Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 22 of 22
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    My Bikes
    Kilo TT
    Posts
    37
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Titanium track frames, potential goldmine?

    My boss seems to have quite a history with track bikes and racing. She says her father built racing bikes in Los Angeles in the 1960s and started her in the velodrome from age 4. She also says the bikes he made were some of the first titanium track frames. Having inherited much of his belongings, here is where the story gets interesting.

    Among his possessions were several (I think she said 20-30) of these old bikes, fully equipped with campagnolo gear and some other italian company i forget the name of. This stable is apparently in storage somewhere, just waiting to be unleashed into the world.

    What I'm asking is, does this all add up? That is, early/first titanium frames, 1960s, etc. Also, how do you all think these bikes would have held up in storage over the years. I imagine titanium wouldn't run into too many aging problems, but who knows.

    I am trying to get more information out of her, and I'm sure she would be looking to sell most of these bikes.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Gambutrol's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Dayton, OH
    My Bikes
    3Rensho SRA
    Posts
    443
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    get out and ride them :-)

  3. #3
    Senior Member bakaster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Isla Vista (Santa Barbara) and Berkeley
    My Bikes
    1979 Motobecane Nomade Sprint, homegrown fixie
    Posts
    201
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    i'd buy one if the price was right
    A good ride is one you can walk away from.
    A great ride is one where you can still use the bike afterwards.

    Learn from the mistakes of others.
    You won’t live long enough to make all of them yourself.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Gambutrol's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Dayton, OH
    My Bikes
    3Rensho SRA
    Posts
    443
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bakaster View Post
    i'd buy one if the price was right
    Yeah, send anything under 50cm my way!

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    289
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This thread requires pictures.

  6. #6
    Senior Member jet sanchEz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    7,430
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Early Ti stuff was generally regarded as flexy as hell, especially in the BB, so that is why it never caught on until Litespeed spent a lot of research/development on Ti in the '80s and '90s. Still, even Litespeed had some troubles and a lot of their models from the early 90s are pretty useless due to the huge flex issues.

    Teledyne was an early Ti manufacturer and I don't think they have any value except as collectibles of a different era, they wouldn't be much use for riding.

  7. #7
    Senior Member jet sanchEz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    7,430
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Also, if she has waited this long, she should put up a 56 on eBay and see what it fetches. She can slowly release more and more, one every month or so, to attain maximum value. She will probably get a ton of questions and she can just email back people saying that she has other frames for sale and work away from ebay to avoid their crazy fees.

  8. #8
    Banned.
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    philly
    Posts
    994
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by joetotale View Post
    This thread requires that you send the largest one to skinnyland, posthaste.
    See?


    Really, that's a great find. Please do get some photos and share them with us!

  9. #9
    sneeuwpret
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    South of Madison
    My Bikes
    lots
    Posts
    198
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This sounds potentially great, but I am skeptical. There are some big issues in terms of the usefulness of the bikes, mainly the flex issue that JS mentioned. Ti really didn't make a good track bike then (it is still not a common material because of the flex issue), so I see no reason someone would go through the trouble of building 20-30 frames out of a material that was probably hard to come by (anyone making Ti tubes then?), a pain to work with (still true), probably didn't make good frames (flex issue), and was really expensive. A couple just to try it out - maybe, if he was some technology geek who wanted to play around with the new supermetal. It is also my understanding that during the 1960s, almost all Ti was for the military, and people were just starting to be exposed to the material, so I am really unsure how he would have gotten the material to start with.

    My guess? The frames are steel. I have had more than one person see a really nicely made steel frame and think it is Ti, because they are surprised by the low weight and quality. They think steel=Varsity, and don't realize you can make a really nice steel bike.

    The frames still probably have collector's value as vintage pieces, but not the technology-ground-braking status they would if they were Ti.

    Who knows, maybe they are Ti? This is a good story - keep us posted!
    Last edited by geoffvsjeff; 08-20-08 at 12:54 PM.
    Louis knows how to ride a bike, and he'll bring you beer to prove it.
    -MH

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    My Bikes
    Kilo TT
    Posts
    37
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yeah, I'm really not sure that they are all titanium. She might have just been saying that because it sounds more impressive. I believe that these bikes were intended for racing, so steel would be a good bet.

    I really don't have much more information, much less pictures, but I will continue to press for information.

    I too hope that some awesome, rideable old bikes (and big ones, too) come as a result of this. Now I just have to convince her to let me check them out.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Charlottesville, Virginia
    My Bikes
    Dawes Kalahari, Puch Prima Super Sport, Graham Weigh 853
    Posts
    1,990
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You ought to take this to Classic and Vintage. There would be a lot of interest in the history there.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Pittsburgh!
    My Bikes
    Track bike, road fixed, cross fixed, two single speed mountain.
    Posts
    311
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'd doubt Ti from that era, but thats a hunch more than anything. Check them out, bring a magnet.

  13. #13
    :jarckass: deathhare's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    6,563
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Titanium in a gold mine?
    What?
    Titanium mine?

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    ABQ, NM
    My Bikes
    Neuvation F100, Surly Cross Check, Van Dessel Holeshot
    Posts
    1,152
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you get a chance to check them out look for discoloration around the weld area which would indicate oxidization which would indicate that you are going to get hurt riding it.

    I remember reading a popular mechanics article about the development of Ti for the Blackbird and they were saying how brittle it was before they figured out you had to weld it in an inert environment.

  15. #15
    partly metal, partly real sp00ki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Philadelphia.
    My Bikes
    Hummer H2
    Posts
    3,597
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    i'd buy one if you weren't lying out of your butthole.
    Quote Originally Posted by bonechilling View Post
    Road [racing] is one of the only sports where adult men can compete in a non-scholastic setting, so inevitably 8/10 racers are fiercely-competitive nobodies. It's fun as hell, but it's also the foremost refuge of defeated and aging jocks, turned middle-management types.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    49
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    i would buy if the price was right

  17. #17
    Senior Member bakaster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Isla Vista (Santa Barbara) and Berkeley
    My Bikes
    1979 Motobecane Nomade Sprint, homegrown fixie
    Posts
    201
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It would definitely be easier for the rest of us to give feedback/information if we could see them. If you can get some pictures, or if she could post some that would be awesome
    A good ride is one you can walk away from.
    A great ride is one where you can still use the bike afterwards.

    Learn from the mistakes of others.
    You won’t live long enough to make all of them yourself.

  18. #18
    we are one thirty eight truth138's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Manhattan, NYC
    Posts
    21
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jet sanchEz View Post
    Early Ti stuff was generally regarded as flexy as hell, especially in the BB, so that is why it never caught on until Litespeed spent a lot of research/development on Ti in the '80s and '90s. Still, even Litespeed had some troubles and a lot of their models from the early 90s are pretty useless due to the huge flex issues.

    Teledyne was an early Ti manufacturer and I don't think they have any value except as collectibles of a different era, they wouldn't be much use for riding.
    Not to mention the metal fatigue of a 40+ year old Ti frame (from sitting in a storage room all those years). The alloys they had back then were not the best and would be close to useless today.

    It would be like finding Carbon fiber frames from the mid-80s, heavy, soft and useless. And no, Kestrel isn't having a garage sale.

  19. #19
    me la cavo
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    ><
    Posts
    68
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by geoffvsjeff View Post
    ... A couple just to try it out - maybe, if he was some technology geek who wanted to play around with the new supermetal. It is also my understanding that during the 1960s, almost all Ti was for the military, and people were just starting to be exposed to the material, so I am really unsure how he would have gotten the material to start with.
    The guy was in LA and aerospace/military research is and pretty much has been the main industry of Southern California since the 50s. Could see if he was an engineer that he'd have been able to get his hands on some of it pretty easily. Ti alloys first appeared in aero/military apps in the mid 50s and then went commercial in the early 60s from what I know so it's totally possible he geeked out and made some. Agree with you though, that him making 20-30 probably didn't happen. The materials piece of the puzzle fits though.

    Here's a quick history of Ti I found that more or less correlates with what I've gleaned over the last few years. You guys might find it interesting...

    http://www.ing.unitn.it/~colombo/tel...ul_titanio.htm

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    131
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Cecil Behringer and Pino Morroni made the first Ti frames, track bikes even! Morroni even made the tubes out of solid bars.
    So unless her father was one them....I'm thinking no.

  21. #21
    bum style sneaky viking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    CT
    My Bikes
    Poprad, Fuji conversion, Quattro Assi
    Posts
    664
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This thread has no real information.

    Buy the bikes and flip the 60s Campy track ****. End of story.

    No 'I heard my boss's brother's grandfather's ex-girlfriend's friend has a bunch of bikes.' Useless.

  22. #22
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    39
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Sounds potentially awesome, get some pics for us at minimum for the threads sake. Im interested to see what they look like.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •