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What's the diff between carbon fiber and titanium?(10 posts)

What's the diff between carbon fiber and titanium?Spinchick
Feb 27, 2002 10:05 AM
Besides the obvious (they're different materials), how is the ride different? Why choose one over the other? Durability? Handling? Comfort? Is it just the latest trend? Throw in some comparisons to steel if you want. Whatever you got, I wanna know...
re: What's the diff between carbon fiber and titanium?Len J
Feb 27, 2002 10:26 AM
See this article as it's a good summary of different materials properties & uses in Bikes:

Carbon seems to have more potential to be able to construct the perfect frame due to the ability ("theoretically") to align the fibers to add stifness or compliance exactly where it is needed. It also has a weight advantage.

I'm no expert but it appears to me that How a manufacturer uses a material (And compensates for or capitalizes on each materials unique properties) can be more important than which material he/she uses.

My .02

Thanks, Len. nmSpinchick
Feb 27, 2002 12:52 PM
well first we need to examine the molecular structure of carbonCherry1
Feb 27, 2002 4:00 PM
Different rideAFred
Feb 27, 2002 4:09 PM
I own a LS and a Kestrel, and I really enjoy both for different reasons. IMO the titanium is a livelier ride. The carbon fork cuts down on road chatter, but you still get a good feel for the road. To me, ti has the benefits of steel with a snappier feel and lighter weight (for what it's worth).

The carbon frame reduces the effect of the lumps and bumps of the road. While some carbon frames I've ridden feel "dead" and non-responsive, I find that the Kestrel sort of smoothes things out while remaining responsive.

Both are stiff, but for some strange reason I seem to get more flex and chain rub on the Kestrel.
Design is everythingKerry Irons
Feb 27, 2002 5:33 PM
A good designer/builder can get any desired property from either material. Both have lots of flexibility, especially when you consider the ability to butt, taper, shape, and swage Ti, along with the different alloys. I would say that CF has more opportunity to do it wrong (demonstrated over the years) but the modern crop of CF frames seems to have overcome this. There is a lot more differences among bikes made of a given material than there is between them. You've got to ride them to decide which bike suits you, and if they don't fit, none of it matters. Stop worrying about the material and look at the particular bike.
true up to a point.... material does matternm
Feb 27, 2002 6:23 PM
Feb 27, 2002 7:56 PM
There CAN be WAY-WAY more difference between bikes made of a the same material than there can be between bikes made from different materials.

Lets not forget craftsmenshipfirstrax
Feb 27, 2002 8:20 PM
re: What's the diff between carbon fiber and titanium?Starliner
Feb 27, 2002 11:07 PM
I have a ti Lemond RS and a monocoque CF Asian frame. Both have CF forks. The ti bike has an aluminum seatpost and the CF bike has a CF seatpost.

Swapping the same wheelset between the two, the ti Lemond feels smooth, light and responsive. It communicates the road underneath in a special way; think of tapping a pipe and hearing it ring throughout. Ti has that special ring which I find naturally gratifying; CF has more of a clinical thud.

When jumping on the pedals and putting a lot of torque into the drivetrain, the ti Lemond becomes a bit whippy and rubbery.

The CF has a nice comfortable, solid, quiet ride. Sort of shaves the tops off of the bumps. Road feel is more subdued yet not absent. It doesn't really feel lighter than the ti bike, but when jumping on it, this bike will rocket without the fuss or complaint of the ti Lemond, being stiffer in the BB than the Lemond. I use this one for racing; the ti Lemond for training.