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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:17 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:31 pm
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A number of people choose steel over Ti, why would you do that - aren't the characteristics very similar but with Ti being much lighter (and more expensive)?

Ignoring the cost side why wouldn't you pick Ti over steel?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:48 pm 
Anglian AEC / Prison Ship Captain
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Location: LOWESTOFT the worlds smallest bore fest
Here's my two pence worth

Steel

1. Has a slightly stiffer feel (but some ti frames are stiff)

2. If cared for steel will outlast titanium as steel has a lower fatigue rate

3. Much cheaper to repair a steel frame

4. Steel just feels nicer to ride for me (had both ti got sold after 3 months not pleased with it)


Titanium

1. Has a very supple feel due to the flexi nature of the material

2. Is nice til it cracks as they all will as the fatigue rate is high due to the nature of the work hardening property's of the material

3. It never rusts so less care needed than steel

4. I find a lot of ti frames flex a little to much for my liking so the bike feels though its not tracking right and causes little quirks (not all ti frames as some are really stiff)

there you go if you want a stiffer ride then steel if you want slightly more flexi supple ride you choose ti its all down to the individuals taste and style of riding. :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:51 pm 
East Midlands AEC
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The 2 Ti frames I had were both very disappointing - both very stiff and pinged you about, where steel seemed to absorb the bumps better. 853 does it for me. Just my experience.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:05 pm 
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Quote:
Ignoring the cost side why wouldn't you pick Ti over steel?


Because the cost side is impossible to ignore :)


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:13 pm 
Devout Dirtbag

Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:03 pm
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Ride 'quailty' very much depends on the tubing profiles. Steel, aluminium and titanium can all be built into very stiff frames, or very flexy frames.

Titanium is denser than aluminium, but not as dense as steel. Oversizing a tube, say increasing the diameter by a factor of two but keeping the wall thicknesses the same increases the stiffness of the tube by a factor of eight. Go too far though and the tubes can buckle. So light materials can be oversized to increase stiffness but at little weight penalty. This allows titanium to build into lighter frames than steel, yet still retain a decent stiffness (very light steel frames tend to flex a lot!).

Titanium is also corrosion proof. Both steel and ti have a fatigue limit, ie you can flex them an infinite amount of times below a certain level and they will not fatigue. Alu does has no limit, which is why we tend to see them built stiffer to increase durability. However, as above, is a light material, and oversizing can be taken advantage of so the frames still end up light.

Titanium also elongates much more than steel or alu when under load. This makes the material tough and able to cope with impacts.

So why do peole like titanium? The ride quality is a myth - as above, so much depends on how is designed. But it is resilient, corrosion proof, builds into lighter frames than steel for the same stiffness, great fatigue qualities and as doesn't need proofing, further weight saving can be had.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:42 pm 
Anglian AEC / Prison Ship Captain
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Location: LOWESTOFT the worlds smallest bore fest
Iv'e found over the years that ti has a lot shorter fatigue life compared to steels of similar quality working as an air craft engineer i used to see this first hand where ti components failed well before the same component made from steel ti is one of those materials that i love but hate the nature of the beast when it comes to its fatigue rate :x plus working ti is a nightmare to when machining as it work hardens so easily and becomes brittle where steel alloys normally have a fair way to go when machining before they start to work harden


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:59 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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I've owned four titanium bikes in the past. Three were disapointing to say the least. Only the Fat Titanium hit the spot. Steel every time for me now.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:59 pm 
MacRetro rider
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Never had 853 so can't comment, Xizang has a fairly stiff rear end and takes every thing I throw at it, I love the ride but I don't think it is a "typical" ti ride. I had a shot of a hei hei a while back and it felt very flexy in comparison but it was much lighter and had proper suspension, I liked it, but it felt fragile and I prefer the rigidity of my GT.

I must be getting near the fatigue limit though because mine has been ridden like it was stolen for 19 years :) I can't imagine many steel frames that would have made it through those same 19 years with out a lot of work to keep them rust free.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:05 pm 
Devout Dirtbag

Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:03 pm
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Of course any frame can fail if not designed correctly (or the metal was contaminated, or badly welded etc). Most ti frames use cold drawn 3Al/2.5V tubes nowadays, instead of seamed tubing of old. Still like the old Dynatechs though, they were smooth!

I recently tested a Moda Solo and VN Tuareg for What Mountain Bike - markedly different feel.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:14 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:41 pm
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Location: Chiltern Hills
As they say above it's all in the build - my main reasons for getting Ti are lack of corrosion (I sweat like a b'stard) & weight - I have a Genesis Altitude Ti that weighs in at 1.6kg, be interested to see how much the equivalent (19") 853 one comes in at.


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