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TI not worth it(36 posts)

TI not worth itFBM
Sep 21, 2001 8:16 AM
I build planes for a living and I think TI bikes are a fad and you suckers bought right into it. Why spend so much money on a "lifetime" bike when you know that 2-3 years later you will buy a new bike. You get caught up in fads. Who owns a high end TI bike that never has felt the desire to get another bike? The only use I can think for a TI frame is if you need to ride in salt water. They also pollute the environment something awful. Have you ever seen the process for making a TI frame? Might as well be an SUV.
Oh, so polite. And true.MB1
Sep 21, 2001 8:29 AM
Until you showed me the error of my ways I kind of thought our Santana Team Ti Tandem was very comfortable and the bare metal finish was really easy to maintain. Of course we only have 12,000 miles on it so far. It is 2 years old.

Miss M is very fond of her Merlin but then she only has about 20,000 miles on it. After 4 years it still looks new too.

My GT Edge Ti is 5 years old and can't even have 30,000 miles on it. What a POS it is and the decals are starting to fade.

You are right, we sure are suckers, we will never get our moneys worth out of these overpriced polluting pieces of trash. Should have bought Huffys.
Boy, do I feel like an idiotmr_spin
Sep 21, 2001 8:56 AM
How could I have known five years and 20,000 miles ago that I had fallen for the latest fad. Dammit. Now what am gonna do?
re: TI not worth itraboboy
Sep 21, 2001 9:01 AM
I work with computers for a living and this has absolutly nothing to do with this board, road bikes or anything I am about to discuss.

So let me just say that TI bikes are not a fad. How many bike models come with a 'lifetime warranty'? Most, but do people keep them for their liftime, usually not. What point am I making? I have no idea. People are always looking for an upgrade, or something new/different than what they have for EVRYTHING. It isn't just for TI bikes.

Lastly, The making of Carbon, Steel & Aluminum can't be considered 'clean' either.
The ride of steel, the lightness of aluminiumpmf1
Sep 21, 2001 9:04 AM
and it never corrodes or chips. Yeah, what was i thinking when I bought a ti frame? You're right. Next time I'll consult you before I buy a bike.

and I'll always feel the desire to get a new bike. I've got 3 nice ones now.
The ride of steel, the lightness of aluminium--NOTFBM
Sep 21, 2001 9:08 AM
TI will never match a good steel ride and most models are not a whole lot lighter than steel. If you want light and stiff get AL and then throw it away in a few years. Could probably buy 5 AL frames for the cost of one decent TI frame. And don't mention Airborne or Habanero frames. Might as well ride a Pacific.
FBM, you don't know what your talking about.Largo
Sep 21, 2001 3:25 PM
"Ti will never match a good steel ride"
You ever ridden a Ti bike? Ti has many similar properties to CrMo, but because of its superior UTS, you can make the tubes lighter.
"Most models are not a whole lot lighter than steel"
Which models? A frame made out of Foco could be lighter than a straight gauge 3Al2.5V frame, but you need to compare apples to apples.
There are Al frames that are heavier than my Neuron road frame.
There are no steel, or steel/carbon (Opera) frames out there lighter than a Seven Odanata, or a Vortex for that matter.
You mention that Ti is polluting, but throwing away a bunch of Al frames is pretty polluting, when you consider the energy used, and pollution created when you have to build 5 new Al frames.
You say you build planes, but you don't seem to have a good handle on Ti and its properties.
actually, the UTS is lower for Ti....DrD
Sep 21, 2001 3:50 PM
Most of the Ti alloys used in bikes have a lower ultimate tensile strength than steels - you are thinking "specific strength" or tensile strength divided by the density of the material, that is where Ti (and Al) shine.
Alright, lets duke it out:)Largo
Sep 21, 2001 7:03 PM
Ok, if i am not mistaken, 4130 CrMo has a tensile strength of ~550MPa, while 6Al4V Ti is ~900MPa.
Definately not refering to specific strength.
One of us is off base, but i am but a lowly Eng. Tech.
Please feel free to prove me wrong, as i really do enjoy pie, as in, humble, but my tables do not lie!
You are waaaaaay off on the UTS of 4130DrD
Sep 22, 2001 8:24 AM
Steel properties (as with Ti) are a large function of the temper - however, a more reasonable number for the UTS of a tempered 4130 is on the order of 1660 MPa...

Pick up a good steel metallurgy book (there is a decent general one by Krause - Steel heat treatment and processing principles) for more info!
Down, but not out!Largo
Sep 22, 2001 5:28 PM
A crushing blow by Dr. D, but Largo is struggling to his feet......
Out of curiosity, are all UTS measurements taken on a Tinius Olsen, and same sample size?
By the way, i have not been able to verify your numbers, but i am not doubting you.
Down, but not out!DrD
Sep 24, 2001 3:22 AM
Generally, you do tensile property measurements using a cylindrical tensile bar (other geometries can be used, but a cylindrical one is easiest to deal with mathematically, and has fewer geometric complocations) in a screw driven, servo-hydraulic, or servo-electric tensile machine (made by Instron, MTS, etc)

As far as physical sample size, keep in mind that mechanical properties such as stress are expressed in a load per unit area basis, so actual dimensions of the sample aren't too important (until the sample gets really small, and the cross sectional area approaches a microstructurally significant size). In terms of numerical sample size, you will see some variation, but generally less than 5%.
UTS propertiesLargo
Sep 25, 2001 5:11 AM
Well, i've done some more looking, and i've found values up to 1200 MPa for 4130, and ~1100 for 6Al4V
That value i spouted out of 550 was obviously as recieved, in retrospect.
The question is, at what point does the tempered 4130 become too brittle and unusable in a frame?
I wonder what the UTS of alloys like 853 are?
It must be terribleKerry Irons
Sep 21, 2001 4:46 PM
To have your mind so muddled that you confuse your OPINIONS with FACTS. Perhaps if you had some FACTS instead of showering us with your OPINIONS, then you might be able to spark a decent discussion. Next time, maybe.
Probably never seen an AirborneChris Zeller
Sep 24, 2001 11:21 AM
I'll wager that you have never even seen an Airborne. Comparing an Airborne, a semi customized high performance road bike to Pacific department store bikes is ludicrous. There is no quantifiable difference between an Airborne frame and midrange non-butted frames from other top Ti manufacturers (litespeed etc.) except the price.

There is however a significant difference in ride between Ti frames and Al , CF or steel frames. My Airborne was hands down the most comfortable bike I testrode in my pricerange. I tested Trek, GT, and LeMond bikes and nothing came close. Add to the fact that I was able to hand pick components and you have an unbeatable combination in the <$2200 price range. Colorado Cyclist's (Haberno?) frame would likely produce similur results. What's more, the resulting bike weighed less than the simulur Al, steel and CF bikes I tested.
Yeah, I'll accept a chump o' the decade award, too...RhodyRider
Sep 21, 2001 9:08 AM
...for having the audacity to believe in Ti when I bought my Litespeed five years ago. Silly, silly me. All this time I've been enjoying it to it's bomb-proof fullest, and now I come to find out the joke is on me. Thanks, FBW, for providing me with a moment of clarity. I'm gonna go pound sand now, I suggest you do the same.
So? I should buy a Geo metro because ...nestorl
Sep 21, 2001 9:27 AM
I "know" that I am going to be changing my porche every 2 years???
So? I should buy a Geo metro because ...ocb
Sep 23, 2001 2:30 PM
damn good point!
So? I should buy a Geo metro because ...10
Sep 24, 2001 6:29 AM
>I "know" that I am going to be changing my porche every 2 years???

no, because FBM knows it! :P
What I think you mean to saymmaggi
Sep 21, 2001 9:42 AM
is that considering the price you pay, it's not worth it, at least in today's market.

Ti frames were the answer to public's demand for a lighter steel frame. Today, there are steel frames that are just as light if not lighter than the highest of high end Ti frames.

The ride of both high end steel and Ti frames are a wash. They're both comfortable. There's no weight advantage with either one.

After 20,000 miles, they probably both ride the same, but I've heard from others that Ti can get awefully whippy after logging that many miles.

The only advantage I see with a Ti frame is the rust factor.

If you want to spend that much money for a non-rust frame, knock yourself out.

In the end purchase and ride what you like.

BTW... for the record, I ride an aluminum frame.
No frame ever gets "awefully whippy" after many milesDrD
Sep 21, 2001 3:45 PM
It simply doesn't happen - the material properties do not change (well - aluminum can...) - neither the tensile strength nor the modulus will change with time - only way a frame is going to get "whippy" is if you crack it.
Urban Myth #27Kerry Irons
Sep 21, 2001 4:57 PM
So, you know of a steel frame that's 3 lbs at 59 cm and won't dent every time you look at it? Not possible.

Check your sources - no frame gets "awfully whippy" unless it is suffering a mechanical failure. I would suggest that the "others" you are hearing from are full of beans. I weigh 180 lbs and have well over 30K on my Ti bike - no whipping here? It's nice to hear your opinions. Do you have any facts to back them up?
Return on investmentDog Breath
Sep 21, 2001 9:45 AM
Well when you get tired of your boring plain-jain grey bike a conversion to a winter or rain bike would be in order. There is a thread of utility offered by these Ti fad bikes.

In the normal course of things a rider would be better off buying a steel bike that weighs a few hundred grams more, but costs hundreds less. A good steel bike will last a long time (if not forever) and produce the ultimate cycling experience for most riders. The money saved is better spent on other things, donated, or invested where compounding will yield sufficient funds to purchase another great steel steed a few years down the road.

How many more posts do we have to read about mushy entry
level Ti bikes, or punishingly stiff oversized Ti ("Ultimate") before people realize that their money is better spent elsewhere?

Seems as though people with steel bikes are much less likely to complain. They can ride smugly knowing that Hill Billys in Tennessee are still trying to build a Ti that will match the superior characteristics of steel.
Man those are nice lugs. nmMB1
Sep 21, 2001 9:56 AM
Return on investment... My new investment philosophy!Tig
Sep 21, 2001 11:06 AM
If you bought $1000 worth of Nortel stock a year ago it would now be worth $49. If you bought $1000 worth of Budweiser ( the beer, not the stock ) one year ago, drank all the beer, and traded in the cans for the nickel deposit, you would have $79.

> .....start drinking heavily.
Return on investment... My new investment philosophy!Real Man
Sep 21, 2001 1:09 PM
Well you usually have to pay the $5c deposit up front so you are not really making $79.
Wow, a 10 on the erectometer!! NMHighgear
Sep 21, 2001 2:57 PM
You assume too muchRich Clark
Sep 21, 2001 10:48 AM
You seem to believe you know more about what other people are thinking and what's important to them than they do. That's awfully presumptuous, you know?

I like my bike a whole lot, and it's a hell of a lot more important to me than your opinion. You have absolutely no idea why I chose it or the process I went through to make my decision, and frankly I don't care enough about your opinion to bother telling you. Perhaps if you'd started off on a less hostile note it would be different.

I understand how people in the airplane industry might be feeling a little grumpy these days. It's OK. Nobody blames you. Go for a bike ride, you'll feel better.

my '91 Merlin MTB still going strongclub
Sep 21, 2001 11:04 AM
the geometry and ride quality are both totally contemporary and I expect I won't need to replace it anytime soon. It's the second one made with curved stays and is the one reviewed back then in 3 different print rags before I acquired it. There's a little dent in the top tube from when it fell off a cliff on a night ride about 5 years ago, if it was an aluminum frame it would have been toast. Takes a lot to put a dent in a ti top tube, a lesser frame would have broken in half, or at least been too tweaked to track. Also still enjoying my '90 Merlin road, the original, also as good as ever. If you feel the need to "upgrade" to a new bike every 3 years, maybe the problem is with you and your choice of bikes. Once you find a perfect-riding bike like my Merlin MTB, there's no reason to get another. I'm guessing you've never experienced the ride of a well-made titanium hardtail and that you're still searching for that "perfect" bike. I've found mine...
and so's my '90 Alpinestars ti MTBclub
Sep 21, 2001 11:14 AM
I'm the third owner of my sweet e-stay Litespeed built Alpinestars. The rigid ti fork for it didn't come with the frame I own, I got that when it was new in '90 and it spend 6 years on my MTB tandem, now it's back where it belongs on the frame it was designed for. The frameset rides as sweet as a decade ago. Nobody even makes a bike today that climbs as well as the AStars with its 15.9" effective chainstays. Alpinestars made the same frame design in aluminum, but they are all long ago broken and buried in landfills, while the ti version is still going strong. How many folks are still riding 1990 aluminum MTB frames that haven't cracked in half?
re: TI not worth itkoala
Sep 21, 2001 2:48 PM
Nothing you could say will keep me from lusting after a seven axiom. And I will have mine painted in a fade, thank you. The older I get the more I like the ride of ti and my foco bike rides great. Nice try.
Ti is NOT a fad, and speaking of polluting..Largo
Sep 21, 2001 3:10 PM
Do you know how much power it takes to produce aluminum metal from Bauxite ore?
Smelting Aluminum is a huge power consumer and polluter.
And producing steel is not exactly eco-friendly dude.
Ti is a great material to build bikes (especially mtb) out of.
No corrosion problems, no paint to worry about, it is significantly stronger than CrMo or Al.
It is also very tough, meaning it won't dent or gouge as easily as CrMo or Al.
I think i sense some Ti envy going on....
Ti is NOT a fad, and speaking of polluting..DrD
Sep 21, 2001 3:58 PM
Agree about the polluting! None of the processes are "clean"! (maybe Al if you forget about waste disposal, and get the power through hydro...)

Strengthwise, it goes steel then titanium then aluminum. In terms of specific strength, it goes aluminum, titanium, then steel. titanium is not significantly stronger than steel - in terms of mechanical properties, it is weaker. Most of the dent prone steel frames are that way because, in an effort to get lighter steel frames, the wall thicknesses have been reduced to rediculously thin gauges - yielding something more dent prone - in other words, it's a design problem, not an intrinsic property of the material.

I love my Ti frame (Litespeed Ultimate) - stiffer in the BB than my previous ride (an 853 frame), and every bit as comfortable (for me, anyway, at 210lbs) - I think comfort (in terms of does the bike beat you up) has as much to do, if not more, with the tires and wheels as it does with the frame...
Moron alert!bike_junkie
Sep 21, 2001 4:19 PM
Yeah, you build planes, right.

If Ti frames were a fad, they'd have passed years ago.

I own a high-end Ti ride and it's the sweetest freakin' thing you could imagine. I've ridden plenty of high end steel, and this is lighter, smoother, and more durable than a steel frame would be at this weight. See, to get a steel frame as light as Ti, you sacrifice durability. These super steels are very thin-walled and, as a result, brittle.
I don't want/need another bike because I've figured out it's the legs and lungs, and not the frame holding me back.

"Worth" is very subjective. Some guys are trying to figure out if it's worth $199 for the Wal-Mart bike, and others are trying to figure out if the Merlin with Dura-Ace is worth $4,000. Bottom line, I used my money to buy my bike, not yours. I've got the money, and yeah, I think it's worth it. Quit trying to shove your ignorant values down others throats. Ride what you like, but respect others right to do the same without crying with your weak arguments.
Who cares.....tirider
Sep 21, 2001 7:40 PM
.... buy what you can afford or buy what you like.
Life is too short to ride "cheap" bikesgrzy
Sep 24, 2001 8:45 AM
I used to _fly_ planes for a living. BFD.

Don't know too many people with a custom ti ride that replace it after 2 or 3 years. Off the shelf - well maybe - but they wouldn't if the fit was any good.

Since getting my Serotta ti ride (for DIRT cheap) I have never coveted another bike. Why would I - this one is soooo sweet. What your missing is the feel of the ti ride. I've owned steel, carbon, and aluminum frames. Until I rode a ti bike I saw absolutely no point in it. Just an expensive fetish - or so I thought.

Now as far as being "green" - there is a problem with all of the processes used to produce any bike frame: steel, aluminum, carbon/epoxy. Ti sin't really any better or any worse than the others. A nickname for aluminum is "congealed electricity" - think about all the the fuel being consumed and the dammed rivers for hydro plants. Now think about the Dow Chemincal Corp. and places like Bayone, NJ. the steel industry isn't exactly known for being tree huggers when it comes to mining - and don't forget the 3rd world where raw materials can be had for less. There's nothing special about the way an SUV is produced - the criticism leveled at them is the AMOUNT of resources used to produce a 5,000 lbs. 4 x 4 grocery-getter driven by suburbanites that will never go off road. A ti frame pretty much uses the minimum amount of material - the cost alone assures that the frame builder cannot be wasteful or make many mistakes.

Ultimately you come off sounding resentful with a mouthful of sour grapes.