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  1. #1
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    Titus Switchblade vs. Intense 5.5

    Yeah, so I have a Titus Switchblade, which is a great frame. I've had no problems, zero maintenance, and it's smooth. However, I'm getting that new toy itch.

    I've always liked Intense's with their great frames. They do have their design flaws though. I was thinking of the small 5.5 frame for the latest toy. Will I really notice a HUGE difference going to a VPP? I read the reviews which seem to all have bearing problems. I had the original Outland, and now that was a very high maintenance frame. Of course, that was in 1997.

    Any clearance issues with the small 5.5's. I remember on my small 2002 Uzzi, the tire would rub the seattube when in the lowest setting when the suspension was compressed, so that couldn't even be used. Then the front derailer would contact the chainstay on full compression, so I had to position it way high, which would affect shifting. Some very poor design flaws on a $1800 frame??? Then my 1999 M1. I had to file out the seattube due to poor quality control after welding. I couldn't get the seatpost in.

    Anyone ridden both for comparisons?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by myitch
    Yeah, so I have a Titus Switchblade, which is a great frame. I've had no problems, zero maintenance, and it's smooth. However, I'm getting that new toy itch.

    I've always liked Intense's with their great frames. They do have their design flaws though. I was thinking of the small 5.5 frame for the latest toy. Will I really notice a HUGE difference going to a VPP? I read the reviews which seem to all have bearing problems. I had the original Outland, and now that was a very high maintenance frame. Of course, that was in 1997.

    Any clearance issues with the small 5.5's. I remember on my small 2002 Uzzi, the tire would rub the seattube when in the lowest setting when the suspension was compressed, so that couldn't even be used. Then the front derailer would contact the chainstay on full compression, so I had to position it way high, which would affect shifting. Some very poor design flaws on a $1800 frame??? Then my 1999 M1. I had to file out the seattube due to poor quality control after welding. I couldn't get the seatpost in.

    Anyone ridden both for comparisons?



    I'm also thinking about the 5.5 and i believe the only "design Flaw" if you could call it that...... I have heard about is the DT clearance using a fox fork with talas adjustment knob. I think the 2005 intense frames are about as good as you can get or at least in rare company. I'm trying to decide between intense and titus for my new trail bike. I've always wanted the SM but it may be too heavy and if I went beefy I might consider the Uzzi VPX which is gorgeous.

  3. #3
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    OK, I need some help with the acronyms. Whats DT and SM? Are there any differences between the '05 and '04 5.5's? I don't think so, but please correct me if so.

    The other thing is the 5.5 is heavier also. I'm not sure if I'm ready to plug more wgt on the climbs, even if the downhills are more fun than the Titus...IF the Intense is necessarily better with the VPP.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by myitch
    OK, I need some help with the acronyms. Whats DT and SM? Are there any differences between the '05 and '04 5.5's? I don't think so, but please correct me if so.

    The other thing is the 5.5 is heavier also. I'm not sure if I'm ready to plug more wgt on the climbs, even if the downhills are more fun than the Titus...IF the Intense is necessarily better with the VPP.
    I have a couple of hours on my new small Blur LT and I have to say.. VPP absolutley works. The thing literally climbs like a billygoat and is so plush going down it is night and day from previous FSR XC. I don't think you can go wrong between the Intense 5.5 or the Blur LT... My small is about 26 pounds w/ 06 Float 130RLC, Mavic 717s, King ISO Hubs, XO/X9, carbon bars and post etc.

  5. #5
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    dt=downtube
    sm=?? a shortened name for a bike model that I am not sure of, might have meant sb=switchblade

  6. #6
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    oh, thanks on the dt and sm lesson.

    26 pounds, really!!?? did you use an accurate scale? i mean my switchblade weights in at nearly 28 pounds with almost identical parts as yours. and im sure the blur lt is heavier frame...i would think. if thats true, shoots im for sure sold on the blur lt.

    any clearance issues like i mentioned above. i would need a small also. i'd like to build it up with a 6" fork, probably the marz all moutain 1. with my 27 inseam, i'll be singing high if i come forward of the seat, even with the small!

    also what about rear tire clearance?

  7. #7
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    ?

    Save you're money, you have a great fully active frame that you could upgrade for a fraction of the money of a new frame. If you want you're bike to be more peddle efficiant you can upgrade to a more aggressive platform shock that can really limit the suspension under power and have a pile of money in you're pocket. I tried a Blur and didn't like the semi active nature under power and braking which compared closely to my single pivot Cannondale Jeckyl which I sold to get the Blur. I changed to a horst link 5" bike and really realised how much more I liked it. If you like the suspension of the Titus I don't think you'll enjoy the VPP but if you are thinking it's killing you in the sprint it could work for you as chain tention limits the suspension under power which creates some peddle feedback.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by myitch
    OK, I need some help with the acronyms. Whats DT and SM? Are there any differences between the '05 and '04 5.5's? I don't think so, but please correct me if so.

    The other thing is the 5.5 is heavier also. I'm not sure if I'm ready to plug more wgt on the climbs, even if the downhills are more fun than the Titus...IF the Intense is necessarily better with the VPP.

    I was referring to the super moto with SM> I think the blur is lighter than a switchblade frame. I like the looks of the intense 5.5 better than the blur although i have not ridden the intense. I have not heard any complaints on the performance of VPP by people who own them........only people who dont own them>

  9. #9
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    You should review the santa cruz site. I know you're not looking at their bikes but there are threads concerning the pivot bearings (i dont have any specific threads, just have read some). Intense may be more reliable/less reliable....I don't know, but they use the same design. The amount of bearings needed for the VPP design just makes it a more "you have to maintain it" bike. Another thing to consider......

    I've heard really good things/bad things about VPP. There's always gonna be good and bad. Get the bike that fits you the best.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by myitch
    oh, thanks on the dt and sm lesson.

    26 pounds, really!!?? did you use an accurate scale? i mean my switchblade weights in at nearly 28 pounds with almost identical parts as yours. and im sure the blur lt is heavier frame...i would think. if thats true, shoots im for sure sold on the blur lt.

    any clearance issues like i mentioned above. i would need a small also. i'd like to build it up with a 6" fork, probably the marz all moutain 1. with my 27 inseam, i'll be singing high if i come forward of the seat, even with the small!

    also what about rear tire clearance?
    This is from the FAQ on the Titus website:

    Q: How much does the Switchblade weigh?
    A: The standard small frame Switchblade weighs 5.9 Lbs. (with 5th Element Air and Ti bolt kit) We have built Switchblades up as light as 23lbs. The average Switchblade with good lightweight components will weigh between 25-28.5lbs complete.


    Your frame actually weighs slightly more. A powdercoat, medium BLT with RP3 is 5.9 pounds. A small ano frame weighs a bit less. But as you can see... your bike can be made lighter.

    I used the lightest components wherever it made sense, the Mavis 717s are really light, I used DT Swiss double butted spokes, anodized nipples instead of brass, the Fox Float 130 is the lightest 5 inch fork available.

    I read a thread on the Santa Cruz forum where a dealer was claiming they could / had built 24.5 pound Blur LTs witht eh "right components" but they didn't mention what those were.

    I was actually surprised that mine came in at 26... I was kinda hoping to get closer to that 24.5 mark.. but I did weigh mine with the pedals on and I have platform/shimano SPD pedals that aren't light...

    The BLT will handle a 6 inch fork but according to SC the geometry was designed around a 130mm fork so that is what I decided to stick with.

    Standover height for me is fine.. I have a similar inseam. And BB clearance is not an issue at all.

  11. #11
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    I have a 5.5 and like it. I have also had an Ellsworth Truth which has a similar suspension as the switchblade. I don't think your going to see a $1800-2000.00 dollar improvement by dumping your SB and going to a 5.5. I'm not sure what travel your running on your SB, but if you have one of the newer shocks and have it in the longer travel mode, I think you have a darn good bike. A 5.5 in a small frame size will still build out around 28 to 29 pounds. I would call titus and find out what improvements could be made to your SB and then consider the costs associated with improving the SB over the cost of a 5.5 frame and any parts that can't be switched over.

  12. #12
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    yes, yes. keep ém coming. all great comments! i really dont NEED a new frame. my switchblade is great. it takes a licking and keeps on ticking. i've only replaced the shock mount bushings once in three years and nothing else.

    sometimes i just get UGI (i just learned that one), and want new toys for the toy.

    I have my SB set at 5.7 inches. i don't mind the bob on cliimbs, in fact, i love the fact that is stays active and helps on technical climbs. the rear tire just tracks right on!

    if i really wanted to i could get the new talas rear shock, but nah, the frame is fine. what i might do instead is get one of the newer 6'' travel forks to match the rear travel better. but geez, even those seem to have probs exc. the marz all mountain 1. the fox 36, and maverick duc are nice but have too many probs.

    thats it. i'll treat myself to a newer front shock only...and save my $$ for a rainy day. great advice guys. thanks.

    you dudes rock!

  13. #13
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    I have been riding an Intense 5.5 for the past year. I am absolutely in love with this bike. I really like climbing and this bike really works for that. On steep technical climbs it does even better than my Trek STP 400 which was in the 21 lb range. My large frame 5.5 is 28lbs with pedals so I would think you can build a small frame up to weigh less than that. I agree that you probably won't get $2000 worth of riding difference, but if you are wanting a new ride the Intense is incredible. I have not had pivot issues once I cleaned the threads and used a little blue loc-tite on the threads to keep things from backing out. The bearings are easy to access and you can lift off the seals and add grease to keep them going longer.

    Good luck in your decision, it doesn't sound like you can go wrong no matter what you decide,
    Craig

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by spaeth
    I have been riding an Intense 5.5 for the past year. I am absolutely in love with this bike. I really like climbing and this bike really works for that. On steep technical climbs it does even better than my Trek STP 400 which was in the 21 lb range. My large frame 5.5 is 28lbs with pedals so I would think you can build a small frame up to weigh less than that. I agree that you probably won't get $2000 worth of riding difference, but if you are wanting a new ride the Intense is incredible. I have not had pivot issues once I cleaned the threads and used a little blue loc-tite on the threads to keep things from backing out. The bearings are easy to access and you can lift off the seals and add grease to keep them going longer.

    Good luck in your decision, it doesn't sound like you can go wrong no matter what you decide,
    Craig
    thanks, craig. actually no thanks. now you're making it harder for me to say no to buying a new toy again. stop it!!!

    yeah, the 5.5's are sweet and so are the blur lts. but the fact is am i ready for fork out another $1500-1800 for a frame, when my frame is perfectly fine? i should just treat myself to the fork and stop there.

    now guys, no more comments on how great your VPPs are! you're killing me! my SB w/4-bar horst link is great too! far cheaper since its already long ago paid in full.

  15. #15
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    EVP's 5.5 is a newer, more tunable air shock design than the single pivot of the Titus which was where it was at a few years ago... rumor has it maverick is coming out wiht a new 5" bike, not hte ML7, not the ML8

  16. #16
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    I'm lost. Who is EVP? The Titus Switchblade is a four-bar horst linkage, not single pivot. Were you referrring to shocks or frame design?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by myitch
    I'm lost. Who is EVP? The Titus Switchblade is a four-bar horst linkage, not single pivot. Were you referrring to shocks or frame design?

    the full name of the Intense 5.5 is 5.5 EVP..

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