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Discussion Starter #1
Have anyone noticed the absence of titanium bikes in the Trade Team One pelotons ? Any thoughts? The last time I have seen Ti bikes in TDF was 2002.
 

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Ti....

Lotto used to ride Litespeeds right? Like just a few years ago? Any idea what model they rode? I saw a pic of McEwen on a Litespeed.
 

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They rode Vortex's and a few of the riders were on the Ultimate. There are US teams riding Titanium though. Chris Horners team is riding the Ti Lemonds.
 

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Would a Ti frame be competitive as the stiff aluminum & carbon bikes that are being used these days?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Kerry Irons said:
At this point, no Ti maker is paying riders to use their bike. Simple as that.
Willier has Galibier Titanio, Opera has Palladio and Merckx has Majestic Ti. The Merckx maybe a little heavy to race in TT1, but the Galibier and Palladio can no way be described as heavyweight. Thoughts?
 

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gogogomoveit said:
Have anyone noticed the absence of titanium bikes in the Trade Team One pelotons ? Any thoughts? The last time I have seen Ti bikes in TDF was 2002.
Alessio-Bianchi rode, and won, Paris-Roubaix on Ti bikes. Last I knew, Tafi was still riding his.

TF
 

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Not their top line...

gogogomoveit said:
Willier has Galibier Titanio, Opera has Palladio and Merckx has Majestic Ti. The Merckx maybe a little heavy to race in TT1, but the Galibier and Palladio can no way be described as heavyweight. Thoughts?
I'm not sure about Willier, but for Opera and Merckx their ti frames are not their most expensive. If they are paying a team to market for them, it's gonna be the priciest bike. They want the riders who have to buy their own bikes to buy the most expensive model. You don't see Trek putting Postal on anything but the latest, most expensive carbon frame.

I also heard that this is the last year for the Majestic. Sad, I love mine even if Lotto is riding alu Merckx bikes.
 

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money - uhhhhhh

TNSquared said:
You don't see Trek putting Postal on anything but the latest, most expensive carbon frame..
This is true. Trek's marketing scheme is to raise the price of their top end ride. They're quite proud of raising the price of bikes app. 5k in the last 6 years.
 

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Not the most expensive to buy, but the most expensive to build

TNSquared said:
I'm not sure about Willier, but for Opera and Merckx their ti frames are not their most expensive. If they are paying a team to market for them, it's gonna be the priciest bike. They want the riders who have to buy their own bikes to buy the most expensive model. You don't see Trek putting Postal on anything but the latest, most expensive carbon frame.

I also heard that this is the last year for the Majestic. Sad, I love mine even if Lotto is riding alu Merckx bikes.
If I'm paying millions of dollars to sposor a trade team, and I get to pick what bikes they get, they're gonna get the ones I can make cheapest and sell for the most money. The entire production cost of an aluminum frame with a glue-in carbon rear end, including labor, is probably about the same as the cost of a top-end titanium tubeset. Not to mention, titanium's huge durability advantages over aluminum don't matter on a bike that's going to be ridden for a year, and then sold.

Titanium doesn't really make sense for a pro race bike, at least not from the bike sponsor's perspective. And the riders will ride what they're given, cuz that's their job.

--Shannon
 

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TurboTurtle said:
Alessio-Bianchi rode, and won, Paris-Roubaix on Ti bikes. Last I knew, Tafi was still riding his.

TF
Magnus Bäckstedt (Paris-Roubaix winner) rides a Ti-frame because he weight over 90 kg.
 

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... one other thing to keep in mind...

... while there may be no Div I teams officially riding frames from a Ti builder, you can't discount an odd rebadge...

While I don't think it's likely, Ti has found itself into the peloton as a relabled/rebadged frame representing the team's sponsor...

I'm a bit male Eurocentric with respect to pro racing... I wonder what's being raced in other parts of the world (Asia) or with female riders?
 

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Just because pros ride them doesn't make them good

The Giants, Cannondales and Treks of the world sell tons of bikes so they want people to see pros riding them. It doesn't mean they're necessarily great bikes (if you own one of these bikes, please don't attack me). Its all marketing. Titanium bikes cost a lot to make in comparison to aluminium bikes, or the carbon ones that Trek stamps out by the thousands.

I did a tour with Andy Hampsten's group in Italy a few years ago. He mentioned once that the bikes many of us were riding were nicer than what the pros ride. At the time, he was riding a Moots titanium bike.
 

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More factors to consider

tube_ee said:
If I'm paying millions of dollars to sposor a trade team, and I get to pick what bikes they get, they're gonna get the ones I can make cheapest and sell for the most money. The entire production cost of an aluminum frame with a glue-in carbon rear end, including labor, is probably about the same as the cost of a top-end titanium tubeset. Not to mention, titanium's huge durability advantages over aluminum don't matter on a bike that's going to be ridden for a year, and then sold.

Titanium doesn't really make sense for a pro race bike, at least not from the bike sponsor's perspective. And the riders will ride what they're given, cuz that's their job.

--Shannon
Bike company sponsorship is big dollars. The dollar amounts are huge, but are relatively small considering the exposure and advertising the bike company gets from this sponsorship. And what better reason for ordinary cyclists to get a bike since Lance or Mario Cipollini or Simoni rides one. And this form of advertising is relatively cheap compared to print ads or television ads.

Furthermore, a relatively small amount of the cost of sponsoring a division 1 team is the actual cost of the frames. And ordinary cyclists want the exact frame the pros ride. That's why everyone wants to get a $$$ C-50 that Rabobank rides and not a nice, but less expensive aluminum Colnago. So it makes very good sense for the manufacturers to supply their best frames to the team.
 

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I think you got it, Shannon

Many of the riders I've talked to with Ti bikes see them as a long term purchase and cite durability as a major factor.

Many of the riders I see at my high-end lbs want a new bike every couple of years. Makes more sense to market at them.

Trek makes a lot less money if people ride their bikes contentedly for 20 years than if they replace an obsolete bike every 4 or 5. Sponsoring teams is about getting the newest, lightest, highest style bike out in the public eye creating bike lust.
 

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Stamps??

pmf said:
The Giants, Cannondales and Treks of the world sell tons of bikes so they want people to see pros riding them. It doesn't mean they're necessarily great bikes (if you own one of these bikes, please don't attack me). Its all marketing. Titanium bikes cost a lot to make in comparison to aluminium bikes, or the carbon ones that Trek stamps out by the thousands.

I did a tour with Andy Hampsten's group in Italy a few years ago. He mentioned once that the bikes many of us were riding were nicer than what the pros ride. At the time, he was riding a Moots titanium bike.
Just remember, carbon is not stamped out, but laid up, in a mold, and then either made in one piece (Giant) or glued together (Trek). Titanium takes a very clean environment to weld, or else you get bad welds and weak frames. Also, extruding titanium costs a lot, so the raw material costs a whole lot more than aluminum, carbon, and steel for certain.
 

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magnolialover said:
Just remember, carbon is not stamped out, but laid up, in a mold, and then either made in one piece (Giant) or glued together (Trek). Titanium takes a very clean environment to weld, or else you get bad welds and weak frames. Also, extruding titanium costs a lot, so the raw material costs a whole lot more than aluminum, carbon, and steel for certain.
I own two carbon bikes, I know how they're made. I guess my point was that the big companies really mass produce them while titanium manufacturers tend to be small. Even Litespeed, the giant of titanium fabricators, probably produces no where close to the number of bikes as do Giant, Trek or Cannondale.
 

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Le Tour is a sports marketing event

if Lance Armstrong was sponcered by Merlin/Litespeed and had a 2.1# Magia/Ghiello ti. frame instead of a 2.4# olcv carbon frame Lance would still have won (maybe even by couple of seconds more), Then again, if a steel bike company could afford to sponcer the Posties then Lance would have still won, by few seconds less with a 2.9# Deda steel frame. But al. or carbon is what sells and is easyest for companies to mass produce (for al.) or charge more (for carbon)
 

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Colnago CT1...

Ever seen Erik Dekker's bike? Most Colnago sponsored pro riders can choose off a fleet of bikes...

Scott Sunderland rode a Bianchi Ti model on selected races.

Some bikes are disguised too...

Sometimes a Merak (the big Dipper constellation by the way) is not really what it seems...

They use what they want or need... Giant carbon bikes are great, but I tell you, the alu frames are not too far and still get used... And titanium is easily painted and shaped. Look at the drop outs, sometimes it's the only give away (bullet-end and/or extrusion)
 
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