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Why did Titanium not take off amongst Pros?

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Why did Titanium not take off amongst Pros?

Old 08-19-19, 12:10 PM
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marketing department. He could do more things aesthetically with carbon fiber then you could with titanium. More shapes the size choices.
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Old 08-19-19, 12:11 PM
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26 years on my 1993 Merlin Extralight.
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Old 08-19-19, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Banzai
Really? I kind of feel like Ti is pretty dead. Fewer offerings on the market, and not a lot of widespread “bike lust” for it.

I personally know more people with bike lust for a new steel roadie than for Ti.
I meant (and should have been clearer) Ti in the pre-carbon era.
I have bought and sold a LOT (some 200) of high end pre-carbon road bikes and in my experience a recreational rider will pay a hefty premium (over siimilar quality steel) for Ti. If I could do my bike dealing adventure all over again (which I won't), I have concluded that the easiest sales were A) anything Colnago and B) virtually anything Ti. I am not saying these buyers were rational. It always annoyed me that without a well known brand name, a frame was virtually unsaleable. so a hand crafted steel Reynolds 753 frame by a regional artisan builder in NE France for instance, is worth almost nothing in North America.

agreed though that the draw of Titanium it might be more based on sex appeal, show and exclusivity. LIke wearing a Rolex instead of a Timex.
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Old 08-19-19, 12:38 PM
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Titanium requires total quality control. Lots and lots of failures on early ti bikes. Incredibly easy to contaminate a weld. Only way to control that is and was to build slowly, one at a time. So if sponsor puts the team on ti they can't hope to sell ti to the masses.
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Old 08-19-19, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by pstock
though that the draw of Titanium it might be more based on sex appeal, show and exclusivity. LIke wearing a Rolex instead of a Timex.
I did not go ti for the look/sex appeal. I wanted a new ride made out of something that will never rust. I actually find the look of bare ti boring and was not going to get one until the builder told me about coloring options. Guy in my club got one from the same builder. Did nothing to jazz it up. I think it looks blah. That's why I went out of the way to make by frame look hot. I am not sure most people can tell it's ti without close examination.
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Old 08-19-19, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by pstock
I meant (and should have been clearer) Ti in the pre-carbon era.
I have bought and sold a LOT (some 200) of high end pre-carbon road bikes and in my experience a recreational rider will pay a hefty premium (over siimilar quality steel) for Ti. If I could do my bike dealing adventure all over again (which I won't), I have concluded that the easiest sales were A) anything Colnago and B) virtually anything Ti. I am not saying these buyers were rational. It always annoyed me that without a well known brand name, a frame was virtually unsaleable. so a hand crafted steel Reynolds 753 frame by a regional artisan builder in NE France for instance, is worth almost nothing in North America.

agreed though that the draw of Titanium it might be more based on sex appeal, show and exclusivity. LIke wearing a Rolex instead of a Timex.
Not gonna deny it, there's some truth there. My rationale for getting a new bike was to get something that wouldn't rust in the rain - note, I said "rationale," not "rational."

Lots of things don't rust. But even after riding a bunch of different carbon, there was only one thing that I wanted and was willing to pay for, sight unseen - Titanium. The carbon Scott, Specialized, Colnago, nor Bianchis (plural) did it for me. The Moots was the only bike that made me actually want her - but my budget's closer to shrimp than to lobster. I was still able to scratch that titanium itch with my new Lynskey (with etched graphics, of course). I'm certain the Colnago CR-S is faster. The Scott Addict or the Canyon Endurace would have been better values. But I wanted titanium, and unless there's prize money at the end of the day, isn't that what matters?
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Old 08-19-19, 01:00 PM
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I don’t really know if Ti is any more appropriate, but I wasn’t going to ride a CFRP bike to work.

Last edited by MoAlpha; 08-19-19 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 08-19-19, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by aliasfox
there was only one thing that I wanted and was willing to pay for, sight unseen - Titanium.
I am fortunate enough to have an award winning (two-time best MTB at NAHBS) builder 12 miles from my house. I rode it home from the shop.
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Old 08-19-19, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985
The only exception would be when a rider has a custom frame built up, and then painted in his team colors to make it look like the bikes frames the rest of the team rides. But you'll never see that rider making a big deal of the fact, fans aren't supposed to notice things like that.
The sponsor paid a lot of money to make damned sure the fans don't notice.
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Old 08-19-19, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by pstock
a hand crafted steel Reynolds 753 frame by a regional artisan builder in NE France for instance, is worth almost nothing in North America.
Let me know when you run across one of those worthless frames! A 57cm would be nice.
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Old 08-19-19, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
I am fortunate enough to have an award winning (two-time best MTB at NAHBS) builder 12 miles from my house. I rode it home from the shop.
And in Manhattan, I really just wish for 12 good miles of road without traffic, lights, tourists, or tree roots. I don't even need a master builder on the other end!

(Yes, I know there's 9W and the Palisades on the other side of the Hudson. I just have to get through 10 miles of everything else to get there!)
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Old 08-19-19, 06:14 PM
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Compared to ti, a frame made of a good grade of steel costs less, is easier to weld, is only slightly heavier, and will probably give better ride quality. Oh, and with a modicum of care, rust won’t be a problem in this lifetime.
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Old 08-19-19, 06:17 PM
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What do they say about Ti?

Weaker than steel, denser than aluminium.
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Old 08-19-19, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by johnny99
Titanium was never popular with the manufacturers that sponsor pro bike teams
Colnago made Titanium bikes.

Raleigh had a few Titanium frames too. Not sure what other big brands.

Colnago had flex issues. It isn't clear what alloy they were using, but if it was pure titanium, it wouldn't have been as strong as the modern alloys.
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Old 08-19-19, 07:49 PM
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Hi...

Yes, I'd like to see it.
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Old 08-19-19, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
I did not go ti for the look/sex appeal. I wanted a new ride made out of something that will never rust.
I've heard carbon fiber is pretty rust resistant.
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Old 08-19-19, 08:58 PM
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If all you care about is going fast, then carbon has won the day. I have just now got almost a season on a full carbon bike (2019 Salsa Beargrease Deore), although I will admit to being very interested in something light weight and overpriced for the road. I have had a couple seriously light steel frames and the only complaint I have is the thin walled tubing in the center of the tube, that area is easily dented. I will definitely be buying a custom Ti road frame in the next year or two, it will be built around an ENVE carbon fork. For the real world, I chose titanium.
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Old 08-20-19, 03:39 AM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
I've heard carbon fiber is pretty rust resistant.
I like custom geometry because I have odd body geometry. With a trusted custom builder so close, ti was a no brainer and almost certainly less expensive than custom carbon.
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Old 08-20-19, 09:43 AM
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Almost 10 years old, almost 30k miles, it still rides like a dream and looks brand new. The pros can have their carbon frames, I'll never give up Ti

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Old 08-20-19, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by pstock
It always annoyed me that without a well known brand name, a frame was virtually unsaleable. so a hand crafted steel Reynolds 753 frame by a regional artisan builder in NE France for instance, is worth almost nothing in North America.
Originally Posted by jpdemers
Let me know when you run across one of those worthless frames! A 57cm would be nice.
When you take one sentence out of context, the meaning gets changed.

FTR. [MENTION=122539]pstock[/MENTION] never said the frame was worthless.
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Old 08-20-19, 11:39 AM
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I just rode a century (plus 8 miles there and 8 back) Sunday on my ti fix gear. Had 4 cogs, chainwhip and Pedros Trixie tool so I could run 43 by 13, 16, 17 or 23. Not a light bike. Steel fork, sturdy tubing. Stiff as I ever would have needed in my racing days. With aluminum clinchers, I suspect weight with toolbag, pump, cages but no water bottles was ~21 pounds.

The ride? Awesome! Not just smooth rolling (on 25c Vittoria Corsa Open Pros w/ 102 psi). The bike just felt pure race and I pushed it hard. At the high point I put on the 13 tooth for the biggest decent, then stayed on it for the next 15 miles. That descent went immediately into a 180 foot climb at 8%. Hard but I felt good and the bike felt great. Yes, 5 pounds lighter would have been 2.7% faster/easier up that hill. Still, at the lowest RPM by a lot, no one passed me. (If I were racing, I'd be riding much lighter wheels. Sewups saving 125 grams per tire and tube and 150 grams plus per rim. No pump, no toolbag except the Trixie - this would be racing a road fix gear in a road fix gear race like they did 120 years ago - still need those tools to change gears.)

As has been said before, titanium makes for a completely race-able bike (and one that fares quite well through the abuse race bikes get, including crashes). They could also be made on a production floor at production speeds - but - they would have to be made on a production floor of an aerospace quality plant, perhaps with robotic welders in a separated inert atmosphere environment. Forever, off the shelf bikes at prices none of us would care for.

Ben
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Old 08-21-19, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by MyTi
Simple answer is in this question: When did pros get to choose what they ride.
I remember an old story where Miguel Indurain went to a bike shop after he retired, and he was shocked at how much bikes actually cost, having never actually had to pay for one for his entire career.

Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
You have to be a dev at Microsoft to own a Cervelo.
Hey, a barista near my apartment rides a Cervelo! Granted, it's a steel Cervelo Prodigy (my dream frame for a while) but still!
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Old 08-21-19, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by sheddle
I remember an old story where Miguel Indurain went to a bike shop after he retired, and he was shocked at how much bikes actually cost, having never actually had to pay for one for his entire career.
Yeah, he was no gearhead, as I recall...
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Old 08-21-19, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
I like custom geometry because I have odd body geometry. With a trusted custom builder so close, ti was a no brainer and almost certainly less expensive than custom carbon.
I have heard 7 Cycles is pretty reasonable. I don’t know much about their frames.

Seven Cycles | Custom-Built Carbon, Titanium and Steel Bicycle Frames
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Old 08-22-19, 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
I did not go ti for the look/sex appeal. I wanted a new ride made out of something that will never rust. I actually find the look of bare ti boring and was not going to get one until the builder told me about coloring options. Guy in my club got one from the same builder. Did nothing to jazz it up. I think it looks blah. That's why I went out of the way to make by frame look hot. I am not sure most people can tell it's ti without close examination.
Paint fades, scratches. Bare Ti you just buff it out with a scotch pad. And I think most think Bare Ti looks great so you are in the minority.
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