Athena the Titanium Javelin

After a lifetime deprived of titanium bikes, this Pandemic Summer I acquired two. First the Ti Rush, which in spite of being haunted and requiring an exorcism has become my favorite, and then the Ti Javelin.

The majestic Titanium Javelin, one of only ten ever built.

I didn’t even know such a thing as a Ti Javelin existed until I saw one listed in the classifieds of At first I had no interest; the steel Javelin is a monotube bike, and I don’t want to deal with flex. I continued riding my haunted Ti Rush, Titania, occasionally wishing I’d waited for a Medium to come up for sale rather than settling on the Small, whose seat has to be set all the way back on a modified rail. That Ti Javelin for sale is a Medium, the devil on my shoulder whispered. Revisiting the photos, I saw that the titanium version had a dual tube frame. And perfect welds; it had been Easy Racers’ trade show model, and looked great.

Look at that gorgeously welded titanium.

But what was it? There’s no titanium Javelin on Easy Racers’ web site; I’d never even seen one mentioned before. Apparently only ten were ever made. The model came out right as the Easy Racers company was tanking, and subsequently went out of business. Consequently the Ti Jav was never promoted or produced or advertised, and was quickly engulfed by the mists of time. But according to legend – by which I mean the seller – the Ti Jav was the fastest consumer bike Easy Racers ever made. According to legend, Fast Freddy Markham once rode this very same bike at record (for a consumer model) speed. And by “record” I mean not actually recorded, except in legend.

I bought the Ti Jav at the height of the pandemic summer, when bike shops were overwhelmed. It took a while to pack and ship, and when it arrived in Urbana I had to wait over a month for my friendly neighborhood bike mechanic, Simon, to get to it. While in overall great shape, it needed a few modifications before I could ride it. Finally, after two months, with Summer well over and Fall underway, I got to ride the thing, which I named Athena.

The modified seat mount. It came with two, and because I was worried the frame might be too big for me, I had the local machine shop modify one to allow closer seat placement. Turns out that wasn’t necessary, and cost time and money I shouldn’t have spent. Live and learn.
The previous owner cut down Athena’s handlebars for a more “aero” aesthetic. I’d prefer the original length, but I got used to these shorties pretty quickly.
In contrast, here’s the “cockpit” of my Ti Rush. Longer handlebars, and two bottle cages. The Ti Jav only has one, so on long rides I carry a second bottle in my seat bag.

Was she faster than my Ti Rush? Alas, no. But I don’t think she’s any slower, and Titania is pretty fast. “Fast” being relative, as I am a 52-year-old female non-athlete who bikes mostly for mood management. The same “engine” (me) yields similar speeds on both bikes. Supposedly the Ti Jav excels with a fairing. It has a smaller front profile and just zooms along, according to legend. But I have no intention of fairing either it or my Ti Rush, partly because they both have carbon fiber forks which are now known to fail, and I don’t want to stress them. Also, I just don’t like to ride my two-wheelers faired. In the Summer I prefer the warm air on my skin, and the quiet openness that permits conversational rides with friends. When I need a fairing, I ride my velomobile, Frosty.

Frosty the (Sinner Mango Sport) Velomobile, since the addition of retroreflective spots.

The Javelin’s bottom bracket is ten inches higher than standard Easy Racers frames. I was worried she would be hard to ride, but she’s only very slightly more difficult than a Tour Easy. Steering can feel just a little weird and unstable. I hate riding her on gravel, and I’m a little nervous on turns. On the other hand, the riding position is exquisitely comfortable, better than my other bikes. Because my feet are up higher, the seat reclines more, and my back feels like it’s being cradled and hugged. It’s possible a rider can get more “power” in this position, but I haven’t been competitive enough to find out over the few (220) miles I’ve put on her so far. The bottom bracket is still, thankfully, no higher than my hips. I did get tingly toes a few times, but not the foot numbness I used to get on my Grasshopper. If a bottom bracket is really high I imagine one’s feet could slip off without “clipless” cleats, but my preferred pinned platform pedals worked fine at this height.

The Ti Jav’s bottom bracket is high, but not higher than the seat.
The Ti-Rush’s bottom bracket is 10 inches lower, like all other Easy Racers consumer bikes (Tour Easy, Gold Rush, etc.). They’re called Easy for a reason.

The Javelin’s chain is configured differently than the Ti Rush’s, crossing over a central idler. This makes some noise while pedaling. I don’t think there’s any way for it to not make noise. It’s not terrible, but it’s always there.

The Ti Javelin’s chain crisscrosses over the idler. Because she didn’t have a kickstand, I had to lean Athena on posts and trash cans to take photos. I’ve since installed a kickstand, which may horrify some people but it makes long rides with photo stops much more enjoyable.

Right now, if I could only keep one bike, it would be the Ti Rush, because she’s a little easier to handle, and more versatile. But I barely know the Ti Jav. Winter is setting in, and I won’t be able to ride her more until next year. I might get faster on her. She’s a very nice bike. There were some beautiful moments on our rides when I felt like I was astride a javelin, flying through the air, hurled by Athena herself.


Author: Nina Paley

Animator. Director. Artist. Scapegoat.

5 thoughts on “Athena the Titanium Javelin”

  1. Nice bike, it reminds me of the RANS V-3 (which was also made in Ti). Looks like the Jav has a T-Cycle idler, and I bet the power side is toothed. On my bent I have a Bacchetta idler, which is hard rubber and non toothed, and near-silent in my experience.

  2. Hi,
    Very beautifully described. I am curious if you recorded your highest or average speed on this bike?

    Or perhaps you aren’t into tracking stats?

  3. According to Strava, my fastest speed on the Ti Jav has been 32mph (probably for only a few seconds, unless it was some GPS error), and my highest average speed over a sizeable (64 miles) ride was 16.6mph, which for me is very high. However, in Central Illinois, Strava is mostly measuring the wind, not your strength or bike. On that ride I went out on low-wind morning, hung out for a while at my destination, and returned on a significant tailwind. On that same route, which I travel frequently, I didn’t break any personal records I’d already set on my Ti-Rush.

  4. Hi Nina ~
    Just viewed the Laidback Bike report and heard you say you might be on the hunt for Small/Med tiRush. I broker recumbent bikes here in Portland OR. I currently have two ti’s (med and a med/sm) that will be listed this winter. I started with a Tour Easy and lived through many other brands of recumbents only to find that the Easy Racers tiRush is the “Cats Meow” for me. If – you are interested in refining your fit for your favorite platform – contact me for further discussion. Call or tx 503-449-3079 email –

  5. Hello Nina,
    The Ti-Javalin has always caught my eye and been a fantasy machine for me. Economical design and looks fast from all angles. Unfortunately, it would be impossible to live with in my LA apartment.

    I thoroughly enjoyed your interview on the Laidback Report. I too have been thinking about a film featuring recumbents and the people who ride them. I completed such a script, but the recumbancy was an element of character, and not the story. I’m intrigued with your idea of the recumbent and a builder/racer as the story. I’ve always said, a movie with Chris Pratt or Jennifer Laurence on a recumbent would do wonders cool-erizing recumbents.
    All the best.

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