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Titanium or stainless steel?

Old 03-29-20, 06:18 AM
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alo
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Titanium or stainless steel?

I rescued a bike from the trash, and the handlebars are a shiny metal with a wire brush finish.

How could I tell if they are titanium or stainless steel? What is the difference in the appearance of titanium and stainless steel? Could they be something other than titanium or stainless steel?

Here is a picture of the bike.



I don't have a good picture of the handlebars, and I am not at home, so I can't take one. But here is a close up of the handlebars from the other picture.

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Old 03-29-20, 06:33 AM
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Aluminum?
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Old 03-29-20, 06:46 AM
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Simple, grab a magnet.
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Old 03-29-20, 06:46 AM
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That's not a bike that would normally have a Ti or SS anything on it.
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Old 03-29-20, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Dr.Lou View Post
Aluminum?
I believe it is not aluminum. It is an old bike and the handlebars have retained their shine, like new. The bike is mostly aluminum, including the frame. The seat post is still like new aluminum, the cranks, the brake levers. It seems the bike has never been left in the rain. The aluminum does not shine like the handlebars. The handlebars shine like stainless steel.
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Old 03-29-20, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by commo_soulja View Post
Simple, grab a magnet.
What would a magnet stick to? Does it stick to titanium, stainless steel, or aluminum? A magnet does not stick to it.
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Old 03-29-20, 07:43 AM
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It may be difficult to see in the pictures, and I am not home so I can't take more. Here is a picture of the seat post. It is aluminum, and like new. Then a 'zoomed in even more,' picture of the handlebars.







The handlebars are much more shiny than the seat post.
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Old 03-29-20, 07:55 AM
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Remove the plugs and look at the end of the bar. Thick wall = aluminum; thin wall = steel.
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Old 03-29-20, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Remove the plugs and look at the end of the bar. Thick wall = aluminum; thin wall = steel.
It is not aluminum.
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Old 03-29-20, 08:00 AM
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If you saw this in real life, could you tell by the appearance if it is stainless steel or titanium? Is there a difference in their appearance?
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Old 03-29-20, 08:02 AM
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Aluminum handlebars such a bad thing?
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Old 03-29-20, 08:03 AM
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When you have access to the bike.
Aluminium, Titanium, and 300 series Stainless are all non magnetic
Look if there are any markings on the bars, manufacturer, sizes, model, etc.
Pull one of the grips - take a knife and on the ID of the tube try cutting it as if you were deburring a pipe.. Aluminium is soft enough a utility knife will cut it.


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Old 03-29-20, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by commo_soulja View Post
Simple, grab a magnet.
Many stainless steel alloys are not magnetic.
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Old 03-29-20, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by hillyman View Post
Aluminum handlebars such a bad thing?
As long as they are strong enough. I am heavier than most riders, so strength of all bike part is important to me. I don't even ride bikes with tires thinner than mountain bikes.

But that is not the point. I am 100% certain these handlebars are not aluminum. Aluminum does not shine like stainless steel.
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Old 03-29-20, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
When you have access to the bike.
Look if there are any markings on the bars, manufacturer, sizes, model, etc.
It will be months before I return home. When I return, I will do further investigation.
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Old 03-29-20, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by commo_soulja View Post
Simple, grab a magnet.
On aluminum, titanium or most stainless steel?
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Old 03-29-20, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by alo View Post
As long as they are strong enough. I am heavier than most riders, so strength of all bike part is important to me. I don't even ride bikes with tires thinner than mountain bikes.

But that is not the point. I am 100% certain these handlebars are not aluminum. Aluminum does not shine like stainless steel.
I don't know.. there's some pretty shiny stuff out there.. eg. look at the Nitto lineup, eg pic below. https://www.rivbike.com/collections/handlebars

Also.. could just be chrome plated run of the mill steel?

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Old 03-29-20, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
I don't know.. there's some pretty shiny stuff out there.. eg. look at the Nitto lineup, eg pic below.

Also.. could just be chrome plated run of the mill steel?
It has a wire brush finish, not a smooth finish like chrome plating.
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Old 03-29-20, 09:12 AM
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I do not believe anyone would put stainless steel or titanium handlebars on that bike. It would be senseless. I think they are probable aluminum, maybe a low grade steel alloy. What does it matter, anyway?
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Old 03-29-20, 09:16 AM
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My guess is wire brushed alloy, either factory, or in all likelihood home done to hide scratches. I really doubt anyone would put ti bars on that stem.

And about that welded stem. I lift a bit and run 210-220ish, I wouldn't ride that stem on the trails I ride, in fact I wouldn't ride it anywhere but around the block.

Fwiw, all my bars are aluminum alloy or carbon.

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Old 03-29-20, 09:17 AM
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$20 says they are aluminum/. Another $20 says if you are worried about strength due to materiual alone you are worrying for no reason. My LHT--a bike designed to carry heavy loads and heavy people--has aluminum bars. I have taken it fully loaded on roads that simulate mountain biking.
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Old 03-29-20, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by delbiker1 View Post
I do not believe anyone would put stainless steel or titanium handlebars on that bike. It would be senseless. I think they are probable aluminum, maybe a low grade steel alloy. What does it matter, anyway?
This is the relevant question.
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Old 03-29-20, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by delbiker1 View Post
What does it matter, anyway?
It looks nice.

It is strong.

It won't go rusty.
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Old 03-29-20, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
$20 says they are aluminum/. Another $20 says if you are worried about strength due to materiual alone you are worrying for no reason.
I would not be worried if it was aluminum. But I am certain it is not.

My bikes normally have the handlebars they came with. I don't get worried and switch handlebars. But I have changed handlebars for raised ones.
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Old 03-29-20, 09:29 AM
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If there were two handlebars side by side, one titanium, and the other stainless steel, could any of you tell which was which by looking at them? Is there any difference in their appearance? What is that difference?
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