Steel, Stainless steel or Titanium ?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
stormur
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by stormur

I plan to "build" road bike in near future. Has to be custom geo due to my specific body build/flexibility, and I want bike to accomodate 28-30mm tires with road brake calipers. Disc is not an option.
It will travel with me 2-3 times a year (Italy & Spain) so has to be less fragile than CF ( which I'm kind of tired...or just can't find what I'm searching for, plus custom CF frames are way to expensive for my taste, just not worth asked price IMO: it's still bicycle- saddle, bar, wheels.... ;) price per "what you get" ratio is terrible here).

So,
Steel : my last choice due to unevitable corrosion. Where I live it's more than easy to chip frame, specially on Spring when we still have small stones on roads after Winter.

Stainless : I like idea. Steel ride quality without major issue of it (vide above). Minus ( not disqualifying ! ) is frame weight in comparison to

Ti : seems to be best choice; lighter than steel, superb ride quality, non corrosive... . One doubt only, majority of Ti frames I see over the net have "fatter" tubing than steel frames ( I don't mean Colnago Master very narrow tubing, but rather Cinelli XCR sized )

Somwhere in mind is still bouncing aluminium frame idea ( naturally also custom ), but I still rememeber my last alu bike ride quality ( Bianchi ViaNirone)... which pulls me bit or even more than bit from this material.

I'm not "up-to-date" with custom metal/ alloy frames, so asking for advice, WHAT YOU WOULD CHOOSE & WHY ?
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RyanH
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by RyanH

I think you could get smaller diameter tubing in Ti from most builders. When I had the Litespeed Classic, I was surprised that there wasn't a huge difference in flex and comfort over the T3. That is either a testament to how well the tube shaping works for the new Litespeeds or possibly how much difference a carbon seatpost vs alloy seatpost makes. I know the latter part is definitely a factor as I temporarily had a 3T Pro seatpost on the T3 and the ride became pretty harsh, relatively speaking.
Strava
Current Stable. The Snob Machine
The Ex's. LS Siena: 6.21kg | Parlee Z5 SLi: 5.9kg | LS Xicon: 5.76kg | C59: 5.7kg | Cervelo R5ca: 5.09kg | Fuji Altamira SE - 6.2kg | Scott Foil - 6.2kg | Evo - 5.18kg | LS Classic - 6.7kg | The Crumpton - 5.9kg

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Hellgate
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by Hellgate

I have a 15 YO Davidson Ti road bike that's being replaced by a 333fab Ti bike. The Davidson is a smaller diameter tube, whereas the 333fab is of "newer" sizing; 44mm HT, oversized double butted tubes, T47BB, Breezer dropouts, etc.

I'm looking for a more contemporary geometry in the 333fab. Not that Davidson can't do that.

If wasn't having another Ti frame built I'd go with Columbus HHS/Spirit.

I've ridden a Bottecchia SS, gravel bike. It's a very nice ride, but I'm drawn to Ti.

I like Ti better than steel for all of the usual reasons, ride quality, lighter than steel, no rust, never wears out. Ti is also very inexpensive these days. It's hard to say no at current prices.

Give a few builders a call and get their take.


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sungod
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by sungod

you mention that you're put off stainless steel due to weight vs. ti, would there really be a big difference?

i think xcr (and 953) has better strength/weight ratio than ti alloys used for bike frames - frame weight may depend more on the specific tubeset, bb shell etc.

Antoine
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by Antoine

Better to ask the builder, do you have one in mind ?

In my understanding north american builders have more experience and they can get the tubes more easely and cheaply (more tube suppliers , at least for titanium).

Not many in Europe are offering both steel and titanium and in most cases you need to be vary patient (long waiting list).
And stainless steel is apparently difficult to source, at least Xcr : viewtopic.php?f=10&t=135477

dim
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Location: Cambridge UK

by dim

I'd steer clear of Titanium .... from what I have read, the welds have to be perfect .... some people report welds that crack after a while, especially around the bottom bracket where forces are huge

so go with lightweight steel .... I like these:
Jaegher Interceptor:
http://www.cyclist.co.uk/reviews/797/ja ... tor-review

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Canyon Endurace AL
Whyte Suffolk Gravel Bike

Drizt
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by Drizt

Light weight Steel dents very easily....

Ti is much hardier.

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fromtrektocolnago
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by fromtrektocolnago

I thought about it as well. I went with Titanium because it seemed there were more road bikes being done Titanium than stainless steel and the weight was a little lower. All the research suggested the ride would be comparable. In my book if I was doing steel I wouldn't be going stainless (for cost reasons) and if the bike is being used in normal weather and kept indoors rust probably isn't a huge issue. I just didn't see a ton of product available in stainless and much more available in titanium
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nickf
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by nickf

Hellgate wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:22 am

If wasn't having another Ti frame built I'd go with Columbus HHS/Spirit.

I like Ti better than steel for all of the usual reasons, ride quality, lighter than steel, no rust, never wears out. Ti is also very inexpensive these days. It's hard to say no at current prices.

Give a few builders a call and get their take.


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I wouldn't hesitate to go with steel. I'm not in the steel frames wear out group. Maybe old frames from the 70s using strait gauge pipes. The steel alloys of today's tubesets are so well engineered. Frame saver, a decent paint job, and some well placed helicopter tape you wont have any problems. Just got my English and I'm in a humid state, I'm not worried about it.

Stainless will build stiff but the tubeset isn't exactly matched for your weight or riding style because of the lack of available tube sets.

Ti is the next on my list. With those large, shaped, butted Ti tubes they can really dial in how the bike will ride for the specific application.

stormur
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by stormur

About Jaegher: some reviews point poor paint quality, for the frameset at this price it should be not less than immaculate.

I'm definitely not eager to pay for "metal" frame more than I have to for the Time carbon frame. Point is I'm not eager to pay so much for the frame. For me max reasonable price for such thing like bike frame is 1500€.
So long as I know how much cost at far east supplier one fancy carbon frame ( let BMC SLR01 be the reference point ) incl delivery to EU and all the taxes, I will never pay MRSP... and not even half of it. It's cheap mass production item, made on far east and should be priced accordingly. It's not "Blancpain", at most Festina, but prices like TagHeuer.

Same applies to hand made carbon ( let Appleman be the reference ) ; why should I pay 2-3 times more for Appleman than for Time ?

Jeagher... Except their adverts and other types of paid content... does anyone knows who stays really behind the product ? and why it cost same/ more than brands with names behind it ? I can't see any reason. BTW set of HSS tubes cost 400€ max ( if you buy small amount, and that includes all bits like dropouts & co )

I'm very hype resistant, and by nature any kind of sporting equipment would judge only by value for money / call it also price per performance.

So, why should I pay 2.3k€ for Jeagher if I can have Orlowski for the fraction of the price ? Same for Ti frames ( like No22 or Eriksen or Litespeed / which is serial production product ) ) : are they really so much better than f.e Reilly so they cost 2-3 times more ( same material ) ? I doubt it.
IMO price difference is all about branding. There's no any gain for the money going from one brand to another ( I exclude frames made in China, Russia and so : those are not in any consideration ) .

So you have some of my thoughts exposed :mrgreen:

PS I wonder also how GOOD custom aluminium frame ride in comparison to other materials ? ( by good I mean best tubes money can buy )
Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.
Mark Twain


I can be wrong, and have plenty of examples for that ;)

c60rider
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by c60rider

I bought my dream bike no expense spared of a C60 / super record last year and got my old (26 years) steel race frame refurbished during this year. It's looking like brand new again viewtopic.php?f=10&t=148462 so I wouldn't worry about steel corroding or chipping. Chipping is inevitable but just get a respray eventually or protect the main chip areas with a protective film.
If I had my time again I'd seriously reconsider buying the C60 and going for a custom geometry steel bike or possibly aluminium and I think that's certainly what I would go for in a future dream bike. We're lucky in the UK to have a lot of custom builders.

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wheelsONfire
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by wheelsONfire

Hey Stormur, let me know if you find someone building a custom frame for €1500.
I think it's a bit difficult actually.

Talking material, i would go for XCR tubing asking for a stiff front end and BB.
Or possibly Ti with same request. This should mean big diameter downtube and possibly toptube.
A tapered headtube rather than the 44mm I.D. (/50mm O.D.) they try to get away with.

I also would go for through axles and disc brake even if it was a road bike.

Stelbel have a nice bike, but it's 100/130 spacing.
I guess the UK builders ask less than the Italian.
Outside EU means a high taxing so i guess USA is out?
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romalor
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by romalor

Stelbel can produce the Antenore ( road bike with xcr tubing )
in disc brake versions with thru axles and thread fit 47 , big bottom bracket

look on their instagram or mail them

RyanH
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by RyanH

It's not going to be 1500€. The only thing that comes to mind that may be in that price range is Rychtarski.


Strava
Current Stable. The Snob Machine
The Ex's. LS Siena: 6.21kg | Parlee Z5 SLi: 5.9kg | LS Xicon: 5.76kg | C59: 5.7kg | Cervelo R5ca: 5.09kg | Fuji Altamira SE - 6.2kg | Scott Foil - 6.2kg | Evo - 5.18kg | LS Classic - 6.7kg | The Crumpton - 5.9kg

Shmitt
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:52 pm

by Shmitt

As I know Rychtarski can do Stainless bike, but it is expensive, and no one took order for this material...
Rychtarski make frames from Columbus, sordered not TIG, but i think it is not problem... About price, nowdays 1000 euro with painting , (hss steel)

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