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wanting to go titanium(46 posts)

wanting to go titaniumcyclerook
Oct 10, 2001 6:52 PM
I've been riding steel for two years and enjoy the ride,but want to add a titanium horse to the stable.Does anyone have any comments about lightspeed?
re: wanting to go titaniumcapnjim01
Oct 10, 2001 7:14 PM
commemts? oh yeah we have comments. if you want a LITESPEED by all means buy it
re: wanting to go titaniumI Love Shimano
Oct 10, 2001 7:22 PM
If there are any other ti bikes out there, check them out first. How about the Colnago? Litespeeds may perform well, but they are boring to look at. What are you going to do after that hard ride if you can't stare at and admire your bike? If the Colnago Ti is good enough performancewise...maybe you could add it to your list of bikes to consider.
Oct 10, 2001 11:15 PM
is in the eye of the beholder. I find bare polished (or matte) Ti beautiful, but Colnago (ack!) paint schemes are garish. Plus, bare Ti is easy to care for - no worries about waxing and scratches, etc.

Furthermore, with so many great U.S. made Ti frames with good warranty coverage, why waste your time on an Italian Ti frame and potential warranty headache? There's too much good Ti here to bother looking abroad at an ugly, overpriced, overrated Colnago.

Want Ti? Litespeeds are very nice, and a good place to start your search.
buy Ti if..Largo
Oct 10, 2001 7:55 PM
You like the ride of steel, but want to lose the weight, and you don't want to worry about the paint (big plus)or oxidation.
A super light Ti frame won't be as stiff as a comparable Al frame, but will be stronger, and won't beat you senseless.
A 6/4Ti frame like a LS Vortex is bloody strong, and could well last you a lonnnnng time.
There are trillions of happy LS ultimate or classic owners out there who could testify to that brands quality/longevity. You will get sick of it long before you bag it ot or break it (probably).
3/2.5 frames will give you more of a steel like ride, while 6/4 will be stiffer, and a tad lighter given its higher UTS.
You can't go wrong with a LS, and this time of year they are going cheap.
My LS pick? The Ultimate.
"but will be stronger"cyclopathic
Oct 10, 2001 8:01 PM
yeah right
"but will be stronger"SkunkWorks
Oct 10, 2001 8:59 PM
but they said Ti was forever? Oh well, that frame will make some nice jewelery.
what is that?Luis
Oct 10, 2001 9:51 PM
What frame is that, and how did it happen? Whew!
tired of seeing this picturejavagenki
Oct 10, 2001 10:46 PM
Are you suggesting this picture somehow represents anything other than bad luck? I'm sure the rider was just JRA and the bottom bracket just broke, right? Well, allow me to trade your anecdotal evidence for mine.
I've been riding a "super light" ti frame since 1995, and there is a similar hard-luck photo of one like it floating around the net. As for me, I'm not super light. I'm a lean, strong 255 pounds. Before I was nuts about bikes, I was a nationally ranked hammer-thrower. I have actually been asked not to do powerlifts at a gym in my hometown because I bend the bars. If anyone can break a frame, I can. Uhm, mine's got thousands and thousands of miles and is still in one beautiful piece.
Give up acting like this photo means something. And yes I will let you draft behind me.
I am tempted to take the offercyclopathic
Oct 11, 2001 6:17 AM
but I'm afraid I'd have to spend too much time waiting for you at the top :-P

my point is that Ti isn't "superior" it breaks like anything else. (btw steel has longer fatigue life)

any time I've seen Ti frame broken it broke along weld from fatigue, not load. problem with Ti it's very hard to weld. Most of frames are ok but if welder was drunk on that day or someone came by and start talking to him good luck.

Steel/Al welds on other hand are usually heat treated to remove stress. Yes Cannondale frames break but do they break along welds??

you saying that your frame is strong? maybe you should take it off the wall and ride more often.
Tired of looking at picture? then don't look..
Is that a Merlin?TJeanloz
Oct 11, 2001 10:22 AM
Is that a Merlin RSR (or whatever they called the cheap one?) that was so famous for breaking just like that? The welds appear too consistant to be Litespeed's work- and the finish is a little to bright. What it comes down to is the same story- a bike is only as good as the person who built it.
Oct 11, 2001 8:39 PM
Yes, you just might beat me to the top, but you'd still wait because A) I'm a heck of nice guy (at least as nice as Cliff Oates--btw, cool home page Cliff.), and B) I'm 3 feet wide, fast enough, and don't mind towing you little guys home on the flats (No offence but you whispy fellas don't do much for me up there anyhow).
I would ride "more often," but the 3 times a day thing just wears me out.
Hey, can we see that picture again?
wasn't that frame 10 years old?Largo
Oct 11, 2001 4:36 AM
It is a fact, 6/4 Ti is stronger than any CrMo alloy used in bike tubing, and 3/2.5 is as strong, but way lighter.
Any material can fail, given the right circumstances, and enough, Ti does have better fatigue resistance properties, which can be proven by comparing its UTS and yield strengths.
Like it or not, Ti is an amazing material to build bikes from.
wasn't that frame 10 years old?Nessism
Oct 11, 2001 10:30 AM
Largo stated:
"It is a fact, 6/4 Ti is stronger than any CrMo alloy used in bike tubing, and 3/2.5 is as strong, but way lighter."

This statement is not true.

From Litespeeds site:
3AL-2.5V cold worked Ti yield strength = 115 ksi
6AL-4.0V cold worked Ti yield strength = 145 ksi

True Temper tubing:
OX Platinum steel min. yield strength = 185 ksi
OX-RCX heat treated CrMo yield srtength= 175 ksi

Reynolds tubing:
853 steel tubing yield strength approx = 180 ksi

I could go on if necessary.

Don't get me wrong, I love Ti frames - I have one. It's just that Ti is not stronger than high end steel.
It does have a very good strength/weight ratio however.
wasn't that frame 10 years old?grzy
Oct 11, 2001 3:37 PM
Pretty funny how reality rears it's ugly head and disrupts known "facts" on the 'net.

In the end, while getting techie with a poet will usually not get you very far, the rest of us appreciate the real data. Kinda iluustrates that people will believe what ever they want regardless if it's true or not.

Got carried away.Largo
Oct 11, 2001 4:24 PM
Shouldn't have said "any steel"
Should have said "any 4100 series steel used in bikes", since 4130 is a known standard.
The above poster mentioned steels which test up to 180 ksi, which probably put them into the 4300 or even 8000 series, which can achieve those values in a useable form.
I don't know the exact form of 6/4 that LS uses, but 6/4 can come up to 163 ksi UTS, while 4130, in any tempered version, is usually about 125-140 ksi.
Regardless, Ti's strength to weight will let you build a damn strong frame with Al lightness.
BTW, who's the poet?
In case your interestedNessism
Oct 11, 2001 6:34 PM
the True Temper "OX3" heat treatment (used in OX3, RCX2 and OXRCX tubing) is an austempered heat treatment process that is applied to "chromoly tubing" according to True Temper. The ultimate strength is listed as 185 ksi and yield strength is 175 ksi.

Also, Tange Prestige tubing was made of "chrome-moly" material with a special heat treatment process. Ultimate strength is 179 ksi - I'm not sure about yield strength. I do know that they performed the heat treatment process in a oxygen free enviroment - induction oven. The bottom line is that by employing specialized heat treatments, fairly ordinary steel tubing can be made to be very strong.

Back to Ti:
No one doubts that Ti can be used to build a strong frame. Ultra light Ti frames are flexable however. Al on the other hand can be made both light and stiff - durability is suspect sometimes however.
back to Ticyclopathic
Oct 12, 2001 6:46 AM
major problems is not with material, welds.
Noone doubts Ti durability, welds are suspect
Got carried away.grzy
Oct 12, 2001 8:24 AM
Poets = non-techies (they'll come up with stuff that sounds nice, but isn't reality)
Oct 12, 2001 6:34 AM
Reynolds tubing:

Air harden
853 180-210ksi
631 115-130ksi

725 157-186ksi
525 100-130ksi

731 157-186ksi
531 100-130ksi

"The strength to weight ratio of 853 is equal to that of quality titanium frames. A normal chrome molybdenum steel will lose strength in the joints after the heat has been applied. This material (853) INCREASES in strength as the frame cools to strengths well in excess of the delivered values shown above"

another quote:
"The seamless CrMo material <725> used by Reynolds is 25CrMo4, a superior European specification similar to CM4130"

so is 3/2.5 really stronger then 4130?
go to the Reynolds site it has all the comparisons..vanzutas
Oct 12, 2001 7:30 AM
The beuty of the reynolds site is that it has Ti, Al, and steel. all of the numbers (except fatigue life) are there so all of the materials can be compared.
if you want the ride of steel....DA
Oct 11, 2001 4:49 AM
get steel. Ti doesn't come close, even the ones that try to emulate the ride of steel (Serotta).
Oct 11, 2001 8:22 AM
Have ridden one of the ultimate steel bikes (CSi) and a Legend Ti. The Legend is just as snappy, lighter, and looks stealthy with no paint worries. Nice on the climbs, too. Make mine Ti.
Oct 11, 2001 8:51 AM
I too have ridden a Legend ti... felt muted and dead. Used to own a litespeed too, which doesn't compare. None of them come close to steel (DeRosa Neo Pro- that's lugged Genius OS) and I did "side by side" comparisons , i.e. same components and same exact wheels/tires. Why do you think Serotta admits to trying to make the Legend ride like the CSI? To each his/her own. If all you're worried about is looks then that's another thing.
I guess....grzy
Oct 11, 2001 9:13 AM
I guess that means you'd HATE a carbon fiber ride?

Kinda fond of my Legend Ti, but like you said, "to each his/her" own. It's a *good* thing that we're not all exactly alike. Keeps the manufacturers on their toes and gives us choices.
Oct 11, 2001 11:12 AM
The only carbon bike I've ridden is a Trek.... didn't like it. Even more dead, but I think it was more due to the geometry though- felt really slow handling to me. It didn't help that it was fitted with Ultegra either.

My Gawd, can you imagine if we were all lie the grzy mkny?!
Oct 11, 2001 1:54 PM
"My Gawd, can you imagine if we were all lie the grzy mkny?!"

Gee, that would be a wonderful thing... ;-)

I know what you mean about the handling - I tried several forks on my OCLV - never did get too excited. Still it seems to be enough for "the man".

Your comment about Ultegra just seems to be a swipe - it doesn't affect the handling or the feel to any type of degree that you're complaining about.
Oct 11, 2001 3:07 PM
So get a CSI and stop trying to make an orange into an apple. Problem is the guy wants an orange.
re: wanting to go titaniumKbdawg
Oct 10, 2001 9:11 PM
LS is great, but you are paying a premium for the name. If you want one for sure, check out the classic at colorado cycles. Good deal on it right now. Otherwise, try sampson at You'll get more bang for your buck.
Litespeed's got some great virtues, but...Leisure
Oct 10, 2001 11:36 PM
...look into Seven cycles at custom-selected tubesets and geometry throughout the frame allow you to dial exactly the ride quality you want; probably the most thoroughly-well thought-out match of materials and construction techniques; will remind you of what "uniting art and science" was originally coined for; and the premium over Litespeed is probably less than you'd think.
There might be something better out there, in a remote temple in Nepal perhaps, but as far as I know Seven holds an authoritative pole position in Ti. Nice steel also, and some of their frames integrate carbon in the tubes. Beware though; your other bikes may develop abandonment issues.
Easy on the hype there...bike_junkie
Oct 11, 2001 8:18 AM
Go back to memorizing Seven catalogs. Seven isn't doing anything with Ti that many other quality American builders are not doing, they just speak about it like it's something special. In fact, Serotta's tubesets are more unique with the externally butted Colorado Concept tubing. Looks better too.
Oct 11, 2001 9:09 AM
>"as far as I know Seven holds an authoritative pole position in Ti."

I guess that means the folks at Serotta, Merlin, Moots and others are a bunch of slackers? Didn't the folks from Seven "defect" from Merlin prior to being bought by LS? Pole position means number one. I think that this is highly debatable which means that they aren't necesarily "the authority" although many would like to believe this and the Seven marketing hype. You've stated your opinion as a fact that many could take issue with - personally I'm not interested in that debate (since it's so subjective and I have my own bias), just trying to set the record straight. Any of the high end custom manufacturers of quality Ti frames have legitimately earned their reputations.
Oct 11, 2001 10:11 AM
I don't know that there is an authoritative pole position in ti bikes, but if there were, Seven would not be on it. Seven Cycles was actually founded by guys who left Merlin when Saucony bought the co (one owner before Litespeed or, rather, JHK).

But ahead of Seven has to come One-Off, a tiny shop founded by Mike Ausberger (sp?), who was one of the founders of Merlin; Spectrum, the shop of Tom Kellogg, Merlin's chief designer for all eternity; Moots, a ti pioneer that continues to innovate; and arguably Litespeed, who have built more bikes and advanced ti technology well beyond what anybody else has done.

Name me one category, except pretty finishing, that Seven beats any of these guys in. Seven builds awesome bikes- all these guys do, but they really don't have any technical edge on a lot of their competition.
Oct 11, 2001 11:16 AM
Seven does offer more customization of the tubesets in stiffness etc than others I have seen. Know the link One off?
Oct 11, 2001 11:46 AM
Seven MARKETS more customization of their tubesets than other companies- because Seven's marketing plan is to convince the world that everybody needs a fully custom bike. But if you really wanted something totally customized, Litespeed would be more capable of making it than Seven. Seven offers more choices of tubes that they stock- Litespeed actually makes their own tubesets. So if you wanted to design your own tubeset, Litespeed would do it for you, Seven could not. But that would be really, really expensive.

If you wanted to, and I did have a customer do this, you can tell Litespeed: "I want the top tube off the Vortex, the seattube off the Ultimate, the downtube from the Palmares and bladed seatstays" and they'll build it.
Oct 11, 2001 12:42 PM
Thanks, I had no idea. Know the link for One Off?
A bit of misinformation here...tirider
Oct 11, 2001 7:00 PM
You say "Litespeed actually makes their own tubesets". They do not, they shape and cold work them in-house after recieving them from the manufacturer who "makes" them. If this is what you meant to say, my humble apologies for the clarification. Be happy if you ride a Litespeed. Be happy if you ride a Seven. Be happy if you ride a Serotta. You get my drift.
How much did THAT custom LS cost? (nm)ColnagoFE
Oct 12, 2001 9:37 AM
Point takenLeisure
Oct 12, 2001 5:30 AM
You are right, "authoritative" is overstating because it doesn't give credit for the great innovations and offerings by other companies that have been in the game longer and also care about doing things right. I certainly did not intend to imply that they are slackers. That, and I have personal biases too. Offensive word withdrawn.
However, I don't give in to marketing hype; I look at how the quality of the product weighs against what it's defined to be by the manufacturer i.e.- I look at how it's designed, I read about why, and most importantly I ride it. All three things have to agree, otherwise I don't care. So, yes it's my opinion, and it's only my opinion. Thanks for letting me know yours as well as keeping my form straight.
re: wanting to go titaniumDrD
Oct 11, 2001 3:14 AM
If you want to get a Litespeed, I say go for it!

One thing, though - if you can hold off for a month or two, you will start seeing some great deals on Litespeed framesets (typically the Ultimate, Palmares, and Vortex - generally, you can find them for 30-40% off the list price) - they almost always discount their inventory at the end of the year - Labicicletta is a good place to start looking, typically they get a bunch of them towards the end of the year (Colorado cyclist also had some good deals earlier this year).
Look for bargains ...pmf1
Oct 11, 2001 4:41 AM
Because you can find them on LS bikes. Especially this time of the year. Colorao Cyclist was selling built up Ultimates and Vortex models at a low price. Check out Scan Velonews ...

You can find these frames at 1/3 - 1/2 off retail if you look.

I got a great deal on a LS Ultimate a few years ago and like it. There is this image that they aren't good bikes, or the welds are sloppy, or only inexperienced riders buy them, etc. While its true that there are an awful lot of them on the road, I think it isn't true that they're not good bikes.

You can get the magical custom Seven for only a few bucks more than LS retail, but they never go on sale and most of us don't need a custom bike. I got my Ultimate frame for $1250 ($1600 w/ Look HSC2 fork). How much more does the custom Seven or Serrotta cost? Lots more. And I bet most people couldn't tell the difference.
Look for bargains ...cyclerook
Oct 11, 2001 7:57 PM
thanks for the great tips
just don't buy Airborne bike. Not good, made by Huffy! (nm)ZAPHROS
Oct 11, 2001 11:51 AM
Forgot your medication again? nmRich Clark
Oct 11, 2001 3:32 PM
Not True! (nm)malandmo
Oct 12, 2001 7:54 AM
re: wanting to go titaniumRoger
Oct 12, 2001 6:14 PM
Ti works because of it's excellent fatigue life and good strength to weight ratio. Merlin knows the most about building Ti. It shows in the stuff they publish. They have the size and purchasing clout to source the best quality tubing and thats very important. They have an understated elegance - Their welds, the mystical logo. The double butting on the extralight makes real sense. They have great size selection and customization ability.

I don't like Lightspeed because they would make anything that someone would buy out of 6/4 titanium. That's why when they bought Merlin they brought out a compact frame - sell out I say.