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  1. #1
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    whats the opinion on Titanium frames these days.

    I've been on my butt for a few years and there's a nice litespeed calling my name,,, bike store gentleman says no way carbon is the way to guy now!

    I just love the looks of those titanium bikes, I'm oldschool though..

  2. #2
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    The material is irrelevant i.e.; "carbon is the way to "guy" (go) now".

    The bike store gentleman probably doesn't have any titanium bikes on the floor which is a big reason why he's advocating what he does have, carbon.

    The weight differences are meaningless once you add the rider to the equation.

    Stiffness is over rated. Bikes have been plenty stiff enough for decades; you aren't going to get dropped on the next group ride because your frame wasn't stiff enough.

    Get a titanium frame if you like the idea of naked ti frames being low maintenance, or you like the look; whatever. Litespeed has a stellar reputation, by the way. You can't go wrong with them.

  3. #3
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    It is great stuff. Do it if you want.

    Tons of artisan and production houses out there that'll make you a great frameset.
    "‘Photograph me on horseback,’ wrote Teddy Roosevelt in 1908. ‘Tennis, no. And golf is fatal.’ "

  4. #4
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    All I can say is my Ti bike is way better in every way but weight than the carbon wonder bike I replaced with it. And my carbon bike was really highly rated by Tour magazine (which is supposedly objective not fluff).

    How much of the reason for that is material or geometry and handling to my specifications and body weight (custom) vs designed for a hypothetical rider (stock) I have no idea but I suspect a lot.

    Either way don't listen to bike shop guy. Frame that fits and handles as you want is the way to go. Material is secondary to that.

  5. #5
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    I own a Ti and a carbon bike and both are great rides. As Jay stated, its a lot about fit. However, what I appreciate most about my Ti bike is its durability, it takes a beating and keeps on ticking. Carbon frames can be repaired also but its more of a hassle. Newer carbon endurance frames/designs like the Domane ride as comfortable as Ti and may be a smidgen more efficient-compliant and a little lighter. There are some great bikes out there today and its always fun to shop for a new ride.. Let us know what you end up buying..

  6. #6
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    have both Ti and carbon bikes.

    if I had to get rid of one, it wouldn't be the Ti...
    the 45th POTUS is inept, corrupt, and a pathological liar. and those may be his better qualities...

  7. #7
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    I just purchased a Litespeed T1SL disc (which I'll be building up shortly).

    Let me tell you that a quality titanium frame is truly a work of art to behold. And in Litespeed's case, this is even more true. This T1SL frame is impressive. I don't think Seven or Lynskey could make one like it. Unlike most titanium manufacturers who use either straight gauge or internally butted round tubes, Litespeed manages to make swaged and tapered tubes in the main triangle that probably add a lot of stiffness. They clearly have a lot of experience working with titanium. Need I say that their welds are also perfect?

    Go ahead. Indulge in a titanium frame. I think you'll find it to be worth it.

  8. #8
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    Oh comon, the t1sl is a lovely bike and I hope it gives you years of great service...but my Ti frame has tapered and swaged tubing (well one)...and it's from 1996, that sort of stuff isnt exactly cutting edge...
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by n2deep View Post
    I own a Ti and a carbon bike and both are great rides. As Jay stated, its a lot about fit. However, what I appreciate most about my Ti bike is its durability, it takes a beating and keeps on ticking. Carbon frames can be repaired also but its more of a hassle. Newer carbon endurance frames/designs like the Domane ride as comfortable as Ti and may be a smidgen more efficient-compliant and a little lighter. There are some great bikes out there today and its always fun to shop for a new ride.. Let us know what you end up buying..
    Repairing carbon is probably consistently easier and cheaper than repairing 3-2.5, and definitely easier/cheaper than 6-4. If I had very specific geometry needs, I would consider titanium, but then again Bastion now exists and they can build me a custom lugged ti/carbon frame exactly how I want it, stiffness/compliance and all.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ceugene View Post
    but then again Bastion now exists and they can build me a custom lugged ti/carbon frame exactly how I want it, stiffness/compliance and all.
    Nothing wrong with that but I'm not sure why you're implying that's some new option. Lugged ti/cabon has been available from other builders for years now.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mik_git View Post
    Oh comon, the t1sl is a lovely bike and I hope it gives you years of great service...but my Ti frame has tapered and swaged tubing (well one)...and it's from 1996, that sort of stuff isnt exactly cutting edge...
    Most Ti frames use straight tubes. I'm not saying it's new technology (as they've been swaying aluminum tubes for decades now), but manipulating titanium tubing is different and you want a company doing it that has lots of experience working with ti. That's Litespeed and Seven. Maybe Merlin.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waspinator View Post
    Most Ti frames use straight tubes. I'm not saying it's new technology (as they've been swaying aluminum tubes for decades now), but manipulating titanium tubing is different and you want a company doing it that has lots of experience working with ti. That's Litespeed and Seven. Maybe Merlin.
    It's not the 90's. Litespeed isn't 'that' Litespeed anymore. It's just the name. Lynsky is all the experience that was litespeed.
    Does Merlin makes bike still? That name isn't what it was either. Last I knew they were supplying tubes and fabricating for others.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waspinator View Post
    Most Ti frames use straight tubes. I'm not saying it's new technology (as they've been swaying aluminum tubes for decades now), but manipulating titanium tubing is different and you want a company doing it that has lots of experience working with ti. That's Litespeed and Seven. Maybe Merlin.
    Merlin, you're joking right? Merlin of today, arn't the same as Merlin from before, Same name/company, completely different setup...Competitive cyclist own the name and farm the frame building to someone else, was Form cycles before they went bust,not sure who now.

    I'd like a Litespeed, they still do it for me and if I wanted an off the shelf frame, they'd be high on my list, and I think after the last couple of years they've gotten over their terrible rep they had for ages after Lynsky sold the company to ABG (who also used to own Merlin).

    But yeah Merlin don't make frames, they just farm out and don't do any manipulation. Seven also only do butting.
    But all these smaller companies, just becasue they are smaller or new, doesn't mean they don't have years of experience, quite a few re ex-insert big company here- employees.

    But just because Litespeed do funky tubing and others don't/can't and then raving about it like it's amazing, that just reading the catalog blurb and believing it hook line and sinker, just like saying carbon, its the best, very thing else is out of date old schools crapola
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  14. #14
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    Ti bikes are awesome.

    Look into Davidson in Seattle. My Ti roadbike is 14 years old, tens of thousands of miles, and performs like new with a fresh SR group and Shamal wheels this year.

    Comes in at 16.33 lbs.

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    Last edited by Hellgate64; 2 Weeks Ago at 10:10 AM.

  15. #15
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    Another owner of Ti ('94 Merlin Extralight) and CF (Cannondale Supersix Evo '15) here.
    My Merlin will last forever. Solid beast. As others mentioned, it won't win the weight or stiffness contest, but that hardly affects me on rides. The Cannondale gives me an advantage on climbs, but most of that benefit comes from lighter components. Spec'd equally, the Merlin only gives away about two pounds. Both match each other in ride and handling, although the 'Dale has a substantial advantage in out-of-saddle uphill sprints. (How often do we do that? lol)
    So, yeah, if somebody gave me a choice of which bike to keep, it would be the Merlin after a long three seconds of consideration.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mik_git View Post
    Oh comon, the t1sl is a lovely bike and I hope it gives you years of great service...but my Ti frame has tapered and swaged tubing (well one)...and it's from 1996, that sort of stuff isnt exactly cutting edge...
    You beat me to it -- My 1999 Litespeed Ultimate (built by Litespeed when Lynskey owned it) has tapered, butted cold worked tubes with a bladed 6/4 down tube. Cutting edge stuff ... maybe 20 years ago. The fact is, there haven't really been much new in titanium bikes in a long time. My wife's Lynskey 350 has helix shaped seat stays (try saying that three times real fast). Litespeed isn't doing anything that a number of manufacturers can't do. And most of that stuff probably doesn't make the bike ride any better than just a simple frame made of straight gauge tubes like what seven does. I think their bikes look classy.

  17. #17
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    As someone who owns multiple Ti and carbon frames, I can appreciate both. You can't beat Ti for durability and it has a certain level of vibration damping that provides a really great road feel. However, there is only so much manipulation that can be done to it to control stiffness and compliance.

    Where carbon shines is in its ability to be manipulated to produce both lateral stiffness for efficiency and vertical compliance for comfort, all with lower weight than any other material. From a purely performance standpoint, it is unquestionably superior if it's used to it's full potential.

    That said, there are some mediocre carbon frames out there that are not much lighter or better performing than Ti or Al. There are also plenty of Ti frames that are nothing special, either.

    If I was forced to choose only one road frameset to last me for the foreseeable future, it would be high-end Ti, more for it's durability than anything else. Fortunately, I don't have that restriction. Currently, I ride carbon on the road and for 'cross/gravel, with a Ti hardtail MTB for the stuff that the 'cross/gravel bike can't handle and where durability is more important than weight. I love the performance of the carbon road bikes and I can't see myself going back to metal. Ti is a consideration for 'cross/gravel, but for the riding I do, the increased durability isn't enough to convince me that the weight penalty is worth it.

    The bottom line is that considering that you're looking at a quality Ti frame and perhaps comparable carbon, you're not likely to be unhappy either way. Buy whatever makes you smile the most, then ride the heck out of it.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waspinator View Post
    I don't think Seven or Lynskey could make one like it. Unlike most titanium manufacturers who use either straight gauge or internally butted round tubes, Litespeed manages to make swaged and tapered tubes in the main triangle that probably add a lot of stiffness.
    This may well be what you think, but that doesn't make it true. A little history might be in order: Litespeed was founded by the Lynskey family, and when they sold it, they signed a 5 year non-compete agreement. But Lynskey are the Ti experts, and when those 5 years expired, they re-entered the bike business with all of that expertise intact. You are simply wrong/misinformed.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oxtox View Post
    have both Ti and carbon bikes.

    if I had to get rid of one, it wouldn't be the Ti...
    same here. I have sold alloy, steel and carbon frames but my 10 year old titan frame will be with me for another 20 or more.

  20. #20
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    I'm riding a carbon Bianchi Oltre road bike and a Ti foundry Overland gravel bike with carbon fork. Very different rides that perform very differently and work well for different things. Geometry is certainly a consideration: the Oltre is aggressive and nimble, the gravel grinder is slacker higher stack height, and easier to handle.

    Geometry aside, though, the Carbon is stiffer feels more efficient, it delivers power and it sure feels faster. Great for long climbs on good pavement and great for short bursts of power. Carbon inspires me to hammer out of the saddle. It's a PR machine. But carbon did not handle my longish, daily commute through a west coast winter and I ended up having to replace the carbon frame with a warranty replacement. So I got the Ti because I needed a bike to handle the daily grind in the rain and slush, potholes etc. The Ti is more compliant, less harsh and handles speed bumps, bad pavement and bad weather. It takes on whatever I throw at it and dirt and black road sludge cleans up easily with a rag. The Ti will last forever and dings and paint scratches don't matter in the long run. It's just patina. But Ti does feel slower, less stiff and does not respond to wattage input like carbon does. But by god it's comfortable and secure and I could ride Ti all day long.

    Having ridden both, if I could only have one bike, I'd keep the Ti simply because it's more versatile. But I would have to accept the fact that I won't be getting any more PRs on the local roads.

    If you are a PR hunter, go with carbon. If you want comfort and reliability go with Ti. I'd take the carbon on a fondo but I'd take the Ti on a daily commute in winter. I'd want the carbon for sunny rides with a faster group and Ti for all day easy-going family fun rides on trails.

    Much of this is simply about how the bikes feel. If I look at actual the numbers, the Ti is not that far behind.

  21. #21
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    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.

  22. #22
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    Just before TST closed they made me the nicest titanium frame I have ever seen. They had their titanium version of MAX top and down tubes. Squarish at one end ovalised and flared at the other. Those guys had the tooling and know how to form titanium better than anyone.

    Ti is a pain to form and too many smaller builders do not have the means to swage or shape tubing for its maximum potential. There are industrial machines that bend tubes precisely but cost hundreds of thousands for example. 
    Last edited by Cinelli 82220; 2 Weeks Ago at 05:13 PM.

  23. #23
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    lovin my Lynskey. Got it to solve my problems with my S works tarmac . which was a total noodle when out of the saddle (ok it was 2007 model) . The Lynskey is so stiff in most ways, which seems counterintuitive I know - probably not as stiff as a new SWorks. more stiff as in solid, less plastic-whippy. the dropouts and bridge detailing is beautiful. And I had it custom made with breakaway couplers so it travels as regular luggage not oversize

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tajue17 View Post
    I've been on my butt for a few years and there's a nice litespeed calling my name,,, bike store gentleman says no way carbon is the way to guy now!

    I just love the looks of those titanium bikes, I'm oldschool though..
    Simple. Lots of nice titanium bikes being made today. Weight penalty is minimal and the frames are less prone to scratches and blemishes. If you want anything custom or a bottom bracket that isn't prone to sounding like a cheap wind up toy aka creak this is also a benefit since the space is full of quality custom builders.

    There are good carbon bikes too. I love my Colnago. There are both good and bad Carbon and Titanium bikes being made today. What i object to is this notion that Carbon is the future and Titanium the past. Just examine your requirements and build a bike that meets those requirements.

    Side bar comment, if you travel with a bike, Titanium is makes a great deal of sense, since no matter how well you wrap and try to protect your carbon frame scratches etc are almost unavoidable at some point.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cinelli 82220 View Post
    Just before TST closed they made me the nicest titanium frame I have ever seen. They had their titanium version of MAX top and down tubes. Squarish at one end ovalised and flared at the other. Those guys had the tooling and know how to form titanium better than anyone.

    Ti is a pain to form and too many smaller builders do not have the means to swage or shape tubing for its maximum potential. There are industrial machines that bend tubes precisely but cost hundreds of thousands for example. 
    That's exactly why I bought a Litespeed T1SL disc. All of these Ti manufacturers can weld titanium. What separates a company like Litespeed is its superior resources and equipment to shape titanium tubes.

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