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Carbon Fiber vs. Titanium Help(14 posts)

Carbon Fiber vs. Titanium Helppeterkg
Sep 26, 2002 7:56 AM
I fit well on both the Trek 5200 and a couple different Litespeed models, but I cannot tell which one to get based on short rides around the shop. Does anyone have any opinions based upon their own experiences as to which bike would be better for long distance recreational rides (centuries and more). Thanks.
The 5200 is a great machine...jose_Tex_mex
Sep 26, 2002 9:24 AM
... and I will speak to that frame. I have ridden my OCLV on rides of 100, 125, and 150 and never had any problem. My Al machines start to get a little uncomfortable between 80 and 100miles. Sorry, no Ti's yet.
The OCLV is IHMO a very forgiving, non-noodly, light ride.
re: Carbon Fiber vs. Titanium Helphusker
Sep 26, 2002 9:30 AM
Love my Litespeed. Very plush ride especially over long distance hauls. It has a lifetime warrenty, and has not developed a life-less dull ride.
re: Carbon Fiber vs. Titanium HelpBikeViking
Sep 26, 2002 9:36 AM
2000 miles on my OCLV (5200) and I love it still. it is an exceptional frame for my 6'3" 200lb a$$.

just took my inaugural ride on my 5200 on tuesday..._rt_
Sep 26, 2002 9:45 AM
it was AWESOME!!! such an amazing change from alu (sorry, i have no experience with ti....yet). smooth, fast, incredible acceleration (especially on the hills)...i was planning to take it out every day this week for tweaking so that i can ride it in the 6 Gap Century ride on sunday but unfortunately the skies opened up on tuesday night and all it has done is sit in the house looking forlorn since it's 1st ride.

i love my 5200 & would highly recommend the frame to anyone.

re: Carbon Fiber vs. Titanium Helpoutofthesaddle
Sep 26, 2002 10:05 AM
I ride a 5200 on longer rides up to 200 and love it. That said, I see lots of Ti on those same rides and their owners are just as happy with them. I think that either would be an excellent choice for the type of riding you are going to be doing.
To further confuse . . .TrekFurthur
Sep 26, 2002 10:26 AM
I had a 5200 for about 2000 miles and loved it; now have a 5900 and a Merlin Agilis, and love both of them. Here's what I can distill regarding these three bikes. I would recommend the 5200 for rec. riding, training and racing; the same goes for the Agilis; but I would hesitate to suggest the 5900 for anything other than racing or training to race (maybe a very aggressive rec. rider would enjoy it).

The main reason for my hesitation is that the ride is not as plush as the 5200; the 5900, although developed to be a light-weight climber, also is a stiffer and more responsive ride than the 5200, which makes it a perfect racing platform. However, I digress, as the 5900 was not in your equation.

To whit, both the 5200 and the Agilis offer comfortable and quick platforms for competitive or casual riding.
Trek OCLV frame purchase question - is the fork always included?Fez
Sep 26, 2002 10:47 AM
If not, what is the best fork for the OCLV? The Trek-Icon fork probably matches the frame colors the best, but is it a better fork than an all-carbon Look or Reynolds?
At that level of frame, does it really matter?MXL02
Sep 26, 2002 11:30 AM
If you are as bad as I am, you'd get both. ;-).

Seriously, it may be a tough decision, but either way you win...sleep on it and you'll pick the right one.
Which models have matching sizes?PdxMark
Sep 26, 2002 12:28 PM
I went through a similar choice last year and opted for a Litespeed Tuscany due to a much better fit... The 5200 had pretty different dimensions, or so it seemed, and was hard for me to fit. Which Litespeed models have similar dimensions to a 5200?

Adding to the consensus, the Tuscany rides very very well over double centuries, chip seal, etc. The 5200 might be a bit lighter. I have an unsubstantiated feeling the the Ti frame will be more durable over time. Not due to riding fatigue or anything like that, but rather due to things like falling over, getting banged around, etc. Carbon is magical so long as the loads are applied from the directions that they are supposed to be...

One great thing is that you can't go wrong...
2nd that on the TuscanyFez
Sep 26, 2002 4:02 PM
I have ridden a Tuscany for an extended (2hr+ ride). I was pretty impressed. Feels very agile and has a firm, yet compliant ride. Kind of like the BMW of road bikes - doesn't excel at any one thing, but does most things very competently. I think at full retail price, the Tuscany is a better value than any other Litespeed (Arenberg is pretty low end, Classic costs more, Ultimate and Vortex cost a lot more $$).

But the reality is a lot of Litespeeds are bought on special and some models are cheaper or more readily available than others. I bought my Classic for far less than I could have bought any Tuscany, and I actually like the softer, more compliant ride of the Classic.

I have also ridden an OCLV. Not a bad bike. Probably lighter than most Ti bikes. Ride is comfortable as well. I think I would trade a little of the lightweight and stiffness for the ride of good Ti.

It also comes down to money for me. If the Trek costs less than the Ti, then I might take it. If it is the same price or more than Ti, I would go with Ti.
Got a 5200 this year too ...jmr986
Sep 26, 2002 12:52 PM
I'm still amazed at how light that bike is when I pick it up. My first real road bike, but I looked at TI also. Very happy with my decision. Great LBS support and Trek is supposed to be an outstanding manufacturer to deal with.
The Skinnygrzy
Sep 26, 2002 3:09 PM
Ridding an OCLV is like kissing your sister after a fine titainium ride - been there done that. For quite a while I figured the OCLV was all would ever need in a bike, yet I began to get the feeling that something was missing after two years. Then I rode a ti bike by chance and things would never be the same. All those stories I'd heard over the years were suddenly true. If you can't tell the difference it could be b/c you just don't have enough time riding or the test rides aren't long enough. If you really can't tell the difference and appreciate it then go with the cheaper bike. Perhaps the difference would be more obvious if you got on something a little more high end in the ti department. Jump on a Seven or a Serotta if you really want to see some contrast.
re: Give in to the inner consumerChainstay
Sep 26, 2002 5:42 PM
I ride a Merlin ExtraLight and previously rode a Specialized Allez Epic with CF tubing for 10 years. I found that CF was better on dampening out road buzz and the Ti is better on smoothing out patchy rough asphalt. A lot will depend on the wheels, tires and front fork however. At that level I think that looks and emotions are what it's about. I like Ti because I like metals. I like Merlin because they used to do beautiful design and construction with a great material. I dislike Litespeed because they place design secondary to the need to introduce a new model every year. Trek Rocks, and that's why they are so popular. Give in to the inner consumer and buy what inspires you.