who rides Ti ?

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Mariner
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Re: who rides Ti ?

Post by Mariner » Wed Aug 12, 2020 9:34 pm

On my second ti Stooge.
There were other bikes in between but the Stooge just works so well for me.
The others didn't although it is probably more to do with the Stooge geometry than the frame material although
having said that I do like the look of brushed ti.
Ti frames acquire patina and clean easily with WD40 and some wire wool.
and I don't have to worry (?) about paint rub or stone chips.
None of the frames have had any of problems I have heard about from other manufacturers.

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Chicken Legs
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Re: who rides Ti ?

Post by Chicken Legs » Wed Aug 12, 2020 9:56 pm

ton wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 9:21 pm
the bike i was thinking of was a Ti fargo. cant seem to find much info on them, and are rare as hens teeth.
a new one would seem the way to go, with the warrenty side of things just in case.
The Salsa Fargo Ti is only available in the UK as a frameset, the warranty states that the bike has to be built by a Salsa Approved Dealer for the warranty to be valid.

I haven't had to make a claim but looked into this before purchasing, having said all that I still bought the frameset and built the bike myself.
"What is man but the sum of his memories"

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Charliecres
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Re: who rides Ti ?

Post by Charliecres » Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:00 pm

I have a Pickenflick and my Ti Stooge (bought from here). Nothing magical about them but they are just nice.

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BigdummySteve
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Re: who rides Ti ?

Post by BigdummySteve » Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:11 am

Chicken Legs wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 9:56 pm
ton wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 9:21 pm
the bike i was thinking of was a Ti fargo. cant seem to find much info on them, and are rare as hens teeth.
a new one would seem the way to go, with the warrenty side of things just in case.
The Salsa Fargo Ti is only available in the UK as a frameset, the warranty states that the bike has to be built by a Salsa Approved Dealer for the warranty to be valid.

I haven't had to make a claim but looked into this before purchasing, having said all that I still bought the frameset and built the bike myself.
Pretty much my dream bike and the only thing I’d replace my steel Fargo with, but jeeez they are expensive :shock:
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Re: who rides Ti ?

Post by jameso » Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:18 am

been doing a fair bit of reading about Ti frames. cracking does seem common.
I think cracked Ti frames are more visible online rather than significantly more common in terms of failure rate. The owners are more likely to have bought a bike they see as a real premium or durable option and will be more dissappointed, understandably. Posting online to understand what went wrong or help with warranty understanding. Whereas steel bikes that fail after maybe 8 years are seen as fair value, they're cheaper to begin with and seen as lower-tech or less premium anyway.
TBH I would take a bet that Ti frames do crack at a higher % rate than steel frames but perhaps less compared to Al FS frames. And that the rate is still low, a few % rather than double figures. It's certainly not something that would put me off a Ti frame that had a 5 year warranty - if it's ok after 3-4 years of good use it's a good 'un that might give you 15+ years.

Some of that higher fail rate will be due to design rather than material. I would look out for known design errors in a Ti frame that work OK in other frames, eg the now-common dropped seat stay, even extended seat tubes can accelerate failures (I made that mistake on an early Genesis frame). It stresses the welds more on any frame. The classic 'hardcore' low TT + braced ST MTB design in Ti is something I would be wary of, or at least needs to be done with beefy tubes. One way to avoid design errors is buy something that's a v2 or V3 design, ie a Fargo. My Jones was modified from it's V1 Asia-Ti design for the same reasons.

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Re: who rides Ti ?

Post by slarge » Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:59 am

jameso wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:18 am
been doing a fair bit of reading about Ti frames. cracking does seem common.
I think cracked Ti frames are more visible online rather than significantly more common in terms of failure rate. The owners are more likely to have bought a bike they see as a real premium or durable option and will be more dissappointed, understandably. Posting online to understand what went wrong or help with warranty understanding. Whereas steel bikes that fail after maybe 8 years are seen as fair value, they're cheaper to begin with and seen as lower-tech or less premium anyway.
TBH I would take a bet that Ti frames do crack at a higher % rate than steel frames but perhaps less compared to Al FS frames. And that the rate is still low, a few % rather than double figures. It's certainly not something that would put me off a Ti frame that had a 5 year warranty - if it's ok after 3-4 years of good use it's a good 'un that might give you 15+ years.

Some of that higher fail rate will be due to design rather than material. I would look out for known design errors in a Ti frame that work OK in other frames, eg the now-common dropped seat stay, even extended seat tubes can accelerate failures (I made that mistake on an early Genesis frame). It stresses the welds more on any frame. The classic 'hardcore' low TT + braced ST MTB design in Ti is something I would be wary of, or at least needs to be done with beefy tubes. One way to avoid design errors is buy something that's a v2 or V3 design, ie a Fargo. My Jones was modified from it's V1 Asia-Ti design for the same reasons.
I know a lot of frame designers use CAD for drawing up their frames and working out angles etc etc, but is the use of stress analysis software common? It would seem a basic to me, and the behaviour of Ti is well understood so the software packages should be easily capable. On the (few) photos I see of cracked Ti frames they do seem to fail in predictable places. Are (some) frame designers designing a bike as a steel frame, then making it in Ti as a way of having a premium product, but not really doing their homework? Or is it genuinely a tricky proposition to design a frame that will not fail when the rider is not a given (weight, height, clumsiness, etc etc)?

chris n
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Re: who rides Ti ?

Post by chris n » Thu Aug 13, 2020 8:50 am

I would suspect that the price of decent FEA software puts it out of the reach of those who would be designing small batches of Ti frames.

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Re: who rides Ti ?

Post by chris n » Thu Aug 13, 2020 8:58 am

Anyway, I've got one Ti frame, designed by Brant at Pact to my specification and made by Waltly in China. I got it because I wanted a very specific design of frame that wasn't available off the peg and didn't want a painted finish that would wear out. It's great, but is now 4 years old and I'm waiting for the day it cracks.

I did have another production road ti frame that I think was made by XACD but can't comment on the longevity as it got pinched.

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ScotRoutes
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Re: who rides Ti ?

Post by ScotRoutes » Thu Aug 13, 2020 10:17 am

chris n wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 8:58 am
Anyway, I've got one Ti frame, designed by Brant at Pact to my specification and made by Waltly in China. I got it because I wanted a very specific design of frame that wasn't available off the peg and didn't want a painted finish that would wear out. It's great, but is now 4 years old and I'm waiting for the day it cracks.
One of mine is a Pact. I bought it when B+ was in its infancy and wanted to specify cable routing, bottle mounts and, of course, geometry and sizing. Yeah, it'll be 5 years old in November. Time flies...

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Alpinum
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Re: who rides Ti ?

Post by Alpinum » Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:45 am

ton wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 1:01 pm
do you ride Titanium ? and if you do could you give a reason.


i had a Raleigh Ti Max maybe 30 years ago, and the frame cracked. are they still prone to this?
as i have a longing for a nice Ti bike with wide tyre space.
Yes. On my second frame. Got a good deal for a fatbike frame, rode that for about 6 years, but never like the high amount of lateral flex of the whole frame, especially the rear triangle, but loved the finish and simplicity of the material.
I use my fatbikes only in snow and sand and since I live in Switzerland, it's basically only snow (except for rare holidays abroad). Crossing roads in winter, getting to/from train stations etc. the bike would see some salt . In 2 years I needed new BBs, since the bike practically never got washed, not even a quick rinse. So the BB would oxidise and literally fall apart. The thread on the frame still looked like new when cleaned before I sold it.
Titanium is abundant (one of the 10 most common elements in this planet's crust) and the other elements needed to get the wanted properties to build a frame from it are widely available too.

After my first frame (which by the way was a Muru, which too are produced by Waltly) I needed a very strong frame for an expedition and had one made by Waltly. My life relied on it. It didn't disappoint :wink:
Total weight of a bit beyond 150 kg, hard riding (yes, I did have a few airborne moments and pinch flats) and absolutely zero issue with it.
My Krampus (2018?) is very similar in size and whilst about 30 % heavier, it's far less stiff.
My Muru was a bit smaller than my current frame and 26 % lighter, despite the same material.

I'm happy to disprove what many said to me, when they learned what my expedition frame would be made of; that ti-frame are soft and it's not the right material for a stiff frame.
It's much more a question of design than material.

About cracking;
Concerning fatigue and durability, ti doesn't even closely fatigue like steel (alu being the worst frame material) does.
A lot can be explained by looking into Kepler's conjecture to understand where these differences of material characteristics come from. Suddenly it's logic why ti hardly fatigues.
Titanium is chemically inert and will never oxidise. Never. I'd love to change my Krampus (everyday bike and off road travel bike) for a ti frame and am just waiting for it to collapse.

Apply in process QC (especially for the tube fitting and welding), the right sized tubes and design and you get a frame that will survive hard riding for generations, without the weight of a regular steel frame.
I've cracked and broken many steel, alu frame and now also (but just one) carbon frame, some by fatigue (not the carbon one though :wink: ) but no ti frame sofar. Of course n=1, so hardly of any relevance.

Absolutely love mine. I feel much connected with it :X

Glass bead blasted finish.
1175 km in a large sand pit.
About 100 or 200 km in snow. always in use with shown straps.
This is the result:
Image
Image

Fat tyre kicker
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Re: who rides Ti ?

Post by Fat tyre kicker » Thu Aug 13, 2020 12:59 pm

I'd like one and have looked at custom options but my
Financial director would rule it out at the mo.....

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GregMay
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Re: who rides Ti ?

Post by GregMay » Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:55 pm

sean_iow wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 5:20 pm
I have the opposite problem with my ti salsa, the frame has a brushed/matt finish and the straps from my frame bag polish the ti. I've heard that non-stick scouring pads used lightly can be used to restore matt finish but I've not tried it.
Odd, that's one of the things I really like about my Ti Fargo! Similarly I like the areas on my M6 where the paint has been rubbed off to show the brass.
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Re: who rides Ti ?

Post by Moff » Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:32 pm

sean_iow wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 5:20 pm
Shewie wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:34 pm
Do the scratches from frame bags polish out? I nearly cried when I removed my bags off my new Broken Road after a week in the Gorms
I have the opposite problem with my ti salsa, the frame has a brushed/matt finish and the straps from my frame bag polish the ti. I've heard that non-stick scouring pads used lightly can be used to restore matt finish but I've not tried it.
If the finish is bead-blast (fine sandy texture), you’ll struggle to match the finish diy.

Brushed finish, the green domestic scotch brite pads tend to be a bit scratchy - white sponge backed ones are a bit too soft. Red 3M commercial ones are good - caveat I never had to refinish a frame, but have hand finished plenty on Ti and Stainless parts for posh marine equipment.

Polished finished, a soft mop on a drill and some tallow. Polishing compound may help if heavily scratched, but finish with tallow if you can.

In each case gently blend into the finish around.

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Re: who rides Ti ?

Post by jameso » Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:41 pm

Concerning fatigue and durability, ti doesn't even closely fatigue like steel
In terms of stress cycle curves and UTS starting points it does? Pretty close anyway. But it's the welds that cause most issues and that's a more complex area of fatigue, way beyond my knowledge and into QA processes as much as materials. (edit for excess use of anyway, anyway..)
I know a lot of frame designers use CAD for drawing up their frames and working out angles etc etc, but is the use of stress analysis software common? It would seem a basic to me, and the behaviour of Ti is well understood so the software packages should be easily capable.
Not as common as you might think perhaps, or not in the detail it can be done to if you're really good with FEA- I'm not, only the basics level and would rely on specific skilled people when that's needed, and most of the bikes I've worked on are not pushing the limits of low weight / extreme loading so this isn't an area I work on in detail.
There's a number of bikes out there that are made to a geometry sketch with the benefit of a factory's tube and construction experience, no more than that. That's where it becomes more about process and QA than FEA imo. FEA could account for join deficiencies though tbh I'd generally use basic FEA to say what the peak loads were, where they were located and how that compared to the UTS (er, edit - yield stress) as a guide to safety factor or vs ISO test loads. I'd simply not want those higher or peak loads to be at a weld or internal cable hole, avoid or divert the problem rather than need to solve it, though enough frames crack at those places to suggest that isn't checked or it's a weld process issue.
One benefit of steel tubes is that there's a far wider range of butted spec available and it's the standard in steel. Butting is good for moving stress away from the welded joins. Ti is most commonly used as plain-gauge tubing which loads the ends more since the centres don't flex any less.

Greg, agreed - my steel Jones got down to the metal from bag straps and I was quite proud of how used it was looking. Re-painted it to protect it in those areas. Ti is easier to look after for sure but black powder coat is easy to touch up with enamel paint. My Ti bike looks pretty smooth as I generally dry-brush the dirt off, it polishes it...
Last edited by jameso on Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Jurassic
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Re: who rides Ti ?

Post by Jurassic » Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:46 pm

GregMay wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:55 pm
sean_iow wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 5:20 pm
I have the opposite problem with my ti salsa, the frame has a brushed/matt finish and the straps from my frame bag polish the ti. I've heard that non-stick scouring pads used lightly can be used to restore matt finish but I've not tried it.
Odd, that's one of the things I really like about my Ti Fargo! Similarly I like the areas on my M6 where the paint has been rubbed off to show the brass.
I like the highly polished marks on mine as well (from a small frame bag I have tools. tubes etc in permanently on the bike) and can't see any reason to try removing them.

Jameso, fascinating insight from you (as ever). :-bd

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Re: who rides Ti ?

Post by jameso » Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:56 pm

^ thanks but it's just an 'imho/immo*'. *In my moderate experience. Don't forget the reason that 1 of the 3 Ti frames I've owned cracked is probably due to my design :oops: I thought I'd accounted for 'it' and it passed testing, but still...

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Jurassic
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Re: who rides Ti ?

Post by Jurassic » Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:08 pm

jameso wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:56 pm
^ thanks but it's just an 'imho/immo*'. *In my moderate experience. Don't forget the reason that 1 of the 3 Ti frames I've owned cracked is probably due to my design :oops: I thought I'd accounted for 'it' and it passed testing, but still...
Yeah but that's what makes the insight so much more fascinating, a peak into the real world of bike design and manufacture from an insider that most of us would never get (yeah I know Brant used to go on STW but I never liked the aggressive nature of that forum so missed out for the most part). Thanks anyway.

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Re: who rides Ti ?

Post by sean_iow » Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:10 pm

GregMay wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:55 pm
Odd, that's one of the things I really like about my Ti Fargo! Similarly I like the areas on my M6 where the paint has been rubbed off to show the brass.
'Problem' was provably a poor choice of word, just I meant mine ends up polished as opposed to scratched. One of the reasons I've not tried to restore the finish is that it doesn't detract from the performance, the polished bits around the straps tell the story of it's travels. Despite being the most expensive bike I own it gets the worst treatment* in terms of cleaning as being ti I don't need to worry about corrosion.

* I probably shouldn't say that as I know of at least two people who'd like to have my Selma and they might say I'm not worthy of keeping it and try confiscate it :lol:
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jameso
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Re: who rides Ti ?

Post by jameso » Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:11 pm

It's a shame Brant's not doing so much in bikes now or posting on there, was always interesting to read. He's seen a lot more Ti frames produced / producers than I have.

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Re: who rides Ti ?

Post by Moff » Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:36 pm

Titanium is a bit of a tricky material. It could be said that it is a notch sensitive material, whereby sharp geometry changes, so poorly finished mitre, a badly cut hole or an inclusion (impurity) in the material can cause stress concentrations that wouldn’t be seen in steel or Alu, which could propagate a crack.
So tube preparation and finish is very important prior to welding, mitre fits need to be much tighter than for steel.

Early Ti frames were welded inside an inert gas (argon) chamber to remove oxygen and the risk of oxide inclusions which can be the start point of a crack. It is now more likely that a frame is welded in a normal atmosphere, where the welder relies on back purging the frame (filling the tubes with argon), plus the gas hood from the welding torch to create the oxygen free weld. This is generally good but does have an increased risk. It was also argued at one point that female welders were best for Ti.

I suspect that ISO testing standards possibly haven’t don’t titanium frames any favours, as it appears that to pass the tests geometrically stiff junctions like beefed up head tube joints are required, then when combined with a relatively flexible tube possibly doesn’t help with stress distribution.

Most commercial 3D CAD systems now have imbedded FEA capability, but it tends to be limited in functionality and then is only as good as the user’s implementation of constrains and loads, and then interpretation of the results. Inventor has some clever weld calculation tools, but they run outside of the FEA environment.
Though it is more likely that smaller, especially custom builders will be using 2D CAD or something like BikeCAD to generate the geometry, tube cut lengths and mitre angles as it’s generally quicker than 3D model development.

Despite the ‘risks’ I’m considering a Walty to replace the El Mariachi (think I need a bit more top tube length) - need to find a new job first, then I can ‘reward’ myself!



P.S. happy to be corrected if I’ve anything wrong.

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Re: who rides Ti ?

Post by ScotRoutes » Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:57 pm

Moff wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:36 pm

Despite the ‘risks’ I’m considering a Walty to replace the El Mariachi (think I need a bit more top tube length) - need to find a new job first, then I can ‘reward’ myself!
I ordered my Burls after having a steel El Mariachi and then blanching at the cost of a Ti one. It was very heavily based on the El Mar geometry, with just a few tweaks. I subsequently sold it to Dave Barter when I wanted to go B+ and the Burls wouldn't handle the tyre width.

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Re: who rides Ti ?

Post by jameso » Thu Aug 13, 2020 4:08 pm

^ true on the weld process, though afaik even the best custom builders (Eriksen, Potts etc) use the back purging methods and have a very solid rep for durable frames. They have less time pressure than a mass-producer.
I suspect that ISO testing standards possibly haven’t don’t titanium frames any favours, as it appears that to pass the tests geometrically stiff junctions like beefed up head tube joints are required, then when combined with a relatively flexible tube possibly doesn’t help with stress distribution.
They don't help steel either - the loads are higher to make the tests shorter (and 50 or 100,000 cycles at ~3hz still takes a while). That means the test stress/cycle ratio might be extrapolated back for Al frames yet the stress can be above normal riding loads for many frames and it's not representative of riding conditions. Stresses at that level can fatigue what I'd call a safe steel or Ti frame 'unfairly' (to use a very non-engineering term).
I remember testing some frames where the CrMo version failed, the Al version passed - the geometry were same and ride feel similar and the Al frame was the one we saw a few warranties on. None on the CrMo (which was arguably overbuilt, but was also built in a way that was more likely to pass ISO ie stiff).
This is where a custom builder can make a more suitable frame now for some rider's needs than a brand can. ie my recent lugged steel frame would be unlikely to pass ISO tests for a road bike. Which is silly really as there's been many more miles logged on skinny lugged steel bikes than anything post-ISO.

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Jurassic pusher
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Re: who rides Ti ?

Post by Jurassic pusher » Thu Aug 13, 2020 4:28 pm

Get a Moots or Bingham, lifetime warranty, May need a word with the Mrs First though!!
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Re: who rides Ti ?

Post by pistonbroke » Thu Aug 13, 2020 4:49 pm

Lifetime warranty on Van Nicholas as well, I'm on my 3rd frame due to cracks on the top tube and downtube propogated by welds. Glad I kept the receipt! Trouble with warranty replacements is that "standards" are changing so fast that many significant parts have to be renewed as well. I needed new forks and seatpost. Thankfully it was a Rohloff specific frame or I'd have probably been looking at wheels as well.
My Litespeed is 13 years old, welded in Tennessee rather than Taiwan and still going strong.

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In Reverse
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Re: who rides Ti ?

Post by In Reverse » Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:05 pm

Just getting to 11,000km on a Titus Fireline frame and still going great. It's lovely to ride and has taken an absolute pounding from an unsubtle 15 stone rider.

Going to replace it as my main mile-muncher with a custom Travers Ti frame at some point this year I think.

Titanium. :-bd

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