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Ti Bike: "The Last Bike You'll Ever Buy" What About Carbon Bikes?

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Ti Bike: "The Last Bike You'll Ever Buy" What About Carbon Bikes?

Old 06-07-21, 12:09 PM
  #26  
Jack Tone 
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Frame test:

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/rinard/...tigue_test.htm

surprising, the one's they couldn't break weren't Ti.
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Old 06-07-21, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Jack Tone View Post
Frame test:

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/rinard/...tigue_test.htm

surprising, the one's they couldn't break weren't Ti.
That is also a very old test. Imagine how strong a modern monocoque carbon frame is in comparison to those early examples.
As the test in your link also rightly states, it is really the design and manufacture that is most important to frame longevity. Frame material choice is really secondary when it comes to longevity. So, for example, a badly designed/manufactured CF frame could be weaker than a well designed alloy frame.
But if you want the lightest/strongest bike, then CF is the best known material to work with. It is also the most versatile material for producing specific riding characteristics e.g. directional stiffness, controlled compliance etc. Early CF frames were a bit crude and certainly didn't take full advantage of the new material. But modern CF frames are far more sophisticated, with carefully designed carbon layups and tube profiles. It mirrors what I saw in F1 motorsport development through the '90s and into the current era.
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Old 06-07-21, 12:52 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Quality control and workmanship count for more with titanium than any other common bike frame material.
I dunno…CF monocoque construction is very precise with many consequential control points as well.
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Old 06-07-21, 01:12 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by UCantTouchThis View Post
I know a rider who rode a ti bike bike that broke at the downtube. Everything and anything can break.
Some just easier than others.
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Old 06-07-21, 03:07 PM
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i have seen so many 1989 and 1990 era Ti bikes posted... you buy the frame and just change out the group every few years,,, or many years... i have seen few 2000 era or 1990s carbon bikes.. that look near as nice in condition as the same era Ti bikes... not saying that folks are not rocking the old trek 5500s... but you dont seem many of them..
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Old 06-07-21, 04:43 PM
  #31  
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I bought my Habanero in March of 2017 and put some 25000 miles on it. I have a nice CF bike but have only road it a handful of times since getting the TI. I don't how long it will last but it sure seems pretty good Richey CF fork but really any bike can have an issue. I can tell you once I went Ti it would take much to have me go to CF. I could but not planning on it.
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Old 06-07-21, 05:19 PM
  #32  
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I don't want to think about the last bike I'll ever buy. That would be awful. I love thinking about the next bike I'm going to buy. Even on the day I buy the last bike ever I'm not going to be thinking it's the last one
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Old 06-07-21, 08:29 PM
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Thanks to all whom responded. You've provided much to consider.
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Old 06-08-21, 03:27 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by popeye View Post
Then why is it many TI bikes have replaced everything possible with CF?
Because people buy them. But I don't.
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Old 06-08-21, 04:10 AM
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Originally Posted by scuzzo View Post
i have seen so many 1989 and 1990 era Ti bikes posted... you buy the frame and just change out the group every few years,,, or many years... i have seen few 2000 era or 1990s carbon bikes.. that look near as nice in condition as the same era Ti bikes... not saying that folks are not rocking the old trek 5500s... but you dont seem many of them..
Maybe simply because carbon bikes have developed hugely since the 1990s. A bit like digital cameras. While Ti bikes are pretty much the same today as they were in the 90s (just with more tyre clearance and disc brake mounts, etc). As carbon frame technology matures there will inevitably be more older carbon bikes kicking around over the next few decades. I don't think it has anything to do with inherent frame longevity. Talking of "vintage" carbon frames I recently rode a friend's old custom Trek OCLV from the early '00s. The frame was fine, but I didn't get on with the period skinny tyres! My first carbon bike was a mid 90s Cadex, which I thought was pretty good at the time and you still see the odd one around today. Simple lugged carbon tubing, very crude by today's standards but reasonably effective.
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Old 06-09-21, 03:25 PM
  #36  
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If you find a bike that is the last bike you will ever want, you are clearly not BF material.
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Old 06-09-21, 03:47 PM
  #37  
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One day the sun will run out of fuel and stop shining. One day all stars will stop shining, and the universe will spend the rest of eternity in darkness. After the black holes evaporate there will be nothing left but cockroaches, ti frames, and the Queen of England. Theoretical physicists aren't certain, but expect Gatorskins to still exist too.
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Old 06-09-21, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
One day the sun will run out of fuel and stop shining. One day all stars will stop shining, and the universe will spend the rest of eternity in darkness. After the black holes evaporate there will be nothing left but cockroaches, ti frames, and the Queen of England. Theoretical physicists aren't certain, but expect Gatorskins to still exist too.
... and Cher.
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Old 06-09-21, 11:08 PM
  #39  
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If you like your current bike I would stick with it and upgrade something else (if you want to upgrade something)

Wheels
tires
shoes

all can have a dramatic improvement in the ride depending on your starting point.

I get the appeal of a Ti bike that will last forever. But your current bike might just last forever AND you know you like it

my $0.02
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Old 06-10-21, 04:58 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
One day the sun will run out of fuel and stop shining. One day all stars will stop shining, and the universe will spend the rest of eternity in darkness. After the black holes evaporate there will be nothing left but cockroaches, ti frames, and the Queen of England. Theoretical physicists aren't certain, but expect Gatorskins to still exist too.
"Life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone"
"walk on"

So if a bike lasts for a decade or two, that's plenty long enough for me.
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Old 06-10-21, 07:52 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Bassmanbob View Post
Snipped. . .

So are titanium bikes the only bikes that last forever, or is that just a marketing tool for their promotion? Do carbon fiber frames last 20- 30 years? Is there something I'm also missing?
I think these are really good questions. If you compare the average life span of carbon frames and the average life span of titanium, I think titanium will have it beat. Though, I have no empirical evidence to back that up. My answer is based on anecdotal evidence of being around bicycles for multiple decades. Carbon has been around for probably 30-40 years but, carbon bikes now are built and engineered a lot better than lets say the Alan Carbino or even the first Kestrel. So it might be a question that is difficult to answer. Will my Trek Domane last 30 years? Will today's carbon bike last three decades?

The notion of last bike you will ever buy could be true if you don't follow trends or move to the benefits of new engineering. People can talk about their 30 year old Merlins but I don't believe for a moment they even compare to a new oversized tubing Moots. Oversized handlebars, sub-compact gearing, more tubing choices for different styles and weight, two piece cranks, 11, 12 and even 13 speeds, disc brakes are all an improvement in my eyes. Though that won't be the case for everyone.

Anyways, I think it is a great question and certainly open for a varied debate.
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Old 06-10-21, 10:20 PM
  #42  
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I just bought someone else's titanium bike - a 2007 Litespeed Siena w/Sram Force 22
he must have upgraded to carbon. Now I'm trying to sell my 09' S-Works Roubaix but the Roubaix is just too beautiful to let go...

At one point I had 2 titanium bikes, 2 Chromoly bikes, 2 carbon bikes plus 1 aluminum folding bike in my n+1 bike collection... Since then have sold everything but kept the Siena and the S-Works Roubaix.

The titanium is definitely A LOT tougher than the carbon bike, I can lay it on the stone, bang it on the bike rack in the city, ride on the salty road, and just in general not to clean the frame at all and when I want to clean it: mild soapy water and the frame looks brand new... Don't think the carbon bike will fare well in this kind of abuse, and that's why I'll always have Ti as a beater and the carbon bike just for the sake of having a carbon bike...

Whoever says titanium soaks up bumps like chromoly is bulls***ing because it is as rigid as it can be (think early day carbon bikes with not much vertical compliance). However, if you enjoy the instant and crisp power transfer, and the timeless look of the naked titanium tubing, you'll enjoy having a titanium bike. Modern day titanium bikes come in a wide variety of different tubing shapes try to mimic what the layering carbon has accomplished, but I personally think it's purely cosmetic, carbon bikes will still provide the most comfort ride.

Which one would you keep?

2007 Litespeed Siena @17lb


2009 Specialized S-Works Roubaix @16lb

Last edited by lifanus; 06-10-21 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 06-11-21, 02:11 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by lifanus View Post
I just bought someone else's titanium bike - a 2007 Litespeed Siena w/Sram Force 22 here is the first ride video he must have upgraded to carbon. Now I'm trying to sell my 09' S-Works Roubaix but the Roubaix is just too beautiful to let go...

At one point I had 2 titanium bikes, 2 Chromoly bikes, 2 carbon bikes plus 1 aluminum folding bike in my n+1 bike collection... Since then have sold everything but kept the Siena and the S-Works Roubaix.

The titanium is definitely A LOT tougher than the carbon bike, I can lay it on the stone, bang it on the bike rack in the city, ride on the salty road, and just in general not to clean the frame at all and when I want to clean it: mild soapy water and the frame looks brand new... Don't think the carbon bike will fare well in this kind of abuse, and that's why I'll always have Ti as a beater and the carbon bike just for the sake of having a carbon bike...

Whoever says titanium soaks up bumps like chromoly is bulls***ing because it is as rigid as it can be (think early day carbon bikes with not much vertical compliance). However, if you enjoy the instant and crisp power transfer, and the timeless look of the naked titanium tubing, you'll enjoy having a titanium bike. Modern day titanium bikes come in a wide variety of different tubing shapes try to mimic what the layering carbon has accomplished, but I personally think it's purely cosmetic, carbon bikes will still provide the most comfort ride.

Which one would you keep?
Those are 2 very nice bikes you have there.
I think carbon frames are a lot tougher than you think and they are just fine on salty roads. They are perhaps more prone to superficial scratches, but with a reasonable amount of care I haven't found them to be a problem. I've been using carbon mtb frames for a good few years now and they clean up like new after countless trail rides. But I do have frame protection film on those. I've had a couple of carbon road bikes too that have been fine. Looks like your Roubaix is holding up well if that was a recent picture.
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Old 06-11-21, 02:17 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by blakcloud View Post
Will today's carbon bike last three decades?
No reason why it wouldn't if well engineered. Design and manufacturing quality are the key to longevity, whether it be Ti or carbon. There's a thread running about a high-end Ti bike definitely not lasting three decades.
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Old 06-11-21, 10:56 AM
  #45  
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Our local riding group just posted a picture of a crash, it doesn't matter what kind of bike. High end bikes are designed to shave weight as much as possible to squeeze extra power during a race, they are not designed to take on a beating and last forever if you know what I mean... Afterall they are designed to win races, pros gets them for free, us consumers gets them because pros ride them and win races on them... Marketing effect.

High end bikes are usually designed to shave weight, when it comes to durability, one crash maybe all it needs to get a new one.
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Old 06-11-21, 10:58 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Those are 2 very nice bikes you have there.
I think carbon frames are a lot tougher than you think and they are just fine on salty roads. They are perhaps more prone to superficial scratches, but with a reasonable amount of care I haven't found them to be a problem. I've been using carbon mtb frames for a good few years now and they clean up like new after countless trail rides. But I do have frame protection film on those. I've had a couple of carbon road bikes too that have been fine. Looks like your Roubaix is holding up well if that was a recent picture.
The Roubaix has got very low miles when I bought it last year used, it looks like the previous owner also just liked to hang it on the wall instead of riding it.
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Old 06-11-21, 12:34 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by lifanus View Post
Our local riding group just posted a picture of a crash, it doesn't matter what kind of bike. High end bikes are designed to shave weight as much as possible to squeeze extra power during a race, they are not designed to take on a beating and last forever if you know what I mean... Afterall they are designed to win races, pros gets them for free, us consumers gets them because pros ride them and win races on them... Marketing effect.

High end bikes are usually designed to shave weight, when it comes to durability, one crash maybe all it needs to get a new one.
That must have been a big crash to do that to it and I'm pretty sure any other frame would have failed under the same crash loading too. I tend to agree with you though about full on top-end race bikes being optimised more for weight saving, although the 6.8 kg limit is pretty conservative these days so there is no reason why they should ever fail jra. But there are plenty of carbon bikes optimised to take a serious beating too.
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Old 06-11-21, 01:17 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by lifanus View Post
Our local riding group just posted a picture of a crash, it doesn't matter what kind of bike. High end bikes are designed to shave weight as much as possible to squeeze extra power during a race, they are not designed to take on a beating and last forever if you know what I mean... Afterall they are designed to win races, pros gets them for free, us consumers gets them because pros ride them and win races on them... Marketing effect.

High end bikes are usually designed to shave weight, when it comes to durability, one crash maybe all it needs to get a new one.
Not sure the point of the picture. If a manufacturer was able to make a sub-600-gram titanium frame that was rideable I am sure it would not have faired much better. Virtually all places where strength to weight are important the trend is away from titanium especially Aerospace, that is the reason titanium prices have been on a fairly steep price decline since 2006, the demand is just not there. The big benefit of titanium is its ability for small builders with limited tooling to build custom bikes and they are seen as pretty by some. Considering ride quality can be configured any way you like with a carbon bike layup that urban myth has passed a long time ago.
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Old 06-11-21, 01:27 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged View Post
Not sure the point of the picture. If a manufacturer was able to make a sub-600-gram titanium frame that was rideable I am sure it would not have faired much better. Virtually all places where strength to weight are important the trend is away from titanium especially Aerospace, that is the reason titanium prices have been on a fairly steep price decline since 2006, the demand is just not there. The big benefit of titanium is its ability for small builders with limited tooling to build custom bikes and they are seen as pretty by some. Considering ride quality can be configured any way you like with a carbon bike layup that urban myth has passed a long time ago.
People mentioned in previous replies about titanium bike failures, I want to emphasis all bike failures, regardless of material and cost. Fact is I'm having equal fun on all material bikes, carbon/ti or chromoly, to me it's all about the look of the bike I like, not which material is superior, that debate will never stop lol.
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Old 06-11-21, 01:44 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by lifanus View Post
Our local riding group just posted a picture of a crash, it doesn't matter what kind of bike. High end bikes are designed to shave weight as much as possible to squeeze extra power during a race, they are not designed to take on a beating and last forever if you know what I mean... Afterall they are designed to win races, pros gets them for free, us consumers gets them because pros ride them and win races on them... Marketing effect.

High end bikes are usually designed to shave weight, when it comes to durability, one crash maybe all it needs to get a new one.
Is that a MUP lane?
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