The Titan is a calm climber, but the Float X2 does move a bit if you stand up and really start hammering. It doesn't have quite the same level of snap out of the gate as the new Specialized Enduro, or Ibis Ripmo, and on longer climbs I usually took advantage of that climb lever to get a little extra support for those hard efforts. The lever is easy to access, and despite Mike Levy's vehement anti-lever
sentiments, I never experienced any guilt when I flipped that switch.
On certain trails, particularly ones filled with sections of awkward rocky steps, the Titan felt a bit cumbersome, and I felt like I was working a harder than usual to maintain my speed. Switching the dropouts to the higher position, which steepens the head angle a bit and raises the bottom bracket, is one way to add a little zip to the Titan's manners. Like adding hot sauce onto scrambled eggs, it's not a drastic alteration, but it helps - the bike felt more at home in flatter, chunky terrain in that higher setting. I used the high setting for the trails around Moab, Utah, but preferred the low setting for the steeper trails I frequent in the Pacific Northwest.
Depending on what style of climb you're tackling, long chainstays can either be a boon or a bane. Preparing to face off against a rubble-filled straightaway, the type of section where maintaining traction is the key to success? In situations like that the Titan shone, with the longer back end and relatively slack head angle providing plenty of stability to keep on churning up and over the rough stuff. As expected, it was on the slower speed, tighter and twisty bits that the longer back end became more noticeable. It's still possible to get through those sections of trail, it just takes more effort and some advance planning.
Overall, the Titan feels most at home when it's used to grind up logging roads and then plunge down a gnarly trail once the climbing is over. The steep seat tube angle combined with the relatively tall front end creates a comfortable, upright climbing position, but it never felt like it was in a hurry on the climbs or on flatter sections of trail. Luckily it's another story once gravity takes over...