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Sportive Bike - Which Frame Material?

pedylanpedylan Posts: 768
edited November 2007 in Workshop
I had considered a range of bikes with compact frame geometry for distance, sportive but not racing use.

My initial inclination was to go with carbon frame and the Specilaised Roubaix seems to collect most of the awards.

However, I'm tempted by titanium, perhaps a custom build and get my LBS to build it up. There are some good, reasonably priced frames available eg Sunday, Enigma.

What's the best material for a long day in the saddle? Any views?
Where the neon madmen climb

Posts

  • araceraracer Posts: 1,649
    Whatever makes you happy. Performance wise for what you're planning on I really don't believe it makes any difference - far more important is to get the fit right.
  • Smokin JoeSmokin Joe Posts: 2,706
    Looks like the bearded ones have gone to bed early. No-one has suggested 531 yet...
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    531 is the real deal
  • andypandyp Posts: 8,705
    The only material that probably isn't up to your intended purpose is some of the stiffer aluminium racing frames so your choice is very wide.

    I've a carbon framed bike and a titanium framed bike that I use for sportives both in the UK and in Europe and both do an excellent job. The one definite advantage titanium has is it's robustness, i.e. it copes better with being packed into a bike bag or box and transported. I've done a lot of trips with my titanium bike and it's never been damaged whereas I've had the paint chipped and the rear mech hangar bent on my carbon fibre frame.

    Personally I think titanium is a fantastic material for a bike frame and it rides superbly. I still find myself grinning when out on mine and I've had it for 8 years now. I'd recommend that you find somewhere who'll let you test ride a titanium bike before you part with your cash but I'd definitely recommend it.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    If you plan on travelling a lot with your bike, then definitely titanium for its robustness. Although there is a slight penalty in comparison to carbon, a well made ti frame can have a 'magic carpet' feel. FWIW a friend who has both a Roubaix and S-Works Roubaix has recently acquired a Van Nicholas ti frame and is amazed by the improved ride quality of the VN in comparison to the Roubaix. Wheel and tyre choice can also have a big bearing on comfort - 25mm tyres also help to take the buzz out of the road. I have three bikes using a combination of the three - one all ti, a ti/carbon hybrid and an all-carbon frame. The smoothest ride is the titanium, but it does flex quite a lot so no good for serious hammering. The ti/carbon has real 'zing' and responsiveness and is great for fast riding. The carbon bike sometimes feels an little 'dead' and although really stiff, means it jumps and skitters about on poor road surfaces.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • pedylanpedylan Posts: 768
    Thanks for the views. My mind's made up. A custom fit titanium frame and a build up to my spec by my LBS seems to be the "character" choice as opposed to just another carbon frame.

    Bike for life! :)
    Where the neon madmen climb
  • giant_mangiant_man Posts: 6,878
    It will be interesting to see which one to go for pedylan, i'm thinking about a Seven but not sure. I could go for an Enigma or Burls which would be custom of course but might be missing that 'zing' I'm after. With a Seven they 'tune' the tubing according to your riding style and preference for riding. Which sounds interesting. I'm guessing that's why they are so expensive.
  • pedylanpedylan Posts: 768
    The danger here is that I will buy a bike that is a much better bike than I am a rider. This is true I suspect even of the modestly specced Bianchi I currently ride.

    I'm going to contact Sunday and Enigma first. There was a very good review of Sunday's Silk road offering earlier this year in Cycling Weekly (around May sometime) when it compared favourably with the Roubaix S Works.
    Where the neon madmen climb
  • araceraracer Posts: 1,649
    How can a bike possibly be better than the rider? I've yet to meet one which can get anywhere of its own accord.

    In any case, with that sort of attitude, how would bike companies ever sell top end bikes? There's certainly no requirement to be a certain standard of rider to own a nice bike. There are even some people who won't sneer at you :wink:
  • giant_mangiant_man Posts: 6,878
    pedylan wrote:
    The danger here is that I will buy a bike that is a much better bike than I am a rider. This is true I suspect even of the modestly specced Bianchi I currently ride.

    I'm going to contact Sunday and Enigma first. There was a very good review of Sunday's Silk road offering earlier this year in Cycling Weekly (around May sometime) when it compared favourably with the Roubaix S Works.

    You are worthy of any bike pedylan, don't ever think otherwise. It's your money so it's your choice. :D
  • in the Flanders sportif I did this year I saw a guy set off to do the 160 mile full monty on a bike that can't have cost more than the equivalent of £200 from a supermarket. It was a road bike but the most basic thing you've ever seen. he had a rucksack on his back and a pair of tennis shoes when he came past me :lol:
    I saw plenty, and I mean plenty, of steel bikes with 8 spd ergo on that day. Enough to make me realise that my carbon bike with DA was not really needed. Of the crowd I went over with, there was a carbon Trek(DA 10spd), an alu Billato(9spd 105), an alu/carbon mix Pinarello(Campag mix), alu Specialized (DA 10 spd) and a custom steel Rourke (Ultegra 10 spd) with carbon forks. None of the bikes broke, we had 2 punctures between us all day and one broken (lightweight) bottle cage.
    Remember, the guy who won Flanders (Ballan) was riding a bike that was ok but nowhere near as nice as the CSC Cervelos or QuickStep Specializeds. Didn't stop him handing out a beating to them though did it?

    Just get a bike that works and is serviced/looked after regularly. Your fitness is of more importance than your bike at the end of the day
  • MapmanMapman Posts: 254
    I ride a titanium VNichlas yukon which i find an excellent combination of speed and Soaking up the bumps on 25 cc Krylons However i concur with comments of past poster The speed and performance of relative bikes is not always in proportion to the amount of hot air /praise expended on them IE THe average speed for 30 mile commute to work on winter hack 531 holdsworth sprint 20 plus yr old frame guards and 6 speed sora 16.4mph on Van Nicholas 16.2mph !! ps Hewits built up the VN for me and did an excellent job
  • I've just got an Enigma Esprit and am very impressed by the ride and quality of build.

    Get yourself down to Sussex and talk to Jim and Mark at Enigma - they'll let you have a test ride and m,easure you up to see if you fit a stock frame well, or should go down the custom (no extra cost) route.

    Jim did hint that the ultimate sales pitch for titanium is a test ride, no need for snake-oil promises from salesmen!
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