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"cheap" titanium frames: any experience? (Douglas? Macalu? Legend?)(22 posts)

"cheap" titanium frames: any experience? (Douglas? Macalu? Legend?)toopoorformoots
Jun 10, 2001 5:32 PM
i am looking for a "cheap" ti road frame. certainly cannot ignore the $2400 price tag of Airborne Zeppelin/DuraAce, and i have noted generally very good reviews of the bike and the company. i wonder if anyone has experience with others such as Douglas (Colorado Cyclist), Macalu (Excel Sports, made by Litespeed), or Legend, etc. that are not quite Merlin/Litespeed/Lemond clout but are certainly more in my financial league?

Any recommendations would also be appreciated.

check out DeanHank
Jun 10, 2001 6:04 PM
nice bikes at a good price. Or look into high end steel like Steelman or Ibis or IF. I doubt you'll go wrong with any of the bikes you listed as long as they fit right.
re: "cheap" titanium frames: any experience? (Douglas? Macalu? Legend?)johnrg
Jun 10, 2001 7:41 PM
I can recommend the Lemond Victoire. Not "cheap" but more affordable than some others and with the geometry of the Lemond 853 models.
what size you looking for?mondo mike
Jun 10, 2001 8:01 PM
i have a Bianchi ti mega-tube for sale cheap.
it was made by Lightspeed and is very close
to the ultimate in design. its a 57cm x 57cm.

i'm looking for 600 for the frame. i also have
a Independent fab. crown jewel fork for another
100 bucks.

can get pics to ya
re: "cheap" titanium frames: any experience? (Douglas? Macalu? Legend?)LWL
Jun 10, 2001 10:41 PM
I bought a Zeppelin about 2 yrs ago. Full DuraAce, Ouzo pro fork, Chris King and ITM bars. I am VERY happy with the bike. I paid about 2500, and hand picked every part on the bike. Great deal, great bike.
Jun 11, 2001 7:12 AM
Just some info on Legend, they use the same tube sets as Dean. A friend of mine just purchased one of their mountain bikes and had it out Sunday for it's first ride. I got to pedal it around a bit (too small to ride) and it felt very nice. After seeing his mtb, I am considering a Legend for my next road bike. I'm in the same boat as you, lack of funds for a really chi-chi bike.
save yer $ColnagoFE
Jun 11, 2001 8:56 AM
Cheap and TI do not go together. That said, many seem to love the Airborne Zepellin. Personally I think there are better materials in this price range.
re: "cheap" titanium frames: any experience? (Douglas? Macalu? Legend?)Gary M
Jun 11, 2001 10:52 AM
I have been very pleased so far with my Douglas Ti from CC. The frame and components are first rate and the bike arrived in a week. The ride is terrific. I am not sure why you would spend another $1k or more for the status of big name ti unless the name is really important to you.
Additional info requested...PsyDoc
Jun 11, 2001 11:03 AM
This is the first review that I have read of the Douglas Ti offered by CC. What bike were you riding prior to the Douglas? What differences from your other ride did you immediately notice with the Douglas and then notice later? Which finish did you choose?
don't tell me...knowitall
Jun 11, 2001 11:09 AM
your're gonna return the Merlin and get a Douglas???!!! as Phil would say, "oh me, oh my!"
UPS has it now...PsyDoc
Jun 11, 2001 12:40 PM
...and it is on its way back to Excel. I am not having them rebuild the frame I am returning; rather, I am returning the frame and they are going to give me a refund. Part of my decision was based, in part, on how the frame arrived. The frame arrived in a frame box in a thin brown sleeve with minimal packing around it. The packing material they chose to use on a $2,600 frame was 12-15 pieces of balled up newspaper, and that was it. I guess to get a frame bubble wrapped you need to buy a more expensive frame. Seriously, when I picked up the box on my front porch to bring it inside, I felt the frame sliding around and I was being careful. I am not planning on purchasing the Douglas, rather, I am just curious. I am still going to get the Merlin, but perhaps from a different dealer and in a month or two.
was the frame damaged?ColnagoFE
Jun 11, 2001 2:09 PM
if not then i'm not sure what your beef is with excel.
Easy, he bought it for the the packaging materialsWailer
Jun 11, 2001 2:24 PM
Horrors of horrors! What would the neighbors think?! They were using recycled material and not brand new bubblewrap for his expensive ti frame!

Come on Psydoc, what is up with you? You buy some super expensive high zoot frame which you don't know how to put together, Excel admittedly biffed on the assembly, then you complain about a bike shop not being nearby to install the headset for you after they offered the booboo better, then you complain about UPS not being open at your convenience, and now the freaking packaging material! Did you miss nap time for you? Have you been sneaking goodies out of the medicine chest?

Wow, I like twisted people, but you're a wee too freaky. You need to loosen up. Take a lesson from Mr. Hank, have a drink, up the doseage, do something, just quit whining about how the world done you wrong!
Easy Wailer...PsyDoc
Jun 12, 2001 6:17 AM
Sorry if I do not know how to put together a threadless system with an integrated headset...I did not mean to offend your delicate sensibilities. With the exception of truing a wheel (I have not quite got the hang of it), I do all my own maintenance. Maybe I do need to loosen up a bit...maybe not...thanks for your input. You are a true assest to this board.
Asset...not "assest"...(nm)PsyDoc
Jun 12, 2001 6:18 AM
Asset...not "assest"...(nm)4bykn
Jun 12, 2001 10:33 AM
I think you could have stopped after the first three letters when describing him!
Good on ya!Wailer
Jun 12, 2001 10:44 AM
It is so much better when you are passive as opposed to passive aggressive.

Psydoc, take a maintenance course, or buy a good maintenance book and educate yourself on the finer aspects of bicycle assembly and maintenance. You can sign up to receive the Barnett manuals for free from the Specialized web site ( If you are going to be riding expensive bikes, it is best to know how to work on them yourself. It is well documented that underpaid bike mechanics lash out at expensive frame owners by peeing in your cups. Besides, in the future, should your headset fail and Cane Creeks regularly do, you're going to miss your cycling fix again.
Good advice...PsyDoc
Jun 12, 2001 11:21 AM
I will sign up to receive the Barnett chapters from Specialized and I may pick up Zinn as well. I did not know that Cane Creek headsets regularly fail. Is this true of the newer headsets as well? Do you recall where the failures typically occur (caps, bearings, etc.)? The Merlin XL uses a Cane Creek top cup and bearings for the integrated headset. J
Jun 12, 2001 11:24 AM
is a great sight for maintenance information. Easy to read, easy to follow, and up to date on componentry.
Cane Creaksgrz mnky
Jun 12, 2001 12:17 PM
I think the point that Wailer may be refereing to is that the Cane Creek headsets are not built with the same level of accuracy and precision as some of the higher end stuff (i.e. Chris King) and the things are marginal from the beginning. You have to fiddle with them a bunch just to get them working OK when new, but nothing lasts forever and Cane Creeks idea of forever is a season or two. They aren't exactly unusable after this - they just don't work well and you tend to get a bunch of binding.

On the surface an integrated headset seems like a good idea, but the execution puts it in another category. Adopting a standard would be a good thing (like ISIS for crank/BB)- then some company like King might be interested in making a high end unit. Until then I prefer the ability to choose my components.

Knowing the maintenance stuff isn't a requirement for owning a nice bike. For some folks it never will be a good idea for them to perform advanced work on their own bikes. This isn't an elitest GM statement - it just recognizes that the reality that some people have the aptitude for working on bikes and some have aptitudes in other areas. Also there is a considerable investment in tools that may only get used once every couple years. No one would say you need to know how to fix anything on a car if you're going to own one.

Surly LBS mechanics are not owed a living.
Additional info requested...Gary M
Jun 11, 2001 3:18 PM
The Douglas was a quantum leap from my previous ride, a Trek 1220 bonded aluminum frame with a cro-moly fork. Moving to the Douglas I shed about 5 lbs of bike weight and noticed immediately that everything was quicker- hills, descents, starts and stops. Coming off the touring bike set up I had a hard time getting used to the 73 degree stem on the Douglas and swapped it out for an inverted 84 degree plus I swapped the 23-12 cassette for a 27-12. So I am now as they say, finally "dialed in". I got a Ultegra triple since I live in Colorado and have good climbs on most every ride I take.

The ride is smooth and compliant especially with the Reynolds Ouzo Pro carbon fork. I got the polished finish (which may be in short supply) and it is quite nice. I actually like the polished finish better than the brushed of other brands and like it much better than the painted Douglas's. The welds on the bike are as smooth as anything I saw in CC's retail shop. I studied the Douglas frame vs the Merlins and Litespeeds they have on the floor and I really can't see what the difference is. All the components on the Douglas package are excellent. Other than an out of the box Ultegra shifter failure (which CC replaced), it has been terrific experience. So far I love the bike and can't wait to get on it everyday!

Also, as previously noted on this board, the Tommasini's that CC sells are really nice- same components as the Douglas with the beautiful Tommasini steel frame instead. A great value except I wish they would put a carbon fork on them instead of a steel one.

Hope this helps.
Jun 11, 2001 3:23 PM
The only Legend I know is the Serotta Legend Ti, a very high end frame not in this grouping at all.

Since I have never ridden a Douglas, Macalu, etc. I won't pontificate like some of these guys on their ride qualities without first-hand experience. On the other hand, I have lots of first-hand riding of my Zeppelin and I can tell you, "no", you will not get any better ride in a bike that costs twice as much more than a Z. Thats for general riding, and I have tested a number against my bike, including $2000+ ti frames and my custom Spectrum steel. If you want to pay additional hundreds for a lighter or prettier frame, well and good. Have fun shopping.