Who's your favorite "affordable" Ti builder?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Who's your favorite "affordable" Ti builder?

    My buddy just had his steel hardtail stolen, and he's ready to step up to a Titanium frame. He wants custom gemetry to match his old steel frame, and he wants to work with a builder who replies to messages, and delivers (close to) on time. Who would you choose?
    Thanks
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  2. #2
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    I've got 2 Deans and had pretty good experiences with them. That said, their prices have increased due to shortages and aren't as much of a bargain as they used to be. If I were doing it over again now, I'd probably go with Quring, DeSalvo, Kish, or Strong. More than likely with Quiring since he's building me a steel roadie and has been super great to work with.

  3. #3
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    I love my Dean but TACSTS is right about the price increase. I was told 6-8 weeks and 8 weeks and 1 day later, the bike was on my doorstep. Best riding bike I've ever owned. If I had the cash, I'd go with a Kish or even an Erickson. Now THAT would be unbelievable.
    Why would I need more than one gear?
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  4. #4
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    All out custom, cost no object would be Carl Strong or Seven

    Budget would be Moots,Dean or Titus. I have 4 Titus Ti bikes (2 HT, 2 Dualies). All great, awesome build qualities, and they deliver on time.

  5. #5
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    Ti and affordable dont really go together, but I'd go with Seven.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch
    My buddy just had his steel hardtail stolen, and he's ready to step up to a Titanium frame. He wants custom gemetry to match his old steel frame, and he wants to work with a builder who replies to messages, and delivers (close to) on time. Who would you choose?
    Thanks
    No personal experience. Just going by prices and some forum reputation

    Quiring

    Nelson Titanium.

    Best prices for a USmade custom titanium frame.

    Not considering price: Kish (own a steel one), Strong, Desalvo, Black Sheep, Erikson.

  7. #7
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    I've seen some lovely work done by Chris Dekerf but he's no longer making Ti frames, Kent Eriksen has to be the Daddy though, but you can't buy custom Ti on a budget...

  8. #8

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    Some entry-level (most economical for each builder) titanium hardtail frame prices:

    $1,500 -- DEAN Scout
    $1,995 -- Desalvo
    $2,150 -- KISH Fabrication
    $2,200 -- Strong
    $2,295 -- Seven Verve

    I have a Verve, and I am completely satisfied with it, although my guess is that I would be completely satisfied with any of the aforementioned frames. Hope this helps!

  9. #9
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    Actually Strongs are 2400 now, and we're at 2495. I think you'll see a lot of these figures go up soon if they haven't already. The cost of doing Ti has gone up dramatically over the past 18 months. Paragon is struggling to get US manufactured Ti billet for their wares and I know some manufacturers either have or are considering ways to reduce their costs (Such as use Chinese sourced Ti) so as to not increase their retail prices.

    At the end of the day you have to figure out if a couple of hundred bucks is an expense or an investment. I have a feeling if you do your homework, you'll find it's the latter.
    No longer member of the bike industry nor society, so don't hassle me.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the info guys. How about Titus, how are they pricewise, and build quality?
    I love mankind - it's people I can't stand. ~Charles M. Schulz

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch
    Thanks for the info guys. How about Titus, how are they pricewise, and build quality?
    Yes they do custom. Pricing is about the same as Strong and Thalacine now. Can also get Three exogrid tubes but thats gonna cost ya (Ti/CF fused tubes). Build quality has been on par or better with any of the other guys (compared to MOOTS,Dean, litespeed, etc.) When you call sign the order off, I think its 6 weeks to completion. Fortunately when I did my consults with them, my numbers were so close to the regular spec bikes, I got talked out of goin custom and savin major coin on all my rides.

  12. #12

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    Strongs are still 2200 for all orders placed before January 1, 2007.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thylacine
    Actually Strongs are 2400 now, and we're at 2495. I think you'll see a lot of these figures go up soon if they haven't already. The cost of doing Ti has gone up dramatically over the past 18 months. Paragon is struggling to get US manufactured Ti billet for their wares and I know some manufacturers either have or are considering ways to reduce their costs (Such as use Chinese sourced Ti) so as to not increase their retail prices.

    At the end of the day you have to figure out if a couple of hundred bucks is an expense or an investment. I have a feeling if you do your homework, you'll find it's the latter.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch
    Thanks for the info guys. How about Titus, how are they pricewise, and build quality?
    According to a comparison that I read, Titus Eleven, stock, is stiffer and tougher than the average ti frame: good for going hard but not the comfiest for going all day.

  14. #14
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    There's also Yeti. I think you can still get custom Arc Ti's from them. I doubt they're cheap, though.

  15. #15
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    Thought I'd throw this one in the ring:

    2007 Brodie cruZado.

    $1699 CAD frame/ $3399 CAD complete

    *******Edit********

    Oooops. I read the orginal thread too quickly. Didn't see the "custom" part. No custom cruZado. And now I have no idea how to delete my post.
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    Last edited by tosis; 11-15-2006 at 04:24 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch
    Thanks for the info guys. How about Titus, how are they pricewise, and build quality?
    I've recently heard a bunch of negative things about Titus. The grain of salt is that it was from an ex employee and I don't wish to disclose it publicly, but if you're interested to know, feel free to contact me.

    What about Wade?

    How about Vertigo Cycles I hear he's going to be working some ti by February.

  17. #17
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    Black Sheep
    DeSalvo

  18. #18
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    DEAN







    Last edited by tenacious m; 11-17-2006 at 10:42 AM.

  19. #19
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    Lynskey

    One of the Litespeed founders is back as Lynskey, I got to see one and it was as nice a Ti as I've ever seen, better than any Litespeed. Custom Head badges, supposed to be 2.5 pounds, made me want Ti again. http://lynskeyperformance.com/

  20. #20
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    Wow, Black Sheep, DeSalvo, Lynskey, Eriksen; I thing the original "budget" qualification of this thread got lost somewhere. For budget, US built, custom ti. the best choice is, flat out, Quiring Cycles. Check out the gallery on his site, drop him an e-mail and you'll probably get a response the same night. Super quality work, screaming deal (until he comes to his senses and jacks up his prices), and my next custom frame builder fwiw.
    "I'll disintegrate over time if I expect my body to try to keep up with my mind" -BM

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  21. #21
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    Budget? I picked up a new closeout hardtail frame, US made in Washington from a company called "Ti Sport" off e-bay in late summer for less than $700.... I think it was 670? At the time they sold it on their site for $1150. Called the "G-man".... Not sure how it stacks up to you big money guys but the welds look good to me. the picture of the buildup is in my profile if you care to look, I'm happy with it.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by batvette
    Budget? I picked up a new closeout hardtail frame, US made in Washington from a company called "Ti Sport" off e-bay in late summer for less than $700.... I think it was 670? At the time they sold it on their site for $1150. Called the "G-man".... Not sure how it stacks up to you big money guys but the welds look good to me. the picture of the buildup is in my profile if you care to look, I'm happy with it.
    It seems to me that those frames were built by Sandvik in the US of US materials. Very nice quality and a great deal.
    "I'll disintegrate over time if I expect my body to try to keep up with my mind" -BM

    Race, Rocks or Road...Just Ride

  23. #23
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    The guy selling them (seemed to be an employee, his address was near the factory) said that they used to make frames for some of the "big names" in the business but just started marketing them on their own. Nice guy, I had ordered the wrong size and he exchanged it no problem with no restock fee, that's unusual for ebay. The titanium frame is everything I hoped it would be, I got rid of a Jamis Dakar to build this for urban use, I wanted some compliance in the frame but didn't like the flex of the rear shock on the Jamis.
    At the same time there was a guy from Las Vegas who had some Morati frames and parts (they had just ceased production) and I really wanted one but kept getting beat on the auctions, though I was happy to get a set of their "W" bar/stem combo and a seat post. Morati made some really beautiful stuff. I bought 90% of my bike off ebay over about 8 months time, the last being the shimano wheels. Only thing left is finding a deal on a wipperman Ti chain... :-)

  24. #24
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    Sandvik, or tisports used to build under contract for Litespeed, Dean, Marin and Kona to name but a few......

  25. #25
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    ----new threads asking about ti frames, thought I'd bring this back up

    caz

  26. #26
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    Everti

  27. #27
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    what about Carver ?
    They seem nice and only 1099$ for the standard DO version.
    They say custom is available at no extra charge.

  28. #28
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    spicercycles.com
    I figure the odds be fifty-fifty.

  29. #29

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    Speaking of Everti, they used to have their frames manufactured in Russia but apparently after dealing with excessive customs delays, I think they went with a UK manufacturer.

    I've had their Tirant frame on my wish list for quite some time, ever since they were manufactured in Russia. I just wish they would update the Tirant pictures on their website. They've been the same for several years now. I'm wondering if the frame looks any different given the change in manufacturer.

  30. #30
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiCutter

    Are you in anyways connected with Form???? Just askin. Neat company, hope all the best for them.
    "Can I put a Totem on a FTM?".....Originally Posted by All Mountain

  32. #32
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    They are building a bike for me and i researched about them.what do you know?

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiCutter
    They are building a bike for me and i researched about them.what do you know?

    Been lookin at their stuff as well and just happened to notice you on every thread about them, Darryl and his crew were all at Titus and pretty much the group that put together most of my Titus frames. Top notch work from those guys. I hope they really take off in these tough times. Difficult when Lynskey is going cavemen in pricing with a lot of their product these days.
    "Can I put a Totem on a FTM?".....Originally Posted by All Mountain

  34. #34
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    I found out about them and tried to get as much info off of forums before purchase.I will post pics in a few weeks.

  35. #35
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    Came across www.pridecyclesusa.com from Chatanooga, anyone has experience with them?

  36. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quad4ngle
    Came across www.pridecyclesusa.com from Chatanooga, anyone has experience with them?
    PRIDE Cycles is my dad's company. He was at ABG (litespeed, merlin, qr) for 17 years and was plant manager and chief frame builder for a majority of the time there. He left there last summer and we opened PRIDE in November '08.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch
    My buddy just had his steel hardtail stolen, and he's ready to step up to a Titanium frame. He wants custom gemetry to match his old steel frame, and he wants to work with a builder who replies to messages, and delivers (close to) on time. Who would you choose?
    Thanks
    I had Carl Strong build me a Ti frame a couple of years ago and would recommend him.
    Nice fellow - nice frame


    Kasper
    Edit: Didnt see right away that the original post is from 2006 .a bit late to answer now


    ...cant resist to flash it:
    Last edited by Kasper; 07-26-2009 at 01:18 PM.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiEndo
    Been lookin at their stuff as well and just happened to notice you on every thread about them, Darryl and his crew were all at Titus and pretty much the group that put together most of my Titus frames. Top notch work from those guys. I hope they really take off in these tough times. Difficult when Lynskey is going cavemen in pricing with a lot of their product these days.
    I am getting back into riding after a few year hiatus. I was looking at a Lynskey frame.

    Bad idea?

    Quality?

    One of my local bike shop owners is kinda of pushing it...

    I was looking at a Merlin, but man, are they expensive.

    Thanks!

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigzebra
    I am getting back into riding after a few year hiatus. I was looking at a Lynskey frame.

    Bad idea?

    Quality?

    One of my local bike shop owners is kinda of pushing it...

    I was looking at a Merlin, but man, are they expensive.

    Thanks!

    The Lynskey bikes I have seen have been top notch. They also seem to have some crazy sale specials on a monthly basis. Funny thing how if you look hard enough, you'll see that Lynskey builds Ti bikes for alot of other manufactures out there.
    "Can I put a Totem on a FTM?".....Originally Posted by All Mountain

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiEndo
    The Lynskey bikes I have seen have been top notch. They also seem to have some crazy sale specials on a monthly basis. Funny thing how if you look hard enough, you'll see that Lynskey builds Ti bikes for alot of other manufactures out there.
    Hey, thanks man. I appreciate it. I (my wife, really) can't shell out 2500 clams for a frame. I also plan on having this next MTN frame for the rest of my natural life, so I really don't want to do it on the cheap.

  41. #41
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    Ridgeline

    Quote Originally Posted by TiEndo
    The Lynskey bikes I have seen have been top notch. They also seem to have some crazy sale specials on a monthly basis. Funny thing how if you look hard enough, you'll see that Lynskey builds Ti bikes for alot of other manufactures out there.
    Just ordered two Lynskey Ridgeline 29er hardtails for some racers I sponsor.
    Natural Satin Titanium.
    $1295 at retail!

  42. #42
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    I ride Motobecane Fly Ti from bikesdirect and it is a very well made titanium frame that you get quite cheap when you take the price of the components into account. ~$2K for complete bike with SiD, XTR drivetrain and Ritchey WCS cockpit and some house brand wheels of decent quality. Nice shaped and butted tubing, very good welding, rides quite nice.
    Last edited by Broccoli; 08-27-2009 at 10:40 AM.

  43. #43
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    Anybody knows or own Van Nicholas?? How does it compared to Lynskey, Seven or Litespeed??

  44. #44
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    Bikesdirect and XACD....

    I bought a Fly Ti for my wife and she loves it. I personally have been using a XACD built frame since mid-August. Had my own requirements for some stuff so it was $50 more. $690USD delivered to my door. Pretty good for a 3.1lbs 16", 26er hardtail. The first thing I looked at was the welding. I honestly can't see any flaw. Even if I did, it still rides so good!!!

    But, I can't compare to the big names because I rarely see any where I ride. I have been lusting for a Ti bike for so long.... This was the only affordable way for me.

    Bikesdirect bikes are probably built by XACD. The only other major chinese manufacturer is (I think) lite-bikes or something like that.

    Our bikes are certainly not "exotic", but they are still pretty good Ti bikes.

    Johnnydrz

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnnydrz
    Bikesdirect bikes are probably built by XACD. The only other major chinese manufacturer is (I think) lite-bikes or something like that.
    From what I understood BD's are made in Taiwan, not in mainland and purport to use Japanese tubing - which indeed seems of a higher grade, at least manipulated and shaped.. Not that I care that much.

  46. #46
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  47. #47
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    yall are doing this all wrong.

    if you're price shopping get whatever is on closeout at your favorite online retailer. or the "hottest" thing on craigslist.

    if you want satisfaction long after the price point pains-find a small-shop builder and have him/her roll one up for you.

    carl strong and steve potts are great guys--and hella builders. there are many more.

    nahbs is in richmond this (nex) year. go and meet some of the folks putting out the sweetest bikes on the planet.

    cheers

    wp
    I would rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy. W.C. Fields

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quad4ngle
    Came across www.pridecyclesusa.com from Chatanooga, anyone has experience with them?
    I work right next to these guys and have been over there many times checking them out. Very nice people with an awesome operation. Have watched them build a few bikes and they are very knowledgeable. They let me borrow one of their road bikes for about a month. Nicest riding bike I have ever been on. I would have no hesitation ordering custom from these guys.



    Scott

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