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Carbon Fiber Vs Titanium(20 posts)

Carbon Fiber Vs TitaniumMaury Cohen
Apr 10, 2001 9:38 AM
I'm deciding between two high-performance tandem bikes; a Carbon Fiber
Calfee Tetra Tetra and a Seven Axiom 007 Ti. My main concern is that carbon fiber strikes me as being less durable in the long run, so I'm leaning towards the Seven. As this will probably be my last lifetime tandem purchase this is an important factor. Do any riders out there have real world experience or a strong educated opinion on this matter. I just believe that 15 years down the road (barring any catastrophic crashes)I might end up with a gouged or worthless C.F. bike Vs a valuable and intact Ti bike.
re: Carbon Fiber Vs Titaniumbike_junkie
Apr 10, 2001 9:49 AM
I'd say Ti is more durable in the event of a crash, etc...
Also, Seven does a wonderful tandem. Good luck.
re: Carbon Fiber Vs Titaniumgrz mnky
Apr 10, 2001 11:22 AM
I'd actually argue the opposite having crashed an OCLV - FWIW - not sure my Ti ride could have taken the same hit.

As long as you have a long (enough) warranty and a crash replacement program you should go with what you like best.
re: Carbon Fiber Vs Titaniumdug
Apr 10, 2001 10:32 AM
you've answered your own question
re: Carbon Fiber Vs TitaniumKen56
Apr 10, 2001 11:00 AM
I bought a Seven Axiom Ti (though not a tandem) 2 years ago for the exact same reason. I'm the type that tends to keep things a long time and get a lot of use out of them. Therefore, I wanted this bike to last me a lifetime (I'm 56 years old). I was skeptical of the longevity of carbon fiber. My apprehensions may have ben misplaced, but I'm glad of my decision.
re: Carbon Fiber Vs Titaniumpmf
Apr 10, 2001 11:05 AM
You're worried about 15 years down the road? Hmmm, what bike was I riding in 1986? Lets see, it was steel, real heavy, had a very curved fork and 27'' wheels. Where is it now? I don't know. Am I glad I'm not riding it these days? Hell yes.

Both of these bikes (Axiom and Tetra Pro) are very nice. I like carbon so my first choice would be the Calfee. Carbon is pretty tough and it is repairable. Despite what most folks will tell you, a carbon bike will last a long time, is very stiff (and stays that way), and has a wonderful ride. Its especially nice if you like long distance riding.

You can't go wrong with either one. Personally, I've always considered Sevens to be way over-priced for what they are. Titanuim bikes are nice though, and Seven does make a beautiful bike.

Either way, the chances that you'll be riding it 15 years from now is pretty remote. I can only imagine bikes 15 years from now. Sub-10 lbs, infinite gearing, ....
re: Carbon Fiber Vs TitaniumMrCelloBoy
Apr 10, 2001 11:22 AM
Thanks for yor comments.
It makes it very clear why this is such a hard decision. I've ridden both, and the Calfee felt just a hair more exciting to me. (In a good way.) Also, part of my consideration is what the resale value will be worth those 10 years or more down the road should I decide to re-sell either. My gut feeling is that the Ti would hold its value better.
You've ridden both!pmf
Apr 10, 2001 12:04 PM
Wow, its pretty rare to be in the market for 2 real high end bikes and get the chance to ride them. The last two bikes I bought (LS Ultimate and Colnago C-40) I did not ride before buying. They fit me fine however. I've always had luck with stock bikes.

If you're going to spend this much money, get the bike that you like best, not the one that you think will have a higher resale value in 10 years. Used bikes, especially an old used bike, will not be worth anything in 10 years. I recently sold my cross bike that I was commuting on (2 years old) and took to commuting on my 7 year old Kestrel because I could get $600 for the cross bike (initially paid $1000), but only about $1100 for the Kestrel (which has 2 year old DA 9-speed components and Helium wheels). The way I see it, you'll get much more value riding it all those miles and then ending up with $200 less 10 years down the road when you sell it. In my mind, buying a bike that you like less (especially when you're spending this kind of cash) just because you think it'll have a bigger resale value in the distant future is nuts.

Personally, I'm a big fan of carbon bikes. They really are nice. I've ridden the hell out of that Kestrel and its still great 7 years later. Rides almost as nice as the C-40. I consider the C-40 and the Tetra Pro to be the two finest carbon frames on the market.
You've ridden both!MrCelloBoy
Apr 10, 2001 12:35 PM
Yep, I consider myself pretty fortunate, maybe even spoiled now. And the poor Co-Motion salesguy was trying to talk me into flying up to Oregon to try theirs, FAT CHANCE! (No pun intended). We're just lucky to have a local shop owned by a masters champion who owns the Calfee himself, and friends locally who recently got a Seven. And we live in ibis country!
I'm beginnig to lean towards the (less expensive) Calfee.
I can't wait to eat some more half-bikes out on some rolling terrain!
Doesn't Calfee have a 25 year guarantee anyway? (nm)TomQ
Apr 10, 2001 11:12 AM
Doesn't Calfee have a 25 year guarantee anyway? (nm)MrCelloBoy
Apr 10, 2001 11:25 AM
Yes, and hopefully I wouldn't have to use the warranty in either case, but if Ti is clearly less prone to damage from the bike falling over, a rock being flung up from the pavement, or someone elses carelessness, I think it's worthy of serious consideration.
I couldn't resist another post ...pmf
Apr 10, 2001 12:08 PM
Carbon is not going to shatter when the frame gets dropped or a piece of road debris hits it. It would take a pretty catastrophic crash to ruin a carbon frame. Ti frames are not impervious to this kind of damage either.

Seems to me that you like the Calfee better, but are looking for reasons not to buy it.
I couldn't resist another post ...MrCelloBoy
Apr 10, 2001 12:26 PM
Really not looking for reasons to avoid the Calfee. It's just that 7 or 8 grand is a pretty big bike investment and I don't want any buyers regret, if you know what I mean. If somebody were able to provide evidence that C.F. is as durable or more durable than Ti It would make my decision a lot easier (Calfee).
I trust you read grzmnky's reply?pmf
Apr 10, 2001 12:45 PM
I'm not an engineer and cannot claim to make any argument proving CF is better than ti in terms of durability. It is incredibly strong stuff. You've got nothing to worry about. Do you really think its going to melt, evaporate, shatter, get riddled full of holes, etc?

If I were dropping $7-$8k on a bike, I'd regret a lot more that I bought one bike while another one was "just a hair more exciting to me. (In a good way)."
re: Carbon Fiber Vs TitaniumFlyweight
Apr 10, 2001 12:28 PM
Seeing how the rotor blades on Apache helicopters are made from composites (so are lots of other aviation parts) I don't think you need to be too worried about durability. No bicycle on this planet sees as much abuse in a lifetime as a helicopter sees in just a few hours of flight time.

Sounds to me like you're debating between a Ferrari and a Porsche.
re: Carbon Fiber Vs TitaniumMrCelloBoy
Apr 10, 2001 12:42 PM
You've got it right, but I still have to decide on the Ferrari or the Porsche. One friend suggested getting both, with couplers, then I could put whichever halves together that we feel at the time.
I actually think I've made my choice. Calfee it is. That way I get carbon fork without an upgrade charge! Which is it, Ferarri or Porsche?
re: Carbon Fiber Vs TitaniumIan
Apr 10, 2001 5:21 PM
You have said you like the Calfee better, so get the Calfee. Period.

I passed a couple in a century last year that was on a Calfee tandem. Prettiest tandem I have ever seen. Said "Hello, nice bike" and went on my way. I was in a shop the other day and was talking to someone who knew them. The complete bike weighs 28 lbs. Damn, that is light!

But, back to your dillema, you owe it to yourself to get the bike you like better. Don't sweat the ti vs. carbon thing. Many other posts have reinforced that. Enjoy your new bike.
Apr 10, 2001 5:40 PM
Get the Calfee. Made in California. I'd be proud to own one.

It's so nice looking - last summer at the Death Ride I passed one that had a Softride setup for the stoker. Real nice.

The only thing I don't like are the Calfee decals. They look too generic and small, unbefitting for that kind of investment IMHO. If I was to have him build me a bike, I'd send him a redesign and ask him to put it on my bike.
re: Carbon Fiber Vs TitaniumKen
Apr 10, 2001 8:10 PM
Check out this bike frame test site. I found it very helpful in my choosing a carbon frame.

Grz Monkey, Damon Rinard sorta explains what I meant.........Jimbob
Apr 11, 2001 10:20 AM
about steel being flexy in large sizes a few weeks back. Never seen this article before. Pretty interesting. Heres the link agian.