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  1. #1
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    Ti 'bay Build Qs: Litespeed frames for 28c tires, Open Pros, and Sram Rival

    Hello all
    Skip the background if you wish.
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    Been lurking for months, first post. BF is awesome.
    So I tend to ride 10-20 miles a day on average, with a few occasional rides 30-40 miles each week through New York City and my suburb of Staten Island. I'm 22 at 5'11'' and weigh 190 lbs. I ride road, urban, pothole, gravel trails, large hills, etc. I am also looking to do some trekking/commuting, but NOT heavily loaded. This is instead of buying a car, and my primary source of transportation, so I'm spoiling myself somewhat.

    After commuting for three or four years and figuring out what I need I have decided that I need something which is: light, bombproof, fast, semi-relaxed but not fully relaxed geometry, and titanium. Please let's not turn this into a discussion on frame materials, call me stubborn and made up.

    I know that Habby makes a relatively cheap TI cross/touring frame, and that there is the Motobecane Fantom Ti. There are other companies but they are out of my price range.
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    I want to spend ~1500 dollars and build something ~18lbs. Used is fine. I have a former bike shop friend helping.

    I wanted to create a list of ti frames besides the habby, litespeed blue ridge/appalachian, and moto fantom cross ti that fit 28cs. Specifically frames like the litespeed ultimate, etc which are much more common on ebay translating into more likelihood of a cheaper build. If I can build a list of road frames to choose from, that makes life easier, the cross ones seem hard to find. Yes I know geometry is key. But I will look around for deals on frames and measure myself up anyway, if I buy a great frame for a good deal and it doesnt work out, I could still resell it.

    SRAM rival seems like very good value for the whole groupo. But it is still expensive. I assume shifters and deraileurs need to buy new, but is it safe to buy other components used which don't show visible wear (eg cranks)? (Yes I know I need to make sure that the deraileur i'm using will shift cogs with numbers of teeth I plan to use) Is it financially feasible (as in instead of buying an entire groupset?)

    Mavic open pros seem nice for the price, but I hope the rear won't die like I've read on reviews considering my weight.

    Finally, is my dream feasible considering typical going prices for components? Any ideas on how much an individual component should cost of my ideal build on the bay, any alternatives I can use for specific components, etc.

    I was very dubious about posting this at first, but I really have been researching for a good while. I should also mention that I do have a friend who can help me assemble everything, as he worked at a bike shop for years. Truth be told, he won't be able to help much with indexing much since he worked mostly on vintage road bikes and fixed gears.

    Thanks a ton in advance
    Last edited by guitarplayerone; 05-14-11 at 08:13 PM.

  2. #2
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    Bump: really no takers? (also bumping so that I can increase post count to PM guys who do own various litespeed frames)

  3. #3
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Dude, it's Saturday and this is Commuting. Think before you bump.

    Is the Airborne Carpe Diem still available? (*google* Nope, guess not.) You might be able to find one used somewhere.

    $1500 and 18lb? Would you put Sora on a Ti frame?
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
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    ^^ Hence buying things used and using SRAM, for example. Maybe 20lbs is closer to reality, but I think when attempting to undertake a build at all, you at least need to set a target price

  5. #5
    This bike is cat approved monsterpile's Avatar
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    Thats going to be tough to do. Are you looking specifically for something with ability to run canti brakes? If so thats going to make it even hard to get lucky getting a bike or frame to fit into your budget.
    My SUV is a bicycle

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    Senior Member catonec's Avatar
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    2010 Kestrel RT900SL, 800k carbon, chorus/record, speedplay, zonda
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  7. #7
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guitarplayerone View Post
    ^^ Hence buying things used and using SRAM, for example. Maybe 20lbs is closer to reality, but I think when attempting to undertake a build at all, you at least need to set a target price
    Nah, it's more fun to start with a target bike in your mind and build it as parts/$$ are available.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
    2011 Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno, 2009 Motobecane Fantom CX
    Previously: 2000 Trek 4500 (2000-2003), 2003 Novara Randonee (2003-2006), 2003 Giant Rainier (2003-2008), 2005 Xootr Swift (2005-2007), 2007 Nashbar 1x9 (2007-2011), 2011 Windsor Shetland (2011-2014)
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    I was thinking Habby too, why not? PM me if you get one.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Dunno about your locale or sizing, but my LBS has two Airbornes up for grabs. His used stuff is usually either consignments or he's flipping his rental fleet. Don't know if they'd be willing to ship.

    Airborne Zepplin and Carpe Diem, both size 55.
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  10. #10
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    I've picked up complete Ti bikes off ebay/CL for under $800, so I think the project is definitely do-able budget wise. If you're set on riding 28s, your options may be more limited; a couple of the Ti frames I've owned in the past had enough clearance, but my current Ti rig barely has room for 25s. As for the wheels, Mavic Open Pro is a fine rim but not the strongest. I've seen quite a few Open Pros get destroyed here on the rough streets of LA. I'd look into rims that are deeper or at least with a more aero profile.
    i won't deny it i'm a straight ridah

  11. #11
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    Your least expensive solution would be to find a used ti frame, but that might take some time and luck. I was one of the lucky ones -- picking up an Eddy Merckx AX w/ carbon fork and headset for $500 several years ago. I already had a Merckx Corsa, so I knew it would fit because it was the same size and geometry. However, my Merckx would never be confused for a commuting bike unless you travel very light and the weather is nice because it doesn't have mounts or space for fenders and racks.

    The ti version of the Salsa La Cruz would be ideal but might be out of your price range. It retails for about $1,800 I believe, and you would be extremely lucky to find a used one. Because it's a cross frame, it should be great for commuting tho and it has mounts for fenders and racks.

    http://salsacycles.com/bikes/la_cruz_ti1/

    Ti frames are great because you never have to worry about rust or paint chips and they are a little lighter than steel. I would worry about a ti bike getting stolen, however, unless you have a very secure place to leave it during the day.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Gunnar Sport

    Think of it as a choice between high end steel and entry level Ti.

    I had an Airborne Carpe Diem, got rid of it.

    I've done what you are considering.

    I don't like compromise designs, like cross/touring.
    Especially since you aren't going to be doing either.

    Get a bike like the Sport or the Salsa Casseroll.

    Gunnar is Waterford's "budget" line. The Sport or the Fast Lane would fit your requirements.

    Alternatively, go custom Habanero. Take the Road, and have them use the Geometry from the Gunnar Sport.
    Have the chainstays be 425 or 430. That's prob all you need to change; besides changing the brakes to cantis or long reach (I have both, both are fine). I've ridden the Habanero Road, and it's a sweet bike.
    Oh, don't forget the mounting points for racks if you want them.
    Last edited by late; 05-23-11 at 08:53 AM.
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  13. #13
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    Crazy about my Habanero road bike. Nice guys, great service, too.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by guitarplayerone View Post
    I wanted to create a list of ti frames besides the habby, litespeed blue ridge/appalachian, and moto fantom cross ti that fit 28cs.
    I have a 55cm 1996 Litespeed Natchez with a similar vintage Look fork with 1" threaded steerer. It's sub-optimal for commuting though (no clearance for fenders, short chain stays, no rack eyelets) and I'll probably replace it sometime with a custom Habenero or NTP frame now that I sometimes ride 12 miles in rain and have outgrown my tolerance for back packs.

    Both clear the 27mm Vittoria Master Cross tires I used to ride on snow days although the brakes need to be adjusted a little loose for the tires to go in or out with a whack.

    I'd guess the 27mm tires + knobs are bigger than a 28mm.

    I have no clue how that extrapolates to different size, vintage, or model frames from Litespeed.

    SRAM rival seems like very good value for the whole groupo. But it is still expensive.
    I like Campagnolo. The shifters go five cogs smaller or three larger (except for Escape and Powershift, avoid those), the brake releases are on the hoods and don't affect leverage (you open one and keep riding if you bend a rim slightly), they'll all run triple cranks.

    Small parts are sold separately for second generation 9/10 speed levers (they've been discontinued for first generation 8/9 speed levers, and Campagnolo wants you to buy a whole mechanism for $100 if you break an Ultrashift, Powershift, or Escape lever). Usually it's under $10 to rebuild a right shifter after wearing it out, although sometimes you also break a $10 spring carrier or $5 return spring.

    NOS 2010 Centaur Carbon Ultrashift levers for $200 from Shiny Bikes (you don't pay VAT as an American) including cables are one good option. Used second generation levers are good too, but if they say "Record" after you add a cable set you may spend as much as you would for a brand new second generation lever set (Record and Chorus QS levers are still available with the Chorus running about $250 from your favorite UK source).

    A Jtek shiftmate will marry one to a Shimano rear derailleur and cassette if you have Shimano wheels you'd like to use.

    I assume shifters and deraileurs need to buy new,
    Second generation Campagnolo levers are so inexpensive and simple to rebuild it doesn't matter if they're worn out.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxOfgqiiZtY

    Derailleurs last so long that they usually go out of style and get retired before they're worn out.
    Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 05-23-11 at 02:24 PM.

  15. #15
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    First, I want to say thank you to all the forum members here for some great input, especially in terms of mentioning some of the other frames available and tire clearance experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by late View Post
    I don't like compromise designs, like cross/touring.
    Especially since you aren't going to be doing either.
    The thing is, the main reason I'm replacing this bike is for those days when I ride 40+ miles daily (which seems to happen two to three times a week since the bike is my primary form of transportation, along with a minimum of 10-20 miles a day of commuting/transportation/recreation), and I'd like to get into some touring to do simple things like go to a nice beach 60-100 miles round trip. Also though, I ride through a lot of hiking trails in the woods, and would have some use for a somewhat higher bb than usual, but then that needs to be weighed against crotch clearance issues at red lights. I think the idea of cross/touring compromise type geo is to have somewhat tighter geo than a heavy-load touring bike, but not as tight as a pure CX frame, which many have said are a bit 'twitchy' on the road. I have started looking into frames that are CX but have 'normal' geo and fender mounts (and are also $$$ above what I was going to spend). Finally, I am not going to be running panniers most of the time at least, not running the bike with heavy loads, so while I don't want an excessively short chainstay, a fullblown touring-length chainstay is not necessary.

    My uses for this bike will be somewhat equal parts hill sprinting (my usual commute, especially since I like to procrastinate), CX-condition type riding in woods, mud, and gravel trails, and long-distance lightly loaded touring (which does favor the idea of a granny gear over SRAM)

    Quote Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
    Ti frames are great because you never have to worry about rust or paint chips and they are a little lighter than steel. I would worry about a ti bike getting stolen, however, unless you have a very secure place to leave it during the day.
    To be honest, the physical isolation of the school where I go, along with my desire to keep it 'bald' should offer no problems. I have yet to hear of a bike being stolen, or even a quick-release wheel, which nobody ever locks, and we do have a few guys who ride in with decent road bikes, though granted no Ti. But I do plan on using a 3' kryptonite chain or pair of good u-locks for any ventures into shady territory, or use the old bike which will be demoted to 'beater'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
    NOS 2010 Centaur Carbon Ultrashift levers for $200 from Shiny Bikes (you don't pay VAT as an American) including cables are one good option. Used second generation levers are good too, but if they say "Record" after you add a cable set you may spend as much as you would for a brand new second generation lever set (Record and Chorus QS levers are still available with the Chorus running about $250 from your favorite UK source).
    Hm, could you guys please estimate how much I might source a second-gen campy groupset after all is set and done then?

    Quote Originally Posted by monsterpile View Post
    Thats going to be tough to do. Are you looking specifically for something with ability to run canti brakes? If so thats going to make it even hard to get lucky getting a bike or frame to fit into your budget.

    I've thought long and hard about this issue, and I've decided that in terms of versatility and my specific application for this bike, it makes the most sense not to cheapen out on the most crucial part of the build, and that I will run cantis, which rules out most non-cyclocross frames.

    However, this still leaves the Habby as well as any other CX frame- I've noticed as a general rule, Ti CX frames seem to have at least fender mounts and more relaxed geometry than their carbon counterparts. I've been ebay hunting for a while and have noticed all of the nice litespeed road frames up, but I really don't want to do a 650B conversion, because I will not run anything higher than a 32 if that, plus fenders on this bike. 650B conversions would have to be run with long-reach calipers, and though they will fit 32s and fenders in that setup, the BB will end up much closer to the ground than I'd prefer.

    Quote Originally Posted by tFUnK View Post
    As for the wheels, Mavic Open Pro is a fine rim but not the strongest. I've seen quite a few Open Pros get destroyed here on the rough streets of LA. I'd look into rims that are deeper or at least with a more aero profile.
    Thank you, I've been hearing a lot about destroyed rear open pros too. Considering that where I live is pothole central (and I am occasionally forced into these by the supremely courteous motorists here), they might not hold up.

    Could anyone please elaborate on some decent, ~$700 absolute max (and preferably more around 400) aero wheels, which are relatively light too (lol). They will be built up from the hubs.

    I might blow the budget on this build, but that is okay as long as I don't get too carried away. However, I hope with the help of bf to plan the build, and my good friend to execute it, I can keep the price of it sane and end up with a really nice and very functional build.
    Last edited by guitarplayerone; 05-30-11 at 01:46 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by guitarplayerone View Post
    Could anyone please elaborate on some decent, ~$700 absolute max (and preferably more around 400) aero wheels, which are relatively light too (lol). They will be built up from the hubs.
    I'd lace your choice of deeper rims to your choice of Shimano or Campagnolo cup-and-cone hubs.

    Velocity Fusions are a 25mm 475g rim and Deep Vs 30mm/500g. They come in your choice of colors (Black, Silver, White, Electric Red, Yellow, Electric Blue, Purple, Gold, Orange, Lime Green, Antifreeze Green, Ti. Grey, Bright Silver, Pink, Celeste, Brown).

    HED C2 24mm/475g; a wide rim in contemporary black only.

    Kinlin XR-300 (30mm/465g) or XR-270 (27mm/440g). Lots of color and drilling choices. I am not happy with how tight tires are on the XR-300 I just built up. I couldn't get the first bead of a Continental GP 4 season (which mount and unmount without tools or swearing on Mavic and Alex rims) on without tools until I replaced the Velox rim tape with Veloplugs and even then the second bead took a tire lever to install and getting the tire off took a couple of tire levers.

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