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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was really looking into getting a ti frame/bike, but a salesperson (good at talking) is selling me onto carbon. My experience with carbon is from a bike I had 8 years ago. It seemed harsh to me. I came from a steel Colnago as my reference.

Is the newer carbon of, say the 2009 Specialized Roubaix, really that more plush or as plush as ti?
 

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Nothing much has changed in 8 years. Some carbon bikes feel plush, others unforgiving. Since that feel is a personal perception, all you can do is do some carbon test rides and see how the bikes compare to your Colnago and your carbon experience from 8 years ago. No idea about Ti bikes—never had one and didn't know they were considered "plush."

On a strictly personal note: all the bikes I ever owned felt harsh to me. My butt hurt, my hands ached and my legs were in serious pain—I love it. If I want "plush," I get on my LazyBoy and pull the recline lever sharply upwards. :D
 

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wim said:
On a strictly personal note: all the bikes I ever owned felt harsh to me. My butt hurt, my hands ached and my legs were in serious pain—I love it. If I want "plush," I get on my LazyBoy and pull the recline lever sharply upwards. :D
You should get one that is more vertically compliant. :D
 

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wim said:
You mean one that has this PlushRide® certification sticker on it? Gotta love Photoshop. :D
Damn. that is pretty good.
 

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It's all in the design. Either is possible - and honestly, from most any material. There is jackhammer-harsh Ti, too. Try 'em out. You butt won't lie.


That said, +/-5 lbs of pressure in the tires makes more difference than the entire span of what's possible from frame design.
 

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Sounds like you had the right idea to start with and the salesperson was trying to sell you the wrong bike. Granted the Roubaix is much more forgiving than a Tarmac...but it's still way stiff. If you're looking for comfort, steel or ti would be what I would go for. Plus for the cost of the Roubaix you can get a custom ti or super deluxe steel. Lasts forever, perfect fit, can have the builder tune the frame for your riding, way cooler. You'll lose out on some weight and some stiffness.
My vote for the Ti would be Ericksen, Moots, Lynskey, Strong or DeSalvo.
 

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Why don't you ride a high end Roubaix, then ride a Ti bike and see how it feels to you. No need to rely on other people's biased opinions.

If you want my biased opinion I think the Roubaix is very plush in the right dimensions and a lot of engineering has gone into dampening road buzz etc. on the bike. I don't think you'll be disappointed. A lot of people around here seem to think that unless your riding a custom steel or Ti bike you've been had by the 'new fangled' technology. Just not true.
 

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I think if your one and only goal is plush then a good Ti bike is probably the way to go. I ride carbon and wouldnt even think of trading it straight up for a Ti bike but hey thats me. Follow the advice above, ride em both then make your decision. The guy above who says you can get a perfect Ti bike that will last forever and answer all your dreams for the price of a roubaix? Come on, they just giving Ti away nowadays?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
All great replies boys. I especially like the one about the recliner Lazy Boy. Good one, eh.

The Roubaix Comp I'm looking at seems a good value for what it is. The latest generation of carbon, 105 all around, lifetime frame warranty, priced at $1700 out the door from my LBS. Not bad.

New ti bikes are out of my price range, at least over $2k starting with lesser components.

Of course, riding them and getting a by-the-ass feel for comparison is the only way to go. I really am looking for comfort over performance. Price and comfort are my two goals.
 

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Don't get caught up in the frame material game. A competent frame builder/designer can make ANY material into a bike that is stiff or compliant. As others have said, tire pressure will always have a greater influence on the bikes ride than the frame or any other component. I've got a 1984 Cannondale R400 that is universally considered a bone shaker frame. I run 25c tires at 95psi and it rides just fine. I bought a 1989 Schwinn Circuit (Columbus SLX tubing) in pristine shape and it had the original 20c tires with a stiff nylon casing (still in super shape). It rode like a straight axle truck with no suspension. Put on 25c tires at 95psi and it rides very comfortably.

Tires can be a miracle worker when it comes to ride. Don't base your bicycle selection on frame material. Worry about much more important things, like color. Everyone knows that red is faster and white rides like you're on cloud nine. :D
 

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gh1 said:
I think if your one and only goal is plush then a good Ti bike is probably the way to go. I ride carbon and wouldnt even think of trading it straight up for a Ti bike but hey thats me. Follow the advice above, ride em both then make your decision. The guy above who says you can get a perfect Ti bike that will last forever and answer all your dreams for the price of a roubaix? Come on, they just giving Ti away nowadays?

Roubaix SL Frame = $2900
Roubaix Pro is $1900
It's not that Ti has come down, it's that CF is that expensive. Moots, Strong, Ericksens all run in the 2K range depending on tubes, paint etc. DeSalvo make fully custom frames starting lower around the $1800 range. Lynskeys can run anywhere from 1800 into the 5Ks.
I've got 2 carbon bikes and would have a hard time parting with either. But I also got one free and the other on a team discount. If it was my 2k and I was not racing (or getting a training bike) I'd get something I would not have to worry about. You would not believe the all stupid things that can break a carbon bike. One team-mates bike tipped over at a porta john while he was taking a wizz, and fell on the ground. Top tube was cracked when he picked it up.
This is assuming you're going for the super disco stuff. If you're going to go lower down the line, then the prices will be very different. I think Specialized has done a very good job at bringing the quality and ride of the top line bikes into the lower ranks....but the general observation is that cheap CF bikes ride like [email protected]
 

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I personally think that it is what you get used to or what you grew up with that will always be your preferred frame material. Either that or it could be that there is an entire generation that has never ridden a steel frame. Maybe it is a little bit of both. I grew up on steel and would have stayed steel except for tiring of chipped/scratched paint. Now I ride bare titanium with carbon fork/seat stays and love it. Serotta Legend SE with ST is my current and only ride unless the frame breaks in which case I might investigate other materials. Painted steel bikes are beautiful but I bare ti is easier to keep looking good.
 

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Mel Erickson said:
Don't base your bicycle selection on frame material. Worry about much more important things, like color. Everyone knows that red is faster and white rides like you're on cloud nine.
Great quote.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah, I'm really wanting to stick with my original choice of ti. It rides plush, smooth that is, won't rust like my old Colnago did (I loved that bike til it rusted), and won't have sudden-weakness-I-might-break syndrome from a deep gouge or scratch that will render it dangerous for failure.

But OUCH the price of freedom...for ti that is.
 

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probably the best buy right now is a good used ti bike. With the durability of ti, buying used isn't much of a risk, assuming it is in good shape. And with carbon being the "in" material, ti is a bargain on sites like ebay. I just bought a lemond ti frame in VGC with carbon fork on the bay for $350. You can buy a nice litespeed or similar with a good group like Ultegra for $1000- $1500, sometimes less.
 

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thoughts...

myitch said:
I was really looking into getting a ti frame/bike, but a salesperson (good at talking) is selling me onto carbon. My experience with carbon is from a bike I had 8 years ago. It seemed harsh to me. I came from a steel Colnago as my reference.

Is the newer carbon of, say the 2009 Specialized Roubaix, really that more plush or as plush as ti?
One of the most brutal frames I ever owned was Ti, a 1998 Litespeed Ultimate. The only one that was worse was a '92 C'dale 2.8 aluminum.

Don't think that material alone makes a bike plush or harsh. If you want to know how a Roubaix feels, go test ride one. Even then, you have to know that the tire pressure is not set too high or low and of course saddles are all different. A plush saddle can make a huge difference in the feel, compared to some other bike with a barely padded 135 gram saddle.
 
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