Ok, so what is all the fuss about?
Here are three big reasons to give Titanium bikes a demo ride:
Nothing rides like a titanium frame. Imagine a material that gives the spring of steel but with the weight of carbon. Titanium offers lateral stiffness for power transfer balanced with vertical compliance to absorb road imperfections and harshness – removing road buzz for a quiet, smooth ride. It has unparalleled strength to weight ratio, is twice as strong as aluminium with half the weight of steel.
A titanium frame is a forever frame. Titanium is robust, impact resistant, fatigue tolerant, has no paint to chip or mark and will never corrode. As a material, it is peerless. Most brands offer a lifetime warranty and some a 100 year warranty – so your titanium frame becomes part of your heritage.
Sleek, stylish, simple and utterly beautiful in a world of mass-produced carbon frames designed in a wind tunnel by a computer. Be different and stand out from crowd. Titanium is often the bike-connoisseurs first choice….
What is Titanium?
Titanium is not as rare as you may think. It is the 9th most common element on earth and is present in most paper and suncream – but not in a form we would naturally recognise! It is widely used in manufacturing to add whiteness to finished goods hence these two common examples. What is rarer however, are titanium alloys. This is where the material is much more useable and can demonstrate it’s advantages in specialist products from bike frames, aircraft hydraulic lines and to pin together and repair our bones. In fact, titanium is so versatile, lightweight and strong it has dozens of advantages to other materials.
The most common titanium alloy is 3AL/2.5V (which is the ratio of aluminium and vanadium). This blend is almost perfect for bikes as it can be formed into specific shapes and, with skill, can be beautifully welded. The key to welding titanium is that the worked material must not be exposed to oxygen otherwise it will oxidise and turn to powder. Hence the premium price tag for titanium frames. Occasionally, an even lighter titanium variant, 6AL/4V is used. This has weight saving and strength advantages but is even harder to work. It does allow craftsmen to build extraordinary frames such as the World’s lightest titanium production frame, the Litespeed T1SL which weighs in at under 1kg.
Want more techie reasons to be convinced? Our friends at GCN produced this wonderful in-depth review of titanium frames which highlights the technical aspects of titanium frames.
Caring for a Titanium Frame
We have all experienced that terrible moment when, however careful you may be, we have marked our pride and joy. Maybe at a cafe stop, maybe placing the bike in the car or maybe a flying piece of road debris. Unlike carbon and other frames, as titanium is rarely painted you can remove the inevitable marks and scratches from your adventures yourselfW See how our friends at Van Nicholas cope with marks.