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Old 01-28-08, 10:09 AM   #1
bigbossman 
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Colnago Titainio - any information?

I had occasion to come across an odd little bike - a Colnago Titainio. Looked to be early 90's, and was outfitted with 8 speed Dura Ace. It was a very pretty little bike, but was odd was the down tube - or maybe I should say down tubes. The down tube was actually a pair of tubes, much like a mixte top tube, that started close together at the head tube and ran down to the BB. Really odd looking.

The seller wanted $950, and that was a bit much for a "pig in a poke", so I passed on it. Something about the DT screamed "evolutionary dead-end". When I got home, I did a little Googling and found a few bits of information. Evidently, the twin tube DT was a very short-lived feature, and there are a lot of anecdotal stories of these frames being whippy and prone to cracking at the BB/DT junction.

I'm thinking I made the right call, what do you guys think?
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Old 01-28-08, 12:44 PM   #2
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Was it made from titanium? A quick eBay search of completed auctions shows two very different frames, one like the old Diamondback triple triangle, one normal, both with dual downtubes:
http://search-completed.ebay.com/col...oZQQsofocusZbs

Whippy to the point of noodles is what I have heard, and prone to breakage. $950 was probably a decent price, but only for a rider, not a flipper, and I doubt you would have liked the ride.

I say you made the right call.
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Old 01-28-08, 02:36 PM   #3
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Was it made from titanium? A quick eBay search of completed auctions shows two very different frames, one like the old Diamondback triple triangle, one normal, both with dual downtubes:
http://search-completed.ebay.com/col...oZQQsofocusZbs

Whippy to the point of noodles is what I have heard, and prone to breakage. $950 was probably a decent price, but only for a rider, not a flipper, and I doubt you would have liked the ride.

I say you made the right call.

Looked like the 1st one, normal diamond frame, with twin DT's. Yikes - that one went for a lot of money, with 21 people bidding on it. Maybe I should go look at it again?

It was a smaller frame, and I was toying with the idea of holding it in reserve until my daughter outgrew the Battaglin. But it was too much $$$ for that purpose, and I wouldn't want her to ride something that was prone to breakage, anyway.
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Old 01-28-08, 04:03 PM   #4
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Personally, I think for $950 you could do better, but in steel, rather than Ti.
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Old 01-28-08, 04:27 PM   #5
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Personally, I think for $950 you could do better, but in steel, rather than Ti.
Me, too. Especially if it's for the the Little One. Besides, it wouldn't be right for her to get a Colnago before daddy does. Funny thing is, daddy doesn't really want a Colnago - daddy wants a Cinelli, Tommasini, or De Rosa. And that Cinelli Super Corsa Tom has at GHV is stunning - but I would want the frameset only, as I do not have a use for a 9sp dt shifting drivetrain with a double ring.

There are a lot of decent frames out there for the kid to choose from when the time comes, and I already have the build bits - I'll just strip down the Battaglin and migrate everything over. I'm in no hurry.
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Old 01-28-08, 04:32 PM   #6
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Well since I was introduced to Mark Bulgier site I have been on it nonstop and have read all of the articles (nerd alert) and thought I would pass this along.

Bicycle Guide Dec '94, Master Light and Bititan review
Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7

Edit: I don't know if this breaks your heart or not but if I was taller I would have been all over it.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=230215757794

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Old 01-28-08, 04:44 PM   #7
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Well since I was introduced to Mark Bulgier site I have been on it nonstop and have read all of the articles (nerd alert) and thought I would pass this along.

Page 6
Hmmm..... interesting. The frame set sold for $2100 new, and 8 speed Shimano Dura Ace was standard.

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Edit: I don't know if this breaks your heart or not but if I was taller I would have been all over it.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=230215757794
Naw - too big, too beat up, wrong color.
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Old 01-28-08, 05:19 PM   #8
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Bigbossman,

Look for a De Rosa, you won't regret it. Check out Primato's and Neo Primato's for classic steel made for modern drivetrains.
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Old 01-28-08, 09:33 PM   #9
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ya...you'll get a de rosa cheaper (a little) than a bitubo. the nag collectors will be all over every one.
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Old 01-29-08, 07:50 AM   #10
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Didn't the frame have some weird name, like bi-titan or something?

A Cat 3-4 team showed up one year at the Bethel Spring Series on a bunch of the frames (six?). All of them broke at least one before the Series ended (in mid April), a few had broken two. Some of them are Cat 2s now but still, to break a frame in a month or two is not very confidence inspiring. And it seemed like it was across the board, not just one frame.

I think this is when the titanium craze was spreading and manufacturers were exploring cheap alternatives to the exquisite Merlin type setup. So ex-fighter factories in the Eastern Bloc were being hired to weld together frames (I remember one rep proudly telling me that his frames were built in a Polish fighter plane factory) as well as who knows what else. Many of the frames back then were garbage, and even Lightspeed had extremely crooked bottom brackets to the point that either the cranks clunked or they barely spun (dunno how they are now).

I still think they look cool but such a bike is an exercise is design (perhaps art since it's probably not very efficient mechanically), not for riding.

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Old 01-29-08, 09:01 AM   #11
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There. Now that we've heard from everyone who hasn't ridden the Bititan, but has heard this or that about it: I have ridden this bike for the past 12 or 13 years. It first impressed me with its lateral stiffness - probably due to the double downtube design - while riding smoother and "softer" than the SL-SP Guerciotti it was replacing as my main ride. It is efficient, yet all-day comfortable.
I too have heard of the frame-breaking issue, but there has been no problem with mine. While I'm not a masher, I do weigh close to 180, so I do put a little stress into the frame.
Is a 13-year-old used frame worth $950? Only you can determine what it might be worth to you, how much you'd be willing to pay to own it. But don't discount it completely based on based on a bunch of "I heard that..."s.
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Old 02-01-08, 10:56 PM   #12
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There is a short, new thread over at the Serotta Forum on the subject:
http://www.serotta.com/forum/showthr...050#post475050
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