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Cycle Monkey

Internal Gearing Specialists, Bicycle Distribution & Service Center

Vassago Optimus Ti with Rohloff SPEEDHUB

Vassago’s Optimus Ti is a great example of a high-end titanium hardtail that is optimized for the Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14. It features cross country inspired geometry that also works well for more technical trail rides. Its titanium construction provides a comfortable ride quality that reduces vibrations yet remains stiff when you push it hard. The frame is hand built in Vassago’s Phoenix Arizona factory, and represents one of the best values on the market for a U.S.-made titanium frame. It's also one of the lightest Rohloff-equipped mountain bikes we've built, making it a favorite of racers or anyone who appreciates a lightweight, nimble ride.The Optimus Ti is built using Vassago’s “Fast Cat” geometry, which is the name they've given to their more compact, new school frames that feature a shorter rear end for more maneuverability around tight, technical single track. The frame features over-sized titanium tubing to keep the frame stiff and prevent flexing around the bottom bracket and headtube. It also incorporates replaceable sliding dropouts that allow for Rohloff-specific dropout inserts and provide an easy method for adjusting chain tension. One of the benefits of Vassago's in-house manufacturing is that they can customize their frames with features such as Rohloff-specific cable routing. The Optimus Ti is part of Vassago’s “Black Label” U.S.-made frame series, along with the steel Verhauen. The Arizona company also offers more affordable imported frames, including the Fisticuff and Jabberwocky.For this Optimus Ti’s wheelset, we went with Stan’s NoTubes ZTR Flow rims laced to a Toxaholics front thru-axle hub and a rear Rohloff SPEEDHUB in anodized black. The Flow rims have a sturdy, trail riding-oriented design that comes in a wider-than-average profile and provides more traction and cornering grip. We laced up both wheels with Sapim Race spokes and brass nipples, which are both strong and light. We mounted them up with the Schwalbe Smart Sam tires, which have a tight center knob pattern and shallower tread depth that work well on pavement, hardpacked dirt, and moderately muddy conditions.The SPEEDHUB is known as the best drivetrain for touring and long distance riding, but it also has a number of advantages for mountain biking. Because it rarely needs any maintenance, it allows riders to stay out on the trail as much as possible. Many mountain bike components are race-oriented and designed for low weight rather than durability. As a result, they frequently have to be tuned up or replaced. With the SPEEDHUB drivetrain, no time is wasted leaving the bike at the bike shop. There is no worse feeling than having to end a ride early because of a damaged derailleur, and the SPEEDHUB virtually eliminates the risk of mechanical failures. We even equipped racers with SPEEDHUBs, including this recent Optimus Ti we put together for an adventure racer.We equipped this build with other components that are race-capable but stayed true to the theme of durability. Rockshox’s SID fork makes an excellent low maintenance XC specific fork. Magura’s MT8 brakes, equipped with carbon levers, provide a very lightweight brake system with excellent stopping power. Naturally the Thompson stem and seatpost were chosen for their best-in-class durablity and strength to weight ratio. Finally, Salsa’s Bend 2 bars place a rider’s hands in a comfortably natural position.If you’re a mountain biker looking for a more durable drivetrain or a Rohloff fan looking for a lighter hardtail bike, Vassago’s Optimus Ti frame may be just the ticket. Contact us to start talking about the right bike for your riding style.Build Details:• Frame: Vassago Optimus Ti• Fork: Rockshox SID• Headset: Cane Creek Forty• Stem: Thomson Elite X4• Handlebar: Salsa Bend 2• Shifter: Rohloff• Grips: ESI foam• Seat post: Thompson• Saddle: WTB Valcon• Seat Clamp: Vassago• Front Hub: Toxaholics• Rear hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14• Spokes: Sapim Race• Nipples: Sapim Brass• Rims: Stan’s NoTubes ZTR Flow• Tires: Schwalbe Smart Sam• Cranks: Race Face Turbine• Pedals: Shimano XTR SPD• Bottom Bracket: Race Face• Chain ring: Race Face Single• Rear Sprocket: Rohloff• Chain: Wipperman Connex• Brakes & Levers: Magura MT8• Rotors: Magura Storm