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 Post subject: is titanium overpriced?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:10 pm 
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so ive just seen a seat post for £250 and it not uncommon to see forks going for the same price as frames im wondering how much raw tubing is, ive seen ti at reasonable prices used in other industries so is it just the cycle trade?

I know it much harder to work but what about source?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:37 pm 
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Interesting question, but I think you answered it yourself "much harder to work with" (see http://www.csiro.au/en/Organisation-Str ... -much.aspx)

The economy of scale (small niche, custom builders with little purchasing power and throughput compared to say Boeing) and investment is very substantial compared to say steel mass produced stuff requiring lower skills and cheaper tooling.

You could ask these guys for some quotes I suppose because the price probably fluctuates with market demand:

http://www.smt.sandvik.com/en/materials ... i-grade-9/

http://www.tw-vsmpoavisma.com/vts.php?lang=eng


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:47 pm 
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I've bought a number of custom titanium frames direct from China - the last was £500. I have seen frames from the same factory retail for £2000 with a big brand sticker - that's the degree of mark-up by the time you add profit margins from brand, each taking about 30%, plus Vat and duty. So using your titanium seatpost cost somewhere in the region of £60.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:09 pm 
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hmm I used to buy titanium wholesale for the body jewellery market, when buying direct from the factory the price wasn't much different from steel though it was implant grade steel, although the quantities of material used was minute compared to bikes the price depended on the amount of work involved. so I think once your set up to work with steel or ti the cost involved shouldn't be that much different. I would have thought there would be more work/time involved in laying up carbon.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:39 pm 
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I work in the aerospace industry - titanium fabrication is a skilled job whereas laying-up carbon is semi-skilled at best. You can easily train someone to take some pieces of pre-preg and stick them in a mould whereas it takes a while to train a titanium welder and it's not very fast. Ti alloys used for bikes are quite a bit harder than commercially pure ti - they're difficult to cut as they wear cutters fast too.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 9:35 pm 
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I read recently that working with Ti equates to 3 times the labour of doing the same thing in steel.

Not sure how that works out at either end of the market, but if Ti was cheap then where would you go to get the 'ultimate'?


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 9:40 pm 
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don't forget that steel and aluminium are worked in much greater volumes.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 10:00 pm 
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interesting a quick google search on ti post and carbon post shows a similar price range, the ti post being slighted more expensive, I guess it was the company I was looking at pricing, I understand what you mean about skills orthough not a huge amount of welding in a seat post and labour is cheep depending on the country of manufacture.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 10:10 pm 
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If you get the work done in China the labour may be cheap, but the quality question remains. I don't think labour in Taiwan is classed as cheap anymore. I did hear recently an unsubstantiated rumour that an American brand is moving production back to America because Taiwan is not cheap.
Yet another American brand only moved Ti production to Taiwan a couple of years back because they couldn't get what they wanted from their American builder!

Again it comes down the the age old saying. You pays your money........


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 10:52 pm 
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I was recently looking at a friend recurve bow, I noticed it was made in Korea and asked if the stuff from there was any good, he said yes its the best, Koreans are obsessed with archery. probley the best indicator to quality is how obsessed the country is with the product.


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