No22 Old King Titanium MTB

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The No22 Old King Titanium MTB, made in the USA, has beautiful craftsmanship, and a ton of performance!

About No22. Bicycle Company:

No22 Bikes is an American company based in NY making the most beautifully crafted titanium bikes. In an era where everything is mass produced without a soul in a faraway land, it is so refreshing to see and experience so much beautiful and quality craftmanship made here in the USA. The No22 Old King Titanium MTB as well as the rest of the No22 lineup are bikes built for the rider who appreciates perfectly tuned ride quality as much as stiffness and low weight—the rider who loves to ride for riding’s sake.– Which should be just about anyone that enjoys riding a bike, but more importantly those who are passionate and have that competitive spirit. No2 material of choice is titanium, a material that has had a spotty trajectory in the industry, coming and going out of fashion several times throughout the years. However, today, it is by far one of the best materials you can possibly build a bicycle frame on. And companies such as No22 are taking this to heart and together with some cutting-edge technology, both in tube molding and crafting practices; they are producing some of the best bikes out in the industry today. The company’s frames are based on carefully considered geometries and tubing profiles using the highest grades of titanium tubing available and handcrafted by expert hands in their own facility here in the United States. When was the last time you heard that from another bike company?  No22 carries this meticulous approach through to clean-lined and contemporary finishes that showcase the beauty of raw and anodized titanium. No. 22 is still a young brand, but they are spurred on by the number of passionate cyclists that not only believe in its product but agree with its philosophy. This is where Collareta Cycling comes in as a partner and true believer in this wonderful product. We hope that our words and support for this young brand bring more like-minded people to jump on and ride a No22 Old King Titanium MTB or any other bike from their lineup. We will have some for you to come to see soon at our showroom. Let’s jump into the review of the No22 Old King Titanium MTB:

The No22 Old King Titanium MTB is a great bike. It felt old-school like it was from back in the day when cross-country hardtails were all the rage, and it took me back to that time. It’s fast—this bike can accelerate like no other hardtail I’ve tried in recent years. At first, I wasn’t sure if I’d like the short chain stays on this bike because they seemed like they might make it twitchy or unstable on technical climbs, but that wasn’t the case at all. Much to the contrary, the short chain stays do a great job at keeping the wheel engaged and, on the ground, even when out of the saddle, and didn’t skip around as other hard-tail bikes do sometimes.

The handling on single track is beyond great—the bike handles twist and turns with ease. I’d love to see an improvement in tire clearance capacity for the rear given the industry push for fatter tires… (currently measured 29×2.35 max but actually more like 29×2.2 depending on tire brand and profile) This is something I was worried about but after riding the bike on the single track and paying attention to the rear wheel performance I would say I’m more than happy with the way it runs and if you are looking for a fatter tire capable bike then this bike is not the right one for you. The industry is filled with offerings that will offer those capabilities and a more bland do-it-all type of ride. With the No22 Old King Titanium MTB you are in a true XC race bike, dialed in and focused on being fast, agile, nimble, and responsive, those are its attributes and where it really shines and that is its main advantage/differentiator over the competition. You can take advantage of what this bike offers in terms of traction, speed, and grip off-road and the bike will not disappoint.

Let’s talk about my build:

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We decided to go with the weight weenie approach just because we wanted to really exploit the best of the weight savings this frame had to offer. The No22 Old King Titanium MTB frameset is a size Large and we opted for the Bronze anodized color upgrade. Not their most popular color choice but we’ve to say the look is amazing. We paired the frame with a Fox Factory 34 SC 120mm because we had been betting the 32 on our previous bike and we wanted a plushier ride with a little more air volume and stability on the stanchions. Also, because it is a hardtail we could more aggressively tackle some trail features with the 34. The hoops are Industry 9 Ultralight 280 Carbon 24h 29ners with a 28mm rim inner width, which our my opinion is the way to go as far as rim size for XC applications. The drivetrain is where it gets eccentric, we opted for the SRAM XX1 11-speed group with a Quarq XX1 Power Crank 175x34T. Why? Because of several factors:

  1. The No22 Old King Titanium MTB is an XC racing machine, so the 10-42T cassette offers the best range for the category. No need for 50 or 51 teeth here. Not to mention a much more fluid gear progression.
  2. The weight savings are significant compared to the XX1 Eagle, keeping with the weight-weenie approach for the build.
  3. The finish of the XX1 cassette and group pairs beautifully with the raw titanium tubing and the bronze anodized color choice. However, the backup choice would have been the XX1 Eagle in the Copper color which would accentuate even the color choice even more.
  4. The power meter crankset was more of an availability choice vs a preferred one. We would have preferred a non-power XX1 Crank, but those were on backorder until forever at the time so we opted for the power version. However, now that is there it is great so kinda glad we went with it.

Continuing on with the rest of the build, we decided to transfer over the Shimano XTR M9100 brakes from the last bike to this one, however, I think in the near future we would be upgrading them to the Shimano XTR M9120, just because the dual piston caliper will provide better braking. This bike is fast and it needs the stopping power, especially for a bigger rider. The headset and bottom bracket (t47) are both Ceramic Speed  “Coated” parts, chosen for performance and for durability. Finally, the Cockpit and Seatpost are Ritchey Superlogic Carbon (handlebar and seat post), a Ritchey WCS alloy Stem, and WTB Silverado Saddle with Ti rails.

Conclusion:

Finally, the fact that this bike looks beautiful beyond measure is an added bonus! The color anodization is incredible and everything else about this bike just screams “quality.” The No22 Old King is light, stiff, comfortable, and looks stunning with its sleek lines and subtle details that give it a very elegant appearance. With this build the bike performs like a rocket, it is so easy to go fast on it, at the same time, it is stable, planted, and confidence-inspiring; it performs without twitching at low speeds too and it seems to enjoy the technical sections as much as I do.

I highly recommend considering one of these bikes if you want something truly unique in every sense of the word. The fact that is Made here in the USA, the fact that is a true XC Racing machine, offering exactly what XC bikes should, and the fact that its quality and performance are beyond measure, are what will make this bike stand out among others on every trail you take it.

As a No22 dealer and partner, we hope this review helps you understand and learn more about the company, the product, and the philosophy. We are at your service to help you get going with your next bike so feel free to reach out or stop by for questions or comments. We will be producing more content as we receive the road bikes and gravel bikes from them. Happy Riding!

Check out some action shots of the No22 Old King TItanium MTB from our last ride:

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Visit the No22 Old king landing page.

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bicycle and cycling shop Collareta Florida