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Identification, please. Ti maybe?

Old 03-02-10, 09:18 PM
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not2shabbyaggie
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Identification, please. Ti maybe?

I don't want to get my hopes up, but I think it might be titanium. The seat tube is <1mm thick, welds are small (most <5mm), and for its age the metal is in great shape with no significant scraps, dings, or flaws. Whoever put it together really knew what they were doing -- Mavic crankset, BB, derailleurs, and brake levers, Phil Wood hubs, Time Titan Mg pedals, etc. It does have Shimano 600 brakes.

I am really interested in learning more about the frame itself. There is a serial number on the bottom bracket shell: BT80010

I have it stripped down to the frame and crankset right now, but took these pictures right after picking it up. I'll see if I can get a few more "clean" pictures tomorrow.

1.jpg
2.jpg
3.jpg
4.jpg

Last edited by not2shabbyaggie; 03-06-10 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 03-02-10, 10:03 PM
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Interesting. There's a mark on the brake bridge. Whats it say/look like?
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Old 03-02-10, 10:21 PM
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THAT was in the garbage?! Amazing.
First test: a magnet.
if I was betting, I wouldn't bet against Ti...but even if it's steel those are fantastic components and obviously a worthy frame for them.

Last edited by unworthy1; 03-02-10 at 10:25 PM.
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Old 03-03-10, 06:39 AM
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In the picture it does appear that there is something on the brake bridge. After a good cleaning, I still can't find any markings anywhere.

The frame and fork are not magnetic. I figured aluminum, but will try to get it to a LBS today for verification.
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Old 03-03-10, 07:13 AM
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Looks kinda like a Trek with the paint removed.
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Old 03-03-10, 07:47 AM
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Not magnetic? Thin seat tube? Hmmm....
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Old 03-03-10, 12:04 PM
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Here are some clean pictures of the frame. Does this help at all?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
c4.jpg (97.7 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg
c2.jpg (87.3 KB, 51 views)
File Type: jpg
c1.jpg (95.9 KB, 38 views)
File Type: jpg
c3.jpg (82.4 KB, 44 views)
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Old 03-03-10, 12:12 PM
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Looks like it could be Ti to me.

Not to rain on your parade but I have a friend in law enforcement who once told me that almost without exception when something really good is in the trash it is stolen and thief got cold feet and threw it away.

On closer inspection I see a little rust with the rear derailleur hanger is. Makes it look more like cro-moly steel?

Last edited by KarlMarsh; 03-03-10 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 03-03-10, 05:49 PM
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The rusty stuff on the hanger wiped off with a damp shop rag. The more I read, I'm starting to believe that it is Ti. Now I need to figure out who made it.

I did also wonder if the bike was stolen. It was very dirty when I got it and that made the trashman story believable. Should I contact the police and see if there is a report on it?
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Old 03-03-10, 06:23 PM
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did you do the magnet thing? I vote for ChroMoloy of sometype. all the sanding marks on the closeup of the dropout, thew rust on the drop and in the vent hole. I do not recall and Ti frame having a vent hole and most are sealed with an inert gas during welding. I also do not recall ever seeing a Ti frame with horizontal dropouts with microadjusters. IMHO this is ChroMoly that was either lightly chromed or sanded and really really buffed out.

is 531 magnetic?
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Old 03-03-10, 06:50 PM
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This sure looks fillet brazed. Steel, Titanium, Magnesium are all options. Highest likelihood is that it is steel. Very high likelihood that it is a custom frame. Could possibly be aluminum, but I have not seen such good welding work on any aluminum frame (at least with no overhangs on the seat cluster, the headtube tri-joint is somewhat messier and could be TIG welded.) Extremely unlikely it is CF. What is the weight of the frame?
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Old 03-03-10, 09:03 PM
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Thanks for all the info and help. Here are some updates/answers:

Yes, I tried the magnet (I don't feel the slightest attraction anywhere) and I can guarantee it is not carbon fiber.

I won't be able to weigh it until I get the cranks, BB, and headset cups off (FYI - Park tools headset remover won't work with really short headtubes...found that out the hard way.)

The sanding marks to seem a bit strange to me, too.

Every spot that has looked like corrosion has easily wiped off. I can't find a single spot of rust on the frame.

Any ideas on the serial number?

Last edited by not2shabbyaggie; 03-04-10 at 07:15 AM.
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Old 03-06-10, 06:35 PM
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Confirmed today with LBS guru that it is Ti. Now, any ideas on how to figure out its origins? Not many people were working with titanium 20 years ago...
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Old 03-06-10, 08:00 PM
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Not too many builders brazed titanium, and those old-school horizontal dropouts weren't common on ti frames at all. Same goes for ti forks! I'm stumped.
You have got yourself a heck of a find there. Titanium frames are generally very expensive, and those Mavic components are worth a lot now.
I know I mentioned it in the other thread, but you should shoot off an email to Seven Cycles and Merlin Cycles to see what they say. The guys there were some of the few building with ti in the 80's, so they should be able to shed some light. Especially with the photos and a serial number.
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Old 03-06-10, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by not2shabbyaggie View Post
Confirmed today with LBS guru that it is Ti. Now, any ideas on how to figure out its origins? Not many people were working with titanium 20 years ago...
Actually companies like Speedwell and Teledyne were producing Ti frames in the 70s. I believe that your bike is mid to late 80s based on the 2 water bottle bosses and the brake line guides on the TT. The early Ti frames were as bare as a Drewed fixie.
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Old 03-06-10, 08:14 PM
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It is a stolen bike. No one throws away a >$1000 bike-never in the history of the world.A complete bike with good wheels just put out with the trash???Just leaned on the cans??? You paid maybe $100-$200 for it?


Nice bike of course-stolen, but nice.
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Old 03-08-10, 07:45 AM
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Update: I got in touch with Tom Kellogg and he thinks it was probably not made in the US. His first guess was Panasonic (who made some older Ti frames in the '80s). So don't feel bad that we weren't able to identify it because if Tom can't, I'm guessing very few people will be able to. I've contacted the Tokyo Cycling Club to see if they have any riders on old Panasonic Ti.
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