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  1. #1
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    titanium CX bikes

    At some point in the next year or so I will have had all my bikes for 3 seasons. This means that I will again have some money and the itch for a new ride. I have been thinking what I would want. I have a full suspension carbon 29er and a 26er hardtail, dirtjumper and full carbon road bike. My thoughts are on a titanium CX bike with disc brakes. I don't plan on racing it. I plan on bombing it around the city and hopping off curbs and pretty much riding it like a mountain bike on the road and trails. The Salsa Warbird TI caught my eye. I think I might also want to run this with straight bars as opposed to the standard drop outs. So I am looking for suggestions, comments and whatever other advise or directions I might want to follow. Apart from the bike, I have never ridden a TI frame. Any comments on stiffness, comfort, etc are welcome. I am getting a bit used up, so I don't want a material that is going to jar my bones. I have heard that TI bikes of this sort offer great stiffness without being too rough on the body.
    Burnt Norton

  2. #2
    Evil Jr.
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    I got the nice folks at Spicer to build me a custom titanium singlespeed one a few (about 6ish) years ago. They did a fantastic job, right down to making custom rear dropouts (like Paul's but for disks, which were out of vogue for CX at the time). The geometry was loosely based on the LeMond CX frame with some subtle tweaks (like MTB hub spacing) and enough clearance to fit some fairly meaty tires (seems everyone's doing it now with all those "gravel grinders" that are coming out...). It has a White double/double drivetrain so there's a ratio for road and another for off-road.

    Love this bike. I have like a gazillion miles on it.

    titanium CX bikes-marcslarge.jpg
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  3. #3
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    I'm surprised I'm saying this, as both my mountain bikes are Ti, but I'd suggest carbon and dropped handlebars if you want a cx bike. It will be much cheaper, the carbon will be plenty strong enough take drops etc. You're not likely to crash on a rock garden and it's not likely another rider will fall on your bike.

    Now, I've never ridden a Ti cx bike, but my carbon Stevens is like riding a couch in a sports car compared to my Al jake the snake which feels like getting pounded in the back with a steel bar.

    The drops offer more hand positions. I suggest trying them for a while before committing to a straight bar.

  4. #4
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    I ride a carbon road bike now, but have cracked two carbon frames. One at the seat clamp which was fixed and another that was beyond repair. All my fault as I ride them pretty aggressively and will hop them on and off curbs and ride them more like a mountain bike. A CX carbon bike should be beefier and be able to take more abuse I presume. I am also on the heavier side. I see a lot more offerings on these style of bikes. I would like a bike that is good on the road and the trails as I hope to use it for everything and essentially retire or give the road bike to a relative.
    Burnt Norton

  5. #5
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    I totally understand you wanting Ti... I've broken one carbon road frame and I also (used to) jump curbs and ride down stairs.

    I'd still feel comfortable doing that with the carbon cx bike though, I rode the **** out of it at a couple of mountain bikey races, crashing, banging into rocks etc. Not a scratch.

    At the end of the day, at least when mountain biking, I'm not willing to be worried about breaking a frame, to let the terrain control where I ride. I am willing to take a small weight penalty and significant cost penalty to be able to do that. Ti all the way for mtb...

  6. #6
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    I have a Ti cross bike (from True North - local and handmade!), and it is my favorite bike. I also have a carbon road bike, which is still plenty of fun, but in terms of ride quality, the Ti cross bike cannot be beat. It is a bit hard to describe exactly what makes it "better" and frame geometry can play a role in it as well, but I would suggest at least test-riding both if the arguments are swaying you towards carbon. But if this is a poll, my vote is for Ti!

  7. #7
    Lemmy Rules!
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    A friend of mine had a Lynsky Procross and was not that happy with it. He said that the flex in the rear triangle sometimes affected the shifting. Seems a little far-fetched to me, but I offer it as an alternative perspective. He sold it and got a carbon CX bike
    Strava made me do it....

  8. #8
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    I really like the idea of a custom bike. If the price is not out of sight
    Then this would be ideal. I am going to contact true north when I get
    Closer to my purchase. Titanium would be my preference unless I was
    Told it beats the crap out of you. I like dealing with a local shop whenever possible.
    Burnt Norton

  9. #9
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    With titanium you go custom if possible, it's a premium frame which will pretty much last forever so you want to get it right. A custom maker will discuss handling preferences, riding style, weight, stiffness, comfort, any quirks you may have in your body such as a wonky back or unusual limb lengths and take all that into consideration to build a bike that is right for you.

    Most of my Ti bike experience is from Ibis and Seven Cycles which my old shop carries (or carried in the case of Ibis) though I have ridden Litespeed/Lynskeys, Merlins, Konas, and seen a True North. Litespeed/Lynskeys were either wet noodles or crack & fails, depending on the model. They were either flexy enough that a good sprint would knock them out of gear or if it was one of the race/crit oriented models with good stiffness it would often crack apart. Probably had a lot to do with their use of 6/4 Ti on certain models, stronger, but more brittle and prone to cracking apart.

    Never had any issues with the other brands, the Kona I took for a spin was a bit flexier than its steel counterpart and noticeably more comfy, it just made bumps disappear. Merlin, Ibis, and Seven were just outstanding, unfortunately only Seven is still around. Rode most of their lineup when I was at the shop, no issues at all with flex and the ride was always smooth & comfortable. It was everything a bike should be, if I had the money I'd have one.

  10. #10
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    There's Bilenky in Philly to consider too.

  11. #11
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    or go stainless......

    scott at quiring is finishing this Cross plus for me. Stainless and ample room for 2.0 tires.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails titanium CX bikes-quiring-ss.jpg  

    "Live dangerously and you live right."
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  12. #12
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    I appreciate the comments. I have given it some more thought and this is going to be a forever bike. One because I expect it to last and two cause I am getting up there. Aerius hit it right on the mark with his comments. I have a very specific riding experience in mind. I am not going to race and I want something that can do well on the road and the trails while taking into account some wonky body issues. I will pursue a custom bike and will wait till I can afford one.
    Burnt Norton

  13. #13
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    A friend of mine has a Kona Rove Titanium and loves it...I lust over it myself...

  14. #14
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    I had a terrific experience with Kent Eriksen for my 650b mountain bike. He spent a couple of hours talking me into the new wheel size.

    I had test ridden a lynsky and a misfit 29er. Hated the lynsky, although it was damn fast, just not fun. I felt the misfit was similar. I think I'm simply too weak to handle the larger wheels and have fun.

  15. #15
    Evil Jr.
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    Quote Originally Posted by secret agent View Post
    I appreciate the comments. I have given it some more thought and this is going to be a forever bike. One because I expect it to last and two cause I am getting up there. Aerius hit it right on the mark with his comments. I have a very specific riding experience in mind. I am not going to race and I want something that can do well on the road and the trails while taking into account some wonky body issues. I will pursue a custom bike and will wait till I can afford one.
    I thoroughly enjoyed the custom process. Spec'ing a bike down to the last nut and bolt is a lot of fun if you're into that sort of thing.

    Be warned though, it can be a bit pricey. Up until I got my Cervelo, the Spicer was the most expensive bike I owned... (once you get rolling, it can tough to stop piling on the goodies... "That Ti-railed Brooks saddle would be just perfect!" ).
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  16. #16
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    I don't need to go crazy with components. I have quite a bit of stuff including a TI-railed saddle that would go on there for sure. I have both drop and straight carbon bars and carbon cranks as well. The main thing is to get the frame right. I will probably spend more than I thought though.
    Burnt Norton

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    (seems everyone's doing it now with all those "gravel grinders" that are coming out...).
    And they are all marketing like this is some ground breaking concept...a road bike that can be ridden else where other then pavement.

    First Look! Niner RLT9 Gravel Road Bike ? Big Wheels Take the Road Less Traveled!

    Yeah right. Guy's where taking their bikes places that most thought where un rideable long before this.

    RSF off road cycling
    www.teamnfi.blogspot.com



    Depression...can eat a sack of manure and die.

  18. #18
    Evil Jr.
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    I know it's not custom but this looks quite interesting: Prototype Volagi Viaje Ti Adventure Bike Coming
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  19. #19
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    I don't know those bikes at all. It does look interesting, but I would never get a prototype. It took me forever to believe in 29er wheels and just when I do, they introduce 650B. I am going to pursue finding a Salsa as originally posted up. I understand that Lynskey builds the frames for the Salsa ti bikes. I still have a lot of looking around and considering to do. It is a winter project/wish. This gives me a lot to consider.
    Burnt Norton

  20. #20
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    titanium CX bikes-p2a1.jpgtitanium CX bikes-clearance.jpgtitanium CX bikes-drivetrain.jpgI cracked my import CX frame but this 29er frame works much better. It has been beat up a bit this summer with rocks, roots and such but no problem. It is comfortable considering I still have the 700 x 35 skinny tires on it. I have small block 8 2.1 for the front and a kozmik lite 2.1 for the back that I will put on soon, and that should be a lot softer because I will run the pressure a lot lower plus more volume. Can't comment on titanium but this is a lot cheaper.

  21. #21
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    oops no pictures, must be doing something wrong
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails titanium CX bikes-clearance.jpg  

    titanium CX bikes-drivetrain.jpg  

    titanium CX bikes-p2a1.jpg  

    Last edited by ol-crank; 09-18-2013 at 12:45 PM.

  22. #22
    Evil Jr.
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    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  23. #23
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    That is a nice looking machine. I have been told by a couple of people in the industry, that I might be a season early next year in getting into this type of bike. For anyone doing a search on these bikes, you can quickly find a number of offerings from several bike companies. I am advised, by someone that actually sells bikes, to wait one more year, and I will probably end up with exactly what I want for much cheaper than going custom. I am keeping that option open though. I am not sure I would want the integrated shifter with a hydraulic brake option. I think the BB7 would be the right choice for this style of bike. I have them on my winter bomber and used them on my trials bike. They are very underrated for the power, ease of set up and maintenance. I have heard people knock them on modulation, but anyone riding a trials bike will tell you otherwise. I am kind of itching to do something next spring, but the more I search, the more I see a wide variety of options opening up. I wish Santa Cruz would put something like this together. Everything I ride of theirs makes me happy.
    Burnt Norton

  24. #24
    Evil Jr.
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    We are living in a golden age of "adventure" bikes (for lack of a better term). I only forsee an even more perplexing array of choices for next year.

    FWIW, I love BB7s, I have them on the majority of my bikes. (The Remedy came with hydros...)
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

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