Retrotec/Spicer Ti Retrotec Questions- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Retrotec/Spicer Ti Retrotec Questions

    I am really intrigued by both of these frames. Great aesthetics, no doubt. I'd love to hear riding impressions from anyone who rides one of these frames. Does the design "feel" any different from a standard dual diamond style frame. I've read that the rear ends tend to be a bit more forgiving but have never ridden one.

    Any thoughts about the fit or finish of either frame? I've seen lots of pics, but never one in person.

    I love the idea of bargain ti if it doesn't crack. Lotsa wet and mud here and a fancy paint job will probably get trashed.

    Since I decided to go with a custom SS I've become obsessed/overwhelmed. So many choices, so many good builders...Vulture, Wily, Bystickel, Peyto, head is spinning... Hunter, Curtlo, DeSalvo, Strong...feeling faint...must keep under $1,000...TET, Waltworks...

  2. #2

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    On the few times I've ridden one, I never noticed a ride difference on a Retrotec compared to double diamond traditional hardtail. It felt like any other quality steel frame.

    Now that's just my perception based on my riding, not carved on stone tablets or anything.

    IMO, get these bikes for their aesthetics, not for any perceived notion of a better compliant ride feel. Tire choice has more to do with that really. Put fat Mutano 2.4 tires on any hardtail and it will give a more forgiving ride.

    If I had to choose between the Spicer or the Retrotec, I'd go Retrotec. The downtube curve is too abrupt on the Spicer. The Retrotec's downtube is a more gradual curve that is nicer looking. Curtis build the Retrotec to suit any style of riding. If you wanted a burly frame, he can beef it up. If you wanted a 130mm fork, he can adjust geometry. And he is a super nice guy (so is Gene for that matter).

  3. #3
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    My 2ยข...

    Quote Originally Posted by Singletrack Pig
    I am really intrigued by both of these frames. Great aesthetics, no doubt. I'd love to hear riding impressions from anyone who rides one of these frames. Does the design "feel" any different from a standard dual diamond style frame. I've read that the rear ends tend to be a bit more forgiving but have never ridden one.

    Any thoughts about the fit or finish of either frame? I've seen lots of pics, but never one in person.

    I love the idea of bargain ti if it doesn't crack. Lotsa wet and mud here and a fancy paint job will probably get trashed.

    Since I decided to go with a custom SS I've become obsessed/overwhelmed. So many choices, so many good builders...Vulture, Wily, Bystickel, Peyto, head is spinning... Hunter, Curtlo, DeSalvo, Strong...feeling faint...must keep under $1,000...TET, Waltworks...
    Don't know if this helps or not, but here's my opinion:

    First: I don't know a thing about the Spicer.

    So with that out of the way, here's my opinion of the Retrotec:

    Fit and Finish: The fit of the Retrotec is bang on for me. Mine rips singletrack, is a capable climber and handles drops reliably. It's very steady descending. It's a lot of fun.

    Finish: Curtis braises his bikes. It's impossible to to determine the quality of braising without cutting the frame apart, which I'm not willing to do. I've been riding mine for two years though, and I've had exactly no problems. Curtis will finish or paint your bike however you like. Mine is painted like a Guinness.

    It's hard to say if it "feels" any different due to the sloping tubes or if it simply feels more compliant because it's very steady and predictable so the bike feels compliant or cushy.

    I have a $3,000+ bike in my garage, hardly ridden because I spend 95% of my time on the Retrotec.

    Hope this helps.

    Ken
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  4. #4

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    You could always get a Ti Retrotec...

  5. #5
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    Weight

    Expect a retro-style frame to weigh a fair amount more. This is not only due to the fact that there's a lot more material there, but because it's not possible to bend butted tubing. (OK, in some circumstances, but I've not heard of any custom builders doing it) And there's a limit to how thin a tube can be and still bend nicely.

    In theory, the curved tubes will provide a more compliant ride, but since they're thick, unbutted pieces, some of that compliance probably goes away.

    This would be far less of an issue with Ti, as many traditional Ti frames are also straight gauge tubing.

  6. #6
    Old School
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    make you a deal on my old retro...

    I'm parting out a '94 retrotec. I've got a frame/fork/headset/seatpost/cranks/bb to get rid of. This is pre-Inglis built by bob seals. It's got about 50 zillion miles on it and needs painting, but is stilll solid. you can have it for four bills or OBO.

    PM if interested.

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