This time around, I decided to shed some light on a wave of bicycle design that has always evolved in a very incognito way, even as we speak, titanium frame bikes. Since the 1990s, titanium has been considered a viable building material for bicycles. Why? Quite simply because it is as strong as steel at almost half the weight, and twice as strong as aluminum, not to mention its flexible properties. Oh, it’s also easier to handle than carbon fiber, but can also be a bit more expensive.
One team that offers a whole line of titanium frame bikes is Voodoo Cycles, a bike maker that has been around since 1994 and formed by a group of riders with backgrounds ranging from design to racing to retail. But, one of the nice things about this team is that they first hit the market with infuriating hardtails, and today they are still there, mostly producing hardtail bikes intended for towering over single runs like they’re the coolest thing on the boulder.
Of course, they also produce well-designed full suspension mountain bikes, but hardtails have always had a special place in my heart; I think it was breaking both my arms and breaking five teeth in one fell swoop, which really connects me to myself and these bikes.
One bike that Voodoo has proudly poured its madness into for years is the D-Jab Titanium Frame Mountain Bike. Yes, it’s a hardtail, and it’s not cheap either. With a price of $ 5,525 (€ 4,684 at current exchange rates) for the E1 Complete Bike Set and $ 4,095 (€ 3,471 at current exchange rates) for the E2 set, you will need to side a lot of cash to get one of these beauties.
Voodoo calls this bike “the mighty but wild spirit” and is meant to be a “fast and comfortable” long-haul hardtail. All mounted on 27.5-inch tires, it’ll put you a little closer to the ground than your classic 29ers, but maybe that’s where all “nimble” comes from.
Now, if you’re going to spend at least $ 4,000 on an ATV, you know you’re buying more than just a little bike to take to the grocery store; it’s made to hit your favorite trails and your single tracks as hard as possible. As well as being built from titanium, depending on which build kit you have funds for, the frame also includes a Rock Shox Pike RCT3 fork with 140mm (5.5 inches) of travel or a Rock Shox Yari with the same. 140 mm (5.5 inches) Travel.
To my surprise, you won’t find any Shimano components on this mountain bike, but rather SRAM and Magura all over the place. The SRAM X1 or GX shifter and rear derailleur, XG 1175 or 1150 cassette are all set to the sounds of the 11 speeds passing and controlling a PC-X1 or PC1130 chain with up to 118 links.
If you only have money for the E2 build set, the braking will be taken care of by a Magura brake set with 180mm (7.1 inch) rotors. If you’ve been thrifty and saved for the E1 package, then SRAM will continue to supplement your bike, producing a fairly tuned machine.
All of the other components like the cockpit, saddle, and tires can all be changed if you don’t like them, but if you ever get on one of these with original components, try to keep in mind that each component is selected for a reason.
There’s a little trick the D-Jab has up its sleeve. The Voodoo team decided to include sliding dropouts on the bike, just in case you want to ditch most of the drivetrain and convert this puppy to single gear. It has to bring back an old school feel like no other.
It might not be the last mountain bike you’ll buy, but bikes that include titanium in their construction have one of the longest lifespans. So hey, it’s definitely worth considering at around $ 4,000, even if you’re just picking up the E2 building kit.