Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Wherever good bikes are sold
Bikes: Thylacines...only Thylacines.
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Please, let's not spread misconceptions here. Ti is not exponentially more difficult to fabricate than a high end air hardening steel. The only reason the fabrication costs are higher is because you have to do double pass welds, which essentially double your weld labour portion of the build. High quality steel is still backpurged like Ti, the tubes are still a real bugger to cut (Although not impossible once you have it down), and the same level of cleanliness is required to do a good job.
If companies 'lean toward steel', it probably has more to do with cost or marketing or just pure personal preference than anything else. The raw materials for Ti are four times higher than that of steel, and steel is probably a more versatile material in terms of tubesets available, types of braze-ons etc.