Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Considering Titanium...

Reply

Old 03-12-18, 02:00 AM
  #1  
hoovbikes
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 27

Bikes: 2017 GT Grade Carbon Sram Force, 2014 Globe Roll 8 (w riser bars), 2015 All City Space Horse (cantilever)

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
Considering Titanium...

Ahoy!

So I've recently begun lusting over the idea of going titanium- one indestructible beast to decimate them all and serve me until my dying day. Wanted to see if anyone has any experience or recommendations in terms of who to buy from or who not to buy from. I'm a noob on this subject but there are so many brands! If moolah wasn't a factor I probably would already have it narrowed down to Moots or Seven, but sadly I think those are presently out of my range. I have been pleased to find some other more affordable options tho, some of which might even be nearly equal or better quality.

Right now the 3 that have my attention are Lynsky (Pro GR), No. 22 (Drifter), and Reilly (Gradient), each having their attributes. The Pro GR is apparently built with this revolutionary 6AL/4V Aerospace Grade Titanium, which sounds pretty sweet, although I'm not sure just how different it is from standard Ti. Plus they run their specials seemingly frequently so it sounds like you could get an amazing quality bike for a bargain. No. 22 also seems reputable, and might be the most economical on this list despite having what seems to be a pretty great reputation for quality. Lastly (and I'm sure some of you may **** on me for this) I really like what I've read about the Reilly Gradient. I know they are a UK brand and I certainly would prefer to buy US, but a great bike is a great bike and a great deal is a great deal!

Knowlegable opinions/anyone with any experience with any of the aforementioned thoughts are most welcome!

Muchas gracias, happy riding
hoovbikes is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-18, 04:04 AM
  #2  
dim
Senior Member
 
dim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Cambridge UK
Posts: 1,640

Bikes: Giant TCR .... 1981 Koga Miyata Full Pro ... Canyon Endurace Al

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 56 Post(s)
I've read several reports of welds on titanium bikes cracking
dim is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-18, 07:07 AM
  #3  
shelbyfv
Senior Member
 
shelbyfv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,831
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 924 Post(s)
I would love to have either of the Lynskey offerings. Made right here in Tennessee.... You could ask them which variety of ti would be best for the riding you plan to do.
shelbyfv is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-18, 08:08 AM
  #4  
Koyote
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 202
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 109 Post(s)
Originally Posted by dim View Post
I've read several reports of welds on titanium bikes cracking
Caveat: I'm neither a welder nor a metallurgist...But my understanding is that Ti is intolerant of poor technique. If the welding is not done properly, it can and will fail. But if it is done properly, it should be fine.

Steel, by comparison, is easier to work with.

To the OP: consider that, for the price of a good Ti frame, you can almost buy two good steel frames. Then you'll still have a lifetime of bikes.
Koyote is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-18, 08:23 AM
  #5  
Marcus_Ti 
Groading with Brifters
 
Marcus_Ti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Posts: 3,581

Bikes: Roadie: Seven Axiom Race Ti w/Chorus 11s. CX/Adventure: Carver Gravel Grinder w/ Di2

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1299 Post(s)
My Carver Gravel Grinder that I built rides just as nice as my Seven. the cost of the entire Di2 build was about the same cost as my frame/fork from Seven. Both are lovely bikes for what they do....but the economics are problematic for the Seven.




Give Forrest a ring, great guy to work with.


I haven't had the pleasure of riding any of your shortlisted machines. All I know for certain is the same stuff I read as you. Email all of them, see who replies and how quickly. When I was shopping last spring--I was unimpressed at how long it took some companies to answer queries...Carver got back to me within 24 hours every time IIRC, the Carver GG is sourced from Lynskey actually.


All frames can crack....But steel can rust, particularly when it lives a rough life.

My bone to pick with the Lynskey GR...they don't need to use 6/4 titanium. It is just upping the price, drastically. If they used the same shaped tubing set in 3/2.5 they could get almost certainly get the same ride.
Marcus_Ti is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-18, 09:10 AM
  #6  
hoovbikes
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 27

Bikes: 2017 GT Grade Carbon Sram Force, 2014 Globe Roll 8 (w riser bars), 2015 All City Space Horse (cantilever)

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
My Carver Gravel Grinder that I built rides just as nice as my Seven. the cost of the entire Di2 build was about the same cost as my frame/fork from Seven. Both are lovely bikes for what they do....but the economics are problematic for the Seven.




Give Forrest a ring, great guy to work with.


I haven't had the pleasure of riding any of your shortlisted machines. All I know for certain is the same stuff I read as you. Email all of them, see who replies and how quickly. When I was shopping last spring--I was unimpressed at how long it took some companies to answer queries...Carver got back to me within 24 hours every time IIRC, the Carver GG is sourced from Lynskey actually.


All frames can crack....But steel can rust, particularly when it lives a rough life.

My bone to pick with the Lynskey GR...they don't need to use 6/4 titanium. It is just upping the price, drastically. If they used the same shaped tubing set in 3/2.5 they could get almost certainly get the same ride.
That is a beautiful looking machine you've got there. I had not heard of Carver, thanks for the rec. As far as the 6/4, I had a feeling some people would feel that way. Definitely makes you wonder if it is in fact the tubing shape that makes more of a difference on that bike.. Guess I'll have to track down some Lynksy enthusiasts to get more of an insider opinion.

true, but that's not the point. There are tons of great steel bikes out there. I own 2 and enjoy them both immensely. But once you've ridden something, faster, lighter, and equally capable, it can be less than exciting going back. Luckily in our day and age there is a premium option that offers the best of all worlds- Ti. Of course it can crack, anything can. That just makes it all the more important to find the right builder who knows what they're doing. Hence the original post.
hoovbikes is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-18, 09:22 AM
  #7  
Koyote
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 202
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 109 Post(s)
Originally Posted by hoovbikes View Post
That is a beautiful looking machine you've got there. I had not heard of Carver, thanks for the rec. As far as the 6/4, I had a feeling some people would feel that way. Definitely makes you wonder if it is in fact the tubing shape that makes more of a difference on that bike.. Guess I'll have to track down some Lynksy enthusiasts to get more of an insider opinion.

true, but that's not the point. There are tons of great steel bikes out there. I own 2 and enjoy them both immensely. But once you've ridden something, faster, lighter, and equally capable, it can be less than exciting going back. Luckily in our day and age there is a premium option that offers the best of all worlds- Ti. Of course it can crack, anything can. That just makes it all the more important to find the right builder who knows what they're doing. Hence the original post.
: Sure, I get that. It's why I bought a cf road bike. I was just pointing out that a good steel frame, with a modicum of care, will last a long time and cost less, too. My Lemond is built around a Reynolds 853 frame, and after 15 years and over 40k miles, it still rides beautifully - and it's probably less than a pound heavier than a comparably-sized Ti frame. Come to think of it, it's my favorite bike.
Koyote is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-18, 11:56 AM
  #8  
Marcus_Ti 
Groading with Brifters
 
Marcus_Ti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Posts: 3,581

Bikes: Roadie: Seven Axiom Race Ti w/Chorus 11s. CX/Adventure: Carver Gravel Grinder w/ Di2

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1299 Post(s)
Originally Posted by hoovbikes View Post
That is a beautiful looking machine you've got there. I had not heard of Carver, thanks for the rec. As far as the 6/4, I had a feeling some people would feel that way. Definitely makes you wonder if it is in fact the tubing shape that makes more of a difference on that bike.. Guess I'll have to track down some Lynksy enthusiasts to get more of an insider opinion.
My Carver is a derivative on their GR250, but with slider drops that allow Paragon Machine Works inserts...I think someone on BF.net has the newer GR260. Haven't seen posts of an owner on BF of the GR PRO yet. Too new, and in that budget territory people start shopping more boutique brands.

Any of these Ti frames will probably do you fine. It is a question of geometry, price, and the name on the frame.

The Reilly is more racey in handling probably than the rest with its roadie-short 420mm versus 430-435 chainstays IMHO. The others will be a bit more stable all else equal...although since Reilly states BB height and not drop (and doesn't tell you the tire size basis for that number), there is still some question asking to do.



My Carver, for example I can adjust the rear-center (effective chainstay) from 425mm to 445 whenever I want. I tend to keep it at 445 for more stability, especially since I'm pulling panniers much of the time. Since the dropout is a slider-plate, I just upgraded it from a traditional derailleur hanger...to Shimano's new (for road, old for MTB) Direct Mount RD standard. Only cost $18USD. Food for thought.

Lynskey has sales all the time...problem is catching one. Literally the evening after I decided to by a GR250 in the morning, the price returned from $1500 to $2100 for no reason...which got me shopping Carver instead.

Last edited by Marcus_Ti; 03-12-18 at 11:59 AM.
Marcus_Ti is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-18, 02:40 PM
  #9  
Planemaker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Wichita, KS.
Posts: 737
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 115 Post(s)
I've got the Litespeed Gravel and it's top notch. I'll post a picture later today.
Planemaker is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-18, 02:50 PM
  #10  
jwh20 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Indiana
Posts: 96

Bikes: Felt Z5, Look 675 Light, Specialized Diverge

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
I don't have one but I have seen the Moots Ti bikes up close and they are, IMHO, works of art.
jwh20 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-18, 03:04 PM
  #11  
79pmooney
A Roadie Forever
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 5,543

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Mentioned: 69 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1091 Post(s)
If you want to consider a bike that is different, consider TiCycles. If you have a clear picture of what you want, they can build it. Their founder, Dave Levy is one of the very early American ti builders. They have built me two ti bikes. The second was a kinda crazy idea i had to have an ideal road fix gear made. One that would fit perfectly (of course) and have an easy to use modified road style dropout that could accommodate all available 1/8" cogs without needing to alter the chain length or the chainring size. (A wheel flip between 12 teeth and 24 teeth is easy. 2 minutes, clean hands.) That bike is far from the craziest thing they have done. They thrive on challenges.

My logo is that bike at the 2014 Cycle Oregon going up a 14% grade on a 42-17. (I had the 23 tooth on also but didn't realize this hill was the biggy until I was into it.) The bike has done 4 COs.

Ben
79pmooney is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-18, 03:16 PM
  #12  
79pmooney
A Roadie Forever
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 5,543

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Mentioned: 69 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1091 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
@hoovbikes : Sure, I get that. It's why I bought a cf road bike. I was just pointing out that a good steel frame, with a modicum of care, will last a long time and cost less, too. My Lemond is built around a Reynolds 853 frame, and after 15 years and over 40k miles, it still rides beautifully - and it's probably less than a pound heavier than a comparably-sized Ti frame. Come to think of it, it's my favorite bike.
Yes, but steel frames don't have the ti ride. I ride steel also and have over 150,000 miles on steel. Race bikes, several 531 bikes, good Japanese bikes, etc. but they do not have the sweet ride of ti. I rode a ti mountain bike in 1989 and knew in a 1/4 mile that "this was it". Took me until 2006 to be able to justify a ti custom (all stock ti bikes I saw or heard of would have been $4000 class B fits). First mile, yup, this is that ride.

My Peter Mooney, 531, is as smooth as my ti bikes but that is with much longer wheelbase, far bigger tolerances and super smooth very high end 28c tires. My fixed ti bike is race quick and short with 24c tires. Bad chip seal? The ti bike is just as nice.

Ben
79pmooney is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-18, 03:49 PM
  #13  
Planemaker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Wichita, KS.
Posts: 737
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 115 Post(s)
e9a49512-ff1d-4119-b94e-a6968a47d1dd.jpg
Planemaker is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-18, 06:38 PM
  #14  
garciawork
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Meridian, ID
Posts: 1,329

Bikes: Mikkelsen, Niner SS, Lynskey Disc

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 67 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
My Carver Gravel Grinder that I built rides just as nice as my Seven. the cost of the entire Di2 build was about the same cost as my frame/fork from Seven. Both are lovely bikes for what they do....but the economics are problematic for the Seven.




Give Forrest a ring, great guy to work with.


I haven't had the pleasure of riding any of your shortlisted machines. All I know for certain is the same stuff I read as you. Email all of them, see who replies and how quickly. When I was shopping last spring--I was unimpressed at how long it took some companies to answer queries...Carver got back to me within 24 hours every time IIRC, the Carver GG is sourced from Lynskey actually.


All frames can crack....But steel can rust, particularly when it lives a rough life.

My bone to pick with the Lynskey GR...they don't need to use 6/4 titanium. It is just upping the price, drastically. If they used the same shaped tubing set in 3/2.5 they could get almost certainly get the same ride.
I followed your build thread, good to hear you are still enjoying the ride of the Carver. I still may need to get one of these...
garciawork is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-18, 10:06 PM
  #15  
zimdba
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 32

Bikes: 2012 Trek Madone 3.1 Shimano

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Originally Posted by jwh20 View Post
I don't have one but I have seen the Moots Ti bikes up close and they are, IMHO, works of art.
Indeed they are. However, I don't think my kidney will fetch that much on the open market.
zimdba is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-18, 10:33 PM
  #16  
Sully151
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 42

Bikes: Trek Fuel EX 9 (29), Trek Fuel EX 8 (26) Trek Project One Road.

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
I am also looking at a Ti bike. This is the one I have been eying

Why Cycles

R+ - Why Cycles

Here is a review

https://www.bikeradar.com/us/road/ge...-review-51366/
Sully151 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-18, 12:17 AM
  #17  
General Geoff
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania
Posts: 483

Bikes: 2018 Lynskey Cooper CX; 2007 Cannondale F4

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 196 Post(s)
Just received my 2018 Cooper CX from Lynskey, and while this isn't as dedicated a gravel bike as the GR260 or Pro GR, it's still in the same realm.




I took advantage of an amazing sale price they had on it in late January. The spec I ordered has a Pro GR carbon fork, allowing up to 45mm wide tires (came with 40mm).

Anyway, I examined the frame pretty closely, and the welds are perfect stack-of-dimes all the way round. No boogers or gaps. Alignment is perfect. The standard matte, bead blasted finish looks great in the sunlight. Bike rides super smooth and straight, if a bit twitchier than the flat bar mountain bike to which I've grown accustomed. I've put about 100 miles on it in the nearly two weeks since I received it, and I'm very happy with it!
General Geoff is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-18, 06:15 AM
  #18  
shelbyfv
Senior Member
 
shelbyfv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,831
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 924 Post(s)
Nice Cooper!
shelbyfv is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-18, 08:58 AM
  #19  
hoovbikes
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 27

Bikes: 2017 GT Grade Carbon Sram Force, 2014 Globe Roll 8 (w riser bars), 2015 All City Space Horse (cantilever)

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
Geoff all lustworthy bikes. Did all of you customize? That's another part of this process I'm excited about and curious how much of a difference it makes. It seems like whenever you get a new bike of any kind, it requires a bit of tinkering to get it set to your liking, and even then you may not be able to get the exact feel you want. The comfort of a custom fit combined with how it translates into power efficiency really gets me drooling. It seems like the ultimate way to maximize your potential as a rider.

Geoff I glanced at the Cooper CX as well when browsing the Lynsky site, and have many times wondered if going with more of a cross bike would be the way to go. I hear they make fantastic commuters and once the commute is over, the fun really begins. I always go back to gravel though, mainly bc A. I don't race (or at least I never have thus far) and B. I do tend to go for some extended all day rides which makes the endurance geometry of gravel bikes preferable, not to mention the larger, more road ready chainrings that come on them- god forbid I give up any noticeable road speed! Yours certainly looks adventure ready, do you race on it as well?

I think I remember seeing that Why on some countdown and it actually winning best gravel bike by the reviewers standards. Can't remember who was doing the countdown haha, but I think you're definitely honing in on a beastly option there.

thank you for illucidating that point about Ti. Totally agree.
hoovbikes is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-18, 09:26 AM
  #20  
General Geoff
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania
Posts: 483

Bikes: 2018 Lynskey Cooper CX; 2007 Cannondale F4

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 196 Post(s)
The Cooper CX seems to me to be more touring/gravel oriented than pure CX/race bike, as evidenced by all the mounting points for racks, fenders, etc. I haven't taken it for longer than a 30 mile ride yet, but it gobbled up 30 miles very comfortably. I've never owned a pure road /race bike so I have nothing to compare it to in terms of geometry, posture and comfort.
General Geoff is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-18, 12:09 PM
  #21  
prototoast
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Concord, CA
Posts: 58
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Lynskey makes some weird geometry decisions with some of their frames, so look everything over carefully or else you may end up with a bike that handles a little funny.
prototoast is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-18, 01:12 PM
  #22  
79pmooney
A Roadie Forever
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 5,543

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Mentioned: 69 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1091 Post(s)
Originally Posted by hoovbikes View Post
...

@79pmooney thank you for illucidating that point about Ti. Totally agree.
I rode 70 miles on my 531 Peter Mooney fixed Sunday. Country roads. Bike felt great! Last night I rode the custom ti bike in-town and back. A much, much quicker, faster steering, tighter, stiffer bike; a pure 1980s race bike had derailleurs and freewheels never been invented. But despite being such a racehorse, it felt just as secure and nice over poor pavement, so much so that I tend to unconsciously seek out the bad stuff just because it's fun.

Ben
79pmooney is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-18, 01:27 PM
  #23  
shelbyfv
Senior Member
 
shelbyfv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,831
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 924 Post(s)
Originally Posted by prototoast View Post
Lynskey makes some weird geometry decisions with some of their frames, so look everything over carefully or else you may end up with a bike that handles a little funny.
This sort of info is good to know! Which frames specifically and what's the weirdness on each? thanks
shelbyfv is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-18, 05:02 PM
  #24  
prototoast
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Concord, CA
Posts: 58
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
This sort of info is good to know! Which frames specifically and what's the weirdness on each? thanks
Kind of all of them... and they each have their own quirks. I don't have any firsthand experience, but I Googled the GR250 and the first review I found mentioned something along those lines. Lynskey GR250: At The Finish -

The geometry is growing on me, but the front wheel feels somewhat odd and floppy on road rides, like when I am out of saddle and weighting the bars while steering around a slower corner. In the dirt it feels quite good. If I could I might correct that head tube angle by 1/2 degree to 71.5, not 71. I can haul the mail down a dirt road though and that geometry lets me go scary fast for an old guy like me. It also feels really neat on smoother single tracks, both with the 650b and the 700c tires on there, so that 71.5 head tube, 50mm fork offset, lowish bottom bracket, and 435mm chain stays do add up to a very good all-round adventure bike approach with the nod towards the dirt.
There's a lot of personal preference that goes into geometry, so if it works for you, that's great. I just wanted to make sure you didn't get caught off guard. If you're looking for a bike to last you a long time, you're going to want it to fit and handle right.
prototoast is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-18, 05:43 PM
  #25  
wsteve464
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 54
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
If you are interested in Lynskey and don't mind last years model Lynskey sells their frames on Ebay at very low prices.
wsteve464 is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Terms of Service