The word titanium really makes you feel as if you are Wolverine, except he has adamantium. But I think its close enough.
But references aside, what can you really expect from a custom titanium bike? What kind of riding that it’s best suited for? And, what are the pros and cons of the bike frame?
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Titanium Bike Frames – A Bit Of History
Titanium is actually a new kind of metal. It was only discovered in 1791. However, it was only during the 1960’s when bike manufacturers began experimenting with the metal as a bicycle frame. The first commercial titanium bike frame made its way to the market around 1970’s.
Titanium was a big hit at the time. However, as the novelty faded, riders began to see the metal just like any kind of bicycle material. By this I mean, it has its strengths and flaws.
Pros Of Titanium Bikes
With all the hype aside, titanium when used as a bicycle frame is like a cross between steel and aluminum. it offers better shock absorption when compared to aluminum, but it’s not as lightweight.
- Near Indestructible – titanium bike frames are very strong and durable. It makes you feel invincible.
- Niche Purpose – it offers good stiffness and lightweight.
- Durable – titanium is durable in a sense that it does not corrode. This means that a titanium bicycle would probably last longer than you.
- Shock Absorption – it offers better shock absorption compared than steel.
Cons Of Titanium Bikes
- Expensive – the biggest con of titanium is that it’s expensive. This is because titanium is not easy to mold and form. Welding takes special knowledge and skill as titanium loves oxygen. If there’s too much oxygen, you would have titanium oxide, which is a bad metal for bicycle frames.
- Repair Problems – titanium is very strong. However, if you do need repairs, it’s going to be a headache. You will need a specialized shop to work with titanium bike frames.
- Lightweight trade-off – the stiffness of titanium bicycle frames is traded for weight. Hence, it’s a bit heavier compared to carbon fiber.
These days, if you have the budget, you can probably get the titanium bicycle frame that minimizes one of its biggest downside, which is the weight. However, when it comes to riding preference, a titanium bike is slightly better at downhill or rough terrain. This because it’s strengths can truly shine, which is shock absorption and near invincibility.