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Ti Randonneuse

Old 01-23-18, 12:32 PM
  #1  
iTrod
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Ti Randonneuse

Thinking of getting a Ti bike for brevets. Litespeed Cherohala SE and Seven Axiom appear to be reasonable options. Opinions?
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Old 01-24-18, 04:23 AM
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I could never let a Ti bike out of my sight... I'd be a nervous wreck.

Some day I might bet one though. Good luck with your quest!
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Old 01-24-18, 08:17 AM
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Trying to make Susan mad again? Firefly has been making some bikes like that. Not sure how the pricing compares with the Seven, but the people at Firefly have always seemed more sensible.
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Old 01-24-18, 08:24 AM
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You probably already decided on titanium as a material and don't want to hear this but...

Yes, Ti bikes sound good on paper: It's half the density of steel, so a Ti bike should be lighter. Unfortunately its stiffness (Young's modulus) is also only half that of steel. If you were to increase the wall thickness to allow for this, there would be no weight advantage. So to get any weight savings at all, you got to go to oversize tubes with thinner walls, which then get dinged more easily. Also, you can't use oversize tubes in certain places, like chain stays where space is limited between the cranks and the tires.

It's much more difficult to build Ti well than it is with steel and it shows. Three guys I know who ride Ti bikes have suffered cracked frames and either had to get them replaced or re-welded (that's about half the people I know who ride Ti bikes). I know a few people who wrote off carbon frames after collisions. I know one person who destroyed a steel frame in a head on collision with an obstacle but none who lost one through metal fatigue or rust. Even though Ti is not supposed to have corrosion issues, in practice I think most steel frames will outlive most Ti frames, simply because of the lower incidence of manufacturing defects.

If you still want to go for a Ti bike, get a good one. With Ti it does not pay to hunt for bargains.
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Old 01-24-18, 10:36 AM
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https://www.fireflybicycles.com/bicycles/all-road
I would consider talking to them about getting a front randonneur rack and possibly internal routing for lights. i expect you want it to be light, so steel fork is out, but there are carbon forks with rack mounts. A carbon fork can have loops for dyno light wires added.
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Old 01-24-18, 10:59 AM
  #6  
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My 2003 Litespeed Vortex has held up very well over the years. But it also cost well over $5,000 and that was 2003 prices. I'm not familiar with the current models as I haven't bought a bike since 2003.

ETA: The Vortex is good for a 200K brevet but doesn't have any options to add racks, fenders, nor wider tires.
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Old 01-24-18, 01:00 PM
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We've got some Lynskey and Seven bikes in the local club.
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"be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."
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Old 01-24-18, 02:06 PM
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Put together a wish list of capabilities that you want so it is easy to rule out models that do not meet your criteria. For example, do you want rack mounts, do you want fender mounts and adequate fender clearance. What tire width do you want, many Titanium bikes are limited to skinny tires. Are you flexible on brake types or are you only considering specific brakes? My Lynskey has plenty of room for a triple crank, but I have heard that some Titanium bikes have thick chainstays that can be problematic for triple cranks. Do you plan to travel with the bike enough that S&S couplers are something that you would want? I am perfectly content with conventional hubs, but some people are starting to want through axle hubs. I am assuming you want dérailleurs and not a Rohloff, but just thought I would bring that up since you already have one.

Once you have your list of criteria, it is pretty easy to start short listing the models you are interested in.
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Old 01-24-18, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by iTrod View Post
Thinking of getting a Ti bike for brevets. Litespeed Cherohala SE and Seven Axiom appear to be reasonable options. Opinions?
My brevet bike is a steel Seven Axiom (titanium was not in the budget at the time so I didn't consider it), and it's fantastic; they make excellent bikes, and they know what randonneurs need. And there's a pile of them at our local brevets. And I know at least one rando who's really happy with their titanium Firefly bike. Also, IIRC think Seven's non-custom sister line, Honey, has at least one titanium bike now, which could save you some if one of their sizes fits you well.
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Old 01-24-18, 05:33 PM
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I ride a Moots for all my brevets (also commutes, gravel rides etc) and there are a few Sevens and Litespeeds on my local rando scene, all of whose owners are 100% happy with them. Ti is just simply comfortable and cool.
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Old 01-24-18, 07:02 PM
  #11  
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I started riding titanium about 4 years ago. Best cycling decision I've ever made. Motobecane Fantom cross Ti
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Old 01-24-18, 08:35 PM
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Looked at the Firefly site-they have some very impressive builds. Thanks Eric!

Here's my wish list thus far:

All-Road (gravel) design that will handle up to 35 mm 700c (though will probably be riding 25-28 range on pavement)
Fenders-I like Portland Design Works metal fenders, but plastic will also work.
Disc Brakes
Like the Ultegra R8000 group with hydraulic disc brakes and 34 tooth cassette option due to my fat old guy geometry
Thru-axle dropouts
Schmidt SON generator hub up front with Schmidt Edelux II light mounted on the fork (since I use an Arkel handlebar bag with cue sheet holder on top, handlebar mounted lights do not work well) Fork mounting of the light may be somewhat of a problem as disc brake CF forks lack the caliper brake mounting hole at the top where the lights are usually mounted.
Would like stem-mounted USB port if possible to charge batteries or gizmos, but alas, most CF forks lack a hole on the underside and are not comparable with these devices that hide in the steerer.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 01-25-18, 09:14 AM
  #13  
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It's interesting how different people have different requirements/preferences for the same application. The details would be similar enough, but the frame choice and overall setup would be quite different, with my preferences more in the BQ/650b/low-trail/lightweight steel orientation.
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Old 01-25-18, 09:48 AM
  #14  
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Lynskey Urbano and Urbanskey models take disc brakes and 35mm tires, the Urbano can use a through axle but I am not sure about the Urbanskey. I am not sure if their Urbanskey is only sold on Ebay or not, I do not recall seeing it on their web site. I do not know if they could take 35mm tires AND fenders at the same time, you would have to ask them. Since the frame is not sold with the fork, you can look for a fork later that meets your criteria if you do not want to buy the fork that they recommend.

You would have to decide if the geometry of one of these models is what you want or not. Most of their road frames have a 28mm max tire size, so they do not have a wide variety of models within your wish list specifications.

Occasionally Lynskey puts frames on Ebay that for one reason or other they chose not to sell through their regular website sales. I bought my Backroad frame from them last spring on Ebay, cost was about 40 percent of what I would have had to pay if I ordered it on their website. I bought a different fork that was one third the cost of the fork they sell. I ended up with a nice Titanium loaded touring bike that complete with touring racks cost me less than I would have had to pay for just a frame at their normal selling price. And that included a dynohub and Luxos U.

I have only ridden their Backroad, not the other models I mention. I suspect that the Backroad might be stiffer than you want since it is a touring bike designed to carry a load. But that model otherwise would meet your specification for disc, through axle, and wider tires with fenders. So, if you would not mind a stiffer bike, you could consider that model too.

If you get a Lynskey, I suggest the Industrial Mill finish. That is what I have.

While the stem cap is a convenient location for the USB port, I have been perfectly content to have my USB port elsewhere.

Headlight mounting, I have no good suggestions because I do not have any carbon forks, thus I can mount my lights at the fork crown. On one bike that I have yet to install a light, the fork crown is not a good location. I plan to mount it on one of the canti brake posts, but I suspect you would get a fork that does not offer that option.
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Old 01-25-18, 11:41 AM
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I built a Ti distance bike as a Xmas present to myself in the end of 2015.
Got a new Lynskey Peloton frame (taking 28mm Max in 700c), and installed 650b wheels. A 38 mm tire fits just fine in the rear, I have used 38s and 42s in the front.
Disc front brake and a caliper rear, as I seldom use my rear brakes.
Dynamo, B&M lights. Front rack with an Acorn bag.
2x10 with Campy shifters.
Light and lively. Rides like a dream.
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Old 01-25-18, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by IK_biker View Post
I built a Ti distance bike as a Xmas present to myself in the end of 2015.
Got a new Lynskey Peloton frame ...
Disc front brake and a caliper rear, as I seldom use my rear brakes.
....
Interesting, I built up my Lynskey with disc rear, rim brake front.
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Old 01-25-18, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by iTrod View Post
LFork mounting of the light may be somewhat of a problem as disc brake CF forks lack the caliper brake mounting hole at the top where the lights are usually mounted.
I had/have that problem and went with a handlebar-mounted light. I can still technically fit a barbag, problem is it presses on the wires and can disconnect them from the light. As for the USB port, I use a B&M Lumotec which comes with the USB port and I've mounted it on the side of my top tube at the front so I can plug devices in from my cockpit area. USB charging works well, but I disconnect and cover it up when it rains.
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Old 01-25-18, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by IK_biker View Post
I built a Ti distance bike as a Xmas present to myself in the end of 2015.
Got a new Lynskey Peloton frame (taking 28mm Max in 700c), and installed 650b wheels. A 38 mm tire fits just fine in the rear, I have used 38s and 42s in the front.
Disc front brake and a caliper rear, as I seldom use my rear brakes.
Dynamo, B&M lights. Front rack with an Acorn bag.
2x10 with Campy shifters.
Light and lively. Rides like a dream.
I've been contemplating this myself! If you don't mind sharing, what wheels and caliper brake did you use?
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Old 01-25-18, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
I've been contemplating this myself! If you don't mind sharing, what wheels and caliper brake did you use?
Rear wheel is on a Ultegra 6800 hub, Velocity A23 O/C 32h rim, the front is on a Shutter Precision PD8 hub with American Classic 101 32h rim, all spokes are Wheelsmith DB14, brass nipples of course.
The rear brake is a simple Tektro 559 with Koolstop salmon pads.

As an illustration of how much I use the rear brake, in the ~6200 miles thus far the pads have less than 0.5 mm wear. This proves that a heavier disc rear brake can not be justified in such a setup and that searching for a decent disc brake frame is fool's game.
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Old 01-25-18, 09:07 PM
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Thanks! I don't need discs so it would be the Tektros both ends.
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Old 01-25-18, 10:26 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
https://www.fireflybicycles.com/bicycles/all-road
I would consider talking to them about getting a front randonneur rack and possibly internal routing for lights. i expect you want it to be light, so steel fork is out, but there are carbon forks with rack mounts. A carbon fork can have loops for dyno light wires added.
Huge mega +1, 2, 3 and 4 for Firefly...They make the bikes in my dreams. Just look at their Tumbler page and you will see page after page of some of the nicest (non-lugged) bikes you will probably see. There are tons of awesome Ti builders out there and I would happily own bikes from pretty much any one of them but Firefly is that top level sexy.

Also here is the Spork that can basically do it all and probably what I would spec on my All-Road if I ever get the money together for one:
Rodeo Spork Bicycle Fork. A carbon fiber adventure bike fork.Rodeo Adventure Labs, LLC
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Old 01-27-18, 04:15 AM
  #22  
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Lynskey Gravel Pro

After visiting the Lynskey website, I'd have to say that the Gravel Pro is in the running. Just need to see if they offer a Ultegra R8020 option (R8000 series with hydraulic disc brakes). Their fork has a threaded mounting hole on the front which will allow light mounting or their Caddy Rack. I believe Peter White has adapters that would allow Schmidt Edelux II attachment directly to the front rack. Anyone out there using a Gravel Pro as a randonneuse?
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Old 01-27-18, 11:17 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by iTrod View Post
After visiting the Lynskey website, I'd have to say that the Gravel Pro is in the running. Just need to see if they offer a Ultegra R8020 option (R8000 series with hydraulic disc brakes). Their fork has a threaded mounting hole on the front which will allow light mounting or their Caddy Rack. I believe Peter White has adapters that would allow Schmidt Edelux II attachment directly to the front rack. Anyone out there using a Gravel Pro as a randonneuse?
I never checked out that model, thus that model was not on my list of suggested Lynskey models to check. Sorry, for the discrepancy.

Lynskey makes frames. That is their specialty and I think they pretty much just stick with what they know best. I suspect that they buy their forks from elsewhere. When they build up a complete bike, I do not know if they do that in house or if they contract that work to a bike shop. You would have to ask them about substitutes. If they contract with a bike shop, substitutes are more likely available.

The rack you are talking about, I think that is a rear rack, not a front. You should ask them about mounting a front rack. There are carbon forks out there that have mid-fork rack mounts, but they are quite rare. A friend of mine has such a fork on his touring bike, but that is the only one I have seen.
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Old 01-27-18, 11:24 AM
  #24  
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One more quick comment on Lynskey. The replaceable hanger bolts, I had one come loose on me about 100 miles from home. You really want to use blue loctite on the bolts on their removable dropouts to make sure they stay in place.
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Old 01-27-18, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I never checked out that model, thus that model was not on my list of suggested Lynskey models to check. Sorry, for the discrepancy.

Lynskey makes frames. That is their specialty and I think they pretty much just stick with what they know best. I suspect that they buy their forks from elsewhere. When they build up a complete bike, I do not know if they do that in house or if they contract that work to a bike shop. You would have to ask them about substitutes. If they contract with a bike shop, substitutes are more likely available.

The rack you are talking about, I think that is a rear rack, not a front. You should ask them about mounting a front rack. There are carbon forks out there that have mid-fork rack mounts, but they are quite rare. A friend of mine has such a fork on his touring bike, but that is the only one I have seen.
Ah...you are right! That is a rear rack. I believe I see mounting points on the side of the fork, however. I will contact them to find out. At any rate, if there are side bolt holes on the fork, I can probably find a randonneuring rack to fit.
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