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Ti vs. CF... seriously.(13 posts)

Ti vs. CF... seriously.shirt
Jan 28, 2003 9:14 AM
Okay, I've been very happy racing my Deda SC 61.10 frame for the past couple seasons, but the bb shell is most definitely ovalized and unfixable.

I'm going to need to get a new race frameset here in the next couple months. I've got a 13 year old steel bike as backup, but it's quite heavy.

One of the problems with my Al Ciocc is it's stiffness. It's great in the sprint, and I'm a bit of a spritner, but I've fitted Xaeros for training rides to take some of the harshness off.

I know this has been discussed to death here, but I have a question about Ti regarding it's 'sprintability.' This year my focus is on helping team-mates, not winning races, so sprinting's not quite as important as before.

I've never ridden a Ti road bike, but keep hearing how resilient and comfortable they are. For longer races, this comfort can definitely add up to a power advantage towards the end. My question refined: will a Ti frame really be that much slower than the stiff Al I'm used to? I'm expecting to provide good lead-outs, and snapping from 20 mph to 35 is one of my strong suits. Will I feel my energy being wasted into that frame?

I can also probably get a deal on an OCLV. Are they that much more comfortable than Al to get one? Are they simply a "wooden" version of Al? From everything I hear, I won't feel that they detract from my sprint too much. I'm also loathe to give up the feathery lightness of Al, and every AFFORDABLE Ti frame I've looked at is a good 1-2 lbs. heavier than Al or CF.

I know this is a little rambling, and I guess I could have just posed this question:

Does titanium suck for a sprinter?

re: Ti vs. CF... seriously.No_sprint
Jan 28, 2003 11:26 AM
Racin' an AL Ciocc huh? I'm racin' one too, amongst others. I've ridden Ti and carbon, but not raced it. Also, I cannot say that I've ridden them each enough to get into some of the intricacies that I can in regards to Alu and steel. Give a QPro Carbon a try. I love it. You think that Ciocc is light? The Klein is ridiculous, comfy and stiff.
re: Ti vs. CF... seriously.Will Ross
Jan 28, 2003 12:51 PM
I'm facing a similar decision, only I'm a climber, not a sprinter. I'm also concerned about weight with Ti, but want a long-term frame, so aluminium doesn't seem like the best choice. That leaves carbon fiber -- but racing Cat. 5 with an expensive carbon frame seems dubious, even if I avoid crits. At 6-0 and 142-144 in climbing trim, every ounce counts going uphill; it's my one advantage, since I'm definitely not a fast finisher. I currently ride a steel Moser frame and love the feel of the bike and the fact that my power goes straight from the pedals to the pavement, but it's definitely too heavy to race when they're are lots of hills. Sorry to piggyback on your question, but I'm hoping some of the responses will guide me as well.
Here's a link..hrv
Jan 28, 2003 3:21 PM
You may have seen this already:
re: Ti vs. CF... seriously.sprntr1
Jan 29, 2003 9:03 AM
I rode a Litespeed Vortex for 2 years and loved it..... that was until I purchased a Pinarello Prince. The prince felt sooo much more efficient when pedalling, it was like every ounce of energy was being transmitted to the rear. I felt like I was not as fast on the litespeed for that reason. After that experience i would never buy titanium for a race bike. My experience has been that most aluminium frames are lighter, stiffer and "faster feeling" than titanium bikes.

I was not a big fan of carbon until I recently rode the Giant TCR composite. This bike is sweeet. Light Stiff and compliant. If i was shopping for a new bike i would seriously consider it. The price is not bad either.
Jan 29, 2003 3:53 PM
Jan 29, 2003 8:07 PM
I'm 5'11" and weigh 175lbs. I too consider myself to be a sprinter (wrestled in college and lifted a lot of weights). I have been racing a GT ZR1. Over the winter I built up a TST ti frame and I gotta say I can't tell much difference between the two. The GT is a little "buzzier" and it handles a little differently (because of a shorter stem). On really long rides, 5-6 hrs., the ti bike shines, I don't seem to be as fatigued when riding it. Sprints are the same from one bike to the other. I can't feel the bb flex at all on the ti bike, I have made the chain rub on the front derailleur on the GT while standing on climbs. The ti bike fits me better, and I like not having to worry about paint damage. The bikes weigh almost exactly the same, the ti frame is a little heavier but has better components. I'm gonna race the ti bike on Feb 22, so I could let you know how it performs in actual race conditions. I think the ti bike is a better "all around" bike. YMMV
Excellent, thank you. (nm)shirt
Jan 30, 2003 8:02 AM
Only for You :) nmallervite
Feb 8, 2003 7:04 PM
I had a Dean oncespeedisgood
Jan 30, 2003 11:01 AM
Back around '94-95. It was their only ti road model at the time and had an oversized downtube and straight seat and chainstays. It was around 3 1/4 pounds but still pretty stiff in the sprints. I think I actually sprinted on that better then my old C'dale R900. Never had any problem with flex in the BB and the ride was way more comfy than big tubed aluminum. FWIW, I'm around 170-175# and DEFINITELY not a weak-kneed climber type. No offense to weak-kneed climber types tho ;-)

Look at old Vitus' compared to Kleins and C'dales today. Ti frames are heading along the same route in my estimation. The ability and willingness of companies to manipulate Ti tubes has increased a lot since the early Ti frame days. I think a well designed Ti bike can be just a stiff as a good aluminum frame (not necessarily like a CAAD 7 tho). From what I heard from teammates who ride Litespeeds, for example, was that the Vortex and Ultimate were plenty stiff (this coming from guys around my size and bigger).

I'm in the market myself for a new frame and Ti is what i"m looking at now. The Airborne Torch is complete 6/4 seamless double butted tubing. It looks REALLY stiff, look at those seat and chainstays. But it's also REALLY expensive ($2500, NO FORK!) and I'm really not into the compact look for road bikes. I'm wondering if the Manhattan Project is stiff enough. A teammate has that and I'm going to try it out one of these days, I'll let you know if you're interested. Dean was good for me before but I've heard about their CS and delay problems. I also considered Litespeed but my sponsoring shop doesn't carry them anymore (bad CS).

Good luck in your search!
I was actually interested in the Zeppelinshirt
Jan 30, 2003 11:10 AM
While I'm not genetically attracted to the compact frame geometry, I also understand it's value. The Airborne Zeppelin looks like a pretty good compromise of value and stiffness (compact + oversize tubes), and there's only a one pound penalty over the Al I'm currently riding.

I was actually hoping to get the opinion of Zeppelin owners, but the few that have reviewed them on this site seem totally unlike me, rider-wise.

Like you and the other guy, I'm 5'11" and 175 lbs. But I think 168 is achievable... :-)
I have a steel Pegoretti, an Easton scandium alu (Douglas), andbill
Jan 30, 2003 2:42 PM
a LS Natchez (a bit older than the other two -- 1998 vintage). The Natchez is the stiffest, the next stiffest is the Pegoretti, and then the Douglas.
No generalizations can be made, really.
Ti, CF, Steel who cares- sloppy build = sloppy rideskip work to ride
Feb 1, 2003 8:23 PM
I have ridden and raced steel, aluminum and Ti.

I currently race a 2001 Litespeed Ultimate (no carbon stays) and it rocks. It is compliant and super super stiff due to its design not material.

Too many people get caught up in the material issue. The bottomline is a pro quality handbuilt bike will always out perform some slob in any material.

If you are going to go Ti stick with a high quality builder, just like you would CF and probably steel. The lighter the frame the more flex it will have. So balance your needs out.

I am jealous of the guy with the Pegoretti, now that is the best of all worlds - steel oversized and awesome builder.

Most importantly ride what you can enjoy and afford (not necessarily in that order)...