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Why did Titanium not take off amongst Pros?

Road Cycling ďIt is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

Why did Titanium not take off amongst Pros?

Old 08-22-19, 03:14 AM
  #76  
Trakhak
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Originally Posted by sheddle View Post
I remember an old story where Miguel Indurain went to a bike shop after he retired, and he was shocked at how much bikes actually cost, having never actually had to pay for one for his entire career.
As I recall, Pinarello wouldn't let him keep any of his team bikes because he quit racing before the contract was up. Indurain asked his pals in the peleton for recommendations, and the decision came down to Colnago (steel) versus Cannondale (aluminum). He bought a Cannondale. I remember our Cannondale sales rep saying, "We'd have given him one if he'd asked!"
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Old 08-22-19, 05:30 AM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
I have heard 7 Cycles is pretty reasonable. I donít know much about their frames.

Seven Cycles | Custom-Built Carbon, Titanium and Steel Bicycle Frames
The complete 622 XX, which is carbon with ti lugs, starts at almost $9K with DA 9100 mechanical and no disc brakes, which is close to what I got (DA 9000 mechanical and no discs) 4 years ago for a good deal less. Really, it's hard to make a comparison because I don't remember exactly what I paid and I moved my wheel set over from another bike. I do recall that the frame sans Cerakote was $3K or $3.5K. I consider that a bargain for truly custom. My builder won't even build you one without at least one in-person fitting/consultation.
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Old 08-22-19, 05:30 AM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by MyTi View Post
Paint fades, scratches. Bare Ti you just buff it out with a scotch pad. And I think most think Bare Ti looks great so you are in the minority.
Is that why your litespeed which is real and definitely exists is unpainted?
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Old 08-22-19, 05:33 AM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by MyTi View Post
Paint fades, scratches. Bare Ti you just buff it out with a scotch pad. And I think most think Bare Ti looks great so you are in the minority.
My bike is not painted. It's colored with Cerakote. Don't mind being in the minority, assuming you are even correct. (Big assumption there.) There is McDonald's for the masses.
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Old 08-22-19, 05:38 AM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Titanium is expensive and requires specialized skills to work with. Carbon fiber is a much cheaper, lighter, and more versatile material.
I think all new bike frames will be carbon fiber, at some point, once manufacturing costs come down. Cheaper, lighter, more versatile ... and really boring to ride. But efficient.
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Old 08-22-19, 05:51 AM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
I think all new bike frames will be carbon fiber, at some point, once manufacturing costs come down. Cheaper, lighter, more versatile ... and really boring to ride. But efficient.
Has been 30 years. They're not coming down anymore than they have.
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Old 08-22-19, 05:54 AM
  #82  
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There are $200 generic Chinese CF frames on Ebay. Retail prices may be holding steady, but manufacturing costs are definitely down.
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Old 08-22-19, 05:58 AM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
My bike is not painted. It's colored with Cerakote. Don't mind being in the minority, assuming you are even correct. (Big assumption there.) There is McDonald's for the masses.
I looked up Cerakote. Seems to be big in the kitten community.
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Old 08-22-19, 06:05 AM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
There are $200 generic Chinese CF frames on Ebay. Retail prices may be holding steady, but manufacturing costs are definitely down.
They're down, but I doubt they'll fall anymore than they already have. Still costs more than an entire walmart special. And probably would never clear CPSC or EN safety testing.
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Old 08-22-19, 06:16 AM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
They're down, but I doubt they'll fall anymore than they already have. Still costs more than an entire walmart special. And probably would never clear CPSC or EN safety testing.
Agree.

Never say never, but I don't see CF taking over the entry-level and big-box store bicycle market any time soon. Given need for durability and low cost, it's going to be steel and aluminum for the time being.
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Old 08-22-19, 07:18 AM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by MyTi View Post
Paint fades, scratches. Bare Ti you just buff it out with a scotch pad. And I think most think Bare Ti looks great so you are in the minority.
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
My bike is not painted. It's colored with Cerakote. Don't mind being in the minority, assuming you are even correct. (Big assumption there.) There is McDonald's for the masses.
Thereís no accounting for taste.

I think bare titanium looks boring. Imagine if titanium were more popularÖ You would go out on a big group ride and six other people would have the same finish on their bikes.

I will take a nice paint job any dayÖ Even if it is prone to scratching.
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Old 08-22-19, 07:18 AM
  #87  
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I'd paint mine because I wouldn't want people thinking I own a mid size range of furniture stores
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Old 08-22-19, 08:02 AM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
I have heard 7 Cycles is pretty reasonable. I donít know much about their frames.

Seven Cycles | Custom-Built Carbon, Titanium and Steel Bicycle Frames
I haven't done an analysis but always assumed seven is above average cost for a titanium frame.
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Old 08-22-19, 09:23 AM
  #89  
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I switched to Ti last November from Carbon. My P4 is now my secondary bike. The T2 with over 4000 miles on it so far is plenty snappy and soaks up irregularities better than my Carbon bike. It's also plenty fast.
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Old 08-22-19, 05:32 PM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
Is that why your litespeed which is real and definitely exists is unpainted?
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Old 08-22-19, 06:30 PM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I haven't done an analysis but always assumed seven is above average cost for a titanium frame.
Several riders in my club ride Seven bikes. Some are Ti and some are mostly crabon with Ti accents.

I joke with them that Seven is the cost of the bike, but itís pretty close to the mark.
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Old 08-22-19, 07:31 PM
  #92  
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Titanium bikes donít have to be boring. My tandem has a silhouette of our local mountain range anodized onto it. My wifeís gravel bike just has some gold anodizing to go with the anodized aluminum bits. Theyíre personalized, but it didnít require paint.
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Old 08-22-19, 10:14 PM
  #93  
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
The T2 with over 4000 miles on it so far is plenty snappy and soaks up irregularities better than my Carbon bike.
Folks like to talk about frame material like it's the only thing that matters, but the design is more important. Competent engineering utilises a material's strengths to deliver the desired properties in a structure.

It should go without saying that a comprehensively optimised carbon frame will perform better in every aspect, except durability, than a comprehensively optimised ti frame, and cost less.

Of course, YMMV when it comes to aesthetics, but there's no denying a mad ano job looks sweet AF, not to mention being an intrinsically awesome means of decoration.
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Old 08-23-19, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
Several riders in my club ride Seven bikes. Some are Ti and some are mostly crabon with Ti accents.

I joke with them that Seven is the cost of the bike, but itís pretty close to the mark.
A group I used to ride with had multiple 7s in the bunch. One guy had a few issues with his and had to send it back to the factory. 7 paid for shipping both ways, and when you he extent of the problem became clear, replaced his frame with a new, more expensive model. Their price is high, but their customer service is top notch.
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Old 08-23-19, 09:21 AM
  #95  
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
Folks like to talk about frame material like it's the only thing that matters, but the design is more important. Competent engineering utilises a material's strengths to deliver the desired properties in a structure.

It should go without saying that a comprehensively optimised carbon frame will perform better in every aspect, except durability, than a comprehensively optimised ti frame, and cost less.
I agree 100% that a competently engineered frame is much more important than material choice with respect to weight, ride quality, and longevity.

There's a cost vs quantity tradeoff with carbon and ti, however. In high volume production, molded carbon frames are much cheaper per unit than titanium frames can be produced. In very low volumes (i.e. custom bikes), I think it's cheaper to produce an optimized titanium frame than a carbon one. Certainly our custom ti tandem cost thousands of dollars less than a custom carbon tandem would have, without giving up anything on weight, stiffness, or features. For single bikes frames, $3-4k seems like the going rate for custom ti, while custom carbon is more like $4-5k.
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Old 08-23-19, 09:28 AM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
A group I used to ride with had multiple 7s in the bunch. One guy had a few issues with his and had to send it back to the factory. 7 paid for shipping both ways, and when you he extent of the problem became clear, replaced his frame with a new, more expensive model. Their price is high, but their customer service is top notch.
Bunch of folks around here ride Eriksens, which I attribute to the Steve Tilford influence (he was a local.)

Literally everyone I know who rides one would cut a throat for it.

Tilford's take was pretty much what you see here: durability and quality. Titanium for Cycling | Steve Tilford
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Old 08-23-19, 12:09 PM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
In 1997 I had my choice of titanium (Litespeed), carbon fiber (Look), or steel (various) for about the same price.

I opted for titanium with no paint to chip. My titanium frame still looks better after 22 years than my last steel frame did 8.
I got mine about 9 years ago, I must have been 27. My wife has a carbon bike from the same timeframe... they look very different. My Lynskey still looks new... the paint on hers... not so much.

Ti can be a good value, especially considering the durability. Was looking at gravel bikes last winter. $3300 for a handmade USA Ti bike with 105 hydraulics... or a chinese slave labor Salsas Warbird with paint that will scratch and chip for $3400 from LBS. It's kind of a no brainer.

Last edited by Menel; 08-23-19 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 08-23-19, 12:21 PM
  #98  
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I see a lot of Sevens on the road as the shop that I do most of my group riding out of is owned by one of the founders. They are gorgeous and completely custom though I think that they now offer some frames in stock sizes as well. I haven't talked with an owner that was unhappy with their frame in any way, you can literally spec it exactly how you want it. I believe the frames, without fork, start around $4k depending on the level of butting and options that you choose. It's a bit out of my range right now but someday want to get one.
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Old 08-23-19, 01:12 PM
  #99  
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Carbon is similar to plastic. Metal is nice. My madone that I sold felt like plastic. Ordering a lynskey soon once I make up my mind
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Old 08-23-19, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by MyTi View Post
Carbon is similar to plastic. Metal is nice. My madone that I sold felt like plastic. Ordering a lynskey soon once I make up my mind
Awesome! Can't wait for the pics!
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