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Author: Subject: Does anyone ride a Titanium bicycle?
nick205

posted on 4/9/19 at 03:57 PM Reply With Quote
Does anyone ride a Titanium bicycle?

Afternoon all,

I have a steel mountain bike (1995) and a steel cyclo cross bike (2014) and enjoy using both.

Looking to the future I'm considering replacing my mountain bike with something newer and have been considering Titanium hard tails.

For reference I ride cross country mountain bike trails, I'm not a down hiller, jumper or stunt rider

My question to the forum - does anyone on here ride a Titanium bike and if so what are your thoughts on them please?

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jelly head

posted on 4/9/19 at 06:01 PM Reply With Quote
i like you have a old school steel HT MTB (as well as a modern full sus) and have been curious how a Ti frame would ride.

Would love to give it a go and have had a look at retro Ti frames but hells bells they're pricey + to make the most of it i reckon you'd need to a light weight drive train (XTR?) ££££

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pigeondave

posted on 4/9/19 at 06:09 PM Reply With Quote
Why does it have to be Ti?

Nowadays its all about longer lower slacker.
I ended up going for a Bird Zero AM. Its long low and slack and i wont kill myself like I would have on a full sus.

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russbost

posted on 4/9/19 at 06:10 PM Reply With Quote
My Q would be "what are you hoping to gain from it"?

I can't believe you would feel any difference in terms of stiffness etc. on a hard tail bike over typical trails, surely different wheel/tyre combinations would make a much larger difference. If you are expecting any sort of performance gain due to reduced weight I would imagine it is almost immeasurable

The biggest difference surely is that your wallet will be hugely lighter!





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se7ensport

posted on 4/9/19 at 06:18 PM Reply With Quote
I have a Ti Picknflic cyclocross from on-one, I have also ridden a Ti XC.

Loved them both, light and strong, Iím one of the few who actually breaks alloy frames through fatigue.

When I come to replacing my fully rigid XC Iíll be seriously considering one of these Fireline



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se7ensport

posted on 4/9/19 at 06:25 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by russbost
My Q would be "what are you hoping to gain from it"?

I can't believe you would feel any difference in terms of stiffness etc. on a hard tail bike over typical trails, surely different wheel/tyre combinations would make a much larger difference. If you are expecting any sort of performance gain due to reduced weight I would imagine it is almost immeasurable

The biggest difference surely is that your wallet will be hugely lighter!


Ti feels a lot like a steel Reynolds frame, just at the same weight as an alloy frame. Steel and Ti have a little bit of flex that reduces trail buzz, great when paired with carbon forks. Alloy is a harsher ride which you notice the longer you ride for, if you only plan on a few laps of the local park save your money, if you like a 3hr plus ride on a regular basis then itís money well spent.

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nick205

posted on 4/9/19 at 06:34 PM Reply With Quote
I know they're not cheap. However my current steel MTB has lasted me a long time and I have in mind something to last me at least as long again.

The current steel MTB has been through various wheels, groupsets, tyres, handlebars etc. No doubt a new frame would follow the same path.

Aluminium doesn't light my fire neither does carbon fibre really. Titanium seems to offer longevity and reviews speak of them being satisfying to ride.

Knowing there's cyclists on here I thought I'd ask people's input.

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jelly head

posted on 5/9/19 at 07:24 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by russbost


If you are expecting any sort of performance gain due to reduced weight I would imagine it is almost immeasurable

The biggest difference surely is that your wallet will be hugely lighter!


You genuinely can feel a difference in weight between a heavy and light bike, especially when you're having to throw it around or climbing.

Comparing my 90's steel to modern ali frame, the steel frame is way lighter and ali frames a quite harsh to ride. Ti should be lighter again but with the same springiness you get with the steel frames, as has been said they should be more comfortable on longer rides.

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JAG

posted on 5/9/19 at 07:38 AM Reply With Quote
I have a Ti road bike by Van Nicholas. It has a Carbon Fibre fork.

I came from an Aluminium framed Ribble with a Carbon Fibre Fork. Before the Ribble I had a Steel framed Road bike.

The weight is about the same (Ti bike is a bit lighter because of other bits, mainly the wheels).

The biggest difference is the ride quality - I was amazed but it's actually true. Less harshness and road buzz on the Ti bike.

I also love that the Ti bike has no paint and doesn't tarnish, corrode or otherwise degrade even when it's left dirty for days/weeks!

It's also a really cool colour and has beautiful TIG welds and machined bits and finishing details that Engineers just drool over.

I'm a Chartered Mechanical Engineer and this will be my 'forever' Road Bike

I also have two Steel framed Mountain Bikes

[Edited on 5/9/19 by JAG]





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nick205

posted on 5/9/19 at 08:45 AM Reply With Quote
JAG

A couple of your points highlight what I'm after...

1. Ride quality
2. Beautiful engineering
3. No paint and doesn't tarnish
4. "Forever" bike

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Sam_68

posted on 5/9/19 at 09:30 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by se7ensport
Loved them both, light and strong, Iím one of the few who actually breaks alloy frames through fatigue.


Genuine question, but is Ti actually better in this respect?

My understanding is that the big problem with it is that unless you get the argon shield absolutely perfect, it causes embrittlement at the weld, which surely must make them more prone to fatigue fracture?

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JAG

posted on 5/9/19 at 10:38 AM Reply With Quote
I don't know how Van Nicholas post-process their frames so I can't answer the question about welding and fatigue life. Other than mine hasn't cracked yet

However I can say that Ti frames maybe "more prone" when welded but still less prone than Aluminium





Justin


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Penry, the mild-mannered janitor? ...Could be!

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nick205

posted on 5/9/19 at 10:41 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Sam_68
quote:
Originally posted by se7ensport
Loved them both, light and strong, Iím one of the few who actually breaks alloy frames through fatigue.


Genuine question, but is Ti actually better in this respect?

My understanding is that the big problem with it is that unless you get the argon shield absolutely perfect, it causes embrittlement at the weld, which surely must make them more prone to fatigue fracture?



My understanding also is the welding process requires careful management to ensure oxygen is purged from the weld area. Selecting the right frame builder would be important. Some of the research I've done shows that the main frame triangles might be fabricated from Titanium tube, however they may also make use of CNC machined or 3D printed dropouts and derailleur hangers.

I would favour the buy a frame and parts and build the bike myself. This may require investing in some new tools, but I'm not averse to acquiring new tools when necessary.

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coyoteboy

posted on 5/9/19 at 12:21 PM Reply With Quote
Much like any other product, the characteristics of the frame can be tailored using *any* material. Everyone will tell you a carbon frame is stiff and unforgiving, but they can and are often tailored to be flexible where required. Some will tell you steel's springy, but it only is if the tubing is thin enough in the right places, and lots of steel steeds are rigid boat anchors. Many will tell you Ti is super light and not stiff, but in reality Ti has half the stiffness of steel and half the density - the frame designers play with geometry, tubing thickness and diam and material props to generate the feeling they like. About the only thing you can say comprehensively is that Alu frames are likely to be stiffer because they'd fatigue fail early if they were designed to be flexi.

Everything else is just try riding it - it's the only way.

[Edited on 5/9/19 by coyoteboy]





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se7ensport

posted on 5/9/19 at 03:34 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Sam_68
quote:
Originally posted by se7ensport
Loved them both, light and strong, Iím one of the few who actually breaks alloy frames through fatigue.


Genuine question, but is Ti actually better in this respect?

My understanding is that the big problem with it is that unless you get the argon shield absolutely perfect, it causes embrittlement at the weld, which surely must make them more prone to fatigue fracture?


Iíve killed two alloy frames, both just under 24mths old when they cracked, my Ti is 36mths and looking good.

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coyoteboy

posted on 5/9/19 at 08:38 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by se7ensport
Iíve killed two alloy frames, both just under 24mths old when they cracked, my Ti is 36mths and looking good.


How?! Which frame? I've run some of my alloy frames for a decade, even with massive chainstay gouges from chain suck!

[Edited on 5/9/19 by coyoteboy]





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se7ensport

posted on 5/9/19 at 10:42 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by coyoteboy
quote:
Originally posted by se7ensport
Iíve killed two alloy frames, both just under 24mths old when they cracked, my Ti is 36mths and looking good.


How?! Which frame? I've run some of my alloy frames for a decade, even with massive chainstay gouges from chain suck!

[Edited on 5/9/19 by coyoteboy]


The first was a Transition, the top tube cracked where it joins with the steerer; regular small drops to flat was the likely cause (apparently itís not a BMX).

The second was an On One Scandal 29er, the seat stay broke away from the seat tube; I was putting a minimum of an hours ride into that bike every day and 2-3hrs on a Saturday and Sunday. It had a 38 chain ring with 8 gears, Iím 14st with big legs; it had a hard life.

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coyoteboy

posted on 6/9/19 at 11:35 AM Reply With Quote
Still seems a bit shonky, I'm 215kg and regularly jump my early malt 1 and more recently a C456. You are pushing a lot of hours though.





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daviep

posted on 6/9/19 at 12:44 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by coyoteboy
Still seems a bit shonky, I'm 215kg and regularly jump my early malt 1 and more recently a C456. You are pushing a lot of hours though.


Not sure whether to be amazed, shocked or impressed.





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Nickp

posted on 6/9/19 at 01:57 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by daviep
quote:
Originally posted by coyoteboy
Still seems a bit shonky, I'm 215kg and regularly jump my early malt 1 and more recently a C456. You are pushing a lot of hours though.


Not sure whether to be amazed, shocked or impressed.


Possibly a typo?
Not seen many 34st folk on pushbikes, never mind performing any sort of jumps

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nick205

posted on 6/9/19 at 03:57 PM Reply With Quote
215kg is quite some weight to be chucking a bike around!

By comparison I'm about 75kg.

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