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Ti vs Ti bikes

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Ti vs Ti bikes

Old 11-01-16, 03:32 PM
  #1  
slowgo
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Ti vs Ti bikes

I'm considering at titanium bike (DI2 and discs) as my next road bike to complement my Tarmac. I'm somewhat familiar w Litespeed and Lynskey having owned both briefly and know the reputation of Moots as a high end bike. My primary question is what is the difference between a Lynskey or Litespeed frame and a Moots frame as far as quality? All are US made, right? Is a Moots worth the extra $k's?
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Old 11-01-16, 03:55 PM
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Nothing but subjectivity can come of this question. Everyone will have a personal opinion. How do you decide who to listen to?
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Old 11-01-16, 04:02 PM
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Billy is right. All the named bikes are excellent. If you are the type who thinks more money necessarily buys better performance, go with Moots. As someone who seeks high value, I would go Lynskey. Great sales service and a wide variety of choices. Excellent workmanship and a devoted following.
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Old 11-01-16, 04:17 PM
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I own a Litespeed built in the fairly early Lynskey years, so I'd consider them very comparable. IMO all the decent stuff is better than it needs to be, so differences other than fit and features are pretty moot (maybe that's why they're moots).
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Old 11-01-16, 04:48 PM
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If you are into titanium bikes (as opposed to carbon), you are necessarily into aesthetics and "craftsmanship." The idea of going for the most cost-effective titanium bike doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. (Cost-effective is carbon.) But some titanium sure are beautiful:

Mosaic Bespoke Bicycles
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Old 11-01-16, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by profjmb View Post
If you are into titanium bikes (as opposed to carbon), you are necessarily into aesthetics and "craftsmanship."
Not true at all. I am indeed "into" aesthetics and craftsmanship, but those are unrelated issues. I would eventually like a Ti bike for one reason---ride quality.

To me, spending thousands of dollars on looks ... go buy a painting. If I want to buy a Ti bike, I want it to fit, and to ride smoothly over unsmooth pavement, while weighing less than steel and never corroding.
Originally Posted by profjmb View Post
The idea of going for the most cost-effective titanium bike doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. (Cost-effective is carbon.)
Spending as little as possible to get exactly what one wants is exceedingly sensible. Paying more than you need to get what you want, or getting less than you need, both do not make sense.

If or when I finally get a Ti bike, it will be chosen because it fits perfectly and delivers the ride and handling I desire. I will spend as little as possible for it. If I can find a Motobecane that does the job, I will buy that, or Lynskey, or a custom frame, but I will spend as "cost-effectively" as possible. I work for my money, and throwing it away doesn't make any sense at all.

If I had an unlimited budget, I would hire a designer and an orthopedist and a pro trainer and have them design a bike perfectly suited to the last millimeter to my body and my riding style ... and I'd get a new one every few years to compensate for my body's changes as I age.

But we are talking about actual people looking for commercially available mass-produced Ti bikes. Cost effectiveness definitely plays a part. If the guy can afford the Moots but the Lynskey works just as well, why buy the Moots?

I do like the Mosaic R1 ... but I don't think it looks any different from pretty much any other Ti bike. I like the butted custom-geometry frame though.

Last edited by Maelochs; 11-01-16 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 11-01-16, 05:48 PM
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Are you wanting off-the-rack bikes or custom?

Moots are nice frames...but unlike say Seven, AFAIK they don't do ride/handling tuning.
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Old 11-01-16, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Not true at all. I am indeed "into" aesthetics and craftsmanship, but those are unrelated issues. I would eventually like a Ti bike for one reason---ride quality.

To me, spending thousands of dollars on looks ... go buy a painting. If I want to buy a Ti bike, I want it to fit, and to ride smoothly over unsmooth pavement, while weighing less than steel and never corroding. Spending as little as possible to get exactly what one wants is exceedingly sensible. Paying more than you need to get what you want, or getting less than you need, both do not make sense.

If or when I finally get a Ti bike, it will be chosen because it fits perfectly and delivers the ride and handling I desire. I will spend as little as possible for it. If I can find a Motobecane that does the job, I will buy that, or Lynskey, or a custom frame, but I will spend as "cost-effectively" as possible. I work for my money, and throwing it away doesn't make any sense at all.

If I had an unlimited budget, I would hire a designer and an orthopedist and a pro trainer and have them design a bike perfectly suited to the last millimeter to my body and my riding style ... and I'd get a new one every few years to compensate for my body's changes as I age.

But we are talking about actual people looking for commercially available mass-produced Ti bikes. Cost effectiveness definitely plays a part. If the guy can afford the Moots but the Lynskey works just as well, why buy the Moots?

I do like the Mosaic R1 ... but I don't think it looks any different from pretty much any other Ti bike. I like the butted custom-geometry frame though.
... I would eventually like a Ti bike for one reason---ride quality. ... Yeah. I rode a Merlin maybe 1/2 mile in 1989 and knew my future bike was going to be ti.

Spending as little as possible to get exactly what one wants is exceedingly sensible. ... I didn't sweat this one. I knew I needed a true custom. I already had a good working relationship with a framebuilder who could build what I wanted. I could have searched and probably paid less. Instead I got a bike that was/is completely mine. Nothing like it. I also firmly established an even better relationship with that builder who has now built a second ti bike for me as well as refurbishing a sweet old frame.

Al that said and I look at some of the prices of high end ti and drop my jaw. Yes the welds are picture perfect and the dropouts works of art. Lighter, higher end tubes than my bike (and not as stiff).

... If or when I finally get a Ti bike, it will be chosen because it fits perfectly and delivers the ride and handling I desire. ... Yeah. I started seeking out production ti bikes that could work for me in the early 2000s. Wrote a computer program to calculate the stem I would need and the weight distribution between the wheels. It became quickly apparent that I wasn't going to do better than a class B fit needing a custom stem. That's my life on the old steelies I set up as winter/rain/city bikes. I pay $80 for those frames. Paying $4000 fo0r a fit not much better? Not me.

Ben
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Old 11-01-16, 06:27 PM
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What about Firefly?

World-class bicycles, handmade in Boston, Mass. - Firefly Bicycles

From what I read they are on par with Linskey or Moots. Sure are pretty too.


-Tim-
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Old 11-01-16, 06:56 PM
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Google "cracked titanium frame." One of the companies you mentioned will come up a bunch, the other, last I checked, once. It happened to me with a Chattanooga frame. I've seen at least five more come through my lbs.

Also, the tubes used in Tennessee aren't US made.

Last edited by MrCharlie; 11-01-16 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 11-01-16, 07:20 PM
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My $.02.. don't go looking for a lightweight Ti frame. That's not what it's really about. My impression is that the 'cracked frame' old history mostly dates from when bike makers were trying the lightweight models of Ti. Ti is great, but look for a 3+ lb frame. If you're spending money to get a <3lb Ti bike, then I'd say it's likely not a good investment.
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Old 11-01-16, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
My $.02.. don't go looking for a lightweight Ti frame. That's not what it's really about. My impression is that the 'cracked frame' old history mostly dates from when bike makers were trying the lightweight models of Ti. Ti is great, but look for a 3+ lb frame. If you're spending money to get a <3lb Ti bike, then I'd say it's likely not a good investment.
Just my experience, but, at the time I bought it, only four years or so ago, my frame that had cracked was the heaviest road model being sold.
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Old 11-01-16, 07:43 PM
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I own an old Litespeed ('94). From my perspective as things stand now:

RE: Lynskey vs Moots - Both Lynskey and Moots will offer quality framesets that will ride well. You will not be able to tell the difference between two frames with similar specs, weight, and geometry from the two builders. The reason Moots is more expensive, as far as I can tell, is their process and finishing quality. They have said that they do multiple TIG passes on each welded joint and put a lot of extra time into the frames in their finishing department. I don't think these things will almost ever translate into the actual ride quality or longevity of the frames as compared to Lynskey, but sometimes they look better.

If I were to get a new Ti bike I would skip both and go with a custom builder. You can get a very nice frameset that has custom geometry for similar and sometimes even lower prices than Moots or Lynskey from a custom builder. The frames will have design elements and flourishes that put them on another level from a production ti frame. Just keep in mind that the smaller the operation the longer you might have to wait. Some notables:

-Seven
-Engin
-Steve Potts
-Firefly
-Mosaic
-Stinner
-Curt Inglis
-Oddity
-Ground Up
-22Bikes
-Mike DeSalvo
-Bilenky

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Old 11-01-16, 08:21 PM
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I have owned several different Lynskey bikes. Each, in its own way, was a good bike. I still own two of them and enjoy them when I ride them. I also have an S&S coupled Moots, and IMO, the Moots is a superior product in every way. It is aesthetically nicer, but more importantly, it rides better. It is stable, efficient, and solid. I can't really be very specific. I can't explain the nuts and bolts of why I have the opinion that I do . . . But there is something in the designed geometry the "works" for me. The crew at Moots are really bike people. They seem to live and breath it and I think that gives them a more nuanced ability to design and build Ti bikes. I think their bikes are worth every penny.

All of this is strictly my opinion. YMMV.
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Old 11-01-16, 08:46 PM
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I own a few Ti frames. I don't think the ride quality is any better or worse than steel or carbon. Getting a Ti bike is definitely more about aesthetics and style than value.
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Old 11-01-16, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by thunderworks View Post
I have owned several different Lynskey bikes. Each, in its own way, was a good bike. I still own two of them and enjoy them when I ride them. I also have an S&S coupled Moots, and IMO, the Moots is a superior product in every way. It is aesthetically nicer, but more importantly, it rides better. It is stable, efficient, and solid. I can't really be very specific. I can't explain the nuts and bolts of why I have the opinion that I do . . . But there is something in the designed geometry the "works" for me. The crew at Moots are really bike people. They seem to live and breath it and I think that gives them a more nuanced ability to design and build Ti bikes. I think their bikes are worth every penny.

All of this is strictly my opinion. YMMV.
And the crew at Lynskey are not bike people?
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Old 11-01-16, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by link0 View Post
I own a few Ti frames. I don't think the ride quality is any better or worse than steel or carbon. Getting a Ti bike is definitely more about aesthetics and style than value.
Opinions like this are proof that a lot of it is completely subjective. My own opinion is different, in that I owned a Tarmac SL3, custom steel bike, and a Lynskey R230 all at the same time, and realized very quickly that I didn't like the ride of the Tarmac compared to the other two, and honestly prefer the ride of the Ti over the steel. Not saying link's opinion is wrong, as he doesn't feel the same way, but my own experience is different.

I ended up selling the Lynskey when I went through a period of riding much less, and couldn't part with the steel bike as it has some sentimental value, but I did recently buy another Lynksey with disc brakes, and absolutely love the ride.
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Old 11-01-16, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
And the crew at Lynskey are not bike people?
I think the crew at Lynskey is highly skilled as fabricators, and they have certainly been around bikes for a long time, but no, I don't think they are "bike people" in the sense that I used it describing the folks at Moots.

I don't personally know any of the people at either company and I have no axe to grind- it's just my sense of both companies after buying 3 bikes directly from Lynskey and one from Moots.

Again, just my opinion . . .
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Old 11-01-16, 09:31 PM
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Friendly's also sells some pretty good ice cream ... I can't think of a better combo than a long ride on a sweet bike, followed by some good ice cream.
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Old 11-01-16, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by BillyD View Post
Nothing but subjectivity can come of this question. Everyone will have a personal opinion. How do you decide who to listen to?
Sheesh...

Take a stand man.
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Old 11-01-16, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Not true at all. I am indeed "into" aesthetics and craftsmanship, but those are unrelated issues. I would eventually like a Ti bike for one reason---ride quality.
Ride quality is not (that much) related to frame material. It's about design and geometry of the frame.

Especially if comparing any metal with carbon fiber, since carbon gives the most freedom and possibilities to manufacturers when making the frame, more than any metal.

Titanium frame is good if riding in the salted winter roads, for it's rust resistance. Bit more resistant to damage from a fall (stronger) than carbon and aluminium, but still lighter than steel (though weaker as well).
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Old 11-02-16, 03:06 AM
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I'd say tires and wheels play a huge role, and frame design plays a huge role ... but in my limited experience and based on everything I have heard and read, a well-designed Ti frame has the sort of compliance vintage steel is known for (or more) while weighing a little less.

Yes, a badly designed or cheaply designed frame will always perform less well than a well-designed frame ... which is why I ma looking at butted Ti, instead of straight gauge tubes. I figure if the builders are going to the extra effort ...

All my bikes ride differently, and I do a lot of back-to-back rides to notice the differences. It is more than just the degree of shock absorption ... there is some kind of different damping effect with different frames as well. like a spring and mitigate those bumps where carbon just seems to mute the sharp edges.

Whatever. I don't have the cash for the need for another bike right now. Just empty dreams.
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Old 11-02-16, 04:42 AM
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I got to ride a moots vamoots over the weekend and it rode so beautifuly. That is a bike I would spend 10k on if I had 10k.
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Old 11-02-16, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by thunderworks View Post
I think the crew at Lynskey is highly skilled as fabricators, and they have certainly been around bikes for a long time, but no, I don't think they are "bike people" in the sense that I used it describing the folks at Moots.

I don't personally know any of the people at either company and I have no axe to grind- it's just my sense of both companies after buying 3 bikes directly from Lynskey and one from Moots.

Again, just my opinion . . .
This is definitely my experience as well.
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Old 11-02-16, 08:02 AM
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I'd tell you to buy an Engin, but his web site says he is not taking any more orders right now, but that could be outdated.


I love mine, and now he's doing disc brakes and even milling his own dropouts.
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