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Ti MTB - what did I buy? and is it worth anything?

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Ti MTB - what did I buy? and is it worth anything?

Old 12-28-19, 01:34 PM
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Sahn
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Ti MTB - what did I buy? and is it worth anything?

I bought a titanium bike locally for the XTR parts (frame not my size). All the identifying decals have been removed, but the owner told me it was a Performance brand bike. Anyone know what I bought? Is the frame worth anything? If it is the house brand for Performance, where was it made? From the components, it looks like early-mid 90's. The S/N is CTB3A31022. Any help would be appreciated.










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Old 01-01-20, 08:42 AM
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Great looking frame. I'm afraid I have no idea what it could be. Hopefully somebody more knowledgeable will recognize it.
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Old 01-01-20, 11:19 AM
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An online search should tell you whether Performance manufactured a Ti frame of that design. If so and no cracks, it should be worth $500 (to me). Any cracks would reduce its value by at least 75%.
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Old 01-01-20, 05:46 PM
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Do you have any photos of the complete bike before you stripped down down to just the frame or the components that came off the bike? They would help in narrowing down the time frame and likely maker. The frame and xtr components would be consistent with a nicer Performance contact build from the late 90's.
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Old 01-01-20, 06:09 PM
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I sure cannot help with any specifics on the frame. I do know that Performance had a pretty good reputation with the frames that had their name on them. What size is the frame? It looks like my size and I really like the looks. Any thought on moving it?
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Old 01-01-20, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
An online search should tell you whether Performance manufactured a Ti frame of that design. If so and no cracks, it should be worth $500 (to me). Any cracks would reduce its value by at least 75%.
FWIW, I recently sold a more desirable Litespeed branded Ti MTB frame for quite a bit LESS than the amount above. I was disappointed, but that is where the market is right now. I've owned some nice vintage Performance branded bikes, they never have done as well as the branded stuff.
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Old 01-04-20, 07:11 AM
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Older MTBs typically have low value. Older ti typically has lower than you’d expect value. Mystery ti has usually has low value. I’d be shocked if even good
marketing got you near $500. I’d guess $200 tops.

Performance would have had them made by a third party.
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Old 01-05-20, 07:30 PM
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There was some ghosting left from decals removed from the top tube identifying the tubes as 3Al-2.5V Ti. I have found that Performance offered Ti bikes from '93-'97 - from the components, the frame is closer to '93 than '97. The bike measures 22" from the ctr of BB to top of collar. I could only find the unique seat stay on Moots' PsycloX, MootoX and Routt... I'm hoping they could be the third party builder.... but I really know nothing about MTBs. No dents, no dings - but some scratches from chain drop.
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Old 01-06-20, 08:20 AM
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I don't think Moots built contract frames for anyone else. The company is still around if you want to check the SN with them.
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Old 01-06-20, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
Older MTBs typically have low value. Older ti typically has lower than you’d expect value. Mystery ti has usually has low value. I’d be shocked if even good
marketing got you near $500. I’d guess $200 tops.

Performance would have had them made by a third party.
I'm skeptical that a no name TI MTB frame can fetch $200 given that you can buy high end vintages MTBs complete for that price or considerably less.
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Old 01-06-20, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Mad Honk View Post
Sahn,
The 3AL 2.5V Ti was an early form of alloy sold as Ti, but really was more like aluminium. The early golf club heads made of it were heavier than real TI and the material was used because it could be cast into a mold. Actual Ti can be formed into tubes and drawn but require a plasma weld. The fastest check is to weigh the frame, and compare the weight to aluminium frames of same size. A quick internet search should get those weights for you. Then look to the weights of known Ti frames. With Ti the tubes can be thinner and still have strength, hence the weight savings. HTH, MH
Uhhhh...NO.

Early ti frames were typically CP titanium; the 3/2.5 was a very effective alloy that is still the standard. Most ti you see in frames is 3/2.5. Sometimes you’ll see 6/4, which is harder to work with.
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Old 01-06-20, 08:07 PM
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https://www.dirtragmag.com/articles/...about-titanium

https://www.elgiloy.com/strip-titanium-grade-9-ti-3-25/

https://www.spectrum-cycles.com/materials.php

https://www.sevencycles.com/buildingbike/techsupplement/ti.php


https://www.ulbrich.com/blog/choosin...um-comparison/

Please feel free to research on your own. What you wrote is simply complete misinformation.

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Old 01-07-20, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
Uhhhh...NO.
. Sometimes you’ll see 6/4, which is harder to work with.
IIRC , this is why some of the tricked out Litespeeds from the 90's were made of folded and welded Sheetmetal instead of tubes right? Frames like the Ultimate and Blade
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Old 01-07-20, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
IIRC , this is why some of the tricked out Litespeeds from the 90's were made of folded and welded Sheetmetal instead of tubes right? Frames like the Ultimate and Blade
That's my understanding, but I'm also not 100% certain. What I've heard from frame builders is that the difficulty and cost associated with 6/4 isn't justified by its marginally better strength ratios. Also, it tended to have higher failure rates because it is more difficult to work with.

I - THINK - De Rosa had an all 6/4 Titanio (Ugo and his son both studied at Litespeed). You see drop outs and bottom brackets in 6/4 more than tubing. Moots may have had one

The frame builder/fit of the frame is likely far more important than the difference between 3/2.5 and 6/4. That may be less true of some of the cheaper budget ti frames that aren't 3/2.5.

FWIW, my Passoni was built as you describe...sheets that were rolled into tubes so that each tube could be customized in width for the rider.

This article is excellent in explaining some of the limitations to 6/4.

https://www.strongframes.com/more/met...ium-advantage/

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Old 01-07-20, 10:16 AM
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The welds suggest the frame wasn't manufactured by Moots (their welds are impeccable on all the frames I've seen), but the size of the "scallops" and designation suggest (to me) the same Ti formulation as still used by the industry.
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Old 01-07-20, 09:02 PM
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Looking at this frame some more I would agree it is not top end. The welds look great on the top side of head tube and top of bb but not so great on every place else which is typical of Tawian produced frames of all levels from the 90's.

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Old 01-08-20, 07:10 AM
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All the Ti bikes I have owned (several Litespeeds and a Merlin), the welds were worthy of hanging on the wall as art work, beautiful. This one isn't. Some of the BB shell welding, along with the chain stay bridge, look particularly uninspiring.

None of this should affect the utility of the bike in any way.
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Old 01-08-20, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
All the Ti bikes I have owned (several Litespeeds and a Merlin), the welds were worthy of hanging on the wall as art work, beautiful. This one isn't. Some of the BB shell welding, along with the chain stay bridge, look particularly uninspiring.

None of this should affect the utility of the bike in any way.
I bought my Litespeed early 90s rigid MTB frame on the cheap. Would it have garnered much as a flip? No - but it makes a hell of a practical commuter. If this fits, build it up on a budget build and have a weatherproof, indestructible bike that doesn't scream steal me.
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Old 01-08-20, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Mad Honk View Post
Most of what I know is from metallurgists and design engineers for Ti golf equipment. I do not have any technical training in the field but rely on the expertise of others that I trust.
You need to check with the technical experts you got your information from, as they either are not experts or you completely misunderstood what they told you.

Alloys are metals made from mixtures of other metals to get the desired mechanical or chemical properties, and 'pure' metals are not commonly used. 'Steel' is basically an alloy of iron with a low carbon content, 'cast iron' is an iron alloy with a higher carbon content (simplified for the point of clarity in discussion), and 'aluminum' universally refers to alloys of aluminum containing any number of other metals (alloying agents) to achieve desired properties. There are hundreds of examples of each of these, most with known and published properties.

3-2.5 Ti refers to an alloy of titanium with 3% aluminum and 2.5% Vanadium, likely a handful of other trace alloying elements, and the rest titanium. 'Pure titanium' you mentioned is not commonly used in any structural applications as it is brittle and weak. 3Al-2.5V is the most commonly used alloy for bicycles. Other manufacturers have used titanium oxides (iirc - Raleigh ti bikes from the early 90s) and other alloys, but the well known companies use 3-2.5.
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Old 01-08-20, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
You need to check with the technical experts you got your information from, as they either are not experts or you completely misunderstood what they told you.

Alloys are metals made from mixtures of other metals to get the desired mechanical or chemical properties, and 'pure' metals are not commonly used. 'Steel' is basically an alloy of iron with a low carbon content, 'cast iron' is an iron alloy with a higher carbon content (simplified for the point of clarity in discussion), and 'aluminum' universally refers to alloys of aluminum containing any number of other metals (alloying agents) to achieve desired properties. There are hundreds of examples of each of these, most with known and published properties.

3-2.5 Ti refers to an alloy of titanium with 3% aluminum and 2.5% Vanadium, likely a handful of other trace alloying elements, and the rest titanium. 'Pure titanium' you mentioned is not commonly used in any structural applications as it is brittle and weak. 3Al-2.5V is the most commonly used alloy for bicycles. Other manufacturers have used titanium oxides (iirc - Raleigh ti bikes from the early 90s) and other alloys, but the well known companies use 3-2.5.
You will see 6-4 used, but definitely less common, and likely more marketing/trend than anything else. I know my Titanio has 6/4 drop outs, and I think also the BB shell.

Here's an interesting article...I like how it mentioned the cold war origins, and I didn't know that 6/4 was used in that application that early:

https://www.bikeradar.com/features/what-is-titanium/

One story it didn't mention, and I may not remember this perfectly, was that the US bought its 60s titanium from Russia via Sweden (maybe Denmark, but I think Sweden). It turns out the Russians knew, or at least suspected, it was a US shell company, but they wanted the money. Business is business.

I'm not sure when 3-2.5 became the norm in ti bikes...I think late 80s, and I think Merlin was really the pioneer. I don't THINK the Japanese ti bikes of the 80s...Fuji, Miyata, Panasonic...used 3-2.5.

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