Titanium

For Roadies

Titanium

Postby autumn acid » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:22 am

Hi, first time poster.

I am looking into buying a new frame. I'm after something aesthetically pleasing, classic, and comfortable. Something that can be ridden hard/slow and in between.

At the moment I ride a carbon fibre set up (Merckx EMX-1).

I commute quite a bit (Sydney), but don't race. I go for longer rides on the weekend and enjoy a group ride. I'm not sure I will race in the future, but if I do, I don't think it will be a crit race.

I could go for a new carbon fibre frame (something stiffer and with a racier geometry), but not sure I'd appreciate it over our rough roads. There is also the steel option. I keep returning to Tommasini's page. Great looking bikes, but never ridden steel before (read they are very comfortable to ride on). Then there is titanium.

I've done a tonne of research, but the answer looks like it's going to be a leap of faith.

What are the overall impressions on titanium framed bikes? Heard they flex quite a bit, but this probably makes them easier on the body for commutes and longer rides. How much flex are we talking? Enough to make an uphill ride noticeably different/worse compared yo a cf stead?
autumn acid
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:08 am

by BNA » Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:12 pm

BNA
 

Re: Titanium

Postby RonK » Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:12 pm

I have two titanium framed bikes - one made by Sabbath, the other by Van Nicholas.

They do absorb road vibrations very nicely, but they are not flexy.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...
User avatar
RonK
 
Posts: 5783
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:08 pm
Location: Brisbane, Queensland

Re: Titanium

Postby autumn acid » Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:15 pm

Thanks Ron.

How would you describe your riding style and have you ridden carbon before?
autumn acid
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:08 am

Re: Titanium

Postby Duck! » Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:22 pm

Flexiness depends primarily on the tube profiles - thinner (more classic-looking) will flex more than bigger-diameter tubes.

I've only ridden one Ti frame, a Van Nicholas, and while a little bit flexier than a similar-profiled aluminium frame, it wasn't a noodle by any means. Vibration damping is quite amazing for a metallic frame (I don't think it's quite as good as carbon, but damn close). Overall, it's really nice stuff to ride.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
User avatar
Duck!
Expert
 
Posts: 2112
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 8:21 pm
Location: On The Tools

Re: Titanium

Postby RonK » Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:14 pm

autumn acid wrote:Thanks Ron.

How would you describe your riding style and have you ridden carbon before?

Yes, my primary bike remains a carbon fibre roadie. It is very stiff and whilst it absorb road vibrations quite well it is not as good as the Ti bikes.

Both Ti bikes are tourers, and when actually on tour, carry a 20kg load without apparent flex.

Since they absorb most road vibrations they are very comfortable on long days in the saddle.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...
User avatar
RonK
 
Posts: 5783
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:08 pm
Location: Brisbane, Queensland

Re: Titanium

Postby simonn » Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:24 pm

I have a Van Nicholas Euros. Was my good road bike until I split a rim 492km into a 600km audax ride back in may and decided I needed some 32h spoke wheels with strong rims = heavier = just slightly to heavy for me to keep up on faster group rides, and by faster I mean rides that I expect to be dropped on anyway. I also wanted to dip my toe into racing so, having conveniently received an unexpected bonus at work, I bought/has built my first carbon roadie - Hung-fu FM066SL (basically a chivelo) with campy veloce and pro-lite bracciano wheels - I basically set myself a budget of ~$2k and got the best $/weight/performance stuff I could for within that budget. The Van Nicholas is now my audax bike.

The carbon frame is ~0.5kg lighter, but the Van Nic are on the cheaper/heavier end of production Ti (not much in it though really) and the carbon frame is the 150g or so lighter S(uper)L(ight) model.

To be honest, as far as "ride quality" goes, the setup/fitting and tyre width/pressure play a massively bigger role. I suspect there would be as much difference between different Ti models and different carbon models than there will be for general ti vs carbon, IMHO.

I do however, barring a proper stack, expect to have my ti frame in 20 years time. And, because it has normal round tubes it is way easier to fit pumps and lights and stuff to it (which is a concern for audax).

Personally, I'm way more concerned about wheels :). They have a bigger impact on performance.
Image
User avatar
simonn
 
Posts: 3659
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:46 am
Location: Sydney

Re: Titanium

Postby gabrielle260 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 5:48 am

I rode steel, Alu and carbon for 20 yrs and during that time lusted after Ti. I never considered it because I'm a big guy and thought it would flex too much.
Thanks to a redundancy payout in 2006, I bought a Baum and never looked back. Since then I've also bought a Lynskey 29er which I have run as a single speed rigid MTB but is currently in the guise of a monster cross/ gravel grinder.
I found you can read everything you can find about the feel of Ti but I only really understood what people meant when I rode it myself.
One thing I can confidently say - I don't get anywhere as tired riding long kms on Ti as I do on my Alu frame. In fact I never realised how much tiredness in the final stages of a long ride was just due to road buzz/chatter!!
However - a big caveat - as others have said, Ti is just another frame material. You can get good and bad Ti frames and depending on the frame builder, very different ride qualities.
Andrew
gabrielle260
 
Posts: 794
Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:47 pm

Re: Titanium

Postby CXCommuter » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:32 pm

Slightly different response here, I have a Jamis Eclipse (Reynolds steel). It is meant as a direct steel replacement of a standard road bike (ie not a relaxed geometry bike). It weighs just over 7kgs dry running Sram Red and Braccianos. It is fast, stiff yet strangely compliant (more comfortable on 23mm tyres than my commuter on 25/28s). I am on the smaller side at 70kgs and more of a climber than a grinder and I love it up hills, really has a lovely zing (and buzz actually). I absolutely love it and have been told and read that high end steel is similar to ti but cannot directly compare having only ridden Ti MTBs not road bikes. My next bike is likely to be Ti (something mid range (Lynskey?) cannot even envisage getting a Baum past the ministry of fianance
Image
User avatar
CXCommuter
 
Posts: 957
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:18 am
Location: Perth WA

Re: Titanium

Postby queequeg » Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:35 pm

Lynskey now rather conveniently offers 0% finance on their bikes, which could open up quite a few options!

Their new Silver Series uses standard round tubing to keep costs down, so Ti may not be as expensive as you think.

I am pretty happy with my Cooper CX. It is great as a commuter, but terrible as a fast road bike. That is mostly because I have mudguards, rack, heavy rims and heavy tyres (740g each!). If I stripped it back to the "as purchased" setup, it would be about 3kg lighter and somewhat quicker. I don't mind because it was purchased as a bomb proof commuter bike, not as a racing bike. It is good training though because when I get in my road bike (a steel frame), it goes like a rocket!

I am looking at options for my next bike. I don't get to ride much on weekends anymore due to having young kids, so debating getting a 29er to do some of the local trails. Failing that, I'll go for a Ti road bike with an 11-speed setup. For now I have other priorities.
'11 Lynskey Cooper CX, '00 Hillbrick Steel Racing (Total Rebuild '10), '09 Electra Townie Original 21D
User avatar
queequeg
 
Posts: 3055
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:09 am

Re: Titanium

Postby __PG__ » Mon Sep 02, 2013 3:42 pm

I've ridden a Lynskey touring frame, a Moots CR and a Baum Corretto. They all felt very different.
Image
1994 Cecil Walker
2013 Baum Corretto
2014 Cell Awaba 1.0
__PG__
 
Posts: 722
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:30 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: Titanium

Postby Comedian » Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:34 pm

autumn acid wrote:What are the overall impressions on titanium framed bikes? Heard they flex quite a bit, but this probably makes them easier on the body for commutes and longer rides. How much flex are we talking? Enough to make an uphill ride noticeably different/worse compared yo a cf stead?


I've got a Baum, and it's the stiffest and best climbing bike I've ever owned. I'm sure there are carbon bikes at least as stiff... but the Ti bike has this weird way of soaking up road buzz that's very neat.

My near new carbon Scott CR1 is forever now uncomfortable and slow. :shock: :cry:
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

Image
User avatar
Comedian
 
Posts: 4414
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:35 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Titanium

Postby jacks1071 » Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:02 am

__PG__ wrote:I've ridden a Lynskey touring frame, a Moots CR and a Baum Corretto. They all felt very different.


Which is EXACTLY why you can not predict ride quality based on the frame material. There is so many more variables than the material the frame is made out of.
Our Website is: http://www.pro-liteoz.com Find us on Facebook by searching for "Pro-Lite Australia"
User avatar
jacks1071
 
Posts: 2992
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:47 pm
Location: Mackay, QLD

Re: Titanium

Postby NeillS » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:53 pm

I've got a lynskey R230 and it's brilliant. The rear end is a work of art, it soaks up road chatter better than any other frame I've ridden, the front end is super stable at high speed and the bottom bracket is properly stiff. I won't buy another carbon bike unless it's some super lightweight thing for racing perhaps. Big props for Ti!
NeillS
 
Posts: 138
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:28 pm

Re: Titanium

Postby matt1986 » Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:05 pm

Fascination with titanium and all things Italian led to me ending up with two titanium De Rosa frames, a '94 Titanio and a 2008 Titanio XS (6.4 titanium). They both make for very comfortable rides.. The '94 is built up with Veloce and used for all forms of punishment, the XS is my designated 'good ride' and (built up with Chorus) is hands down the best bike I've ever ridden (including high-end steel, aluminium, carbon). Whereas the '94 feels a little 'dead' at times, the XS is incredibly stiff and lively while remaining very smooth and comfortable - I could ride it all day. No doubt tyres, wheels and psychology temper this impression too.

In my mind this basically confirms what others have said, it's not so much the material as the way it's manipulated by the builder.
Image
User avatar
matt1986
 
Posts: 132
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:38 pm

Re: Titanium

Postby Crawf » Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:08 am

Comedian wrote:I've got a Baum, and it's the stiffest and best climbing bike I've ever owned. I'm sure there are carbon bikes at least as stiff... but the Ti bike has this weird way of soaking up road buzz that's very neat.

My near new carbon Scott CR1 is forever now uncomfortable and slow. :shock: :cry:


New Baum and no pics?
Disgraceful.
Crawf
 
Posts: 1739
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 8:20 pm

Re: Titanium

Postby scirocco » Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:48 am

I used to own a Serotta Fierte (the full Ti version). This is (was) the bottom-of-the range Serotta. Lovely ride quality, but not what you would call stiff. I'm a lightweight and I could flex the frame without really trying.

If buying Ti, avoid the temptation to go cheap. Cheap means straight wall tubes which have not been worked (butted) to increase strength. In the grades and sizes of Ti used for bike tubing this usually means not very stiff, specially if areas like the bottom bracket and head tube have not been oversized as well to increase stiffness.

Spend a bit more, buy a frame with double- or triple butted tubing and some tube shaping in the BB and head tube areas and you should get a very nice riding, handling and stiff frame.
scirocco
 
Posts: 320
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:34 pm

Re: Titanium

Postby jasonc » Mon Sep 30, 2013 12:59 pm

Comedian wrote:My near new carbon Scott CR1 is forever now uncomfortable and slow. :shock: :cry:


and scratched
Image
jasonc
 
Posts: 6433
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:40 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Titanium

Postby jacks1071 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:11 pm

scirocco wrote:I used to own a Serotta Fierte (the full Ti version). This is (was) the bottom-of-the range Serotta. Lovely ride quality, but not what you would call stiff. I'm a lightweight and I could flex the frame without really trying.

If buying Ti, avoid the temptation to go cheap. Cheap means straight wall tubes which have not been worked (butted) to increase strength. In the grades and sizes of Ti used for bike tubing this usually means not very stiff, specially if areas like the bottom bracket and head tube have not been oversized as well to increase stiffness.

Spend a bit more, buy a frame with double- or triple butted tubing and some tube shaping in the BB and head tube areas and you should get a very nice riding, handling and stiff frame.


I thought the different wall thicknesses in the tubing was to reduce weight rather than to increase stiffness.

The cheaper models are going to be the "thicker" tubing all the way through ie. heavier for no good reason but I can't see how this would reduce stiffness. If you are talking tubing profiles other than round, then different story of course..
Our Website is: http://www.pro-liteoz.com Find us on Facebook by searching for "Pro-Lite Australia"
User avatar
jacks1071
 
Posts: 2992
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:47 pm
Location: Mackay, QLD

Re: Titanium

Postby trek52 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:14 pm

People who think titanium is the idea material to build a bike with have never ridden good carbon imo.

Sure it is nice to look at and it seems cool to say I ride a Baum but in the real world as a race bike they are not in the same league as a 2013 model top end carbon frame. New carbon is stiff, comfortable, light and doesnt wear out. Try one......
trek52
 
Posts: 333
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:49 pm

Re: Titanium

Postby biker jk » Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:02 pm

trek52 wrote:People who think titanium is the idea material to build a bike with have never ridden good carbon imo.

Sure it is nice to look at and it seems cool to say I ride a Baum but in the real world as a race bike they are not in the same league as a 2013 model top end carbon frame. New carbon is stiff, comfortable, light and doesnt wear out. Try one......


I had a carbon frame and sold it because my titanium frame is better in every way. Check out the stiffness tests in Ride magazine and you'll be surprised how often the titanium bikes reviewed are stiffer where bikes need to be. While carbon frames don't wear out they crack all too frequently.
User avatar
biker jk
 
Posts: 2975
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:18 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: Titanium

Postby RonK » Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:22 pm

trek52 wrote:People who think titanium is the idea material to build a bike with have never ridden good carbon imo.

I own both, and ride them regularly. I like both. But I definitely prefer the titanium.

Have you fully experienced bikes made of both types of materials?
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...
User avatar
RonK
 
Posts: 5783
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:08 pm
Location: Brisbane, Queensland

Re: Titanium

Postby Comedian » Fri Oct 04, 2013 5:35 pm

trek52 wrote:People who think titanium is the idea material to build a bike with have never ridden good carbon imo.

Sure it is nice to look at and it seems cool to say I ride a Baum but in the real world as a race bike they are not in the same league as a 2013 model top end carbon frame. New carbon is stiff, comfortable, light and doesnt wear out. Try one......

I suspect it's you who haven't ridden a really good ti bike...mine is very stiff and fast like top end carbon I've ridden. The difference is its comfy, and lasts a long time.

I've come to realise that ti really is an excellent material to build bikes out of. IMHO the cost of it could be largely sorted by volume - but the bicycle industry doesn't like it as they really want you to stay on the three year upgrade cycle.
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

Image
User avatar
Comedian
 
Posts: 4414
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:35 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Titanium

Postby marinmomma » Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:29 pm

trek52 wrote:People who think titanium is the idea material to build a bike with have never ridden good carbon imo.

Sure it is nice to look at and it seems cool to say I ride a Baum but in the real world as a race bike they are not in the same league as a 2013 model top end carbon frame. New carbon is stiff, comfortable, light and doesnt wear out. Try one......


And doesn't do all that well when involved in some form of impact...

If you are getting into racing I reckon Ti is the way to go
Lisa
marinmomma
 
Posts: 2012
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:12 pm
Location: Southside Brisbane

Re: Titanium

Postby scirocco » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:55 pm

jacks1071 wrote:
scirocco wrote:I used to own a Serotta Fierte (the full Ti version). This is (was) the bottom-of-the range Serotta. Lovely ride quality, but not what you would call stiff. I'm a lightweight and I could flex the frame without really trying.

If buying Ti, avoid the temptation to go cheap. Cheap means straight wall tubes which have not been worked (butted) to increase strength. In the grades and sizes of Ti used for bike tubing this usually means not very stiff, specially if areas like the bottom bracket and head tube have not been oversized as well to increase stiffness.

Spend a bit more, buy a frame with double- or triple butted tubing and some tube shaping in the BB and head tube areas and you should get a very nice riding, handling and stiff frame.


I thought the different wall thicknesses in the tubing was to reduce weight rather than to increase stiffness.

The cheaper models are going to be the "thicker" tubing all the way through ie. heavier for no good reason but I can't see how this would reduce stiffness. If you are talking tubing profiles other than round, then different story of course..


I suspect that what happens is that they don't just pick tubing that is really thick and strong. Cost is everything with Ti, and to keep the cost down on the low end versions, they deliberately select a size down (in diameter and thickness) from the higher spec models. This is not quite thick enough to be really stiff where it needs to be, and it's not quite thin enough to save weight where you can get away with less stiffness. Kind of the worst of both worlds. But good enough to market as "the fantastic ride of titanium". (And it is).

To be fair, this may not be all that big an effect. Probably you get more stiffness from oversized bottom brackets and head tubes. And you don't get those on "budget" Ti, again, because that costs more than just welding straight gauge tubes together.
scirocco
 
Posts: 320
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:34 pm

Re: Titanium

Postby barefoot » Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:42 am

trek52 wrote:People who think titanium is the idea material to build a bike with have never ridden good carbon imo.


People who think carbon is the ideal material to build a bike with have never ridden a frame that's custom designed to fit their geometry ;-)

Granted, many people (the middle of the bell curve) will fit comfortably on an off-the-hook frame. These people have the run of the place, and can choose whatever frame material they want.

The rest of us - the tails of the bell curve - don't fit frames designed for the masses. If I was to get a carbon frame made to fit me, the mould tooling would cost an order of magnitude more than my (cheap Chinese) custom Ti frame did.

The best bike frame is one that's comfortable and handles well... in whatever material that happens to be made in.

tim
User avatar
barefoot
 
Posts: 1047
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:05 am
Location: Ballarat

Next

Return to Road Biking

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users



Popular Bike Shops
Wiggle Wiggle UK
Ground Effect Ground Effect NZ
Ebay Ebay AU
Chain Reaction Cycles CRC UK

“Bicycles BNA Twitter
“Bicycles BNA Facebook
“Google+ BNA Google+
“Bicycles BNA Newsletter

> FREE BNA Stickers