Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to get fitted this evening for a frame. I've been biking for 16 years and I'm now 50 years old, 135lbs at almost 5'6". I'm presently riding a Alu/Carbon bike (last 7 years) and I'm just getting beaten up on the roads we have here in Quebec... It's equipped with Ultegra 9-speed, (7 years-old) and new Easton EA90 SLX wheels. It weighs around 18 pounds as is.

I'm sure steel and Ti are both more comfortable, but I know it's not full-suspension comfortable!!! So, can someone tell me, realistically, what difference I would be able to feel between steel and Ti frames. The only carbon would be the fork. Seat and chainstays will be steel or Ti.

Weight-wise, are we talking about a few ounces or a few pounds difference? It ain't the Rockies around my place, but the Laurentians have some nice challenges, and I love to climb.

The builder is Marinoni. The steel would be Columbus Spirit. The Ti would be 3/2.5.

I'll be putting RED shifters, Ultegra crankset (unless something else makes sense, weight AND money-wise) and my Easton EA90 SLX wheels. As long as I stay in the 17-pounds range, I'll be happy!!!

I am REALLY looking forward to your input.

Thanks in advance,

Johnnydrz
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
You will get many opinions on this issue -- here is mine.

Both Steel and Titanium can have "supple" ride properties if made well. Generally, steel will be a bit heavier and a bit cheaper than the same frame made from titanium (but there are always exceptions).

I rode an old aluminum frame and when I got my titanium frame I was at first disappointed that it wasn't an immediately noticable change in ride. What I came to discover is that the ride quality of titanium (and similarly for steel) is somewhat subtle. It was two hours after my ride that I realized that my back didn't ache or that my wrists and shoulders weren't still quivering from the vibration. Not all of these changes were solely attributable to the frame, all the components played a part. But at least some of it is due to the frame.

Since you live in Quebec I would offer one minor thought. Though steel can easily and succesfully be cared for and treated with frame saver, if you plan to ride during the winter months, and if Quebec puts salt and chemical to melt snow and ice like they do in the northern parts of the US, AND most importantly if you are like me and you just didn't want to have to worry about rust to any degree -- titanium might have an advantage there.

Steel riders will say that is overblown, and they have a point, but I also know I don't always have time to wash the salt off my bike in a timely manner and with TI I don't worry about it.
 

·
Yo no fui.
Joined
·
8,486 Posts
Would they both be aesthetically the same? That's often a big factor in people buying new frames when they don't technically need one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
I guess I wouldn't focus on the frame material as much as getting a bike that will fit you and your need for the years to come. I wouldn't completely chuck carbon out of the mix either full carbon or Ti or Steel with Carbon tubes. You want to make sure you get a frame with the perfect geometry for your riding style and position.

I think you are going after the best alternative that may be more costly however I doubt you will regret is to get a custom build with exactly what you want. You may also want to investigate other builders and their strengths.
 

·
eminence grease
Joined
·
18,559 Posts
Last bike? Why would you want to paint yourself into that corner? :D

But if that's your goal, I'd say titanium. Both materials will give you a wonderful bike, Marinoni has a great reputation and I am sure they know what they're doing when they are building with either tubeset.

Ti is just a bit more resiliant, left sitting out in the Quebecois snow it will last you 1000 years where a modern steel is good for perhaps no more than 100-300.

Both will work, pick the one you like the looks of and with the price tag you're willing to bear.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,191 Posts
johnnydrz said:
Looks is honestly not my #1 priority. Performance and value are. Natural Ti is not a problem. If I go steel, hmmm.... I don't even know yet !!!

Johnnydrz
If this is gonna be your "last bike," then looks should certainly be considered...

The big question is, what does your gut tell you? if you get steel, are you always gonna have that nagging doubt- "maybe I shoulda gone with Ti..."

If you go with Ti, are you gonna kick yourself for not having the kind of ride that only steel can provide?

If this is gonna be your last bike, treat it like a last meal. Get exactly what you want, so that there's no doubt in your mind that you'll never want to replace this frame... At least for a couple years, until yer fancy turns to something else. I say this as someone who's given up on "last bikes."
 

·
i like whiskey
Joined
·
8,493 Posts
johnnydrz said:
They could build me Ti or steel bike with carbon chain and seatstays. It looks nice, but is there an advantage? Will it last as long? Is it as "repairable"? Is there a weight penalty?

Johnnydrz
If it was me I'd get the entire frame made from the same material if for nothing more than aesthetic reasons. Having a custom built frame with a carbon rear triangle seems silly and unnecessary. I'd also say it will become dated a lot quicker than you expect. The frame will be fantastic with either material. That's what custom is for. To get the ride quality exactly like you want it.

There could be a slight weight penalty with steel, but it will be unnoticeable when you ride it. A Merckx MX Leader is widely considered the best production steel frame ever made. It's hardly "light" but it rides like an absolute dream.

Since this is your "last bike", get whatever one is most pleasing to your eye. Either material will produce a fine frame that will ride great. If you go ti, you don't have to keep it bare either. Ti paints up very nicely. There have been a few ti Strongs posted lately that have been painted and they are awesome.

I'd go steel. Save a little cash and get a really nice wheelset hand built.
 

·
eminence grease
Joined
·
18,559 Posts
johnnydrz said:
They could build me Ti or steel bike with carbon chain and seatstays. It looks nice, but is there an advantage? Will it last as long? Is it as "repairable"? Is there a weight penalty?

Johnnydrz
No advantage except to them - they collect more money from you.

I would more than likely last as long, it would be repairable and it might weigh more for the ti version.

But it's a waste of money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
302 Posts
Ti or Steel would be a wash. Ti will be more $$$ then the steel and yes there is that dreadful winter. Most of the other poster have no idea what a winter in the Laurentians can look like... A fellow Quebecer here (Southshore), and some days, you wonder if a snowmobile might be a better idea.

That said, I would stick with one material frame. Like others have said, it doesn't give you anything except for a bigger price tag. TB I believe has exact same bikes with and without the carbon stays and more bikes than most people have fingers and toes... I would heed his advice!

One thing you should try (if you have not already), is to go with wider tires and bit less pressure. I use Michelin Krylion Carbon in 25mm (measure about 27mm) and boy-oh-boy does it make a difference. I used to run 100F/110R, but now am around 85/90. I am a lightweight tho. The combination of larger tires and lower pressure makes a world of a difference in "comfort" on our very, very crappy roads. The only thing you have to make sure is that you get enough clearance for the Carbon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi ColdRider, nice to hear from a "local" !!!

Speaking of tires....I now have about 250km on a set of Tubeless Fusion 2 with Stan's on my Easton wheels. I weigh 135 (now...) and I'm riding with 85lbs of pressure. From the shape of the tire when I'm sitting on the bike, I could probably go with 80lbs without ANY problem. I can't say that they have been more comfortable so far, but I certainly have the impression that they really stick when I go around a corner...

Thanks for the info,

Johnnydrz
 

·
Batteries not required
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
Last bike? Right!

I've been buying "last bikes" for 20 years. It's how I justify spending even more money than I did on the previous "last bike". Get the one that you REALLY want with no compromises!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That's the plan BunnV !!!! The bike I want has to be comfortable, not twitchy (I guess that would be a "stage" bike and not a "crit" bike), fairly light (between 16 and 18lbs) and most of all FUN TO RIDE !!!

Johnnydrz
 

·
chamois creme addict
Joined
·
1,479 Posts
Marinoni experience

johnnydrz said:
The builder is Marinoni. The steel would be Columbus Spirit. The Ti would be 3/2.5.
I am out here in Lotusland (Greater Vancouver) but I grew up in Edmonton and did lots of riding/racing in Alberta so I know a thing or two about bad roads. I have owned quite a few Marinoni frames in both steel and aluminum over the years. Right now I only have one Marinoni built in my "stable" - my current winter bike is a lugged EL/OS from 1995 that has full fenders/flaps and I probably have ridden it well over 50,000 km as it was a race bike, a training bike, now a winter bike. I do not think you can go wrong with either Columbus Spirit or the Reynolds Ti for material choice, it just comes down to money. Another poster suggests Ti to battle the salty roads and that is a valid concern. Eastern Canada must use more road salt than anywhere in the world!

If you are going with Marinoni as your builder, I can offer a couple of suggestions. Number one, they like to generally use short-ish chainstays (41 cm or less). If you want a slightly better ride, spec the chainstay length at 41-41.5 cm. The trade-off is that the bike will not feel quite as snappy on out of the saddle climbing. Also, pay attention to the fork rake and head tube angle. Marinoni likes to use Columbus forks and they are 45 mm rake. On a bike for your size I would expect the head tube angle is 72.5 or slacker. Reynolds makes a 50 mm rake fork, you could use that instead with a 72 head tube angle and get reasonably quick steering and a longer wheelbase.

Don't bother with the carbon rear stays regardless of material choice. It will just make the bike heavier and the only advantage is that the rear triangle could be replaced in the event of crash damage but if you are not racing the bike then that worry is greatly reduced. Also, and this is just my personal choice here, but I really do not like the "new" Marinoni decals/logos from 2007 onwards. I am pretty sure you can still get a custom frame painted using the older Marinoni logos, I would go for a nice retro panel scheme with the older decals/logos. I will also suggest Campy componentry in my personal bias category.

Have fun. And never, ever say "last bike" :thumbsup:
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top