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Old 08-18-07, 06:18 PM   #1
CrossChain
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Please....Someone Argue for Titanium

Tuition, car break downs, locust plagues.....every budget contingency is covered-- I might actually be able to afford a new bike next year. The merits of carbon are often mentioned here. OK. Yet, as an old steel bike person, the lure of something metalic is strong. Titanium: what are its virtues & vices? (Titanium riders' views especially wanted.)
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Old 08-18-07, 06:32 PM   #2
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I've never ridden one so I can't help you. However, my brother rides 7000-8000 miles a year and had 3 road bikesin his stable, a Merck's steel, titanium (not sure of the manuf) and a carbon. He sold the titanium and spreads the miles over the other two. He did say that if were to get down to just one bike it would be the carbon......I can get his opinion on a comparison of the three if your interested.
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Old 08-18-07, 06:41 PM   #3
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Positives:
  • never rusts
  • incredibly strong
  • beautiful to behold
  • lightweight
  • lively/snappy feel
  • like steel but better

Negatives:
  • expensive to manufacture
  • expensive to purchase
  • purchase only from proven builders
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Old 08-18-07, 06:58 PM   #4
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You might find this of interest:
http://spokesmanbicycles.com/page.cfm?pageID=331

You can click on the left to read about other materials.
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Old 08-18-07, 07:06 PM   #5
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Positives:
  • never rusts
  • incredibly strong
  • beautiful to behold
  • lightweight
  • lively/snappy feel
  • like steel but better

Negatives:
  • expensive to manufacture
  • expensive to purchase
  • purchase only from proven builders
I have a titanium bike and agree wth all of the above. I wasn't actually looking for a ti bike, but found one on sale and really like it. BTW, this is no disrepect to other materials. I think aluminum, steel and carbon are all good--in the hands of the right builder.

[Edit] FWIW--I have five bikes. I ride the ti bike--a Lemond Victoire--more than the others combined. I do not intend to get another bike for a good long time. So, bottom line, I'm happy.
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Old 08-18-07, 07:21 PM   #6
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I thought I wanted a carbon fiber bike. I went to a good bike shop in Ft. Worth and tried out several carbon frames and felt like I was riding on a 2x4 w/steel wheels. The owners bike was sitting in the corner and one of the guys said, "Try this one." I had been riding Dura Ace component bikes and this one was Campy. His bike didn't fit me; however, the ride was the most comfortable DF I had ever ridden. I had a custom Moots with Dura Ace components built because I hated the Campy and loved the positive shifting of the Shimano components. I STILL love my Moots--did I mention the frame is guaranteed for life???????------

Now, having said that, I have ordered a Gold Rush Replica for touring and a lot of my everyday riding. I would like to get down to 2 or 3 bikes, and the Moots ti will probably never leave. I have a daughter that is the same height as I am and I will probably leave it to her------------hopefully in 60 years, because at my current age, 60, I think I have just reached middle age.
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Old 08-18-07, 07:44 PM   #7
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Ti was the dream material of the 90's, carbon is the new millennium

I have a Heron steel (853), a Lemond Victorie Titanium (Reynolds) and lust after a C-Dale Carbon

I've put about 7,000 miles on the Lemond, which was a warranty replacement for a Klein with a broken seatpost welded clamp. It was a good deal at the time at $750 and is a nice ride. The biggest complaint is the crappy paint job from Trek, the original paint started chipping a year in, the replacement paint is now peeling under sweat stains. So don't EVER buy a painted Ti bike as the paint process is iffy at best.

The C-Dale Synapse I rode (A buddies new ride) is stiff in the b-bracket, where the Lemond is not, yet is still as comfortable over bumps and is a great handling bike. My buddies other rides are a Lemond steel and a C-Dale aluminum time trial bike (which he hates). He too is impressed with the C-Dale Synapse, having tried carbon Trek's, Pinarellos, Lokk and and Orbeas (He found the Orbea way too stiff) and ultimately found the fit of the C-Dale closely matching his Lemond.

Would I buy a titanium again ?. No. No point really as I'm not concerned about the bike lasting 30 years, as it would probably be replaced long before then.

Meantime, the Heron steel rolls along... It's got some rust spots, but nothing to worry about.

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Old 08-18-07, 07:44 PM   #8
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While I don't currently ride a Ti bike, I have owned them in the past. While it is expensive, if properly done, a good Ti bike will ride as well as the finest steel bikes, maybe (get ready for the blasphemy....) even a bit better. One thing to consider when pricing is that a very well made carbon bike will be just as expensive, or more than a Ti bike, but the Ti bike will most likely out ride the carbon in it's stress cycle life. In my completely "unscientifically" based opinion, Ti owners tend to keep their bikes for a good long time. Other positives are the fact that they are very easy to take care of (no paint chips, rust, etc...), you don't need to worry (as much) about stripping out threads, and they seemingly never go out of style. As a former frame builder myself, I really do think that Ti is one of the better materials to build with for all the above reasons and more. But do please read that they have to well made, from a reputable builder and preferably with a warranty, just in case. A poorly manufactured Ti bike will fail just as readily as any other poorly made bike.
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Old 08-18-07, 08:10 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post
I've never ridden one so I can't help you. However, my brother rides 7000-8000 miles a year and had 3 road bikesin his stable, a Merck's steel, titanium (not sure of the manuf) and a carbon. He sold the titanium and spreads the miles over the other two. He did say that if were to get down to just one bike it would be the carbon......I can get his opinion on a comparison of the three if your interested.
Yes, jppe, I'd appreciate your bro's comparisons....as well as all those who've posted.
Thanks.
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Old 08-18-07, 08:11 PM   #10
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I have a lot of carbon fiber in other sports gear.

Much as I like carbon bikes, I don't like to have to be careful all the time with my gear to the extent carbon demands. So when it comes to a custom, if it were me, I'd lean toward Ti. (I like steel too, but not the rust.)
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Old 08-18-07, 08:29 PM   #11
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Ti is the new AL
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Old 08-18-07, 08:47 PM   #12
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I've never ridden a titanium bike, but have the parts for one to be built in about a month. My perspective on the use of a ti-bike: I researched my biking wants & needs, which gave me the mindset that my lightweight ti-bike will be for sport-like fun during club rides ... to give me some advantage in keeping up with the other cyclists ... but to also have the "steel is real" feel of the road. If I get into doing prolonged riding trips, I might conceivably consider my ti-bike as a credit-card-tour bike.

On the other hand, for what I consider the fun riding, my ti-bike would not be my first choice for barnstorming over sidewalks (and their curbs) ... on trails ... and on really bad roads at moderate speeds. The Saluki's heavy steel frame has gotten me through three major get-offs since August 1st ... and maybe I'm lucky or the bike just fell on me instead of the road, but zero damage to the heavy steel frame. What I paid for the ti-bike, I could have gotten two Saluki's and all biking accessories (a bunch) that I've bought this year.

Because of the investment I made in the ti-bike, and because of the craftmanship of the ti-bike, and the probability that it will not be used for my barnstorming rides, the ti-bike will probably last long enough for this 50-year old to have it converted to either a wheelchair or a lightweight coffin with DT Swiss wheels.
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Old 08-18-07, 08:51 PM   #13
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I've decided to wait for someone to release a flat-bar road bike with a black walnut frame.
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Old 08-18-07, 09:29 PM   #14
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--did I mention the frame is guaranteed for life???????------
Hey, just like my Varsity.

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Old 08-18-07, 10:01 PM   #15
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I've decided to wait for someone to release a flat-bar road bike with a black walnut frame.
How about bamboo and hemp fiber? I'm sure you could fit one of these with flat bars. I think it's pretty cool looking.

http://www.calfeedesign.com/bamboo.htm
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Old 08-18-07, 10:37 PM   #16
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Yeah, I've seen those bamboo ones before. I was looking for a more upscale wood, I might consider a light maple or a nice dark cherry.
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Old 08-19-07, 01:03 AM   #17
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I have a Litespeed Ti, rode it alot first year, but rarely ride it now. I also have a madone 5.2 120 OCLV CF, LOVE the madone.

Ti I notice gives too much for me, I can feel it in corners. Its a poor climber relative to my madone.
But when I do a impoerial century, Ti would be my first chioce, Madone last. This due to long term comfort.
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Old 08-19-07, 02:47 AM   #18
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I have a Titanium Colnago CT1 ... though probably cheating a bit, as it has carbon rear (and forks). I also have a steel Merckx, and would agree with most of what's been written here. The Ti is similar to steel, though lighter and 'snappier'. I do most of my riding on the Merckx for its "cruisy" quality, but switch to the Colnago for all my event rides, and when I feel like going for it a little more. Because the Colnago is lighter but equally more responsive, it turns out to be a bit more comfortable on rides over 3-4 hours.

I've ridden a few carbon bikes, which are different of course, but I have no complaints at all with my Ti bike, and don't intend to retire it for quite some time.

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Old 08-19-07, 02:53 AM   #19
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Not going to Make a case for Ti but I do not like C.F. It may be the wonder material but I am afraid it cannot take the knocks that I would give it and It does not have the stiffness I like. Steel is a comfortable ride but heavy- even if you go to the extent of thin wall material and double or even triple butting. Aluminium used to be very stiff and very heavy But luckily Knowledge of the material has improved the weight and put a bit of flex into a frame. Still a very stiff ride though.

A few years ago I test rode a Bunch of bikes offroad. There was a no-name frame as an example of what not to get. This frame was light and Boy did it Flex. A Titanium frame made for lightness and you could twist the frame by changing position whilst riding it. Then there was a Merlin and a Litespeed. That merlin had the comfort of a Steel frame- Had the lightness of C.F and rode like an aluminium frame. The litespeed may have been as good but it did not fit or feel as comfortable as the Merlin so perhaps not a true comparison.

Now the bikes on that test day covered all the types of bikes around- Full suspension, hardtails and even a couple of rigids. The one thing I did note was that everyone was trying out the Full suspension bikes for comfort. Those in the Know were trying the hardtails as they are more efficient and most of us came to the same conclusion- The bikes that rode the best were the Lightest, and top of the list was the Merlin Ti- followed by the Litespeed and then came the Others- Far behind.

Whether this would transpose to road bikes- I would not like to comment on but The only way to check out the materials is to get a test ride- And even try out a top rated Alumimium aswell for comparison.

So where's your local Big Bianchi stockist as they make in all the materials and in all the grades.


http://www.bianchiusa.com/07_bicycles.html
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Old 08-19-07, 03:01 AM   #20
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Yeah, I've seen those bamboo ones before. I was looking for a more upscale wood, I might consider a light maple or a nice dark cherry.
Like this one perhaps- AND you will need a strong stoker as it weighs 125lbs
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Old 08-19-07, 05:51 AM   #21
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Love my Seven Axiom. The cats have knocked it over many times. The only damage is to the decals. I opted for the brushed finish instead of the paint.

Last edited by dendawg; 08-19-07 at 06:55 AM.
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Old 08-19-07, 06:00 AM   #22
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I just test rode as Lynsky Ti bike on Friday. I'm probably going to get rid of my Specialized S-Works Carbon bike in favor of the Ti. Carbon is light (I'm not, so this is less of an issue for me), however, having had to replace a carbon frame, seat post and handlebars (all at different times), I'm tired of carbon's need to be treated with extreme care. The Lynsky I rode on Friday was very much like the ride of my S-Works. It was comfortable, stiff, climbs well, etc. Cost of the Lynsky is actually a bit less than the S-Works was. I don't buy the marketing hype of "wonder materials", "bike of the new milliennum", etc. I will echo those who believe the thing to look for is a really good builder.
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Old 08-19-07, 08:48 AM   #23
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Love my Seven Axiom. The cats have knocked it over many times. The only damage is to the decals. I opted for the brushed finish instead of the paint.
I love my Seven Axiom too, I don't have cats so I removed the decals myself. I'm sure there is someone making custom carbon frames, I just don't know who. Seven makes custom Ti frames. A custom frame is better than off the rack. The bike fits like a glove.
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Old 08-19-07, 08:53 AM   #24
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Like this one perhaps- AND you will need a strong stoker as it weighs 125lbs
Impractical yes, but what a gorgeous work of art.
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Old 08-19-07, 09:56 AM   #25
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I love my Seven Axiom too, I don't have cats so I removed the decals myself. I'm sure there is someone making custom carbon frames, I just don't know who. Seven makes custom Ti frames. A custom frame is better than off the rack. The bike fits like a glove.
Screwed up again, its an Alaris I have, not the axiom but I still love it. Lots of custom carbon out there from Seven and Serrota among others, just a lot more money for the frame - the Seven carbon frames run about 2x the cost of my Alaris frame.
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