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Old 09-24-11, 08:34 PM   #1
Deademeat
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Any tips on finding a cheap titanium frame

I really like the idea of anodizing my own designs onto a titanium frame, but I would really like not to destroy a frame I care about perfecting this particular skill. Any clever ideas on where I could find an old titanium frame to practice on? I want to try my hand at stripping and brushing/polishing too, which is why I need an actual frame with some decals on rather than just some scrap titanium pieces. I'd rather not spend a fortune on this (I think around $100 would be my limit), but since it could be crashed and busted to heck for all I care I'm hoping that would bring the price down.

I'm looking in the usual places (ebay and Craigslist), but since "buy my old and busted ti frame - its a real POS and could kill you if ridden" doesn't seem to be a common selling tactic, the options are limited (I may get lucky, but I may not).

Anyone have any cool ideas on where to find an old frame? I know very few people who bike locally unfortunately, so I'm hard pressed to find anything in the immediate area. If anyone reading this happens to have crashed their Litespeed into a tree then feel free to pm me - if its in the Phildelphia area I'll even give you a free ride to the hospital.

Dave
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Old 09-24-11, 08:48 PM   #2
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Hey Dave!

Here's one! Don't bust it up, though!!!

Bikesdirect.com

Motobecane's (Frameset)

LeChamp Team Ti @ $999.00

- Slim
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Old 09-24-11, 08:55 PM   #3
Jeff Wills
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Talk to local bike clubs. It's likely they'll know someone who had a crashed/busted titanium frame sitting in their basement.
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Old 09-25-11, 09:22 AM   #4
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If I ever do crash my old Litespeed, I'll let you know.

Perhaps you've seen it already, but in case you haven't, Firefly Bicycles has been doing some very interesting anno work on their Ti bikes, along with the usual decals and masked/blasted designs. Firefly Gallery
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Old 09-25-11, 06:18 PM   #5
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If I ever do crash my old Litespeed, I'll let you know.
When you come in here complaining about crashing your bike next week, that guy shining a laser pointer into your eyes while rubbing goose fat onto the tarmac at the bottom of the hill totally wasn't me.

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Perhaps you've seen it already, but in case you haven't, Firefly Bicycles has been doing some very interesting anno work on their Ti bikes, along with the usual decals and masked/blasted designs. Firefly Gallery
That is definitely the cleanest anodized lettering I have ever seen. That would be some sexy work (and I even like the color they chose).

Dave
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Old 09-25-11, 09:32 PM   #6
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When you come in here complaining about crashing your bike next week, that guy shining a laser pointer into your eyes while rubbing goose fat onto the tarmac at the bottom of the hill totally wasn't me.
Note to self: Take the flat route to work next week.
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Old 09-26-11, 02:27 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Deademeat View Post
I really like the idea of anodizing my own designs onto a titanium frame, but I would really like not to destroy a frame I care about perfecting this particular skill. Any clever ideas on where I could find an old titanium frame to practice on? I want to try my hand at stripping and brushing/polishing too, which is why I need an actual frame with some decals on rather than just some scrap titanium pieces. I'd rather not spend a fortune on this (I think around $100 would be my limit), but since it could be crashed and busted to heck for all I care I'm hoping that would bring the price down. ....
I sympathize fully with your desire to make stuff--but with anything made from Titanium, there is no cheap way.
It costs ~12-14X as much as steel or aluminum does and it is just as recyclable as aluminum, if a person knows where to take it. Any custom frame makers aren't likely to part with any totaled frames, or scraps either.

Contacting riding clubs and offering to buy any trashed frames or forks is probably your best bet.

Or you could reconsider just using scrap pieces--but they will not be cheap either. And you will need to find someplace local to get them, as the mail-order places all charge well for cutting & shipping. Look in your local phone book for "metals suppliers".

A while back I bought a [scrap] piece .750" diameter x .029" wall thickness, and about 3.5 feet long. The local metals place I go to charged me $65 for it. A "new" piece would have been ~$100.



A third option might be testing anodizing on titanium foil. You could tape it (or somehow stick it?) around an aluminum tube to hold it in a curved surface shape. This would give you the most play-area for the money.

(...I dunno much about Ti really--just it's expen$$$ive, it's d4mn difficult to machine and it must be plasma-cut and tig welded...)
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