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need advice on aluminum vs. titanium(8 posts)

need advice on aluminum vs. titaniumback at it
Jul 12, 2001 1:27 PM
I am getting back into road biking for the first time since college. My focus will be on 30 to 50 mile rides with an occasional century once I have worked up to it. I will be doing some casual triathaloning in the late fall and next year.

After research and recommendations I am looking at the Cannondale R1000 or R2000 and the Airborne Zeppelin. The Zeppelin seems to be a great deal for titanium and reviews on this site of the product and Airborne service are favorable. I like the concept of the more forgiving ride provided by titanium. The roads around Atlanta suck (as do the drivers but that is another story) and at 195 lbs. they can take a toll on me.

Unfortunately I am not particularly interested in servicing a bike myself. The lbs with the Cannondale offers lifetime tune-ups and service. My questions is, how much of a difference will I notice between the Cannondale CAD5 frame and the cheaper titanium of an airborne. At this point, I am also open to other suggestions. I am ready to invest in a bike that will last me for years with out having to mess with it.

TIA for your thoughts.
If I had to choose...MrCelloBoy
Jul 12, 2001 2:43 PM
without having ridden either of these SPECIFIC bikes, but having ridden Ti and Al bikes generally, I'd blindly choose the Ti. My experience points towards ti being more comfortable during long rides than Al.
re: need advice on aluminum vs. titaniumSTEELYeyed
Jul 12, 2001 1:26 PM
If there is any way you can get fitted for the bike by a pro bike fitter or custom builder,go that route,many lbs don't know squat about fitting and don't care as long as they sell bikes,fit is much more important than frame material. If you want ulitmate comfort,a custom built steel or ti bike would be unbeatable.
Just my opinion,others may differ.
Regards,
STEELYeyed
re: need advice on aluminum vs. titaniumpjkad
Jul 12, 2001 1:43 PM
I went with custom Ti which is the ultimate (and insanely expensive). I looked at Airborne but couldn't fit on the largest frame. Why not order the frame after consulting with your LBS and let them build the bike for you. It will be a little more expensive than getting it built by Airborne, but you'll get all the service of your LBS.
Softening effectKerry Irons
Jul 12, 2001 5:18 PM
You can greatly affect ride comfort by tire choice. At your weight, going with 25 or 28mm tires would really soften the ride of the Cannondale. I'm not necessarily recommending the 'Dale, but just that you consider the options. Regarding your desire for a bike that you don't have "to mess with," the frame is not the issue. But don't kid yourself that the LBS will truly maintain the bike (weekly chain lube/clean, small adjustments, keeping bolts tight, repacking hubs, lubing brake and derailleur pivots, etc.). You really need to do these things yourself if you want the bike to perform well and last.
re: need advice on aluminum vs. titaniumCrash
Jul 12, 2001 10:44 PM
I just recently got back into road cycling after a long time spent riding mountain bikes. The last road bike I had around 13 years ago was a Cannondale, it rode like a cement truck. When I was back in the market I rode everything I could get my hands on, and to my surprise the bike I ended up with was a 2001 Cannondale R2000si. The ride, at least for me, was an outstanding combination of efficiency and comfort. I think the comfort factor is also helped if you are over 180 or so (I'm around 205). No flex in the bottom bracket and the bike just pedals great. It also helped that the bike really fits me perfectly (my LBS spent over 2 hours on the fit). You should take one for a ride especially if you like the local Cannondale dealer. Not to knock the Airborne, but have you seen one ? SuperGo (large SoCal dealer) now carries them in the store, where I was able to see and ride one. At least the one I rode was not finished well and was extremely flexy and I didn't like the way it felt or pedaled. I think it is a better alternative for lighter riders. If you don't like the Cannondale take a look at the Trek 5200. Really nice bike. Whatever you get make sure you ride it first and get professionally fitted ! Good Luck !
In full agreement...Mabero
Jul 13, 2001 5:04 AM
After testing a ton of bikes I finally settled on a R2000si as well. This bike just has everything: light, stiff, comfortable, fast, plus beautiful. The R1000si is also a very good buy but you get full Ultegra on the R2000si with better wheels. It is super on longer rides and with the hour glass seat stays it doesn't beat you up. I am 6'3'' and 170lbs so I am riding on a 63cm that fits me wonderfully. But that is because I have a great LBS that worked with me for a while to get the proper fit.

I almost bought the Trek 5200 but it all came down to fit. I think the Trek 5200 is a superb bike (questionable about the Vector Comps) forth the price. I never really considered Ti just due to the expense.

I am not saying that the Canny is the bike for you or the Trek but I am in complete love with my Canny and do 200+ miles a week on it.

Hope this helps.
re: need advice on aluminum vs. titaniumback at it
Jul 13, 2001 7:38 AM
Thanks for the feedback. I will focus on a local solution that will work with me on getting the bike fitted properly. I am glad to heer that people have been happy with the Cannondale R2000. It seems to represent the right combination of components.

Thanks again.