A bike for Life - Titanimum/Steel/Carbon ...?

Discuss the eternal "Which fork/bike/tyres should I buy?" questions.
kevinharley
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A bike for Life - Titanimum/Steel/Carbon ...?

Postby kevinharley » Mon Oct 02, 2017 14:30 pm

So, I turn 50 next year and am *hoping to be able to treat myself to a nice bike that I can keep for 10-20 years ...

(It would be a 'gravel'/'adventure' type bike, with drop bars ... I know this should really go in the road<cyclocross section, but I'm coming at this primarily as an MTB'er at heart; my query is about frame material, and as I spend most of my Bikeradar time here, generally feel I'll get some good advice here ...)

I've always been restricted by budget to fairly modest bikes (and certainly don't have lots of money to spend on this 'treat', which will likely be used rather than new), so have been limited to aluminium or cheap steel MTB's / CX bikes in the past. As I'm in the market for something a bit nicer, what should I be looking for in terms of frame material.

I think my number one choice would be Titanium, but is it a 'frame for life' (is it going to withstand 10-20 years of off-road abuse?) How does it compare in terms of comfort and weight?

And what are the differences between 'budget' Ti and the more premium end? Are all Ti frames created equal, or are, for example, the On One Pickenflick / Sonder Camino Ti frames of a lower quality than say the Kinesis ATR?

What about Carbon? Strong and light, I get, but could I reasonably expect to get 15-20 years out of a carbon frame? Is it going to be suitable for bike-packing etc?

And what about Steel? Can you get a Steel frame that is in spitting distance of other materials in terms of weight? I'm not looking for the lightest bike, but unless there is a reasonable difference between the weight of this bike and my current one (Saracen Hack) then is there much point? (I realise part of the weight consideration is in having better quality & lighter components).

Or should I stick with quality Aluminium? The new Kinesis Tripster AT Al (or the Crosslight Disc) would be potential contenders, but do they offer enough advantage over what I already have? Are they going to last 15+ years?

Cheers ...

Fenix
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Re: A bike for Life - Titanimum/Steel/Carbon ...?

Postby Fenix » Mon Oct 02, 2017 14:36 pm

No bike is guaranteed to last you that long. And why would you ? After 10 years or so there will be new fashions and standards on bikes. You'll want to get a new shiny machine...

I've had my Alu Cross bike for 7 years now and its still going strong - chances are it might make it to 15 years or more - but you can't guarantee these things - I could have wrapped it round a tree in year 1.

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Re: A bike for Life - Titanimum/Steel/Carbon ...?

Postby RichardSmart » Mon Oct 02, 2017 16:33 pm

Personally, I like Carbon-Fibre bikes. They offer the highest strength-to-weight ratio, last forever and don't corrode. I have a CF full-sus. mountain bike (a Scott Genius MC-10, from back when Scott also made the RC series - if anyone's interested, the "M" stands for "Marathon", the "R" stands for "Race" and both "C"s stand for "Concept") and I have never had any problems with it. I also have an Aluminium hard-tail (a Trek 3700) which isn't too bad, just a wee bit old - it has V-brakes. I don't think that I've ever ridden a Titanium bike, but I wouldn't mind giving one a try - guess I'll have to find-out what bikes Alpine Bikes have at Glentress...

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The Rookie
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Re: A bike for Life - Titanimum/Steel/Carbon ...?

Postby The Rookie » Mon Oct 02, 2017 19:47 pm

Titanium, while a delight to look at and ride, and being corrosion resistant has the highest failure (cracks) rate of all the materials in common use.

It would be CF for me, lightest and amongst the most durable.

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ddraver
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Re: A bike for Life - Titanimum/Steel/Carbon ...?

Postby ddraver » Mon Oct 02, 2017 20:40 pm

i don't want to be a negative nancy neither but i've just got back after a season away and dig out my old Cotic Soda and found it ridiculously old fashioned. To be honest, if i thought I could get any decent money for it i'd sell it as i basically don't ride it any more.

So i'd definitely stick to a roadie (but even then, what'll happen with discs, BBs, tyre standards etc. let alone geometry).

Having said that, the frame, despite being the best part of 10 years old still looks as new as the day I bought it and has a dreamy ride feel that I have nt felt on any other bike.

I think if you go for a reputable Ti manufacturer (few of which still exist) and, perhaps more importantly, don't look for a super light weight frame I think you'll be grand.
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FishFish
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Re: A bike for Life - Titanimum/Steel/Carbon ...?

Postby FishFish » Tue Oct 03, 2017 03:56 am

My steel frame mtb is still doing fine after 23 years and living in Kuwait and West Africa.
...take your pickelf on your holibobs.... :D

jeez :roll:

fat daddy
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Re: A bike for Life - Titanimum/Steel/Carbon ...?

Postby fat daddy » Tue Oct 03, 2017 06:51 am

I have a 1997 Aluminium Klein and a 2007 carbon Roubaix

Never had an issue with the longevity of frames ... just the components .. fortunately in the road bike scene seemingly bugger all has changed in 10 years and everything still fits as of when components wear out .... that said should I choose to go 11 speed in the next 13 years I will need a new rear wheel.

Now the mountain bike .... thats a different story 26" rim brake wheels ... getting hard now to find wheels and brakes .. but after 20 years headsets etc etc etc are all the same and fortunately there is still a need for threaded BBs


Mind you I snapped the rear triangle on my 2005 alu meta snapped the other day

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The Rookie
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Re: A bike for Life - Titanimum/Steel/Carbon ...?

Postby The Rookie » Tue Oct 03, 2017 16:27 pm

I have two 1997 steel MTB's, both in perfectly good condition, a 2006 alloy hardtail frame which is currently not being used, a 2005 alloy FS which is my main MTB ride and a 2009 alloy frame I'm building up. My commuter was a 2005 alloy frame which I only retired due to looking pretty tatty after 7000miles of year round commuting since I bought it in 2009.

kevinharley
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Re: A bike for Life - Titanimum/Steel/Carbon ...?

Postby kevinharley » Tue Oct 03, 2017 17:28 pm

Hmm ... Some interesting and unexpected responses!

Surprised that Ti failure is so prevalent ... That and the reassuring comments about carbon are helping me come to terms with the fact that I'd not likely have the money for a nice Ti bike anyway ...

Of course the whole "you'll want a shiny new bike" and "you might wrap the bike around a tree within a few months" do somewhat undermine the case I'm trying to make to my other half that I need to spend a bit as it's 'a bike for life' ... :roll:

So, think I'm probably going to look at some quality but used carbon options ... Beginning to regret passing up the opportunity to snap up a lightly used, 6 month old Bish Bash Bosh ...

PhilipPirrip
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Re: A bike for Life - Titanimum/Steel/Carbon ...?

Postby PhilipPirrip » Tue Oct 03, 2017 17:51 pm

kevinharley wrote:Surprised that Ti failure is so prevalent ...

It can happen but it's not prevalant but surely you knew people talk hyperbole and BS on the internet.

Titanium can fail through poor manufacture, design or misuse just as any other material can fail through poor manufacture, design or misuse. You'd be better off reading and understanding the warranty reports as to why paricular frames failed than listening to anyone making general statements about the prevalance of frame failures of any material as, without substantive evidence, they're likely talking BS.

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cooldad
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Re: A bike for Life - Titanimum/Steel/Carbon ...?

Postby cooldad » Tue Oct 03, 2017 18:03 pm

The problem with Ti is it's very difficult to work, so unless you buy top quality problems can arise.

http://bicycletimesmag.com/everything-y ... -titanium/
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cougie
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Re: A bike for Life - Titanimum/Steel/Carbon ...?

Postby cougie » Tue Oct 03, 2017 18:06 pm

I'd rather go new carbon than second hand. At least you know where it's been. And cf is probably cheaper to repair than Steel now.

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ddraver
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Re: A bike for Life - Titanimum/Steel/Carbon ...?

Postby ddraver » Tue Oct 03, 2017 18:13 pm

PhilipPirrip wrote:
kevinharley wrote:Surprised that Ti failure is so prevalent ...

It can happen but it's not prevalant but surely you knew people talk hyperbole and BS on the internet.

Titanium can fail through poor manufacture, design or misuse just as any other material can fail through poor manufacture, design or misuse. You'd be better off reading and understanding the warranty reports as to why paricular frames failed than listening to anyone making general statements about the prevalance of frame failures of any material as, without substantive evidence, they're likely talking BS.


I think a lot of it is about trying to make Ti frames as light as CF. It's not, it never will be and if you re only concern is weight then go cf. But the aim for the OP here isnt weight it's a bike for life.
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kevinharley
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Re: A bike for Life - Titanimum/Steel/Carbon ...?

Postby kevinharley » Wed Oct 04, 2017 17:10 pm

Righto ... I think I've probably refined my requirements ...

Looking for a gravel/monster cross bike with option to run 700c wheels (at least 40mm width, and ideally up to 44/48c) AND 650b wheels with clearance for 2in MTB rubber.

Preferably carbon, but happy now to consider aluminium.

The On One Bish Bash Bosh had been a contender until further research suggests max of 38/40c rubber ...

The On One Space Chicken is a contender ... Sonder Camino (in alu or Ti), Nukeproof Digger, and whilst I'm not a fan of the big brands, the Giant TCX I think ticks the 'shed-loads of clearance' box.

Anything else I should be on the lookout for?

Sorry, this should probably now be on the road<cyclo-cross thread, but there isn't a lot of activity over there, and since this would potentially also replace my HT (which I'm minded to sell to put funds towards; I have a FS in the process of being built for full on MTB duties), I figure I'll keep the discussion alive here ...

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ddraver
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Re: A bike for Life - Titanimum/Steel/Carbon ...?

Postby ddraver » Wed Oct 04, 2017 20:04 pm

My BFF has got himself a Mason Bokeh which he used to ride from London to Rome* . He loves and and though I'd never admit it in front of him it looks stunning! It's "only" aluminium though. I think they do a Ti version but it's $$$$$$$

(* on everything from road to gravel, he uses it as an "MTB" for round where he lives)
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AndyH01
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Re: A bike for Life - Titanimum/Steel/Carbon ...?

Postby AndyH01 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 21:02 pm

I'm going through something similar. I too considering Ti everything from px to moots and seven and everything inbetween. I'm not sure if it is name or build quality or production and labor costs.
I'm also looking at Mason Bokeh too, the Ti version frame is £3200 with full build force £5200 iirc- have on email this morning from Mason
The Enigma Escape Ti full build is £4k and similar spec to the bokehalu.
Ppll say Ti offer different ride feel, ppl also say tyres and pressure make biggest difference!


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