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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have learned that Ti will be a much more pleasant ride than my current Al bike, but is there a difference in the ride quality of 6/4 vs 3/2 Titanium? I will be doing a lot of long distance riding and I want the efficiency and performance of a very high end Ti frame but I'm affraid the 6/4 will be too harsh. Any thoughts?
 

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phatboy said:
I have learned that Ti will be a much more pleasant ride than my current Al bike, but is there a difference in the ride quality of 6/4 vs 3/2 Titanium? I will be doing a lot of long distance riding and I want the efficiency and performance of a very high end Ti frame but I'm affraid the 6/4 will be too harsh. Any thoughts?
I think that your comfort over a long distance will have a great deal more to do with your fit on the new bike, the geometry of the bike, and the choice of tires and pressure--get the design nailed and the material should be of secondary importance. I've had 3/2.5 and I have a 6/4 (plus cf) frame now and the 6/4 is plenty smooth, but I attribute that to the design of the bike and its suitability to my needs more than anything else.
 

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What djg said. Aside from fit, the things most affecting comfort are tire inflation pressure and tire inflation pressure. 6/4 Ti will empty your wallet more. FWIW, Moots tends to push people toward their 3/2.5 Ti frames instead of the 6/4 frames, just because it saves the customer money. Moots offers 6/4 Ti because it can make a lighter bike. That's it.
 

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phatboy said:
I have learned that Ti will be a much more pleasant ride than my current Al bike, but is there a difference in the ride quality of 6/4 vs 3/2 Titanium? I will be doing a lot of long distance riding and I want the efficiency and performance of a very high end Ti frame but I'm affraid the 6/4 will be too harsh. Any thoughts?
All else being equal, the difference in alloy itself won't make a significant difference -- the two alloys are very similar in their modulus of elasticity (stiffness), at least when compared to other materials like aluminum and steel.

Of course, since 6/4 is a bit stronger, this allows manufacturers to do things like reduce the tubing wall thickness to reduce weight. With equal tubing diameter, a 6/4 frame with thinner-walled tubing will be slightly more compliant than a 3/2 frame with thicker tubing.

But there's another approach that can be taken. The increased strength of 6/4 also allows you keep weight constant, increase the diameter of the tubing, and make the walls thinner. The increase in diameter will have a much greater effect on stiffness than the thinning of the walls, so this will result in a bike that is less compliant.

So the short answer is that your question can't be answered without knowing some of the other parameters involved.

There are some smart people out there that have pointed out that tire flexibily is hundreds of times greater than frame flexibility, so the frame should make no noticeable difference. Then again, my experience riding an old Cannondale suggests otherwise, so this just goes to show that lots of theorizing might not give an answer; you might have to try it out yourself. There may be a difference, but I wouldn't expect a huge one changing from your current aluminum frame to titanium -- except possibly for a psychosomatic one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks. When I make a decision I will certainly do my best to tune an entire system to fit well, but I'm really interested in the inherent ride properties of the two materials compared to each other. In other words,.. (theoretically), if I take two identical bikes that fit perfectly with identical components, how will they compare to each other? If you don't mind me asking what 6/4 bike do you have and why does it suit you so well?
 

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Difference

phatboy said:
(theoretically), if I take two identical bikes that fit perfectly with identical components, how will they compare to each other?
Short answer: the 6/4 bike will be more resistent to tube dents because it is higher tensile strength. That said, you ask a false question, because anyone who choses to build with 6/4 does it to take advantage of that higher strength and therefore will not build that identical bike. As others have said, the primary reason to build with 6/4 is because you an build a lighter bike. More expensive, harder to manufacture, but lighter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
so, if I understand correctly....

lower tinsel strengths of 3/2 will cause it to be heavier, less efficient, but more plush riding, and 6/4 will be lighter, stiffer, more efficent, and more expensive. Do I have it right? Thanks for everyones help.
 

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phatboy said:
Thanks. When I make a decision I will certainly do my best to tune an entire system to fit well, but I'm really interested in the inherent ride properties of the two materials compared to each other. In other words,.. (theoretically), if I take two identical bikes that fit perfectly with identical components, how will they compare to each other? If you don't mind me asking what 6/4 bike do you have and why does it suit you so well?
I have a Colnago CT1--they don't make it anymore, actually. The main triangle is 6/4, and the rear triangle is carbon. I like the geometry of the bike quite a bit, and would like it on other material Colnagos. What I like about this particular bike, is that, for me, it's extremely smooth, while still providing the responsiveness of a race bike that I like. Plus it fits. Plus it has some orange on it. The thing is, I've owned another ti bike and have ridden more, and I'm really not all that confident that it's the alloy, in particular, that gets the bike to do what I want. The reynolds web site says that their 6/4 is a little bit stiffer, as well as a bit stronger, and as a post above pointed out, one might use that difference to do different things (or nothing). In this case, I think that a good builder could get either alloy to do what you want.
 

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phatboy said:
lower tinsel strengths of 3/2 will cause it to be heavier, less efficient, but more plush riding, and 6/4 will be lighter, stiffer, more efficent, and more expensive. Do I have it right? Thanks for everyones help.
Nope. You keep missing it. The material differences are so minor that you can't feel a difference in material, only a difference in design. Let me put it in perspective for you:
“The campaign to sell light weight relies heavily on the misleading practice of comparing frame weights and converting the difference to a percentage—this frame is 30 percent lighter than that one, and so on. Consider: A 2.8-pound carbon fiber frame is 35 percent lighter than a 4.25-pound steel frame. That 35 percent sounds like a lot, but you can’t ride a frame. Add 17 pounds of parts to each frame to make them bikes, and now the difference (21.25lb vs. 19.8lb) shrinks to 7 percent. But what’s a bike without a rider? Add a 170 lb rider, and now the difference (191.25lb vs. 189.8 pounds) is just three quarters of one percent—and you give up longevity to get it.”

Rivendell Bicycle Works

see, the weight difference which is minor to begin with will be imperceptable as a complete bike with rider. And contrary to what people think, a diamond frame is not vertically compliant, and whatever torsional compliance it has does not take anything away from forward momentum on the bike. And there would be barely perceptible differences between two bikes made from those two alloys as far as weght and flexibility.The strength difference between them is not that great to begin with. And titanium, my friend, is more flexible than steel.
 

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phatboy said:
lower tinsel strengths of 3/2 will cause it to be heavier, less efficient, but more plush riding, and 6/4 will be lighter, stiffer, more efficent, and more expensive. Do I have it right? Thanks for everyones help.
Someone else already chimed in with a "no," but to pile on, no. Individual materials have individual characteristics. It's the job of a designer or builder to create, in this case, a frame that works as it's designed while availing itself of the material characteristics without suffering problems resulting from material characteristics. Put in even simpler terms, the material doesn't matter. What matters is the design, the construction....and so on. All bike materials--Al, steel, Ti, Mg, CF, and UF6--can be used to make frames that are noodly, stiff, or whatever superlative you want to use.

Ride whatever pleases your senses and your assometer.
 

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I have two titanium bikes. One is 6.4 and the other 3.25 which the 3.25 has the most compliant ride of the two although it has nothing to do with the material. Tha tube size and shape is what make the 6.4 bike 1/3 of a pound less in weight and stiffer.
 
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