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Titanium or Carbon?

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Titanium or Carbon?

Old 05-11-12, 10:50 AM
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teachme
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Titanium or Carbon?

Whats best for a frame?
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Old 05-11-12, 10:55 AM
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Both!
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Old 05-11-12, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Pain View Post
Both!
Ok... But whats the difference?
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Old 05-11-12, 11:01 AM
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The difference is one is a metal and the other is a composite. This is less important than the difference in geometry between the two bikes, or the wheels and components that come with each of them.

You can make a good bike out of CF, ti, alu, steel, wood, and other things too. Or a lousy one.
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Old 05-11-12, 11:05 AM
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If I am looking to upgrade from an aluminum bike with carbon forks, should I lean toward carbon or titanium? I would like to increase my avg speed and would also like a smoother ride. And, thanks for the input!

Last edited by teachme; 05-11-12 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 05-11-12, 11:24 AM
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Ride a few different bikes and see what you like. I have a carbon bikes but plan on having a Ti bike some day to add to my collection.
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Old 05-11-12, 11:27 AM
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Do you like apples or oranges? The best way to tell is by trying them. We could tell you what we think they taste like and attempt to convince you which one tastes better, but that's ultimately a waste of time. Try them yourself - I like apples myself.
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Old 05-11-12, 11:29 AM
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OK, not to sound like I'm blowing you off, but if you use the "advanced search" feature, type in "carbon vs. titanium", or even just "titanium", "ti" or "lynskey", and select the Road forum, you'll have a couple of hours of great reading, and your questions answered.

What is the best bike? Well, without more information on what you want, nobody can answer that. A Schwinn Stingray may be the best bike for you. What do you want the bike to do for you? How far do you ride? How much do you weigh?

I just spent a full year with PLENTY of time on my hands, and I battled through the same question. I have a Lynskey R230 Ti on order. I decided it was the right material for me. Your results may vary.

Good luck in your search.
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Old 05-11-12, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by eippo1 View Post
I like apples myself.
Sorry to derail this, but I just tried a Honeycrisp apple for the first time the other day. They are expensive. That's why I never bought them. But if you like apples, once you try one of these, you'll never go back to any other variety. They are amazing!

But they don't come in either carbon or Ti.

Sorry, what were we talking about?
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Old 05-11-12, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by teachme View Post
If I am looking to upgrade from an aluminum bike with carbon forks, should I lean toward carbon or titanium? I would like to increase my avg speed and would also like a smoother ride. And, thanks for the input!
Yes. But you should also consider other frame materials within your budget, if they're made into good bikes that fit you.

If there was a one-size fits all answer, there would only be one type of frame on the market.
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Old 05-11-12, 11:40 AM
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None of them will make you significantly faster unless they fit better or put you in a better/more comfortable position.
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Old 05-11-12, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by PhotoJoe View Post
Sorry to derail this, but I just tried a Honeycrisp apple for the first time the other day. They are expensive. That's why I never bought them. But if you like apples, once you try one of these, you'll never go back to any other variety. They are amazing!

But they don't come in either carbon or Ti.

Sorry, what were we talking about?

Honeycrisp, eh? Might have to find one of those. Can't say I've tried one.
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Old 05-11-12, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by PhotoJoe View Post
Sorry to derail this, but I just tried a Honeycrisp apple for the first time the other day. They are expensive. That's why I never bought them. But if you like apples, once you try one of these, you'll never go back to any other variety. They are amazing!
Originally Posted by eippo1 View Post
Honeycrisp, eh? Might have to find one of those. Can't say I've tried one.
Me neither. But someone on a local radio station was gushing about them, too. Also, apples are mighty good in the middle of a long ride.
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Old 05-11-12, 12:07 PM
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Get one of each. That's what I did.
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Old 05-11-12, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by PhotoJoe View Post
OK, not to sound like I'm blowing you off, but if you use the "advanced search" feature, type in "carbon vs. titanium", or even just "titanium", "ti" or "lynskey", and select the Road forum, you'll have a couple of hours of great reading, and your questions answered.

What is the best bike? Well, without more information on what you want, nobody can answer that. A Schwinn Stingray may be the best bike for you. What do you want the bike to do for you? How far do you ride? How much do you weigh?

I just spent a full year with PLENTY of time on my hands, and I battled through the same question. I have a Lynskey R230 Ti on order. I decided it was the right material for me. Your results may vary.

Good luck in your search.
I appreciate it.
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Old 05-11-12, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy Somnifac View Post
Get one of each. That's what I did.
Yeah, that would solve it!
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Old 05-11-12, 12:16 PM
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There are more carbon offerings out there to choose from and they usually come with good component sets. It is hard for me to find a ti bike to ride around in my area so if I were looking for a ti bike I would have to decide blind. I hate doing that.

My vote goes to steel cause I like it and you should too.

Kidding. Seriously though, go to your local shop and do some test rides on different bikes then decide which you like best. That is the only way to be sure what is the best frame.
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Old 05-11-12, 12:34 PM
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Carbon is lighter, and the designer is able to beef-up whatever areas they need to in order to obtain the desired ride quality.
Titanium is, generally speaking, kind of flexy-riding. With respect to obtaining the desired ride characteristic, it is somewhat limiting - it's based upon tube shaping.


Although Titanium is lighter then steel and rustproof, it's also brittle and finicky to work. AND, regardless of what certain builders will tell you, every titanium frame is made from Sport-Grade Titanium NOT Aerospace-Grade Ti. If it were Aerospace-grade Ti, the frame would run upwards of$30K.

Carbon frames tend to be made in Asia, Sport-Grade Titanium can be made in the United States, Russia or China - US sourced material is made on the same equipment that makes Aerospace tubing, so the specs are better. Russia Ti should be avoided and China has actually been known to offer fairly good Ti.

Carbon frames are inherently built out-of-alignment –wheels may or may not be centered within the fork and stays - most makers follow the within-2.5mm-rule with respect to what they consider good alignment.Titanium frames can be built perfectly aligned – depending on how good the builder is.

As for ride characteristics:
Carbon can be made to ride anyway you like: stiff, compliant, or a combo of both.
Titanium rides slightly cushier then it's steel equivalent, but builds lighter.

Personally, I believe modern Columbus steel builds a fantastic bike!

Last edited by GMM; 05-11-12 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 05-11-12, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by GMM View Post
Carbon is lighter, and the designer is able to beef-upwhatever areas they need to in order to obtain the desired ride quality.
Titanium is, generally speaking, kind of flexy-riding, and with respect to obtaininga desired ride characteristic, is somewhat limiting.

Although Titanium is lighter then steel and rustproof, itis also brittle and finicky to work. Regardless what certain builders will tellyou, every titanium frame is made from Sport-Grade Titanium NOTAerospace-Grade. If it were Aerospace-grade Ti, the frame would run upwards of$30K.
Carbon frames tend to be made in Asia, Sport-Grade Titanium can be made in theUnited States, Russia or China - US sourced material is made on the same equipmentthat makes the Aerospace tubing, so the specs are better. Russia Ti should be avoidedand China has actually been known to offer fairly good Ti.
Carbon frames are inherently built out-of-alignment –wheels may or may not be centered within the fork and stays, most makers followthe within-2.5mm-rule with respect to what they consider good alignment.Titanium frames can be built perfectly aligned – depending on how good thebuilder is.

As for ride characteristics:
Carbon can be made to ride anyway you like: stiff, compliant, or a combo ofboth.
Titanium rides slightly cushier then it's steel equivalent, but it's lighter.
That is interesting insight! Most all of the LBS's around here stock the carbon bikes. I haven't seen any Ti bikes in shops. Is the alignment issue a real concern in the carbon bikes?
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Old 05-11-12, 12:51 PM
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Carbon's iffy to build. Take a look at five identical models at your LBS and you will immediately notice how misaligned some are. It's ridiculous, in my opinion, but most people say it's perfectly acceptable. I guess it depends on what you'd be happy with.
I do, however, recommend that you ONLY buy a new carbon bike off-the-shelf, that you've fully inspected AND ridden. That way you know exactly what you're getting.
Also be aware that carbon requires special care, it can be delicate. Try to buy one with a chainsuck protector built into the frames chainstay if you can, and install a anti-chaindrop device. Dropped chains will wipeout carbon.

As for Ti, seems expensive for what it is. Modern steel is just as good.

Last edited by GMM; 05-11-12 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 05-11-12, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by GMM View Post
Carbon's iffy to build. Take a look at five identical models at your LBS and you will immediately notice how misaligned some are. It's ridiculous, in my opinion, but most people say it's perfectly acceptable. I guess it depends on what you'd be happy with.
I do, however, recommend that you ONLY buy a new carbon bike off-the-shelf, that you've fully inspected AND ridden. That way you know exactly what you're gettingAs for Ti, seems expensive for what it is. Modern steel is just asgood.
Everyone in my group thinks carbon is more effecient and faster than steel. Is their any truth to this philosophy?
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Old 05-11-12, 01:00 PM
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If you have questions like this please refer to the Official Bike Forums Conventional Wisdom on Frame Materials:

Steel is too heavy
Aluminum is too stiff
Titanium is too flexy
Carbon is too fragile

There you go!
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Old 05-11-12, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Agent Cooper View Post
If you have questions like this please refer to the Official Bike Forums Conventional Wisdom on Frame Materials:

Steel is too heavy
Aluminum is too stiff
Titanium is too flexy
Carbon is too fragile

There you go!
I guess that makes me a stiffy, cause I ride the aluminum! Hey I like that! "Stiffy" I'm gonna change my thingamabopper to "Stiffy"!
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Old 05-11-12, 01:16 PM
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Carbon is considerably lighter than titanium. Titanium frames rarely go below 3 lbs. Carbon frames are typically around or below the 2 lb mark. In fact, titanium frames aren't much lighter than aluminum (sport grade titanium and aluminum alloys have nearly equal ratios of yield strength to density).

The tradeoff is that titanium frames are nearly indestructible (short of a bad crash, you'll be able to bequeath one to your grandkids after you die, so they can ride it too), and carbon frames, particularly the sub-2 l b variety, are fragile.
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Old 05-11-12, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by eippo1 View Post
Honeycrisp, eh? Might have to find one of those. Can't say I've tried one.
Really good. They cost double what other apples do but are great.
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