General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Let's talk titanium... Rss Feed  
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2007-09-24 4:02 PM

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Subject: Let's talk titanium...
Ok so I am engaged in the very very preliminary stages of research for a new frame, maybe road, maybe tri, maybe both! (Ok probably not both) and I guess the first thing I think of is the material the frame is made of, geometry aside. What about titanium as a material? There are only a couple of companies who are making Ti frames, is this b/c of the cost to make them/ get the materials? What are some of the benefits and detriments to this type of frame material? I have heard good things but wondered what the masses throught. Anyone have one and love it more than life itself? Anyone have one and trade it up for carbon...or another material?

Discuss. Thanks for the info!


2007-09-24 4:07 PM
in reply to: #977311

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Cycling Guru
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Subject: RE: Let's talk titanium...

The reason ti is relatively expensive compared to others is the level of workman ability needed to fabricate it.  The cost of the raw material is really not that much more than steel.  But it is a hell of a lot harder to work adn form into a decent frame.

Carbon and carbon/aluminum hybrids are the rage right now, but you can still find really nice ti bikes if you are willing to shell out the cash.

As far as benefits??  Not really much of any one over the other since as long as the bike is designed around the material you can pretty much make any one ride like the other (stiff, light, flexy, springy, etc.).

2007-09-24 4:11 PM
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Subject: RE: Let's talk titanium...
I've drooled over Ti for a while now but then I had the chance to ride one the other day. It was a really nice lightspeed road bike with Ultegra and nice wheels but I honestly would rather use my crappy Al road bike than that one in a race. It was super light and would have been so much better for climbing than my bike but the frame just felt a little dull to me. I didn't feel like I was getting the power transfer that I get from my bike.

On the other hand it was SUPER SMOOTH! If you want a really slick around town road bike that you just take out for pleasure then this thing was amazing.

I'm currently shopping around for a road bike for next season and I'm leaning towards a Cervelo Soloist Team myself. Sure it is Al and people complain about that but I just love how rigid it is. It just makes me feel fast.

I'm a n00b though so take what I say with a grain of salt.
2007-09-24 4:21 PM
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Subject: RE: Let's talk titanium...

Yeah, I have one and "love it more than life itself." OK, not really, but I do consider it to be the best purchase I've ever made, and I've made many in 52 years.

Like Rick said, a lot more depends on the design of the frame than the material, but I chose titanium because I loved the ride of the several titanium bikes that I test rode. (stuartjeff, if you think titanium is a dull ride, don't go near a carbon fiber frame). In addition to that, titanium frames are nearly indestructible, whereas CF is brittle and highly susceptible to damage in a crash. IMHO there is no such thing as a "trade up" to carbon. 

2007-09-24 4:28 PM
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Subject: RE: Let's talk titanium...
basscycle23 - 2007-09-24 5:02 PM
There are only a couple of companies who are making Ti frames, is this b/c of the cost to make them/ get the materials?


There are TONS of Ti frame makers, from big companies to small custom shops. You should look at:

Serotta
Lemond
Litespeed
Seven
Moots
Independent Fabrication
Guru
Merlin
Argon18
De Rosa
Lynskey

Then there are some great custom frame makers like:
Carl Strong
Kent Ericksen
Steve Potts

And i know I'm leaving a bunch off the list. The theory behind titanium is that if it's built right, it will last forever. Time will tell. And most likely you'll buy a new bike sooner or later no matter how great your frame is. But titanium is a rather tasty option, if you have the money to spend on it.
2007-09-24 4:32 PM
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Champion
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Subject: RE: Let's talk titanium...

I have two titanium frames --

A custom TiCycles Softride rod bike that I've had (and raced in USCF events) for about 10 years now... Dream ride. I also have a steel Paul Barkley Softride of a pretty close configuration, so I have a comparison between the materials to draw from. The ti rides SO much better.

Also a ti tri bike (word was it was originally made for Scott Tinley). Anyway, it's old school round tubes, steep STA, long top tube... And it tracks beautifully. Having been used to riding Softrides, I was skeptical of going to a standard diamond frame for a tri rig, but the ti just takes the edge off everything, and there's no dead feel -- the bike is a rocket. The frame is easily 15 years old...

I got ti originally because I wanted a "forever" frame, and from all indications, it's just what I got. It's pretty much indestructible, low-maintenance, looks good without having to worry about scratched paint...

Personally, if I were to get another bike (okay, not including the junker single speed MTB that I'm cobbling together for a whopping total of $143) it would definitely be ti. But with the rigs I've got, I don't really see myself needing to (setting aside my N+1 soul for a little while).



2007-09-24 5:10 PM
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Champion
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Subject: RE: Let's talk titanium...
Another titanium rider here. I have a Litespeed Saber. I find titanium bikes more responsive than other material with which have more flex. Ti bikes can ride stiff, but the power transfer, especially when you are standing on the pedals, is great. To me, it just feels more connected than my previous carbon fiber bike. I also wanted a bike that would last forever.

Edited by bryancd 2007-09-24 5:11 PM
2007-09-24 5:39 PM
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Subject: RE: Let's talk titanium...

bryancd - 2007-09-24 5:10 PM Another titanium rider here. I have a Litespeed Saber. I find titanium bikes more responsive than other material with which have more flex. Ti bikes can ride stiff, but the power transfer, especially when you are standing on the pedals, is great. To me, it just feels more connected than my previous carbon fiber bike. I also wanted a bike that would last forever.

Ditto. Love my Saber as well. All the same reasons.

2007-09-24 8:59 PM
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Subject: RE: Let's talk titanium...
Litespeed Blade rider here and I absolutely love it. Power transfer seems to be leaps and bounds above my aluminum road bike.
2007-09-24 10:02 PM
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Subject: RE: Let's talk titanium...
Comet - 2007-09-24 3:39 PM

bryancd - 2007-09-24 5:10 PM Another titanium rider here. I have a Litespeed Saber. I find titanium bikes more responsive than other material with which have more flex. Ti bikes can ride stiff, but the power transfer, especially when you are standing on the pedals, is great. To me, it just feels more connected than my previous carbon fiber bike. I also wanted a bike that would last forever.

Ditto. Love my Saber as well. All the same reasons.

Tritto, another Saber lover here.  Granted, all I had was a 20+ year old aluminum roadie to compare it to, but I love love love my bike.  I thought it was just me, but I can really feel the power transfer to the cranks



Edited by ChrisM 2007-09-24 10:03 PM
2007-09-24 10:05 PM
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Subject: RE: Let's talk titanium...
I have a carbon road bike (BMC) and Ti Tri bike (Litespeed).

The Litespeed has a spring and snap to it, plus carves the road. The BMC is like a Cadillac sports car, I know the road is there, I know I'm going fast but it does not feel like, the ride is mooted. Don't get me wrong, I love my BMC and my Tri bike has not seen many miles since I got it, but the ride is much different.

I have a AL Cyclocross bike and Steel Fixie too. All ride differently but as others have pointed out, design has a lot to do with.


2007-09-24 11:32 PM
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Subject: RE: Let's talk titanium...
My wife just bought a new Serotta and like Bear says it's the best decesion she has made as far as bikes goes. She had a aluminum/carbon before and says there is no comparison. She says the responsiveness is unbeliveable. What she paid for her bike was a lot less than I paid for my Trek Project One in 2004. She only has about $2800.00 tied up in her Serotta and that is with 10 speed Durace, American Classic wheels.

Oh yea that is with carbon forks and carbon rear end.

Edited by medic1962 2007-09-24 11:34 PM
2007-09-25 8:39 AM
in reply to: #977311

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Subject: RE: Let's talk titanium...
Wow guys and girls...great great responses! Thanks so much and keep the IMHO's coming!
2007-09-25 11:16 AM
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Subject: RE: Let's talk titanium...
basscycle23 - 2007-09-25 9:39 AM

Wow guys and girls...great great responses! Thanks so much and keep the IMHO's coming!


If you want more info, go to the roadbikereview.com forums and look up Ti or Titanium. You'll see some beautiful frames from moots, seven, Strong, Ericksen, Serotta and others.

My birthday is coming up and I'm itching to treat myself to a Kent Ericksen frame.
2008-08-16 2:32 PM
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Subject: RE: Let's talk titanium...
Hijacking an older thread here. Just curious as I am now shopping for a new frame. How is Ti for a bigger rider? I'm around 198-202 lbs.
2008-08-16 2:37 PM
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Science Nerd
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Subject: RE: Let's talk titanium...

Tri3 - 2007-09-24 9:59 PM Litespeed Blade rider here and I absolutely love it. Power transfer seems to be leaps and bounds above my aluminum road bike.

I have a Blade and feel the same way.  I love it. 



2008-08-16 4:36 PM
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Subject: RE: Let's talk titanium...
I haven't personally ridden one of these, but a friend has and swears they are the greatest bikes (and deals) since sliced bread.

http://www.rmstriathlon.com/

There is info on the site about why Ti is better than carbon and aluminum.
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