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Titanium frames(19 posts)

Titanium framesrookierider
Nov 3, 2002 4:37 AM
Trying to narrow the field. Which ti bike do you ride and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!
Airbornebsdc
Nov 3, 2002 5:29 AM
I ride an Airborne Zeppelin and love it. The smooth ride is a big step up from my steel and aluminum bikes and I have no problem with frame flex. Airbornes have been priced fairly low in the past but they're starting to go up. I think you can still pick up a 2002 Zeppelin frame for $999. They've added some higher end (higher priced) bikes as well. One with a carbon fiber seat stay (and one with seamless 6/4 titanium. For the money, it's hard to beat the Zeppelin. If I was going to put out more money I would take a long hard look at Seven as well.

www.airborne.net
www.sevencycles.com
Frame flex?fbg111
Nov 3, 2002 7:09 AM
When you say you have no problem with it, do you mean that it happens and you just don't mind, or that there is no flex in your frame?
Frame flex?bsdc
Nov 3, 2002 8:23 AM
All frames flex, at least a little. Titanium has a bit more elasticity than some other materials. This elasticity gives the bike a smoother ride but can also result in excessive frame flex if not built correctly. To me, excessive frame flex would be a squirly feeling or chain rub when sprinting or climbing. I have notice neither of these problems. As for titanium flexing a millimeter or two more than other materials and resulting in a significant loss in power transfer, I don't buy it. Any loss in power transfer due to flex of the frame would be returned at the bottom of the pedal stroke with the frame flexes back to neutral. My point was that the frame, despite being inexpensive, was built well.
I see, thanks. nmfbg111
Nov 3, 2002 10:24 AM
Frame flex?divve
Nov 3, 2002 10:51 AM
...but it's returned in the wrong direction to benefit anything.
Frame flex?scorpionking
Nov 3, 2002 12:07 PM
as for titanium flexing a bit more and giving lots more comfort I don't buy it, unless all you are doing is trying to ride over potholes one after another. Titanium as a metal is inherently more resonant than steel, this is fact not hype. High frequency road vibrations, the buzz which is what really bothers most riders will absolutely be transmitted more easily through a given geometry ti frame than they will a given geometry steel frame so I really question all the comments that ti bikes are claimed to be more comfortable than steel. As far as ti frames flexing more than steel frames this is yet another common misnomer by most consumers. Yes, ti has a great elastic modulus than steel, however, the end result stiffness will be determined by the geometry of the tubes and bike frame. A chromo frame can be made to flex everybit as much as your typical ti frame simply by reducing tube diameters and increasing wall thickness a bit and in fact many steel builders do just this. Pure theory is one thing, what happens in the real world is often quite different. Take a look at the Litespeed Ultimate or 6.4 Litespeed Vortex, those are two stiff ti frames and there are lots of steel frames out there made of Ded, Zero Zero Uno and Comumbus Nirvachrom that flex at least as much if not more than those two examples.

Don't buy all the hype, ti is not a majic material. It has nice qualities for building a bike frame, and it also has some drawbacks, but so do steel and carbon fiber.
Vortex stiff?Nessism
Nov 3, 2002 1:46 PM
I keep hearing people on this board talk about how stiff the Vortex is. This is perplexing to me based on the relatively small, thin walled tubes. I can't help but wonder how much is this reputation is deserved and how much is placebo? The fact remains that stiffness is determined by the shape factor of the tube (area moment of inertia) and the material stiffness (modulus of elasticity -all Ti materials have the same modulus whether they are 6/4 or 3/2.5). So where is the stiffness coming from? The Tuscany uses a larger diameter down tube than the Vortex, and the tube is likely thicker as well, but people rarely talk about how stiff the Tuscany is.

I for one don't think it's a coincidence that Litespeed stiffened up the Vortex with the larger down tube the year after the Lotto team rode them.

Ed
Different shapes,TJeanloz
Nov 3, 2002 5:15 PM
As you point out, the Vortex isn't much stiffer than the Tuscany- which is probably the best value bike in the Litespeed lineup.

But the shaped seat tube and downtube do contribute, and, having ridden them back-to-back, I would say that the Vortex is a little bit stiffer.
Judging stiffnessNessism
Nov 3, 2002 6:17 PM
First off I must admit that I've never ridden a Vortex, or a Tuscany for that matter. I did own/ride a Eddy Merckx EX Ti frame for several years which had the reputation for being above average in stiffness if this matters.

I always thought the EX was a fairly stiff frame until I started riding a lugged Dedacciai ZeroUno steel bike. While the EX was acceptable, the steel rig was stiffer in the bottom bracket area. Funny thing was, it was hard to tell them apart unless I was comming off several days of riding the steel bike and then jumped on the Ti bike. Only then could I clearly feel the extra flex. The flex really had no effect on the speed of the bike, only on the out of saddle, big ring sprint feel.

Geting back to the Vortex and Tuscany, the Tuscany uses a 1-1/2" shaped downtube whereas the Vortex's downtube is in the 1-3/8" range. Yes, the Vortex tubes are shaped more but I can't understand from an engineering perspective how Litespeed could get a significant increase in stiffness from a few creases in the tubes.

Honestly, I'm sure the Vortex is a very nice frame. Litespeed makes first rate frames in my opinion - although the integrated headset thing puts me off some. I just think sometimes people imagine too much when it comes to feel - myself included sometimes.

Ed
Vortex stiff?Juanmoretime
Nov 4, 2002 6:45 AM
I used to time trial on a Klein Aeolus. When pushing the big ring I could get the chain to rub on the front derailluer. I have two Litespeed's, an Arenberg and a Vortex and can't do the same on either. The Arenberg has a much small down tube than either the Klein or Vortex. Although the down tube on the Klein is round verses shaped on the two Litespeed's. I'm not an engineer although from my experiences I would think tube shape plays a very important role in bottom bracket stiffness.
Vortex stiff?No_sprint
Nov 4, 2002 10:04 AM
You were flexing the chainring rather than the frame. If not, you probably had a touch of looseness in the BB.
Frame flex?willin
Nov 4, 2002 8:25 AM
I had a steel Jamis Quest for ten months, rode it about 4000 miles, then I bought a Litespeed Vortex ten weeks months ago and have 1300 miles on it/

I weigh 200 lbs and am pretty fit. I can tell you from my experience unequivocally, that the ti frame is much more comfortable, flexes a little more, and feels more livley than my steel. (and I like steel)bike.

Mind you the Jamis was a more relaxed frame, longer wheelbase, etc. But the diferrence between the two bikes is like the diffrence between riding a tired old horse and a young thoroughbred.

I researched frame matrial for some time before making the move to ti and I believe ti is the best material for bikes out there. Only downside I can see is price.
Fuzzy questions beget fuzzy answersKerry
Nov 3, 2002 3:18 PM
So, how many people have laid down serious money for their bikes and will now say publicly that they don't LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them? Some, but not many. Lots of people LOVED their mid-70s Motobecanes, but that didn't mean they were good bikes. Since you don't say how much you weigh, how much you want to spend, or what you are going to use the bike for, it's no surprise that you don't get useful feedback. Even if you were specific, these things are VERY MUCH open to debate.

PS - LS Vortex
LS Ultimate (nm)husker
Nov 3, 2002 3:52 PM
re: Titanium framesJohn Ryder
Nov 3, 2002 9:43 PM
LITESPEED ULTIMATE.
Ask a vague question ...pmf1
Nov 4, 2002 6:20 AM
All you'll get asking questions like this is an inventory of what people have ... and guess what ... they love their bike. Without a point of reference (i.e., having ridden several ti frames), these gushing endorsements are meaningless. Does anyone here currently have a bike they don't like?

I'd guess most ti bikes are pretty well made and ride nicely. Most people do not need a custom bike. Generally, the more you pay, the more you get, but in rapidly diminishing marginal returns (e.g., a $3000 frame is not twice as nice as a $1500 frame ... probably more like 10% nicer).
Merlin Agilis (nm)TrekFurthur
Nov 4, 2002 7:44 AM
DONT NARROW THE FIELD BY WHAT we LOVE...sprockets2
Nov 4, 2002 10:32 AM
figure out what your needs are and what you will love. I love my Litespeed Classic, but I am a cyclist who grew up on the classic european bikes, and I love that do-it-all type of frame. I never liked racing frames, but they are all the friggin rage now, the "regular" bike hardly exists anymore. Figure out what you want. If you want a racer, the Classic ain't for you, but the Vortex, especially in sizes smaller than my Litespeed (63 cm), is a rocket. Great Bike. And don't skimp on the fork. Your ride and handling are only as good as your fork, well almost, but it sounds good and it is mostly right.