Why no titanium bikes in pro peloton? - Page 3
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  1. #51
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    I don't buy that Ti frames are too expensive for a pro team. These team budget would hardly be affected by the difference in cost. When I have shopped for frames for myself, it really is the carbon frames which seem to retail for the higher prices. A nice Lynskey Ti frame can be had for as low as $600 these days and commons around $1000 - a made in USA hand-welded legit Ti racing frame, made by the same people who founded and made those Litespeed for nigh on 30 years. When I shopped for a carbon frame last year I had to settle for a 3 yr old leftover model for $1000 (Kona Superjake), and more recently I have been shopping for a full sus trail bike carbon frame and they start at about $2000 for a 2 year old model, and $3-5k for a nice new one. I know an S-Works carbon Road frame on par with what more pro teams us is like $4-5k or so nowadays too - definitely no more than a custom order, high-margin Seven Ti frame.

    Carbon frames are also extremely labour intensive to produce, compared to alu and steel, and perhaps similar or more labour intensive than Ti from what I can tell.

    I just think Ti isn't used because technology has moved on, the Carbon is lighter and the companies in the business of sponsoring pro cycling want them on the latest carbon steeds because that is what sells. But price is not important in this equation - and even if it was the Ti would not cost more.
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  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCSaltchucker View Post
    I don't buy that Ti frames are too expensive for a pro team.
    No Pro Tour team pays for frames. They’re all given free frames plus significant cash. At the Continental level, teams may have to buy frames at a discount, but any team that has to buy its frames does have budget worries that would make cost a significant consideration.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
    No Pro Tour team pays for frames. They’re all given free frames plus significant cash. At the Continental level, teams may have to buy frames at a discount, but any team that has to buy its frames does have budget worries that would make cost a significant consideration.
    I agree. And a conti or lower team could likely find Ti frames for as cheap as any carbon frame. But they'd find so much more to choose from in carbon, and knowing they are lighter and perhaps better, I can't see them choosing Ti - even if the Ti frames where cheaper.

    (I have no dog in the hunt. Ride both ti and carbon, and also Alu and steel, myself)
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  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCSaltchucker View Post
    I agree. And a conti or lower team could likely find Ti frames for as cheap as any carbon frame. But they'd find so much more to choose from in carbon, and knowing they are lighter and perhaps better, I can't see them choosing Ti - even if the Ti frames where cheaper.

    (I have no dog in the hunt. Ride both ti and carbon, and also Alu and steel, myself)
    Genesis raced for a bit on 953 stainless recently. FWIW:

    https://roadcyclinguk.com/gear/genes...-frameset.html

    Granted...they're the exception AFAIK.
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  5. #55
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    Here's the deal. There aren't any major manufacturers making Ti frames and marketing them as their 'top of the line'. None. So none of the major brands would want to pay a pro team AND supply them w/ well over 100 frames if it's not something they're wanting to sell a ton of. There has to be a big time ROI to make the deal happen. The companies that do make Ti frames are small. They can't afford to produce a ton of frames, give them to a team, AND pay to play. Not gonna happen. All of the big names settled on carbon many years ago as the material they would use for their race bikes. Once everyone had the moment and understood how important aerodynamics are they knew that carbon was the only material that would enable them to make the shapes needed. Added bonus: it's very light.
    And as much as it will pain @waspinator there are actually real and very experienced engineers throughout the bicycle industry, many of them w/ doctoral degrees.
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  6. #56
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    On a perfectly stiff bike and drivetrain (impossible), almost all of the energy put into a pedal stroke would translate into forward momentum. No energy would be dissipated into lateral movement of the frame.

    In the case of my BMC's and Cannondale's layup, the rear triangle would deform to the point that the wheel would be forced into the brake pad, thus reducing the power available for forward momentum. Brake pads don't absorb and then release power in a positive way, because we really wouldn't want them to. This wasn't a spring effect- it was a noodle effect. As the frame rebounded, it had to overcome the initial resistance of the brake pad and the inertia of the wheel. As the rear triangle had deformed, some of the energy was projected laterally instead of forward as the wheel straightened out. This was obviously less than optimal for handling and performance.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Here's the deal. There aren't any major manufacturers making Ti frames and marketing them as their 'top of the line'. None. So none of the major brands would want to pay a pro team AND supply them w/ well over 100 frames if it's not something they're wanting to sell a ton of. There has to be a big time ROI to make the deal happen. The companies that do make Ti frames are small. They can't afford to produce a ton of frames, give them to a team, AND pay to play. Not gonna happen. All of the big names settled on carbon many years ago as the material they would use for their race bikes. Once everyone had the moment and understood how important aerodynamics are they knew that carbon was the only material that would enable them to make the shapes needed. Added bonus: it's very light.
    And as much as it will pain @waspinator there are actually real and very experienced engineers throughout the bicycle industry, many of them w/ doctoral degrees.
    very few engineers in the bicycle industry are doctorates. The industry can't afford to pay them.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska Mike View Post
    On a perfectly stiff bike and drivetrain (impossible), almost all of the energy put into a pedal stroke would translate into forward momentum. No energy would be dissipated into lateral movement of the frame.

    In the case of my BMC's and Cannondale's layup, the rear triangle would deform to the point that the wheel would be forced into the brake pad, thus reducing the power available for forward momentum. Brake pads don't absorb and then release power in a positive way, because we really wouldn't want them to. This wasn't a spring effect- it was a noodle effect. As the frame rebounded, it had to overcome the initial resistance of the brake pad and the inertia of the wheel. As the rear triangle had deformed, some of the energy was projected laterally instead of forward as the wheel straightened out. This was obviously less than optimal for handling and performance.
    Remember Newton's third law? Every action has an equal and opposite reaction? If the frame flexes, it will flex back. Where does the energy go? Not into heat, so into the return flex of the frame.
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  9. #59
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    Whatever happened to inexpensive Russian and Chinese Ti frames? The Russians have a lot of experience with Ti from their defense industry.

    What as always struck me as odd about Ti is that you hardly see any Ti forks. You hear this and that excuse about that. I've always felt that if the material was so much better than the alternatives, you'd see forks made from it. Not to be and thus the myth of Ti being such a great material for bicycles come crashing down.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfdemicco View Post
    Whatever happened to inexpensive Russian and Chinese Ti frames? The Russians have a lot of experience with Ti from their defense industry.
    I have a Russian titanium frame. The welds are as good as any I have seen, but the quality of the raw materials is a big unknown.

    There are a lot of companies (mostly boutique) outsourcing their ti manufacturing to Chinese and Russian companies. Why Cycles comes to mind. The quality of the product is often determined by the quality of the sourcing company's oversight of the entire process. Otherwise, the contractor can sub-contract out to other companies, leading to all sorts of mysteries in the supply chains. All titanium is not created equally, even among similar grades.

    So far, I've been very happy with my Russian frame. It's held up to TSA many times, which is something I can't say for several aluminum and carbon frames over the years. Other people may not have the same experience, as with any frame made of any material whose parentage is unclear.
    What as always struck me as odd about Ti is that you hardly see any Ti forks. You hear this and that excuse about that. I've always felt that if the material was so much better than the alternatives, you'd see forks made from it. Not to be and thus the myth of Ti being such a great material for bicycles come crashing down.
    Again, not the easiest or cheapest material to work with. When a company can source a quality carbon fork for $200, why would they want to bother making a titanium fork with similar performance characteristics for more money (think skilled labor man-hours)? Aesthetically, the metal fork is less popular today among the average buyer than the swoopy, aero-looking lines you can create with carbon.

    Again, all frame materials have their advantages and disadvantages. Ti is a great frame material in the hands of a true craftsman. A well-made titanium bike is a joy to ride, and some of us greatly prefer their looks over the latest carbon wonderbike. Yes, they can be built to perform at a very high level. Steve Tilford used to race ti exclusively, and did ok for an old man.

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Remember Newton's third law? Every action has an equal and opposite reaction? If the frame flexes, it will flex back. Where does the energy go? Not into heat, so into the return flex of the frame.
    Yes, but it depends on how the frame flexes under load- which comes back to how the carbon is laid down.

    If a frame deflects laterally, it will bounce back laterally, wasting some of the input energy intended for forward propulsion.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    very few engineers in the bicycle industry are doctorates. The industry can't afford to pay them.
    Really? I'd imagine every competitor in the aero game has a PhD or two.
    Heck, Specialized could afford to build their very own wind tunnel. Recruited Chris Yu, a PhD in the field of High Fidelity Flow Simulation

    Nathan Barry, one of Cannondale’s team of design engineers, is an aero specialist and has a background in aerodynamics, specializing in bicycles — he’s published papers and his PhD on how to analyse real world aero for bicycling .

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  13. #63
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    FWIW- steel was better for low production craftsmen/artists, carbon fiber was better for aero, lightness, ride quality, fatigue life, ease of production scaling, and design flexibility, and Aluminum took over the low end. Ti didn't have much left. Ti is like Campy, a sub-optimal choice made because of what it is to the buyer. Ti isn't a logical choice, its an emotional one for the buyer.

    Also FWIW, in my opinion the Ti bikes I have owned were no better than the Steel bikes I owned, nor decidedly better than the CAAD5 I owned (but were way more expensive). The Ti bikes were better than the early carbon bikes I owned, and not nearly as good as the last two generations of carbon bikes I have owned.
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  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfdemicco View Post
    That's if you buy that "tuning" really accomplishes anything but market speak. To me, a frame is supposed to be rigid and is a structure to enable the attachment of components in the proper locations. Tires and tire pressure has more effect than frame material. People say that steel rides better, Ti rides better, carbon fiber is too stiff; it's all BS.
    I moved everything from one frame to another, kept using the same PSI, so the only variable is the frame and I disagree strongly.
    I'd agree it didn't necessarily have anything to do with what the frames were made of but the implication that frame doesn't matter at all I find absurd.

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Wow...this is roughly the equivalent of bring a wooden spoon to a gunfight.
    Or this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNh51G84WZY

    Quote Originally Posted by Waspinator View Post
    Of course. That’s how it works. Someone making a claim (or accepting a claim) should support that claim with research.


    Pot meet kettle.

    Weren't you the guy who claimed that quick release was vastly superior to thru-axle for disc brake bikes? And IIRC, you also claimed that post mount was superior to flat mount.

    Hello Waspinator!
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  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    I moved everything from one frame to another, kept using the same PSI, so the only variable is the frame and I disagree strongly.
    I'd agree it didn't necessarily have anything to do with what the frames were made of but the implication that frame doesn't matter at all I find absurd.
    I have been using the same components/wheels with the last 3 carbon frames I have had (an original venge, tarmac sl5 and now sl6) and the difference in how they ride/feel is noticeably different despite all 3 having very similar geometry so the idea that the frame doesn't matter seems pretty silly to me too.

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by taodemon View Post
    I have been using the same components/wheels with the last 3 carbon frames I have had (an original venge, tarmac sl5 and now sl6) and the difference in how they ride/feel is noticeably different despite all 3 having very similar geometry so the idea that the frame doesn't matter seems pretty silly to me too.
    So are you saying that all three of these bikes have exactly the same brand and make of tires, the same size tires inflated to exactly the same pressure?

    Tires will make the biggest difference in ride quality. Everything else is comparatively minuscule.
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  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    I moved everything from one frame to another, kept using the same PSI, so the only variable is the frame and I disagree strongly.
    I'd agree it didn't necessarily have anything to do with what the frames were made of but the implication that frame doesn't matter at all I find absurd.
    Do both frames have the same geometry? If not, it's not a fair comparison.

    By your second paragraph, you are agreeing with me. That is what I was saying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mfdemicco View Post
    Do both frames have the same geometry? If not, it's not a fair comparison.
    By your second paragraph, you are agreeing with me. That is what I was saying.
    Slightly different but resulting in identical fit. Geometry was close enough to duplicate the fit exactly with one less spacer and about half a cm less set back.

    And no, I am not agreeing with this: "That's if you buy that "tuning" really accomplishes anything but market speak. To me, a frame is supposed to be rigid and is a structure to enable the attachment of components in the proper locations."

    I would agree with this: "People say that steel rides better, Ti rides better, carbon fiber is too stiff; it's all BS."

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    Quote Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
    It doesn’t help to use big words when you don’t know what they mean.
    I know exactly what these terms mean.

    Elastic modulus refers to a material’s ability to flex elastically. The upper limit of elastic modulus is yield strength, at which the material flexes plastically (ie it doesn’t return to its original shape). So, bend a bar of metal less than to the point that it would bend permanently, and it’ll flex back.

    Metals like Ti and steel typically can flex below this point an unlimited number of times. Aluminum cannot.

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
    It doesn’t help to use big words when you don’t know what they mean.
    Quote Originally Posted by OldChipper View Post
    Boeing, Airbus, etc.? You mean the companies whose latest/greatest plane design incorporate copious amounts of carbon fiber composites???


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    Precisely. Did it ever cross your mind that they chose composites because titanium would be too expensive?

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
    It doesn’t help to use big words when you don’t know what they mean.
    Quote Originally Posted by Notvintage View Post
    Young's modulus of Toray T700S (common in road bikes) is 230 Gpa, and garden variety Ti-6AL-4V is around 115 Gpa. Cooked pasta noodle to uncooked respectively.
    Tensile strength and modulus of elasticity are not the same thing. They may be related - one may affect the other - but they are not the same characteristic of a material. What’s more, you cannot s

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
    It doesn’t help to use big words when you don’t know what they mean.
    Quote Originally Posted by Notvintage View Post
    Young's modulus of Toray T700S (common in road bikes) is 230 Gpa, and garden variety Ti-6AL-4V is around 115 Gpa. Cooked pasta noodle to uncooked respectively.
    Tensile strength and modulus of elasticity are not the same thing. They may be related - one may affect the other - but they are not the same characteristic of a material. What’s more, you cannot simply look at the individual properties of a material in its unbuilt form and extrapolate it into an estimation of the properties of the product it’s being used to build. Steel is a fat “stiffer” metal than aluminum, yet steel frames are known to flex more (because of how they must be built up).

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waspinator View Post
    Precisely. Did it ever cross your mind that they chose composites because titanium would be too expensive?
    lmao. No that is NOT why they chose composites. Give it up! Strength to Weight is a real thing.

    The Boeing Dreamliner airframe is nearly half carbon fiber reinforced plastic and other composites. Reducing weight by 20 percent compared to more conventional designs.

    Cost of the plane is a small factor. Cost of fuel is significantly larger factor. Airlines would gladly pay more for a plane made from titanium if it was lighter and saved fuel costs over 20 years.

    BOEING UPS THE ANTE WITH COMPOSITE-LOADED 787-10 DREAMLINER
    So, what is it about the 787-10 that makes the plane so attractive? Drastic improvements in fuel mileage and emissions made possible by a full range of composites that make up entire sections of the plane, including the wings and fuselage.

    IT'S ALL ABOUT THE WEIGHT
    When the Boeing 747 was first introduced in 1970, it was believed that the company had reached the absolute limit in size and weight.

    Engineers have to look at a number of factors when designing a new airplane. First is the total weight of the aircraft, including the aircraft itself along with passengers and cargo. Aerodynamic principles dictate that in order to lift a certain amount of weight off the ground, a plane's wing span has to be commensurate. The more weight you add, the bigger the wings have to be.

    COMPOSITE MATERIALS ARE THE ANSWER
    So, how did we get from the '70s-era 747 to the modern 787-10? By taking advantage of composite materials. Things like fiber composite panels offer superior strength and rigidity without excess weight. In fact, everything from carbon fiber tubing to fabricated sheets and panels offer the strength and rigidity needed for airframe construction but at a much lower cost in terms of weight.

    The 787-10 can seat 330 passengers and fly more than 6,000 nautical miles because of the advantages of composite materials. It is a 224-foot aircraft with a wingspan of just under 200 feet, so every major airport in the world can accommodate it. Its main advantage is fuel savings.

    By drastically reducing fuel consumption without sacrificing seating capacity, Boeing has created an aircraft that generates higher revenues per seat. In the ultra-competitive world of commercial airlines, this is everything.
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  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
    It doesn’t help to use big words when you don’t know what they mean.
    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    there are actually real and very experienced engineers throughout the bicycle industry, many of them w/ doctoral degrees.
    Yeah. Sure there are.

    I mean, why not? It’s every newly-graduated engineering PhD’s dream to go design bicycles. What could be more enticing than that?

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