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Ti for a clyde?

Old 04-17-16, 05:01 PM
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Ti for a clyde?

I've been riding bikes in one form or another since I was 4. I've had periods off the bike, but always seem to end up back on two wheels. 7 years ago, I bought my first road bike in almost a decade (Salsa Podio) and dropped from 240 to 185. I'm 6' 3" tall, relatively broad shouldered. I was a state-ranked freestyle swimmer in high school and college (shredded shoulders got me to quit), and legs were normally my strongest asset.

I'm currently about 225 and getting back on the bike after about 3 years off. I work in a pretty high stress environment and have realized that when I'm putting on the road miles, I absolutely cannot think about work. That is worth almost anything to me. I'm not a sprinter on the bike, I'm more like a big diesel. I like pulling when I'm in groups, and I tend to be slower when starting the climb, but first to the top. I climb out of the saddle quite a bit but rarely stand up on flat ground.

I've ridden an aluminum frame for the past 7 years, and steel before that. My education got me a M.S. in Materials Engineering, so I'm not against CF - but I trust Boeing's AS9100 quality system as it examines CF far more than an unknown Chinese CF layup. For my fat a$$, a metal frame seems to be a better way to go.

Since before I got on my Podio, my dream bike has been Ti. I've waffled between Moots, Lynskey, Seven, and Kish. A custom frame frankly scares the bejeezus out of me because even though I've got multiple thousands of miles under two wheels, I still feel like I don't know enough to make a correct decision on a custom frame. Lynskey is local to me, and I hear plenty of pros and cons about the brand.

That leaves Moots. I see a bunch of folks locally on them, they all seem to love them. Maybe I'm becoming a curmudgeon, I don't know. But I'm leaning heavily towards a Moots. The potential problem I see is that all frames are standard unless you buck up for custom. Again, I'm concerned about custom. How likely is a stock Moots Vamoots in a size 60 to work for me if I'm still slightly north of 200 when I get one?

Thanks in advance for any opinions-
92E

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Old 04-17-16, 05:34 PM
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I'm about the same size, 220-6'2" and the 61 BD Ti CX fits just fine with a setback stem to accommodate a Brooks and I went to a shorter stem by two cm. (110 stock to 90) after a while, mainly to make climbing out of the saddle not so weight forward. They have road and a gravel geometry as well.

I had the same concerns about carbon, particularly since I like to explore the occasional fire road or power line access road.

you might have to wait to get one. The Ti bikes are almost all pre-purchased except for the very small sizes.
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Old 04-17-16, 06:43 PM
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Why not just get a Lynskey since they are local?
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Old 04-17-16, 07:13 PM
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I'm just about your size (6'3", 230-ish) and now have three Ti bikes - a Litespeed road bike, a Ritchey breakaway for travel, and a Moto gravel grinder/light touring bike. One is a 59cm, one a 60cm, the last a 61cm. They're all standard off-the-shelf frames and they all fit fine with a stem swap, wider bars, and some other tweaks.

Don't worry so much about getting the perfect geometry, a standard frame in the 58-61 range should fit just fine (unless your body proportions are way off). The brands you mentioned are all great. Just enlist the talents of a experienced bike fitter and you'll be good.

And if you get a bike that doesn't work out for you, you can always sell the frame and get something else. One nice thing about Ti is that it holds value pretty well.
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Old 04-17-16, 08:01 PM
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Whatever ti frame you decide on - not all ti frames are made equally. Dean, for ex., tends to be a little stiffer in their ti frames than most frame builders.

Moots, Seven, Kish, Lynskey...all fine bikes. I just got a Nashbar catalog in the mail the other day and was surprised to see that they now distribute Lynskey, so obviously Lynskey is going more mainstream with Nashbar behind them.

In an ideal world, you'd be able to test ride a fully built ti bike before purchasing one. Now if you wouldn't mind a used ti frame, there is where things get interesting. Since the emergence of CF as the preferred material for the pro peleton, prices on used ti bikes popular in the 90's and early 2000's have dropped like a hot potato. I got my IF Crown Jewel ti three years ago as a fully built bike, Campy 10 Chorus + Neutrons, for $1700; a new frame/fork only is now north of $4K. I've seen similar deals all across the country. If I were in your shoes and looking for a reasonable deal, I'd start with used and see if you like the ride.
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Old 04-18-16, 01:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2
Why not just get a Lynskey since they are local?
I've chewed on that one a lot over the past few years. Part of it is that I've heard of more issues with Lynskey frames than with other makers (such as cracks) - but that seems to be mostly the mountain bikes. The other part is that Lynskey sells frames for roughly 2/3 of what other makers charge. In all of my hobbies, I have learned time and time again that the old adage about free lunch holds true. No one is buying $5M houses running a small bicycle company - if Lynskey is selling the frames cheaper, there is something in the frame itself that is cheaper. As I'm looking to buy a long-term bike, it's worth it to me to pay a bit extra for the confidence that I'm buying quality.
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Old 04-18-16, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by 92Esquire
I've chewed on that one a lot over the past few years. Part of it is that I've heard of more issues with Lynskey frames than with other makers (such as cracks) - but that seems to be mostly the mountain bikes. The other part is that Lynskey sells frames for roughly 2/3 of what other makers charge. In all of my hobbies, I have learned time and time again that the old adage about free lunch holds true. No one is buying $5M houses running a small bicycle company - if Lynskey is selling the frames cheaper, there is something in the frame itself that is cheaper. As I'm looking to buy a long-term bike, it's worth it to me to pay a bit extra for the confidence that I'm buying quality.
I wondered if this would start happening when Lynskey changed their business model.

The brand doesn't seem to hold the cachet it once did once they started trying to be competitive price wise.

My thinking is the other way. Why buy a Moots when you can get a Lynskey for a fraction of the price?

Each place hand makes Ti frames in the US with a lifetime warranty. Not sure how one could be that much different from the other.
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Old 04-18-16, 07:57 AM
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I'm 6'2" 232 lbs. and have a Lynskey R230. I've had it since July of 2012 and have no issues at all. At the same time, I have also heard more stories about cracking frams and it has me watching mine more carefully than I probably thought I'd have to. Would I buy it again. Yup. I really do enjoy that bike.
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Old 04-18-16, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by 92Esquire
I've chewed on that one a lot over the past few years. Part of it is that I've heard of more issues with Lynskey frames than with other makers (such as cracks) - but that seems to be mostly the mountain bikes. The other part is that Lynskey sells frames for roughly 2/3 of what other makers charge. In all of my hobbies, I have learned time and time again that the old adage about free lunch holds true. No one is buying $5M houses running a small bicycle company - if Lynskey is selling the frames cheaper, there is something in the frame itself that is cheaper. As I'm looking to buy a long-term bike, it's worth it to me to pay a bit extra for the confidence that I'm buying quality.
Sure, they might not have the best reputation, but, if they're local and still have a lifetime frame warranty, that seems as though it'd mitigate some of the issues. It's not like you'd have to ship it back to them if something went wrong (and the chances seem pretty low).

I know you don't want low price, but I've heard a lot of people really like the habanero.
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Old 04-18-16, 08:29 AM
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I don't want to be "that guy", but you can get a pretty cheap Ti road bike from a well regarded Taiwanese Ti specialist (ORA) from BikeDirect for $1700:

Save Up To 60% Off Titanium Road Bikes and Bicycles from bikesdirect.com

Ti prices are still high, but they're coming down, I think Lynskey's prices are a reflection of the way the market is going, rather than a reflection of corners being cut, whereas Moots are targeting Dentists. If you afford a Moots, then go for it, you'll certainly get admiring looks from fellow cyclists.
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Old 04-18-16, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by dr_lha
If you afford a Moots, then go for it, you'll certainly get admiring looks from fellow cyclists.
That reminds me of a story. My GF and I were on a T-shirt ride and stopped at a rest stop.

A guy pulls up on a Moots bike and I swear it had extra Moots stickers on it, every part said Moots. He also had a Moots jersey, Moots bib, I think Moots socks and the whole thing was the exact same color as the bike. He was an eye-catching, rolling Moots billboard.

I didn't say anything, but my GF turned me and said, "WTF is Moots?" I fell out laughing

I explained to her that it was a high-end Colorado made Ti bike company that was held in high regard and typically had wealthy owners. She just rolled her eyes and rode off. Periodically, she asks me if someone in a "Moots" guy in reference to that event
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Old 04-18-16, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2
That reminds me of a story. My GF and I were on a T-shirt ride and stopped at a rest stop.

A guy pulls up on a Moots bike and I swear it had extra Moots stickers on it, every part said Moots. He also had a Moots jersey, Moots bib, I think Moots socks and the whole thing was the exact same color as the bike. He was an eye-catching, rolling Moots billboard.

I didn't say anything, but my GF turned me and said, "WTF is Moots?" I fell out laughing

I explained to her that it was a high-end Colorado made Ti bike company that was held in high regard and typically had wealthy owners. She just rolled her eyes and rode off. Periodically, she asks me if someone in a "Moots" guy in reference to that event
I bet he had nice teeth.
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Old 04-18-16, 03:43 PM
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When was the Lynskey/Litespeed breakup? I have a 2002 Litespeed Classic that i dont really like anymore but was thinking about having it S&S'ed to have a nice travel bike.

If its a Lynskey era bike or not doesnt change my opinion of it but i was just curious

To the OP, i'd buy a Merlin myself if i wanted another Ti bike, But for now i am back on vintage steel and lovin' it
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Old 04-18-16, 05:00 PM
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I can't comment on the new Ti stuff but my main ride is a Lemond Victoire Ti and, as a bigger guy, i love it.

As a material it's hard to go wrong with Ti.

For what its worth if it had been in the budget I would probably be riding Lynsky.
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Old 04-18-16, 07:26 PM
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If I had unlimited cash for a titanium frame, I'd go with an Exogrid Jet from Holland Cycles. Never seen one in person, but they look cool and the never seen one in person adds to that for me though I wish it had the level top tube like the Habanero I mentioned earlier.
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Old 04-19-16, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau
If I had unlimited cash for a titanium frame, I'd go with an Exogrid Jet from Holland Cycles. Never seen one in person, but they look cool and the never seen one in person adds to that for me though I wish it had the level top tube like the Habanero I mentioned earlier.
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Totally agree with the level top tube comment. I just can't get into those sloped top tubes from an aesthetic perspective.
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Old 04-19-16, 04:34 PM
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This one's only $1399, one bike I'm considering for my N+1
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Old 04-19-16, 05:01 PM
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I have a bike flipper friend who got one of the Motobecane LeChampion ti frame bikes a few years ago. He loves it. He doesn't care about the workmanship, he cares more about the ride and value for the $ as he's on a fairly tight budget for such things.

Having said that, if you really like Moots, I doubt any of the current Motobecane ti frames - really Kinesis - will float your boat. Moots has a certain aesthetic and cachet. They still command high prices on the used market, which is not always the case with boutique ti builders. If that's where your heart is, and you can afford it, I'd buy one, stock or custom.
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Old 04-19-16, 09:02 PM
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The BD/ Moto frames are made by ORA in Taiwan, not Kinesis, The workmanship is as good as you are going to get anywhere.

It looks like Kinesis is a contract high volume, mostly Al house and ORA's target market is Ti and high alloy lower volume work.

They do cut on the wheels, hub and crank, the price difference has to come from somewhere, but you can upgrade considerably for the savings and still be ahead.
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Old 04-20-16, 06:59 AM
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Those BD Ti bikes are a ridiculously good value.

I wish they made a nice, light steel bike in similar fashion.
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Old 04-20-16, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by bargainguy
Having said that, if you really like Moots, I doubt any of the current Motobecane ti frames - really Kinesis - will float your boat.
As I mentioned earlier in the thread, BD's Ti frames are made by ORA, not Kinesis.

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Old 04-20-16, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2
Those BD Ti bikes are a ridiculously good value.

I wish they made a nice, light steel bike in similar fashion.
I read in another thread that apparently BD were canvasing opinion on Facebook whether people would be interested in a 853 frame. We'll see.
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Old 04-20-16, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by TGT1
The BD/ Moto frames are made by ORA in Taiwan, not Kinesis....
You are right, I stand corrected. Thanks.
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Old 04-20-16, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by dr_lha
I read in another thread that apparently BD were canvasing opinion on Facebook whether people would be interested in a 853 frame. We'll see.
Yes, I responded to that FB posting that I would be interested
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Old 04-20-16, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2
Yes, I responded to that FB posting that I would be interested
Do you ever answer in the negative to the question "Do you want a new steel bike?"
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