Is Ti the solution?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
rollinslow
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2018 2:25 am

by rollinslow

Titanium is the solution for someone who wants an extremely durable frame and is willing to pay $$$ for it. From what I’ve seen, you definitely get what you pay for. Go with Moots, Baum, Firefly, Mosaic and you will have a very light extremely well made custom geometry frame. If you aren’t prepared to spend then I would say it’s not worth it at all.

My Moots is 7.2kg with bike computer pedals etc all loaded on it. Custom geo but around a 56cm size.

Good friend had their Ribble crack in two places on the chain stays after 3 years.

mattr
Posts: 4673
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm
Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

853guy wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 12:45 pm
All the above is true. But as many probably already know, the problem isn't just the skill of the welder, nor impurites (natural oils, lubricants, dirt, etc) on the surface of the titanium.
Yeah, i didn't want to go into that level of detail, i did that (i think) on another post about Ti welding. Gas sheilding without a full chamber or extensive and continuous purging of the joint is a recipe for disaster. The Ti stuff i've been involved with, mostly writing the process documentation for standard process/repairs, probably 75% of every document is simply about getting the joint ready for welding. Connecting purge systems, orientation to ensure no air pockets blah blah blah.

Someone simply relying on the gas sheild from a torch is almost certainly going to introduce *some* contamination. (who knows if it'll cause the weld to fail!)

by Weenie


RyanH
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by RyanH

Does all of this really matter? Carbon may crack, steel may rust, Ti may crack at the welds. All of these are consummables in a sense anyway. You should be buying a particular material for ride qualities not purported longevity. It may last forever, it may not. They come with a warranty to cover the may not scenario.

mattr
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by mattr

Yes, it does.

For at least the last ~20 years, Ti has been marketed/described/reviewed as a "frame for life". It isn't.
A number of manufacturers *haven't* stood by their warranty either. (Lifetime means 5 years, because thats the lifetime of a frame sort of thing.)

none
Posts: 148
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:29 pm

by none

My 2001 Litespeed Ultimate is still my daily ride, over 72k miles ridden since 2004. I have yet to have any problem with my frame.
I'm hoping that it would be my "frame for life", since I picked it after ridden over 1/2 dozen other ti frames.
AFAIK, the lighter 6/4 ti have higher failure rate than 3/2.75 frames, since the tube wall is thinner, or more difficult to shape into tubes, more difficult to work with, more difficult to weld.
Whether ti is "the" solution, probably not for everybody, but it is for me.
After pedaling bicycles for over 35 years, I think I know what works for me.
Like most items related bicycling, light strong, cheap; pick two.
Manufacture's warranty are very difficult to define with cycling equipment in general.
Material or labor defects are not the same as accident or wear-n-tear under use.

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Calnago
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Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:14 pm

by Calnago

This is me brazing my first steel frame many moons ago. Was actually considering building frames...
Image
It was a mess, and I quickly learned to very much appreciate the skills necessary to build a nice frame. This was back when carbon was just taking off. I’d already had custom steel frames, and before I invested in my own milling machine, I had to take some of this new fangled carbon stuff for a spin. Basically I took an early Trek Carbon frame out which was extremely stiff and harsh feeling, plus the weblike joins between the top tube, headtube, and downtube just looked plain ugly to me. So I ended up with my first carbon Colnago, a C40. It was so different than other carbon frames of the day in that it actually felt good to ride, as opposed to stiff and brittle feeling. I put down the torch and decided to leave that part of things to people better skilled at metalwork than I was, and figured this carbon stuff was the way forward. It was, but as a niche market I very much admire the steel/ti artisans. I tried working with ti a bit, but as was mentioned it is more difficult and requires a lot more care in keeping the welding environment contaminant free, plus I could never see very well behind the dark Darth Vader type shield.
But today, if I was going for a custom frame, I’d likely choose steel. Steel has come a long way since those days and I’m utterly amazed at how thin the walls can be drawn. And I’d likely want it painted and steel accepts paint well. But I’m certainly impressed with the Firefly type anodized branding and some fine welding is always appreciated, but custom builders can make mistakes too. And it’s not like you get to ride several frames with slightly different geometries to choose from, all built specifically for you, but with slightly different geometries. What you get is what you get. And for the most part, I think most people claim total satisfaction. I was like that with my first custom road frame. But deep down, and with more experience, I realized it was probably the worst riding road bike I’ve ever had, or at a minimum it wasn’t what I ultimately learned to appreciate as far as road bike handling goes. Not that it was terrible by any means, but certainly not what I like now. Lol. It cost me an arm and a leg at the time, was exquisitely filet brazed, but the geometry just wasn’t what I would later realize I covet in a road bike. Live and learn. Oh, and the paint didn’t come out the color I was hoping for. Instead of a nice bright yellow, it was more of a mustard color. Kinda ugly really. And let’s face it, paint jobs and color counts. And for a lot of folks, probably more than the geometry itself.
Last edited by Calnago on Sat May 11, 2019 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Colnago C64 - The Naked Build; Colnago C60 - PR99; Trek Koppenberg - Where Emonda and Domane Meet;
Unlinked Builds (searchable): Colnago C59 - 5 Years Later; Trek Emonda SL Campagnolo SR; Special Colnago EPQ

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Hellgate
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:49 pm

by Hellgate

mattr wrote:
853guy wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 12:45 pm
All the above is true. But as many probably already know, the problem isn't just the skill of the welder, nor impurites (natural oils, lubricants, dirt, etc) on the surface of the titanium.
Yeah, i didn't want to go into that level of detail, i did that (i think) on another post about Ti welding. Gas sheilding without a full chamber or extensive and continuous purging of the joint is a recipe for disaster. The Ti stuff i've been involved with, mostly writing the process documentation for standard process/repairs, probably 75% of every document is simply about getting the joint ready for welding. Connecting purge systems, orientation to ensure no air pockets blah blah blah.

Someone simply relying on the gas sheild from a torch is almost certainly going to introduce *some* contamination. (who knows if it'll cause the weld to fail!)
And that, is exactly what the good builders do.

rollinslow
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2018 2:25 am

by rollinslow

Agree with a lot of the above. It’s not like all Ti is even close to equal. The top manufacturers use engineers who carefully account for your ride style, weight, etc. When I designed my Moots the spec was to be stable at 60mph for big mountain descents and that’s exactly what is does. Having other bikes in the stable certainly helped with the geometry process as did an excellent fitter locally. Is the frame worth 4K more than a Lynskey? Absolutely. Moots even has control of their source Ti from Oregon. Seeing my buddies Ti bike crack with normal wear just expemplified the limits of a highly skilled process being done abroad with cheap labor.

mattr
Posts: 4673
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm
Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

Hellgate wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 11:05 pm
And that, is exactly what the good builders do.
Except a lot of those touted as good builders don't. Or don't do it very well. The whole design of a bike makes it tricky to do anyway. Lots of complex joints.

A lot of the stuff i did had purging access as a design criteria. Bikes don't.

kgibbo1868
Posts: 285
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:36 pm

by kgibbo1868

Great thread, I was planning on a Ti bike for quite a while but after a lot of reading and talking to different people as well as my builder I decided to go with steel. A quality steel bike should be a bit livelier and provide more feedback than Ti. It will probably feel a bit harsher though..... I also would say a quality steel frame should not rust, corrosion protection if done properly is very effective. Steel is also easier to work with if repairs are required down the track. I have a Ti Lynsey mountain bike and I think it’s great, very easy to care for and supper tough! I have crashed it hard a few times and never even a mark! As always, both materials can make amazing frames if the builder gets the geometry right to give you the ride you want.


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853guy
Posts: 226
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:48 pm

by 853guy

853guy wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 12:45 pm
The only way to completely mitigate atmospheric contamination is to weld titanium in an inert gas (argon) environment within a hyperbaric chamber. Ensuing no oxygen is present during the heating and cooling process means atmospheric contamination is mitigated, allowing the gasses already present in the metal to be released and purged.

I know both Bertoletti and Nevi weld titanium this way. I would never personally purchase a titanium frame, especially a custom one, not welded under hyperbaric conditions.
Actually, you can add Passoni to that list.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, all three carry price tages befitting the additional time-consuming process.

Best,

853guy

none
Posts: 148
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:29 pm

by none

kgibbo1868 wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 1:57 pm
Great thread, I was planning on a Ti bike for quite a while but after a lot of reading and talking to different people as well as my builder I decided to go with steel.
I went the custom steel frame 20+ years ago, and it still has its disadvantages to this day compared to a generic ti frame.
Steel frame cost as much as a quality used titanium frame these days, but still retain the concern of rust/corrosion overtime, paint to damage, extra weight with similar ride quality.

MiddMan
Posts: 207
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:54 pm

by MiddMan

I’ve got to say, I have a whole new appreciation for titanium now. I had read about Passoni’s welding process but didn’t really fathom everything it entails. I just looked into Nevi and Bertoletti (courtesy of 853guy’s post) and was quite amazed by the video on the Nevi website showing how it’s done. Now that takes some skill.

I definitely hope to have a titanium bike in my future, but probably not for 6 or 7+ years from now. A part of me is interested in custom geometry, but at the same time I hesitate because I’d be worried about that it wouldn’t be as lively or stable or responsive or xyz as a tried a true formula. At least to my limited knowledge as a rider only and not in the industry or engineering, I wouldn’t necessarily be able to predict what this or that change in angles would do ultimately to the handling.

As for longevity, the expectation that a high quality and expensive titanium frame will last a true lifetime (and not merely 5 years) is a reasonable one. The US has become such a conspicuous consumption society and I’m afraid some cycling brands have fallen into this that many people follow, simply accepting that a broken frame is perhaps inevitable. I can’t say I agree with this. Though if one races and/or constantly subjects the bike to other such extreme forces or conditions, that might be another story. But I’m of the school that likes the idea of passing on superior quality craftsmanship to the next generation, so I’d look for a particular Ti bike accordingly.

charlieboy52000
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:43 am

by charlieboy52000

addictR1 wrote:Always had an itch for Ti bike frame and instead of adding another N+1, think if maybe having a Ti bike to replace my current bikes would be the answer?

Is there such a thing as a bike that encompasses all of these features? Or am I dreaming rainbows and unicorns.
• Aero
• Lightweight
• Stiff BB section
• Comfy to ride, yet racey
• Frameset to support up to 28C or 32C tires (running tubular)
• Groupset: mechanical and eventually eTAP

Bio: I'm just an avg Joe that loves to climb, sprint and ride long distance. love to build my own bikes and enjoy the ride afterwards. but over the years, getting old, bad knees and back, so climbing with a 34/32T or even 34/36T is more enjoyable for my knees than with a 30t or less. Height and weight wise, i'm at 5'7" (long ass arms) and 153lbs (10.9 stone)

Current steeds are:
• 2011 Scott Addict R1 – very comfy to ride, not overly stiff to climb with. 14lbs now.
• 2017 BMC TMR02 – harsh yet stiff ride, but damn fast. 16lbs now.



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charlieboy52000
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:43 am

by charlieboy52000

charlieboy52000 wrote:
addictR1 wrote:Always had an itch for Ti bike frame and instead of adding another N+1, think if maybe having a Ti bike to replace my current bikes would be the answer?

Is there such a thing as a bike that encompasses all of these features? Or am I dreaming rainbows and unicorns.
• Aero
• Lightweight
• Stiff BB section
• Comfy to ride, yet racey
• Frameset to support up to 28C or 32C tires (running tubular)
• Groupset: mechanical and eventually eTAP

Bio: I'm just an avg Joe that loves to climb, sprint and ride long distance. love to build my own bikes and enjoy the ride afterwards. but over the years, getting old, bad knees and back, so climbing with a 34/32T or even 34/36T is more enjoyable for my knees than with a 30t or less. Height and weight wise, i'm at 5'7" (long ass arms) and 153lbs (10.9 stone)

Current steeds are:
• 2011 Scott Addict R1 – very comfy to ride, not overly stiff to climb with. 14lbs now.
• 2017 BMC TMR02 – harsh yet stiff ride, but damn fast. 16lbs now.



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Litespeed T1 Sl. Has all those features.
I have the 2015 frame with etap at 15.6 lbs on training mode. On race mode it will drop to 15lbs. Or sub 15lbs.
My next bike will be a newer model of the same. Excellent bike. I think you can look at my profile and see the pictures.


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by Weenie


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