YOU ASKED. WE BUILT. TITAN SONIC.
After endless requests, we are excited to announce the launch of our first full-susser, THE TITAN SONIC. It’s been a two-year journey, but the end result was worth the wait…
Whilst at first glance, it may resemble features seen before on full-sussers, the true beauty of the Sonic is in the Passion and Desire to build for the future. This encompasses geometry, material choice and most importantly reliability. As we see new trends emerging almost daily in the market, does this not mean we see changes in the terrain we choose to ride and essentially how we choose to ride it? Previously, full-sussers have been geared at one of two things; covering distance or bombing descents. While the Sonic aims at the true racer within, we acknowledge the changes in cross county/marathon racing and the technical challenges of these modern day courses. The Sonic is born; a bike where passion meets adventure.
Build a bike that is as good on the trails as it is racing cross country. We know the market and we knew the need. Building a dual sus that ticks all of the boxes for the South African rider is no small feat. From marathon races ranging hundreds of km’s, to switch backs and gruelling single-track descents, we needed to build a bike that could do it all. Aggressive enough to race, forgiving enough to the enthusiast and enjoyable enough for the trail junkie. The Sonic design is bordering on perfection and over the past few months we’ve been hitting the trails to bang out the flaws. All that we have found is a new reason to ride… or should we say shred?
While it’s hard to look past those pretty graphics and the shiny new paint, there is plenty R&D that went into the design of the Sonic. Visually, the straight lines and somewhat retro round tubes are immediately present. Two small gussets enhance strength and rigidity in pivotal points. This helps lower the top tube to offer a lower stand over height and create a more manageable ride, ensuring that the rider is in control at all times. The choice of narrow round tubes in the front triangle goes further than aesthetics, the circular shaped tubes help reduce weight as opposed to square tubing and the difference is noticeable. Looking back at the rear swing arm, a concept called RDS (Rear Dynamic Strength) was implemented. This consists of square tubing to enhance strength and reduce tube size in order to minimise vibrations. The RDS technology comes from their tested and proven line of hardtails and it works! The technology helps distribute power directly from the pedals to the wheels, in turn it reduces flex and unwanted strain on the bearings. The 100mm suspension is more than capable of soaking up the knocks, but the most satisfying feature is the combination of the rigid round tubed front triangle with top mounted rear shock. The combination feels stiff and balanced as it presents minimal bob and the set-up is just superlative. Heading forward, a tapered head tube offers a solid front end helping the transition of forces down into the fork. The head tube aids stiffness in the front end giving you more control and better handling. On closer inspection, all the welds around the head tube have been smoothed out giving the Sonic a clean and classy feel from the cockpit, but when you stand back and look at the bike from a distance, the raw welds are still exposed on the rear giving it that tough mechanical look playing into the shape of those round tubes. It’s a bold statement but we love it! A final note on the frame is the external frame routing, whilst it may be a little old school, the thought behind it was to enhance the ease of servicing and customisation. With external cable routing, converting to 1x does not leave any openings risking dirt getting inside of your frame. Built for the future.
Pull back the curtains a little further and look into the geometry of the Sonic and you’ll be pleased to find a combination of stability and manoeuvrability to suite many a riding situation. Our progressive forward thinking approach of designing this bike allows you to “skill-up-to” to unlock its full potential as your abilities increase. This leaves plenty of room for the novice with a somewhat forgiving nature when hooking a corner a little too fast as well as straight up performance for the eagerly skilled rider to really dominate the abilities of this bike.
Chain stay length was closely examined to manipulate the full potential from the design of the frame. The slightly longer length helps the bike feel more stable when descending and assists in keeping the front end down when tackling steep climbs. Furthermore, the added length aids stability at high speeds and is most noticeable when powering through rough terrain as it holds its line effortlessly. A relatively steep head angle was decided upon to help keep the front wheel planted firmly to the ground and the steering sharp and nimble. This shows the Sonic’s racing character that’s crafted into every inch of its tubes.
These days with the variation of wheel sizes and riding disciplines, wheel base plays a fundamental factor in the characteristics of a bike’s over all feel. The front centre measurements and sharp head angle bring the overall wheel base length down without compromising the stability, this is due to the added length in the rear chain stays. This results in a bike with a considerably shorter wheel base, presenting a ride that is not only more lively but performs better as it is more manoeuvrable. The Sonic feels right at home on the technical side. A sharply angled seat tube positions the rider further forward and directly over the bottom bracket aiding pedalling power as well as maximising traction on loose surfaces. Shifting the centre of gravity further forward helps with climbing and promotes corrected pedalling rhythm over longer distances.
The Sonic has a natural race feel, complimented by the shorter wheel base and nimble steering yet still finds the right balance to enjoy the fast technical descents.
The base model is treated to a full entry level Shimano groupset while the Pro is very modestly dressed in Shimano’s all new 2017 XT, featuring Shimano’s trickle down technology from its big brother XTR. The 2×11 drivetrain is packed with new technology and features which play host to the perfect combination on the Titan Sonic delivering snapping changes, big boy brakes and flawless looks. The combination looks tenacious together and is the preferred choice for the advanced rider.
No short cuts were taken where it matters most and the crucial points of contact were thought out for performance, comfort and control. Handle bars, stem and seat post are in house components from the TRC line up and feature added benefits from Titans own product and development line named TRC (Titan Racing Components). Components are tested in harsh conditions for durability, effectiveness and weight fragmentation. A process of a process of skimming weight in chosen areas to increase performance and aerodynamics whilst still being aesthetically pleasing. The handle bars are trail inspired at 720mm wide. This helps control the bike and get the most out of its agile abilities and enforcing a ride that inspires confidence. The saddle is a fine choice of slick black leather styling from the TRC line up.
Wheels and tyres
“Race Ready”, a term that Titan has boldly introduced to a number of its bikes this year after the success of the 2016 line up. This refers to having the bike prepped for racing straight from the factory, a noteworthy part of this process is Tubeless Ready Tyres which means you only need to add tape and sealant and you ready to go. The whole Sonic range is treated to this added benefit and the top models see the addition of Stans No Tubes Rapid rims.
It’s air all round! The rear suspension is in the form of a trusted Rock Shox, proven for its durability and uncanny performance. The shocks can be adjusted to suit the style of riding as well as the weight of the rider. An added benefit is the lockout, giving you the option of going rigid for racing performance and hill climbs, but when opened up it yields great trail capabilities and punches above its weight. The front fork is from SR Suntour on the base models and the higher models are found with 100mm Rock Shox air forks to soak up on the bumps and provide flawless performance along the course.
Looking down the line at the cycling industry as well as the South African market, the Sonic is aimed at a gap. Not trying to compete against other brands or bikes, it creates its own line and place to be ridden. Hoping to encourage a skilled-up-rider to enjoy the technical stuff as much as the long distances, the Sonic is fully capable of wearing both sets of tyres. The unique SA market will enjoy a bike designed exclusively for our style of riding. Grip it and Rip it, the Sonic is here!
The Titan Sonic will be available locally from the first week of November. Be sure to book a test ride at your local bike shop or dealer.
- Titan Sonic Pro R29 999.00
- Titan Sonic Elite R23 999.00
- Titan Sonic Expert R19 999.00
- Titan Sonic Trail R17 999.00
*Prices estimated at time of going to print.