titanium frames
Last Post 09/13/2013 08:50 AM by Le Professeur. 25 Replies.
Author Messages
thinline

Posts:152

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09/04/2013 10:57 AM
Anyone out there ride titanium? I am doing a week or so demo with a Seven. Nice riding but a tad heavier than my current bike. Just curious what folks who regularly ride Ti think of it. Oh, also, if I get a Seven, do I have to put a "minus" sign in front of the decal now?
79pmooney

Posts:1188

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09/04/2013 11:26 AM
I've got two, both TiCycles, one geared, one fixed. About 7k on each. Love them. I have never owned a "light" bike as I will never own a CF bike. My two TiCycles are not light as ti goes but weight was never part of my thinking when ordering the bikes, Both have steel forks. The geared bike is a triple. Traditional bars on both.

I love the rides. I've ridden Cycle Oregon on both, done 98 miles or more on both. Great bikes to ride over chip seal. (Actually, I don't really think that. It is just that when we hit smooth roads, I"m thinking "back to sticky tire pavement" and around me I hear a universal sigh of "Ahhhh!")

Edit:  Both bikes are stiff, the stiffest two bikes I've ever owned.  (All previous were steel.)  I think going light on ti is generally a mistake, like going light on steel generally is.  On fast bumpy downhills, I like my bikes a lot.  no surprises at any speed as long as I don't tense up.

Ben
ChinookPass

Posts:480

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09/04/2013 12:14 PM
What is the build on that Seven (components, wheels)? What is the weight compared to your current bike?
jrt1045

Posts:362

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09/04/2013 12:17 PM
I have a Tennessee-built Merlin Works with the traditional top tube. Great on rough roads and chip seal - could be a little stiffer for the short, steep stuff. Handles great

as far as weight/stiffness/handling - more of a function of tubing and geo selection. If you go custom, stay away from the backwards faster look (aka: The Serotta). It can be plenty stiff but will never be as light as a carbon bike, but close. That being said, you can ride it for 5 years then replace the fork/parts kit and have like a new bike. Try that with a carbon!

Best part about mine is there is nothing to scratch and the thing won't dent or break if you breathe on the top tube. I have always liked the brushed finish for ti and never bother with paint
Yo Mike

Posts:276

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09/04/2013 12:26 PM
/Best part about mine is there is nothing to scratch and the thing won't dent or break if you breathe on the top tube. I have always liked the brushed finish for ti and never bother with paint/

Amen to that! Painting Ti just seems wrong to me.

My Ti ride is a 'standard' Habanero. Angles are similar to my 2 Lemonds, but TT and chainstays are a few cm shorter overall. Nice, solid, slightly stiffer ride. Don't forget the effect wheels will play in overall feel of the bike.

No minus sign - or letter 'i' - needed for the head badge, either. Get it.
ChinookPass

Posts:480

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09/04/2013 01:02 PM
jrt, what do you mean "backwards faster look"? Are you talking about compact geometry frames? Or carbon rear triangles?
Funk

Posts:22

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09/04/2013 01:09 PM
I've ridden a Seven since 2002. I did the custom thing and opted for straight titanium, not a mix of Ti and carbon. I put Campy Record on it, some Neutron wheels, and have ~35,000 miles on it. I replaced the wheels last year, the chain when necessary, and rebuilt the right shifter a couple of times. Otherwise, fairly maintenance-free.

As mentioned above, the Ti is pretty easy to care for. If you like new bikes every once in awhile, then it's probably not for you. They last forever.
stronz

Posts:313

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09/04/2013 01:17 PM
Have a litespeed vortex ca 2005. LOOK fork. This is mostly 6-4 ti but I think parts are 3-2.5. Anyway the ride is stiff but not brutal -- mine has aluminium bars and stem so it could be softened up slightly with carbon bars. For a while I rode it with campy hyperon carbon clinchers which give a wonderful ride compared with aluminum clinchers. Bike weighed in a tad over 15lbs with hyperons. I loved the ride and still do. feels like a scalpel carving its way thru the air -- just very precise and communicative. The BB is not the stiffest and there is definitely some flex there. My new GIANT TCR Advanced SL (2012) by comparison is stiffer in the bottom bracket and more compliant with road imperfections -- definitely more comfortable and about a pound lighter with the same wheels.
thinline

Posts:152

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09/04/2013 02:39 PM
Not sure what the weight on it is. It's an older Axiom, apparently now the Axiom SL with a former model of a different ame now known as the Axiom. It has a beastly Frankenstein adjustable stem assembly on it that I am sure is ading some noticeable weight, just not sure how much. Bars and seat post are aluminum Richey, crank is a Richey, the rest is older Dura Ace. Wheels are Dura Ace hubs and Mavic rims with traditional spoke set up. It's funny, the tires ar 23s and I switched to 25s about 2 years ago. I imagine the ride is even smoother with 25s on there. It does ride very nicely and is pretty stiff. Probably not wuite as stiff as my current ride (Paketa Scud) but nothing that makes you go, huh, while climbing. I would need a slightly bigger frame than what I am riding for the demo so my guess is a little added weight and maybe a bit more flex. And, if I go for it, yup, naked Ti it will be.
jrt1045

Posts:362

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09/04/2013 03:06 PM
Chinook, I was referring to the custom bikes with geometry that a builder should say "no" to. Serotta had a bad habit of this - you end up with flagpoles for a headtube and so on. Probably a result of "C" students at their fit skool
pabiker

Posts:80

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09/04/2013 03:35 PM
Ti MTB which I love. 6/4 Ti Moots YBB years of abuse and it's still kicking.

Big Pluses: doesn't rust, great feel, durability.

Big Minuses: flexy, it can still break, not the lightest option.

Wouldn't use Ti for a SS MTB and at 200+ wouldn't use it for a road bike either.
zootracer

Posts:318

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09/04/2013 07:43 PM
Surprised no one mentioned Lynskey.
longslowdistance

Posts:720

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09/04/2013 08:06 PM
I love that ti ride. Current collection includes one of each ti, al, CF, steel. I love the steel bike, but the ti gets ridden the most.
The only two bikes I wish I still had: 70s Colnago Super w/Merckx team paint job and a Lynsky Litespeed Catalyst from the 90's. I'll bet the Litespeed is still going strong.
Hoshie

Posts:115

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09/04/2013 11:41 PM
It seems popular to assume carbon will wear out prematurely especially when talking about a TI bike's benefits. My "superlight" Scott Addict just turned 6 yrs old and hasn't changed. Still a great ride. Recently added new wheels and a replaced a few aged components and it's as good as ever. So, my experience doesn't tip that to Ti alone.

That being said, I think a nice quality TI frame is a nice bike period. You'll enjoy it if the geometry and design fits your wants / needs.

j
79pmooney

Posts:1188

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09/05/2013 01:43 AM
Hoshie, the bit about ti outlasting CF isn't about road miles, it's about all that other stuff like when the movers handle it not so gently, you knock it over, you blow a trackstand, etc. My steel Mooney has seen all of that plus 45,000 miles over 33 years. A strong well built ti bike would do the same, though my two will probably live much softer lives than the Mooney has.

(An aside - I get a a slightly morbid kick out of riders leaning their CF bikes together a rest stops on organized rides, like I will see a lot of next week. Ti owners almost never do that. Always strikes me as an accident waiting to happen, and I've seen a few.)

Ben
thinline

Posts:152

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09/05/2013 08:13 AM
My take on CF is like Ben's, it doesn't wear out due to mileage, but is more susceptible to breakage at the hands of us mere mortals. One friend's rear derailleur snapped loose, flew up and smacked the seat stay and sheared it in two. Another had his on a trainer for the winter and his foot hit his bottle cage. The bottle cage popped off with the mounting screws taking a good chunk of the seat tube along with it. No warranty joy in either case because they were both operator error. Bothg nice bikes as well, high end Trek and Orbea. Makes me nervous.
longslowdistance

Posts:720

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09/05/2013 09:28 AM
This makes sense, with mountain bikes being an even riskier use of carbon fiber for recreational use. Maybe depends on where you ride, but frames get dinged.
Big DanT

Posts:18

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09/05/2013 10:32 AM
My Strong is Ti, it is a pleasure to ride efficient yet comfortable. It was built with some massive diameter tubes to make it ride the away it does for a rider my size.

I have it built with Di2 and R45/Hed Belgium wheelset

Mine is painted. I was riding it and someone told me it was sin to paint Ti. I replied, not if you want a red one.

THE SKINNY

Posts:422

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09/05/2013 10:55 AM
i've seen several stainless steel frames. how does it compare to ti as far as ride quality goes?
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
79pmooney

Posts:1188

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09/05/2013 11:23 AM
Big Dan, my first ti bike is red. Same reason. I always wanted a red bike.

Ben
79pmooney

Posts:1188

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09/05/2013 11:30 AM
Stainless steel is no different from other steels in the one category that matters for ride quality, the modulus of elasticity. Two frames, one SS and the other steel with tubes of the same diameter and wall thickness will be identical riding except: the steel frame will be a few ounces of paint heavier, the steel frame can rust and the properties go downhill accordingly and the owner of the SS will benefit from an inflated ego which has been known to knock minutes of hill climbs.

Ben
Oldfart

Posts:489

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09/05/2013 12:31 PM
I had a titanium Kona Hei Hei hardtail a long time ago. Pretty basic straight guage that was poorly design but nicely constructed. The rear brake posts were too high which required filing the slot in the canti brakes plus buying rims with a negative rim taper(?) to counter that and even then new brake pads needed to be used a bit before the pad was flat against the rim. But the ride quality was very very nice. Now I think carbon has an even better ride quality though. It is not the right material for full suspension bikes except maybe soft tails. You want a stiff material for that. The Moots full suspension bike always seems to get interesting reviews. Beautifully constructed but the reviewers seem to be trying to find a nice way to say that the ride quality is awful.

I would get another titanium hardtail in a minute though.
thinline

Posts:152

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09/06/2013 08:15 AM
Thanks for the insights, folks. I am leaning towards taking the plunge as I have enjoyed the ride more each time I have been out. Did a couple lunch rides this week, one hour pedal mashers, and it was very responsive, comfy letting it roll on the one longer downhill on the lunch routes. No squirm at high speed at all. Plus, it seemed to track better when I would get hit suddenly with crosswinds. Just easier to correct back into line in that sudden wind shift than my current ride. I get one more longer ride tomorrow before returning it to the shop when the brain-picking session begins. If I get answers I like from someone who is a well-respected and trusted shop owner (little hole in the wall place, no real inventory to speak of, a shop all about doing builds and repairs) I will likely kick the process into gear. Which means I will have a brand new bike only after outdoor riding in Vermont loses its sanity for the season. That first ride in the spring sure would be nice! I'll keep folks posted if I go for it. Many thanks.
vtguy

Posts:248

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09/06/2013 04:40 PM
If you decide to pull the trigger, be sure to post pics of the new ride.
laurentja

Posts:122

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09/07/2013 10:17 AM
I owned loads of bikes over the years when I had money. Ti bikes included a Merckx Ax (Litespeed), Litespeed, Colnago BiTitan, Bianchi-labeled (Litespeed), Colnago CT1, and Lynskey (a model that preceded the current R230). I've also owned a lot of steel, a bunch of Al/carbon, and a half dozen carbon bikes. I can barely keep a roof over my head now but got a bug to get Ti for early-season/rain, so bought a Motobecane frameset ($995 on ebay) last fall. It is a bit of a noodle, but perhaps the lightest Ti bike I've had and very comfortable over chipseal. The Lynskey was supposed to be an amazing bike, and it was very well made, but for some reason I never bonded with it..it's ride felt kind of dead for a Ti bike, The Bianchi I put TONS of miles on; it may have been the most awesome ride I ever owned. The CT1 was too stiff, it was made for pro riders with more power than I have; I would never get 6/4 Ti again.
If heading out for hammerfest group rides I am going to be on carbon. If going on a 100 mi solo ride with lots of climbs I will be on carbon. If doing a 60+ mi ride with friends who are not as strong as me, I will be on Ti.
I sometimes think that sometime in the next 10 years if/when I start earning a decent paycheck again I will buy my "last bike"...for the last miles in this lifetime. It would be Ti, probably a Moots or Seven. Basically when I am slow, why not stop the madness, stop buying bikes, get a frame that will last 15+ years, no problem.
professeur

Posts:12

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09/13/2013 08:50 AM
I have two bikes: a 1999 Serotta Classique Titanium with over 100,000 miles on it, and a 2008 Cervelo P3C time trial bike.

One for comfort, one for speed.


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