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Carbon vs. Titanium

Old 10-24-13, 09:58 AM
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ttusomeone
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Carbon vs. Titanium

The potential of getting flamed for this question here seems sorta high, but I wanted to ask anyway. I'm currently riding Tarmac SL4 (non S-works) and I'm toying with the idea of getting a custom Ti frame for next year. I've been happy with my Tarmac, but I think it would be cool to have a custom frame that's hand built about a 100 miles from me. It's also appealing to have a bike that's not like every other in the peloton. This would be my only road bike so I would be using it for training, road, and crit racing. I'm worried it won't feel as stiff as the Tarmac when out of the saddle or cornering. The company said when they build it it will have a stiff front trangle and chainstays, s-bend seatstays, and oversized headtube.

I'm going to test ride one so that will help, but I wanted to get some opinions from others. Am I crazy for considering a Ti bike over my carbon one? Thanks!
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Old 10-24-13, 10:04 AM
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I think the test ride is the key. Bring your normal race wheels and ride those. See if you can ride on a familiar course, or bring your Tarmac and make a new familiar course before you get on the Ti bike.

There's nothing inherent about Ti that compromises a good ride, but stiffness will cost you some grams over carbon -- but that's not the end of the world. It's all in the design and build.
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Old 10-24-13, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by ttusomeone View Post
The potential of getting flamed for this question here seems sorta high, but I wanted to ask anyway. I'm currently riding Tarmac SL4 (non S-works) and I'm toying with the idea of getting a custom Ti frame for next year. I've been happy with my Tarmac, but I think it would be cool to have a custom frame that's hand built about a 100 miles from me. It's also appealing to have a bike that's not like every other in the peloton. This would be my only road bike so I would be using it for training, road, and crit racing. I'm worried it won't feel as stiff as the Tarmac when out of the saddle or cornering. The company said when they build it it will have a stiff front trangle and chainstays, s-bend seatstays, and oversized headtube.

I'm going to test ride one so that will help, but I wanted to get some opinions from others. Am I crazy for considering a Ti bike over my carbon one? Thanks!
50th birthday coming up?
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Old 10-24-13, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by botto View Post
50th birthday coming up?
That's easily the funniest response I've ever gotten on BF.
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Old 10-24-13, 10:23 AM
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Lynsky? FWIW, there are a few Cat3s in our area racing Moots. We have the same bike and as you know more are getting it, but I love it. I think the lynsky helix is drool worthy though and you can't go wrong with either.
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Old 10-24-13, 10:32 AM
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I was actually looking at getting a Cysco - Richie used to build bikes for Lynsky but now has his own business. I've talked to one of now Cat 2s about his Moots and he loves it, although he's never rode a carbon bike so he couldn't compare the two.
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Old 10-24-13, 10:54 AM
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Can you borrow one? I thought I didn't care about stiffness until I rode a very stiff bike for a while. Not it annoys me when I ride my backup bike. It feels noodly.
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Old 10-24-13, 10:58 AM
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Why Ti? What is it about the ride quality of Ti that is pulling you away from carbon fiber? I'll lie & say I know everything about Titanium frames. I don't. Never even ridden one. My question has always been the first I threw to you, "Why"? My reason, Carbon Fiber replaced Ti in short fashion, for good reason. You can put all of the important elements of your bicycle in place & infinitely adjust the frame to do what you want it to do. Then you can build it that way & build it light. No other material allows this.
If you ask me, I say buy a custom built lugged frame from a builder who can appreciate what you want out of a bicycle. If you don't like that advise, buy a Carbon Fiber frame designed to do what you want it to do. Everything in between has compromise.
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Old 10-24-13, 11:17 AM
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41.

It'll probably be a great bike just like your current bike, but it will feel different no matter what because it's a different bike.
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Old 10-25-13, 01:19 PM
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I just went to carbon from a ti frame and I miss my ti bike. TI is just more comfortable over the long rides. I notice that my cinelli pro estrada is stiffer when it comes time to put down the hammer compared to the lynskey cooper I was riding, however, I think a top caliber moots or lynskey helix would be equally as stiff. The weight difference is negligible.
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Old 10-25-13, 01:37 PM
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Thanks for the input. It's going to be a tough decision. I'm going to arrange to ride one that will be similar to the one I'm looking at but not as stiff.
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Old 10-25-13, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by ttusomeone View Post
Thanks for the input. It's going to be a tough decision. I'm going to arrange to ride one that will be similar to the one I'm looking at but not as stiff.
A test ride is definitely the way to go. I also think TI is way flashier.
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Old 10-25-13, 01:49 PM
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Honestly one of the appeals of Ti is that I would have something that not many others in the race would have plus knowing it was built specifically for me.
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Old 10-25-13, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by ttusomeone View Post
Honestly one of the appeals of Ti is that I would have something that not many others in the race would have plus knowing it was built specifically for me.
Whelp. 41'd it completely, huh?
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Old 10-25-13, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by botto View Post
50th birthday coming up?
Ha, that's what I was thinking!!
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Old 10-25-13, 02:16 PM
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I set myself up for that one.
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Old 10-25-13, 02:41 PM
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I wish I was 50. At 60+, I still don't get the allure of custom Ti. I have a Ti bike (and a Ti watch!). Side by side, I'll always choose one of my CF bikes. Agree Ti has a certain cachet, but not one I want to be associated with (Luddite curmudgeon, midlife crisis, last-bike-for-life, ...)
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Old 10-25-13, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
I wish I was 50. At 60+, I still don't get the allure of custom Ti. I have a Ti bike (and a Ti watch!). Side by side, I'll always choose one of my CF bikes. Agree Ti has a certain cachet, but not one I want to be associated with (Luddite curmudgeon, midlife crisis, last-bike-for-life, ...)
Well now I'm having second thoughts.
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Old 10-25-13, 10:51 PM
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my old coach races both road and cx on a ti lightspeed. he's an ex-pro and a cat 1. That's not what's holding him back from winning any race.
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Old 10-26-13, 04:59 AM
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How does your Tarmac fit? If your fit is compromised, the biggest difference will be a custom fitted bike versus an off the rack bike, not frame material. They are both good. They can both be designed for a particular purpose and end goal. If your priorities are being noticed on a flashy, one of a kind bike, stick to centuries.

The SL4 is a very nice carbon frame, but it doesn't hold a candle to a top carbon frame. The differences are significant. I went from a Felt F5 (1005 grams) , which is similar to your Tarmac, to a Felt FC (938 grams) last year. Same manufacturer, same market niche, similar geometry. It's much lighter, yet much stiffer, handles quicker, and rides smoother. No comparison.
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Old 10-26-13, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
How does your Tarmac fit? If your fit is compromised, the biggest difference will be a custom fitted bike versus an off the rack bike..
This is another custom "benefit" I don't get. With appropriate selection of off-the-shelf frame, components and adjustment, you can accommodate any reasonable fit (relative positions of the crank, saddle and bars) to within a few mm at worst. How does custom meaningfully improve on that?
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Old 10-26-13, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
How does your Tarmac fit? If your fit is compromised, the biggest difference will be a custom fitted bike versus an off the rack bike, not frame material. They are both good. They can both be designed for a particular purpose and end goal. If your priorities are being noticed on a flashy, one of a kind bike, stick to centuries.

The SL4 is a very nice carbon frame, but it doesn't hold a candle to a top carbon frame. The differences are significant. I went from a Felt F5 (1005 grams) , which is similar to your Tarmac, to a Felt FC (938 grams) last year. Same manufacturer, same market niche, similar geometry. It's much lighter, yet much stiffer, handles quicker, and rides smoother. No comparison.
Only a roadie would quantify 67grams as much lighter
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Old 10-26-13, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
This is another custom "benefit" I don't get. With appropriate selection of off-the-shelf frame, components and adjustment, you can accommodate any reasonable fit (relative positions of the crank, saddle and bars) to within a few mm at worst. How does custom meaningfully improve on that?
Everyone thinks they're a special snowflake!
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Old 10-26-13, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by rbart4506 View Post
Only a roadie would quantify 67grams as much lighter
7% lighter!!
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Old 10-26-13, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
This is another custom "benefit" I don't get. With appropriate selection of off-the-shelf frame, components and adjustment, you can accommodate any reasonable fit (relative positions of the crank, saddle and bars) to within a few mm at worst. How does custom meaningfully improve on that?
I'm not saying you can't.
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