Triton Titan frame review

Two days ago I rode my favourite forest trail on my aluminium muni. The route is a mixture of easy-to-medium in gradient, obstacle and drop. Today, I rode the same route on the same uni, but the frame was swapped for a Triton Titan. The components on both rides were the same – a mix of good and bad, dictated by what was available, but basically a 24” setup and Magura brake. I expected there to be some difference, but I underestimated just what the difference would be…

The closest analogy I can come up with is that it was like going from a poorly tuned AM radio to a well tuned FM one. Titanium has a ‘trail-deadening’ property which can so easily sound like the kind of thing you can ‘live without’. However, it is something which, once experienced and appreciated, can quickly become a something of a ‘must have’:

Unwanted trail buzz (or AM interference, to labour the analogy) is filtered out, meaning only the relevant information (obstacles above an inch or two) are transmitted. This ‘clearer’ trail feedback allows the rider to relax more, saving energy and allowing faster progress. I have appreciated all this on my ti xc hardtail mtb’s for the last decade, but I would say that, on an unsuspended single wheel, this effect is more than doubled. That was the degree of difference which I had not anticipated. I am trying so hard not to stray into hyperbole, but I have to say I absolutely loved this frame.

In slower, more technical sections, where my ride started, any differences were hard to detect; stumbling, slipping and falling over wet, small to medium rocks. However, about halfway through the ride, the gradient increased enough to allow reasonable velocity and my brain was therefore allowed the time to assess properly. I was definitely finding this easier than before. Much easier. I could ride faster, and with less concentration, with the resultant bigger, more stupid grin at the end. A minor point, but despite the tall frame, one-footed riding was possible, even on fire-roads, although with a rather sharply tucked foot!

Any balanced review must also focus on the negatives. The price is obviously the main one. At around five times the price of its nearest aluminum competitor, gaining the perfomance advantage outlined above is something many may feel is not a cost-effective decision. It is a personal choice down to how much you ride and how much you want to spend,. However, I would say that if you have a standard spec muni and ride medium level terrain, or ride any distance greater than an average one or two hour blast, I think this frame will make a very effective upgrade. Also offsetting the cost is the fact that with 3 different wheels, you can have 3 different, hydraulically braked, titanium unis out of one frame. And you can also ride snow/sand etc on a braked, Large Marge rim.

A final, minor niggle at present is that even with grinding down a pair of tensile offset magura mounts, my brakes only just fitted. However, Jogi assures me a fix for this is on its way, so that should be no problem.

Yup, that’s what makes it ride nice, steel has a similar property though weighs more. The downside is that Ti is more flexible and so you get brake rub and such.

I love my Ti frame :slight_smile:

Cool, im guessing your aluminium frame was a KH?

I didn’t want to mention the frame brand, as the KH frame is very well designed and made, as we all know, and comparing a good product with another costing 5 times more is not fair. It is however, the only comparison I was able to make.

It is the properties of the materials from which the frames are made that account for much of the difference. That said, the I believe the Triton build quality, judged by weld neatness, rigidity where you want it (between the dropouts/across the brake mounts) and attention to detail is at least equal to the highest mountain bike frames I have owned (those being in order, Kona Hei Hei, Litespeed Pisgah). I actually think on weld neatness these frames shade it, which is ridiculous - a unicycle better made than a Kona Hei Hei?

Nurse Ben - I really would love to road test your ti uni frame too! I think both frames would have a USP side by side. Your frame has a one-off, bespoke thing that may well see it above your fireplace as a life-affirming statement - hopefully many years in the future! I know what I mean anyway, hope you do too :slight_smile: Glad you are loving it.

I appreciate this review.
Too often people claim their expensive new toy is better than the rest without enough justification. That leaves me believing they are just trying to convince themselves and others that they haven’t gone and wasted a bunch of money.
This review actually explains the experience you’d expect and how it’s a benefit.

About 25 years from now, when my kids are grown up and through college, I might be able to justify titanium. Maybe it will be cheaper before then.

It was most definitely a trial of love! I can’t really compare it with a steel or aluminum frame since I only ride my Ti frame now, but I do feel that a Ti frame is more resilient and supple, steel-like in ride, but at the weight of aluminum. It is more flexy than steel, but that’s not a deal breaker.

I don’t know about putting above the fireplace as it is my main ride, but if I were to get a second Ti frame…

sorry, its not the price, its the material we are talking about. unfortunately its more expenive than others - at the moment. i hope it develops the same way as inox steel.
but without those expensive new innovations there would be no development!

maybe - but that applies to all review threads…

then i hope you will be happy about the pioneers 25 years ago;)


If steel rides better than Aluminum, should I retrofit my KH 24 with a steel frame? :slight_smile:

The weight difference is going to be very small (perhaps 300 g?) compared to the overall weight of the unicycle.

Titanium is out of my budget at the moment.

There are MANY bike riders who agree that steel rides better than aluminum. Aluminum can be VERY rigid, steel absorbs a bit better. The problem with steel is that it’s often heavy and can be too “flexy” if the frame is not done right. While frame innovation with unis is not a s broad a topic as bikes; I think you’ll see some innovation in the next 10 years. You may even see a super trick steel frame out there that affords the same following as some of the steel road bike frames

Yes, but unicycle frames are a much simpler geometry to a bike frame. Vibrations get dissipated amongst many different tubes on a bike…so the properties of steel/aluminium/carbon and different diameter/thickness tubing would be more noticeable.

On a unicycle- vibrations it goes straight up the frame. I’m sure you could make a unicycle frame that absorbed shock like a bike fork- so you might notice a difference between a carbon frame and metal frame. But I don’t think you’d notice a big difference between steel and aluminium unicycle frames without ultra-sensitive buttocks.

True, like I wrote, uni frame technology is not as broad a topic as bike frame geometry in relation to materials used. There seems to be a little “wiggle room” though. I am not a frame maker or engineer but the seatpost/crossover/leg area is an area of force transmission as are the legs themselves.

I think someone out there can tinker with different metals and maybe even thicknesses in different areas of the uni frame to tweak out the feel. Will one notice a difference between steel and aluminum? Maybe… maybe not

People are noticing differences between titanium and aluminum… it’s possible.

I’d like to see two identical painted frames and a rider who doesn’t know which is which.

I think my Triton rides alot nicer than an Aluminium frame- but aside from nice frame geometry- I don’t know how much of that is the fact it’s titanium and how much of that is the fact that I think it’s titanium.

The german bicyclemagazin “tour” made a test (I think it was called “Blindflug” = blind flight) with road racebikeframes made of aluminium, steel, titanium and carbon. All parts (except the seatpost an stem) were the same. The frames were hidden so the rider were not able to see wich frame(material)) they rode. The test was made with hobby riders.

The results: no rider was able to say which material he rode, they were not able to feel difference in the “dampingability” of different materials. They were able to feel the difference in stiffness from the different frames. The difference in stiffness had nothing to do with the material but with the construction.

The MTB magazin “Mountainbike” has made a similar test with MTB frames. As I remember producers themselves and professional riders rode the bikes in this test. The results were the same.

With the same construction steel is stiffer than titanium is stiffer than aluminium.

I like titanium, nothing comes close to the look of a sandblasted titaniumframe. I does not rust, it is resistant against scratches. I just get a MTB frame welded.

That would be a great experiment that could be run as a blind trial at some Unicycle convention.

I am sure weight matters, and differential flexure must be important in some way, but unicycle frames are so simple that the material may not be very important. Most of the force is along the tube, so there would be no significant compression with any reasonable material.

Can one buy bearing holders? If I could get a set I might build up a frame from wood just to see if it would work. :slight_smile:

I assume that it has been done. If the bearing holders were available, most of the other parts would be very simple to make.



Scott, I can make bearing holders easily. What have you in mind? I make Uni frames when I like the project.

Also sells lollypop bearing holders that bolt to the end off the fork.


That’s why I like Titanium. I have friends with 10-15yr old titanium bike frames. They upgrade the entire groupset every few years and it still look like a brand new top of the line bike.

I’ve had carbon bikes that look a bit sad after a couple of seasons use.

Depends if you’re the type who buys a new frame every year or two.

I’m going to resurrect this thread since I’m slowly working on my communicycle. I’ve decided to build an upper end 24” unicycle for both commuting and muni. I don’t mind spending the money on Titanium as long as it really is worth it. That seems to be the greatest challenge for the sport. It’s very rare to have an opportunity to ride several different types of unicycles and decide from experience.

Has any serious thought been put into bamboo unicycle frames? I read a bit on one thread with one fellow claiming he had made one, but alas the picture link is broken and there is no follow up information for its abilities.

Bamboo bicycles apparently absorb vibration, but I wonder if the joints can be made strong enough to handle a serious municycle or even the day to day use commuting to and from.

Does anyone have experience working with Bamboo?
Does anyone have any stats to back up the pros and cons of steel vs aluminum vs titanium, or is it just a weight game?

I think they sell bambo uni frames in Japan, might want to do some searching, seems like I saw them on a Japanese unicycle shop webpage.

I have just builded up My new custom 26" Triton and after only my 1st ride it’s the best Muni I have riding!
Stiff and fast!
Pete G…

I’ve been riding my custom Trials Triton since about a week now at my right heigh and I totaly love it! I just feels awesome! :smiley: