Titanium frame and road salt should I be concerned?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Titanium frame and road salt should I be concerned?

    I am commuting to work on my titanium mountain bike. Should I be concerned about road salt damaging the frame?

  2. #2
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    Nope. Some components will take a bit of a beating over time, but the frame will be fine. I ride a '98 Litespeed in VT and the frame is none the worse for the wear.

  3. #3
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    Titanium has very very good corrosion resistance. Your frame will suffer zero problems with any common de-icing salts.
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  4. #4
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    I would put a few caveats in there. Sure, by itself, Ti is pretty resistant to corrosion.

    Ti frames can STILL suffer from galvanic corrosion (dissimilar metals in the presence of an electrolyte). If any of the steel or alu bits on the bike (especially those in direct contact with the Ti frame) haven't had a good coating of anti-seize applied, then good maintenance should involve doing so if road salt is part of the equation (guess what, that stuff is a great electrolyte).

    I'd be paying extra special attention to the bb, since that area is likely to get the most splash from the road, and the bb-frame interface is DEFINITELY one where you don't want galvanic corrosion happening. A seized bb can really ruin your day. But also make sure you get any bolts that thread into frame bosses. I grease all mine (steel frame).

    Also pay attention to anything with a steel-alu difference (especially in the handlebar area, around shifter/brake lever clamps, underneath the grips, etc.)

    This happens to road bike handlebars ALL THE TIME just from sweat. Road salt hiding in there can do the same thing.



  5. #5
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    Wouldn't the fact that most all aluminum bike parts are anodized greatly reduce or practically eliminate the potential for galvanic corrosion in contact with Ti?

    Threads in Ti are notorious for galling regardless of corrosion. Some form of anti-seize compound should always be used on threaded Ti components. I wish I had a penny for every galled up Ti fastener I've seen machined out of aircraft components.
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  6. #6
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    Wouldn't the fact that most all aluminum bike parts are anodized greatly reduce or practically eliminate the potential for galvanic corrosion in contact with Ti?
    All it takes is one little scratch or defect through the ano layer for the ano to provide no protection at all.

    I've had galvanic corrosion pop up on ano alu parts with steel hardware. Use grease, anti-seize, or threadlocker (whichever is most appropriate for the application) wherever possible, and clean your stuff off.

    Salty roads are some of the worst possible conditions you could ride your bike in, and I don't play around with it. If I bike commuted regularly on salty roads, I'd probably buy stock in these guys:

    https://www.amazon.com/Salt-Away-Sal.../dp/B003HFZ5PA

  7. #7
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    Your car will rust out much quicker, and will be way more expensive to repair or replace. Try to clean the bike about once a week, and yes, you might need a new BB every couple years, but it is not a death sentence or even that expensive. I keep the seatpost greased a couple times a winter,the derailleurs sprayed with silicone, and the chain lubed when I clean the bike, and that is about it. A ti bike likely has higher quality components, and that helps as well.

  8. #8
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    One of my mechanic friends here in MN sold all his Ti bikes because he got tired of aluminum BBs corroding to the frames. If I were to get a Ti bike I would probably do a stainless steel BB, like a Phil Wood.

  9. #9
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    Bare aluminium is pretty good with road salt, and no disimmilar metals.

    But a crack in the paint will cause pitting pretty quick.

  10. #10
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    In the past I've had issues with:

    Brass spoke nipples (keep some oil on them)
    Un-anodized AL parts, like brake post spacers (cheap to replace)
    Fork innards (factory repack in the spring or go carbon rigid)
    Brake pistons (un-stick every now and then)

    Of course, other things needed replacement as well, but this seemed to be a function of the increased mileage from year-round use rather than winter corrosion issues.

    I decided it was cheaper and easier to deal with these limited issues than to set up a separate winter beater, although many others prefer this option.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I would put a few caveats in there. Sure, by itself, Ti is pretty resistant to corrosion.

    Ti frames can STILL suffer from galvanic corrosion (dissimilar metals in the presence of an electrolyte).
    . Very much true. And carbon frames? They'll destroy almost any metal that comes in contact with it.
    The use of grease on ALL threads is a plus. Anti seize compound is cheap and a better option.
    BTW Harold, my quoter will only capture part of a long post.

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