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Titanium Frames

Old 12-24-02, 04:30 AM
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Titanium Frames

Question for all you who ride titanium frames.I am looking for a new frame for next season and had my mind on Giant TCR once, however searching through mags/websites and came across well reputable frame builder who would custom build a titanium frame, for about the same price as I would be buying the Giant for.(extra for forks)

I have Steel and Al frames at home, like the steel for the comfortable ride and the Aluminium for the stiffness,but always been interested in Titanium, but could never really stretch to afford a Litespeed etc.How do those who have ridden Titanium frames, and who have them, compare them to Steel and Al?Are they really worth choosing, in terms of lightness,strength and comfortablity?
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Old 12-24-02, 08:02 AM
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Originally posted by bikerdave
Question for all you who ride titanium frames.I am looking for a new frame for next season and had my mind on Giant TCR once, however searching through mags/websites and came across well reputable frame builder who would custom build a titanium frame, for about the same price as I would be buying the Giant for.(extra for forks)

I have Steel and Al frames at home, like the steel for the comfortable ride and the Aluminium for the stiffness,but always been interested in Titanium, but could never really stretch to afford a Litespeed etc.How do those who have ridden Titanium frames, and who have them, compare them to Steel and Al?Are they really worth choosing, in terms of lightness,strength and comfortablity?
It isn't the material ,it's how it's built.A ti frame can be built cheaply.It may also be crap, and ride worse.
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Old 12-24-02, 10:12 AM
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I feel uniquely qualified to offer up my opinion as I currently ride a Giant TCR team and a Merlin road frame.

First off, despite any amount of good advice I or other folks offer up, in the end it is your end you should listen to. Plant your butt on some saddles and try out a couple of different bikes.

As for weight, it is a well known fact that a pound of aluminum weighs less than a pound of titanium.



Ok.... But aluminum can generally make for a lighter weight frame at the expense of longevity. Some will swear up and down that Al. will always make for a harsh, uncomfortable ride. I don't believe it, especially after riding the TCR. Tires, seatpost, saddle and all sorts of esoteric stuff having to do with geometry, tubing wall thickness and muttered incantations over bubbling pots can affect ride characteristics.

I love my TCR, but I know the Merlin will still be going strong for years after the TCR has been recycled.

A
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Old 12-24-02, 10:35 AM
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OK, here come some generalities.......
Titanium is about the same strength as steel, but weighs about half of what steel weighs. Aluminium, OTOH, has about 1/3 the weight and strength of steel.
Titanium is very hard to work with (hence, fewer frame sizes, rarely comes in butted tubing, etc), while aluminium is very easy to work with.
Titanium is much more expensive than steel. Aluminium is only a good bit more expensive than steel.
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Old 12-24-02, 10:40 AM
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Originally posted by Singlespeedster


First off, despite any amount of good advice I or other folks offer up, in the end it is your end you should listen to. Plant your butt on some saddles and try out a couple of different bikes.



A
Yeah, and there are so many different Ti bikes,alloys and builds, that no matter how many your ride,they may be unlike the one someone else will build.Material alone is about the bottom of the list when making a buying decision. Another point is that Ti does not rust,but neither does CF or aluminum and it isn't that big an issue with most steel.
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Old 12-24-02, 10:45 AM
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Originally posted by Singlespeedster
As for weight, it is a well known fact that a pound of aluminum weighs less than a pound of titanium.



LOL!!
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Old 12-24-02, 10:46 AM
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Originally posted by D*Alex
OK, Aluminium, OTOH, has about 1/3 the weight and strength of steel
Well, at least you were close here.The rest was the typical total bullsauce.And, strength is not really a factor as it's taken into account when COMPETENT enginers do the desing work on frames. and yes, I am uniquely qualified to offer up lame advice on this subject, as I once owned and even rode a Ti framed bicycle.Note the past tense.
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Old 12-26-02, 02:47 PM
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I have an Al frame bike and a Ti Litespeed.
IMHO, the ride of the Al bike is "harsher" than the Ti.

The main reason I looked at Ti in the first place is because of Joe Friel's book, Cycling Past 50. He recommended Ti or carbon for "older" riders because they have a more comfortable, less harsh ride.
Since I had Al before Ti I have to agree.
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Old 12-26-02, 05:50 PM
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In my opinion, the best of the titanium frames is Seven. Yes, they are expensive, but the fit and the ride is completely customized to suit your desires.
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Old 12-30-02, 04:55 PM
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TI is a pretty tricky market.

You mentioned you know a person that will custom build for less than a Giant? That is hard to believe as I am sure his labor will be high as materials.

Many manufacturers are now using the 6/4 ti. A little more brittle but more rigid. That is what the Lotto buys are riding. Many frames out there use the 3/2.5 which is more common but more flexible. That is the main complint with ti frames. Far to flexy.

But now we are seeing builders give customers more for their money. They are going with the 6/4 and in the coming year more will use a full carbon rear end to stifen up the frame even more.

Defiently not all Ti frames are the same. As many see the grades are different and higher priced frames are multi shaped to stiffen them up.
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Old 12-30-02, 05:00 PM
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Some believe the strongest tube you can produce is a round tube. Round tubes provide the strongest uniform strength. Perhaps the "odd" shaped tubes provide rigidity, but is it at the expense of tube integrity?
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Old 12-30-02, 05:14 PM
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Originally posted by Marlin523
Round tubes provide the strongest uniform strength. Perhaps the "odd" shaped tubes provide rigidity, but is it at the expense of tube integrity?
The shaped tube bikes do not seem to have issues with fallng apart.Almost all companies(including Seven) have some type of hype that helps pitch their product.Sometimes it does not pay to buy it all.
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Old 12-30-02, 07:11 PM
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Not that the bikes fall apart. You must admit, it seems logical. What can be stronger than a circle?
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Old 12-31-02, 10:01 AM
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Perhaps the "odd" shaped tubes provide rigidity, but is it at the expense of tube integrity
Odd shaped tubes provide greater rigidity in only 1 plane, sometimes in only 1 direction.
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Old 12-31-02, 10:15 AM
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Originally posted by D*Alex

Odd shaped tubes provide greater rigidity in only 1 plane, sometimes in only 1 direction.
And that is not necessarily a bad thing.Shaped tubes have been used for years. Even in old school lugged steel.Seven has elected not to,but not because their idea is necessarily a better idea.In many cases, equual strength and digidity can be provided in critical areas in critical directions whth shaped tubes that can be round and smaller diameter over the rest of their length ,therby saving weight with no loss of strength where it needs to be.Serotta uses round tubes in their Steel SCi frame. the tubes at the BB where it needs to be rigid are monstrous in diametr and resemble many fat aluminum tubes in diameter.The tubes get smaller in diameter away from the BB, and the frame is heavy. Smaller diammeter round tubes when ovalized at the BB, also provide the required rigidity and the frame can be lighter.
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