Titanium frame V Carbon fibre

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by Paul8900, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. Paul8900

    Paul8900 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow, nearly reached 50 and the wife says I can treat my self to a new bike!
    Intended use: Long distance riding - but not touring, club runs, etc I hope to get involved in some sportives this year. May do the occasional time trial on it also.
    Needs: comfort and style. Fed up of my old retro Raleigh Triathlon bike - 1976 ish. Technology has moved on, and Im not sure the best way to go.

    Bikes that I have considered Trek Madone 5.2 performance fit as it has a higher head tube and hand position than the pro fit.

    Secondly have looked at the Van Nicholas Euros Titanium. I am told titanium offer a comfortable ride.

    The shop will not allow me to try the Titanium bike out unless I buy it! I have never rode a Titanium framed bike........... Could anyone please advise on advantages/disadvantages of carbon vs titanium.
    But I am reluctant to buy any bike unless I can actually get to ride it before I buy it though!
     
    Tags:


  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,857
    Likes Received:
    97
    Start by finding a new shop. Test rides, especially on high end bikes are standard practice. Sure you usually need to leave a driver's license, DNA samples and next of kin but they shouldn't expect you to buy a bike in that price range without riding it first.

    There are great bikes made of many materials including titanium and CF. CF is often a bit lighter and sometimes costs a bit less but is a bit less durable as well. A good titanium frame might be your last frame purchase, but CF isn't usually as durable if you lay the bike down. Ride dynamics have a lot more to do with the geometry and specific design so don't get caught up in harshness, stiffness debates based on frame material.

    If your fit is unique you can have a custom frame made of titanium but there aren't many builders doing custom CF work so that might be another consideration. Basically you can get a world class bike made out of all the standard materials(yes, including steel) but fit and ride quality are the most important things to consider. Which takes us back to the first point. Don't drop 4 or 5 grand at a shop that won't allow test rides.

    Good luck,
    -Dave
     
  3. TheDarkLord

    TheDarkLord New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Messages:
    3,887
    Likes Received:
    0
    +1. Find a shop that will let you test ride the frame.
     
  4. padawan

    padawan New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    0
    +2 Test ride is paramount.

    If you are looking for another bike shop, look for one that carries Cervelo.

    Given your specifications and interest in the performance fit Trek, another bike you might want to try to test ride is a Cervelo RS. It also has a slightly taller head tube than is R3 cousin and it's supposed to be even more vertically compliant than the R3 (which is super comfortable) without giving up on the lateral stiffness.
     
  5. WattsAMatta

    WattsAMatta New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm 40-something and a year or so ago I decided that I needed a new road bike. I had been riding on a steel (Columbus tubing) frame bike that I bought used when I was 14, so I figured that a new bike every 30 years was reasonable! I did the research, and didn't kid myself that I needed that same bike that Vino rode. I settled on the Specialized Roubaix. It's got a real comfortable ride, handles well, and is certainly stiff enough for me when I get out of the saddle on a steep grade. I rode a Litespeed for a day a few months after the Roubaix was built up, and although it had nice riding characteristics, I prefer the Roubaix.

    -- Bryan
     
  6. Paul8900

    Paul8900 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, I have taken the day off work tomorrow, (need to get the purchase in before my wife changes her mind!) there is a shop nearby that stocks Cervelo, thats a bike make I had not considered. I will check that one out. Thanks for the advice.

    Paul.


     
  7. Paul8900

    Paul8900 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Bryan,
    Thanks for getting back to me. I have not ruled out the Roubaix, the shop Im going tomorrow stock specialized, as well as cervelo. The good thing about this shop they will let you try them out.
    Cheers
    Paul


     
  8. Paul8900

    Paul8900 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dave,
    The shops that I have been visting are scattered far and wide. It appears some shops just wont let you ride the bikes. Some offer a measuring service, measure you for £50..... then offer you a range of bikes that would fit your size. But still will not let you ride no matter how much you spend.

    I drove 90 miles to look at the titanium framed bike to be told I could not ride the bike unless I bought it. I have since contacted some another shop that stock Van Nicholas who want to charge me £50 non refundable fee to ride the bike.....refundable if a buy the bike! (I'm told it because people see a bike on the internet, try it out from the shop and then buy on line)
    It seems that if I were to try all the bikes on my list I could end up spending more than the bike.

    I have found one local shop that I will be visiting that do not require deposits etc. I most certainly won't buy a bike unless I can try it out.

    Its good that you all think the same on this subject: I just thought it was me being a difficult customer.

    If I can't find a dealer prepared to let me ride a Titanium frame, then I guess I will end up with a Carbon frame.

    Thanks

    Paul




     
  9. velo711

    velo711 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can't do a small test on a bike you would spend four grand for? What a pile of crap. You don't buy a car unless you drive it. They are really paronoid, if they think you'll test it and then buy online. What they are missing, like all good business, is that they have to SELL IT. You will find someone who wants your business, and you will both win.
     
  10. padawan

    padawan New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree. That's absolutely crazy!

    Paul, keep in mind to that if you can only get one bike shop to let you test ride a bike, then you could be doing yourself a disservice by not trying a full range of bikes.

    Play hardball with them. I would only speak to the shop owner not an employee. I would just explain to him (or her) that you want to buy a bike from him. But you won't buy a bike without a test ride. Explain that he has the potential to gain a regular customer for future bikes, parts and service. Does he want to throw that away because he doesn't want someone test riding his bikes?

    Maybe the worst case scenario is that you go to the shop that deals in Specialized and Cervelo and agree to put down a deposit on a bike if you can test ride a few. Then you're stuck buying a bike from that shop but at least you get to test ride some different bikes you know might be a good option and you can choose from the best of them.

    I feel quite confident recommending the Cervelo RS to you (as I'm sure Bryan does the Specialized Roubaix). While I still wouldn't buy either without riding it, I think it's likely that one of them will work nicely for you.

    Please keep us in the loop on what you end up doing. Good luck!
     
  11. gemship

    gemship New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just bought a new Cervelo r3sl without test riding it. Maybe I'm a idiot but I did buy it with the knowledge of what I was looking at, knowing the proper frame size. On my third trip to the lbs I thought I would be picking up the bike, however this bike being my first high end carbon bike I had no idea. Instead the visit turned into a fitting session. We put the newly built bike on the trainer. With the owner, mechanic and I we dialed the seat post hieght and how the seat is positioned on it. We also swapped out a couple of stems and figured out where to cut the fork for the stem hieght. I think unless you get a custom made bike there really isn't a lot to getting the bike fit right. The big thing is to buy the bike in the right frame size and get a proper fit with the right components. I have nothing against test rides and they make a lot of sense however I must say from what I read on this forum it doesn't matter what the frame is made of but the fit is what makes the biggest difference. I think I just happened to luck out because I knew exactly what I wanted plus the new Cervelo's frame geometry happens to be very similiar in terms of cockpit, rider fit to my aluminum Raliegh roadbike.
     
  12. Paul8900

    Paul8900 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, I guess having always riden a bike that has been slightly to large for me and I have gotten use to this position , I now want to ensure that I have the right size for me. I am 5'10" I have been riding a 23.5 inch frame, I am now looking at 56cm frames. That was the main reason I started looking at the Trek Madone because the Head tube is 30 mm higher than the pro model.

    I have made several enquires on the phone this week and found a decent bike shop in Sailsbury that allow you to take bikes out for test runs. All day if you so wish! And free! I could not believe my ears. I nearly fell of my chair!

    So it looks like on a visit to Sailsbury tomorrow morning. The good thing about it is that they actually stock Titanium frames and also specialize in Cervelo. The weather forcast is miserable for tomorrow. I hope to get a test ride on both to see what the main difference between carbon and titanium actually is.

    I am still interested in anyones view on Titanium frames.

    I note that the Cervelo come with a heavy price tag. Looks like I may have to drop the Durace if I choose this make though!















     
  13. buckybux

    buckybux New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2005
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am 53, and I purchased a Ti frame (Litespeed Firenze) two years ago. I am 5'10" and I ride a 59cm frame (I prefer the larger geometry, personal preference). I love the ride of Ti, and as already mentioned it is durable. While I try to avoid it, I fall about once a year on the bike (twice now on winter ice), so durability is important to me. Also had a friend crash into me from behind (frame was ok, but the rear wheel was toast. I tried Carbon, but prefer the crisper ride of Ti.
     
  14. Paul8900

    Paul8900 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    I value that comment. Thanks



     
  15. Paul8900

    Paul8900 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bryan,
    Found a very friendly shop today and have tested the Cervelo R3 and a Titanium Enigma Frame.

    They will not have the Cerleo RS in for a few more weeks yet!
    I felt fantastically comfortable on the Titanium frame. The cervelo was fairly comfortable, and I think that I have now narrowed it down a bit. I look forward to test riding the RS.

    It looks like I may be spending more than I origionally intended, and am finding it difficult not to get sucked in to far. I guess spoilt for choice in this price bracket.

    I am glad to have taken everyones advice and found a friendly cycle shop that allow test rides with no obligations to buy. ( no charges either )...................... it makes me more inclined to buy from this type of dealer than anywhere else.

    Thanks - I will let you know the final outcome.

    Paul

     
  16. bing181

    bing181 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2004
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    0
    There are a LOT of bikes out there that could fit your requirements ... I'd take some time to look around and try some.

    Another alternative is to look around for second hand bikes .. even if you don't buy, you can always take them for a ride, and it might help clarify the Ti/vs carbon differences a bit more.

    FWIW, I've been riding Ti for the past few years (Colnago), which I've loved, but recently had a chance to try a high-end carbon bike and .. well, the difference on every level was phenomenal. I'm now a late convert to carbon! (apart from my classic steel Merckx ...) I'm unconvinced by the "carbon isn't reliable" case, there are plenty of mid-90's C40's still going strong.

    B
     
  17. dbackmtg

    dbackmtg New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Messages:
    214
    Likes Received:
    0
    to the front
     
  18. padawan

    padawan New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bump! Own a new bike yet Paul?!
     
Loading...
Loading...