Review: Titan Racing Cerberus Expert | The hardtail that wants to play

Review by: Myles Kelsey

The Cerberus is an immensely likeable,
well-rounded Trail Hardtail.

With so many trail centers and flow lines popping up across South Africa it’s a good time to introduce a more robust lineup of hardtails to the market. Built around progressive trail geometry, the all-new Cerberus aims to balance climbing efficiency with flow line shredding.

The frame cuts a mean looking silhouette and is beautifully finished in an appealing gloss white. So smooth is the hydroforming and joins, it almost looks like a carbon frame. Internal cable routing adds some glamour to the mix.

Why a Trail Hardtail you may ask? Whilst regular hardtails are designed for cross-country riding, gravel roads, commuting, racing and generally less technical terrain, a Trail Hardtail does all of that and is built to handle the fun (and demands) of a flow line. It is more durable, has trail orientated geometry and is specced with components to handle gnarlier terrain.



It’s a robust package. Built to withstand higher speeds, heavier hits and the bigger jumps of a typical South African trail or flow line. The hydroformed frame has a very clean finish with obvious yet not ‘overly-constructed’ reinforcements in the key stress areas.

The frame cuts a mean looking silhouette and is beautifully finished in an appealing gloss white. So smooth is the hydroforming and joins, it almost looks like a carbon frame. Internal cable routing adds some glamour to the mix. Key to the design of a trail hardtail is standover height. Lower is better as it opens up real estate for rider movement. The Cerberus has a very low top tube with plenty of space for two large water bottles.

The fork, a 130mm Fox Rhythm with Grip damper is a definate highlight of the build kit. The ability to make small tweaks to compression settings is a neat performance advantage for a hardtail.

There is nothing unexceptional with the rest of the build kit. Our test bike was equipped with trail-specific, Race Face riser bars and a short stem from the same brand. The lock on grips have a low-profile ribbed design to absorb trail vibrations. Tektro brakes are making a name for themselves – on World Cup podiums! – and are a good choice for any trail machine.

Upfront, stopping duties are taken care of by a 4-piston caliper from Tektro. The drivetrain is an all SRAM affair with NX Eagle, 12-speed derailleur, shifter, cassette and cranks. Out of the box, the Cerberus has wide 2.35″ tyres that have a significantly high profile too. The frame is designed to accomodate tyres up to a 2.8″ width. Rims, by the iconic SunRingle brand feature a 30mm inner diameter that does a good job of puffing out the Vittorias, creating a desirable profile.


Absolute key to the performance of a Trail Hardtail is geometry. Titan Racing settled on a 67° head angle, a super low 317,5mm bottom bracket height and generous reach – our size large has an on-trend 470mm. I’m extremely glad they have made the bikes long – the extra length in the chassis will add a lot of stability to the ride, ultimately making it more fun to play on.


The Trail category suits the Titan Racing brand well. The upbeat, premium yet wallet-friendly personality that Titan Racing aims for, meshes well with the instant rush of adrenalin the Cerberus injects.

Settings wise, I settled on 15% sag in the fork, 20psi in the front tyre and 26psi in the back. (I weigh 72kg’s) Starting with the fork, it’s hugely superior to what I’ve ridden on other wallet-friendly machines. Air sprung, with easy to operate rebound and external compression adjustments, enable a tailored ride feel. It’s easy to get the settings right and what’s more, I think the Fox Rhythm fork gives about 90% as much plush, smooth and sensitivity as their range-topping Kashima-coated models. The wider stanchions bring an appropriate level of steering accuracy to the Cerberus.

Trail riding is about hip movement. You need to shift your weight around, lean the bike and so on. Without a short seat tube, low standover and long dropper post, it’s impossible to ride flow lines safely. Titan Racing has ticked all those boxes with the Cerberus. Berms, rollers, drops and jumps can be ridden fast on the Cerberus. Dropper post operation is slick and faultless – as I’ve come to expect from X-Fusion.

There’s plenty of power in the brakes and sudden stops are possible – it’s their modulation that impressed me more. It’s my first time riding the Vittoria Agarro tyres and they are mighty impressive. The side walls seem pretty strong – I had no flats during the test period – and the climbing and corner grip cannot be scoffed at. The only fly in the ointment is a bit of chain slap on the stay – most hardtails do this – wrapping a tube around the stay will silence the clanging. That’s the only recommendation I’d make to anyone considering the Cerberus. Looking past that, the ride quality is superb, the geometry is dialled and there’s excellent attention to detail on this bike.


Titan Racing certainly haven’t saved money or skimped on the build kit of the Cerberus Expert and that investment shines through in the ride feel of this bike. It’s a slick and seemingly very robust machine that is a lot of fun to play on.

WORDS: Myles Kelsey – Bike Network  |  LOCATION: Jonkershoek, Stellenbosch