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Comparing Ti bikes(16 posts)

Comparing Ti bikesWingz
May 29, 2002 9:16 PM
I'm looking for a new bike and am leaning towards Ti instead of carbon.

Thoughts on the Litespeed Arenberg vs the Airborne Zeppelin?

I like the ability to customize the Zeppelin on their site when ordering, but am unsure about the company. Have heard nothing buy positives about LS

Specs on both seem to be similar.
re: Comparing Ti bikesBreakfast
May 30, 2002 1:21 AM
Don't limit yourself to these two makers! There are plenty of negatives about Litespeed, too. Airborne's are low end frames. Here are some other makers:

Eddy Merckx

...and some others if you look around.
ti bikeszooog
May 30, 2002 1:35 AM
you seem to have 2 very different choices. An Airborne and a LS. LS are well made bikes but are not a favorite of posters on this board. There are tons of choices. Check out Sampson Ti bikes. The guy puts a solid bike together for a reasonable price.
ti bikesJuanmoretime
May 30, 2002 1:41 AM
Don't forget Dean. At their pricepoint your getting some features your not on the LS or the Litespeed. Mainly butted tubing and 6.4 drop outs and bottom bracket shells. No I do not work for Dean. I've owned three of their mountain bikes and they do some of the best ti welding I seen. The welds compare to Merlin or Seven.
re: Comparing Ti bikes, long replyroadcyclist
May 30, 2002 1:37 AM
Be aware that Airborne is owned by Huffy. That's not to say it's a bad bike (they don't manufacture it, they just distribute it). Personally, I'd go with the Arenberg (I ride a Classic). You can customize ANY bike when buying from the right place. Of course, buying the bike the way it's already set up is less $$, but any shop or mailorder can set up the bike from scratch. Example - My Classic with carbon fork & Campy Chorus was less $$ mailorder than an Arenberg with Daytona at my LBS (better frame, better components, less $$) It sounds like you're going mailorder anyway since you're considering Airborne.
If money is an issue, consider the Macalu Pro Titanium at IT IS AN ARENBERG with different decals and they can set it up any way you want. I went with Colorado Cyclist and I am VERY happy with my purchase and the whole experience of buying mailorder (which I was hesitant to do considering it was a bike and not just an accessory). I would DEFINITELY do it again. Good luck with your decision.
May 30, 2002 2:50 AM
>Be aware that Airborne is owned by Huffy. That's not to say it's a bad bike

you don't SAY it's a bad bike, but you seem to imply it. why? have you ever ridden one? I haven't, but almost all the airborne owners seem happy with them. and then again, there's nothing wrong with LS, no matter how many people bash them.
who owns Airborne doesn't matter unless you have religious objections to riding a Huffy.
May 30, 2002 6:11 PM
You can get the LS Arenberg re-badged as a Macalu and build it however you want through Excel Sports. Some of the off-brand savings of the Airborne but without the name-rebellion baggage.
re: Comparing Ti bikesmackgoo
May 30, 2002 1:46 AM
I'm curious why you have discounted carbon? As a current rider of Ti my impression is, although not bad Ti really isn't the wonder frame material. It rides good and I like the bike but I don't feel this is the beat all to end all.
I will be trying a carbon frame in the next year for my quest to see what really is the ultimate farme material. I the end I have a feeling I'll end up realizing that the ultimate material may be what I started with, steel. I will have picked up a nice carbon and Ti bike along the way though.
Ti Bikespmf1
May 30, 2002 4:41 AM
You appear to be looking for a bargain ti bike. There are many out there and most are good. Forget the guys who tell you to look at Seven, Serrota, etc because these are out of your price range. The LS Arenberg is a good buy. The Tuscany is a better frame for not that much more. Both Excel and Colorado Cyclist have in-house pre-built ti bikes that are very good deals. The Excel Macalu is a Litespeed Arenberg. The CC Douglas is a ti bike built by Titanium Sports Technologies -- a reputable U.S. company who has made frames for many other labels. The CC bike has a nice parts kit, wheels, fork, etc. Do a search and check their website (both TST and CC).

I looked into bargain ti bikes for a friend a while ago and was not real impressed with Zeppelin. They are made in China and use some commercial pure grade ti (instead of the more desirable alloy) in some parts of the bike (BB and HS). This is probably not a big deal when used in these areas. But still, none of the U.S. makers do this. The most talked about feature of these bikes was the marketing. I have looked at their site and its not as custom as they claim. Choices are limited. These bikes strike me as more of a marketing success than anything else.

Personally, I think the parts included on the pre-built bikes from CC or Excel are pretty good. If you really want a special HS or saddle, you can buy that later or just buy the frame and build it up yourself (you can get the TST frame for $700, but you won't be able to build it cheaper than CC does).

And don't discount carbon bikes. I have 2 of them and like them very much. I also have a ti bike that I like. Ride a few, the characteristics are different.
Good adviceNessism
May 30, 2002 5:49 AM
TST is clearly the value leader in my mind. They are very experienced in the business and their prices put most others to shame. Don't worry about the low prices, these are first rate frames.

Next in line value wise is Dean. These guys also make a fine frame for a very nice price. One nice thing about Dean is they use larger tubing than most builders for the downtube which helps with stiffness. Check JensonUSA for a nice value point Dean frame.

Good luck.

May 30, 2002 7:41 AM
if I was looking to buy a ti bike, it would probably be a Dean. That or a TST-built frame or a heavily discounted, last-years LS.
Yep, good advice.djg
May 30, 2002 6:02 AM
I'd look at what I could, but the Arenberg, Dean, Sampson, and the in-house labels at CC and Excel look like good Ti values.

About Airborne "custom": First, it's not really custom--you just get a certain pretty broad choice on the parts spec; and lots of shops will give you credit towards a different stem or saddle or whatever, if you don't like the stock spec. Second, swapping parts on the Airbornes is expensive. The nice package price you start out with gets trashed when you start playing with the parts substitutions--basically, they charge you a lot for the parts (out of curiosity, I tried to spec a Zepplin as I have done with my Colnago CT1--I couldn't do it, for one thing, and for another, the closest I could get made the Airborne substantially more expensive than the Colnago).

None of this is to say you wouldn't enjoy an Airborne--lots of folks seem to, and there are shops now where you can try them out. It's just that there are other places to look, especially if you want a nice Ti bike on a budget.
May 30, 2002 6:12 AM
I recall the Sampsons of yore (and this is serious yore) were made of CP titanium. The tubes had to be thicker and the whole thing ended up weighing what a steel EL-OS frame of the time did. Unless you really liked that beautiful battle ship grey finish, I could see no advantage in buying one. They were really cheap for a ti bike. I assume they're made with 3/2.5 alloy these days? (NM)Brooks
May 30, 2002 8:01 AM
yep, seamless 3/2.5 like mostdjg
May 30, 2002 8:32 AM
of what's out there. Don't have one--read some good reviews and the owners seem happy.
Dean is great, but don't discount AirborneGator
May 30, 2002 7:14 AM
I own a Dean, and it's a wonderfully made bike for a good price by a company with great customer service. Can't go wrong. However, Airborne DOES make a solid product. I have physically examined a bunch of them; one of my local shops is one of the few Airborne dealers out there. I was astonished at how nice these frames are; the welds and amount of tube manipulation is incredible for the price.