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  1. #1
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    Motolite Font-End Feel

    I mean "Front" End Feel.

    I think I am grasping all the ride characteristics of the ML but the froint-end feel is one I am still unsure about.

    So with a 130mm fork, what is the head-tube angle for the Motolite? What fork are you guys mostly running? I've talked to two guys who say that with 130mm fork, the HT angle is closer to 70.5 or even 71. That seems very XC-ish to me (especially given the high BB height) but I don't know if that is accurate. However the Titus website claims 69.5 degree but gives no Axle-to-Crown height for that angle so I can't use a specific fork for reference.

    I'm not here to bait or troll or whatever people call it and actually would like to try out this frame. I'm trying to get a better idea about the front-end feel (without riding one). My Flux is XC-ish enough (70 degree HT Angle) and I love the feel. The 575 I had was slacker than the Flux and I'm still trying to mentally place the ML. I definitely don't want a bike even quicker-turning that the Flux. It would exceed my focus/turning abilities to the point where I would smack into a tree or slide into a dropoff and then into a deep creek. Well, either that or fly over the bars with simialr results. There isn't much room for error on my current favorite trail.

    I'm thinking about buying another frame but since I have already owned the 575, the ML may be a great option (I love trying out high-end frames). My only worry (at this point) is if it feels overly twitchy given the high BB and potentially steep HT angle. Any input would be much appreciated. I was set on getting another 575 as a long-termer but after hearing you guys compare the two, I would at least like to try the ML for a few months and then decide to either keep it or go back to the 575 as my long termer.

    Last question- at 6 ft tall, would a Medium or a Large be a better bet? I'm thinking that with a Medium and a 110mm or 120 mm stem, I could probably control the front end better than a Large with a 90mm or 100mm stem.

    Sorry for the million questions but bikes intrigue me and I love trying out new frames and some of you guys have raised my level of interest in the ML.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyer
    I mean "Front" End Feel.

    I think I am grasping all the ride characteristics of the ML but the froint-end feel is one I am still unsure about.

    So with a 130mm fork, what is the head-tube angle for the Motolite? What fork are you guys mostly running? I've talked to two guys who say that with 130mm fork, the HT angle is closer to 70.5 or even 71. That seems very XC-ish to me (especially given the high BB height) but I don't know if that is accurate. However the Titus website claims 69.5 degree but gives no Axle-to-Crown height for that angle so I can't use a specific fork for reference.

    I'm not here to bait or troll or whatever people call it and actually would like to try out this frame. I'm trying to get a better idea about the front-end feel (without riding one). My Flux is XC-ish enough (70 degree HT Angle) and I love the feel. The 575 I had was slacker than the Flux and I'm still trying to mentally place the ML. I definitely don't want a bike even quicker-turning that the Flux. It would exceed my focus/turning abilities to the point where I would smack into a tree or slide into a dropoff and then into a deep creek. Well, either that or fly over the bars with simialr results. There isn't much room for error on my current favorite trail.

    I'm thinking about buying another frame but since I have already owned the 575, the ML may be a great option (I love trying out high-end frames). My only worry (at this point) is if it feels overly twitchy given the high BB and potentially steep HT angle. Any input would be much appreciated. I was set on getting another 575 as a long-termer but after hearing you guys compare the two, I would at least like to try the ML for a few months and then decide to either keep it or go back to the 575 as my long termer.

    Last question- at 6 ft tall, would a Medium or a Large be a better bet? I'm thinking that with a Medium and a 110mm or 120 mm stem, I could probably control the front end better than a Large with a 90mm or 100mm stem.

    Sorry for the million questions but bikes intrigue me and I love trying out new frames and some of you guys have raised my level of interest in the ML.

    Don't quote me, Bro... but Titus is "married" with Fox forks, so I would expect the A2C's used by Titus to be those of Fox forks (505mm for 130mm, 475 for 100m).

    As for the angles... the ones published by Titus are spot on. The chart for 130mm did not existed a few months ago. Titus then published the 130mm chart as reponse from this forum's request.

    Maybe those guys you mention are a bit confused by the fact that switching from 4" to 5" at the rear does not affect the geometry of the FRAME. However, changing the fork or alter its A2C, will affect geometry.
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  3. #3
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    I would almost guarantee Titus used a Fox 130mm in their measurements. That would put tha a-c around the 500mm-505mm range. With the 130mm, the MotoLite is very comparable to other 5" bikes as far as HTA but does have a fairly slack STA. I think the only ones complaining are those slackers out West. Put a 140mm (Pike or new 07 Fox) or even a 150mm on it like FM if you wish to persue slack. I think the Moto's XC feel comes form the shorter wheelbase compared to a 5 Spot making the ML more manueverable. The bb didn't feel high to me, seemed about right.

    On the size thing, that's a touchy subject. I'm the same 6 ft. I would say go medium only if you want a more flickable bike for tight singletrack (but you already have a Flux). It's rideable but a bit tight for my taste. I would recommend the Large with a 90mm-110mm stem. My only knock is the Large has a XL 5.5" headtube that makes the bike ride tall. On my demo (110mm stem/low riser), I had the stem on top of the headset with no spacers and would have liked it to be a bit lower. Again, Left Coast DH oriented riders may prefer a more upright position.

    I would have to say, the Flux should be a fairly capable machine in the general XC/light trail use category. If you really want something truely different, maybe jump into the 6" group and wait for the Buck 60/El Guapo.

    But the best thing to do is find a demo somewhere and decide for yourself.
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  4. #4
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    I haven't measured the head angle (I have a RS Revelation, A-C 507mm @ 130mm travel, pretty much identical to the '06 Talas), but I assume that the numbers published by Titus are correct, listing the HA as 69.25 degrees. Compared to the 575 at 69 degrees, this isn't much of a difference. Now that I've got the fork dialled in, I'd describe the ML as a very stable ride, excellent in the steeps and no signs of twitchiness. I was coming off a 3/3" XC bike, and the ML doesn't feel anything like it: way more trustworthy in technical conditions.

    Overall, I'd say their steering characteristics are very similar, but their "manners" as it relates to body position are distinct, and I suspect it has to do with differences in their seat tube configuration. I demo'd the 575 (built w/a Talas), and it was noticable how much further forward over the pedals I felt my position was on the Titus. I ride a lot of tight & technical singletrack, and felt the ML was better suited for this terrain, very in control and tracking very precisely. Although it was a really sweet bike, the Yeti made me feel kind of passive, like I was just along for the ride. If I rode a lot of long rocky, steep descents (like they have in Colorado), maybe I would have been inclined to go for the 575.

    FYI, I'm about the same height, went for a large ML, 110mm stem, no layback seatpost. Feels perfect!

    I'm curious to know why you're thinking of switching, though. They are pretty similar bikes...

  5. #5
    "Its All Good"
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    Well my blonde take on it. I have mine set at 140mm on the Pike 454. Am loving it, have gotten used to climbing with the HA quite slack so to speak. I feel it handles like a dream pointed down and in tight techy single track. I am very much used to a high BB, having come off an Id, so I am a little biased I guess, I love a high BB. Hence why I never went for a 5 Spot, amongst other reasons. Handled great, but dont like the low BB.

    I have not tried a whole ride witht he Pike set at 130mm, Duly for a start would hunt me down and slay me..... LOL It could well be worth a try.... For me the ML doesnt feel like an XC rig, when I used to race the Id, I would lower the fork etc, even the few times in the past I lowered the fork on the ML, it still felt a little slack, which hey I like.

    But maybe splash out and take Competitive Cyclist on and get a demo. Man alive if I lived in the US of A, I would be doing this, would be a blast, and would ensure you found the ride of choice.

    I am 6.3 and have a large, and it is quite big ish, I would really study that one up, you are on the cusp really...........

    Best of luck, if no ML, well a white 575 with the carbon stay is a bit of sex on toast..
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  6. #6
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    Answers to ??... there aren't right and wrong ones.

    At 130mm front travel and depending on fork HTA = 68-69 degrees. 69.5 with a Fox fork. I feel that the ML wanders too much set at 130 mm while climbing steep technical trails and constent corrections are required. This behavior seems to go away at around 120 mm = 70 degress HTA. I know it doesn't sound like a lot, but that 10 mm of travel make the bike feel very different. I like my ML set at 120 mm for set and forget riding.

    The ML will not be as twitchy as your flux with 130 mm up front, but set at 100 mm then yes. ML = Two very different bikes.

    BB height is appropriate for the travel. It will "feel" tall at first, but that soon becomes natural and you will not notice it.

    Get the Medium if you desire a quicker handling bike for slower, twisty trails. Get the Large frame if you desire to let it run straight and fast. You got it; 110-120 mm stem for Medium; 90-100mm stem for large. BTW, I don't recommend a set-back seatpost on either frame since this effectively slackens the STA and shortens the chainstays. If you need a set-back seatpost on the Medium to get the fit right then I'd say the large would be best.

    Comparing the 575 to the ML. The ML leans more to XC side of the trail bike spectrum than the 575. IMO, the ML climbs better (better acceleration and better braking) while the 575 descends more confidently. This was my experience with the 575. Both are great bikes... just choose wisely.

    Regards,

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  7. #7
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    Thanks for all these responses and insights. I am not switching from a 575. I sold my 575 and since I liked it a lot, I was thinking of buying one again (I know..I know- silly me). However, since I have heard so many good things about the ML, I would love to try one and see if it is a great fit for me. I can always go back to the tired and true 575 and get great deals on them anytime so why not try something else that comes up a lot when discussing the 575.

    I like having multiple bikes and 3.5"-5" is the proper range for me as far as travel goes. If I start doing really gnarly downhill stuff, I'll step up to a heavier-duty bike as well. I just like bikes that can rail Singletrack, weigh under 30 lbs (preferably 26-28) and hold their own in rocky sections. The 575 rides like a 5" travel bike and is only 5.75 lbs so it's the other choice. I don't have to get another bike right now but it sure would be fun. I love doing comparisons for my own enjoyment and making mental notes when I ride specific sections of the trail.

    Please keep any comments coming, especially regarding sizing. I'll look into Competitive Cyclist as well. I don't want to feel cramped up for sure. The Flux is size large and feels good but I don't have to replicate the size exactly. At the same time, I don't want to feel cramped. This may call for another trip to Colorado and a visit to the local Titus dealer there. Oh wait, Competitive Cyclist may be much closer. I'll check for the closest stocking dealer who has both sizes built up.

  8. #8
    FM
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    Buying a bike based off geometry charts is like buying jeans or shoes based off your measurements- it'll get you close but there's bound to be some surprises. Wheelbase, STA, BB height, chainstay length and suspension feel can all make a bike feel much steeper or slacker than the head angle would suggest.

    I really did a ton of homework before buying my Motolite, yet I still was surprised by the geometry a bit. The fit was perfect as I expected based off the charts. I found the handling to be quicker and steeper than I expected- certainly steeper than a 5-spot for instance. I'm now running a marzocchi AM SL fork at 140mm which slackens the angles out nicely; it's also raised my bottom bracket to over 14". Keep in mind we really don't ride much smooth XC here and definately prefer slacker angles.

    The motolite is really the best climbing FS bike I have owned- better than my old switchblade or SC superlights, both of which were lighter. This has more to do with suspension feel and stiffness than geometry. I prefer the slacker angles which i am getting from the longer fork; raising the BB is actually nice too for rocky tech trails. The slacked out motolite did great up in whistler's XC trails.

    I only wish I had some sort of travel adjust to drop the front end for long climbs. The marzocchi Am-1 or Pike would be killer imho.

    Last thought on the tired old motolite vs. 575 debate; the motolite is a lot much stiffer. I liked the yeti a lot, but the motolite's stiffness really appealed to me. This is a great bike if you like to climb & pedal out of the saddle, it doesn't bob or flex. It's stiffer than most hardtails I've owned.

  9. #9
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    I used to think that the MotoLite was more biased toward the XC spectrum of mountain biking and that's actually what prompted me to buy it. At the time, I was all about having a trail bike I could race. A year and half later, two broken arms (actually one was technically a type two dislocation) and still no races I've come to realize that the ML is the consummate trail bike with the only bias being owed to the way it's built. Thanks goes to FM for showing us what that ML is capable of becoming.

    Maybe someday I'll sign up for another race assuming I can stay healthy for more than three months. And, I'll finally get to use that nifty 4" travel mode that sounded like such a good idea 18 months ago...

    With my recent Pike 454 purchase I can get the head angle down to 68.5 degrees, or up 70 degrees using the U-Turn. I've been keeping the travel adjusted to 127mm, which gives me a axle to crown of 505mm. This puts the head angle at 69 degrees and the seat tube angle at 71.5. The STA is a bit slack for a trail bike, but the difference between that and the stated values on the 575 and the ML are only .25 degrees, or a 3mm effective difference at the saddle. Most bikes with steeper seat tube angles seem to come standard with set back posts, which effectively slackens the STA. I tend to agree with Enduser regarding the use of a set-back on the ML (sorry Whafe).

    To me the biggest difference between the two bike besides the travel is the bottom bracket height. The BB height on the ML is much higher than most other 5" trail bikes. With similar fork heights (500mm a-c) the ML is .43 inches higher than the 5*, and while only .18 inches taller than the 575, after you factor in 25% sag it's .37 inches, which is a lot. As I said before, I think that's why a couple people thought the ML didn't feel so great climbing. The higher BB is trickier to maneuver at first. But, as somebody mentioned, it doesn't take long before it seems completely natural. And, actually becomes a benefit due to the extra clearance.

    I decided that when I go visit an old riding buddy in Colorado in October, I'm going to rent a 575 and give it a spin.
    Last edited by dulyebr; 08-07-2006 at 06:29 PM.

  10. #10
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    The 5 Spot is certainly a great bike but since I already have a Flux, I have not considered it seriously. Also, since the 575 is less than 6 lbs, (carbon) it appeals to me a lot. Climbing is a fun part of riding for me and one I judge most bikes by. I believe the ML is pretty light as well but I'm not sure exactly how much a medium weighs.

    My 575 was a medium and its TT may actually be a bit longer than the ML TT. That's why I was initially looking at a large and am still somewhat unsure. The bad thing is the significantly taller headtube on the large sizes but I suppose a flat bar (carbon oversize) would help with that. I have longish arms and that is probably what brings me right to the cusp of the two sizes. My height is actually 5'11" (I may have shrunk or my arches have flattened or both).

    The decision is killing me- not only do I have to be 100% on the bike but 100% on the size and 100% on the color (only on the Yeti since I'm now torn between white and Team Turquoise). I have so much to figure out since I can only afford one frame

    The price diff is practically non-existent. The carbon Yeti is almost the same price for me as a ML- maybe $20 or $30 different at most.

  11. #11
    "Its All Good"
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    Quote Originally Posted by dulyebr
    I tend to agree with Enduser regarding the use of a set-back on the ML (sorry Whafe).
    Duly, no issue or disagreement from me. I have an odd body shape and length, this makes it perfect for me with the layback. Also, I had this seatpost, slack I know but it is what it is. One day I should try a non lay back.
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  12. #12
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    Wher did all this talk about a high BB come from latly. I've ridden, and owned bikes with a "too" tall BB, and I can assure you that you wiil feel firmly planted "in" the ML.

    Does the ML have a higher BB than a 5 Spot... sure, is it too high... not even.

    The great thing about the ML is it can be made steeper or slaker depending on rider prefrenc. Billy Goat Gruff on the climbs/singltrack assasin. Burly-ish trail/AM lite FR.... Lite being relative. "Cough FM!!!"...

  13. #13
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackagness
    Wher did all this talk about a high BB come from latly. I've ridden, and owned bikes with a "too" tall BB, and I can assure you that you wiil feel firmly planted "in" the ML. ...
    I am probably responsible for that

    It isn't really high though- 13.75 they claim I think? Thats 1/4" taller than a 5-spot, and many people complain that the 5-spot's is too low!

    But thats with a fox 130 fork. My 140mm AM SL is probably 30mm taller, that raises my BB to over 14". I really like it for rough descents- I even smacked by pedals a few times in whistler rock gardens.

    I think it all goes to show how much fork a2c length affects BB height. I kinda think adjustable travel forks are the future as they allow us to tune our angles and BB height for the conditions at hand....

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    I am probably responsible for that

    It isn't really high though- 13.75 they claim I think? Thats 1/4" taller than a 5-spot, and many people complain that the 5-spot's is too low!

    But thats with a fox 130 fork. My 140mm AM SL is probably 30mm taller, that raises my BB to over 14". I really like it for rough descents- I even smacked by pedals a few times in whistler rock gardens.

    I think it all goes to show how much fork a2c length affects BB height. I kinda think adjustable travel forks are the future as they allow us to tune our angles and BB height for the conditions at hand....
    You want a high BB, ride an Ellsworth Id, you will then know what high is.......
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  15. #15
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    I just got my ML last week and I'm riding it with an AM1 set to 130mm right now. I don't know the actual geometry numbers but I can tell you the bike feels great. I come from riding a Quasi-moto w/the AM1 set at 150mm so I'm used to a high BB and a very slack setup. The ML certainly has quicker steering but I wouldn't put inline with a XC bike. I plan on bringing it up to 140mm just to see how it rides but I'm really not missing the 150mm that I was running on the Quasi. The fork is also a ton stiffer at 130mm so I may just leave it. If you're looking for slack with some adjustability then an AM1 is probably your best bet for this bike. The ETA doesn't hurt either.

    As far as this bike as a trailbike goes I can tell you it rocks. I took it on some nasty trails yesterday. I was doing 4-5' drops, steep rollers, steep slickrock climbs, baby head downhills, etc... and not once was I wishing for my Quasi. I probably rode it too hard as I got 3 flats in an hour. My fault, not the bikes I can tell you for sure that it does not feel twitchy at all. It really does feel spot on.

  16. #16
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    Any idea what the Medium and Large frames weigh?

  17. #17
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    Here's my two cent/pence on the subject:

    I've just bought a Motolite to replace my S-Works Enduro. My criteria for a new frame was for it to have improved stiffness and slacker angles. When I first sat on the ML demo bike (fitted with Pikes set @ 130mm travel) the head angel felt noticably slacker and I really noticed it on steep downhill sections.

    Since I bought one, I've been running my pikes @ 140mm travel most of the time and I think the head angle is perfect for all round trail riding. I've just got back from riding in Wales and I there are a few long, steep in sections, climbs and I left it in 140mm mode throughout. I did notice that on one of the later climbs, when I was more tired and lacked concentration, the front end did wander a bit so I wound it down to 130mm and it was great: That's the point of forks with adjustable travel isn't it?

    By the way, I have measure the bottom bracket height and it measures 13.5 inches to the underside of the BB.

    Conclusion: The Titus website specs are spot on and the ML is a great bike.

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