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  1. #1
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    titanium for touring?

    I have more or less decided on a titanium frame with carbon forks but i wondered if any body else had one for that purpose, and what they thought of them, it is a Carpe Diem model made by Airborne.

  2. #2
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    That bike is more of an Audax style bike, so may not be stiff enough for loaded touring. I think MichaelW has one, so maybe PM to him. Are you in the UK as Airborne no longer sells under that name in North America?

  3. #3
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    I found a picture of your Carpe Diem Americano bike. The rear wheel looked to be too close to the down tube for a full on touring bike. No room for fenders or heavy touring tires. More of a racing geometry. The image showed the handle bars several inches below the saddle, another racing type set up, not touring. You might need to get a whole new goose-neck so your upper body will not feel cramped. Titanium and carbon fiber hmmm? Credit card or supported touring maybe, not fully loaded touring. I have owned 4 touring bikes, the latest being a Bruce Gordon BLT. The Bianchi Volpe is closest to your bike, the BLT is way out at the end of the fully loaded spectrum. I use it for commuting - 35 miles and 1500 feet of climbing.
    This space open

  4. #4
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    I had a Carpe Diem. It is not, to my taste, a touring bike. YMMV.
    Btw, I gave the frame to my sister and turned into the World's Most Expensive Hybrid

  5. #5
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Here's a great Ti touring bike.
    http://www.litespeed.com/bikes/2006/road/bluerid_.aspx

    Can you return the Airborne?
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2013 Cannondale CAAD 10 2 (5) "Racing Edition"

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  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by hola
    I have more or less decided on a titanium frame with carbon forks . . .
    I'm no engineer, but I'd be very, very wary of clamping anything to a carbon fork, which pretty much rules out a front rack.

  7. #7
    Resident Old Fart Olebiker's Avatar
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    A friend of mine is having a titanium touring bike built in China. He is getting a titanium fork. I was under the impression that titanium was not suitable for forks.
    Wag more, bark less

  8. #8
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    I have a Spectrum Ti Touring bike. Tom Kellog did a super job fitting me and took in my weight and request that this handle well when loaded with panniers and a handlebar bag. The unloaded ride is a bit stiff, but put panniers on it and it handles beautifully. There is very little difference in the feel at 20mph or 50mph.
    Loaded touring? If your builder has no experience in this type of bike or cannot assure you that this build will offer the necessary solidity, walk away.
    There is no free lunch. In a sense, Ti is silly on a bike intended for loaded touring, as loading on panniers, etc., you do not really exploit the weight savings that Ti offers vs steel. Still, I very happy with my choice and would do it again. But if you're looking at low end Ti, I suggest to go more towards high end, full custom steel such as a Spectrum.
    As to forks, I paid additional to have a steel fork made. I have no dreams of being able to have it fixed at the local blacksmith in Turkmenistan, but I simply did not trust carbon for a loaded touring bike. In addition, I had a water bottle mount (one tap, not 2) brazed onto the right fork blade so I can install a light mount when needed.

  9. #9
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    There is very little difference in the feel at 20mph or 50mph
    You do 50mph with a loaded tourer?!

  10. #10
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    Calfee Designs make ti forks but they have a weight limit.

  11. #11
    Junior Member tophusaf's Avatar
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    Take a look at Moots.com, they have some of the best ti bikes around.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
    You do 50mph with a loaded tourer?!
    Looong downhills
    TI would be fine assuming the seat stays were done rigid enough. A bit of flex is good, keeps the bike solid and your butt happy.
    Breaking bike parts for more than 20 years
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  13. #13
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    My tourer is a steel Bob Jackson, not Airborne.
    What style of touring do you want to do?
    For fully loaded exp style most builder use steel.
    The ti tourers are more suitable for hostel or ultralight camping.
    You can get carbon touring forks. They are heavier duty than race forks and have rack and fender mounts but Im not sure they offer any advantage over a good Reynolds 531 fork.

  14. #14
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    I really bought the airborne for the comfort but by the sounds of it I won't be able to put front racks on the carbon forks, am a bit concerned though that it is not a bit of a pack animal as I quite like loading a bike up I will take more advice on this though.

  15. #15
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    yes I can still return the bike but am a bit reluctant as I have been deliberating over it for a while. I must say though I am not that impressed but given time i think it will grow on me, it is quite a good looking bike as initiialy I thought I wouldn't like the silver colour but it is not quite silver a wee bit less stark on the eye i assume that is the titanium natural finish

  16. #16
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    [QUOTE=late]I had a Carpe Diem. It is not, to my taste, a touring bike. YMMV.
    Btw, I gave the frame to my sister and turned into the World's Most Expensive Hybrid [/QUOTE


    what did u not like about it?

  17. #17
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Hi,
    first... you can put a steel fork on it. I had a Surly fork on mine.
    Second, the rear triangle made the ride a bit rough for a tourer.
    Unless things have changed, it was a cyclocross/tourer and the cross part of it's personality got in the way of the touring part. This is not a classic mellow titanium ride.
    This also meant you can have problems with your heels hitting the panniers. Mine did. You don't have to worry about it's ruggedness. It's tough.

    IMHO, YMMV, sorry to throw mud in our mashed potatoes, but your country makes great touring bikes, it's a tradition there. Why settle for a bike that is not a true tourer when for the same dough you could have a custom King of Mercia???

  18. #18
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
    You do 50mph with a loaded tourer?!
    Hit 45 mph coming off the west side of Loveland Pass with a fully loaded Miyata 1000. Spun out at 35.
    This space open

  19. #19
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    t
    The reason I went for the airborne was there were so many buying them at the wheel builder I go to and he is a no bull ****er and on asking the other customers what they thought the consensus of opinion was unanimous yes, but thanks for your opinion no doubt my big plates of meat will hit the paniers.

  20. #20
    Senior Member gregw's Avatar
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    Simple solution to your problem, use a trailer in lieu of panniers, then you will have the best of both worlds.

    As far as Ti and carbon fiber for touring bikes goes, there are just not many choices. The ones mentioned on this thread are best suited for credit-card, (light) touring or trailer use. (another trailer plus on the "trailer vs pannier" debate) But if you had a custom Ti frame made to your needs, it would be the ultimate. With the proper tube sizes and shapes (like Litespeed uses on their road bikes) you would get all the good steel qualities, without the bad (weight and rust). Unfortunately you can't get a custom CF frame, that I know of.
    Does the weight of a touring frame matter? Sure it does, people with steel frame bikes will say it doesn't matter and in the very next thread report how their Big Agnes tent weighs 12 oz less than the MSR model. If you have ever struggled with how to trim a few more pounds off your cross-country rig, you will remember that the little things count and add-up.

    In the touring bike discussion world, steel is a cult thing and the posters are not as objective as they might be on other subjects, take comments with a grain of salt.

  21. #21
    40 yrs bike touring
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    I have been touring on a Bruce Gordon Ti RockNRoad with BG Racks and Beckman Panniers since 1989. This bike has been a dream to use on and off-road with a full touring load even on The Divide Ride. I use Schwalbe Marathon XR 700X47 tires for all conditions short of deep dry sand. The only limitations are those of the rider not the bike.
    Oversized and ovalized tubing stiffened the frame to reduce the usual Ti flexiness while retaining the most comfortable dampening characteristics of titanium. A rideable work of art that will outlast me I imagine.
    The cost amortized over seventeen years and counting is cheap considering the return of pleasure every day. I highly recommend a well made Ti bike designed for touring.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSchlichting
    I have a Spectrum Ti Touring bike. Tom Kellog did a super job fitting me and took in my weight and request that this handle well when loaded with panniers and a handlebar bag. ... As to forks, I paid additional to have a steel fork made.

    Q) How much did the bike cost?

  23. #23
    nm+
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregw
    Simple solution to your problem, use a trailer in lieu of panniers, then you will have the best of both worlds.

    As far as Ti and carbon fiber for touring bikes goes, there are just not many choices. The ones mentioned on this thread are best suited for credit-card, (light) touring or trailer use. (another trailer plus on the "trailer vs pannier" debate) But if you had a custom Ti frame made to your needs, it would be the ultimate. With the proper tube sizes and shapes (like Litespeed uses on their road bikes) you would get all the good steel qualities, without the bad (weight and rust). Unfortunately you can't get a custom CF frame, that I know of.
    Does the weight of a touring frame matter? Sure it does, people with steel frame bikes will say it doesn't matter and in the very next thread report how their Big Agnes tent weighs 12 oz less than the MSR model. If you have ever struggled with how to trim a few more pounds off your cross-country rig, you will remember that the little things count and add-up.

    In the touring bike discussion world, steel is a cult thing and the posters are not as objective as they might be on other subjects, take comments with a grain of salt.
    Doubt you'd save much weight going TI for a tourer. You need to make TI stiffer than it is. Granted you need to do that with steel.
    Honestly, theres one reason i ride steel touring rather than TI, I can afford to replace it and therefore don't need to carry 20lbs of locks. (Still It better not get farking stolen)
    Breaking bike parts for more than 20 years
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  24. #24
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    I'm sure you could mount a rack to a carbon fork, as far as getting the attachments made is concerned. You just have to start thinking of bonding the attachment points. Whether there are any front forks designed to carry such loads or not, I don't know.

  25. #25
    Ihaul
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1
    I'm sure you could mount a rack to a carbon fork, as far as getting the attachments made is concerned. You just have to start thinking of bonding the attachment points. Whether there are any front forks designed to carry such loads or not, I don't know.
    I recently bought a new 2004 leftover Fuji World touring bike with carbon fork and "braze-ons" for low rider rack. I've installed the rack, but haven't used the bike on a tour yet. Never knew such an arrangement existed. Supposedly Fuji fork. http://www.fujibikes.com/road/bike.asp?
    Buz

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