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Carbon or Ti? Which one? I need help!!(11 posts)

Carbon or Ti? Which one? I need help!!bikenj
Mar 10, 2003 3:15 PM
I own a Trek 5500, but rode my friends Merlin this weekend and loved it. Here's the rub.I've got the itch to buy a new frame set, but what kind? Trek 5900 or Ti?

The Merlin was incredibly smooooth and comfy. I knew Ti was stiff, but never thought it would absorb the road like carbon. Now, it's important to note that the Merlin was riding on a full carbon wheelset. Do think that made the difference? Tire pressure was the same and based on my measurements, they were almost spot-on based on top tube length and CC.

So what do you think? Carbon or Ti?

P.S. This will be my all-round bike and I ride crits, long-distance (stage race length) and love to climb.

Cake and Eat It Too...Akirasho
Mar 10, 2003 3:39 PM
Be the bike.
re: Cake and Eat It Too...cyclopathic
Mar 10, 2003 3:58 PM
be one with bike
After this...who can afford cake? ;) n/mBonked
Mar 10, 2003 4:30 PM
After this...who can afford cake?bikenj
Mar 10, 2003 6:11 PM
From what I know, it was Merlin, it was Ti and that's the extent of it. Nothing special about it. Certainly not a carbon/Ti mix that seems to be the trend these days.

The wheels were a set of Specialized tri-spoke carbons with an 8 speed cassette. The rest of the components were older dura ace before STI levers.

I hear ya with regards to stereotyping Ti as stiff and have heard alot of negative (read noodle) comments about Seven Ti bikes. I was thinking along the lines of a Lightspeed Ghisallo.

Why another Carbon one asks...Need a slightly larger frame so I might as well upgrade at the same time.

That's not your choiceKerry
Mar 10, 2003 4:35 PM
You're chosing between two different bikes, not the material they're made of. It's funny to hear you say that you "Ti was stiff" because many stereotypers will tell you that "Ti is a noodle" or something like that. If you want an honest comparison betwee frames, you should ride them both with the same wheels. Not similar wheels, but the same wheel set swapped between bikes. This is the way to compare bikes. Some would argue that Merlins and the 5900 have different design goals, so you should not expect them to be the same. And of course, you didn't say which Merlin you rode, nor what the "full carbon" wheels were (whatever that means), so there's no way to answer your question. Get to a Trek dealer with your own wheels, carefully match the fit, and give the bike a spin. Do likewise with the Merlin. Then make your judgement. These two bikes, among perhaps a short dozen others are at the top of the pile, and you're talking about differences, not about which one is better.
re: Carbon or Ti? Which one? I need help!!jtolleson
Mar 10, 2003 4:37 PM
If you've already got the 5500, why the temptation to get another CF?

You can definitely get a stiff enough ti bike, if that's your concern, and they'll handle those crit biffs nicely.
Get the Merlin.ol
Mar 10, 2003 8:04 PM
Hi .
I own a cuurent model extralight compact and I also have a Casati Scandium both exactly the same set up. I would quite confidently say that the Merlin is definetly on par with the Casati in the stiffness stakes. I race both bikes, I prefer the Casati in short sharp crits due to its quick handling, and the Merlin for long road races, strictly because of its superb ride.
Question from a fellow Casati ownermmaggi
Mar 11, 2003 9:19 AM
I own a 56cm Casati Forma (Deda SC 61.10 tubing). I love the response I get when I push it. It's stiff enough, but then again I weigh between 190-195lbs. The bike is decked out with Campy Chorus and a Nucleon wheelset.

I was thinking about Ti, but I wasn't sure if it would be stiff enough. I know it will be comfortable, but will it be responsive with my weight.

Are you similar in weight? You mentioned that you race so chances are you're not.

Thanks in advance.
Question from a fellow Casati ownerol
Mar 11, 2003 6:18 PM
I am 5'6 and weigh 150 pounds which puts me in the lightweight devision, so frame flex is not a real issue. Having said that even at your weight you can build a ti frame which will be very stiff and just as responsive, try contacting Seven Cycles or Serotta, sure they are not cheap but in the long run they will save you money, as anyone of those bikes will be the last bike you will ever buy.
re: Carbon or Ti? Which one? I need help!!JimP
Mar 11, 2003 1:16 PM
If you were riding on Specialized TriSpoke wheels, they aren't going to absorb as much vibration as spoked wheels. I ride with Nimble tri spoke all carbon wheels and they transmit more road "noise" than my metal spoked wheels. Must be the Merlin is just smoother than the 5500.