Titanium Road Bikes

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barefoot
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Re: Titanium Road Bikes

Postby barefoot » Fri Apr 17, 2015 3:44 pm

Wingnut wrote:Custom geometry in titanium and carbon are both rare and expensive in Oz...


There's nothing rare or expensive about a $1k custom Ti frame delivered from XACD or any of the other Xi-An titanium fab shops.

There was a guy floating around not long ago who was trying to set up a business as a kind of middle-man between Australian customers and the Ti frame builders. Help people who don't have the necessary geek-spec knowledge to design their frame, handle the culture-shock negotiations with the builders, possibly provide a level of warranty support, take a margin on the price. If he's not still around, I'm sure there are others. Still a very cheap way to get a custom geometry frame, in any material.

Custom carbon, however... you're looking at 6 figures for tooling. That ammortises out over a long run of frames, but it's not feasible for one-offs. Unless you can figure out a way to build a carbon frame mould with adjustable inserts to accommodate a range of sizes and angles... but I haven't seen that done successfully yet.

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Re: Titanium Road Bikes

Postby Wingnut » Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:08 pm

barefoot wrote:
Wingnut wrote:Custom geometry in titanium and carbon are both rare and expensive in Oz...


Custom carbon, however... you're looking at 6 figures for tooling. That ammortises out over a long run of frames, but it's not feasible for one-offs. Unless you can figure out a way to build a carbon frame mould with adjustable inserts to accommodate a range of sizes and angles... but I haven't seen that done successfully yet.


A custom carbon frame is just like building a steel or Ti bike...it's just mitred tubes that are bonded then the joins are wrapped with carbon and finished off...moulding carbon frames is old school...

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Titanium Road Bikes

Postby RonK » Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:57 pm

barefoot wrote:Custom carbon, however... you're looking at 6 figures for tooling. That ammortises out over a long run of frames, but it's not feasible for one-offs. Unless you can figure out a way to build a carbon frame mould with adjustable inserts to accommodate a range of sizes and angles... but I haven't seen that done successfully yet.

Not quite - you can order a custom carbon fibre Colnago for not much more than standard size.
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Re: Titanium Road Bikes

Postby boss » Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:41 pm

RonK wrote:
barefoot wrote:Custom carbon, however... you're looking at 6 figures for tooling. That ammortises out over a long run of frames, but it's not feasible for one-offs. Unless you can figure out a way to build a carbon frame mould with adjustable inserts to accommodate a range of sizes and angles... but I haven't seen that done successfully yet.

Not quite - you can order a custom carbon fibre Colnago for not much more than standard size.



That's because it's lugged.

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Re: Titanium Road Bikes

Postby coffeeandwine » Sat Apr 18, 2015 2:54 pm

For more custom Carbon there is Craddock or a couple of options from Comtat, both in the UK; also Argonaut in the USA.

Or for an Italian feel, this article from Cycling Tips on Sarto is a great read.
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Re: Titanium Road Bikes

Postby Comedian » Fri May 01, 2015 2:34 pm

boss wrote:Funny you say that re: compliance. Tyre pressure for Tyre pressure, I have found my Moots to be pretty uncompliant. I have a Trek Madone that is noticeably more compliant. Must of been a pretty heavy carbon rig for a ti one to be lighter... My Moots with DA and all the good fruit is slightly heavier than an off the shelf 5 series Madone with Ultegra! Maybe time to hit the scales of truth... :P

Personally I think why the industry likes carbon is that its damn cheap to mass produce. Skills and raw materials are so, so, so much cheaper.

Titanium did make a go of it in the 00's with some nice high-end frames produced by Colnago, Bianchi et al but once Carbon showed some maturity, it was game over. The raw material costs are just way too high.

Compare contrast no-name titanium vs no-name carbon from China. You're talking double to triple the price for Titanium.

I'll also add in there that once you really start driving the weight down on Titanium they get just as temperamental as carbon. There are only a small handful of frames that get close to 1000g and they're simultaneously uncompliant and noodley. And not particularly robust in a crash situation.

I'm sure there's an element of cynical built-in-obsolescence too, but the driving force to moving from metal to plastic was manufacturing economics.

At the end of the day, if your concern is performance, titanium is better.

If you care about having a bike for a long time and like nice things, Titanium is worth considering.


Tyre pressures are a known quantity for me. Indeed I'll often back them off on the carbon job so that I don't get damaged. In my case I have a pool of wheels that get moved around.. and I can say that the carbon bike is massively stiffer and more skittish in the handling with identical wheel/tyre/pressure settings to either carbon bike.

biker jk wrote:Which model Lynskey?

It's an R230. I haven't weighed it for a bit - but I think it's about 400 grams heavier than the baum in the frame. I built it for the wife who rejected it. My luck - because it's the perfect everyday training bike for me. I'm also planning to make it my road race/tt bike. I've just got to sort out if I can get by with the compact crank...

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Re: Titanium Road Bikes

Postby mmc22 » Wed May 06, 2015 3:19 pm

Some thoughts now that I’ve put some 7,500km into my Twenty2.

Firstly it’s Comedian that convinced me to look seriously into the Ti market after I had a quick roll of his Baum. Obviously I was more than willing to have a go on it… thinking to myself… “can’t hurt to look right?” Well… he owes me money now. :lol:

After doing my research and finding a little known Ti builder out of Colorado, I got measured up and commenced my project. After many emails and calls back and forth to the States about aesthetic choices, desired ride and handling qualities, the fabrication was underway. Not more than 8 weeks later I was the nervous owner of an American Made, internal cabled, fully double butted, custom geometry (195mm x 44mm HT, 34.9mm ST, 44.5mm DT, 38.4mm x 610mm TT) brushed Ti finish with custom light blue anodizing logos and matching handmade custom headbadge Titanium bike frame.

So I put it in the stand and built up the 1.8kg frame with the correct groupset (Super Record) and rolled it out for a quick test ride. It came in at just on 8kg... which I was reasonably happy with considering my size and the ‘durable’ specifications we’d gone with.

Rolling out, immediately the little thud that I had so often experienced in the past from other bikes rolling out of the driveway, turned into a springy bounce… as if the energy was being returned to me rather than deadened into the road. Down the road it had this lively fresh feeling to the way it handled little bumps in the road. At first there wasn’t too much of a perceptible ride quality difference. I still felt just as fast as other bikes, but now I felt less beaten at the end of the ride. Up hills were no more of a chore than usual, but the down hills and fast cornering felt grounded and solid. Not sure how much of my experience is tied to material choice, probably most of it comes down to the geometry being (hopefully) exact for my measurements.

I’m fully enamoured with this thing… It just rides so beautifully whilst being a beast if I want to hammer along. I’m not really sure how to articulate how I feel about the ride quality. It’s just kind of effortless, grounded, fresh without feeling fragile.

To put it into perspective I recently picked up a 2nd hand frameset and again built it up with the correct groupset. I’ve been considering getting into some crits... and saving a bit of weight on hilly rides never hurts. BMC SLR01, at size 60cm with the tubs on weighs in at just under 6.8kg. Without a doubt the weight difference is notable especially when handling the bike, that is not riding it. There is a difference when riding, but not as great as I expected. It spins up a little quicker and is a touch punchier up short explosive hills. But it has this non-permanent non-grounded quality to it. It kinda floats under me… It doesn’t really return the energy when throwing it around as the Twenty2 does. It’s also not quite as stiff at the bottom bracket as the Twenty2, which I was surprised with.

Again, it’s difficult to articulate the difference in ride quality. Don’t get me wrong I will take BMC into the hills if I’m looking to go fast and long, but if I want to really ‘stop and smell the roses’ with the occasional hammer time, it’s the Titanium all the way. In the end choosing my bike in the morning my decision always feels a little subjective, but I just prefer to ride the Twenty2.

Anyway, here they both are.. in the same place, with the same shoes.

Twenty2 Campagnolo Super Record Bora Ultra 2
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BMC SLR01 Campagnolo Super Record Bora Ultra 2
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…and yes Steve… I blame you for “making” me spend money. :wink:

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Re: Titanium Road Bikes

Postby Comedian » Tue May 12, 2015 1:48 pm

mmc22 wrote:Some thoughts now that I’ve put some 7,500km into my Twenty2.

Firstly it’s Comedian that convinced me to look seriously into the Ti market after I had a quick roll of his Baum. Obviously I was more than willing to have a go on it… thinking to myself… “can’t hurt to look right?” Well… he owes me money now. :lol:

After doing my research and finding a little known Ti builder out of Colorado, I got measured up and commenced my project. After many emails and calls back and forth to the States about aesthetic choices, desired ride and handling qualities, the fabrication was underway. Not more than 8 weeks later I was the nervous owner of an American Made, internal cabled, fully double butted, custom geometry (195mm x 44mm HT, 34.9mm ST, 44.5mm DT, 38.4mm x 610mm TT) brushed Ti finish with custom light blue anodizing logos and matching handmade custom headbadge Titanium bike frame.


…and yes Steve… I blame you for “making” me spend money. :wink:


Hey thanks for the update... I was wondering about the BMC.

So, I rode the Opera again yesterday for the first time in months. Within 100m I was thinking "man this bike is harsh and skittish". I kinda like having it.. it's a very intense bike. It's astonishingly stiff.. but the trade off is every bump is such an event that you end up trying to protect yourself rather than sitting and pedaling. I'm glad I own it.. but it is categorically NOT suitable for the role of training bike which I bought it for. I'd like to think I'll keep it as a crit race bike which is to be honest the only time I think it would actually be as quick as either of my Ti bikes. Maybe I'll sell it... dunno...

There are a lot of people I know who have very strong opinions on my choice of titanium bikes. None of them have ever ridden titanium though so I'm delighted that you have taken the plunge and "seen the light". I've been through a few bikes over the years - but I'm very very happy with the bikes I've got now. Ti is a truly remarkable suitable material for push bikes and I remain convinced that it is only a fringe player for market reasons. It's expensive to buy, time consuming and very difficult to work. The bike market wants you to buy a new bike every two years - and they are delighted to charge you for something that they can be made in Asia for very little money. But that's OK.

I'm pretty sure long term I'll end up saving you money. ;)

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Re: Titanium Road Bikes

Postby boss » Tue May 12, 2015 4:44 pm

Comedian wrote:I'm pretty sure long term I'll end up saving you money. ;)


I'd agree with this. As long as I can constrain my desires for N+1 and keep my wheel purchases limited... I'm way in front after 20,000km.

I can't see myself replacing my Moots outside of a crash situation. Touch wood.

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Re: Titanium Road Bikes

Postby Comedian » Fri May 15, 2015 2:03 pm

I rode the Baum again today for the first time in a couple of months (due to illness/injury). After putting so many miles on the Lynskey.. it was interesting. Yes - they are both Ti frames and while there is a commonality about their feel they do handle and ride quite distinctly differently. The Baum has a firmer ride, is crazy fast when you sprint (springy??), yet also seems to handle really well in the corners.

The cornering thing is interesting. I've been noticing a bit of a tendency to rear drift on the Lynskey which I'm finding a bit un-nerving. I'm starting to think that it's wonderful compliance could be the cause of this - but it could also be slightly different weight distribution. It's not noticeable until 8/10th so it's something that I've only noticed a few times and it's not something that you can easily (or safely) play at. I'll continue to think about this one.

Either way the Lynskey is spectacular value for money - but the Baum is in another league. It's coming up two years with me now and I'm still crazy in love with it...It feels just as special as day one. :)

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Re: Titanium Road Bikes

Postby mmc22 » Fri May 15, 2015 2:31 pm

When we were designing my bike I had read a bit about Darren's ideas in relation to chainstay length and requested the stays a little longer to help/improve handling. I reckon that's what you're experiencing in the difference between the Lynskey and the Baum.

In Darren’s opinion, longer chain stays help deliver a better quality ride. When you climb, the bike has more traction. When you go through a corner, the bike trails further and you can hop on the pedals earlier. The intended use of the bike is a big consideration however.


http://cyclingtips.com.au/2011/02/the-geometry-of-bike-handling/

Anecdotally I took the 22 for the Tues LC loop last week and took a minute or so off my best after riding the BMC for a few weeks... somehow the heavier bike translated into a faster ride. I'd expect fitness was a factor but i think my handling was a little more deliberate.

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Re: Titanium Road Bikes

Postby Comedian » Fri May 15, 2015 4:33 pm

mmc22 wrote:When we were designing my bike I had read a bit about Darren's ideas in relation to chainstay length and requested the stays a little longer to help/improve handling. I reckon that's what you're experiencing in the difference between the Lynskey and the Baum.

In Darren’s opinion, longer chain stays help deliver a better quality ride. When you climb, the bike has more traction. When you go through a corner, the bike trails further and you can hop on the pedals earlier. The intended use of the bike is a big consideration however.


http://cyclingtips.com.au/2011/02/the-geometry-of-bike-handling/

Anecdotally I took the 22 for the Tues LC loop last week and took a minute or so off my best after riding the BMC for a few weeks... somehow the heavier bike translated into a faster ride. I'd expect fitness was a factor but i think my handling was a little more deliberate.


I have read those articles a number of times. The my Baum does have significantly longer chainstays, and potentially a bigger BB drop (lynskey don't specify). There are also a host of other tiny differences between the geometry of the two bikes. I guess that's custom for you. The most significant is the lynskey has a shorter TT and longer stem (130). I should confess that I didn't ask for a crit bike - I asked for a nice handling bike. If I recall that was quicker steering but they offset it with the longer stays at the back...

If differences are what's causing the handling difference then there is only one fix. For the moment I'm going to reserve my judgement on this - but I'll confess it's got me miffed as It's not confidence inspiring. Thing is - if I hadn't ridden different bikes.. would I even have noticed..

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Re: Titanium Road Bikes

Postby ianK » Sun May 17, 2015 9:39 pm

jacks1071 wrote:
Dave R32 wrote:Finally someone who understands...I went from a Avanti Alu bike (dead frame to ride) to a Trek Madone and now a CAAD10 which is the most comfortable of the lot in-spite of being the most aggressive geometry of the three. I had one guy who has never ridden a CAAD10 tell me that the "road buzz" would kill me, another tell me that I would get a bad back because of the harshness of the ride, both were talking BS. Having said this my next frame will be Steel or Ti as I want to experience them.

When you're into a high-end frame regardless of the material there isn't much difference in the performance.

I own high end alloy, ti, carbon & bamboo bikes - when you're at the pointy end the biggest difference between them all is the price.



Given you have a choice, I do wonder what you end up riding more often? Is it thumbs up for the Alloy, Ti, Carbon or the bamboo most days?

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Re: Titanium Road Bikes

Postby Comedian » Thu May 21, 2015 3:10 pm

Comedian wrote:
I have read those articles a number of times. The my Baum does have significantly longer chainstays, and potentially a bigger BB drop (lynskey don't specify). There are also a host of other tiny differences between the geometry of the two bikes. I guess that's custom for you. The most significant is the lynskey has a shorter TT and longer stem (130). I should confess that I didn't ask for a crit bike - I asked for a nice handling bike. If I recall that was quicker steering but they offset it with the longer stays at the back...

If differences are what's causing the handling difference then there is only one fix. For the moment I'm going to reserve my judgement on this - but I'll confess it's got me miffed as It's not confidence inspiring. Thing is - if I hadn't ridden different bikes.. would I even have noticed..


I've been thinking over this for the last few days. I really don't think the Lynskey is a bad bike - or an evil handler. I just think it's pretty normal. Problem is I asked the guys in Geelong to set me up a "gangbuster descender" and that's what they did. It really is a sublime cornerer. I guess perhaps the Lynskey with it's higher BB and shorter everything might be better for crits - but the Baum is a far better handler when the speeds go up. I just need to remember this and keep a little more in reserve when cornering fast on the Lynskey.

I recently had an off while descending on the Lynskey which was quite new to me then. I think if I'd had this knowledge of it's limitations then - or been riding the Baum I don't think I would have hit the deck. You live and learn. :|

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Re: Titanium Road Bikes

Postby Drizt » Thu May 21, 2015 5:31 pm

Which lynskey out of curiosity?

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Re: Titanium Road Bikes

Postby biker jk » Thu May 21, 2015 5:48 pm

Drizt wrote:Which lynskey out of curiosity?


R230. Mentioned in this thread. Not sure how it's 400 grams heavier than a Baum. My R330 size M/L weighs 1250 grams.

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Re: Titanium Road Bikes

Postby Comedian » Fri May 22, 2015 7:43 am

biker jk wrote:
Drizt wrote:Which lynskey out of curiosity?


R230. Mentioned in this thread. Not sure how it's 400 grams heavier than a Baum. My R330 size M/L weighs 1250 grams.

I weighed it.. it was 1.4kg in M/L (56) bare frame. My Baum was 1.1 painted (it's a 57.5). Sorry ... 300 grams. :mrgreen:

BTW please don't think I don't like the Lynskey. I really do. It's an awesome bike. :)

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Re: Titanium Road Bikes

Postby biker jk » Fri May 22, 2015 8:45 am

Comedian wrote:
biker jk wrote:
Drizt wrote:Which lynskey out of curiosity?


R230. Mentioned in this thread. Not sure how it's 400 grams heavier than a Baum. My R330 size M/L weighs 1250 grams.

I weighed it.. it was 1.4kg in M/L (56) bare frame. My Baum was 1.1 painted (it's a 57.5). Sorry ... 300 grams. :mrgreen:

BTW please don't think I don't like the Lynskey. I really do. It's an awesome bike. :)


I'm a little confused in how a 1.1kg size 57.5 titanium frame is "stiff" as you described. I'd presume it's 6al 4v titanium but Baum uses US Grade 9 tubing ( 3al 2.5v). Also, that low weight is achieved despite longer chainstays (Darren Baum says short stays were preferred in the past by the indusytry to increase stiffness). Moreover, I would have though that a longer wheelbase (Baum use of slack head tube angle, longer rake forks) would improve stability but not sure it would provide for a faster cornering bike.

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Re: Titanium Road Bikes

Postby Comedian » Fri May 22, 2015 11:50 am

biker jk wrote:I'm a little confused in how a 1.1kg size 57.5 titanium frame is "stiff" as you described. I'd presume it's 6al 4v titanium but Baum uses US Grade 9 tubing ( 3al 2.5v). Also, that low weight is achieved despite longer chainstays (Darren Baum says short stays were preferred in the past by the indusytry to increase stiffness). Moreover, I would have though that a longer wheelbase (Baum use of slack head tube angle, longer rake forks) would improve stability but not sure it would provide for a faster cornering bike.


Baum do a lot of fancy bi-ovalisation with the rear stays which they claim helps with stiffness. I've only ridden the Coretto so I'm not sure whether their other bikes with the straight tubing ride more like the R230. I'm not sure I'd say the Baum is stiffer than the Lynskey. I think I'd struggle to pick stiffness. What I can say is the baum has a noticeably firmer ride than the Lynskey - which as you say is at odds with it's lighter weight. The baum also feels more lively to me... ie faster. I'm really struggling here as this is my impression. It's worth noting that I've not ridden the Lynskey with the same wheels as I have on the Baum. This may happen soon and I'll report back.

As to the handling.. I do remember them saying that they compensate to some extent by making the front a little more aggressive. I've certainly not noted that either bike is hard to get into a corner... just that the Baum is more stable in higher speed corners. I'll say again... I think R230 is set up more as a crit bike - and it's very nimble.

Again - I **really** like the R230. I really do. It's a beautiful bike. I ride it a lot and think I'll get many many happy miles out of it. It has the best most cosseting ride I've experienced on any roadbike - but doesn't feel slow either. When you hit a bump it feels **really** solid and confidence inspiring. It's certainly excellent value too. Two thumbs up. As I said - it has replaced my carbon bike as my "training bike". After you've ridden it I can't think of any good reason why you'd want to ride the carbon bike other than you like suffering.

The Corretto is a smidge lighter, a smidge firmer, and feels a smidge faster than the R230. I've got a ITT and a road race coming up. The carbon bike is probably stiffer than both Ti bikes but is way less aero and astonishingly punishing to ride. I think I'll take the Baum for the ITT.. maybe the Lynskey for the RR.. or maybe the Baum for both!

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Re: Titanium Road Bikes

Postby Drizt » Fri May 22, 2015 12:17 pm

Thanks for the interesting info.

I believe your R230 is similar in geometry to the my 2014 Lynskey Sportive Disc. Coming from my previous 2014 carbon Giant Defy I noticed many differences when I bought the lynskey. The Lynskey is definitely more stable going down hill. Descending mount macedon at 75km/h+ was a lot safer (felt safer) on the lynskey. I assume this is down to the longer chain stays but there are probably many other geometry differences that add to this. The Giant felt more nimble on very low speed switch backs but not enough of a difference to be a problem (but it is noticeable). The lynskey also feels stiffer to me. When I'm out of the saddle sprinting it feels really solid, the carbon giant I could feel the bending more.

Once I get the Giant Propel I'll be very eager to revisit the comparisons.

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Re: Titanium Road Bikes

Postby Comedian » Fri May 22, 2015 12:30 pm

Drizt wrote:Thanks for the interesting info.

I believe your R230 is similar in geometry to the my 2014 Lynskey Sportive Disc. Coming from my previous 2014 carbon Giant Defy I noticed many differences when I bought the lynskey. The Lynskey is definitely more stable going down hill. Descending mount macedon at 75km/h+ was a lot safer (felt safer) on the lynskey. I assume this is down to the longer chain stays but there are probably many other geometry differences that add to this. The Giant felt more nimble on very low speed switch backs but not enough of a difference to be a problem (but it is noticeable). The lynskey also feels stiffer to me. When I'm out of the saddle sprinting it feels really solid, the carbon giant I could feel the bending more.

Once I get the Giant Propel I'll be very eager to revisit the comparisons.

I had a 2011 Gaint Defy. You had to be careful not to look down at the bike if you went over a bump. It used to bend and flex so much it was scary. Terrifying in fact. :o

Please report back after your Propel experience.

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Re: Titanium Road Bikes

Postby Drizt » Fri May 22, 2015 12:31 pm

No problems, will do. Apparently my frame is 7 weeks away.

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Titanium Road Bikes

Postby cyclotaur » Fri May 22, 2015 2:13 pm

My comparison unfortunately doesn't include a Ti bike (yet...) but an Alu Defy 1 (2011) which flexes a lot and feels 'slow', albeit quite comfy, on long rides and climbs, versus an Alu CAADX 2010, which is stiffer through the drive train, is probably a fraction harsher on rough surfaces despite similar length chainstays, but is faster and climbs better than the Defy. It's also not bad comfort-wise.
I've ridden both (with the same wheelset - Fulcrum Quattro CX/25s) over similar courses and the CAADX holds all my Strava PBs despite the more upright (and higher) position.
The larger, stiffer and slightly lighter CAADX is actually the preferred endurance machine IMO.
I would love a nice Ti endurance ride that optimises that comfort/performance mix.
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Re: Titanium Road Bikes

Postby biker jk » Fri May 22, 2015 2:19 pm

Drizt wrote:Thanks for the interesting info.

I believe your R230 is similar in geometry to the my 2014 Lynskey Sportive Disc. Coming from my previous 2014 carbon Giant Defy I noticed many differences when I bought the lynskey. The Lynskey is definitely more stable going down hill. Descending mount macedon at 75km/h+ was a lot safer (felt safer) on the lynskey. I assume this is down to the longer chain stays but there are probably many other geometry differences that add to this. The Giant felt more nimble on very low speed switch backs but not enough of a difference to be a problem (but it is noticeable). The lynskey also feels stiffer to me. When I'm out of the saddle sprinting it feels really solid, the carbon giant I could feel the bending more.

Once I get the Giant Propel I'll be very eager to revisit the comparisons.


The R230 has pretty standard length chainstays at 40.8cm while the Sportive Disc chainstays are 42.5cm.

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Re: Titanium Road Bikes

Postby Drizt » Fri May 22, 2015 2:22 pm

Sportive disc also looks to have a shorter, more aggressive head tube. I'm very pleased with the sportive disc. It's capabilities exceed my current abilities :)

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