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Titanium or Steel

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Titanium or Steel

Old 05-04-16, 08:11 AM
  #101  
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Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
I don't know about the Triple-Cross, but SOMA produced a stainless steel version of the Smoothie a couple of years ago. It was fillet brazed KVA MS2 and sold for $2,000.









EDIT - Here's the KVA MS2 fillet brazed Triple-Cross.

Lovely.
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Old 05-04-16, 08:17 AM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
I guess, at least around here, the Ti frames are more expensive than stainless ones yet they have very similar properties.

I have a bike that is stainless, weighs 16.3 lbs (roughly 57cm size frame) and I can assure you it is not easy to dent.

J.
I agree; I haven't babied my 953 Waterford, and even with 0.3mm wall thickness in the non-butted section of the top tube, there isn't the smallest dent anywhere. With a Rockwell hardness of 44, this is very tough material and the 953 alloy (Carpenter Technology Custom 455) is used in armor plating applications.
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Old 05-04-16, 08:19 AM
  #103  
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Have we sufficiently answered the OP's original query?

@BoomerTheWeim have we provided enough helpful information?
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Old 05-04-16, 08:53 AM
  #104  
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Lovely.
Lovely, but no longer being made. I wonder why that is?
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Old 05-04-16, 10:41 AM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post
You said "Ti frames are more expensive than stainless ones". That's a very different from an assertion about quality, and I'm not sure I believe it is true.

EDIT: OK reading your post you seem to be saying that a survey of local framebuilders revealed that you could get a Stainless frame built cheaper than a Ti frame, or at least you got "more for your money" for stainless, whatever that means.
For a given quality, set of functional characteristics, corrosion resistance, etc.., here I was able to do get a stainless bike for less than I would have spent on a Ti bike. That was my personal experience in my search with specific requirements. I am not asserting that any stainless frame is always cheaper than any Ti frame.

For reference, in looking at the Moots pricing on their website, I was able to get a custom stainless frame and build it into a comparably equipped bike for a considerable discount over Moots pricing.

Originally Posted by quicktrigger View Post
I'm not trying to suggest that my less expensive bike is better than a custom built for you frame, that expensive never buys you anything. Going custom, I certainly would not buy from overseas. But I am saying that the attitude of many that it cost less, or imported from Asia, therefore it must be inferior is often simply not the case. The same attitude prevailed with Toyota and other Japanese car makers in the 70's, Sony, Taiwan built Al bike frames etc. The list goes on and on.

My Ti frame was built in Taiwan and compares very favorable to US standard built Ti frames at a fraction of the cost. The bike I bought would have been 3.5-6 times more expensive for nearly comparable bike from one of the US Ti builders without nearly as much tube shaping as the Taiwanese frame etc. Would have loved to have bought US made, but literally multiple thousands of dollars difference in price

Side note. I love the ideal of a Stainless Steel bike. I have not seen one to my knowledge, and would love to ride one for a couple of weeks for comparison.
Agree. It is not a reasonable comparison to compare my custom stainless frame with your Ti Taiwanese frame. They were made for very different purposes and applications. If I could have found the perfect frame that met my specific problem and was a catalog item, I would have bought it. Comparing these on price is not anymore meaningful than comparing a mountain bike to a road bike on price and asserting some level of equivalency more than they are both bikes.

Stainless steel exhibits pretty much the ride characteristics of steel to the extent that the material matters or impacts the ride quality. In general, and from having built several bikes from a variety of frame materials, I think it is pretty much possible to get any ride characteristic you want from any any material and that fit, geometry and design matter more. For example, I have one steel frame that can knock your fillings out because it's so stiff. I also have a stainless steel bike that has just outstanding ride quality (for me) - and both have similar forks and have used the same wheels so the difference is the frame. Material matters a lot less than a whole lot of other stuff. BTW, the same is true for Ti. You can get a bike with sublime ride quality or you can get one that is awful - both made from Ti.


Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
To prove that they exist
I'll leave that up to you. I don't care. I wasn't looking for a cheap stainless bike and I'm not interested in that now. The ask wasn't for a cheap bike but for a "forever" bike.

J.
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Old 05-04-16, 10:45 AM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
For reference, in looking at the Moots pricing on their website, I was able to get a custom stainless frame and build it into a comparably equipped bike for a considerable discount over Moots pricing.
Moots are purely at dentist levels of pricing though. Everything will look cheap compared to them.
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Old 05-04-16, 10:54 AM
  #107  
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
Lovely, but no longer being made. I wonder why that is?
I'm guessing here, but I wouldn't be surprised if a stock KVA MS2 frame for $2,000 without fork is just too much money to attract a lot of buyers when custom steel framesets (frame and fork) can be purchased for significantly less. For example, a custom made-to-measure Gunnar Roadie OS2 frame is $1,300 and a Gunnar steel fork another $300. That's $1,600 for a really nice custom steel frameset.

I commend SOMA for selling stock stainless frames for $2,000, but I just don't believe the market is there.
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Old 05-04-16, 10:56 AM
  #108  
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Originally Posted by BillyD View Post
Have we sufficiently answered the OP's original query?

@BoomerTheWeim have we provided enough helpful information?

Lots of info. With the price of the Moots, I could possibly purchase a less expensive steel or TI with nicer components. Now I have no idea what to do...
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Old 05-04-16, 10:59 AM
  #109  
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Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post
Moots are purely at dentist levels of pricing though. Everything will look cheap compared to them.
So is my stainless bike (it is my forever bike if there is such a thing). It's Di2, carbon wheels, etc... Even then the discount is multiple thousands of dollars and the bike is better equipped than the equivalent Moots. Same was true for other Ti frames I looked at or custom Ti. Like I said, not even close and it's workmanship is better by a lot and I'm pretty sure I beat the equivalent Moots bike for weight too.

J.
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Old 05-04-16, 11:22 AM
  #110  
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
So is my stainless bike (it is my forever bike if there is such a thing). It's Di2, carbon wheels, etc... Even then the discount is multiple thousands of dollars and the bike is better equipped than the equivalent Moots. Same was true for other Ti frames I looked at or custom Ti. Like I said, not even close and it's workmanship is better by a lot and I'm pretty sure I beat the equivalent Moots bike for weight too.
I'm extremely willing to believe that any stainless steel bike is cheaper than a Moots. Moots set a very high bar for cost, so it's not really a valid cost comparison.
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Old 05-04-16, 11:35 AM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by BoomerTheWeim View Post
Lots of info. With the price of the Moots, I could possibly purchase a less expensive steel or TI with nicer components. Now I have no idea what to do...
Allot of it is just what do you want. I personally have always had an itch for the Titanium, so that is what I did. Also have an interest in some steel bike, others have an itch for carbon fiber, and I am curious as to long term riding a CF bike is like. But for me the Ti itch was far worse. I do not regret it. For you, if you just love the ideal of Ti because it seems high tech since it's aircraft grade etc, you like the look of brushed Ti or whatever, or do you like the old time nostalgic thought of steel, modern history etc, or whatever each material feels like emotionally to you. Maybe if you can answer that you will know which way to go that is right for you. Then proceed from there accordingly with which ever material is your preference. Doesn't really matter what other preferences are. As long as you go with someone well known, you should be happy.
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Old 05-04-16, 12:02 PM
  #112  
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Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post
I'm extremely willing to believe that any stainless steel bike is cheaper than a Moots. Moots set a very high bar for cost, so it's not really a valid cost comparison.
The price difference is about 30% cheaper than what I would have paid for Moots (and that was not counting some other discounts I got on components for my bike), not just their MSRP. That is not just cheaper because Moots is expensive. Also that is for better workmanship, custom painted panels, painted Enve fork and custom geometry no less. It is a valid cost comparison because that is the level of bike that this is.

Frame quotes around here were more for Ti from frame builders. Although I understand that may not be true in all geographies. I researched this carefully for months before I bought.



J.
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Old 05-04-16, 12:22 PM
  #113  
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Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
And really none of those are accurate
Bingo! Frame material... is what it is.

A well made steel bike is a joy to ride and is going to serve the OP well.

A well made ti bike is a joy to ride and is going to serve the OP well.

Aluminum makes a really nice bike.

Carbon makes a really nice bike.

You guys get it.
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Old 05-04-16, 12:35 PM
  #114  
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Originally Posted by BillyD View Post
I choose steel over Ti, and my Ti is a Merlin, so no slouch. My steel is a classic old skool Bridgestone, very nimble, a great ride.

Op, honestly, you won't go wrong picking either material imo.
I am a "newbie" never heard of Moots or the other one. I have a Giant Escape 1 which I love. Most bikes today are made at the Giant plant and aluminum seems to be the best, most affordable
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Old 05-04-16, 02:38 PM
  #115  
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Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
I'm guessing here, but I wouldn't be surprised if a stock KVA MS2 frame for $2,000 without fork is just too much money to attract a lot of buyers when custom steel framesets (frame and fork) can be purchased for significantly less. For example, a custom made-to-measure Gunnar Roadie OS2 frame is $1,300 and a Gunnar steel fork another $300. That's $1,600 for a really nice custom steel frameset.

I commend SOMA for selling stock stainless frames for $2,000, but I just don't believe the market is there.
I agree with everything you said. Stainless can be a great frame material, but there are few(if any) being produced in stock sizes, and competitively price with stock Ti frames.
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Old 05-04-16, 04:20 PM
  #116  
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
So is my stainless bike (it is my forever bike if there is such a thing). It's Di2, carbon wheels, etc...
J.
You lost me combining 'forever bike' with carbon wheels..
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Old 05-04-16, 04:29 PM
  #117  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
You lost me combining 'forever bike' with carbon wheels..
It is naive and misguided to include the components in the notion of forever bike. Only the frame can even come close to meeting that expectation. For high mileage cyclists wheels are a consumable. Why not carbon? Consumable is consumable.
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Old 05-04-16, 04:41 PM
  #118  
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
It is naive and misguided to include the components in the notion of forever bike. Only the frame can even come close to meeting that expectation. For high mileage cyclists wheels are a consumable. Why not carbon? Consumable is consumable.
Then we call it a forever frame. A bike is the whole shebang.. (is that how you spell it?)
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Old 05-04-16, 07:32 PM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by BoomerTheWeim View Post
Lots of info. With the price of the Moots, I could possibly purchase a less expensive steel or TI with nicer components. Now I have no idea what to do...
This is true. The only thing I can add is take a look at a Moots in person. The appearance, quality, and finish are in a class by themselves. But that comes with a high price
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Old 05-04-16, 07:34 PM
  #120  
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Originally Posted by BoomerTheWeim View Post
Lots of info. With the price of the Moots, I could possibly purchase a less expensive steel or TI with nicer components. Now I have no idea what to do...
This is true. The only thing I can add is take a look at a Moots in person. The appearance, quality, and finish are in a class by themselves. But that comes with a high price
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Old 05-04-16, 07:46 PM
  #121  
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
This is true. The only thing I can add is take a look at a Moots in person. The appearance, quality, and finish are in a class by themselves. But that comes with a high price
Moots is the most commercial, most known of the ultra high quality Ti bikes, but its not alone and any of the following companies could give moots a run for their money, actually I prefer a frame from them than a Moots:

Kent Eriksen Cycles
Firefly Cycles
Holland Cycles
No. 22 Cycles
Independent Fabrication
Seven Cycles (also popular)
Baum Cycles

So no, Moots are not on their own....
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Old 05-04-16, 07:56 PM
  #122  
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
Stainless steel exhibits pretty much the ride characteristics of steel to the extent that the material matters or impacts the ride quality. In general, and from having built several bikes from a variety of frame materials, I think it is pretty much possible to get any ride characteristic you want from any any material and that fit, geometry and design matter more. For example, I have one steel frame that can knock your fillings out because it's so stiff. I also have a stainless steel bike that has just outstanding ride quality (for me) - and both have similar forks and have used the same wheels so the difference is the frame. Material matters a lot less than a whole lot of other stuff. BTW, the same is true for Ti. You can get a bike with sublime ride quality or you can get one that is awful - both made from Ti.

J.
Referring to the bold, I personally disagree based on my experience, but am willing to hear counterthoughts. I do not think it is possible for a carbon frame to have that 'spring' that the Ti and Steel frames I have ridden have. This could be because I haven't ridden the right frame, but I thought that the 'dead' feeling carbon has is pretty much innate to the material. Likewise, not filling rattling stiff steel and Ti has a bit of spring to it, at least when really hammered on. Aluminium... can't say, never ridden a frame made from the material. But, the two Tarmac's and the Giant TCR I have ridden didn't have that wonderful, springy, lively feeling my Lynskey or custom steel roadie have. Even on an MTB, a Niner carbon 29er felt horrible to ride, and the Ti MTB's I have ridden seem to feel alive underneath me.

Not saying carbon is bad, at all. Just that it has never felt right to me. Especially on that ridiculously expensive Niner I rode (that my buddy has since sold), it doesn't feel right. That said, if I ever want a full suspension MTB, I am sure I would go carbon, with that much suspension on either side I really doubt I would feel the frame material.
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Old 05-04-16, 08:20 PM
  #123  
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Originally Posted by GuyDebord View Post
Moots is the most commercial, most known of the ultra high quality Ti bikes, but its not alone and any of the following companies could give moots a run for their money, actually I prefer a frame from them than a Moots:

Kent Eriksen Cycles
Firefly Cycles
Holland Cycles
No. 22 Cycles
Independent Fabrication
Seven Cycles (also popular)
Baum Cycles

So no, Moots are not on their own....
Everyone has their own likes. I'm pretty familar with most of these - had a steel IF I bought used, rode a Holland a friend had and Loaned it to me while he was away, and the as Seven in my name is because I got one a long, long time ago. I've also ridden a Firefly several times.

I personally think a Baum can't be beat but the wait is long. Moots has much higher production and are fantastic looking.
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Old 05-04-16, 10:14 PM
  #124  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
You lost me combining 'forever bike' with carbon wheels..
LOL. Hey, it worked so far with my wife - until I wind up in n+1 mode again. Then again, if anyone has my number, it'd be her. Who am I kidding?

J.
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Old 05-04-16, 10:23 PM
  #125  
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Originally Posted by garciawork View Post
Referring to the bold, I personally disagree based on my experience, but am willing to hear counterthoughts. I do not think it is possible for a carbon frame to have that 'spring' that the Ti and Steel frames I have ridden have. This could be because I haven't ridden the right frame, but I thought that the 'dead' feeling carbon has is pretty much innate to the material. Likewise, not filling rattling stiff steel and Ti has a bit of spring to it, at least when really hammered on. Aluminium... can't say, never ridden a frame made from the material. But, the two Tarmac's and the Giant TCR I have ridden didn't have that wonderful, springy, lively feeling my Lynskey or custom steel roadie have. Even on an MTB, a Niner carbon 29er felt horrible to ride, and the Ti MTB's I have ridden seem to feel alive underneath me.

Not saying carbon is bad, at all. Just that it has never felt right to me. Especially on that ridiculously expensive Niner I rode (that my buddy has since sold), it doesn't feel right. That said, if I ever want a full suspension MTB, I am sure I would go carbon, with that much suspension on either side I really doubt I would feel the frame material.
How I actually came to the conclusion I did was also through experience. Certainly it's going to be easier in some materials rather than others to replicate the feel from another frame/material. The variance in ride characteristics in a given material is so incredibly wide. But I'm sure it could be done. Unfortunately, it would *literally* take a fortune to prove this conclusively.

J.
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