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  1. #1
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    Look for advice from IF owners

    Hi guys and gals, I'm interested in hearing some opinions about the differences between the steel and titanium IF bikes that are out there. Considering the price premium for a ti custom frame (~$2000) is it really worth the extra coin? Or would the money be better spent on upgrading parts. Is there a noticeable difference in ride characteristics between the two frame materials?

    Rider:
    135lb 5'4"

    Use:
    mostly tight, smooth singletrack rides max of 4 hours.

    Current ride:
    2007 Kona Kula Supreme

    Any input would be great,

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Reputation: Mannz's Avatar
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    Steel is real...

    Hey Luffy,
    I've owned a lot of bikes over the years, some dually, some Ti, and of course steel. But the one bike I have kept, and always pull of the rack is my Indy 29 er Steel Deluxe.

    If money was no issue and I had a choice I would still go steel. Crappy picute attached.
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    Can't outride Karma

  3. #3
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    Reputation: Hand/of/Midas's Avatar
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    Ti has more of a Springy feel to it and is rust proof. But steel has more stiffness in the bottom bracket usually i find.

    I ride a steel HT, but id love to own a Ti one someday,but wont stop riding this Gunnar till it bites the dust, ive been doing a few mud races that worry me a bit,draining a few ounces of water out the day after worries me for the future.

    With either material, a company like IF could build the bike to ride exactly how you ask.

  4. #4
    underachiever
    Reputation: misterdangerpants's Avatar
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    Well, only you can discern if the extra cost is worth it, but I feel working with a small framebuilder that customizes the tubing and fit is well worth the extra cash-o-la.

    I had a IF Ti Crown Jewel built last year and had a great experience not only with IF, but also the bike shop that did the fitting (Grace Bicycles in Holliston, Massachusetts). The communication was top notch and when there was a slight delay with the production date, they ended up not charging me for the paint (like $400). Anyway, I consider a titanium bike a "life" bike. To me, it's a long term investment, and the extra cost was worth it.

    I love steel, as all my mountain bikes are steel, but also like the feel of titanium. Have you had a chance to ride a Ti bike?

  5. #5
    Single Speed Junkie
    Reputation: crux's Avatar
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    Have had two Ti IF Deluxe frames. While they make great bikes Sometimes their Ti tubing supplier is a bit questionable. Had one frame crack both chain stays after only a short period of time. Frame was shipped back for "repairs". When I got the frame back it rode as if it was disconnected from the trail. That frame is currently headed back to IF as I have zero confidence it the repairs.

    Price of Ti is a bit high and the quality is questionable depending upon builder. I have had several custom Ti frames and they are not all equal. IF can do a good job, but do not have a frame repaired.

  6. #6
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    I have a IF crown jewel steel 29er. Love it. Raced on it for 2 seasons. You can't beat the feel. I am however going Ti for the next build. Lighter and bombproof. The wear was apparent on the steel after this season. You can get the steel for less, yes. But if you plan on keeping it forever the initial investment in the Ti might be worth it. i sort of wish i went with the Ti in the first place.

  7. #7
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    related...

    I am considering making the investment in an IF titanium Deluxe 29er. I believe you cannot go wrong with a custom IF frame, they do beautiful work. In my past experience, titanium in general offers a little more supple ride than steel, but both are really fun rides in a HT. Titanium offers the best long term longevity; if you are ready to purchase a frame to ride forever, go with Ti.

  8. #8
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    Ti"ll Never Die!

    i've had my IF ti 29er for 5 years now and the thing just keeps on a rockin. it is one of the very early 29ers that they built, it has a phil wood set screw ebb with hanger on rear for gears, a do all bike. i"ve raced and ridden it as a single speed for half of it's life and now run it as an 8 speed as i commute 28 miles a day on road to work(with (knobbies) as well as do all of my off road and racing on it. haven't owned a road bike since the day i got this bike, no need. i've owned steel b4 and love the ride, but i find the ti to be more compliant where ya want it and plenty responsive given that you ride with good form. the ride is just so smooth. the best thing with the ti? zero rust or corrosion. pull it a apart and the thing still shines. i used to run a wb 80mm fork, and once i destroyed that, i had carl at vicious build me a custom fork painted the exact pink color of my INDY pink and white decals.
    dudes don't like getting passed by a dude with a pink fork and zero suspension on a bike with "circus" wheels.

    enjoy!

    rog

  9. #9
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    Reputation: Francine's Avatar
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    Both nice.....

    I have a Ti and steel IF. I love the ride of ti because it has a "softer" feel. The ti frame is also a bit lighter. I also like the ride of steel...really you can't go wrong with either
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