Review: Titan Racing Skyrim Trail Bikes | Head-to-head comparison of two superb shredders

Review by: Myles Kelsey

The Skyrim hits all the right notes: big, comfortable, and well-equipped with insane value.

A key to the success of the Titan Racing brand is they are well-positioned in the market. Their products have a mix of sharp styling and performance, whilst sitting at the head of the value-for-money race. Their latest editions, the Skyrim and Skyrim ST fall well within what we’ve come to expect from the brand; – compelling bikes that are easy on the wallet.

Both of the new Skyrims are aluminum framed, 29er trail bikes — in fact, they share the same chassis. By using stroke adjust shocks (and different forks) the crew at Titan Racing is able to manipulate travel and optimize geometry, for both rigs. Clever move. The Skyrim is a 140/150 bike while the Skyrim ST is a 130/140.


The Skyrim chassis is designed around the popular 4-bar Horst Link suspension platform. The sizing is generous, geometry is progressive (but not overly so) and the bike has cool features like utility mounts, UDH compatibility, super-clean cable routing and a smooth hydroformed finish. Let’s take a closer look.


Available in four frame sizes with reach numbers starting at 426 and rolling up to 500mm – the Skyrim has decidedly contemporary sizing. Chief designer Cliff Beckett has kept the standover numbers (on all sizes) on the lower side, a smart move which is likely aimed at increasing it’s agility.


Chain stay length is a healthy 444mm on all frame sizes and the bottom bracket drop of 40mm is also pretty nominal for a 140mm bike. 65.5-degrees on the head angle promises a good balance, for all trail conditions.

Longish it might be, but over-stretched you are not – remember; this is a Trail Bike and it runs 50mm stems to optimize handling. Point being, it’s not exactly a limo. With premium brands throughout, the build kit on the Skyrim is best described as a mix of wallet-friendly performance bits. The 780mm wide bars from Race Face are appropriately sized for a trail bike.

Damping is courtesy of the Fox Float X shock and Fox 36 Performance fork – both feature a single compression and rebound adjust. The range of adjustability on the suspension is broad and the single clicker specification ensures tuning will be uncomplicated.

In frame storage solutions add weight and increase manufacturing costs significantly. Titan Racing didn’t go that route. Instead, additional utility mounts are tucked under the top tube and positioned so all frame sizes can accomodate a second water bottle inside the main frame, or, a bolt-on aftermarket bag.


The 4-bar Horst Link suspension platform is tuned to deliver a progressive leverage ratio to the Skyrim. The idea is to offer good small bump performance and support throughout the travel that ramps up towards the end of the stroke, resisting harsh end of travel ‘events’.

With reach adjust and plenty of power, SRAM Code R brakes add yet more bling to the build kit. The Skyrim has a unique BB and main pivot area (with forged construction) that houses and hides cables as they bridge from the rear to front centers of the frame.

A size large trail bike needs a long travel dropper post and Titan Racing have obliged by fitting a 175mm X-Fusion dropper on the Skyrim. All these ‘burly’ parts start to add weight yet the actual weight of 14.7kg on our size large test bike is lighter than some similar travel, carbon bikes. Yes if you are coming across to Trail Bikes from an Endurance Bike background, that 14.7 number might have you gasping but it is in fact, really not bad.

Staying with the weight of the bike, I want to point out that the standard spec and hugely capable Vittoria Mazza tyres are rather bulky at (almost) 1kg, each. On a bike this capable you’d want that kind of rubber on the wheels. The point is, by all accounts Titan Racing haven’t skimped on any of the parts in order to achieve a certain weight target. What that also tells us is — in all likelihood, the Skyrim frame, is not a farm gate. For this price point, it’s likely very light. Another welcomed addition to the build kit is SRAM’s GX Transmission drivetrain. It’s wireless and electronic, and very very strong.



When climbing, the Skyrim places you in a forward and upright position, which is comfortable. The front-end isn’t particularly high which means that it’s just a little easier to power through and over steeper sections of trail. With the shock in the open position, there’s not much shock movement, or bob, when climbing. On longer smoother hauls, flicking the compression lever to the firmer/locked setting does improve efficiency marginally and is something I did frequently. Overall, the bike climbs better than I anticipated.

The build kit, with all it’s functional componentry, kept me smiling. The mountain bike industry has had decades of technology trickling down from top spec parts and as such one really doesn’t need to empty the bank account on top-of-the-range goodies. Case in point is the performance from the Fox 36 and Float X suspension on this model Skyrim – it is sublimely beautiful and very easy to setup. Shifting is taken care of by the SRAM GX AXS T-Type wireless setup which withstands power shifts and idiot shifting alike. On the trail, it’s really almost impossible to mess things up with T-Type and if you do clip a rock, the mech moves out of the way – did you watch the video?

The tool-free reach adjust of the SRAM Code R brakes is handy and even with 180mm rotors there’s plenty of stopping power available. On one of my personal bikes I have a set of Race Face rims and they have stood up to a lot of abuse, without any dents. I suspect these will be the same. For the tyres, Titan Racing rely on the Vittoria Mazza options which are very very impressive – the casing is strong, for a 2.4″ width they have great volume and despite their tall tread pattern actually bite pretty well into hardpack. I’ve a feeling the rubber compound on the Vittoria’s is where a lot of the grip comes from – it’s pretty soft.

The Skyrim is plenty capable when things get rowdy. In rougher high-speed sections it has that all-29er trail bike feeling of “let’s go trucking” and carries speed exceptionally well. I wouldn’t say it’s exceptionally perky at getting up to speed – but once above 15kph it starts to haul. Speaking of hauling, Titan Racing says the bike can take a 160mm fork, however, throughout the test period, I actually never felt like I needed more travel. Personally, I’d sooner upgrade to a higher rise bar than a longer travel fork.

On faster flow lines with jumps and berms, the overall stability and composure of the Skyrim is impressive. The tyres are so good that it’s not necesary to actively weight the front end in sketchy corners, to get bite. I did quite a bit of riding in Jonkershoek and Tokai hitting many jump lines and never experienced any suspension funk, like end-of-travel clunking, top out or rear-end wallow that had me feeling I was getting towards the end of the bikes limits. Its a well-rounded bike that prioritizes technical riding and encourages you to play with the terrain.


As the name suggests, the Skyrim ST is the shorter travel version of the same bike, by just 10mm. The ST is a 130 rear and 140 fork bike and this Comp model is around R10k more frugal than the Elite model Skyrim featured above.


As I mentioned, the ST and Skyrim share the same chassis. As such, all the features are carried over, that’s a smooth hydroformed finishing on the frame, utility mounts, SRAM UDH hanger and clean cable routing. Both bikes forego flip-chips and other geometry altering bits which means the geometry is permanent.

The different shock and fork on the ST does impact the geometry, just a little. It is a little longer in reach, shorter on wheelbase and has a steeper head-angle than the Skyrim. The differences are very small and most riders wouldn’t notice them. Oh, yes, the seat tube angle is 0.5 of a degree steeper on the ST.

The build kit on the Comp model ST is also a mixed bag from premium brands like Race Face, RockShox, SRAM and Vittoria. Titan Racing have stuck with the short stem and wide riser bar cockpit – good move! The brakes are a little less heavy duty yet still capable, SRAM G2-R.

The Race Face bar and stem combo are a rad touch and add some trail steeze to the cockpit. The ST also has a set of Titan Racing’s new single-side lock on grips that have what I would describe as a medium durometer. They will offer some degree of bump absorption, but not wear out in a month.

The overall finish is very premium – the likes of which you’d expect to only find on bikes that make deeper holes in bank accounts. Once the cables tuck into the frame at the top of the down tube they only reappear close to the caliper and derailleur.

The 130mm of rear wheel damping is controlled by the RockShox Deluxe Select+ shock which has a lockout lever and rebound adjust. Upfront, the 140mm RockShox Pike Select fork has rebound adjustability and a single compression adjuster.

The drivetrain and gearing is classic SRAM GX Eagle AXS – the cable variety. There’ll be quick single shifts and very fast muliple gear shifting, but it’s not idiot proof like the contemporary and richer T-Type AXS bling from SRAM.

Again, straight out of the box there is great trail performance available from this parts kit. The attention to detail by Titan Racing when choosing parts is clear — on this bike, nothing needs replacing. As on the Skyrim, the ST also runs long dropper posts.

The stock wheels are a mix of Race Face rims with a 30mm inner diameter and Formula hubs. The ST is also dressed for drama with ‘big meats’ from Vittoria promissing hero-dirt like grip.


On the climbs the Skyrim ST rolls along at a very similar pace to the Skyrim, with perhaps just a little more comfort and efficiency ode to the steeper head and seat tube angles. The rider position is marginally more forward on the ST which does help on long hauls and steep bursts alike. If you dig climbing a tuning tip would be to switch the big meat Vittoria tyres for something just a little faster rolling; at least on the rear wheel.

Into rougher trails, the ST requires a higher degree of rider precision than it’s longer travel big brother. If you miss your line it quickly becomes a wild ride – which can be exciting or nerve wrecking – depending on your outlook. When the speed picks up on flow lines the ST is a perky, playful bike with intuitive handling. On my first test ride and first lap through the Zululand jump line (Jonkershoek) in a long time, I was instantly comfortable and able to shoot all the gaps — staying well within my comfort zone.

Feeling at ease from the get-go, I was able to push the speeds up quite early on in testing, particularly when cornering. The ST turns really well, gifting increments of higher exit speed out of berms. Compared to the Skyrim, I felt the ST has a little less grip on rougher sections, so cornering on natural trails requires a little more rider focus and shifting of weight. It’s not an overly stiff chassis, nevertheless I didn’t feel any massive issues with handling or trail accuracy.

On jump lines, the Skyrim ST has good pop on the lips which is always a blast when looking for more distance or altitude. There’s also good mid-stroke support so the bike doesn’t collapse into the travel as you compress into the takeoff of jumps. As you’ll see in the video, it’s also not afraid of a whip or two — in Tokai, the ST stood up to tons of abuse from Dylan Lamb. I had a couple over jump episodes on the ST, landing on flat terrain and the ST took it all in without so much as a squeal. This bike will definately bring your inner jump master to life.

The Takeout | Offering contemporary sizing, supportive suspension and a build kit that punches way above the price point might suggest — the Skyrim and shorter travel Skyrim ST are two very impressive trail bikes. They have predictable handling, carry no weight or handling penalties and encourage a playful riding style.

WORDS: Myles Kelsey – Bike Network