RockyMt. ETSX vs Titus Motolite- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SteveF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,219

    RockyMt. ETSX vs Titus Motolite

    I'm thinking about a bike to replace my Ellsworth Truth. I'm looking to spend a bit less money-around $2,500 complete give or take, and I would like to try some new (to me) stuff, in particular disc brakes and longer travel. But I'm mostly a long ride, cross country guy, rolling single track in Michigan, and I don't want to muscle some slack-angled monster through the twisties, so I'm looking for something cross country-oriented. I'd also like something that I could take the occasional trip with to areas with real mountains or other challenges and not have the bike feel overwhelmed. And finally, I like owning bikes that are a little uncommon (no trek or specialized, not that there's anything wrong with them--just personal preference) and preferably U.S./Canadian made, though at that price, I know my options are limited.

    I like bikes that you feel you sit in rather than on (not top heavy) and that handle pretty neutrally, not to skittish but not sluggish, either. One that'll carve when you get in the groove, and not jump into trees when your worn out and just trying to get back to the trailhead in one piece!

    More about me--44years old, 150 pounds, not a racer, like long rambling rides and reasonable technical challenges. I like fast rolling terrain, but also enjoy tight, twisty singletrack. I like to climb and descend about equally. In other words, guess I'm just a mountain biker!

    I've narrowed the search to these two choices: Titus Motolite and Rocky Mountain ETSX 30 or 50. (depending on how much I end up with to spend) I'm open to other suggestions, but would appreciate opinions about these two bikes in particular, especially from folks that might've ridden both in conditions similar to the ones I ride. These bikes both have adjustable travel from 4ish to 5ish, which might be fun to play with on various trails, especially with an adjustable fork to match. Versatile! I like the looks of the Titus a lot but the Rocky Mountain's not bad either, and seems more cross country oriented, maybe? (dunno-I'm asking) The geometry of the Titus suits me a little better at least on paper--standover is lower (I'd ride the 16.5" in either bike) and the cockpit of the Rocky Mountain seems to run a bit short relative to size.

    I'm fortunate that a dealer near me sells both brands, though he doesn't have the Titus in stock yet. Unfortunately, it's a dealer that's not REAL near me so I can't casually pop in to check them out or to get service down the road. Once he gets a Titus in I'm going to go over and compare them in person. In the meantime any input here'd be much appreciated!

    Steve

  2. #2
    Live Free and Ride
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    72
    I don't know much abut either brand though both have decent reputations. My best suggestion is to go ride them both, maybe even on a trail or something and see which one feels best. That'll go a long way to helping you decide. In the end it's got to be about how it feels to you.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SteveF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,219
    Yep, that's definitely going to help, once we get decent weather again. I was just looking at the ratings and I should probably add the Turner 5-spot and Blur (XC or LT?) to the list...

  4. #4
    Hueston Woods Trail Crew
    Reputation: Bikerbob.com's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,841

    Details

    Assuming both frames are as capable as the reviews suggest, and perfect for your ridng style as you described, then other factors come into play.

    You have to like the looks of the bike, or how it will look when you've done some personalization. The Rocky has a unique, but strong red/white paint scheme. As long as you like red or white accents with a pewter fork, you're fine. The Motolite comes in solid powdercoated or ano finishes. Copper, black, silver, green, or ti.

    Price is a big factor.Motolite Complete $2495, ETSX-30 $2999. $500 can buy lots of upgrades (or beer). Of course they both have more expensive versions.

    Weight of frame and total weight should be considered. And the cost of upgrades to get weight where you want it. The Titus is easier to customize from the frame up. Titus ships them to dealers almost totally unassembled ready to add anything the customer wants.
    So you don't have to buy the complete bike (with Smarty pedals?) as is the case with the Rocky Mountains.

    Standard components. Titus-Fox RP23, Fox Talas, SRAM X7 X7 LX, Avid, FSA or Truvativ, Maxm, Crosside, Kenda Nevegal DTC
    Rocky Mountain-Fox RP23, Fox Talas, Shimano XT LX LX, Formula, RaceFace Evolve, Crossride, IRC Mibro.
    You can make a case for or against each component choice. SRAM wins for me. RF Evolve cranks-skeptical.

    Dealer service, factory warranty, reputation. Both good, assuming the same quality dealer. If he sells these two bikes, that's a good sign.

    Other than appearance, you could build up these bikes with identical components, ride them blindfolded (not a great idea), and have a failry similar experience.

    I tend toward the smaller highend companies, like Titus, Ventana, Moots, Turner. Not that Rocky is that big, but they start out at a much lower price point to reach the broader market.
    Exclusivity counts for something (as I sip on my Courvoisier and ponder a custom ti Motolite for myself!).

  5. #5
    Live Free and Ride
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    72

    Ahh Turner

    Now there are some seriously awesome bikes. I wish I had the money. If money were no option I'd go with a Turner or Intense (although Intense are pretty much everywhere here in SoCal). To me, a Turner is the cornerstone of bikes and would announce to the world that I have arrived. Alas I doubt I'll ever have the kind of money it takes to buy one of those...heck even a Nomad is out of my price range at $4000!

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    6,207
    SteveF

    The motolite would serve you well. It is very versatile. One of the key features is it's laterally stiffness and would only hazard a guess that it's much stiffer than an ETSX. I have not rode an ETSX but have 'pushed the rear end around' in a bike shop. At your weight it probably is a non-issue (I'm over 200 and it does make a difference).

    From what you describe the motolite fits your description perfectly. It is light, agile, loves singletrack, climbs with great traction efficiency and comfort. I would also assume the ETSX would be very similar.

    I would get the motolite. It's really a great transition to longer travel from your Truth. I assume you have also considered Ell's Epiphany as it's also excellent and very similar to the motolite. The motolite has proved it's worth just go and read some of the mtbr reviews. Visit the Titus Forum and say hello.

    Either bike you choose sounds sensational. Good luck and congratulations about getting a new bike.


    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF
    I'm thinking about a bike to replace my Ellsworth Truth. I'm looking to spend a bit less money-around $2,500 complete give or take, and I would like to try some new (to me) stuff, in particular disc brakes and longer travel. But I'm mostly a long ride, cross country guy, rolling single track in Michigan, and I don't want to muscle some slack-angled monster through the twisties, so I'm looking for something cross country-oriented. I'd also like something that I could take the occasional trip with to areas with real mountains or other challenges and not have the bike feel overwhelmed. And finally, I like owning bikes that are a little uncommon (no trek or specialized, not that there's anything wrong with them--just personal preference) and preferably U.S./Canadian made, though at that price, I know my options are limited.

    I like bikes that you feel you sit in rather than on (not top heavy) and that handle pretty neutrally, not to skittish but not sluggish, either. One that'll carve when you get in the groove, and not jump into trees when your worn out and just trying to get back to the trailhead in one piece!

    More about me--44years old, 150 pounds, not a racer, like long rambling rides and reasonable technical challenges. I like fast rolling terrain, but also enjoy tight, twisty singletrack. I like to climb and descend about equally. In other words, guess I'm just a mountain biker!

    I've narrowed the search to these two choices: Titus Motolite and Rocky Mountain ETSX 30 or 50. (depending on how much I end up with to spend) I'm open to other suggestions, but would appreciate opinions about these two bikes in particular, especially from folks that might've ridden both in conditions similar to the ones I ride. These bikes both have adjustable travel from 4ish to 5ish, which might be fun to play with on various trails, especially with an adjustable fork to match. Versatile! I like the looks of the Titus a lot but the Rocky Mountain's not bad either, and seems more cross country oriented, maybe? (dunno-I'm asking) The geometry of the Titus suits me a little better at least on paper--standover is lower (I'd ride the 16.5" in either bike) and the cockpit of the Rocky Mountain seems to run a bit short relative to size.

    I'm fortunate that a dealer near me sells both brands, though he doesn't have the Titus in stock yet. Unfortunately, it's a dealer that's not REAL near me so I can't casually pop in to check them out or to get service down the road. Once he gets a Titus in I'm going to go over and compare them in person. In the meantime any input here'd be much appreciated!

    Steve

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SteveF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,219
    Quote Originally Posted by All Mountain
    SteveF

    The motolite would serve you well. It is very versatile. One of the key features is it's laterally stiffness and would only hazard a guess that it's much stiffer than an ETSX. I have not rode an ETSX but have 'pushed the rear end around' in a bike shop. At your weight it probably is a non-issue (I'm over 200 and it does make a difference).

    From what you describe the motolite fits your description perfectly. It is light, agile, loves singletrack, climbs with great traction efficiency and comfort. I would also assume the ETSX would be very similar.

    I would get the motolite. It's really a great transition to longer travel from your Truth. I assume you have also considered Ell's Epiphany as it's also excellent and very similar to the motolite. The motolite has proved it's worth just go and read some of the mtbr reviews. Visit the Titus Forum and say hello.

    Either bike you choose sounds sensational. Good luck and congratulations about getting a new bike.

    Thanks, AM--I keep finding other bikes to consider but keep coming back to the Motolite. The BMC TrailFox looks interesting, but I don't care for integrated headsets, especially on a mtb! The Santa Cruz Blur (XC or LT, either one) look really nice and my favorite, nearby bike shop carries them, but too many reviews mention high maintenance and squeak-prone rear pivots and I can't abide a noisy bike.

    I think I prefer platform shock technology combined with 4-bar design over Virtual pivots anyway. (just personal preference--they seem a simpler, less trouble-prone setup, and I've been riding Truths for 10 years so it's what I'm used to) And the Titus Horst link seems like a great design. The Epiphany's too much money this time around--I got decent deals on my two Truths and had different financial priorities back then--$2,500 for a complete bike's about all I can swing this time around.

    ...Though I did test ride a Blur LT recently and it was pretty nice! And I notice that most of the squeaky pivots in the reviews were from dry, sandy/dusty areas like the southwest, and I'm in Michigan. Hmmm...I think it's gonna boil down to either a Blur or a Motolite...

  8. #8
    Bike to the Bone...
    Reputation: rzozaya1969's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    8,286
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF
    Thanks, AM--I keep finding other bikes to consider but keep coming back to the Motolite. The BMC TrailFox looks interesting, but I don't care for integrated headsets, especially on a mtb! The Santa Cruz Blur (XC or LT, either one) look really nice and my favorite, nearby bike shop carries them, but too many reviews mention high maintenance and squeak-prone rear pivots and I can't abide a noisy bike.

    I think I prefer platform shock technology combined with 4-bar design over Virtual pivots anyway. (just personal preference--they seem a simpler, less trouble-prone setup, and I've been riding Truths for 10 years so it's what I'm used to) And the Titus Horst link seems like a great design. The Epiphany's too much money this time around--I got decent deals on my two Truths and had different financial priorities back then--$2,500 for a complete bike's about all I can swing this time around.

    ...Though I did test ride a Blur LT recently and it was pretty nice! And I notice that most of the squeaky pivots in the reviews were from dry, sandy/dusty areas like the southwest, and I'm in Michigan. Hmmm...I think it's gonna boil down to either a Blur or a Motolite...
    I have had a Moto Lite since sep 2005 and I find it's a great bike. Also, I have tried a Classic Blur (it might be completely different than a BLT), and while I liked it a lot, I somehow prefered the riding feeling of the ML.

    I think you're choosing great bikes, and probably you could just toss a coin and end up with a killer rig....

  9. #9
    Live Free and Ride
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    72

    Simple design...

    I love the single pivot bikes. I've tried a few of the more complex suspension stlyes and just keep coing back to the single pivot bikes which is why I'm such a loyal Santa Cruz rider. Simple, easy to maintain and I've had no noise or problems with either of my Cruz's.
    Of course if you want real simple and hassle free I suppose the HT's would be the real way to go. If those frames are squeeking you know you've got some issues.

  10. #10
    LBS Manager
    Reputation: Johnny Hair Boy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,918

    Etsx

    I have an ETSX 70 and the bike is great on tight technical trails it feels and rides alot lighter than it is. The rear suspension works realy well (no bob) and the bike looks great. That said the Moto lite is a kick ass bike too.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    6,207
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF
    Thanks, AM--I keep finding other bikes to consider but keep coming back to the Motolite. The BMC TrailFox looks interesting, but I don't care for integrated headsets, especially on a mtb! The Santa Cruz Blur (XC or LT, either one) look really nice and my favorite, nearby bike shop carries them, but too many reviews mention high maintenance and squeak-prone rear pivots and I can't abide a noisy bike.

    I think I prefer platform shock technology combined with 4-bar design over Virtual pivots anyway. (just personal preference--they seem a simpler, less trouble-prone setup, and I've been riding Truths for 10 years so it's what I'm used to) And the Titus Horst link seems like a great design. The Epiphany's too much money this time around--I got decent deals on my two Truths and had different financial priorities back then--$2,500 for a complete bike's about all I can swing this time around.

    ...Though I did test ride a Blur LT recently and it was pretty nice! And I notice that most of the squeaky pivots in the reviews were from dry, sandy/dusty areas like the southwest, and I'm in Michigan. Hmmm...I think it's gonna boil down to either a Blur or a Motolite...

    Steve !~!

    Yeah, there are so many nice bikes out there now. I wouldn't let 'potential squeaky' pivots deter you from the LT. It seems like a fantastic bike and a good match for you. You have certainly picked two bikes that will fit you nicely. The LT has slightly longer chains stays and shorter top tube than the motolite. The wheelbase on the motolite is a bit longer. For your budget, the basic motolite complete is a fantastic bargain. Spec is a bit low, but enough to but a smile on your face and upgrade as you can afford it. If your feeling a bit spendy look at the Custom Exogrid Motolite !~! Hopefully you can sort out what geometry fits you best between the LT and motolite. Either way your on to a winner

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    143
    I was between the same bikes as you, a blur LT and a motolite...Rode both and went with the blur, but I don't think you can go wrong with either. I have had no issues with squeeking on my blur, but I haven't ridden it so long that I would expect that to be a problem. With the RP3 in pro pedal the thing feels almost like a hardtail except when you stand up and hammer you may feel a slight bob, but not too much. You mention you do a lot of cross country riding though. I feel like a Blur is more of an AM bike than a cross country rig (which is why I am looking into a carbon hard tail for Xterra racing)...the motolite may be a little more slack perhaps? Not sure about that though. However, that being said, the blur is a sweet ride and I believe they have one slotted in the $2600 range now which will allow you to upgrade as you go along and not take you out of your price range at this point. As for the motolite, when I test rode it I thought it had great rear suspension, real stiff, which would make for a good cross country bike. Can't say much more than that, but they are both real nice bikes and I don't think you could go wrong with either.

  13. #13
    Veni Vidi Vici
    Reputation: barelylegal's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    995
    stevef, Ive been riding a motolite since last year, and still stoked... and AM had made a good description about it.... its an awesome bike

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SteveF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,219
    Appreciate all the help, fellas--the Motolite's looking pretty hard to beat! Assuming a test ride confirms it, I think it's the bike for me. The complete's a good deal, certainly rideable as is for a season, then if any need for upgrades has come to light, spend a bit o' cash next winter! The wheels (l'il heavy) and brakes (low end?) seems like good candidates right off the bat. Plus the color is great! B-)

    I'm still not sure I won't go with something a bit racier--similar to the Truth. The RacerX 100 or something. But I want to get in a good test ride on the Motolite and if it doesn't feel too heavy/slow, I think the extra travel will be useful and fun for at least some of the riding I do. And when it ain't, bust out the good ol' hardtail backup bike...

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.