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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
    The builder is crucial

    I went to Ti in 2000, as a warranty replacement for a busted Klein. Trek now owned them as well as Lemond and offered me a Victoire. I figured WTH, titanium lasts forever

    Except it was a noodle in the bottom bracket. I had to go to Campy shifters, with greater trim ability on the front derailer, to stop the rubbing. I'm a big and heavy guy as BTW

    Then I found out that you really need to be good at painting titanium or it'll rub off and Trek/Lemond sucked at painting titanium. After the 2nd (and warranty) paint job flaked off, I opted to get it locally painted, as Trek said no to a second paint.

    Then the crack developed along the down tube next to the right cable stop. And of course Trek said no to a warranty as I had had the bike painted locally.

    Meanwhile I've been thru 2 carbon in 8 years, no issues, ride great, no flex in the b-bracket, no paint flaking. These are not Trek's as BTW.
    The builder is crucial based on what someone said already on this post. Machinery to shape the tubes is the key.
    Old Ti bikes lacked stiffness because there was no tube butting and no tube shaping.
    Back in the early 2000s there was not the butting and improved welding conditions that we have now days.
    Litespeed and lynskey are leading the industry in Ti tubing butting. Just take a look at the T1SL top tube and the pro 29 mountain or the R460 with the helix tubing. By just looking at it you are like WOW. The tubes are heavily modded. Diamond shape, helix shape and triangular shape. And you can't even see the welds along the tubes. Amazing. I Own the lynskey pro29 2016 and The litespeed T1 2015.
    I am seeing a lot of manufacturers doing Ti now. It is emerging again. But the small custom builders don't have the machinery to do what lynskey and litespeed do with the tubing. Therefore the top end stiff racing bike is not available from them.
    My litespeed T1 2015 weights 15.8 lbs with sram red crankset and 16lbs with DA crankset. I'm running etap which is not the lightest and an ultegra chain cassette.
    I think this is light enough for my goals. I can make it lighter by changing the seatpost to carbon but I like my Ti seatpost. I still haven't seen many carbon bikes at that weight in my area for a medium size frame.
    It is also plenty stiff. Carbon level stiff. The BB is where it could be stiffer but the cockpit is rock solid.
    I am done with carbon since I don't see the value on something that breaks after hard use. If you are less than 180lbs ride less than 250 mpweek and don't race, get a carbon bike. If either doesn't apply and you like carbon.it will break eventually. Cracked 3 myself and many of my pro friends go thru them at 2-3 frames per season. Crashes and hard use will take care of it.
    Ti is for the practical person. It is expensive when compared to carbon on a one to one case. But when you are
    Going thru 2 cracked frames every other racing season that puts you at a frame per year. Do the math and in 4 seasons you already paid for the 4K Ti frame(T1SL) or the lynskey R460.
    For me it's worth it. I always had a spare frame because it was warranted I was going to use it when I would send the frame for repairs or to the warranty.






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  2. #27
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    You've made some pretty sweeping statements that need to be prefaced with "If you are racing...". Much of what you is simply not true otherwise.

    The truth is that for a non-racer who's not likely to be crashing and damaging equipment, carbon fiber frames will last indefinitely. It really doesn't matter what you weigh (within reason) or how much you ride, as carbon fiber does not fatigue in normal use. It is also readily repairable, though like Ti, it needs to be done by a specialist to insure reliable results.

    My own carbon road frames are 7 years old and I know people who are still riding carbon frames that were built in the '90's. I fully expect that my frames will last as long as the Ti frames I rode prior to getting them, which I used for 13 seasons. My first carbon 'cross bike is still going strong after 7 years (one of which was under former pro Ted King, who I bought it from), despite several crashes.

    Carbon frames that are properly engineered for their intended use are neither fragile nor disposable, contrary to your assertions.

  3. #28
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    What shape....round is good enough for me.
    My China XACD made custom frame costet me 800 bucks incl. bank+shipping and was by far the cheapest option for a custom made frame, why should I get alu or steel when I can get titanium for less?
    It's not the stiffest, nor the lightest but I love it, would'nt like to trade it for ANY carbon stuff.

  4. #29
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    Sure, if you're not looking for state-of-the-art frames, there are a lot of relatively inexpensive, good quality Ti frames out there. Kinesis builds Ti frames for several brands, some which are available consumer direct. For example, my Ti hardtail is a Kinesis-built Motobecane from BikesDirect.com. Frankly, all a hardtail needs is to have the proper geometry for good handling, good alignment, quality construction and be stiff and durable, so an expensive frame wouldn't make much difference for bouncing around in the woods. If I was looking for a road frame, I'd be more picky, as the nuances of the ride and handling are much more evident on the road. Still, if I was in the market for a more utilitarian bike, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a road frame from one of the consumer-direct brands and save a bundle.

  5. #30
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    Completely agree, maybe with 1 remark: painted frames always start to look a bit shabby after a couple of years while titanium frames can look brand new after 5 years with an occasional wipe with a wet cloth.
    Nice for users like who don't care much about maintaining paint like me.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bnystrom View Post
    Sure, if you're not looking for state-of-the-art frames, there are a lot of relatively inexpensive, good quality Ti frames out there. Kinesis builds Ti frames for several brands, some which are available consumer direct. For example, my Ti hardtail is a Kinesis-built Motobecane from BikesDirect.com. Frankly, all a hardtail needs is to have the proper geometry for good handling, good alignment, quality construction and be stiff and durable, so an expensive frame wouldn't make much difference for bouncing around in the woods. If I was looking for a road frame, I'd be more picky, as the nuances of the ride and handling are much more evident on the road. Still, if I was in the market for a more utilitarian bike, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a road frame from one of the consumer-direct brands and save a bundle.
    actually Lynskey seems to be in such a state they are dumping their state of the art frames at perplexingly low prices, from time to time. some on eBay, some specific models on their website etc.

  7. #32
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    my view is these should be life-time frames and the extra money a properly done Seven , Firefly or Mossaic amortized over say a five, ten or fifteen year time horizon is minimal. Too often when we attempt to save money, we wind up regretting it and buying the same thing twice. A cycling friend went Bikes Direct Ti, he said the frame was OK, but over time as his cycling improved and his speeds accelerated he found the shortcomings harder and harder to deal with and wound up buying a new frame. He kept the bike all of two years.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bnystrom View Post
    Sure, if you're not looking for state-of-the-art frames, there are a lot of relatively inexpensive, good quality Ti frames out there. Kinesis builds Ti frames for several brands, some which are available consumer direct. For example, my Ti hardtail is a Kinesis-built Motobecane from BikesDirect.com. Frankly, all a hardtail needs is to have the proper geometry for good handling, good alignment, quality construction and be stiff and durable, so an expensive frame wouldn't make much difference for bouncing around in the woods. If I was looking for a road frame, I'd be more picky, as the nuances of the ride and handling are much more evident on the road. Still, if I was in the market for a more utilitarian bike, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a road frame from one of the consumer-direct brands and save a bundle.

  8. #33
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    That all sounds fine on paper, but the truth is that beginner riders don't know what they need, how much they're going to ride or what they're going to end up doing. Their position changes as they progress as well, so buying an expensive custom frame right out of the gate may end up being an expensive mistake. You need to get some significant miles under your wheels before a custom bike makes sense.

    In many cases, a custom bike never really makes economic sense, since most people fit fine on stock size frames. There is enough variation between manufacturers sizing that the majority of riders can find an ideal fit. I have rather out-of-the norm proportions (long arms and legs, short torso for my height), but I still find stock bikes that fit me fine. I know what frame dimensions I need and can tell if a bike will fit by looking at the numbers. From a quality and engineering standpoint, frames from the larger Ti vendors are every bit as good as from custom builders and they have tube forming capabilities that the custom builders can only dream about.

    With custom frames, you're often paying for exclusivity more than anything else. To me, that's a waste of money, but to some people it matters.

    If you really have unusual proportions, have physical limitations, are really heavy or light for your height or have very specific needs/desires for your bike, then custom is the best way to get what you need.

    The prices that Bikes Direct charges are about what you'd pay for the groupo, wheels and finishing kit from other companies, so the frames are nearly free. It actually makes good economic sense to start out with one of their top-end bikes with a nice component package, with the intent of purchasing a higher quality frame once you know what you need/want, then transferring the component group. Sell the old frameset cheap, or keep it around in case you need it as a temporary crash replacement or build it up as second bike. You really don's lose anything that way. If it turns out that you don't ride as much as you thought you would or you don't need anything better, you're not out a lot of money for a custom frame.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bnystrom View Post
    That all sounds fine on paper, but the truth is that beginner riders don't know what they need, how much they're going to ride or what they're going to end up doing. Their position changes as they progress as well, so buying an expensive custom frame right out of the gate may end up being an expensive mistake. You need to get some significant miles under your wheels before a custom bike makes sense.

    In many cases, a custom bike never really makes economic sense, since most people fit fine on stock size frames. There is enough variation between manufacturers sizing that the majority of riders can find an ideal fit. I have rather out-of-the norm proportions (long arms and legs, short torso for my height), but I still find stock bikes that fit me fine. I know what frame dimensions I need and can tell if a bike will fit by looking at the numbers. From a quality and engineering standpoint, frames from the larger Ti vendors are every bit as good as from custom builders and they have tube forming capabilities that the custom builders can only dream about.

    With custom frames, you're often paying for exclusivity more than anything else. To me, that's a waste of money, but to some people it matters.

    If you really have unusual proportions, have physical limitations, are really heavy or light for your height or have very specific needs/desires for your bike, then custom is the best way to get what you need.

    The prices that Bikes Direct charges are about what you'd pay for the groupo, wheels and finishing kit from other companies, so the frames are nearly free. It actually makes good economic sense to start out with one of their top-end bikes with a nice component package, with the intent of purchasing a higher quality frame once you know what you need/want, then transferring the component group. Sell the old frameset cheap, or keep it around in case you need it as a temporary crash replacement or build it up as second bike. You really don's lose anything that way. If it turns out that you don't ride as much as you thought you would or you don't need anything better, you're not out a lot of money for a custom frame.
    With a Seven or a Firefly, custom is pretty much a freebie since that's how they do them. You're not really paying extra. I can agree that not everyone needs custom and my C-59 is a great example, but if I was doing a new Ti bike it would be custom and that might mean keeping the cables exposed or kept inside the frame, building in a pump peg, or simply matching the C-59 geometry. Why not?

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bnystrom View Post
    That all sounds fine on paper, but the truth is that beginner riders don't know what they need, how much they're going to ride or what they're going to end up doing. Their position changes as they progress as well, so buying an expensive custom frame right out of the gate may end up being an expensive mistake. You need to get some significant miles under your wheels before a custom bike makes sense.

    In many cases, a custom bike never really makes economic sense, since most people fit fine on stock size frames. There is enough variation between manufacturers sizing that the majority of riders can find an ideal fit. I have rather out-of-the norm proportions (long arms and legs, short torso for my height), but I still find stock bikes that fit me fine. I know what frame dimensions I need and can tell if a bike will fit by looking at the numbers. From a quality and engineering standpoint, frames from the larger Ti vendors are every bit as good as from custom builders and they have tube forming capabilities that the custom builders can only dream about.

    With custom frames, you're often paying for exclusivity more than anything else. To me, that's a waste of money, but to some people it matters.

    If you really have unusual proportions, have physical limitations, are really heavy or light for your height or have very specific needs/desires for your bike, then custom is the best way to get what you need.

    The prices that Bikes Direct charges are about what you'd pay for the groupo, wheels and finishing kit from other companies, so the frames are nearly free. It actually makes good economic sense to start out with one of their top-end bikes with a nice component package, with the intent of purchasing a higher quality frame once you know what you need/want, then transferring the component group. Sell the old frameset cheap, or keep it around in case you need it as a temporary crash replacement or build it up as second bike. You really don's lose anything that way. If it turns out that you don't ride as much as you thought you would or you don't need anything better, you're not out a lot of money for a custom frame.
    I agree that going cheap is a good idea for a beginner so they can learn what they really want before going all-in. But the thread is about Ti and getting a cheap Ti frame is still expensive compared to alloy or sometimes steel. So your point here is kind of out of context in a thread about ti frames.

    Also, there is a heck of a lot more than size to a custom frame. Yes, most normal people can fit a stock frame no problem. But when you factor in handling characteristics, body weight if +- average and how that impacts tube selection thus ride, tire clearance, brake type, internal vs external routing, rack & fender mounts or not, BB type, and color, it can be hard for the person who knows exactly what they want to find it off the shelf without compromise.

    Economic sense or not getting exactly what you want has value that some people find worth paying for. We're talking about cycling as a hobby here for fun, if it were just about economic sense then finding a different hobby would be the way to go.

  11. #36
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    Yep, if we're talking beginner frame, that pretty much rules out Ti, might as well go aluminum or entry level carbon at that point.

  12. #37
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    Sure, if the pricing is similar and the other features are the same, what the heck. However, I wonder if they can truly compete on an engineering level with Lightspeed and Lynskey, who have much greater capabilities to form tubes. In terms of welding quality, there's no difference among the top builders, regardless of size.

    Seven really doesn't impress me; they just seem like horribly overpriced, pedestrian-looking 3/2.5 frames. The frames with Ti lugs with round carbon tubes are nothing special, either. They seem to be the quintessential "dentist's bike", catering primarily to wealthy people for whom exclusivity and perceived "status" are the prime considerations. Considering that you could have a nicely appointed complete bike from Lynskey or Lightspeed for the same price as a Seven frameset, I just don't see the value. If you need a custom frame, there are alternatives that offer much better value.

    With Firefly, "custom" may be included, but their prices are still rather high (though better than Seven), especially when you get into adding options, so unless you really need the custom build, I don't see a lot of value there. I have to admit that I really like the finish options on Firefly frames, though I wonder how they hold up long term. Regular brushed Ti may not be particularly pretty, but you can maintain it forever with nothing more than a Scotchbrite pad, and I'm a "form follows function" kind of guy.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bnystrom View Post
    Sure, if the pricing is similar and the other features are the same, what the heck. However, I wonder if they can truly compete on an engineering level with Lightspeed and Lynskey, who have much greater capabilities to form tubes. In terms of welding quality, there's no difference among the top builders, regardless of size.

    Seven really doesn't impress me; they just seem like horribly overpriced, pedestrian-looking 3/2.5 frames. The frames with Ti lugs with round carbon tubes are nothing special, either. They seem to be the quintessential "dentist's bike", catering primarily to wealthy people for whom exclusivity and perceived "status" are the prime considerations. Considering that you could have a nicely appointed complete bike from Lynskey or Lightspeed for the same price as a Seven frameset, I just don't see the value. If you need a custom frame, there are alternatives that offer much better value.

    With Firefly, "custom" may be included, but their prices are still rather high (though better than Seven), especially when you get into adding options, so unless you really need the custom build, I don't see a lot of value there. I have to admit that I really like the finish options on Firefly frames, though I wonder how they hold up long term. Regular brushed Ti may not be particularly pretty, but you can maintain it forever with nothing more than a Scotchbrite pad, and I'm a "form follows function" kind of guy.
    That's a first. The only thing they don't do is anodizing. They're quick, professional an d have one of the largest databases of fits anywhere. High quality outfit, maybe one of the best. But they are large and don't interact with the customer in the same way a three man shop would. Lots of smaller Ti builders use them for all or part of their own process

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bnystrom View Post
    Sure, if the pricing is similar and the other features are the same, what the heck. However, I wonder if they can truly compete on an engineering level with Lightspeed and Lynskey, who have much greater capabilities to form tubes. In terms of welding quality, there's no difference among the top builders, regardless of size.

    Seven really doesn't impress me; they just seem like horribly overpriced, pedestrian-looking 3/2.5 frames. The frames with Ti lugs with round carbon tubes are nothing special, either. They seem to be the quintessential "dentist's bike", catering primarily to wealthy people for whom exclusivity and perceived "status" are the prime considerations. Considering that you could have a nicely appointed complete bike from Lynskey or Lightspeed for the same price as a Seven frameset, I just don't see the value. If you need a custom frame, there are alternatives that offer much better value.

    With Firefly, "custom" may be included, but their prices are still rather high (though better than Seven), especially when you get into adding options, so unless you really need the custom build, I don't see a lot of value there. I have to admit that I really like the finish options on Firefly frames, though I wonder how they hold up long term. Regular brushed Ti may not be particularly pretty, but you can maintain it forever with nothing more than a Scotchbrite pad, and I'm a "form follows function" kind of guy.
    yeah, $4,000 for a stock size gimmick tubing frame make a ton of sense compared to Seven or FF.

    And if you're going to comment on price perhaps you should learn what they are first. Seven is actually quite a bit cheaper than similar frames from other makers. For example the Axiom SL which is in the category of FF's road frame is about $600 cheaper. Yet you say it's more expensive. Let's not let any facts get in the way of internet BS slinging though.
    And cheaper than lightspeed. But if a gimmick top tube and no choice on geo and features is worth $400 to you then by all means......

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  16. #41
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    Do they list frame price there? I didn't see it. It was $3600 last I know which was last November. $4,000 to $4,200 is the going rate for like quality from most others.

  17. #42
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    I've never shopped Seven. I wasn't aware you could buy simply a frame. Not saying you cannot, just never seen it advertised.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek_5200 View Post
    I've never shopped Seven. I wasn't aware you could buy simply a frame. Not saying you cannot, just never seen it advertised.
    They definitely sell just frame.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek_5200 View Post
    But they are large and don't interact with the customer in the same way a three man shop would.
    That's two men too many. I like knowing the guy I had a face to face chat with was the guy who selected, cut, mitred and welded all the tubes on my bike. He than finished the frame and put it in a box to send to me. He gave me exactly what I asked for.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Do they list frame price there? I didn't see it. It was $3600 last I know which was last November. $4,000 to $4,200 is the going rate for like quality from most others.
    My mistake, I just saw "Prices starting at $5880" and assumed that's what they're asking for a frameset.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    I agree that going cheap is a good idea for a beginner so they can learn what they really want before going all-in. But the thread is about Ti and getting a cheap Ti frame is still expensive compared to alloy or sometimes steel. So your point here is kind of out of context in a thread about ti frames.
    Fair enough.

    Also, there is a heck of a lot more than size to a custom frame. Yes, most normal people can fit a stock frame no problem. But when you factor in handling characteristics, body weight if +- average and how that impacts tube selection thus ride, tire clearance, brake type, internal vs external routing, rack & fender mounts or not, BB type, and color, it can be hard for the person who knows exactly what they want to find it off the shelf without compromise.
    I said that above, if you go back and read it.

    Economic sense or not getting exactly what you want has value that some people find worth paying for. We're talking about cycling as a hobby here for fun, if it were just about economic sense then finding a different hobby would be the way to go.
    I'm talking about economic sense within the context of buying a bike, as in getting the best value for your money. The assumption is that everyone here wants to be a cyclist and that the decision in question is what to buy, not whether to ride or not.

  22. #47
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    Big caveat, here are things I don't personally care about / don't like:
    1. Weight below 1.5Kg for a frame
    2. Extreme stiffness for racing (Ti frames can be plenty stiff, but I weigh 150 lbs and don't sprint for crit wins)
    3. Aero styling/sculpting
    4. Internal cabling
    5. Cool integrated brakes, non-round seatposts, integrated stem/bars/spacers/steerer

    Things I do like:
    1. Reliability and lack of stress about bike parts
    2. Simplicity: external cabling, standardized parts, threaded BBs etc.

    With that in mind, the pros of Ti as I see it:
    1. If they're made properly, Ti frames are almost as tough (toughness = resistance to dings/denting/snapping) as steel frames but a fair bit lighter. Ti is tougher than aluminum or carbon in most cases. If a bike with a Ti frame falls over, you can feel confident that nothing will happen.
    2. Won't rust or corrode, ever.
    3. Understated unpainted aesthetics. Scratches (it's hard to scratch Ti) on brushed finishes can be fixed with ScotchBrite.
    4. Easier to work on for a home mechanic than carbon as threaded BBs are more likely and the material is more resistant to clamping forces.

    Drawbacks to Ti in my opinion:
    1. It's hard to find good, inexpensive options. There are a lot of great carbon, steel and aluminum options these days that are cheaper.

    With the above, YMMV. For my uses, Ti and steel are the best materials. The cliche is that a Ti frame is a "forever frame", in my experience that's accurate.

    Side ntoe: I believe Motobecane's Ti frames are made by ORA engineering, not Kinesis as stated above.
    Last edited by Hiro11; 1 Day Ago at 12:34 PM.

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    Ti plus anodic metals and moisture will definitely cause visible galvanic corrosion. Uncoated Ti will also still oxidize slightly on the surface, which isn't a bad thing.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
    Side ntoe: I believe Motobecane's Ti frames are made by ORA engineering, not Kinesis as stated above.
    Perhaps some are or were, but my Ti hardtail MTB has a Kinesis sticker on it and IIRC, my aluminum fat bike frame does, too. Perhaps their road frames are made elsewhere, or if you've heard this recently, perhaps they've changed suppliers. My bikes are both a couple of years old.

    BTW, you're forgetting one very important option for finding the bike you want, the used market. "Forever frames" are often available used in great condition and as you pointed out, the surface finish can be quickly and easily restored to make it look like new.

    One more quick point, a really light Ti frame is likely to have some flex to it, so don't automatically reject those models when searching.
    Last edited by Bnystrom; 1 Day Ago at 02:20 PM.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by ceugene View Post
    Ti plus anodic metals and moisture will definitely cause visible galvanic corrosion.
    I've never seen a hint of corrosion on a 3/2.5 or 6/4 Ti frame with either carbon fiber, steel or aluminum seatposts, bolts and what have you. I haven't heard of it happening with CP Ti, but I have no personal experience with it. The only caveat I'm aware of is that using a Ti seatpost and frame made of the same alloy can result in galling.

    Uncoated Ti will also still oxidize slightly on the surface, which isn't a bad thing.
    With 3/2.5 and 6/4 frames, all I've ever seen is a very slight dulling of the surface. You don't even notice it unless you brush the surface with Scotchbrite and even then, it's barely noticeable. I do recall that CP frames like the old Teledyne Titan had a distinctly gray cast to them, but I haven't seen any modern CP frames. Perhaps no one uses it anymore, since the other alloys are superior for bicycle applications.

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