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titanium vs steel(6 posts)

titanium vs steelpromeyn
Apr 14, 2002 7:51 PM
I'm trying to figure out if a ti bike is worth the extra $$. I've had my eye on buying a Lemond Zurich, but recently rode a Litespeed and a Lemond Victoire. I like the ride of all three bikes.
What does titanium offer that steel doesn't? Are there any drawbacks to titanium other than cost?
absolutely no rust!! nmzeke
Apr 15, 2002 2:20 AM
re: titanium vs steeltarwheel
Apr 15, 2002 4:37 AM
Other than cost, the primary drawback to titanium compared to steel is appearance. If you like the bare grey metal look, then that's not a problem. Personally, I find most ti bikes very boring in appearance. But I'm a painter and I love color. You can get a painted ti bike, but it will cost even more money -- generally about $200-300 at a minimum.

The rust issue with steel bikes is greatly exaggerated by ti, al and carbon buffs. I have a 16-year-old Bianchi with hardly a touch of rust on it with minimal care. If you get a new steel bike treated with frame-saver, regularly clean it and keep it stored in a dry place, there's no reason why a steel frame shouldn't last many many years. Weight is also not an issue if you get a steel frame made with some of lighter new alloys. There are plenty of quality steels frames available now in the 3.1-3.5 lb range -- which is comparable to most ti frames.

If I had the money, and liked the appearance of ti bikes, I might get one just so I wouldn't have to worry about cleaning it so much. But, to me, the paint job is one of the most appealing things about bikes -- so I would probably opt for a painted ti frame with bare ti chainstays.
Sounds about right.djg
Apr 15, 2002 6:33 AM
I like--and own--painted Ti myself (just bought an old unpainted one as a commuter).

You can get a good ride from either material, depending on design and fit. Weight shouldn't be a huge issue--you can some pretty light steel frames nowadays. And much as I'm happy with what I have, I agree that the rust issue is typically a red herring. Maybe it's a problem in the tropics (or Seattle), but in most places a modicum of care will preserve a steel frame for ages. To the extent that you can test ride your options, get what you like (and can afford) and don't worry about the materials debate--there's no magic out there.
re: titanium vs steelSteveO
Apr 15, 2002 6:59 AM
I agree that rust isnt really an issue (despite the fact that i own an alluminium bike i bought specifically to combat rust!).

We all own steel cars, and rust isnt (usuually) an issue. just keep on top of things and touch up any bare metal.

Wonder what an all-ti chevy would run?
Chevy? Buy an Audi TT all AL.SnowBlind
Apr 15, 2002 9:28 AM