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A friend is very light, 110 lbs. I love the ride of Ti, I'm 214 lbs, so I recommended her to test ride a Ti bike before she purchases a new bike. She went to two different bike shops that sell Ti (Serotta and Titus at one, Litespeed at the other), they also sell Al and Carbon. Both bike shop owners told her she would be better off on carbon at her weight. You don't get the advantages of the Ti ride unless you are a heavier person. For a light person, carbon will give a better ride. What's the story behind this?
 

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lawrence said:
A friend is very light, 110 lbs. I love the ride of Ti, I'm 214 lbs, so I recommended her to test ride a Ti bike before she purchases a new bike. She went to two different bike shops that sell Ti (Serotta and Titus at one, Litespeed at the other), they also sell Al and Carbon. Both bike shop owners told her she would be better off on carbon at her weight. You don't get the advantages of the Ti ride unless you are a heavier person. For a light person, carbon will give a better ride. What's the story behind this?
In part BS, in part fact.

The BS part is that Ti can be built to suit a light rider wonderfully. It just so happens that it's not so much built that way these days. To make it really sweet for a light rider, it would either be so thin gauged as to be too easily dented, or made from a smaller diameter tubing than is easily available today.

That leads to the 'fact' part. Since carbon is today's 'it' material, it's available in a wider range of tubesets for the common builders, so a rider out on the ends of the spectrum has a better shot of seeing their desires met.

There are custom makers with enough control over the process to make a good Ti bike with truly custom tubesets. Not common, though.

If the geo is right and you can find one, she might try a Ghisallo. They're seldom accused of being either heavy or stiff.
 

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Bs

Apparently those shops have a higher profit margin built into the price of their carbon bikes, so that's what she should buy.

I'll guess that if a 220-pound rider goes in and asks the same questions, they'll say they should buy carbon because the ti frames would be too flexy.

I'd suggest finding a different shop.
 

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Maybe Weight Matters

I read a couple of years back that Magnus Backsted was breaking BBs out of his team issue carbon Bianchi. Bianchi built him a one off frame from ti. He said it was too buzzy so, they built him a one off aluminum and he loved it. Trained on it, raced on it. Go figure.


In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is. -- Yogi Berra
 

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Mayday said:
Apparently those shops have a higher profit margin built into the price of their carbon bikes, so that's what she should buy.

I'll guess that if a 220-pound rider goes in and asks the same questions, they'll say they should buy carbon because the ti frames would be too flexy.

I'd suggest finding a different shop.
What was said was total bs, but it has nothing to do with the profit margins that the bike shop has. The margins on a high end titanium frame are the same as a high end carbon or high end aluminum frame, Titanium frames don't have a very sweet profit margin for the manufacturer though.
 

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A 110lb rider doesn't need a stiff bike, but bike weight is important. Chances are that a good carbon frame will be lighter. But there are some light Ti frames too.

She should ride both (if possible) and decide for herself. Me, I wouldn't get a Ti frame, I like the ride of carbon better.
 

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For someone as light as your friend, she really needs a custom build to get the perfect ride from any material. I would recommend she talk to a Seven dealer (or directly to Seven) as they know Ti about as well or better than anybody.

As far as Ti for heavier riders...I'm 215lbs and have found every Ti frame I've ever test rode to be too flexy (but I haven't test rode a REALLY nice one)...and I'm a steel guy.
 

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thats weird I weigh 260 and my catalist litespeed is stiffer than sh..... well lets just say its really stiff. I have steel and aluminum also. but there is just something about the way that bike feels and rides. nope its not the lightest, but then at 260, neither am I.
 

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The two Ti road bikes I have taken long test rides on were the Sandvik made Mongoose (circa 2000) and the base Litespeed (Natchez?) painted frame from 1996. Both seemed to have more BB flex than the steel bikes I've owned (except a 1986 Bertoni with Columbus SL).

But like I mentioned above, I haven't given a true test ride to a really nice Ti frame. I was once a bicycle mechanic (8 years) and I worked on many high end Ti bikes (Litespeed, IF, Seven) but probably would have gotten fired if I took a customers bike out for a 30 mile test ride.
 

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Sounds like BS

I weigh 130 and have a C40, Merckx EX Ti and a Lemond Team Saturn Ti. No such thing as too light. I also owned a Vortex for 7 years, finally selling it after about 35,000 miles. Finding a bike that fits is the more important thing. While the relative bike weight is more significant the lighter you weigh, for me it's a toss up between carbon and Ti.

lawrence said:
A friend is very light, 110 lbs. I love the ride of Ti, I'm 214 lbs, so I recommended her to test ride a Ti bike before she purchases a new bike. She went to two different bike shops that sell Ti (Serotta and Titus at one, Litespeed at the other), they also sell Al and Carbon. Both bike shop owners told her she would be better off on carbon at her weight. You don't get the advantages of the Ti ride unless you are a heavier person. For a light person, carbon will give a better ride. What's the story behind this?
 
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