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Difference in Ride Quality with Titanium Vs Chromoly Saddle Rails?

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Difference in Ride Quality with Titanium Vs Chromoly Saddle Rails?

Old 08-24-14, 01:22 PM
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Difference in Ride Quality with Titanium Vs Chromoly Saddle Rails?

I am about to try out the much loved Charge Spoon saddle. I am debating between the chromoly and titanium versions. The saddle is a good value to begin with at about $35 (chromoly version) and just about $25 more for the titanium model. The Ti model is only an ounce lighter but the real issue for me is whether it's a smoother ride because of titanium's greater flexibility and purported road dampening capability. Is this marketing hype or will this make a real world difference? Thanks.
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Old 08-24-14, 01:40 PM
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you read up on the differences it makes in bike frames yet? do that ..
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Old 08-25-14, 06:28 AM
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Yes, I have but want to know specifically if people notice a difference between Ti rails on saddles compared to chromoly. Anybody?
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Old 08-25-14, 06:31 AM
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You want someone else's subjective opinion of a difference that may well be a placebo and which you will undoubtedly form a different (subjective) opinion of? I've been thinking of buying a ti rail saddle but that's only because I'm becoming a very minor weight weenie. Other than that I can't imagine a reason why to get one.

It looks like you are looking for a reason to spend more money on a saddle. Just go for it if you want to save some weight and don't care about the added expense.
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Old 08-25-14, 06:33 AM
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Does any manufacturer claim that Ti seat rails provide more dampening than steel?

Seat rails are too short for different metals (all rather stiff) to perform differently.
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Old 08-25-14, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by mm718
Yes, I have but want to know specifically if people notice a difference between Ti rails on saddles compared to chromoly. Anybody?
I do not notice any comfort difference between steel or titanium rails in general. Just a reduction in weight. I have broken Ti seat rails twice.....probably need to consider saddles a wear item. I use Ti railed saddles. Seat posts, frames, and tires seem to have a bigger impact on comfort than saddle rails to me.......YMMV.
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Old 08-25-14, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
You want someone else's subjective opinion of a difference that may well be a placebo and which you will undoubtedly form a different (subjective) opinion of? I've been thinking of buying a ti rail saddle but that's only because I'm becoming a very minor weight weenie. Other than that I can't imagine a reason why to get one.

It looks like you are looking for a reason to spend more money on a saddle. Just go for it if you want to save some weight and don't care about the added expense.
You're right it's subjective and placebo is certainly a possibility. However the placebo effect also fades and if there is a significant effect there I think people will notice. Particularly for those riding both chromo and Ti railed saddles. I don't know if $25 an ounce is worth it to me so weight won't be the deciding factor. It's not a life or death decision but I was interested in what people had to say... For instance I've heard that with carbon railed saddles it's hard NOT to notice the difference...

Last edited by mm718; 08-25-14 at 07:52 AM.
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Old 08-25-14, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker
Does any manufacturer claim that Ti seat rails provide more dampening than steel?

Seat rails are too short for different metals (all rather stiff) to perform differently.
I couldn't find anything on their site but have an email into them to see if they have any data on this... Yeah, I thought about the length but independent of flex don't different materials have different harmonic qualities which impact high frequency vibration?
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Old 08-25-14, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by RR3
I do not notice any comfort difference between steel or titanium rails in general. Just a reduction in weight. I have broken Ti seat rails twice.....probably need to consider saddles a wear item. I use Ti railed saddles. Seat posts, frames, and tires seem to have a bigger impact on comfort than saddle rails to me.......YMMV.
Thanks, RR. This is helpful.
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Old 08-25-14, 08:12 AM
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Get steel rails and spend the savings on good tires. You'll thank me later.
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Old 08-25-14, 09:16 AM
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There is no discernible ride difference. Before "the road" reaches your butt, it has to go through your tires, wheels, frame and seatpost. That's a lot of rubber and metal. Unless you're running 23c tires on a early/mid-90's Cannondale aluminum frame, I sincerely doubt you'll ever notice a difference. That said, Ti rails do no bend as easily as steel rails, and I do (even at 170lbs) have a tendency to bend rails over time due to my uneven gait. I still generally get a few years out a Chromoly railed saddle, however, so I'm sticking with them for now.
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Old 08-25-14, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by mm718
I couldn't find anything on their site but have an email into them to see if they have any data on this... Yeah, I thought about the length but independent of flex don't different materials have different harmonic qualities which impact high frequency vibration?
You are looking for a lot of magic in a seat rail!

"Vibration" is flexing.

A frame made out of Ti isn't going to behave like seat rails.

Ti in seat rails is to save weight.
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Old 08-25-14, 09:45 AM
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I have owned Brooks and Fizik saddles with both steel and ti rails, and I do not believe that the material used in saddle rails has any discernible effect on ride quality or comfort. Saddles with ti rails should be slightly lighter weight than the same saddles with steel rails. That's the only difference, unless you also want to consider costs and durability. Like others said, the best way to increase ride comfort is to use larger tires, but that also tends to increase rotating weight.
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Old 08-25-14, 09:57 AM
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mm718, If there is any difference it will have to be determined in the lab. I have both Ti and Cro Mo railed saddles and comfort is the same.

seely, I ride Cannondales from '89 to '99 and 23 mm tires in and of themselves don't make the ride harsh.

Brad
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Old 08-25-14, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by RR3
I do not notice any comfort difference between steel or titanium rails in general.
Same here. The saddles I used were Terry Flys. The first one had steel rails and when it broke I replaced it with a ti rail version. Neither broke at the rails, they broke the plastic frames near the cut out.
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Old 08-26-14, 09:21 AM
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I went with chromo. 20 grams isn't worth $25 and who knows about the ride quality. I found about 10-15 anecdotes of those who had ridden both and it was approximately split down the middle. If I hear back from Charge and they say anything interesting I'll post it here. Another thing that tipped the scales for me toward chromo were several stories of rail failures with ti...
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