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Titanium Bikes

Old 09-28-20, 11:47 AM
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wheelingmike
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Titanium Bikes

Hey guys. I want to ask the people that owns both titanium and carbon bikes to see what are the differences, which one they ride the most, and why. I have been riding a 2015 Cervelo R3 for a few years now and I'm itching for a new bike. Absolutely love the R3 and will not be getting rid of it. I'm looking hard at a Lynskey Helix Sports with Di2 and would like some real life feedbacks. Thanks!
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Old 09-28-20, 11:55 AM
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My carbon bike has been relegated to a trainer bike, not for any reason in particular. It's a great bike, I just prefer the feel of Ti and quality steel.
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Old 09-28-20, 12:11 PM
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I prefer my Ti Habanero over my CF Roubaix.

That said, I think geometry and other factors are probably more important than frame material. Done properly, any material (steel/CF/Al/Ti) can make an outstanding bike frame.
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Old 09-28-20, 12:24 PM
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And it begins again!
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Old 09-28-20, 02:43 PM
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why keep the R3? Will it be a backup, rain bike, etc? I had an R3, I sold it when I bought my first Seven. No regrets.
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Old 09-28-20, 04:07 PM
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i went from a alum felt to a litepeed vortex... fits great fast as hell... i dont feel the need to even dabble in carbon..
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Old 09-28-20, 04:53 PM
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I have a very nice Wilier I bought in January 2014. It rides great and still has the threaded bottom bracket which is why I bought it. After that year they went to press fits. Then I bought my Habanero in March of 2017. I can say since then my Wilier is on the trainer and maybe I have road it 500-600 miles since then and have been averaging over 4000 per year. They both have Shimano Ultegra but of course the 6800 on the Habby is a much smoother shifter than the 6700 on the Wilier. The Wilier shifts fine no misses but requires much more work to dial in the shifter when changing cables or wheelsets. The 6800 is completely flawless and silent.

Now the big difference is the Ti is just a bit smoother on the roads the bumps seem to go by easier. The other real difference is the silence. The Ti is a quiet ride and no noise from the frame in wind or in shifting due to internal cables. I call my Habby the silent stalker it is a real joy to ride. The Wilier is marginally lighter maybe 18.5 vs 19 pounds ride equipped. So the next point is that until the current CF manufactures decide to return to thread bottom brackets and the rest I will not go to CF. The Ti is just a better ride and bike all the way around. Of course it has exposed cables but I can change them in a heartbeat and I am a good wrench. Those cables through the tubes are just harder but I have a system. In the end it will always be Titanium for me. My next one is a disk Ti.
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Old 09-28-20, 05:11 PM
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“Someone explain to me the Titanium trend I keep seeing.”

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Old 09-29-20, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
why keep the R3? Will it be a backup, rain bike, etc? I had an R3, I sold it when I bought my first Seven. No regrets.
The R3 is my only bike and I am looking for another bike because I want to have a backup or if I feel like riding a different bike that day.

Appreciate all the feedbacks!
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Old 09-29-20, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
“Someone explain to me the Titanium trend I keep seeing.”

I didn't know there was a trend going on. Personally, for me, I just feel like it's time for a new bike. And I'm not sure if it's the pandemic or not, but the prices are somewhat reasonable. I can get a Ti disc with Di2 shipped for ~$4000 now. Probably even lower in a couple of months.
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Old 09-29-20, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by wheelingmike View Post
I didn't know there was a trend going on. Personally, for me, I just feel like it's time for a new bike. And I'm not sure if it's the pandemic or not, but the prices are somewhat reasonable. I can get a Ti disc with Di2 shipped for ~$4000 now. Probably even lower in a couple of months.
The trend is threads starting with "someone explain the ------- trend I keep seeing." He's suggesting you start one of those about Ti bikes.
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Old 09-29-20, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by wheelingmike View Post
I didn't know there was a trend going on. Personally, for me, I just feel like it's time for a new bike. And I'm not sure if it's the pandemic or not, but the prices are somewhat reasonable. I can get a Ti disc with Di2 shipped for ~$4000 now. Probably even lower in a couple of months.
It's just an inside joke about recent threads. Ignore it, your thread is just fine.
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Old 09-29-20, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by wheelingmike View Post
The R3 is my only bike and I am looking for another bike because I want to have a backup or if I feel like riding a different bike that day.

Appreciate all the feedbacks!
Most here including myself would agree that your reasoning for keeping the R3 makes perfect sense. When I sold my R3 it wasn’t my only bike. It it were I would have kept it. It was fast.
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Old 09-29-20, 12:37 PM
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[Patiently waits for Whyfi to pop into thread and tell everyone how wrong they are]
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Old 09-29-20, 03:18 PM
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Well, I own an R3 too -- the black frame with the white top tube. Is that the one you have? I think that is the paint job circa 2015 - 2016. I also have an old Litespeed Tuscany in titanium. At the time Litespeed was still owned by the Lynskey family; my bike has David Lynskey's signature on the chainstay (it's a sticker but that's the way it was done back then). The R3 has Ultegra Di2; the Litespeed has last generation 105. Both are 61cm frames. Both bikes are fun to ride and I'm glad to own each of them.

The Litespeed is silent on the road, noticeably heavier, and most people will tell you that Ti is so much smoother than CF, but to be honest I can't really tell too much of a difference in road buzz in between the two. It could be that I'm running 23s (higher pressure) on the Tuscany and 25s (lower pressure) on the R3. I do, however, feel a difference in the power transfer. The Litespeed takes a little bit more effort to get up to speed but it tends to stay there with less effort. During a full pedal stroke I feel that my legs are fully engaged throughout the rotation. It's easier to keep the bike at a steady state through the stroke. Contrast that with the R3: when you step down on the pedal it goes. I can tell that the bike lurches forward on each power band in the stroke. The bike rewards me when I pedal in a lower cadence and focus on a smooth rotation but it may be related to the fact that I have 175 cranks on the R3 and 172.5 on the Tuscany. It's easier to pedal squares on the R3. The Litespeed is more solid, the Cervelo is more playful.

Generally I'll ride the Litespeed during spring and fall and mostly ride the R3 during the summer. I'm on the Litespeed during the spring when I'm less in shape because it is a full compact crank with 11-32 in the back so I'm able to ease into the rolling hills around here. I end up putting about twice as many miles on the R3 than the Tuscany throughout the year.

If you forced me to pick between the two, I'd give the nod to the R3. If I ever crash the R3 and break the frame I don't think I would replace it and would be happy to have my Litespeed as my "forever bike." That's actually one of the selling points I used to convince my wife to let me get the bike 21 years ago. "...but honey it will be the last bike I'll ever have to buy. It's made of titanium! It will outlast me!"

My advice is that I'd doubt you'll regret getting the Lynskey. Having two bikes that you love to ride isn't a bad thing.
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Old 09-29-20, 03:30 PM
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I have always thought that my last bike would be titanium. But admittedly I've never ridden one. How might someone ride a titanium bike before actually acquiring one? I don't know any other riders and certainly don't know anyone who has one.
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Old 09-29-20, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by MntnMan62 View Post
I have always thought that my last bike would be titanium. But admittedly I've never ridden one. How might someone ride a titanium bike before actually acquiring one? I don't know any other riders and certainly don't know anyone who has one.
Maybe try to find someone selling one on craigslist near you and ask if you can either take a test ride or pay to rent it for a day or two.
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Old 09-29-20, 06:21 PM
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I think titanium is, in theory, the perfect material for a bike frame. Has none of the drawbacks of Alu, carbon or steel. It’s a bit harder to dial in the ride characteristics, which is reasonably easy in carbon, not so much Alu or steel.

That said, my experience with titanium was with a Lemond Victorie, which was a warranty replacement frame for a cracked Klein, all when Trek had taken over these businesses. It was not a good design. It had none of the earlier Lemond geometry, was a run of the mill design when I built it. A very soft bottom bracket as it turned out, with pronounced rub of the front derailer on the chain when standing, sprinting, etc.... to the extent that I ended up with Campy shifters and front derailer as that was the only system that had the ability to trim the derailer position to avoid rub. Then the paint flaked off in the first year, it was re-painted by Trek under warranty, then that paint flaked off within year 2 and they declined to warranty that crap paint job. Titanium is difficult to paint and Trek sucked at it. Trek sucks at warranties as well.

I am as result, hesitant to try titanium again, even though I think the material yields a beautiful looking bike. Maybe some day I’ll try a Habernaro. Who knows.
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Old 09-29-20, 06:36 PM
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Studies have repeatedly shown that average riders blindfolded have roughly a coin flip chance of guessing if the bike they are on is carbon or titanium based solely on feel and ride quality.
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Old 09-29-20, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by MaxKatt View Post
Studies have repeatedly shown that average riders blindfolded have roughly a coin flip chance of guessing if the bike they are on is carbon or titanium based solely on feel and ride quality.
What about comparing aluminum to titanium?
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Old 09-29-20, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by wheelingmike View Post
The R3 is my only bike and I am looking for another bike because I want to have a backup or if I feel like riding a different bike that day.

Appreciate all the feedbacks!
And thus starts the first step towards a fleet of bikes. Personally I prefer one for each type of riding first then moving on to two of each but you do you, either way welcome to slippery slope.
Unfortunately I can't give you a true comparison since I haven't owned them simultaneously. I picked my Litespeed Classic after doing 35mi test rides and swapping the wheels between bikes all of which were equipped with ultegra. It was a Trek 2300, 5500, and a steel Moser all of which were the same size. In the end I bought the Litespeed, it was just so impressive compared to the others. College, wedding and finances forced a sale of it but it was the choice of the three. Currently have a carbon and really like it but I'd replace it with a really nice Ti no problem, almost did and walked into a shop with a nos Moots that had been sitting for over a year with cash but it sold the day earlier. But I haven't done a recent similar comparison.

Originally Posted by MidTNBrad View Post
If you forced me to pick between the two, I'd give the nod to the R3. If I ever crash the R3 and break the frame I don't think I would replace it and would be happy to have my Litespeed as my "forever bike." That's actually one of the selling points I used to convince my wife to let me get the bike 21 years ago. "...but honey it will be the last bike I'll ever have to buy. It's made of titanium! It will outlast me!"
Pff, you need to convince her that bikes are only meant to be used 10 years before being relegated to loaners, lazy day riders, and future hand me downs; and then take your time handing them down. Just convinced my wife that she needs a new bike for next year as her current one is going to be 13 years old and a newer one will be better (I do believe this) and honestly its nice to have a new bike every decade.
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Old 09-29-20, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by MaxKatt View Post
Studies have repeatedly shown that average riders blindfolded have roughly a coin flip chance of guessing if the bike they are on is carbon or titanium based solely on feel and ride quality.
Would be interesting to see some link to these studies.

I have a carbon Bianchi Infinito with Campagnolo Chorus 11 speed and a Titanium Motobecane with Ultegra 6800 11 speed . The first one was bought in LBS at $5k, while the second at bikesdirect at $2.7k. The first one had a lot of problems, most of them I suspect because of the lousy mechanic at the LBS and also because not many people here understand how to correctly adjust Campy stuff. These days I work with Campy myself and get better results than from the 2 LBS I tried before. The Ti one had little issues when bought new but after fixing them it was virtually flawless. The bikes are vastly different, it is impossible to say which one is better. Bianchi is a bit lighter (8 kg vs 8.5), slightly more rigid, beautiful, rides great but is kind of fragile. Moto looks more utilitarian, feels bulletproof, rides very well and really comfortably and is so reliable that it is boring. At least for me it is quite obvious which one I ride - they are so different. Given a hard choice to keep only one I'd probably go with the Ti - I'm sure it will outlast everything. Had the Ti been equipped with Campy then it would be no brainer.
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Old 09-30-20, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by MaxKatt View Post
Studies have repeatedly shown that average riders blindfolded have roughly a coin flip chance of guessing if the bike they are on is carbon or titanium based solely on feel and ride quality.
Let me guess.. 50% guess correctly, and the other 50% don't survive because riding a bike blindfolded is pretty unhealthy?
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Old 09-30-20, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by MntnMan62 View Post
What about comparing aluminum to titanium?

Please. As every rider knows, other studies have shown even a trained chimp can distinguish between aluminum and titanium. Quality aluminum, of course.

And before some geezer asks, "yes" those chimps can detect steel as well. Typically, most monkeys will jump off somewhere between 1/4 and 7/8ths of a mile on any steel bike.
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Old 09-30-20, 11:33 AM
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I have a custom Moots Vamoots RSL. My carbon bikes are an Alchemy Xanthus and Chapter2 Tere.
The Moots is the smoothest riding and feels the most planted of those bikes. On the carbon bikes I can feel the little bumps and ripples of the road while Moots mutes it.
For an all day ride I'll take the Moots. For the fast club rides I'll ride my Alchemy, it's just faster in the sprints.
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