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  1. #1
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    Considering Titanium Road Bike Build

    Hey everyone. Like many of you out there, I've been on this carbon bandwagon for the past 5 years now...meaning I've only ridden and owned carbon bikes (three in the stable at this point).

    Recently, I test rode one of my friend's Ti road bike...just a short 14 mile ride with a little over 1000' of elevation (short punchy climbs). I really didn't have any real expectations, just wanted to try out something different.

    Conclusion: It felt great! Not sure exactly why though? It wasn't any snappier on the climbs than my SWTarmac. It weighed slightly north of 16 lbs (my SWTarmac is at 14 lbs). But it just felt very comfortable and compliant. This was such a short test ride, so I am still unsure if this was just a "placebo" effect; ie., "new" bike effect. I've also talked to several other Ti road bike owners, and they all said that they "love" their Ti bikes, even though they also own Carbon bikes. Not saying that they don't like their carbon bikes, but they just really seem to love their Ti bikes. I know it's a very very small sample size, but just got me to start thinking about building up a Ti bike.

    I was somewhat oblivious to cost though. Higher end Ti bikes are pretty damn pricey too. Not sure why I was surprised by that though? Anyways, I really like the no.22 frame!! Made is USA and seems like they are very well built. Of course, they look beautiful too IMO. I also like their "boutique" nature versus the more well known Ti builders.

    Just wondering:
    1. Your thoughts on Ti bikes...ride and build quality.
    2. Your thoughts on this no.22 company and Ti frames.

    Thank you!


    EyeGuy

  2. #2
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    No 22 employs ex Serrotta fabricators. One of the principals is a guy I met a couple of years ago in Toronto riding one that I had a good look at and seemed pretty nice. That being said, I would go with the all-Ti frame. The era of multi-material frames has long passed.

    Considering Titanium Road Bike Build-no22_april2014_1_final_0890bf6f-4d03-4b89-9799-76df3760ba4f.jpg

    And one other thing - PF30 - ughh

    Get BSA if you can
    Last edited by bikerjulio; 01-18-2016 at 06:49 PM.
    There's sometimes a buggy.
    How many drivers does a buggy have?

    One.

    So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...
    and if you fix your attitude you can ride along with me.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GekiIMh4ZkM

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerjulio View Post
    No 22 employs ex Serrotta fabricators. One of the principals is a guy I met a couple of years ago in Toronto riding one that I had a good look at and seemed pretty nice. That being said, I would go with the all-Ti frame. The era of multi-material frames has long passed.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	No22_April2014_1_Final_0890bf6f-4d03-4b89-9799-76df3760ba4f.jpg 
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    That is generally true for entry level frames. It's a lot more difficult and expensive to bond different materials, versus stamping out a cookie cutter carbon frame from a mold somewhere in China. However, if done correctly, multi-material frames are still a piece of art, something still unique, and some people do like to own something for their uniqueness.

    Here are some boutique brands still making multi material frames

    Holland Exogrid carbon-ti frame:
    Holland Cycles ? Holland ExoGrid® Bicycle

    Firefly carbon-ti frame:
    Road // Ti-Carbon | Firefly Bicycles

    Cyfac carbon-aluminum frame:
    Nerv DS2 ? Cyfac

    And I own a Serotta Ottrot and the Cyfac Nerv. The Ottrott has a sublimness that I have not found ANY carbon frame to match yet. I know it's a cliche these days that pepole are saying their carbon frame is smooth, compliant, and absorb vibration. They haven't ridden the Ottrott yet.

    I've also ridden the Holland Exogrid. This too is a very compliant, all-day, kinda of bike that so far I have not found any carbon bike matching.

    But these carbon-ti bikes are not meant to be pure racing bikes, they are more of endurance bikes, and folks who buy these bikes are generally older folks not looking to do any local crits anytime soon, and not looking to chase after the latest features on the latest superduper carbon bike.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cni2i View Post
    Hey everyone. Like many of you out there, I've been on this carbon bandwagon for the past 5 years now...meaning I've only ridden and owned carbon bikes (three in the stable at this point).

    Recently, I test rode one of my friend's Ti road bike...just a short 14 mile ride with a little over 1000' of elevation (short punchy climbs). I really didn't have any real expectations, just wanted to try out something different.

    Conclusion: It felt great! Not sure exactly why though? It wasn't any snappier on the climbs than my SWTarmac. It weighed slightly north of 16 lbs (my SWTarmac is at 14 lbs). But it just felt very comfortable and compliant. This was such a short test ride, so I am still unsure if this was just a "placebo" effect; ie., "new" bike effect. I've also talked to several other Ti road bike owners, and they all said that they "love" their Ti bikes, even though they also own Carbon bikes. Not saying that they don't like their carbon bikes, but they just really seem to love their Ti bikes. I know it's a very very small sample size, but just got me to start thinking about building up a Ti bike.

    I was somewhat oblivious to cost though. Higher end Ti bikes are pretty damn pricey too. Not sure why I was surprised by that though? Anyways, I really like the no.22 frame!! Made is USA and seems like they are very well built. Of course, they look beautiful too IMO. I also like their "boutique" nature versus the more well known Ti builders.

    Just wondering:
    1. Your thoughts on Ti bikes...ride and build quality.
    2. Your thoughts on this no.22 company and Ti frames.

    Thank you!



    It may be worth your time and effort to look for good used ti frame on Ebay. I've seen some excellent conditioned ti frames sold by older folks who can no longer ride due to health issues or whatever. However, buying on Ebay does have its risks, so do your homework.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cni2i View Post
    Hey everyone. Like many of you out there, I've been on this carbon bandwagon for the past 5 years now...meaning I've only ridden and owned carbon bikes (three in the stable at this point).

    Recently, I test rode one of my friend's Ti road bike...

    Conclusion: It felt great! Not sure exactly why though? It wasn't any snappier on the climbs than my SWTarmac.
    Probably rode nicer than your Tarmac for two main reasons. 1) Probably quite a bit more flex. 2) Titanium as a metal IMO mutes road buzz in a way unlike anything else.

    Except my 2006 Roubiax and a Bianchi Infinito CV out of what I rode which seemed as muted. The 2005 Roubiax had lots of flex, the Bianchi did not and was the best riding bike I have ever ridden and I test rode it with 125lb air in 23mm tires [I am 215].

    Likely there are a bunch of bikes I have not ridden also worth mentioning, but I can't of course mention them empirically.
    Quote Originally Posted by Robt57/Me!
    Everything you read that I post is just '1' guy's opinion, try to sort it all out best you can. ;) I will try to add value in my posts, if I miss the mark please let me know using a little decorum.

  6. #6
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    I had only owned steel bikes until I got an Eriksen RCR (endurance) all ti bike. At 17.5 lbs., the Eriksen weighed an almost insignificant two lbs. less than my steel bike at the time. In what are highly subjective statements, my steel bike felt snappier and livelier. The Eriksen's smooth, chatter free acceleration combined with what was for me just the right amount of road feedback made the Eriksen my favorite bike.

    I should note I am an older rider who rides for recreation, and because I have a variety of physical problems, a comfortable bike is at the top of my priorities. I don't dispute the argument that how a bike rides and feels is more about design than materials. To some extent, that is the case with my Eriksen. Nevertheless, like many ti bike owners, including the ones mentioned in your post, I love my ti bike.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerjulio View Post
    No 22 employs ex Serrotta fabricators. One of the principals is a guy I met a couple of years ago in Toronto riding one that I had a good look at and seemed pretty nice. That being said, I would go with the all-Ti frame. The era of multi-material frames has long passed.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	No22_April2014_1_Final_0890bf6f-4d03-4b89-9799-76df3760ba4f.jpg 
Views:	1886 
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ID:	311747

    And one other thing - PF30 - ughh

    Get BSA if you can
    Yeah, I thought about the no.22 Great Divide also. I spoke to an owner of one (worker at LBS) who wanted the Reactor but was too pricey. He loves his Great Divide though...slightly less aggressive geometry but according to him, still very responsive. He is more of a endurance (200+ mile endurance events/races throughout the year) rider than a crib racer. Since I will still be riding my Tarmac, I was considering the Reactor, which has a similar geometry setup as the Tarmac.

    Yeah...PF30 is a hit and miss with me, but not a deal breaker at this point.
    EyeGuy

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post

    And I own a Serotta Ottrot and the Cyfac Nerv. The Ottrott has a sublimness that I have not found ANY carbon frame to match yet. I know it's a cliche these days that pepole are saying their carbon frame is smooth, compliant, and absorb vibration. They haven't ridden the Ottrott yet.

    I've also ridden the Holland Exogrid. This too is a very compliant, all-day, kinda of bike that so far I have not found any carbon bike matching.

    But these carbon-ti bikes are not meant to be pure racing bikes, they are more of endurance bikes, and folks who buy these bikes are generally older folks not looking to do any local crits anytime soon, and not looking to chase after the latest features on the latest superduper carbon bike.
    Thanks for the links! I am new to the Ti bike area, so it's nice to check out all these other brands. Now I am more confused ;D.

    What you said in BOLD is exactly what I hear from Ti bike owners! Interesting how that is such a consensus among Ti bike owners. And like you said, many of the Ti bike owners that I've met (beside my friend) are generally older....50s and up. They do club rides and the occasional centuries/fondos...no racing. For some of them, making a jump to Carbon was a big deal. They swear by their Ti bikes, but just wanted to see what all the hype is about Carbon.

    Having said that, I think some of the younger "hipster" cyclists are trending towards Steel/Ti bikes...no?
    EyeGuy

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by robt57 View Post
    Probably rode nicer than your Tarmac for two main reasons. 1) Probably quite a bit more flex. 2) Titanium as a metal IMO mutes road buzz in a way unlike anything else.
    I think you hit the nail on the head. That is what I was trying to say. As you and Richard L above said, there is just less chatter and less "noise" overall. It's almost like riding in well-built V6-V8 SUV versus a modified 4 cylinder tubo-charged sports car. The SUV is mostly quiet and smooth but can go fast confidently once it picks up speed; whereas the sports car is more nimble and more responsive but inside cabin noise is louder and you can feel every little bump on the road.
    EyeGuy

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post

    And I own a Serotta Ottrot and the Cyfac Nerv. The Ottrott has a sublimness that I have not found ANY carbon frame to match yet. I know it's a cliche these days that pepole are saying their carbon frame is smooth, compliant, and absorb vibration. They haven't ridden the Ottrott yet.

    Man, that Serotta Ottrot is definitely a looker too! Would love to see yours
    EyeGuy

  11. #11
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    I have a carbon/Ti bike with similar construction to that .22 and it's unreal how it mutes bumps and vibrations compared to my aluminum or carbon bikes. I notice it immediately every time I take it out.

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    +1 on getting a threaded bottom bracket. as far as the two pounds, I doubt you'll feel it in the context of your body-weight and bike weight its simply too small a percentage. i'm in the process of getting a firefly. there are great bikes made of carbon, titanium and steel out there, one is not superior to the other but titanium sure does have some nice properties that make it ideal in many circumstances.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cni2i View Post
    Man, that Serotta Ottrot is definitely a looker too! Would love to see yours
    Considering Titanium Road Bike Build-ottrott1.jpg

    Bike is about 16 lbs as seen, granted those are tubular wheels but I'm also using the older and heavier DA 7800 shifters and derailleurs (which are noticeably heavier than DA 7900 or DA 9000). I do have a full carbon bike, but the Ottrott is my favorite from day 1.

  14. #14
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    There are some Ti bikes out there that ride like a jackhammer. I think Ti gets a good reputation for ride quality mainly because it can't be produced by a total hack, like steel or carbon could be, so Ti is mostly being made by companies and individuals who know a ton about bike design and understand their customers who can afford Ti are generally those that can benefit from comfort at the expense of being crazy stiff.

    By all means get a Ti bike, there are some great options out there. But concentrate on getting the right fit and design because bikes aren't a certain way just because of what they are made of.

  15. #15
    pmf
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    I've been riding the same titanium bike frame for 15 years. It's a Litespeed Ultimate. It's on it's second set of components/wheels/fork. I have a carbon bike, and a steel bike as well. The titanium bike gets the most use. I was riding a carbon Kestrel 200 Sci back in the early 1990's when "steel was real". A lot of years of bike riding has convinced me that titanium bikes are the best.

    On a lark, I bought a 2002 Litespeed Classic frame with a Reynolds Ouza Pro fork last week for $740 off ebay. Right now, I don't have plans for it, but I'm sure I'll do something with it. Maybe try to get one of my kids interested in biking. There's lots of well made, used titanium frames out there for a fraction of what a new one costs. Maybe get an Ultegra group for $550 on Ribble and a set of November Nimbus wheels for $600 -- I could do the whole thing nicely for around $2000.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cni2i View Post
    Higher end Ti bikes are pretty damn pricey too. Not sure why I was surprised by that though? Anyways, I really like the no.22 frame!! Made is USA and seems like they are very well built. Of course, they look beautiful too IMO. I also like their "boutique" nature versus the more well known Ti builders.

    Just wondering:
    1. Your thoughts on Ti bikes...ride and build quality.
    2. Your thoughts on this no.22 company and Ti frames.
    Historically, Ti bikes have always been expensive relative to steel, aluminum or carbon. Much has to do with the cost of the material, and the expertise required to weld Ti.

    Modern Ti frames are less noodly than many of the vintage Ti frames (although some vintage Ti frames like the Litespeed Ultimate were pretty stiff), and I can use my now sold Litespeed Tuscany as an example. Great bike. Great ride. A little noodly.

    Carbon forks used today also have better strength/stiffness-to-weight ratios than many of the forks used on the vintage Ti bikes.

    I agree with the recommendation of correct fit over material choice mattering most in a great riding frame.

    I also agree with the recommendation of purchasing a frame with threaded bottom bracket, if that's an option on the frames you are considering.

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    Go Ti if you want to join the 50+ year Olds.

    Oh, fyi, the hipsters are into fixed gear regardless of frame material.

  18. #18
    pmf
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keoki View Post
    Go Ti if you want to join the 50+ year Olds.

    Oh, fyi, the hipsters are into fixed gear regardless of frame material.
    You'll only be welcomed if the bike has Campy on it.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    By all means get a Ti bike . . . concentrate on getting the right fit and design because bikes aren't a certain way just because of what they are made of.
    Word! They ARE a certain way as results of design and implantation...

    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    On a lark, I bought a 2002 Litespeed Classic frame with a Reynolds Ouza Pro fork last week for $740 off ebay.
    If anyone ever buys my Blade and old Classic with a 1-1/8" head tube be on my short list. ;) Even a Tuscany maybe...

    I will just stick with my Reynolds 753 with Henry James fittings for now...
    Quote Originally Posted by Robt57/Me!
    Everything you read that I post is just '1' guy's opinion, try to sort it all out best you can. ;) I will try to add value in my posts, if I miss the mark please let me know using a little decorum.

  20. #20
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    Not sure what's your size is, but here's a nice 55cm Lemond Tete de Course frame with 550 miles on it. Price is about $1000. (btw the cheapest Chinese ti frame you'll find on the net is about that much). Shame it's not my size or else..

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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    Not sure what's your size is, but here's a nice 55cm...

    That is too small for me for sure. But I am not big on having bonds over welds. That is too nice for me to add in N+1. Considering I have gotten the stable down to a dozen finally...
    Quote Originally Posted by Robt57/Me!
    Everything you read that I post is just '1' guy's opinion, try to sort it all out best you can. ;) I will try to add value in my posts, if I miss the mark please let me know using a little decorum.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    You'll only be welcomed if the bike has Campy on it.
    That's all I heard about Ti.

  23. #23
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    I know a local frame builder and test rode his bike made from Columbus Spirit.
    I like CF and usually don't like steel but this was very nice. I only rode it a few minutes and it was too big for me but I could imagine liking a bike like this. It could easily weigh 16 lbs or less. He doesn't make any Ti frames and didn't have good things to say about it.

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    if you are looking at titanium , i think the safest choice out there will be to go with seven. if you want a road bike they do the aiom in three basic configurations and have a huge database of custom fits.
    Last edited by Trek_5200; 01-19-2016 at 04:04 PM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek_5200 View Post
    if you are looking at titanium , i think the safest choice out there will be to go with seven.
    Why is Seven a safer choice than Moots?

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