Thinking about buying a titanium or stainless frame

I'm thinking about buying a used titanium frame or stainless bike frame. I'm open minded about brand though it won't be top end stuff (pensioner money these days and I'm tight).

What are issues I should look out for? Are there any brands which seem to have more problems than others?

Any other thoughts on titanium and stainless frames?

Just doing some prep work before seriously looking

Comments

  • First.Aspect
    First.Aspect Posts: 15,183
    If it was cheap in the first place, don't bother.
  • s1mples
    s1mples Posts: 63

    If it was cheap in the first place, don't bother.

    I take it they aren't all bikes for life then? :-)
  • First.Aspect
    First.Aspect Posts: 15,183
    It is more that you will get a frame made of rudimentary straight walled tubes, with ugly welds.

    I don't know steel so well, but last one I had was like that. A fairly basic Salsa. Previous one was a fillet brazed frame that was more springy and pretty much typified why you would go with steel in the first place.

    Similarly, I have a custom Ti frame, okay with straight walled tubes, but with diameter and wall thickness selected for each tube, which is not too stiff and rides all the better for it.

    I also have a bottom of the range stock Ti for my commuter. It rides pretty much like the Salsa and makes all roads feel like they are cobbled.

    Another tip is don't go for a steel or Ti frame that is aimed at being an alternative to a modern carbon frame. What's the point in that? Only get one if you want something that is less aero, flexier and heavier - but just nicer to ride.
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 26,179
    Guy I occasionally ride with (but not since covid) has 2 top end carbon race bikes for racing and a titanium addax/tourer. He does 95% on the titanium as the ride makes cycling much more pleasurable.
    I'm guessing from memory that it is a Kinesis.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • s1mples
    s1mples Posts: 63

    It is more that you will get a frame made of rudimentary straight walled tubes, with ugly welds.

    I don't know steel so well, but last one I had was like that. A fairly basic Salsa. Previous one was a fillet brazed frame that was more springy and pretty much typified why you would go with steel in the first place.

    Similarly, I have a custom Ti frame, okay with straight walled tubes, but with diameter and wall thickness selected for each tube, which is not too stiff and rides all the better for it.

    I also have a bottom of the range stock Ti for my commuter. It rides pretty much like the Salsa and makes all roads feel like they are cobbled.

    Another tip is don't go for a steel or Ti frame that is aimed at being an alternative to a modern carbon frame. What's the point in that? Only get one if you want something that is less aero, flexier and heavier - but just nicer to ride.

    I do like the classic look of steels. One point which you didn't you didn't mention in your "only get one if..." is lifespan. Titanium does get touted as a bike for for life, though I hear of frames cracking. How common is this?

    I'm 62 now, am not a racer and do enjoy a comfier ride but a faster responsive feel is important to. My current road bike is a Genesis 853 Equilibrium (MTB is also 853 ... there is a trend!).

    Kinesis is a brand that is on my radar.
  • elbowloh
    elbowloh Posts: 7,078
    edited October 2021
    Think my next bike would be a Planet X Hurricane. Titanium road bike with hydraulic discs and SRAM force for 1999.

    https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/CBPXHURFOR22/planet-x-hurricane-sram-force-22-hrd-titanium-road-bike

    Either that the Ribble 725 with hydraulic 105. They do a ti version too.
    Felt F1 2014
    Felt Z6 2012
    Red Arthur Caygill steel frame
    Tall....
    www.seewildlife.co.uk
  • First.Aspect
    First.Aspect Posts: 15,183
    s1mples said:

    It is more that you will get a frame made of rudimentary straight walled tubes, with ugly welds.

    I don't know steel so well, but last one I had was like that. A fairly basic Salsa. Previous one was a fillet brazed frame that was more springy and pretty much typified why you would go with steel in the first place.

    Similarly, I have a custom Ti frame, okay with straight walled tubes, but with diameter and wall thickness selected for each tube, which is not too stiff and rides all the better for it.

    I also have a bottom of the range stock Ti for my commuter. It rides pretty much like the Salsa and makes all roads feel like they are cobbled.

    Another tip is don't go for a steel or Ti frame that is aimed at being an alternative to a modern carbon frame. What's the point in that? Only get one if you want something that is less aero, flexier and heavier - but just nicer to ride.

    I do like the classic look of steels. One point which you didn't you didn't mention in your "only get one if..." is lifespan. Titanium does get touted as a bike for for life, though I hear of frames cracking. How common is this?

    I'm 62 now, am not a racer and do enjoy a comfier ride but a faster responsive feel is important to. My current road bike is a Genesis 853 Equilibrium (MTB is also 853 ... there is a trend!).

    Kinesis is a brand that is on my radar.
    No one person will own enough bike to be able to tell from first hand experience whether one material is more or less likely to have a finite lifespan than an other - except aluminium, which will, eventually crack.