I am stuck between chosing a Titus motolite All Mountain 1, or a Kona Dawg Deluxe or Primo. I need some help which is better with things like bob, frame and price, i just can’t find many differing opinions on them on MTBR.com or any other.
the Monolite 2 is one hell of a ride. I test-rode one at Conte’s to see how a TALAS 32 RLC and Float RP23 equiped bike would ride. it’s positively awesome. one thing that I might worry about is the amount of carbon fiber on that bike. CF is very stiff along the axis that the part was designed to get stressed from but that stiffness and durability go away quickly when you stress the part from another axis. in other words, a CF Horst link or frame would be obscenely light but at the same time very stiff under normal suspension compression and normal shock loads (landing, going over bumps of varying sizes) BUT if you crash it you run a larger risk of breaking the CF part. at least according to Conte’s
My suggestion depends a lot on your preferred riding style & most frequently ridden trails.
The Motolite is definitely intended to be the more nimble & fast of the two bikes you’ve named. It has a 13.25"/13.68" BB height (Motolite100/130); for the Motolite100 the head-angles range from 70deg (XtraSmall), up to 70.5 (Large). The Motolite130 is 1.25 degrees slacker across the size range. This is due to the increased suspension travel. But once you figure in the sag, it will even out to the Motolite100’s geometery.
Titus is nearly unique in that it has specific geometery for the different frame sizes, and that’s important since we are not all the same people!
The Kona Dawg is more of a technical bike, meant for descending and all-day sunset-chasing rides. For any size, the Dawg has a higher BB (13.9"), a slacker head angle (68.5 degrees), and a longer wheelbase (by almost 2"). Normally, a high bottom bracket makes for a more unstable bike (higher center-of-gravity), but the combination of the higher BB, longer wheelbase, and slack head angle makes for a more stable & predictable ride. Instead, the high bottom bracket improves obstacle clearance.
The Kona is also built burlier than the Motolite, meaning more weight but more durability.
The Titus All-Mountain2 kit is definitely better than what is offered for the Dawg Deluxe; the Primo comes a lot closer, but I daresay the AM2 is still the better choice. I’m sure though, with that comes a premium in price.
So…. If you’re a balls-out hammer junkie; like to leave your fellows sucking your tire roost; and prefer a sharp-handling bike that’ll carve flowing singletrack, the Titus is my recommendation.
But if not, and you like to take long unknown jaunts; drop into rough & tumble chutes, and speed down rock-infested corridors, the Dawg is the better.
And I wouldn’t worry about the carbon-fiber chainstays on the average trailbike. A popular misconception about CF is that it’s only strong in one direction. When CF is "laid-up", the weave is bonded in several different directions…. The carbon weave you see on the outside of these parts is only a single layer for cosmetics, and can be laid in any direction. Along with this, and a thick clear-coat, CF is pretty resistant against scratches and abrasions.
Chainstays receive stress from several different directions, and the carbon-fiber used in such frame parts are bonded with those stressors in mind. Each CF part has a different lay-up, depending on what it is.
Another fear is catastophic failure of carbon-fiber. Modern high-grade aluminum is just as susceptible to failure from an impact/dent. It doesn’t bend like steel, it’ll just crack because it’s brittle. I’ve seen people throw down their bikes with little regard, and then seen other baby their CF rigs when laying it down. A regular aluminum bike should be treated the same way!
Full-frame CF bikes have been around for a long time, and I’ve heard of very, very few failures. But when anything fails in a catastrophic manner, it gets a lot of attention, whether the rider was at fault or not. More than once I’ve read of/seen damage that should’ve been blamed on rider error/abuse, but instead blamed on carbon-fiber.