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Ti or Not to Ti(11 posts)

Ti or Not to Tigrasshopper
Jul 30, 2001 2:50 PM
Thinking of upgrading to a Ti. Must keep under $4,000. Here are 2 choices that I am considering. 1. Merlin Road with DuraAce,cane creek wheels ect.. $3,400 2. Lemond Victoire with 9 speed Ultegra, Rolf vector comp wheels for $2,999. In the process of setting up rides for these bikes. Does Litespeed now make Merlins? Does the Lemond Geometry of the fram work well? Is Ti worth the $$$. Anyone have any ideas, thoughts, advice. THese are 2 that I found in my price range. Is it worth moving up to a duraAce gruppo?
dull grey not for me...C-40
Jul 30, 2001 3:16 PM
After owning a Litespeed Ultimate, which was a real pain to keep looking decent, I've sworn off anything without a great paint job. Dull grey Ti bikes all look about the same.

I'd also opt for Campy Chorus. A few ounces heavier than DuraAce, but you get 10 speeds, equal or better finish, and all the performance of Record.

For $4000 you could even get a Colnago C-40 with Chorus, if you're willing to try or Many fine Pinarello's (Prince, Opera, Paris)can also be had for under $4000.
Can't speak for the ride or durability of ti bikes ...bianchi boy
Jul 31, 2001 4:39 AM
But they sure are ugly! To each his own, but I find the dull gray finish of ti bikes boring and unappealing -- particularly with the yellow decals that seem to be the only option on Litespeeds. Hey, they are probably great bikes, and better than what I'm riding. But a bike has to speak to me, and ti bikes just don't do it. (Or, for that matter, natural black carbon fiber frames.)

I guess that's why I'm riding a 16-year-old Celeste steel Bianchi and a cobalt blue Gios. I guess you could get a painted ti Serotta, but then you've spent another couple hundred bucks on an already expensive bike. But, if you've got the money, go for it.
How can you not love...jtolleson
Jul 30, 2001 3:50 PM
a finish that can be kept in "as new" condition by rubbing it with steel wool! Yep, that's my classic brushed ti!

OK, it is ugly. Industrial-strength. But some of the painted Ti bikes (Wooooo some Serotta and Colnago jobs, especially) are bee-you-tee-ful. So, if you want the feel of Ti, you can certainly hide it under spiffy paint.

I bought it for the durability. Cracked a Cannondale Caad 3 frame in a horrid crash (as for me, well, you wondered where the limp came from).

Some heavy riders and racers find Ti too mushy, though that can vary from bike to bike depending on bottom bracket and geometry. No ready answers, but I sure love the stuff.
Ti One Ongrzy mnky
Jul 30, 2001 4:20 PM
Ultimately you have to determine the worth to you (it's your money right?). There is no way you're going to get solid agreement in this group - we'd have a hard time just agreeing to disagree.

Most people who ride Ti will tell you it's the way to go if you can afford it (and even if you can't). Those that don't ride Ti will typically tell you it's not worth it. However, there aren't that many people that have had a Ti bike and go back to some other frame material, but I'm sure there are some (see above). Personally, I was blown away when I got to test ride a Serotta. As far as one bike over another it's fairly subjective and even experts will disagree. It's a bit like asking if you should marry a blonde, brunette, or redhead. Depends.

I'd go for the fit first then followed closely by ride feel. Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions and try to ride everything you can. Take your time and wait for the one that speaks to you soul. Don't worry, you'll know it when it happens. I will agree that the Ti Lemond is very attractively priced, but I'm not a fan of Rolf wheels. Litespeed owns Merlin and makes them in the same facility, but on a seperate production line. Dura Ace is sweet, but consider Ultegra to keep your frame/fork/wheel options open and stay within your budget. You can incrementally upgrade the components later, but at higher cost. Serotta makes several Ti frames, maybe one of them would be of interest - they also have a test ride program at select dealers. If you get a fitting form a Certified Serotta Fit Specialist you can then use the data to shop for a used frame or some other mfr.

BTW - Keeping a polished Ti bike looking great is really easy. Just do the bike wash thing following the advice on the Pedros website - minor cleanings can be done with Lemon Pledge (yes!). If worse comes to worse use the various grades of 3M abrasive pads to restore the polish or brushed finish (it's what the builders use). Besides, paint always chips and gets scratched.
Ti One Onnorton
Jul 31, 2001 8:01 AM
Do you own a Ti bike?
re: Ti or Not to TiLone Gunman
Jul 30, 2001 5:12 PM
Didn't say what you ride now, I am on a Lemond Zurich which is a great steel bike. The next ride will be Ti because I have a great steel bike now, no question on worth for me to answer, I will keep the steel and go Ti. As far as frames, Lemond is attractive price (in fact I was not aware that he had a Ti frame), my LBS says if I was going to buy Ti, I should look at Seven, Serotta, or Litespeed. My only requirements for the next frame(of those mentioned) are the sexy bent chain and seat stays, and if the tubes are shaped, BONUS!! No Litespeed until they ditch the Yellow graphics, and I may want a painted frame which means Serotta. I have always been told if you ride more than 10K a year, Dura Ace. Wheels are an easy upgrade to Pro's or Ksyriums if you like, I have no complaints on my Comp wheels. I think i may have to go DA just because..
get the Victoire and swap wheels for the Ksyriums...johnrg
Jul 30, 2001 5:25 PM
I am very happy with that set-up coming from a Zurich. New Ultegra is very good and had it on my Zurich. FYI the Tete de Course also has the Ultegra bottom bracket. If the geometry fits you you will not be dissapointed.
I currently ride ti and steel and canSlothlike
Jul 30, 2001 6:30 PM
say that the ti is far more comfortable and a better all around ride for me. I have a Litespeed Classic for over 4 years and a Fondriest steel bike. I rarley ride the Fondriest as the ride quality of the Litespeed is superior by far. The Fondriest is a great looking bike and rides well but I am more comfortable and faster on the Litespeed. I am way beyond the novelty of having a nice ride and saying it could do no wrong. However, the Litespeed is a great all around bike that does everything well to excellent. I am 185-190lbs with most of my muscles in my legs and ass. Flex isn't a problem for me but there are stiffer frames out there even in the LS family. However, stiffer often means more uncomfortable over long distances. I have had aluminum frames that were real stiff but beat me up. Liteseed quality is excellent despite general sentiment on these boards about LS. Weld aesthetics is BS as the integrity and strength of the weld cannot be seen with the naked eye. So when people claim Seven and Serotta's welds are better, they are mislead. the puddles on the service are not the actual weld. Penetration of the weld is the key and an xray is needed to judge. Titanium is a lifetime frame. No rust and no fatigue that you would outlive. Steel will rust, sweat will degrade it, I have had steel frames that I took care of that eventually rusted. If $$$ is no issue then you will be trading bike every 2 years. My next ride will be the new Vortex but I will never get rid of my Classic. Ride quality is awesome all around and the more comfortable you are over a 50-80 mile ride, the faster you'll be. my Fondriest is built for speed with the oval top tube and aero down tube but I am substantially faster on the LS titanium. It is not in my head because I once loved the romanticized idea of an Italian racer but have found that the American boys at LS make a better bike for me. In fact most professional reviews I have read in this country and from Europe and Australlia etc always praise Litespeeds. Those reviews mean more to me than opinions here and on other boards as people justify their purchases. I should be getting tired of my LS by now as most cyclists obsessed wit bikes seem to do but there is always that one bike that tugs on the heart strings and that is my LS CLassic. It is in the shop getting the hubs overhauled and I had to ride the Fondriest today. Oh well not bad for a second bike though.
Go with tiStarliner
Jul 30, 2001 8:20 PM
I ride a '97 Lemond ti RS. Previously had a steel Paramount which was a solid but heavier ride. The Lemond has a lighter, finer, more delicate feel with a smoother, more resilient ride. It just glides down the road. It's quick, yet not a great sprinting bike due to being a bit flexy in the BB, but I'm 195 lbs. and put a lot of torque into the frame when I hammer hard, so I have noticed it can be a power sink at times.

Right now I'm having a new CF frame built up which I hope will address the BB stiffness issue. Hope to be riding it Wednesday, but I'll still be in love with my silver lady.
Jul 30, 2001 9:24 PM
I have the advantage of working at a shop that sells litespeed so I can do comparisons with high end road. Basically for me with either one it comes down to paint job. I found the ride quality to be fairly equal when dealing with equal price/equipment. ie. arenberg with campy daytona versus derosa el/os tubed frame, both frames cost 1200, components were the same and the weight difference went to the litespeed which was a pound and a couple ounces heavier. After a 50 mile ride on each the derosa wins due to the nicer looks, since I didn't find much difference between them and found I liked them equaly. Course I do like the looks of the litespeed classic when it's painted but that's out of the budget. By the way both bike will set you back 2400.00 and would easily be under 3,000 with dura ace. Pick the one that appeals to you and realize that which ever one you choose you're not missing anything by not having chosen the other. TTFN