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WHICH TITANIUM FRAME ?

chris217chris217 Posts: 217
edited November 2015 in Road buying advice
I know there are many threads re Ti frames etc so sorry if i am duplicating anything.

i need to make a decision on a frame / fork deal

- LITESPEED XICON
- VAN NICHOLAS EUROS
- VAN NICHOLAS MISTRAL
- ENIGMA ECLIPSE
- KINESIS GF Ti

I narrowed it down to shortlist and while I appreciate there are other Ti frames out there, I am trying to limit my options to the above due to budget.

My budget is max of £1000 , with the Litespeed there is a good deal in that i can get the frame and fork for within my budget. i am aware the Litespeed is the most expensive frame here but dose that mean better.There is also a deal on the Kinesis

anyway opinions on each of these frames would be appreciated, i must say i have read many reviews of Ti frames and bikes and have yet to read a bad one !
so really its a vote as to which one to choose, backed up with some rider feedback if possible.

I dont want a race bike , simply i want a comfortable long distance bike really.

cheers
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Posts

  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    I got properly fitted for my current bike, rode it for a few months and then got Justin Burls to build me a custom frame to those measurements. Cost was about a grand for the frame and then you have fork, headset, seatpost, etc so it would come in over your budget but for me, having a frame build to my exact specifications was worth it.

    4d152044.jpg
    Mud - Genesis Vapour CCX
    Race - Fuji Norcom Straight
    Sun - Cervelo R3
    Winter / Commute - Dolan ADX
  • Wirral_paulWirral_paul Posts: 2,476
    I'd be seriously tempted to go direct to the Chinese suppliers and buy one at half your budget. I have a £350 (delivered) carbon frame as my winter bike direct from China and it is great.

    http://www.xacd.com.cn/product.asp?rootcl=1#

    Monty Dog bought 3 frames from them recently and has had one for 5 years beforehand.

    http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=17249064
  • bmxboy10bmxboy10 Posts: 1,860
    I have a Mistral and its great, does exactly what people sat Ti does in terms of ride. I cant see the point of getting a euros as thet are basically the same frame and i think the new mistral now comes with the Ti VN Badge so apart from the shape of the rear stays they are the same frame.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    I've plenty of experience buying titanium frames direct from China - currently working on my next 'project'.
    There are a number of builder - XACD and Titan Products will both take orders for individual bikes.
    Basic frame prices are $600 plus shipping and then you can start adding for 'options' - my last build was $1200 for a custom 'Breakaway' CX:
    BX9Pul.jpg

    There's a big 'Chinese Titanium' thread over on the Roadbikereview Frame forum too.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • flasherflasher Posts: 1,627
    solboy10 wrote:
    I have a Mistral and its great, does exactly what people sat Ti does in terms of ride. I cant see the point of getting a euros as thet are basically the same frame and i think the new mistral now comes with the Ti VN Badge so apart from the shape of the rear stays they are the same frame.

    So therefore they're not the same!
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Blatant plug, but this XACD frame and forks is still for sale ;-)

    p8CGLl.jpg

    Photo is of bike in current SSCX guise, but frame will take gears too. Size is equivalent of 48cm frame with 52cm horizontal toptube.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • chris217chris217 Posts: 217
    Thanks Solboy, i feel the Mistral is a good deal.

    so i assume the Mistral stays are straight and also assume the frame is pretty comfortable yet the Euros stays are curved to add extra comfort !?

    i want a nippy but comfortabloe frame

    out of interest what size Mistral do you have ?

    cheers
  • de_sistide_sisti Posts: 1,184
    edited April 2012
    xacd.com frames. (cost very little)
    3733168966_83188712b3.jpg
    7099747661_1b33df81a9.jpg
    3732377529_10dd0c41bb.jpg
    7099751863_4d6f9f6aa9.jpg
  • styxdstyxd Posts: 3,234
    I'd get a Van Nich

    Ive heard alot of negative things about Litespeed and cracking and warranty's

    Those xacd frames all look like they've got very long chainstays, not ideal if you want a nippy bike!

    Although if you know what sizing/geo you want/ride qualities you want, I'd get a custom steel frame
  • bmxboy10bmxboy10 Posts: 1,860
    chris217 wrote:
    Thanks Solboy, i feel the Mistral is a good deal.

    so i assume the Mistral stays are straight and also assume the frame is pretty comfortable yet the Euros stays are curved to add extra comfort !?

    i want a nippy but comfortabloe frame

    out of interest what size Mistral do you have ?

    cheers

    Yes the Mistral stays are straight (i prefer this). Best bike i have ever had i have to say. I ride a 56cm and its on here under Your Road Bikes if you want to take a look. Try Fat Birds Dont Fly they did me a great deal on my complete bike but they sell frames too. FWIW the new decals are much nicer than mine as its the original version (about 18 months old). in terms of warranty i have had no issues at all but a few times i have emailed VN and the owner has responded both times! Now thats service!
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    styxd wrote:
    Those xacd frames all look like they've got very long chainstays, not ideal if you want a nippy bike

    Maybe that's because they were custom-designed and built to be that way?

    BTW Van Nic don't make anything, frames are made by HiLight Titanium, so effectively you pay twice the price for a warranty and some stickers.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Monty Dog wrote:
    styxd wrote:
    Those xacd frames all look like they've got very long chainstays, not ideal if you want a nippy bike

    Maybe that's because they were custom-designed and built to be that way?

    BTW Van Nic don't make anything, frames are made by HiLight Titanium, so effectively you pay twice the price for a warranty and some stickers.

    When paying that sort of amount you need to be certain about size. I wasn't and therefore went to an LBS, all be it bit of a drive from me. Was well worth it as I got properly sized and fitted once it was built up.
  • de_sistide_sisti Posts: 1,184
    I wanted a comfy, stable bike, so specified the length of chainstay, top tube, etc.
    Once you place your order with the company they send you the full engineering
    drawings. If you know what you're after, you can instruct them to make any
    amendments you require. They send a revised drawing. Once you agree on it,
    you then make the payment. So, you get a de-facto custom built frame for a
    fraction of the price you'd pay to other companies.

    Porter (the guy you'd be dealing with) said that they made frames for other
    companies, but because of commercial confidentiality, he wouldn't divulge
    which ones.
  • loismustdieloismustdie Posts: 127
    Monty Dog wrote:
    styxd wrote:
    Those xacd frames all look like they've got very long chainstays, not ideal if you want a nippy bike

    Maybe that's because they were custom-designed and built to be that way?

    BTW Van Nic don't make anything, frames are made by HiLight Titanium, so effectively you pay twice the price for a warranty and some stickers.

    Please could you link me to a frame identical to my Astraeus, but for half the price? I love mine and at 50% off I'd really like to buy another one as a spare.
  • bmxboy10bmxboy10 Posts: 1,860
    Monty Dog wrote:
    styxd wrote:
    Those xacd frames all look like they've got very long chainstays, not ideal if you want a nippy bike

    Maybe that's because they were custom-designed and built to be that way?

    BTW Van Nic don't make anything, frames are made by HiLight Titanium, so effectively you pay twice the price for a warranty and some stickers.
    Monty Dog as we all know not all manufacturers make their own stuff but the VN brand is strong due in part to the packages they offer and the support they give to customers. So whilst the frame may cost more (not twice the price i am sure) thats just the way things are and i think your response is a little misinformed unless of couse you own a VaN Nic Mistral? BTW the "stickers" are worth every penny :lol:
  • juankerrjuankerr Posts: 1,099
    Is there a geo chart on the XACD website? Can't find one...interested in 54/56 size.
  • de_sistide_sisti Posts: 1,184
    juankerr wrote:
    Is there a geo chart on the XACD website? Can't find one...interested in 54/56 size.

    Is this what you're after? If not, just email them and ask
    them to send you the engineering drawings for the size you're interested in.
    Don't forget, you can specify the length of any tube on your frame.
  • andrewjosephandrewjoseph Posts: 2,165
    We went with Justin Burls for our custom Ti disk frame and Ti disk fork.

    really happy.
    --
    Burls Ti Tourer for Tarmac, Saracen aluminium full suss for trails
  • ynyswen24ynyswen24 Posts: 703
    Both Enigma and Justin Burls are very good for custom frames.
  • bikergirl17bikergirl17 Posts: 344
    a vote for litespeed. awesome, comfortable ride -- have swapped out everything on the bike, but wouldn't consider a different frame.

    would check for deals in the us or an used frame; major mark up here in the uk. i got mine (new) for about US$1400 incl the fork.

    if something did happen, i would go for a custom seven (although suspect that is outside your budget).
  • nathancomnathancom Posts: 1,567
    Picked up my new Enigma Echo this weekend. It is brilliant from my initial ride, light and very responsive with excellent power transfer. It also looks stunning. I don't think you could be unhappy with a bike from Enigma. Very happy.
  • chris217chris217 Posts: 217
    thanks bikegirl, what Litespeed do you have out of interest?

    was a bit concerned about frame cracking issues and warranty problems / delays people seem to have experienced
  • ynyswen24ynyswen24 Posts: 703
    viewtopic.php?f=40042&t=12744794&hilit=merlin+frame+warranty

    this may go some way to explaining some of the comments about Litespeed who, as I understand it, are part of the American Bicycle Group alongside Merlin.

    And even if this weren't the case then I'd still suggest talking to Justin Burls or Enigma. Because they're both very good.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    I wouldn't touch Litespeed with a bargepole - you don't have to search much to find they have a poor quality record and a dodgy record on warranties - the two things you're supposedly paying a premium for. Go for Lynskey if you feel the need to pay for a brand. My friend's recent experience with a problem with Sabbath has been favourable too.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • andrewjosephandrewjoseph Posts: 2,165
    some pics of our Burls here:

    http://ba-joseph.co.uk/Burls/

    burls_3.jpg
    --
    Burls Ti Tourer for Tarmac, Saracen aluminium full suss for trails
  • mjbennettmjbennett Posts: 532
    This tends to be quite an emotive subject especially to those that own chinese made Titanium frames.
    Older Ti frames tended not to be stiff and high end brands such as Litespeed, Moots, Indy fab made improvements to their frames to improve their properties, by doing things like ovalising tubes, using supersize tubes especially on the seatstays, using 6/4 Titanium etc etc.
    In my experience, the high end frames have got it right - I've recently riden two Indy fabs Ti crown jewels and One Lynskey R430 - they ride like a dream and look the part.The only problem being that they are very expensive.

    Personally I think Indy fab or Moots look the best but the Lynskey rides the best. Of course you can get cheaper frames made in china, some with a lifetime guarantee (VN). But if you are paying more than a grand for a frame you want it to ride very well indeed. For me, if you are spending that on a frame, you are better of with a good steel frame, like a rourke or a mercian made with reynolds 853, 953 or columbus xcr rather than a cheap chinese frame. The ride will be much better and in the cases of 953/xcr, not heavier.
  • pianomanpianoman Posts: 706
    Well I'm a very happy owner of a Van Nicholas Chinook, though if I were buying titanium now I'd be very tempted by the Mistral Apex complete package deal. In 2008 that wasn't available - now it is, so given how good value a complete package tends to be (speaking as the very happy owner of a Cannondale Slice too) how can you go wrong?

    I don't think there's really any "bad" Ti frames out there now that the builders know what to do with it and the competition is so tough.
  • prb007prb007 Posts: 703
    If you want a 'name', i.e. Lynskey; you could do a lot worse han the Planet X Ti sportive (made by Lynskey), but half the price of their equivalent model, IIRC at/about £799.
    http://www.planet-x-bikes.co.uk/readers ... /model-TIS
    Had mine for 18 months with no issues, and its' been fantastic, size L equates to 55cm, kitted out with Mavic Cosmic Carbones and Campag kit it is a sub 18lb do-it-all road bike which I can see me keeping for ever and a day. It carried me (in comfort) for JOGLE last year, does c.400 miles/month and will be using it for E2E France next year :)
    Px now do the Road model also (slightly more aggressive geometry than the Sportive... http://www.planet-x-bikes.co.uk/i/q/FRP ... road_frame
    If Wales was flattened out, it'd be bigger than England!
    Planet X Ti Sportive for Sportives & tours
    Orange Alpine 160 for Afan,Alps & dodging trees
    Singlespeed Planet X Kaffenback for dodging potholes
    An On-One Inbred for hard-tail shenanigans...
  • itsnotaraceitsnotarace Posts: 516
    prb007 wrote:
    If you want a 'name', i.e. Lynskey; you could do a lot worse han the Planet X Ti sportive (made by Lynskey), but half the price of their equivalent model, IIRC at/about £799.
    http://www.planet-x-bikes.co.uk/readers ... /model-TIS
    Had mine for 18 months with no issues, and its' been fantastic, size L equates to 55cm, kitted out with Mavic Cosmic

    Planet X now source their frames from Van Nicholas

    http://www.planet-x-bikes.co.uk/news/pr ... f-titanium
    planet x wrote:
    The new Planet X Ti Pro Road and Sportive frames are back in stock!

    Offering the very best in road bike performance, these frames are now hand built to Planet X’s exacting standards and specifications by the Dutch titanium experts Van Nicholas.
  • nathancomnathancom Posts: 1,567
    mjbennett wrote:
    This tends to be quite an emotive subject especially to those that own chinese made Titanium frames.

    I don't really understand this whole anti Far East mentality with bikes especially since production for the majority of frames, including top of the range, went in the direction over 20 years ago. It all comes down to design and quality control, not where the frames are actually produced.
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