and controlled feeling on the mountain. The flip-chip incorporated into the linkage system allows riders to customize their BB height and head angle. The three bigger frame sizes have sufficient space for two water bottles inside the main frame and the small frame size takes one water bottle.
SET UP Running around 20% sag I ran the fork at 105psi and the rear shock at 180psi. Fork rebound at 5 clicks from closed and the shock rebound at 7 clicks from closed.
RIDE FEEL There is no need to ride the B-lines on an XC or marathon race track anymore as the Cypher Pro is one badass race bike. The bike descends with the same feel of a short travel trail bike. It is calm and composed. There is a distinct lack of sketchiness when catching air and popping up over obstacles. The 180mm front brake rotor is a nice touch as it pumps up the modulation and brute stopping power. The bigger volume
The carbon wheelset stood up to some pretty rowdy trails and are the kind of wheelset that a racer wants: stiff and fast! There is nothing soft or compliant about these race wheels and certainly no feel of energy loss. I found the bike sits into the travel a little which aids cornering. The bike is anything but nervous in the turns, in
The bike climbs beautifully and whilst not as fast as the top-spec and lighter wheeled 100mm
The chief designer at Titan Racing, Cliff Beckett, tells me particular attention was paid to the design, carbon layups and manufacturing process to yield a bike that is laterally stiff and responsive under power. That stiffness also translates into an ability to hold lines and generally track the terrain better. All in all the ride feel can be summed up as a blend of race bike speed with a touch of light trail bike versatility.
AGAINST THE CLOCK With a dropper post and wallet-friendly build kit the
HOW DID THE BUILD KIT PERFORM The 2.35 Vittoria Barzo
SUMMARY The bike is incredibly capable as a race bike. I highly recommend it to newbies or weekend warriors and the real bonus about this 120mm race bike is the versatility it offers. Already incredibly capable across a broad spectrum of riding terrain it also affords you the opportunity to dress up or dress down. Add some faster rolling
| IMAGES Gary Perkin |