Titanium bikes (or Ti bikes) are a little bit of a mystery. You might not see many, or any, in your local bike shop and if you do they tend to be priced a bit higher than other bikes. Are Ti bikes worth the investment? We believe in making informed decisions when purchasing bikes so here is some information on Ti bikes.
Titanium is freaking strong! And a bonus is that it is light for the strength it maintains. The only downside to this is that it is a bit trickier to use Ti as a building material. The grade of Ti needs to be just right, the design must be spot on, and the fabrication of the bike must be precise. Once all three must haves are dialed in the cost to produce is generally higher than a carbon or aluminum bike.
Ti bikes however far exceed other bike materials in durability and dampening. You know a Ti bike from others as they are generally unpainted, mainly because they do not have to be painted. They naturally resist corrosion and rusting, they also do not scratch. So when you buy a Ti bike, you are buying it for life.
Ti has natural shock absorbing properties that make riding a Ti bike smooth. This is where a quality bike brand really shines. For example the Litespeed T1SL is a super light race bike created with a unique multi-facted tapered top tube that reduces weight and increases stiffness.
We have found two companies that have really mastered the art of the Ti bike, the Chattanooga based company Litespeed and the Massachusetts based Seven Cycles.
|The Litespeed T1SL is the top of the line race bike. It is one of the lightest Ti bikes with enough stiffness for high performance riding. It's new innovative top tube is created from a single sheet of 6Al/4V titanium to make a unique multi-facted tapered tube that reduces weight and increases stiffness. Oversized, triple butted, asymmetric chain stays for maximum power transfer. Oversized and bi-axial oversized downtube provides maximum performance and stiffness. 44mm oversized headtube for precise handling.
The Seven Cycles Axiom is a custom Ti bike made for speed. When going through the process to design a Seven you will select the color scheme, optional fender mounts, extra bottle mounts along with a host of other options. At the end of the process you have a one of a kind bike tailored to your style.
The hallmarks of the Axiom SL are a double-butted tubeset, s-bend chain and seat stays, an engraved seat top, and 6-4 titanium plate dropouts, also etched with the Seven Cycles logo and refined in structural layers to minimize weight and maximize strength.
Not into super light race ready bikes but want to try out some Ti? Check out the Litespeed T5. Not too aggressive, not too showy, but far from dull. The T5 is appropriate for any occasion, whether it’s a weekend sportive or a weeknight hammerfest.
Off-Road Ti Bikes
One of the fastest growing bike segments is with gravel bikes. These bikes can tackle any road and some trails with their ability to accommodate larger width tires. Ti makes the perfect material for a gravel bike since it is so durable and tough.
The Litespeed T5G is a perfect gravel bike to invest in. And we say invest in since this type of bike will last you years and years. The new design has a lot of features that allow it to work for many types of riding. It can accommodate up to 45mm tires and even fit 27.5″ x 2.1″. For the long distance explorer the T5g comes with rack and fender mounts incorporated into the frame and new gravel fork. There is a third bottle mount and new top tube storage mount.
Seven Cycles has it's Evergreen Gravel Bike. The Evergreen features Seven's new Matador fork. The Matador is an evolution from every fork that has come before. It has the longest rake (55mm) of any carbon gravel fork on the market. This means the Matador will produce better handling for all but the largest frames (for those we still have the Max 45 with a 45mm rake), as well as less toe/tire overlap, which is important for this style of riding where speeds are lower and riders are turning more.
If you are Ti curious let us know what questions you have! We can give demo rides, personal experiences, and get answers to about anything Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or let's talk on the phone at 770-587-9994.