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Far East Titanium - Experiences?

Hob NobHob Nob Posts: 200
edited January 2012 in Road buying advice
My wife quite fancies a new bike, so has been investigating various sources.

She prefers something a bit more classic in terms of styling, and thus isn't bothered by the swooping lines and garish branding of something carbon, so has been looking at the possibility of something Ti instead.

Being aware of various forms of Chinerello's etc coming over from the far east, I had a little Google around and managed to find a few places that build Ti frames as well for what could be considered very reasonable prices (sub £500).

Has anyone got any first hand experience of them? I was looking between TACC, Xi'an & Titan, all of whom do some fairly generic frames in terms of geometry, albeit at a vastly lower price than the known brands.

I've seen some fairly favourable reviews of most from a big American forum, but it would be good to get some opinions from UK users (if there are any?)


  • pottsstevepottssteve Posts: 4,069
    I have known people who used Xi'an with no problems. I think the guys' name is Porter. You will have to be very specific about your requirements, I guess, to make sure you get what you want.

    Head Hands Heart Lungs Legs
  • bigpiklebigpikle Posts: 1,690
    search here as there are few threads about Chi Ti frames - good but slightly heavy seemed to be what I remember as a quick summary when I briefly looked into it. I cant remember who, but there is one regular here who has 1 or 2 from there - Montydog ????

    seems that the CF versions are more popular imports, and of course they can be had in any finish just about, so you have a lot of options.
    Your Past is Not Your Potential...
  • de_sistide_sisti Posts: 1,283
    I've bought 3 frames from them and have never had a problem. Be specific with what you want.
    When you order a frame, they will send you full engineering drawings. If you wanted to tweek
    things; for instance, you wanted a longer top tube or longer chainstays, just email Porter.
    He will then send a revised drawing. Once you agree on it you are invited to pay by bankers
    draft. The frame normally takes about 3 weeks. Payment is usually in US dollars. When I bought
    my first one the exchange rate was about $1.90 to £1.

    They label the packages in so much as you probably won't have to pay import charges. I didn't
    for the 3 frames I purchased. I sold one to a friend and have kept the other two.

    So, if you know the dimensions of the size of frame that suits you, you can get a virtual custom
    built frame for a fraction of the price you'd pay to one of the usual suspects. Oh, Porter said
    that they made frames for other companies, but for commercial confidentiality he wouldn't
    tell me which ones.

    If you do contact them, ask how much seatpost SP-20 (27.2mm/240mm length) costs.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    I've recently had an order for three custom frames - a lot of back and forth in terms of getting the details right but all the frames were fine. Delivery was longer than quoted at 8 weeks from bank transfer. Porter has a very direct manner like many Chinese, so don't expect to be cossetted or schmoozed. Basic frame price is $600 but you can easily double that if you go for custom extras e.g. Integrated headtubes, press-fit BB, Breezer dropouts, polished finish. I'm really pleased with my latest purchase and about the third of what it would have cost from a US builder. There's plenty of cr@p about Chinese weld quality on some US forums - my experience is that my first ti frame is fine after 6 years and the quality of the new one is even better. One 'brand' that Xian build for is Spin.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
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