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Titanium vs. Steel (853)(9 posts)

Titanium vs. Steel (853)The General
May 14, 2001 10:15 AM
Looking for input here. I have never ridden a Ti frame and am looking into a new rode bike. Specifically the Lemond, I am looking at either the Zurich (853) or the Victorie (Ti).

Is Ti worth the extra $1000??????

I am 6'-4" and 180lbs with a long upper body witch the Lemonds fit perfectly.

Ride Style: Long, long, long rode rides, up to 8-12 hours on the bike at one time at least once a week. Allot of climbing with allot of curveing downhills, So I want to be comfortable.

Thanks for you input,
You gotta ride one to know...tiguy
May 14, 2001 10:34 AM
I was looking for a steel frame and tried an expensive Ti bike just for fun. Sure enough, I ended up shelling out the $$ for the ti. And I'm still happy about it. Of course, opinions vary. I could care less about the weight, but I really liked the feel of the ti. I have heard some ti frames are a little soft in the bottom bracket. But mine is stiffer than my old Reynold's 853 frame.

Try one and see! You'll either be glad you bought the ti, or glad you saved your money.
May 14, 2001 4:12 PM
Good steel bikes almost always come out on top of cheap(er) TI IMHO. I've ridden a lot of great TI bikes (most of LS line) and owned a Merlin XL. Fact is I prefer the ride of a good steel bike over the TI. Sure it will be about 1/2 to 1 lb heavier. Still you ever notice how all TI bikes compare themselves to steel? There is a reason for that. Just because you pay more $ for a bike does not make it superior.
re: Titanium vs. Steel (853)Len J
May 14, 2001 10:39 AM
I started with the same question you are asking. I have always rode steel my former bike being a Lemond (I have a long torso, short legs. But if you are willing to spend $3,000+ for a bike, I would not limit myself to the two you mentioned (as much as I like both bikes). For roughly the same money you can get a similarly equipped custom made fitted serrotta, for less money you can get a similarly equipped carbon fiber trek, etc etc. What I did (& would recommend to you)is to test ride as many bikes as you can and pick the one that feels the best and fits the best. If you are like me, you are not going to buy a high priced bike that often, you might as well look at everything & enjoy the process.

For what it's worth, I started out to buy titanium and ended up with the carbon Trek. But that worked for me, only you can choose for yourself.
Thanks,The General
May 14, 2001 11:16 AM
I agree, riding the bikes is the key. Luckily I know most of the guys around in the bike shops and they are willing to let me try what they have for a couple of longer rides. The main problem is no-one has a Ti bike in my size. As for the Question.

Thanks, Richard
re: Titanium vs. Steel (853)RhodyRider
May 14, 2001 11:16 AM
Hi, I'm chiming in with my opinion. I've had two steel bikes in my past. The first was a '82 Fuji DelRey (touring geometry; generic tubing) and the second was a 1988 Panasonic RX1000 (I think), road race geometry with Tange #1 tubing. I upgraded to a Litespeed Catalyst (3Al-2.5V) w/Kestrel EMS fork in 1997. For me the Ti is clearly superior. However, I realize that my steel experiences were not on 853 tubing and that the Litespeed is just simply a way better bike than my previous rides, frame material notwithstanding. That said, Ti does offer the most "supple" ride around and is totally bulletproof. There is a certain velvety feel to the ride that can not be matched by other materials, IMHO. If you have the coin, I'd recommend the Ti. But your other respondent is right in advising you to ride both as much as possible and do what's right for you. Good Luck and Happy Riding!
re: Titanium vs. Steel (853)Aer Jer
May 14, 2001 11:53 AM
I've ridden both and I chose lugged 753 so go figure. I rode a Serotta Ti with their F1 carbon fork and simply put it was the best bike my butt ever has had the pleasure to sit atop. However, beyond my league in the $$ category. Shortly after that I rode a lugged 853 Waterford and felt it gave 85 to 90% of the Ti ride and there is something to the timelessnes look of lugged steel with a real square crowned steel fork. That said, I found a 753 lugged Waterford for a fair price and went that way as it has a great ride by reputation. (by the way 753 is no longer supported by Reynolds so 853 is the choice by default)
I went with a great ride, tradition, and lower dollars. Besides after riding 700x20's tires I switched to 700x25's and found even more compliance and I am just as slow either way!
As you ride the Lemonds, don't forget the wheels. The 853 models use Rolf Vector Comps which are a much stiffer hoop than the Setrieres on the Ti bikes. The steel models will have a buckboard ride in comparison not so much by frame material but with their use of Vector Comps.
All that said, I still feel that Ti is my first choice but steel done right isn't that far behind. Take your time and visit shops not only in your area but elsewhere. Good luck and with time you will make the perfect choice for you!
re: Titanium vs. Steel (853)fuzzybunnies
May 14, 2001 8:56 PM
I've tested both 853 and ti for long distances and have to say I didn't find any real difference in the ride quality. One was the schwinn peloton pro the other was the litespeed arenburg, both riden over the same course which was 40 miles long and the only difference I found was the wheels. The spinergies on the arenburg were really smooth. Other wise neither experianced chain rub on the front derailleur during sprints(evident in 4130 cromoly and 531) though the peloton did seem to decend a little faster both were extremely stable and offered a smooth comfortable ride. The arenburg is however the lowest end of litespeeds line and I have no idea how it compares to the vortex or similar high end ti bikes, by the same token I found the schwinn diddn't compare to some of the other higher end bikes I've owned or tested which were made from columbus genius and deddacci(sp) platinum tubing. So try both and see which one appeals the most to you either with ride quality or looks, either could be pleasently surprising. TTFN
re: Titanium vs. Steel (853)xxx
May 15, 2001 8:48 AM
Just don't ask sizing questions from this goob. Ta-Ta....