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Should steel frame aficionado take the plunge to Titanium?(10 posts)

Should steel frame aficionado take the plunge to Titanium?CarbonTi
Jan 5, 2003 10:11 PM
I like the ride of steel bikes. I was seduced by the thought of really light so I tried Al (a Al Scandium so it wasn't junk) but it wasn't for me. I thought it basically had the feel of a gaspipe tube bike (bike boom era Peugeot UO8) but much lighter and buzzier.

I'm not a weight weenie but light weight is always the siren song of cycling so I'm considering Titanium. If it rode like steel and weighed significantly less, then that would be my cycling grail.

Any steel riders make the jump to Ti? Can you give me any insights? Thanks.
Definitely differentboneman
Jan 6, 2003 1:00 AM
After 30 years on steel, I bought a Vortex at the beginning of 1999. CC was blowing out the 98 models but there was a screw up in sizing and they offerred me a 99 for only $100 more.

Biggest difference I found was the ride comfort and the weight. I'm not big at 59kg but it's as stiff in the BB area as my previous steel bikes which were made from Reyholds 531, Columbus SL and TSX.

I've since bought a couple of more steel bikes, one from Columbus Nivachrome and another of Deda SAT 14.5 but the Vortex is my choice for long rides on the weekends.

Ti is definitely worth looking into although pricing remains an issue.
Take the plunge!bsdc
Jan 6, 2003 4:28 AM
I've ridden Steel for years. I recently purchased a Ti bike and was thrilled. It's lighter, won't rust, no chipped paint (unless you decide to paint it) and tends to produce a smoother ride. I found it took the edge off the "road feel" one experiences on a steel bike without feeling dead. I think the only down side is the price.
Jan 6, 2003 7:15 AM
ride quality is more property of frame design then material, steel and Ti are very similar. I've gone back in forth on Ti/steel (sorry Al no more in my fleet) and seems the differences in ride are the result of geometry, tube shape then material IMHO. Frames built with oversized aero or ovalized tubes tend to be stiffer and harsher, steel or Ti, so check the ride before buy ;)

Weightwise you are not saving that much ~0.25 to 1.5lbs, there're many steel frames in 3-4lbs range. Not sure if it qualifies as "significantly", 1/2lbs easy to shave off on components. Unfinished Ti does look cool (saves 1-2oz on paint), you don't have to worry about corrosion, salt spray etc.
Jan 6, 2003 7:58 AM
Design does matter. For similar stiffness frames, the frame weight difference will be in the 1/4 - 1/2 lbs. range - or even less depending on the actual tubes used.

I've owned frames of both types and like them. To me the advantage of Ti is in durability - mostly in the finish department; no paint to chip and cable stops to rust. Weight is no major issue to me. If one wants to shed a little weight with a steel frame, find one designed to use a carbon fork. A full carbon fork will drop 1/2 lbs from the frameset total so keep this in mind.

You won't save that much weightColnagoFE
Jan 6, 2003 7:33 AM
Assuming you want a bike as stiff as your steel bike. I went the other way. From steel to high end Ti and then back to steel.
Steel, Steel, Steel, Ti, Steel, Carbon . . .Look381i
Jan 6, 2003 10:37 AM
That's been my progression on road frames. I went back to steel after Ti to get a livelier (but still light enough at 18 pounds) and prettier ride (didn't really like the industrial, post-modern look). I then found a carbon frame and build that gave me the whole package I was after: lively, steel-like road feel, ti no-buzz comfort, stiff bb, slightly lighter weight (17.3 pounds), and nice paint and finish.

(My son's alu Colnago is no competition except perhaps for efficiency and paint job.)
re: Should steel frame aficionado take the plunge to Titanium?mackgoo
Jan 6, 2003 10:47 AM
I did, although the Ti bike is nice I'm not overly impressed. I'm going to try carbon this year. I would say skip the Ti and try carbon.
re: Should steel frame aficionado take the plunge to Titanium?irregardless
Jan 6, 2003 11:45 AM
Titanium bikes can be made to ride and feel however you want. It is more an issue of geometry and tube diameter. Some light models are noodly in the bb but comfortable, some with big downtubes are stiffer, less comfortable and heavier. Make sure you read up on the ride differences between the different models to ensure you get what you want and aren't disappointed. Otherwise, go custom and let the builder design a frame that meets all of your needs. Buying a stock titanium frame without first test riding it can be a very expensive mistake.
I made the TI purchase in December! Merlin XL CompactMorgan
Jan 6, 2003 4:54 PM
I was riding a Cannondale R2000Si, Which is a very nice bike, and hard to beat for the price. But got a great deal on a Merlin Compact and Look HS3 Fork through Hi Tech Bikes, it was below cost. Weight is about 17.25 pounds with pedals which are new Dura Ace 7750 (love them). As some have said the frame design is a major factor in performance and ride. I am 6' and 190 pounds, The Merlin is stiff where it needs to be and very smooth. There is no buzz detected. Climbs great up hills. SO I GUESS YOU COULD SAY I RECOMMEND PURCHASING TI. As for carbon, too me it has a wooden or dead feel.