Remember the Titus El Guapo?
Ten years ago in our October issue we tested the last bike Chris Cocalis designed for the then-iconic Titus bikes.
The bike was originally named the Buck Sixty, a reference to the fact that it had 160 millimeters of travel. The bike was renamed “El Guapo,” which is Spanish for “Handsome One,” a name that was also fitting.
The Titus brand went through many tumultuous years. Despite tireless efforts to build some of the best bikes on the trail, the company ultimately went out of business. Still, the El Guapo developed a cult following among many and can still be seen under those hard-core Titus fans today.
Spring forward: The El Guapo weighed almost 32 pounds with an air shock, because Titus built it to handle some serious abuse— either that or they needed to add extra material for it to handle some of the stress testing. Either way, this bike was overbuilt in every way compared to today’s lightweight enduro bikes.
Too much of a good thing: The Formula ORO brakes were powerful, but a light touch was required to meet the tire’s trac- tion limits. These were some of the most on/off brakes we’ve ever tested.
Drop it, handsome: The 68-degree head angle seems crazy by today’s standards, but 10 years ago, the designers at Titus thought that the tight geometry made the El Guapo handle better with more agility.
Wraparound strength: Titus gave the El Guapo plenty of stiff- ness and rear-wheel clearance by wrapping the seatstay around the seat tube. The El Guapo would have wiggled around like a dashboard hula girl without this innovation.
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