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  1. #1
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    Klein Aura v. Titus Drop-U v. Salsa Campeon

    Wanted to get the groups collective thoughts about these three frames. I am 5'11.5" tall with a 32.75" cycling inseam (slightly torso long) and currently ride a Klein Stage in 57cm. The Stage has a 57.5cm toptube and I use a 100mm zero rise stem that places the bars 1.5" bellow the saddle. Other geo specs include 73 head, 73 seatpost, 424mm chainstays and a 143 headtube (traditional 1" quil). I weigh 225 pounds with by ideal weight being 200 pounds (I am big boned). I posted some fit questions a month or so ago and have played a bit with mine and don't believe I will be comfortable with a toptube less than 57cm (I do have about 1-1.5" elbow knee overlap in the drops).

    My current issue with my Stage is I want something that rides a little smother and that I can get the bars higher on. I feel that the reach is fine and I could probably handle a little more reach with higher bars (I get hand numbness with 1.5" drop that disappears with the drop changed to .5-1"). I don't race and my average road ride is 15-25 miles with the once-twice a year half century and hopefully a full century or two this year.

    The bikes I am considering are:

    1) Titus Drop-U in 58cm, they are currently available on closeout. The geo is 58cm toptube (effective), 73.5 head, 73 seat, 173 headtube (traditional headset), and 415 chainstays. The Drop-u is made of 6069 aluminum and the people I have asked about it say it rides incredibly for a aluminum bike. The only reason I hesitate is I am not wild about the color.

    2) Salsa Campeon in 58cm. The geo is 57.5 toptube, 73.5 head, 73 seat, 190 headtube (integrated), and 408 chainstays. The Campeon is made out of Scandium with carbon fiber seat stays. There is very little info about this bike but many say it is stiff with a nice ride.

    3) Klein Aura 58cm. The Geo is 58.5 toptube, 73.5 head, 73 seat, 173 headtube (integrated), and 414 chainstay. The Aura is ZR9000 aluminum with carbon fiber seat stays. Similar to the Salsa, many say it has very little flex with a comfy ride. I love the paint job (it's a Klein they all have great paint).

    Figuring the bar height, the Salsa and Titus will have the same effective headtube since the standard headset on the Titus will add 20mm. The Klein will have 20mm less headtube, but I will be able to get the bars high enough with a 17 degree rise stem.

    Finally, I have not interest in steel frames so those are out of the picture, but I would consider saving longer to get something like a Titanium Dean El Diente when they go on sale.
    My specific questions are:

    1) Has anyone had experience to cause them to favor one of these frames over the other?

    2) Should I have any concern about the 1cm diff in toptube from the shortest to longest frame. I figure on the Klein I will have to run a 100mmx17 stem at the shortest and likely a 110x17?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Good list

    oooh, tough call!

    Klein's look cool! People make a big deal about the nice paint, but I like the derailleur internal mounting and always thought that was pretty unique.

    Titus titanium is also a nice bike and the ride qualities are probably going to be very good. I just don't like the compact Titus frames. If you notice, the slope of the top tube drops alot more than other compact road frames giving it too much of a MTN bike look. Other than aesthetics, it's probably a real nice ride.

    Salsa. I don't know what it is, but this frame really strikes the cool factor for me. The aluminum tubes aren't as fat as most like Canondale and Salsa is well-known for making quality components. Between this on and the Klein, wow tough call. Maybe go with the cheaper one.

    Dean. I wouldn't get a Dean. Do a search, they've gotten some bad pub from a member on here recently for screwing up his custom order and not making any concessions to fix it.

  3. #3
    Bald Bastard
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    Titus drop U

    I owned the 2003 Drop U and I agree with RICKY2 I do not like there compact frames. I was a good bike it just never fit right. I cannot comment on the other bikes as I have never ridden them.
    All I wanted was a Pepsi just one Pepsi

  4. #4
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    Actually the 58 Titus doesn't slope much.

    Here's a pic of mine. Yikes, bad photo!


  5. #5
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    How do you like the ride of the titus? Compared to other bikes?

    Quick follow up. I went over to REI at lunch to look at a few different sized bikes (kicking the tires). Sat on a few. The most comfortable fit to me was a large Sienna (57 tt) with a 110 10 degree rise stem and straight seatpost. It put the bars level with the saddle and felt perfect. I am thinking with my flexability, that I may need to rule out the Klein at 58.5cm toptube as I will not be able to get the reach short enough without going to 90mm x 17 stem and screwing up the handling.

  6. #6
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    It fits.

    Quote Originally Posted by cdmc
    How do you like the ride of the titus? Compared to other bikes?

    Quick follow up. I went over to REI at lunch to look at a few different sized bikes (kicking the tires). Sat on a few. The most comfortable fit to me was a large Sienna (57 tt) with a 110 10 degree rise stem and straight seatpost. It put the bars level with the saddle and felt perfect. I am thinking with my flexability, that I may need to rule out the Klein at 58.5cm toptube as I will not be able to get the reach short enough without going to 90mm x 17 stem and screwing up the handling.
    The biggest reason I went with the Titus was the long headtube. It allowed me to get my bars up enough without resorting to tons of spacers and a rise stem. It rides great as far as I'm concerned but I'm not very picky. I think fit is more important than "feel" when it come's to ride quality. I'm sponsored by a frame manufacturer this year and I'm sorta bummed to have to race something else.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdmc
    How do you like the ride of the titus? Compared to other bikes?

    Quick follow up. I went over to REI at lunch to look at a few different sized bikes (kicking the tires). Sat on a few. The most comfortable fit to me was a large Sienna (57 tt) with a 110 10 degree rise stem and straight seatpost. It put the bars level with the saddle and felt perfect. I am thinking with my flexability, that I may need to rule out the Klein at 58.5cm toptube as I will not be able to get the reach short enough without going to 90mm x 17 stem and screwing up the handling.


    Whoa! The bars level with the saddle? That's kinda high up, don't you think? Look at the pic of the bike from the Titus owner. Notice that his bars are lower than the saddle. In fact, everybody I know has there bars lower than the saddle. Sure, it's going to feel more comfy in the store with the handlebars jacked way up, but once you start putting on some miles you are going to want to ride a little faster and more efficiently. You can lower the handlebars some, but if this is your first frame it's harder to do with the threadless headset systems out there now.

    Why would you have to rule out the Klein? Couldn't the bike shop or Klein itself order you the right size? I would go to Colorado Cyclist's website and read their primer on good fit. They walk you through step-by-step taking some measurements so that you can estimate pretty good what size frame you ride. Then, go to some stores and check some bikes out. A good shop will change the stem length for you. That is very common.

  8. #8
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    Another Drop-U owner with Praise

    CDMC,
    I own a Drop-U, and I can tell you it's an excellent frame for the money. Titus is clearing this frames out and will no longer build aluminum frames. I've had 5 Aluminum bikes, and the Titus is by far and away the best riding aluminum bike I've ever ridden. Triple butted tubes and slightly longer stays make for a very nice ride, without giving up the stiffness that aluminum is known for. IMHO these are one of the best buys in cycling right now. The anodized paint is excellent also. I haven't ridden the Klien or the Salsa, but I can tell you I couldn't be happier with my Titus.

    On the Rivet, what kind of wheels are you riding? Love your bike.....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Klein Aura v. Titus Drop-U v. Salsa Campeon-im002246.jpg  
    Last edited by Phat&SlowVelo; 12-27-2004 at 07:28 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky2
    Whoa! The bars level with the saddle? That's kinda high up, don't you think? Look at the pic of the bike from the Titus owner. Notice that his bars are lower than the saddle. In fact, everybody I know has there bars lower than the saddle. Sure, it's going to feel more comfy in the store with the handlebars jacked way up, but once you start putting on some miles you are going to want to ride a little faster and more efficiently.
    I have been riding road bikes for 18 years, starting with a Cannondale 400 in 1986. I cannot handle having my bars low, I suffer from horrible hand numbness. As far as everyone having their bars below the saddle, who cares, it doesn't work for me. If everyone starts talking about how great walmart bikes are, are you going to go buy one?

  10. #10
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    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Phat&SlowVelo
    On the Rivet, what kind of wheels are you riding? Love your bike.....
    The wheels are a ZIPP 360 (404 rim) rim I laced to some Hugi 240 hubs I got from a friend. Bomber wheelset, 1350g and I plan on racing cross with them next year.

  11. #11
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    Cool Free Spirit

    Quote Originally Posted by cdmc
    I have been riding road bikes for 18 years, starting with a Cannondale 400 in 1986. I cannot handle having my bars low, I suffer from horrible hand numbness. As far as everyone having their bars below the saddle, who cares, it doesn't work for me. If everyone starts talking about how great walmart bikes are, are you going to go buy one?

    Obviously, you're not turning pro anytime soon. Nothing wrong with that.

    There are alot of you guys that are riding for fitness and comfort. So, to the original poster, yeah, go with what feels good if that is what floats your boat. Walmart doesn't stock any of the bikes you are looking at, but for a lot less money, the Free Spirit might be right up your alley.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky2
    Obviously, you're not turning pro anytime soon. Nothing wrong with that.
    Walmart doesn't stock any of the bikes you are looking at, but for a lot less money, the Free Spirit might be right up your alley.

    Free spirit, for that kind of money, I'd get a Sears Roadmaster 10 speed, complete with stem shifters and suicide brake levers. As far as turning pro, there are some guys that run in the senior class that I would like to be as fast as.

    Funny story, about two years ago I was pulling up behind this girl riding and realized, I'm going to pass her. It wasn't, I can pass her if I work really hard and blow up in two miles, but I'm a faster rider type of pass. I was feeling really good about myself, saying holy cow, I am actually faster than somebody (excluding many of the people on half century rides, they are so slow I look fast). So I am just about ready to pass and all of sudden the girl hangs up her cell phone which she has been holding and talking on (unknown to me) and just pedals off. She didn't even know I was there and how badly she bruised my ego.

  13. #13
    kmc
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    good luck finding a Drop U in a large...

    Unless your LBS has one lying around, good luck finding a Drop U in a large. I tried last month. Titus is out of them.

  14. #14
    PMC
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    I'm a big fan of Titus Ti road frames. I raced a Ti FCR last season and loved the way it handled. I'm really not sure what the geometry numbers are but it was all good. If you can get past the compact frame design, which I don't really mind personally, they're nice bikes.

    The only pics of my Titus I have handy are from a 4th of July race this last season. I'm the one in the green, red, black & white kit with the Ksyriums.
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmc
    Unless your LBS has one lying around, good luck finding a Drop U in a large. I tried last month. Titus is out of them.
    I know where you can get one for $500 new from a dealer, as long as you are willing to settle for red. I would have bought it except I just don't like the red color, and the last thing I want to do is think everytime "I really don't like this color." If you want the dealer info, pm me and I will give you their name.

  16. #16
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    Made a decision

    Well, I made a decision. Price always being a motivating factor, I found a great deal that I couldn't pass up. I would have really liked to get the titus, but cannot find one in any color other than Red (I have been watching for one for several months and thinking about it). I just don't like the Red Color. I ended up purchasing a Klein Aura XV frame and fork that is new, including a very minor ding in the toptube, for the princely sum of $435 shipped to my door. The savings over the Titus ($500 frame + $70 for headset and shipping + $100+ fork + $30 seatpost + $10 derailler clamp= $710 v. $435) plus the color were just to good to pass up. I should be able to get $250-300 for my current Klein stage frame with a profile Carbon fork and Titec titanium quill stem for an upgrade price of $150-200. Here are the picts of the new frame from the seller.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Klein Aura v. Titus Drop-U v. Salsa Campeon-road.48696.1.jpg   Klein Aura v. Titus Drop-U v. Salsa Campeon-road.48696.2.jpg   Klein Aura v. Titus Drop-U v. Salsa Campeon-road.48696.3.jpg  

  17. #17
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    Apparently a fast bike too, since you are leading in the pic :-)

    nmnmnm

  18. #18
    hrv
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    Or trying to catch the group that just broke away! (nm)

    .nm.nm.nm.

  19. #19
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    Thumbs up Congrats!

    Excellent choice! That bike is sweet looking. Those internal derailleur cables keep the lines of the bike nice and neat. And the thing I like about Klein is that they don't go overboard with humongous fat aluminum tubes like Canondale, so the ride isn't as harsh. Good going. You're going to like the ride.

  20. #20
    PMC
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    Quote Originally Posted by hrv
    .nm.nm.nm.

    The first picture is from the first prime of the race (I got it) and for some reason my lead-out rider wasn't in the shot.

    The second picture was the final sort out of a break that was initially 5 riders. On the final lap we dropped the guy in the yellow helmet on the short power climb just prior to where that picture was taken. I beat the rider in red by 4-5 bike lengths in the final sprint. We ended up with around a 55 second gap when all was said and done.

    No pictures of the win but I had enough time to do a dorky Petacchi like salute as I crossed the line.

  21. #21
    aka Zonic Man
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    Pic of my wifey on her titus....yeah she lost the sprint.....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Klein Aura v. Titus Drop-U v. Salsa Campeon-mini-suzy-road-race-076.jpg  

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