Ti Frames – "Current Fashion" or "here to stay"?

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  • Ti Frames – "Current Fashion" or "here to stay"?
  • Premier Icon jimmy
    Subscriber

    Hasn't the same question been asked for 15 years and they're still around? I would love a Ti Dialled Alpine when Mike makes them. Oh, if. Oh, never 🙁

    cynic-al
    Member

    definitely a bit of a recent fad (like late 80's when they were must-have) but always been there as well.

    Have to say I quite fancy one but I can't justify it really.

    theflatboy
    Member

    they're not really a fad in as far as this:

    was my dream bike as long ago as i was into biking

    foxyrider
    Member

    I know they have been around as a niche bike for a while but obviously I mean't as a popular main stream bike material as Ti frames have exploaded on the market in the last few years 🙂

    I fancy a high qual steel or a Ti but cannot justify it when I have a perfectly good Kinesis XC2 😉

    BTW I wasn;t dissing Ti frames – just wanted to hear peoples opinions on them 😕

    woodsman
    Member

    Curious too! I like the concept – ride as good as steel, yet no taking care of paint or corrosion issues. I don't know anyone who's owned one for a good lenth of time, and 'rides it' it's not cracked, normally through the weld. The welding process is specific and has to be in a controlled environment for it to work, long term it appears. I think you're fine if going for the top boutique brands, Indy Fab, Jones etc but I wouldn't risk the more affordable brands. Stick with steel, at least it can be repaired/resprayed if anything happens – it is the most plyable material, which is why fatgue cracking on a decent steel frame is rare. Some get bent, some are poorly made also before anyone states, that their 150 quid steel frame has cracked!

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    Ti makes a good material for making bike frames, so people are keen to make bikes out of it. Seen as many broken Ti frames as anything else I suppose, and I was fairly sceptical about the whole Ti feel thing, right up to the point when I rode a Hummer.

    clubber
    Member

    Don't make the mistake of assuming that what's common on here is the norm. Ti is still very uncommon compared to alumninium, Ti and steel and nowadays, carbon.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    I've always wanted one, I probably wanted one of those that flatboy lusted after. Costly but supposedly best combo of weight v ride and last forever. The problem is bikes, parts and how we ride changes, if I owned the above merlin frame I'm not sure I'd still want to ride it now. (and I'd have trouble finding forks for it.

    would be a very pimpy hack bike tho 🙂

    foxyrider
    Member

    I am aware that Ti are uncommon related to other materials but most bike shops seems to be talking about them again and me having arguments with them at the price tage and advantage/cost ratio 😉

    theflatboy
    Member

    i ended up consummating my lifelong love for merlin, i couldn't resist!

    Premier Icon StirlingCrispin
    Subscriber

    I've only had my Ti frames since 2003 (audax bike) and 2005 (MTB) but they're still quite new compared to my steel touring bike (1993).

    slugwash
    Member

    Interested in peoples views?

    Here's some views of my 'passé' 15 year old KHS titanium in various guises….



    hora
    Member

    theflatboy – NO offence but I dont see the point of a ti full suss. I dont get it at all.

    theflatboy
    Member

    well it is a view that is often suggested. all i know is how fantastic it is to ride. i do love it so!

    mcboo
    Member

    For my type of riding (lairy XC, big days in the Lakes/Spain) its the perfect frame material and I cant imagine not having one.

    Yes they cost more and you can get a fine steel frame for £150…..but its the frame of the bike, its the really important bit!

    £1000 on a frame isnt expensive. £100 on a headset is expensive. £400 on a crankset is expensive.

    Breakages? bikes break.

    tinsy
    Member

    Markus, I got a suspicion that looking at slugwashes KHS is the answer to why a full suss Ti, am I right in guessing that they are recent shots of the KHS Slugwash?

    You notice it still looks like new Markus?

    That was my reason for buying a Ti frame, a 2nd hand Tinbred, I dont really look after kit and it always looked new with a good wash. Buy one now and it should last a long time before its completely superceeded by the latest thing… Right up until rear brake mounts go post or something and it gets hard to get calipers for, or 1.5 headsets do eventually take over from 1 1/8th, I cant see one getting out dated..

    So i had a frame for life, and some fecker stole it.. 😥

    mcboo
    Member

    +1 Tinsy, frame for life. Not sure why I'd ever change.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    Moots factory tour: http://teamdicky.blogspot.com/2009/07/moots-factory-tour.html (warning may contain a sense of humour):

    Very few customers actually have the opportunity to cash in on the lifetime warranty, and recently a customer called about his cracked FIFTEEN YEAR OLD FRAME. He wanted a warranty, and yes, that's what he will get. That's pretty sweet.

    That's impressive

    MrSmith
    Member

    i don't get this frame for life thing. i would rather have a modern steel/alloy frame than a Ti frame with 1in headset, quill stem, 60mm fork, canti brakes and high top tube that cost a fortune 10 years ago.

    wors
    Member

    MrSmith – Member
    i don't get this frame for life thing. i would rather have a modern steel/alloy frame than a Ti frame with 1in headset, quill stem, 60mm fork, canti brakes and high top tube that cost a fortune 10 years ago.

    maybe just shows how fickle we are wanting the latest gear that we are told we need!

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    flatboy – ignore Markus, i reckon that's probably the best trail bike ever made.

    foxyrider
    Member

    Are Ti Frames just an expensive fad or do they have a significant advantage over current frame materials. Are peoples claims of frame cracks warranted or is it just you only hear about the broken ones? Interested in peoples views?

    theflatboy
    Member

    to be fair, he did confirm that he intended NO offence. 🙂

    i don't mind – as i say, it's been suggested on here before but i ride the little beauty hard and long, as they say, and i love her to bits. that's all i need to know. 🙂

    Premier Icon whippersnapper
    Subscriber

    i've wanted to since the early 90's when I saw the Rocky Mountain Ti Bolt. Finally allowed myself and replaced the Chameleon with a Ti456 and the difference is incredible – similar bikes handling wise but I can now come home from a long ride without back ache and a sore bum which the Chameleon dished out frequently.

    i've had 4 in the last 6 years, so deffo not a frame for life for me.
    i broke the Hummer too, which kinda broke my heart 🙁
    i'm in a very lucky place however…..
    as for current fad, don't be daft.
    see Moots / Merlin / Jones who've been crafting for years some works of art…….

    I'm with MrSmith on this,

    I've got a "hardcore steel hardtail" which at the time I thought would be the last bike I ever owned. But in the 10 years that particular frame design has been arorund things have moved on. Ironicly they seem to have come full circle and a very similar frame from the same factory is now the latest must have bike, go figure?

    ti_pin_man
    Member

    this is an odd thread or at least I find it a bit odd. Passing fad? Crazy talk.

    I've been riding a ti frame I've had since 1995 and it hasnt cracked, still rides as it did when I bought it and it still works as it should. No rust, no worries about metal fatigue. No cracks and only a few dings. I've ridden alu and steel and carbon bikes and ti always feels great.

    … and I've just bought another ti framed as i decided to have both a SS and geared hardtail. Both are fantastic and frankly better than their owners abilities. ;o)

    If anything is a new fad its going to be the plethora of carbon bikes out there right now.

    I think the industry goes through waves of using new materials as new technologies get better understood and companies get better tooled up to produce. Undoubtedly the good stuff will stay and the other stuff will fade away. Good ti continues to hang around.

    Yes they cost more and you can get a fine steel frame for £150…..but its the frame of the bike, its the really important bit!

    £1000 on a frame isnt expensive. £100 on a headset is expensive. £400 on a crankset is expensive

    I dont entirely agree. I'd say the really important bits are forks, brakes and tires, and also geometry. Frame material doesnt make much difference. £1000 for a frame is expensive in my eyes

    hilldodger
    Member

    reckon it's just trend mongering producers surfing the Ti wave before trying to flog us composites in a couple of years 😉

    Surely the actual design (and also fit/set-up) of a bike frame is more significant than it's molecular structure?

    And if so, is having the same design in various flavours of metal a compromise on some level or other ?

    llama
    Member

    you know that scene in spinal tap where he says 'yes but these go up to 11'

    its the same thing: 'yes but this is ti'

    rkk01
    Member

    Ti does bring out a certain lustfullness…

    Can't see that Ti is a fad though. I have a 6 yr old Ti hardtail. It still looks great – the unpainted Ti is easy to clean and doesn't corrode like steel or suffer from low fatigue life like alu.

    It's young enough to be a "modern" mtb design, ie new components still fit, although the frame geometry is a very stretched out XC race style.

    In the years that I've owned I've also has a Marin FS, Giant Reign and Pace 305 – but more often than not it's the Ti hardtail that's the bike of choice. It's a bit more balanced at the mo – almost 50:50 with the Pace, but during the years I ran the Ti with a FS I'd normally do 2, 3 or even 4 times the mileage on Ti bike.

    Premier Icon 2unfit2ride
    Subscriber

    I like the description of the Seven in mtbrDot's link

    Full specification
    Frame: Seven Sola Gold custom, Cirrus™ Ultra-Butted™ and Argen™ butted titanium
    Fork: RockShox SID World Cup w/ carbon crown and XLoc compression damper, 90/100psi positive/negative

    Critical measurements
    Rider's height: 1.66m (5' 6") ; Weight: 52.6kg (116lb)
    Seat tube length, c-c: 373mm
    Seat tube length, c-t: 410mm
    Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 690mm
    Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem): 511mm
    Handlebar drop: 15mm
    Head tube length: 90mm
    Top tube length: 558mm

    Front brake: Avid XX w/ 160mm rotor
    Rear brake: Avid XX w/ 140mm rotor
    Brake levers: Avid XX
    Front derailleur: SRAM XX
    Rear derailleur: SRAM XX
    Shift levers: SRAM XX
    Cassette: SRAM XX, 11-36T
    Chain: SRAM PC-1090R
    Crankset: SRAM XX, 175mm, 28/42T
    Bottom bracket: SRAM XX BlackBox
    Rims: Stan's NoTubes ZTR Race
    Front hub: American Classic Disc 130
    Rear hub: American Classic Disc 225
    Spokes: DT Revolution 1.8/1.5mm, 32h, red alloy nipples
    Front tyre: Kenda Small Block Eight DTC, 26×1.95", converted to tubeless
    Rear tyre: Kenda Small Block Eight DTC, 26×1.95", converted to tubeless

    Bars: Truvativ Noir World Cup, 580mm
    Stem: Truvativ Stylo World Cup, 100mm x 5º
    Headset: Crank Brothers Cobalt SL
    Tape/grip: ESI Racer's Edge, shortened

    Pedals: Crank Brothers Egg Beater 4Ti
    Seat post: Syntace P6 Carbon
    Saddle: fi'zi:k Aliante w/ braided carbon rails
    Bottle cages: King Cage Titanium

    Total bike weight: 8.74kg (19.27lb)

    Now that's how much a very light hardtail weighs in the real world, I bet all the people claiming 17-19lbs on here don't have kit half that weight.

    🙂

    theflatboy
    Member

    I bet all the people claiming 17-19lbs on here don't have kit half that weight.

    that would be a seriously light bike if they did!

    foxyrider
    Member

    Well my original question is getting some good discussions going 🙂

    this is an odd thread or at least I find it a bit odd. Passing fad? Crazy talk.

    I think its you 'ti_pin'. As you can see although this material has been around for a while (been used for many things apart from bikes historically i.e. human bone implants)and been used obviously for building frames, there HAS been, to me obviously, a recent surge in interest and frames pushed by companies and media!

    mt
    Member

    Slugwash – Nice KHS had one myself, pretty light as I recall with RC50's and gripshift. Fell for a Pace so sold mine.

    theflatboy – nice Merlin, I have one also. Truly a great ride, love at first ride.

    (mr MC posting) as a bit of a former Ti geek, I'm pretty sure the KHS frame was made by Sandvik in Washington state, who made a lot of "own-brand" ti frames like Kona, Marin etc so its got a good heritage.

    Only reason I sold my Litespeed (which had Ti just about everything) was a spinal problem which stops me riding hardtails. Still get sorely tempted when I see some of the nice stuff on here. It always struck me as the ideal material for MTB frames (no corrosion, bit of flex, good fatigue properties, hard wearing finish) and the fact that it is difficult to manipulate and build with properly was part of its appeal.

    theflatboy
    Member

    theflatboy – nice Merlin, I have one also. Truly a great ride, love at first ride.

    same one? cool, i didn't know anyone else on here had one. stick a pic up so i can see your different build? yeah it's a gorgeous bike, pretty to look at, amazing to ride.

    slugwash
    Member

    I'm pretty sure the KHS frame was made by Sandvik in Washington state, who made a lot of "own-brand" ti frames like Kona, Marin etc so its got a good heritage.

    That's interesting. I always assumed that the frame was made in some crappy far eastern or Russian workshop 'cos the downtube bottle bosses are slightly askew, the rear brake bossses are also mounted too high so will only work with the old Shimano DX BMX V-brakes (or similar) which have more vertical adjustment than the regular Shimano V-brakes. Also, my friend got through two of these frames, they both cracked at the welds. The second time it happened he didn't bother getting a replacement under warranty, he just stuck to road bikes.

    BTW, I'm guessing the age of my KHS based on the year that my friend bought his first one. I got mine second-hand from a guy who worked in The Cycle Surgery in Highbury Corner. The City branch of CS still had one of these unsold frames hanging from it's ceiling in 2002 complete with the horrendous graphics that KHS saw fit to inflict on the down and seat tubes.

    Right, I'm pootling off up over the Downs to Brighton on mine in an hour or two. Give us a wave if you see me out there!

    Premier Icon firestarter
    Subscriber

    i bought a ti audax bike last year and im very happy with it. And it does feel different to ride than my other steel ali and carbon bikes nice but different i prob prefer full carbon for when stamping on the pedals but the ti is lovely over distance and the lifetime warranty is always nice 🙂

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