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  1. #1
    Do It Yourself
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    Titus Vs. Turner...a closer look...

    After riding Titus frames for about 5 years, I just bought a Turner 5 Spot. Looking for a bit more travel and the Titus MotoLite didn't fit. I just wanted to highlight some of the build differences between my new and old frames. Sorry the lighting isn't very good in my apartment garage.

    First, the beautiful Titus built Hammerhead 100-X:



    The challenger takes the ring:



    Head to head:



    Toe to toe:



    Side by side:



    Linkages:



    This is no yoke:



    The final build (as clean as it gets):



    And after the first ride:



    Personally, I think the Titus looks better but the Spot rides great. I'm still getting her dialed but I look forward to many happy rides to come. I would love to get my hands on a new 2006 polished ano blue Spot front triangle one of these days. In the mean time, I'll have to make do with the poofta red. Woe is me.
    Long Live Long Rides

  2. #2
    Bodhisattva
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    Good use of the word Poofta.

    Congrats & welcome to the Turner Nation.

  3. #3
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    I think the HH100x is better put up against the also discontinued Burner. I was looking at threads comparing both a few years ago all over the place. The Burner is supposed to be a bit heavier duty, geo a bit closer to the HH, since it was a bit sharp as an RX to begin with.

    Either way, really nice bike. I wonder if the HH125 Ventana is a worthy replacement.

  4. #4
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    Congrats on your new 5 Spot. I owned a HH 100X and a Motolite. Now I own a Spot and a Flux. I really like the feel and handling of the Flux and 5 spot .

  5. #5
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew
    This is no yoke:
    Hilarious!

    Funny that we are in similar yet opposite siutations- I needed a bike with less travel to compliment my '02 RFX, and the 5-spot geometry just isn't ideal for my long inseam. (17" ST vs. a 19" ST on medium frames, both with 23.25" +/- top tubes. The RFX has an extra 1" on the seat tube compared to the spot) So, I have a titus motolite on the way.

    I owned a switchblade prior to the RFX, and was totally impressed with titus's design& finish, especially the ano. Actually, really the only thing I didn't like about it was the interrupted seat tube. (well, that and I decided I wanted more travel!)

    I do like the turner bushing system much better, but Titus gets the nod for finish work.

    I'm curious to see how the ML compares, since my understanding is that it's made overseas by kinesis. I'll do up a similar review, great idea. Thanks for posting.

  6. #6
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    I want to see polished frames come from Titus Taiwan because the paint/pc hides flaws. You typically won't see many polished frames from Taiwan and China because paint covers the flaws in the welds and blemishes in the parts.

    Needless to say, I'm not keen on frames made in Asia by supposed boutique builders. It's hard for them to have to resources to have a guy stand there and make sure the factory manager isn't looking to cut corners. Welds are critical and good ones don't go well with cost cutting.

  7. #7
    Neg reppers r my biatches
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Squeaky Wheel
    Good use of the word Poofta.

    Congrats & welcome to the Turner Nation.
    great....just what this world needs. another Tightass owner turned Homer owner! I give up
    Last edited by FoShizzle; 01-18-2006 at 02:08 PM.

  8. #8
    MK_
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    Needless to say, I'm not keen on frames made in Asia by supposed boutique builders. It's hard for them to have to resources to have a guy stand there and make sure the factory manager isn't looking to cut corners. Welds are critical and good ones don't go well with cost cutting.
    That's not exactly true as with some, particualry a Boulder, CO native frame maker, who recently moved production over to Asia, every frame is meticolously inspected prior to assembly and shipping by the staff in the States. Every element of the build is examined and corrected, if need be.

    There was a recent thread where a machine shop owner said that doing things over in Asia is inevitable due to necessity of meeting price points. If he was to pay $5 an hour to a person who was to run the CNC or a lathe or whatever, it would be nearly impossible to either keep the person working for him for some time or to have a quality working in the first place. He said that at around $15 an hour you begin to have quality employees performing quality work. You just can' t pay that much to someone and run a profitable business with the frames selling for what they do, given that the designer for the frame has to turn profit himself and cover warranties, etc.

    You can pay a lot less to workers in Asia who are happy to do whatever work they need. They have a different set of expectations and therefore their work is of higher quality at the bottom level of salary compared to the United States. The savings can even cover X amount of screw up with welding/machining. And when these elements get properly inspected in the States by well paid staff who know what to look for, you can turn out high quality product.

    It still doesn't solve the issue of outsourcing jobs to overseas markets, but I don't believe that the quality of product has to be compromised by producing it with a cheap, foregin, work force.

    Sorry for being off topic! Sweet new ride Homebrew!

    _MK
    Last edited by MK_; 01-18-2006 at 10:48 AM.

    Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not just surrounded by a*holes

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    I want to see polished frames come from Titus Taiwan because the paint/pc hides flaws. You typically won't see many polished frames from Taiwan and China because paint covers the flaws in the welds and blemishes in the parts.

    Needless to say, I'm not keen on frames made in Asia by supposed boutique builders. It's hard for them to have to resources to have a guy stand there and make sure the factory manager isn't looking to cut corners. Welds are critical and good ones don't go well with cost cutting.
    Kinda a generalization ain't it?

    My Easton tubed, tawainese welded, KHS' fit and finish blows the tires off my US welded Gary Fisher. I do wish the KHS polished however, no paint to scratch off.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    I want to see polished frames come from Titus Taiwan because the paint/pc hides flaws. You typically won't see many polished frames from Taiwan and China because paint covers the flaws in the welds and blemishes in the parts.

    Needless to say, I'm not keen on frames made in Asia by supposed boutique builders. It's hard for them to have to resources to have a guy stand there and make sure the factory manager isn't looking to cut corners. Welds are critical and good ones don't go well with cost cutting.
    Not to get too far off the Turner topic but Titus Tai isn't as bad as it sounds. They are still using the same US made Worth tubing and the same US made custom weld rods as before. They are still fully welding the frames in the jigs, not just tack welding. So it's just the labor that's outsourced and there are a strong supply of well skilled workers over there. Titus has done a lot of work to get it done right.

    They didn't intend for it to turn out like this when they contracted with Kinesis to build the frames. They were originally made in the Kinesis plant in Oregon but that plant was shut down. Titus didn't have a lot of options but to follow Kinesis back to Taiwan. After the nightmare LocoMoto recall fiasco, I really don't think SAPA was an option even if they had the capacity. Also, the MotoLite is several hundred cheaper than other high end frames.

    My Switchblade and Hammerhead were both handbuilt by Titus in AZ and both were weeks overdue on delivery. Although obviously not ideal, I wouldn't have any qualms about riding a Titus Tai MotoLite if it fit. At least you can get a frame delivered on time and for a lot less than before.

    Honestly, outsourced is outsourced. Whether it's across the country or across the ocean. All this has been beaten to death though. Bottom line, it all comes down to the ride and it's all good.
    Long Live Long Rides

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by k1creeker
    Kinda a generalization ain't it?

    My Easton tubed, tawainese welded, KHS' fit and finish blows the tires off my US welded Gary Fisher. I do wish the KHS polished however, no paint to scratch off.
    While I've seen many KHS bikes with poor fit and finish, but the owners got them at a bargain, and had the thoughts of "What did I expect for 199 from Jensun?"

    Fit and finish is not the whole gig. In your eyes, it's the paint and the application of the stickers. In my eyes it's the chemical combination of metals together using an electrical current and in these areas there could be flaws that you can't see. I have already seen certain differences in the welding of some Asian frames compared to American and European ones, such as a narrower bead width and rounder profiles. Compare to the Titus above (which my old Burner's welds resemble more than the Spot) and Nicolai, with those flat puddle welds and scrapping MANY frames for imperfections in welding and anodization.

  12. #12
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    I want to see polished frames come from Titus Taiwan because the paint/pc hides flaws. You typically won't see many polished frames from Taiwan and China because paint covers the flaws in the welds and blemishes in the parts.

    Needless to say, I'm not keen on frames made in Asia by supposed boutique builders. It's hard for them to have to resources to have a guy stand there and make sure the factory manager isn't looking to cut corners. Welds are critical and good ones don't go well with cost cutting.
    Oh man, give me a break. "Titus taiwan"? Kinesis is making frames for titus, and they have moved production overseas. Kinesis makes frames for santacruz and many other "high-end" manufacturers, many of which offer poslished or translucent finishes.

    Kinesis makes more frames that turner, ellsworth, and ventana all put together. They know what they are doing. The welds may not be as pretty as you would like, but I'm sure they will be more than good enough. Not to mention, I'm sure they put their best guys onto higher-end projects.

    Also, food for thought: outsourcing means lower overhead, which also means more leeway for QC to throw out a frame with defects. I've worked for custom builders, throwing out a frame really hurts the bottom line if you are doing limited production. very high motivation to cover up / save mistake frames. Doing a run of 1000 means you can chuck a few, no worries. everybody makes mistakes, even Americans.

  13. #13
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    Red Turners Rule. Especially with a polished rear. Sexy.

    I've always thought the Titus welds looked great, along with Ventana, and dare I say Ellsworth. Not that Turners aren't nice, but they aren't as flat and uniform - they look a bit more like a scar than the aforementioned. Nitpicky, but there you are.

  14. #14
    "El Whatever"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    In my eyes it's the chemical combination of metals together using an electrical current and in these areas there could be flaws that you can't see. I have already seen certain differences in the welding of some Asian frames compared to American and European ones, such as a narrower bead width and rounder profiles. Compare to the Titus above (which my old Burner's welds resemble more than the Spot) and Nicolai, with those flat puddle welds and scrapping MANY frames for imperfections in welding and anodization.
    Then buy a Moots, not a Turner. Those are welds. I'm not beating Turner by any stretch. But Moots welds are clearly superior and done on a material much more difficult to weld.

    The welds on my friend's Motolite look as good as those on my friend's Burner. And I've seen some welding.... I don't really think the ML's welds are lacking. Not by any means.

    Obviously, when you make 100 frames a month instead of 50, there are more chances to get some frames with small imperfections that not necessarily mean that they're defective.

    Sorry, if you want to buy american, just say it, but don't blow that welding BS.

    If Nicolai has to scrap many frames for imperfections on the welds, then they need better welders.

    Seriously, look at a Moots and drop your tears... those are WELDS.
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  15. #15
    MK_
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warp2003
    Then buy a Moots, not a Turner. Those are welds. I'm not beating Turner by any stretch. But Moots welds are clearly superior and done on a material much more difficult to weld.
    Hey Warp, I don't know how much you know about welding, but one thing you don't realize is that the material dictates the look of the welds. Steel and Titanium produce these very low profile welds unlike Aluminum which end up looking fat and raised up. Good welder will produce very unifom "half moons" around the weld bead and will produce a very uniform and deep material penetration on the weld. What he has almost no control over is the welding properties of the material. I've welded up some steel tubing and managed to produce some swank looking welds on occasion, never the case with aluminum.

    _MK

    Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not just surrounded by a*holes

  16. #16
    "El Whatever"
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK_
    Hey Warp, I don't know how much you know about welding, but one thing you don't realize is that the material dictates the look of the welds. Steel and Titanium produce these very low profile welds unlike Aluminum which end up looking fat and raised up. Good welder will produce very unifom "half moons" around the weld bead and will produce a very uniform and deep material penetration on the weld. What he has almost no control over is the welding properties of the material. I've welded up some steel tubing and managed to produce some swank looking welds on occasion, never the case with aluminum.

    _MK
    Aluminum as a material is harder to weld and harder to make it look good. Titanium is more complicated as a process but finishes are generally better. SS is gorgeous when properly welded.

    You're true that Aluminum will not produce those beautiful welds Ti, carbon steel or SS will. And that leads me to another point that relates to the last one in discussion... looks is not always sign of a good or bad welds.

    I've seen beautiful welds that wouldn't pass testing, while I've also seen welds that look like crap but would go thru any testing you would make.

    That said, again, the welds on Taiwan frames are top notch if bought from a top-notch brand. You get what you pay.

    As from how much do I know from welding... not much. But I worked at a steel structure fabrication shop and some construction sites where piping and equipment has to be welded... it took us a nice time to get qualified Aluminum welders to weld the bracings of the Air Intake for a 180MW Gas Turbine. You can't cut much corners with aluminum as I understood. Nice welds were not sign of a proper weld.
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  17. #17
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoShizzle
    I give up
    Finally!
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  18. #18
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    This thread is funny. It reminds me of the old Cuban Cigar episode of Seinfeld.

    BTW I think Titus still produces most of their line in the US with the exception of the ML (correct me if I'm way off here). I have a 5-Spot, but used to have a Racer X, and LocoMoto. All awesome bikes. It would be nice to see some of these boutique builders team up to create special edition bikes. that'd be cool

  19. #19
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    All of the Titus line, except for the R-X is made in Taiwan. The Ti and customs are still made in the US.

  20. #20
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    Nice move.

    I was a die hard Titus fan. Same deal as you, on several Racer X's for 5 years (had to throw a Trek Fuel in there) and decided to try something different.....and GLAD I did. I went with the Flux (I'm a racer geek) and just love the ride and handling. The pictured Flux is old and I've made some changes - Hope Mono Minis, Schwalbe Racing Ralphs, Thompson seatpost. Tarket weight after a new wheelset and fork should be right around 23lbs

    Here is my "History"

    KMan
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  21. #21
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMan
    I was a die hard Titus fan. Same deal as you, on several Racer X's for 5 years
    KMan
    Kman, nice triumph spitfire- is that yours?

    I had a hopped up '71 with a TR6 motor stuffed in it. Fun car (when it ran)

  22. #22
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    Thanks..

    Mine is a 1980 Spit.
    I "had" one (my 1st car) back in college (I think is was a 1973 spit) and it was a pretty cool car - always fixing something though. Typical British car

    I've had this one about 3 years now and knock on wood, nothing has gone wrong. Turd brown was the last color I wanted, but this one came along cheap so I bought it. Probably because I only put at most about 500 miles on it a year. I pretty much just drive it to bike rides (I have a bike rack atached to the lugage rack)

    With 3 kids, it was the the least expensive "old" convertable I could find. Though I would like to sell it now and get a larger convertable so the kids can ride along now. Just tought to find an older decent convertable at an affordable price.

    KMan

    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    Kman, nice triumph spitfire- is that yours?

    I had a hopped up '71 with a TR6 motor stuffed in it. Fun car (when it ran)

  23. #23
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    Lol!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Mathisen
    This thread is funny. It reminds me of the old Cuban Cigar episode of Seinfeld.
    The Dominicans -- they're rolling the crepes too tight -- they're not Cubans.
    The red couch has moved from Alaska to Florida...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMan
    Mine is a 1980 Spit.
    With 3 kids, it was the the least expensive "old" convertable I could find. Though I would like to sell it now and get a larger convertable so the kids can ride along now. Just tought to find an older decent convertable at an affordable price.

    KMan
    Suggestion: BMW e30 325i (88-92) convertible. These can be had in good shape for under $4k. I sold my 89 to a guy who had an MG, and he raves about how much more solid the BMW is. Likely to be a lot more reliable than the Spit. (on average) but as with any old car, better if you can do some work yourself.i

  25. #25
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    I'm more of a Classic/Antique car guy

    Thanks for the suggestion, but for a 3rd - tool around town car I'm definately more into "older cars" (easier to work on). I had a 69 Chevy Corvair (that would be a great convertible excent vert difficult to find engine parts), 71 Karmen Gia convertable and 2 Spits. I would like to buy a car from the 60-70's - but will have to wait to win the lottery of find something hidden is some old persons barn

    Thanks again,
    KMan


    Quote Originally Posted by jjcarr
    Suggestion: BMW e30 325i (88-92) convertible. These can be had in good shape for under $4k. I sold my 89 to a guy who had an MG, and he raves about how much more solid the BMW is. Likely to be a lot more reliable than the Spit. (on average) but as with any old car, better if you can do some work yourself.i

  26. #26
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMan
    Mine is a 1980 Spit.
    I "had" one (my 1st car) back in college (I think is was a 1973 spit) and it was a pretty cool car - always fixing something though. Typical British car

    KMan
    Cool man! Yeah I had a 71, with a GT3 motor in it, headers, free-flow/monza exhaust, koni shocks, pirelli P7Fs, Weber carbs, roll bar, etc.... that sucker was FAST but topped out at 110. I could burn rubber in 3rd. Too bad the car was 3 different colors.

    Lots of good times with that car.

  27. #27
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    FM,just want you to know all VPP line of santacruz made in SAPA as turner and I must say they make a beautiful high quality frames.

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