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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:26 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:38 am
Posts: 45
Location: Virginia
Hello all,
I am a medical student graduating in May and am planning on celebrating with my first custom road bike. I am currently riding my super stiff alum. VD hellafaster crit bike and was looking for something I can still race, but will boot beat me up on long (200 + km) rides. I am leaning toward stainless steel only because I familiar with it, having had a 853 lemond zurich. My requirements are BB30 or press-fit 30, replaceable dropout (bad experiences in the past) and a oversized headtube to run Chris king inset with tapered fork. It seems I can get these requirements in either material(SS or Ti), but my question is which?

Recommendations, reasoning, experiences with builders and photos with weights would be appreciated.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:30 pm 
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Location: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
My reasoning: Seen too many broken titanium frames to recommend one.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:52 pm 
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Posts: 574
Location: Aarhus, Denmark
Ti will be more expensive but imo nicer. I would recommend both materials though - have a look around and see what you like best.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:38 am
Posts: 45
Location: Virginia
I have done quite a lot of research on both materials, just looking for some real world advice. It seems either material would be within $500 - $1000 of each other be pending on finishing options.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:56 pm
Posts: 39
Both materials are worthy choices, I personally think that the builder has a big say in how either material will potentially ride. For Ti bikes check out IF, Firefly, Spectrum, Moots. These are all HIGHLY respected builders in that material and know what's up. For Stainless also check out IF, Firefly and Spectrum. Obviously there is some crossover between the two materials for builders, but they are the ones that I would be looking in to if I were looking to do what you're doing.

Good Luck


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:38 am
Posts: 45
Location: Virginia
All builders I have looked at, firefly doesn't offer 44 mm head tube in SS, one of my requirements. That is part of my conundrum and why I started looking at Ti vs. SS. I think firefly bikes are some of the most beautiful builds currently and being a big IF fan, they seem like the logical choice. Form cycles is one of the only builders I have found that offers 44 mm head tubes in SS.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:44 pm 
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Posts: 477
Location: Triange, NC
Carl Strong has a very good reputation also so I would add this builder to the list named by Veloryan.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:54 pm 
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Posts: 39
Thanks NealH, I wholeheartedly agree.....I knew I would leave someone out. Strong bikes should definitely be one to add to your short list of builders

NealH wrote:
Carl Strong has a very good reputation also so I would add this builder to the list named by Veloryan.


Also, check with Firefly directly regarding your headtube requirements, if it can be done I'd be surprised if they couldn't/wouldn't be able to do exactly what you want as they are highly accomplished custom bike builders.

abuck55ru wrote:
All builders I have looked at, firefly doesn't offer 44 mm head tube in SS, one of my requirements. That is part of my conundrum and why I started looking at Ti vs. SS. I think firefly bikes are some of the most beautiful builds currently and being a big IF fan, they seem like the logical choice. Form cycles is one of the only builders I have found that offers 44 mm head tubes in SS.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:37 am
Posts: 5751
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Kelly Bedford will make you a Stainless or Ti bike with all of what you want.

Rather than the tons of other builders that will make you excuses because they either can't or wont fabricate to newer standards.


Kbedfordcustoms.com

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:53 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 5:46 am
Posts: 225
I think you guys are forgetting Rob English. Not sure if he'd fabricate in stainless, but he'd certainly build you an ultralight, stiff bike up to the latest standards (and probably beyond).

Everybody's seen these pictures before, but...

Image

Image

I think both are well under 15 lbs.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:59 am 
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Posts: 542
Location: NoVA
PezTech wrote:
Kelly Bedford will make you a Stainless or Ti bike with all of what you want.

Rather than the tons of other builders that will make you excuses because they either can't or wont fabricate to newer standards.


Kbedfordcustoms.com


+1 For Kelly. Just met him this weekend and and saw his latest PF30, OS King Inset, Ti frame and was very impressed. It even had custom ti tubed internal cable routing. Not sure what he's offering in terms of butted/tapered Ti tube sets but it seemed reasonably light. I also saw a few current stainless builds he's working on at it seems he's not partial to stainless for certain parts of the frame (BB area), can't remember exactly why. One of them even had a custom lugged PF30 BB. Sweet stuff.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:53 am 
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Location: Phoenix Arizona
With Kelly you're talking about one of the few custom lugged steel / Ti guys who's also done a lot of carbon work and isnt affraid to lay out Alu...

Nothing is off the table with his fab skills...

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:15 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2004 11:42 pm
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Location: lat 38.9677 lon 77.3366
I have done many miles on Ti and 953. Two of the frames were within 15 grams of each other. The 953 was stiffer. It survived several crashes that sent me to the hospital. IMO the new stainless tubing is a better choice for a big rider if comparing otherwise identical frames. In the end my Ti frame cracked but it had over 60000 miles on it and was ten years old. A custom stainless is a wonderful thing.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:59 am 
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I have a few bikes made of both materials...all excellent but only as good as the builder making it...

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:05 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:08 am
Posts: 8184
Location: Geelong
Wingnut wrote:
all excellent but only as good as the builder making it...

DING! DING! DING!

We have the winner here ladies and gents.


Either material will provide what you're looking for, however from my experience (and trying to not be too biased) Ti has a little more tunability if you get a frame with custom butted tubes. Which would lead me to throwing Baum in to the mix as a brand to consider.

They will have a stand at NAHBS, so if you're a chance of nipping over to Sacramento I'd recommend the trip. Would be a heap of other excellent frame builders to see while you're at it.

Also don't quite get why a 44mm HT is a prerequisite, but if it's your dream bike then fair enough.

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