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Go carbon or stay titanium?

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Go carbon or stay titanium?

Old 03-15-17, 06:22 AM
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Go carbon or stay titanium?

Have a Litespeed Arenberg (full carbon fork) that I like and have ridden for 16 years, it is kept in like new condition. Thinking of adding a Pinarello ROKH to the garage. Wondering if it's something I will enjoy more or just stick with the Litespeed. Will turn 60 this year and want a bike that isn't hard on the body, the ROKH was designed as a century/cobblestone bike. Not sure it will be any easier on me than the Litespeed. Don't race just enjoy 20~40 mile rides to clear my mind after work.
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Old 03-15-17, 06:33 AM
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For all the talk about material X vs. material Y, in reality it doesn't make that much difference. If you want a bike to be more forgiving on rough roads, you either need some type of suspension built in (like Trek and Specialized make) , or a bike that accepts fatter tires.... and fatter tires are likely the more significant improvement by a wide margin.
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Old 03-15-17, 06:46 AM
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Good point, I've always run 23s and planned on going to 25 or 28 (not sure they will fit) before the road riding season kicks into high gear, mounting biking now.
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Old 03-15-17, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by huffman View Post
....Will turn 60 this year and want a bike that isn't hard on the body,....
the answer probably depends on what particular issues you are having. As mentioned, larger tires can be quite helpful, so you'll want to make sure the frame can accept them.

If there are issues with the neck, a slightly more upright position might help. Some frames are designed to offer this. For issues at the other end of torso, I've found that a Brooks saddle can be great. The Brooks Swift is a light model that works well with drop bars.

Overall, this sounds like a good excuse to test ride some bikes!


Steve in Peoria
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Old 03-15-17, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
For all the talk about material X vs. material Y, in reality it doesn't make that much difference. If you want a bike to be more forgiving on rough roads, you either need some type of suspension built in (like Trek and Specialized make) , or a bike that accepts fatter tires.... and fatter tires are likely the more significant improvement by a wide margin.

This is solid advice. Been in bike biz since 1984 and I have found that frame material does not affect ride quality as much as the tires on the wheels. Moving from 23 to 28 is wise, and a noticeable improvement in ride quality will be realized. If you can only fit 25mm tires on the Litespeed, find a more supple 25, possibly with cotton construction. My personal ride is a titanium Habanero Road Classic with a 28 on the front @ 100psi, and a 25 on the rear @ 120psi. Both Conti Ultra Sports. Not a top tier tire, but the combo is very acceptable to me, and the tires wear well. Must mention that I am well over 200lbs.


Body weight does make a difference in ride quality.


Both wrists are arthritic and shocks to the wrists are not nice. The bars have a gel layer on the tops, plus two layers of Cinnelli cork ribbon. I fit the bike so that the bars are level with the highest point on the saddle. I can do 50 miles at a crack no problem. Pushing into 70-80 range is a bit tougher, but I still do it on a regular basis.



Fit the reach to avoid being too short as it puts more pressure on the hands. 1 cm in reach can make a difference. Have fun, too!
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Old 03-15-17, 08:33 AM
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It's not JUST about the frame material (although that's important), it's also about (1) how the material is used, and (2) the geometry of the bike. If a bike isn't built right, the frame material won't salvage the ride. (They can and many manufacturers do build a titanium bike that doesn't benefit from the material.)

I have a titanium Lynskey with a longer wheelbase and more relaxed geometry. It's very comfortable and I always try to ride it when I think I might encounter sketchy pavement. Very confidence-inspiring on steep, blind descents. It's a LOT more fun than my racing bike on chipseal surfaces, pot holed roads, or worse. On the other hand, my carbon racing bike is faster (and more fun) on glassy smooth pavement. But if I had to keep just one of the two bikes? I would tearfully say goodbye to the carbon bike. My titanium bike is just more versatile and more fun under more conditions -- at least as much a factor of the build and the geometry as of the material.
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Old 03-15-17, 08:55 AM
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Agree - it's the tires followed by your contact points with the bike (seat, seatpost, handlebars, etc...) that can do a lot for the ride. That said, if the frame is uber stiff then that's a problem but working the other components can do a lot to mitigate that stiffness. And I also agree with others on the point that the frame material matters little compared to the design and geometry. You can make a stiff or noodle frame out of any material.

J.
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Old 03-15-17, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by [B
FlashBazbo[/B];19442914]It's not JUST about the frame material (although that's important), it's also about (1) how the material is used, and (2) the geometry of the bike. If a bike isn't built right, the frame material won't salvage the ride. (They can and many manufacturers do build a titanium bike that doesn't benefit from the material.)


I agree with FlashBazbo, My titanium GT Edge is more comfortable but my carbon Guru Photon is lighter and faster. So . . . it really depends on your priorities.


Rick / OCRR
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Old 03-15-17, 09:14 AM
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Funny thing ... I was thinking my next bike would be Ti instead of carbon.

Unlike love, Ti is forever.
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Old 03-15-17, 09:29 AM
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So do you want a new bike or do you want to save money? :-)


Either way go with bigger tires, 28's if you can fit them. IME, handmade ("open tubular") tires have much better ride quality. Challenge, Veloflex and Vittoria are the most common brands.


I've run both Challenge Criteriums (23) and Vittoria Open Paves (25) on my Merckx and am happy with both. Once the Vittorias wear out I'll probably go up another size.


SP
OC, OR
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Old 03-15-17, 09:34 AM
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IMO I would never give up a titanium frame for a carbon fiber (plastic) frame. An uncrashed Ti frame is forever. Carbon fiber ages, gets hard, and is affected by sunlight.
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Old 03-15-17, 10:16 AM
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It'll be different, which is always fun. Whether that fun is worth the money is up to you. You won't get a more comfy ride than the Litespeed. The carbon will be a little better at vibration damping but you probably don't have much vibration on the Litespeed anyway. The Pinarello might give you a slightly faster ride. Sure, get the bike and have fun with it.
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Old 03-15-17, 04:08 PM
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Thanks for all the informative & positive responses! When I had a Harley I gave up on the forums, try asking even a simple question and the vitriolic spewing was unreal, WTF. Maybe it's also because we're older and wiser. Anyway • thanks!

This started because my wife keeps asking me to get something for my 60th, it's not the money - I just don't want anything. So I though of a new (second) road bike after seeing a Pinarello ROKH in a shop while at a conference, would never sell my Litespeed. My only real health problems are that cycling irritates my hips and knees after a couple hours in the saddle, not a lot is gonna help with that. Have decided based on your suggestions to upgrade my Litespeed with larger & better tires, a new fork, slightly lower gearing & a new seat then ride it for another 16++ years.
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Old 03-16-17, 03:17 AM
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Sounds like a good plan! Happy 60th!
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Old 03-16-17, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
IMO I would never give up a titanium frame for a carbon fiber (plastic) frame. An uncrashed Ti frame is forever. Carbon fiber ages, gets hard, and is affected by sunlight.
Did anyone tell Boeing about this?
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Old 03-16-17, 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by huffman View Post
Thanks for all the informative & positive responses! When I had a Harley I gave up on the forums, try asking even a simple question and the vitriolic spewing was unreal, WTF. Maybe it's also because we're older and wiser. Anyway • thanks!

This started because my wife keeps asking me to get something for my 60th, it's not the money - I just don't want anything. So I though of a new (second) road bike after seeing a Pinarello ROKH in a shop while at a conference, would never sell my Litespeed. My only real health problems are that cycling irritates my hips and knees after a couple hours in the saddle, not a lot is gonna help with that. Have decided based on your suggestions to upgrade my Litespeed with larger & better tires, a new fork, slightly lower gearing & a new seat then ride it for another 16++ years.
I still like the idea of a second bike.... and, you could still do the work to the Litespeed...
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Old 03-16-17, 05:20 AM
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@huffman - If you're having hip and knee issues after a couple of hours in the saddle that don't show up off the bike, you might want to look into a professional bike fit...especially if you haven't changed your position since you got the Litespeed lo, these many years ago. There are a bunch of us 60+ folks who can knock off a 100-mile ride on any given day without issues. Shoot, @OldTryGuy often does that before breakfast, and he's in his 70s!

The equipment changes you're planning make sense. You might want to look into a new wheelset with wider rims, IME they do make a difference.
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Old 03-16-17, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Kindaslow View Post
Did anyone tell Boeing about this?
Boeing airplanes usually cant fall over on a sharp object, and have to be thrown away.
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Old 03-16-17, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Boeing airplanes usually cant fall over on a sharp object, and have to be thrown away.
Mountain bikes do exactly that, mine have, and none of mine have broken. I have only seen one broken rear triangle on a CF MTB in all the years of MTBing, and no broken frames (I know it occurs, just like it does with steel, Ti, and aluminum). Also, your post talked about CF getting hard (implying brittle, given it starts "hard")..etc... not about this. If I continue to challenge your thinking, which I believe evidence shows is flawed thinking, will you just continue to change arguments.
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Old 03-16-17, 08:49 AM
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A second bike ..... you can always combine the benefits of carbon and ti with a Holland Exogrid ..... mine works well on the chip seal roads I ride. It is worth watching this video about the turning frame construction.
Attached Images
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NewBike.jpg (99.1 KB, 363 views)
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Old 03-17-17, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by huffman View Post
Have a Litespeed Arenberg (full carbon fork) that I like and have ridden for 16 years, it is kept in like new condition. Thinking of adding a Pinarello ROKH to the garage. Wondering if it's something I will enjoy more or just stick with the Litespeed. Will turn 60 this year and want a bike that isn't hard on the body, the ROKH was designed as a century/cobblestone bike. Not sure it will be any easier on me than the Litespeed. Don't race just enjoy 20~40 mile rides to clear my mind after work.
Add the bike! In fact, as (at 66) someone who ran into hip and knee problems after only an hour I've found that riding a half-dozen different bikes (I rotate depending on time/distance) has almost completely eliminated those pains. Most of the trips are shorter distance on the beater or vintage bikes, but I think the variety of minor riding position changes works rather like using more than one piece of exercise equipment.

Not to mention it's a great justification for the N+1 rule!
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Old 03-18-17, 06:07 AM
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N+1 is always nice.
IMHO- a common reason for looking at a new bike, is current bike not fitting optimally. Suggest getting an expert bike fit (even if you had a fitting when you purchased your current bike)- our bodies evolve & fit needs change. If you can get that optimal fit by updating parts on your current bike - nice.
25 or 28 mm tires help an amazing amount with ride quality. My road bike came with 23 mm tires, after a couple hundred km I ruined the rear tire. When I got a replacement, LBS had in stock a 25 mm tire that I wanted. So I put it on. Noticed an immediate improvement in the ride (which I thought was pretty comfortable with 23s). After a few months needed to replace the front. Got another 25, still better ride. Wore out the rear, just out of curiosity, checked to see if a 28 would fit in the rear- it does. Now riding 25 in front and 28 in rear & very comfortable, plus I get much better tire life with the larger tires.
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Old 03-18-17, 07:23 AM
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I'm guessing that your older Litespeed will barely fit 25c tires. Most road frames just weren't designed with room for wider tires even 10 years ago.

Since you are keeping the Litespeed, you may like an "adventure" or "gravel" bike, with room for much larger tires, often 35c to 40c.

That's what I did. My all-day-ride/gravel bike can fit fenders, and I keep 28c tires on it, swapping out to 40c for gravel rides. It has lower gearing than my road bike, too. I have the bars set just slightly below the saddle on this bike. At my 170 pounds, the 28c road tires are at 65 psi front, 80 psi rear--a smooth, plush ride.

Both my fast road bike and my gravel bike are fun to ride.
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Old 03-18-17, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Kindaslow View Post
Mountain bikes do exactly that, mine have, and none of mine have broken. I have only seen one broken rear triangle on a CF MTB in all the years of MTBing, and no broken frames (I know it occurs, just like it does with steel, Ti, and aluminum). Also, your post talked about CF getting hard (implying brittle, given it starts "hard")..etc... not about this. If I continue to challenge your thinking, which I believe evidence shows is flawed thinking, will you just continue to change arguments.
Yes a "carbon fiber" frame is hard, but the fact remains it is carbon fiber reinforced plastic resin. Over time plastic do gas off and get more brittle. Plastics are also affected by sun light.
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Old 03-18-17, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Kindaslow View Post
Did anyone tell Boeing about this?
OTOH, Boeing doesn't intend planes to last forever.
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