carbon rails vs. titanium rails

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by landdnl, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. landdnl

    landdnl New Member

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    Ok, next month I'll be building up a Ritchey Road Logic frameset. I thought I had the BOM set, but now I have a question. I was going to go with the WCS Carbon Streem saddle w/carbon clamp kit(165 grams/$132 total), but someone was suggesting titanium rail option for more comfort(200 grams/$99). My reasoning for doing this build is to have a bike that is less susceptible to crosswinds because of the smaller diameter tubing(custom wheelset for same reason) and this also will be my century ride bike on somewhat flat terrain. There's some areas where the tarmac is kind of groovy and not in a 60's good way.(horizontal 1.5 to 2" wide and deep). I'm dressing it up with 7900(I already have minus crank), and Ritchey components(superlogic & WCS). I'm trying to keep the weight down(a little over 16lbs.), but comfort trumps weight on this build. Having said that, if there's not much of a difference in comfort, I'll take the "shave a few grams" option(I know, the lighter the bike the more susceptible you are to crosswinds). Any opinions on which way to go?
     
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  2. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    The difference in weight between a CF railed or Ti railed saddle aren't going to make any difference in how the bike responds to crosswinds. In fact, bike weight in general won't make much of a difference at all. If you go with a CF railed saddle, the biggest concern should be insuring that it's rails are compatible with your seat post's rail clamp(s). CF rails are typically oval in cross-section and are not compatible with all rail clamps. Given the small weight difference between a CF railed saddle and a Ti railed saddle, I'd go with comfort every day of the week. In fact, that's my primary concern with any saddle given that I have to sit on it for long periods of time.
     
  3. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, you will not notice a difference due to the weight or cross sectional area of carbon fiber saddle rails vs titanium vs steel. The differences saddle rail weights or shapes make to actual performance are basically nil. Don't forget it's the cross sectional area and weight of your entire bike plus body plus things like water bottle and full kit that impact things like climbing or how a gusty cross wind impacts handling and saddle rails are so far down in the noise as to be meaningless.

    Sure if you're chasing a weight weenie build (nothing wrong with that as it's fun to see how light you can get a practical bike) and money is no object then you can shave grams with CF components. Just don't buy into the performance hype surrounding a lot of these exotic parts. Get the saddle you think will be the most comfortable and will be durable enough for your uses regardless of what material is used for the rails and as mentioned above make sure the rails you choose are compatible with your seatpost clamp.

    Personally I'd tread lightly around CF saddle rails only from the standpoint of potential nicks and damage during readjustment and what that might mean structurally to the saddle but that's just me being conservative on weight bearing parts. Lot's of folks run CF saddle rails and apparently like them, it's just never seemed like a place I need to shave grams or spend extra cash. YMMV.

    -Dave
     
  4. sitzmark

    sitzmark Member

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    I have the Kium rail version of Fizik Antares on an alu frame / alu post bike and the braided carbon rail version of same saddle on an all carbon bike. Don't think there is much difference between the two saddles as far as ride is concerned. The alu bike is definitely a harsher ride, but I don't think the saddle is the reason.
     
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