I just think the I.F. is "cool"
10 years is a long time and I really don't see too many cats out there putting serious miles on frames that are that old.
My suggestion to you is to get the ti, but have it built for strength and comfort. This will mean that you may have to pay a slight weight penalty but you will have a frame that will last you for those 10 plus years and you won't have to worry about any cracks in the tubing like you would with carbon.
Also, keep in mind compatibility. BB30 is going to be the next style design in road bikes(so much stiffer, don't you know?:lol:) so you may want to get ahead of that curve if that matters to you at all. Also, it may be a consideration just for the sake of being able to purchase equipment like bottom brackets and cranks that will be compatible and available.
The Parlee isn't like some of the super thin walled bikes like Scott CR1 Cervelo R3 etc... But it's not got the impact resistance and general thrashability of a Ti bike weight 30% more either.
Neither bike are going to "wear out" and both will survive pot holes about the same...
Impact resistance is another story and while carbon can be repaired, Ti is generaly better suited.
If you get super butted thin walled Ti though, I've seen that get battered and not be that great either... If you asked for a Ti Frame at the same weight for the soze as the Z3 for instance, you may find the Top and down tubes to be no place near as durable for crash as your old Litespeed...
Not sure why you want to train on one style of bike and ride another one just for race days. A bicycle is a tool use it for what it is...when your litespeed finally breaks than I would suggest getting a new bike. But doesnt the Litespeed already come with a lifetime warranty? If so than you already have a bike that should last you over 30 years.. So keep riding it, upgrade to new groupos when you need too. I think to many people just cant be happy with what they have...you have a nice bike ride it and enjoy it. But if you had to buy another bike. I would make it again Ti..Its not the lightest..But you can pull out a ti bike and a carbon bike from 10 years ago and the Ti still looks good. Carbon not so much. I personally thing carbon bikes are throw away bikes just many people havent figure it out yet....
Also, I didn't mean to make it seem like I'm crashing all over the place. In fact my last date with the floor was 2 years ago. Great, I just jinxed myself. That being said the type of durability I'm talking about is being able to take pot hole hits, (I think Pez talked about that), pebbles pinging off the frame, road grit and rain (although I guess I'd be riding the Litespeed then), the occasional gravel road when I get lost...
Put another way, I've seen Cervelos and know folks who ride them. What I just described would result in a not-so-hot-looking Cervelo in a few years. And Yes, I know Cervelo has won Paris Roubaix twice etc.
And yes, Propad has a point, with the economy the way it is maybe the best investment is to go with what works for now, my good old trusty straight gauge ti Litespeed!
I have a 12yr old Ti frame, the parts have all been changed a couple of times. I'd cut a carbon frame up before that point and put it in a dumpster.
I work in the bicycle industry.
Not bagging at all on IF, but dollar for dollar I think there are a couple other options I might consider if Ti were the material...
The list for custom carbon is shorter (about 90% shorter) and there are not many folks that could shave a thousand bucks off...
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PezTech wrote:If it's a Ti bike you want and cost is a factor, there are a few other choices out there that could give you a bike on par with the IF Crown Jewel for a thousand bucks less...
Lynskey and Seven?
As for ride, count me in the carbon camp. I haven't owned an IF ti (I do own a steel one with S&S couplings for travel), but have had two Litespeeds, two Moots and a Colnago ti. I would rate the Moots close to ti in ride but not equal.
Your budget is $4k, and a target of lasting 10 years? How about buying a $1500 frame every 3 years? $1500 can buy you a quality frame these days. Arguably, 3 years from now, $1500 will buy you an even better frame (assuming technology advancements, etc...)
Custom Moots was only $250 more than stock Moots, last I looked. If it has to be custom for fit purposes and you're not made of money, I don't see why you'd pay up for IF.
There are no guarantees in life, but training on CF frames should not result in damage that stops you from going 10 years. That said, stuff happens, and if you can't afford the downside, don't take the risk. Personally, I'd live for today, know my economic circumstances will change over the next decade, and realize that the price of getting the bike I want is the possibility that I'll be riding my Ti for practice and races if my CF breaks.
2009 Trek Madone 5.5 Project One SRAM Force 16.4 lbs w/pedals and cages.
2007 Bianchi 928 Carbon Lugged- SRAM Rival-17 lbs.
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