Titici launches in UK with five-strong range of Italian-made custom frames
Handmade Italian bike brand comes to the UK, initial line-up includes road, road disc and gravel bikes
by George Scott
Titici, an Italian handmade bicycle company, has launched in the UK, with a five-strong range which includes a road disc frame and gravel bike.
You may already be familiar with Titici as the brand has been around since 1961, and has produced everything from road bikes to BMX frames in the intervening years. However, having now been acquired by Trerè Innovation, the company behind the X-Bionic clothing brand, Titici has relaunched with particular focus on the UK market.
Titici's frames are all made from carbon fibre in the company's own factory in northern Italy, with each model offered in either stock sizes or fully custom, with riders able to choose the specific geometry - based on a bike fit at a Titici dealer - and design the paintwork, as well as select the components. "Each bike is as individual as you choose to make it," says Titici UK's David Hemming.
Plate Absorber Technology
Titici launches in the UK with five frames - road, road disc, gravel, hardtail mountain bike and full-suspension mountain bike - and one feature ties them together, Titici's Plate Absorber Technology.
The patented design sees the toptube taper and flatten from a oversized box-section at the junction with the headtube, to a razor-thin, leafspring-style design at the junction with the seattube. Titici's 'flexy concept' is said to improve comfort through the rear end of the bike. "The shape is better able to absorb road vibrations but, at the same time, the tube is very rigid," says Titici's brand manager, Roberto Sambinelli.
To put a number on it, Titici says the Plate Absorber Technology design increases comfort by an average of 18 per cent over a 'standard tube frame', while maintaining stiffness. That's the claim, anyway.
All Titici frames also have a headtube badge which can be scanned by a smartphone to order to pull up the bike's five-year digital warranty and service history. Titici is a high-end brand - you're looking at around £3,800 for a frameset - so the thinking is that while your car will have a full maintenance history and indicate when a service is required, that's not the case with a bike.
However, by registering your frame, you will be notified when a regular service is due, while a Titici mechanic will be able to scan the headtube badge to check what work has been done on your bike to date.
Road, road disc and gravel
Of the five bikes offered by Titici, the road, road disc and gravel models are of most interest to us. All frames are handmade to order in Italy from a combination of 1k and 3k unidirectional T800 carbon fibres.
The road rim brake and road disc brake frames are based around a similar chassis, adapted to the specific demands of the chosen braking system. Claimed frame weights are 950g for the rim brake frame and 1kg for the disc brake frame. "We know they're not the lightest frames on the market, but you have to understand the feeling of the bike," adds Sambinelli. "We need that weight for the flexy tube and all-round ride experience."
Titici's frames can also be customised according to the build, so if you're planning to have an electronic groupset, you can ask for the frame to only have ports for Di2 or EPS wires, and no bungs covering defunct mechanical cable ports as you'll find on most cross-compatible frames. Same goes for SRAM eTap - if you choose the wireless groupset, you can ask for the frame to be completely free of shifting cable ports, though that could limit the upgrade potential of the frame.
The road disc frame uses 12mm thru-axles at both ends and is designed for flat-mount calipers. Both frames use a 27.2mm seatpost with a hidden clamp which, in combination with the Plate Absorber Technology toptube, is design to ensure a comfortable ride.
The gravel frame is designed with versatility in mind, so there's clearance for 40mm tyres and beyond. "It's about a sense of adventure and getting off-grid," says Hemming. Again, you'll find the same toptube design as the rest of Titici's frame, a 27.2 seatpost, flat-mount thru-axles and a 1k/3k T800 carbon fibre construction.
Titici has signed up Velosport in Putney as its first UK dealer and hopes to expand the network with a further 11 bricks and mortar retailers in the coming months.
First ride impressions
We took Titici's gravel bike for a quick spin on a road/off-road loop at the launch event in south west London. The geometry of the stock bike we rode was more akin to a disc-equipped road bike with additional tyre clearance than a slacker gravel bike, and the gearing (a 50-34t chainset with an 11-28t cassette) reflected that, too. That makes it a contender for a year-round, wide-tyred road bike with gravel potential - however, both the geometry and spec can be fully customised, of course.
We've just been along to the UK launch of @titicibike. The five-strong range (road, road disc, gravel, hardtail mtb and full-sus mtb) is all made in Italy, with both stock sizes and fully custom bikes on offer. We took the gravel bike out for a quick spin and will lock-down a test bike for a full review in the near future ???????? . . . #titici #titicibike #italianbike #handmade #roadbike #gravelbike #mountainbike #newbike #newbikeday #madeinitaly #xbionic
We'll need more time to get to grips with Titici but first impressions suggest the gravel frame provides a stiff platform, with no flex present on the short but sleep dirt climb we encountered, while there's certainly plenty of comfort. That, of course, is significantly helped by the 40mm tyres and we hope to get a bike in for a full review soon to see exactly what Titici has come up with and just how effective the striking toptube design is.