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cannot afford high end Ti(26 posts)

cannot afford high end Tidefault
Oct 9, 2001 3:29 AM
Despite all my "bike savings" I cannot afford a Seven, serrotta, ect... I have this thing to purchase a Ti bike. I have $3,100 to spend. Does anyone have any suggestions?I don't race or do a massive amount of miles(about 130-150 weekly). I already own a decent aluminum and steel frame BUT really want Ti. LBS are useless(very few in my area) as none fit my budget except the Lemond, for which I don't care for. Thanks for any help.
Try used.........Len J
Oct 9, 2001 3:40 AM
May take a little more time, and you need to be comfortable fitting yourself, but You can get a great bike for the kind of money you want to spend.

Another option is to buy a TI Frame & move your current components (Upgrading only what needs it) from your old bike to the new frame. Again your budget appears to allow this.

Third option is to look at Airborne, which selld TI cheaper than anyone else. I can't comment on quality, I will let others do that. Downside is loss of snob appeal, if that matters to you this route will not make you happy.

One more option........Len J
Oct 9, 2001 3:43 AM
is to buy a 2001 leftover. Colorado Cyclist (for one)has some pretty good deals on lightspeed classics, Ultimate & vortex leftovers. For $3,100 you can get a damn good bike.

Habaneroroy Zipris
Oct 9, 2001 4:00 AM
See I don't like the owner's politics but he's got a wonderful reputation for building good bikes, for integrity and decency, among fellow posters on the Google rec.bikes newsgroup. And you'll have $ left over.
re: cannot afford high end TiMikeC
Oct 9, 2001 4:10 AM
I agree with Len about buying the best frame you can, then moving your present components. I moved my drivetrain, wheels, and saddle when I got my Seven.
It's a lot easier to replace a bar, stem, or derailleur further down the road than to upgrade your frame.
For your $3100, you could get a Seven Axiom and either the custom Seven fork or their Wound Up (or, of course, just about any carbon fork you'd like). You'd probably also have enough left over to pay your LBS to strip your old bike and build up your frame. You'd certainly have enough for an Alaris.
I think it's a better idea to skimp on the components now and get a perfect-fitting frame, than try to fit yourself on a used frame. Good luck!
I'm selling a Merckx ti AXRay Sachs
Oct 9, 2001 4:45 AM
for a LOT less than you're looking to spend. May not be high-end enough for you, but it's a great bike (Litespeed built with Merckx geometry). Email me if interested.

whatever you doheadDr
Oct 9, 2001 5:44 AM
don't get ti for the sake of ti- if you have a discerning taste you will surely be disappointed with the cheap stuff.... won't be all that light either. If I were you I'd make getting a good frame top priority. With the cash you have you could get a top end steel frame, like a Serotta or even a custom whatever. Or just get a ti Macalu or Pro-ti or Douglas or Airbone or any other cheapo ti.
re: cannot afford high end TiJohn Hicks
Oct 9, 2001 6:49 AM
Try Legend Bicycles in Frisco, Tx. Ti frame w/ Campy Record @ $3100.
re: cannot afford high end TiDog
Oct 9, 2001 6:55 AM
I had a Ti Airborne mountain bike and it was a fine bike. Bike snobs may disagree, but I liked it.

Contact your favorite manufacturer. Ask if they have any secondsMB1
Oct 9, 2001 6:56 AM
blems or sample bikes. It helps if you have your LBS do this for you and you ride a 56-58 (those are the usual sample sizes). Sometimes builders have cancelled customs too.

Can't hurt to ask-just don't tell 'em I sent you.
Look for deals and close-outspmf1
Oct 9, 2001 7:05 AM
Its getting to be the perfect time of year. Manufacturers are closing out the 2001 models. Check out the web, look in Velonews, ask around at shops.

A few years ago, I really wanted a ti bike. I thought about Seven or Serrotta, but then saw a mail order place ( selling 1999 Litespeed Ultimate frames (w/ Look HSC2 fork) for $1600. I couldn't resist a deal like that. Its turned out to be a good bike and I built it w/ DA, CK headset, Time Pro pedals, Look seatpost all for around $3000.

Before I owned a LS, I used to make fun of them. They were, and are, a dime a dozen around here. Not real unique. Its been a good bike though, especially for the money. Colorado Cyclist was selling complete LS Ultimate for $3000 recently.
cannot afford CUSTOM Ti?mr_spin
Oct 9, 2001 7:06 AM
I'll shed no tears for you! $3100 will buy you a nice Titanium bike from Litespeed, among others. One big reason to buy a Seven or Serotta is getting it custom built, which will obviously cost more money. Avoid custom and you'll save big.
I agree ...pmf1
Oct 9, 2001 7:49 AM
And most people do not need a custom bike. Unless your body is a funny size, most off the rack bikes will fit fine. Custom is a waste of money unless you really need it.
Oct 9, 2001 8:16 AM
$3100 is plenty for all but the most expensive ti. You can get Dean, Merline, Litespeed or Douglas for under $3000 built out with at least Ultegra.

Also, I second the suggestion to go closeout. I got my previous model year Litespeed Classic built out with full Ultegra, including Flite Deck (but not pedals) for $2100 two years ago (polished Ti even). I knew my Litespeed size, my LBS called Tennessee for an available closeout frame, and cut me a deal (it was January, which is always a good time to negotiate with an LBS).

I'm completely baffled that you don't think you can get damn good Ti and components for $3100.
re: cannot afford high end TiHarry Hall
Oct 9, 2001 7:25 AM
Another steel bike--the variety is endless! Ritchey, Lyon, Davidson, maybe look for an interesting vintage (50's to 70's) bike--you'd be surprised how much old technology WON"T slow you down. Titanium has always reminded me of an old quote of Bill Cosby's regarding drugs, something like "Cocaine is God's way of telling you you have too much money."
Oct 9, 2001 7:54 AM and buy the 2001 Litespeed Classic with Ultegra. It is on sale for $2599 and is one of the best rides on the road. For all around performance and comfort, it cannot be beat and its has remained unchanged for years.
The LS Classic was voted he "best" titanium bike in Bicycling Magazine recently by subscribers and consistently gets awesome reviews. Other high end ti bikes are beautiful but ride quality and craftsmanship on a Seven or Serotta IS NOT better than Litespeed despite people's rhetoric on these boards.
They may feel a little different, but the talk about how superior they are to Litespeed on this board are figments of people's imaginations and desires to want to think they have a "better" bike because there are fewer of them on the road and they paid more for them.
Forget about the customization hype. It seems like a great service, but it is totally unnecessary and not always worth the extra cost. Perfect comfort can be found on stock frames with stem adjustments etc. Just ask Lance Armstrong who rides stock for the past 3 years. The customization is a stroke of the ego more than a practical necessity and form and function may not be any better than an off the rack frame. Most serious riders and racers ride stock frames. Unless you have some freakish body measurements, I would go for the Classic because its geometry is suited for most people.
You can get one of the world's most famous and tested ti frames (the Classic) for a great price with excellent components for $500 less than you have to spend. As of today, coloradocyclist has a lot of sizes in stock.
I beg to differ...tirider
Oct 9, 2001 8:23 PM
... first, I'll say that if he has his heart set on a titanium frame then the Classic at that price at Coloradocyclist is a reasonable option. As to whether Seven, Serotta, Litespeed of for that matter Colnago is a better bike, my question is who really cares and why? The cost/value relationship for any bike over $1500 becomes meretricious and much like art it is a matter of personal choice based on what one can afford. Where I digress from your view is concerning "customization hype". To begin with you contradict yourself by saying "it is totally unnecessary and not always worth the extra cost". If it were totally unnecessary then it would never be worth the cost. Is everyone a candidate for a custom frame? Of course not. Should only those with "freakish body measurements" consider pursuing this venue? Again I say of course not. If you have a capable fitter, a capable frame designer and builder, and a rider who knows what ride characteristics he/she is looking for then the resultant custom frame can provide dramatic results. I believe stock frames necessitate certain comprimises for most riders. Dialing in a frame by shortening or lengthening a stem or moving a saddle for or aft will change to some degree the handling characteristics of the bike. A frame with a long wheelbase and a short stem rides quite differently than a short wheelbased version with a longer stem (which I personally prefer). A good builder can also tune the ride to encompass both vertical compliance and a stiff bottom bracket if that is what you so choose. Fitting body dimensions is only one part (albeit important) of the ultimate equation. Finally, if you were to ask Lance why he rides a stock bike you would undoubtedly find out it was based not on preference but limitations in custimization options in the material choice of his particular sponsor (i.e.Trek).
I beg to differ...M1A1
Oct 9, 2001 9:16 PM
I agree that any quality bike, be it ti or any other material, is not going to be dramatically "better" than any other comparable bike, just different. I didn't really contradict myself becasue I qualified my statement by saying that it is unnecessary except if one has freakish measurements. Then it would be worth the money, possibly.
As far as Lance, I agree he rides what he is paid to ride, but that isn't the point. The objective reality is that he won on a stock frame three years in a a row in obvious comfort. Totally effective and lethal in the mountains on a STOCK FRAME".
One can rationalize paying for the customized option all they want but in reality it serves the ego more than anything else. to say "I got a customized bike" (or any custom made item for that matter like shoes, suit etc) makes people feel exclusive and it is a way to differentiate their rides from the "lowly off the rack people".
A friend of mine owns a bike shop (family owned for literally 60 years) and he has ridden everything both stock and custom. He will be the first to tell you that you can get a perfect fit on most bikes and that customized option is more often a marketing strategy than a necessity and is usually a service offered at small companies for fiscal reasons. They don't have to put out large sums of money to purchase materials in huge amounts to build an inventory and can mark up the price greatly.
In reality, it is the fitter that is actually doing the real work as the bike that is ultimately built will be done by the same procees as one built with stock geometry. It doesn't cost Seven more to weld a custom bike than a stock one. So why the added cost???? Hype and people's egos that are willing to pay for it. Sorry, but I know I am right on this one.
I beg to differ again...tirider
Oct 10, 2001 10:10 PM
"It doesn't cost Seven more to weld a custom bike than a stock one. So why the added cost????" If truly you are unaware of the added costs inherent to a custom frame from the individual fitting, design and fabrication processes then I'll just agree and say yes, once a frame is on the jig and tacked the cost is identical given the same materials to a stock frame. Whew.
"They don't have to put out large sums of money to purchase materials in huge amounts to build an inventory and can mark up the price greatly". I'm a bit confused here... high overhead costs preclude large product markup while lower overhead allows this? Sorry, I just don't remember that part in any Economics class I've taken.
"A friend of mine owns a bike shop and....." How can I refute such compelling anecdotal evidence? No doubt he steers his customers away from the complete line of custom builders displayed at the shop. Slap a shorter stem on that bike for God's sake, it's perfect!
"The objective reality is that he (Lance) won on a stock frame three years in a row in obvious comfort." I'll confess, I haven't spoken to Lance and am unaware of his comfort level. I'll take your word on it. If Lance can win on a stock frame it precludes our need for a custom. Thank God he wasn't riding a tricyle.
And finally, to the your concept of ego which I suspect forms the basis for your ongoing diatribe... might I proffer that perhaps it is your own personal perception of those who choose to ride a custom bike than the converse that is at the heart of all this. I can only imagine what goes through your mind when passed by someone on a Colnago.
Why do you want Ti?Colnago
Oct 9, 2001 7:50 AM
What size and weight are you? Personally I think unless you can do higher end TI the advantages are just not there. Airborne, et al, make nice bikes, but I'd pick a good steel frame at the same price point that would blow them away in ride quality in most cases. The only advantage over steel that low end TI has is corrosion resistance as far as I can see. Weight will be about the same as a steel frame in the same price range.
Oct 9, 2001 8:18 AM
Check out for their Ti bikes. $3100 will buy you the top bike z7 Pro Road with Campy Record or Shimano Dura Ace with upgrades. Eric Sampson will spend a lot of time with you on the phone to fine tune your fit and riding style. However, nothing beats a test ride and unless you are in Colorado or knows someone who has the same size bike you need, you must have a good idea of the geometry you like. Sampson is a small but respected builder in Denver. Check out the website and give him a call.
Seek and Ye Shall Findgrzy
Oct 9, 2001 8:20 AM
I was in a similar position - actually I had even less cash and was able to score a screaming deal on a used Serotta Legend. Check out on the message board. Trick is to get a fitting so you know exactly what you're looking for in terms of geometry. Just be patient and something will come along - let your buds know what you're looking for to extend your network.
Yes you can!!!!!Steve in NYC
Oct 9, 2001 10:09 AM
If your going to buy a bike that will last 30 years, don't skimp, especially when it comes to fit. For $3,100 you are not far away from getting something you will not have to regret for those 30 years with "If only..." thoughts.

I recently bought a Spectrum Ti from Tom Kellogg. They are made by Merlin with some custom features for Tom. The frame has custom paint, custom geometry from a master, and is custom set up. Built up with a Chorus/Record combo, it came in at under $3,900. The same tubing from Merlin with Chorus retailed for MORE without the custom geometry or paint. The equivalent from Seven is significantly more. Not sure about Serrotta of IF.

You are very close! Keep the faith!
Yes you can!!!!!SteveS
Oct 9, 2001 12:46 PM
If the buyer can get a Spectrum from Tom Kellogg with custom sizing for slightly more than his current price range, then the answer is easy, get the Spectrum.

I bought a steel frame from Tom Kellogg/Spectrum and it is truly lovely. In reality, the ride is not superior to my Zeppelin but the aesthetics are far ahead and it is an excellent descender because I got a low bottom bracket. Get a Spectrum, some day Tom Kellogg will retire and his bikes will still be worth something. Probably no builder in the U.S. has as many world championships to his credit as Tom.
No way that zep is as goodDoghead
Oct 9, 2001 1:07 PM
as the Spectrum. Unless Tom messed up I think you must be getting payola from Airborne to make such a statement. No way a straight gauge TI frame made for that price can be a superior ride over a custom Spectrum steel.
Oct 9, 2001 4:08 PM
Sorry to burst your bubble doghead, but obviously you don't know what you are talking about and I do. When the frames are set up virtually exactly the same, you use the same wheels and the same saddle, guess what? There ain't no real difference in ride. There is a difference in handling as the headtube angles are different as is the fork rake. Neither is superior, the handling is excellent on both, only different. The Spectrum very neutral, which is exactly what I wanted, the Zeppelin a little quicker handling.

Lots of guys pontificate an opinion without the first hand experience to back it up. I liked Robert Millar's assesment of the Z, and the ride is super smooth, straight gauge or not. (by the way, Kellogg and some others will tell you that double butted tubing does not make a ride smoother, maybe lighter, maybe stiffer. See Moots)

Nor did I get payola from Spectrum for recommending that the guy go ahead and buy one, for all the reasons that I gave above.

Oh, and by the way, I have now tested my Zeppelin head to head against a Merlin (two actually), a custom Ibis ti, my old Olmo, a Cannondale R2000, and the Spectrum. Ride quality for me on the Z is at the top, but not better than a couple.