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Thinking of going Ti for my next road bike--opinions?

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Thinking of going Ti for my next road bike--opinions?

Old 06-04-12, 11:02 AM
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mahijiru
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Thinking of going Ti for my next road bike--opinions?

I've never ridden one, but I like the thought of a light, very strong frame that could potentially last decades. Al and CF have their issues in regards to durability IME--for the sake of staying on topic, let's not get much into that.

Currently I have a 2004 Cannondale R800 Al frame bike that is a fun good weather ride. Very nimble and quick, fairly light. My other primary ride is a 2007 Felt F1X cyclocross that does great in bad weather (love those Marathon Supremes for rain) here in Seattle. Also a good bike for mid-weight hauling.

I don't race, nor am I interested in doing so at this time.


For former/present Ti road bike owners--

What do you love about your Ti bike?

What do you not like about Ti?

Is your Ti ride your favorite bike and why? If not, why?

Is their a lot of range in the quality of titanium frames, or are most very good? Big range in the quality of the material or welds?

Appreciate the info, this could help a lot.
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Old 06-04-12, 12:54 PM
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Ti is fly. I like mine just fine (although my internal weight weenie has been coveting a CF frame). I like that it's pretty light and should last a couple of decades. Build quality is probably somewhat variable, but I am no expert on that.

Try the search function for tons of threads. Don't use the main search, that is always effed up, use advanced search....that should work.
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Old 06-04-12, 01:05 PM
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Go for it. I love my TI bike and got one for much of the same reasons you are thinking. I do race mine and ride it to work and just about everything else rain, snow, shine don't matter. I can't really answer any of your other questions because I only know from my own bike and my experience with it. Seems to me though that any bike, TI, AL, Steel, etc... are going to have a range of quality depending on the builder. Like anything really. IF you do go with a quality name bike and you find you don't like it then they tend to hold resale value pretty well.
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Old 06-04-12, 02:12 PM
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I have two Ti road bikes. A Lynskey R330 and a Dean El Vado. Like everything about them, and can't think of anything not to like.

My first road bike was the Dean. My Lynskey bike is my "lifetime" bike. I race on it (just started racing a little this year), and use the Dean for winter riding and as a backup bike. Go with a major, well-known brand and you should be fine. I like that Lynskey has a lifetime warranty. Other manufacturers probably offer the same.
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Old 06-04-12, 03:17 PM
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I have a Lynskey R230 on order and should get it in a few weeks. I have never ridden Ti either, so I get why you're asking. I spent a TON of time reading posts about Ti and Lynskey and decided it was worth the risk.

What bike are you considering?
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Old 06-04-12, 03:38 PM
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You can't go wrong with Ti. What's not to like?
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Old 06-04-12, 03:45 PM
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I have a custon Habanero. Absolutely love it. I cracked an aluminum frame once, so I wanted something strong. I tend to be a klutz. have knocked my bike over. I have fallen a few times on the bike. Never have to worry about it being X-rayed for cracks! Bar tape is cheap!!!
If it gets scratched...a little scotch brite pad then some lemon pledge....
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Old 06-04-12, 03:50 PM
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I just bought a used Motobacon Ti. Haven't used it too much yet, but for the price it's very nice.
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Old 06-04-12, 04:32 PM
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I have the same intentions as you - my next bike will be a Ti bike that I can use for road, commuting and light trails. I probably won't get it until next year though, at least.

I'm also interested to hear the difference between manufacturers, as I've heard Ti can be difficult to work with, so you need a good frame maker. This is my list of options right now, in ascending order of price/quality ?

bikesdirect
Habanero
Everti
Lynskey (formerly Litespeed in terms of road frames, and they also make Salsa's Ti frames)

unlikely to go this high in the chain, but:
Moots
Seven
Merlin (pending brand rebirth)
Firefly
IF (Independent Fabrication)

The Lynskey Cooper CX looks the best option for me but at almost $3.5k built/industrial mill/carbon fork/delivered I won't be pulling the trigger anytime soon.

Last edited by idc; 06-04-12 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 06-04-12, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Urban Turkey View Post
I just bought a used Motobacon Ti. Haven't used it too much yet, but for the price it's very nice.
Motobacon? I hear that's a real pig of a bike. ;-)

The thing I like about my Ti bike is that it's Ti. It's heavier, has more flex, and rides smoother than my carbon bike. Choosing between the two I'd take the carbon.
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Old 06-04-12, 04:42 PM
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I rode a TREK Aluminum frame for many years and lots of miles. I was young. But, eventually even I noticed it beat me up a bit.

I now have 2 TI bikes.

Was the move to TI a momentous change? No. Did it improve my performance. No, not exactly.

Now, I didn't just swap out frames, so no scientific analysis is available for me, but, I feel that my TI bikes soak up vibrations and bumps in a way that is far less additive fatiguing as my AL frame. Was this due to TI? Maybe. Could it be from new wheels, fork, bars? Yes.

Is the frame cutting edge aero, light, etc? No.

What I do like about my frame without question:

1. Maintenance free
2. Cleaning -- with a couple quick wipes it looks new.
3. Quite comfy
4. Will likely out last me
5. I don't fret about paint chips. I don't fret about corrosion. I don't fret about dropping it and cracking the down tube.

YMMV
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Old 06-04-12, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Stickney View Post

I now have 2 TI bikes.
I should also add: What make/model do you own and from where did you buy?

I'm thinking craigslist. Best bike for the $$; I can find an Ultegra or 105 equipped Litespeed or similar for under $1500, probably for $1200-1300. It's Ti, it doesn't have to be new, and I've had good luck with bikes on CL before.

My dream bike would be a custom Seven or similar, but think I'd be fine with a reputable mfr 56cm Ti with a decent component set. But those Sevens sure look good...

Thanks for the responses so far--keep 'em comin'!
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Old 06-04-12, 08:28 PM
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I've got a Ti (custom Seven) and I like it a lot. But the bike I ride more over the year is a CF (aero which is faster). The CF is stiffer, more responsive accelerating and sprinting, and about 1/2 lb less weight. If I did a century, the Ti might feel slightly more comfortable.
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Old 06-05-12, 03:26 AM
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I've ridden hundreds of bikes of all types and materials and owned 2 or 3 dozen, most of them "top of the heap" steel road bikes. I had an aluminum/carbon "replacement/temp" bike I bought after I lost my "good stuff" that I tried to like but.. it 'beat me up" and like all the bikes I've had it didn't really fit as I have short legs and a long trunk. After I had complained a few times about the Alu, My wife told me get "the one" I wanted, on her. With the help of Steve Loveland https://www.stevesoncannonstreet.com/ I bought a custom Seven Axiom SG Ti road frame. It is GREAT and I like it more each time I ride it, I did it a bit different than "standard". I wanted a classic road frame that was comfortable on rough roads and long hauls with room for 700X28 tires when needed, a stiff BB for sprinting and a little extra trail on the fork so I could add or remove jackets and vests with ease and I hate "crit" bikes. I chose Ti over steel because it's tougher and rides "sweet" and over carbon as the guarnatees suck and they are NOT "lifetime" bikes.
Getting the Seven is one of best things I've done and I may buy another ti bike designed for dirt roads and touring.
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Old 10-16-12, 06:47 PM
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You won't be disappointed with titanium. Color is beautiful, no chipping, light weight, smooth ride. Almost all of the American made are super craftmanship.
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Old 10-16-12, 10:41 PM
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I bought a Litespeed Classic back in 2004, in 2009 I purchased a Seven Alaris. I bought the Alaris cause it was a hell of a good dea I couldn't turn awayl. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the Litespeed. The Litespeed setup is a Shimano 6503 groupset with Mavic Ksyrium Elites weighs in without pedals around 17.5 lbs. The Seven with the Dura-Ace 7800 groupset with the Mavic Ksyrium SL weighs in around 17.2 without pedals. Surely it's not a sub 15 pound carbon, but I wanted durability, longevity & stiffness as titanium has it all. Custom builders can tune the tubes as stiff as you want. So don't anyone talk you out of what you want. Titanium is one of the best choices for long term.
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Old 10-16-12, 10:48 PM
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i like my Ti for longer rides. it feels very smooth and sturdy. the carbon is more fun and lively but I have to concentrate more instead of just plodding on mindlessly.
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Old 10-16-12, 11:17 PM
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My main ride is an '05 Litespeed Tuscany. (Here's one of many positive reviews.)



I'm in the process of building up a Lynskey R230.



Sometime next year I'd like to get a Ti CX disc.

Yes, I'm gluttonous. Nothing wrong with carbon (nor aluminum), but Ti has so much going for it as a frame material IMO with very little drawbacks that I never moved on. Ti is also making a huge comeback. Frame makers (both custom and high volume) are now going back to Ti (like GT):

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Old 10-27-12, 06:23 PM
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Beautiful!
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Old 10-27-12, 07:27 PM
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I'm seriously considering Ti or Cf for my next cross/road. After I read this below (and having modest welding experience with mild steel trying to make the perfect weld without voids) I realized there is much to be said for buying a Ti frame/bike from an experienced and top end company because Ti is no ordinary metal to work with (for that matter any frame material can have issues).

https://www.ibiscycles.com/support/te...ium_advantage/
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Old 10-27-12, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mahijiru View Post
What do you love about your Ti bike?
There's no paint, so after 16 years the frame (Litespeed Natchez) looks much better than the preceding steel frame did half that time - the inevitable dings are the same color as the rest of it instead of primer colored.

What do you not like about Ti?
Nothing.

Is their a lot of range in the quality of titanium frames, or are most very good? Big range in the quality of the material or welds?
You can get good frames made in China for not a lot of money (Habanero puts their name on XACD frames and provides US warranty service) although spending more will get you better aesthetics like tapered chain stays and butted tubes which save weight.

Some less expensive frames used to be made out of commercially pure titanium instead of the more durable 3% aluminum / 2.5% vanadium alloy although that seems to no longer be the case.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 10-27-12 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 10-27-12, 11:15 PM
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I went from a Tarmac SL3 to a Dean El Diente SL. The Dean is only about 1/2 of a pound heavier then the Tarmac (the Tarmac was really light) and every bit as stiff. What I love about it is the fact that it absorbs the road just as well, but has a bit more of a lively feel to it. It's my everyday bike and the bike I put most of my miles on.
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Old 10-28-12, 06:46 AM
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Make sure you like it, because you'll have the stupid thing forever.
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Old 10-28-12, 07:32 AM
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I was considering a titanium frame over carbon because I like to be able to use my bike to pull trailers/trail-a-bikes and you really just can't do that with carbon.
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Old 10-28-12, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by DinoShepherd View Post
Make sure you like it, because you'll have the stupid thing forever.
This cannot be overstated. I have a '97 GT Forte that will not die.
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