Chinese titanium frame

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irc
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Re: Chinese titanium frame

Postby irc » 15 Dec 2015, 11:22pm

531colin wrote: the difference is hardly staggering, is it? Its the same material (Cromo) and I bet the tube sizes are pretty similar (I could gauge a couple up, next time I'm in the shop). If theres a bit more lump to the Trucker, then it should be stiffer, so when you press the pedal down, the bike goes forward instead of flexing the frame?

I feel quite sorry for the poor old LHT, its the example that gets dragged out every time somebody thinks about moaning how their tourer doesn't ride like their Sunday best road bike. I bet it all started when some journalist reviewed it and couldn't find anything properly wrong with it.


On the other hand when people moan about how their smooth riding loaded tourer is a harsh ride unloaded they are often only talking about an overall rider/weight load difference of 20%. So a frame just a few % lighter or with one or two tubes slightly thinner or narrower might make the difference.

My LHT has far better loaded handling than the 531ST Galaxy it replaced. Comparing the frames side by side the main difference looked to be bigger diameter top tubes and down tubes. It wouldn't show much in the weight but was apparent when riding the bikes.

My everyday bike is a Spa Tourer so I'm not against tourers as do everything bikes but when Surly got their design so superbly right with the LHT I tend to give then the benefit of the doubt when the say the Crosscheck
frame is designed to supply a comfortable but lively ride.


But then I've not used one so it's all other people's opinions. I'd certainly be interested in the tubing differences between the LHT and Crosscheck.

Brucey
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Re: Chinese titanium frame

Postby Brucey » 16 Dec 2015, 12:16am

531colin wrote: ....I feel quite sorry for the poor old LHT, its the example that gets dragged out every time somebody thinks about moaning how their tourer doesn't ride like their Sunday best road bike. I bet it all started when some journalist reviewed it and couldn't find anything properly wrong with it....


I know what you mean but it is a popular touring bike so lots of people have at least tried one. I think it is fair to say that if you ride a large-framed LHT with a modest load, fat tyres, and you are in no big hurry then it'll be quite nice to ride. But if you ride a smaller framed one, unladen, with slightly narrower tyres it is liable to be distinctly different to that.

I think that if you are going to build a bike up there is something to be said for starting as you mean to go on; although you could do it, I would no more think of doing a lightweight build with skinny tyres on an LHT frame than I would (assuming they fitted) using 800g rims with 1kg tyres on a road racing bike. The whole thing would be a bit of a mishmash either way.

Years ago I had one decent lightweight bike and (having no choice in the matter) I used it for everything, but with different wheels in. It 'worked' as a racing bike, (sort of) and it 'worked' as a touring bike with a load on, too, just about. But it wasn't really that good at either thing; what it was good at was having a middling weight set of wheels and tyres in, having a saddlebag with not too much in on the back, and going for nice long rides at no great speed. It was fantastic for that. Other bikes that I've had since then have been equally fantastic at one thing or another but once out of their comfort zone I almost invariably find myself thinking that things could be better on a slightly different machine. And I do mean a slightly different machine; a couple of pounds more or less overall in various places can transform a bike for good or ill.

Despite the purportedly smallish differences in weight between an LHT and a cross-check frameset, I'd expect the two machines to ride rather differently, even if they were built up in the same way (which normally they wouldn't be...).

cross check;
Image

LHT
Image

FWIW I think the LHT has a top tube +1/16" or so but there must be differences in tube gauge as well, else the weight difference would be less than is indicated.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

fastpedaller
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Re: Chinese titanium frame

Postby fastpedaller » 16 Dec 2015, 5:30pm

I wonder why the Crosscheck and LHT have different rear dropouts (Vert cf 'horizontal')?

colin54
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Re: Chinese titanium frame

Postby colin54 » 16 Dec 2015, 5:41pm

I don't know if you've seen this site ; where people who have had ti frames made share their experiences.

http://www.spanner.org.uk/category/bikes/

Brucey
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Re: Chinese titanium frame

Postby Brucey » 16 Dec 2015, 5:47pm

fastpedaller wrote:I wonder why the Crosscheck and LHT have different rear dropouts (Vert cf 'horizontal')?


my understanding is that the crosscheck is a versatile 'do everything' frame and quite a few people buy one intending to at least try running a singlespeed or an IGH in it, thus HDOs are fitted.

By contrast the LHT is more or less dedicated to derailleur gears, so VDOs are OK.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

dondelion
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Re: Chinese titanium frame or CroMo steel frame

Postby dondelion » 16 Dec 2015, 6:03pm

Spanner.org.uk is what set me off down the titanium path actually...

So is the idea of a titanium frame (Chinese or not) for a lightweight all rounder a good one or not? Is it going to feel noticeably different than a decent cheapish steel frame (Cotic, Surly, Salsa, etc)? 853 or other deluxe steel frames seem impossible to find for under £1000. Should I just buy a Cotic frame and spend my money on decent wheels instead? I just want something fun to ride! Doesn't have to be too fast - I'm going to stick big tyres on it anyway.

My LHT has front and rear racks (1kg), Marathon Mondials (almost another kg each) and Sputnik rims (700g each) of which 3kg could probably be easily lost. It would look funny with skinny tyres though. I reckon it was the front rack that made it ride strangely when unloaded - it couldn't keep a straight line riding no hands. I mean, I love it but it's not my fun bike, just the best tool for the job when riding fully loaded for weeks on end.

I've definitely been put off buying a Ti fork though, so thanks for that!

irc
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Re: Chinese titanium frame or CroMo steel frame

Postby irc » 16 Dec 2015, 6:31pm

dondelion wrote:My LHT has front and rear racks (1kg), Marathon Mondials (almost another kg each) and Sputnik rims (700g each) of which 3kg could probably be easily lost. It would look funny with skinny tyres though.


Or fit Vittoria Rando Hypers 700x37 at 400g each. Lighter, faster, and still looks rhe part on a tourer.

I agree about Sputniks being heavy. As a 17 stone fattie I think it's worth it on the rear for touring reliability. I use a lighter rim on the front with no issues though.

robc02
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Re: Chinese titanium frame

Postby robc02 » 16 Dec 2015, 7:11pm

My LHT is a relatively lightweight build with Exal LX17 rims, Vittoria Rando Hyper 700x38 (40-622) tyres, Tubus Vega rack.

This is very subjective, of course, but I find it fun to ride either loaded or unloaded. I frequently use it for fast paced rides and, while it feels different to a racy road bike, it's still fun. I tried it, very briefly, with race wheels and 23mm Michelin Pro Race tyres and it still felt pretty good to me. When I get chance I'll give it a longer, more energetic ride on the Michelins, just to make sure I'm not imagining things!

It wouldn't be my first choice for a fast road bike, but I do wonder whether it is excessively downplayed either because it is often built with heavy parts, or because of the expectation of it being a slow bike!

dondelion
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Re: Chinese titanium frame

Postby dondelion » 16 Dec 2015, 7:35pm

If I had the 700c version, I probably would use it for everything. I got the 26er for third world use which was definitely a good idea. I can't have 2 LHTs before someone suggests that...

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531colin
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Re: Chinese titanium frame

Postby 531colin » 16 Dec 2015, 8:03pm

Brucey wrote:.............. I think it is fair to say that if you ride a large-framed LHT with a modest load, fat tyres, and you are in no big hurry then it'll be quite nice to ride. But if you ride a smaller framed one, unladen, with slightly narrower tyres it is liable to be distinctly different to that...........


Isn't that the case for most frames? On the Spa bikes I vary the diameter of top and down tubes a bit with size, as far as I know most manufacturers don't. I don't suppose the small differences I make overcome the inherent differences in stiffness between small and large frames.

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531colin
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Re: Chinese titanium frame

Postby 531colin » 16 Dec 2015, 8:12pm

irc wrote:...........My LHT has far better loaded handling than the 531ST Galaxy it replaced.........
.........My everyday bike is a Spa Tourer .............


How do the LHT and Spa compare? Do you have the LHT set up in "camping" mode and the Spa set up in "day ride" mode?

Brucey
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Re: Chinese titanium frame

Postby Brucey » 16 Dec 2015, 8:33pm

531colin wrote:
Brucey wrote:.............. I think it is fair to say that if you ride a large-framed LHT with a modest load, fat tyres, and you are in no big hurry then it'll be quite nice to ride. But if you ride a smaller framed one, unladen, with slightly narrower tyres it is liable to be distinctly different to that...........


Isn't that the case for most frames? On the Spa bikes I vary the diameter of top and down tubes a bit with size, as far as I know most manufacturers don't. I don't suppose the small differences I make overcome the inherent differences in stiffness between small and large frames.


Maybe they don't, but anything to redress the balance is probably worthwhile.

I just thought I ought to mention it because (as ever) there will be a range of views on the topic even if everyone is comparing apples with apples, whilst two different sized people riding two different sizes of 'the same bike' are really not comparing the same thing at all.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

73Chaz
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Re: Chinese titanium frame

Postby 73Chaz » 16 Dec 2015, 8:41pm

In answer to the question of whether a Ti frame will feel different to a steel one, my experience is "yes".

Although not strictly like for like, I went from a Trek steel road bike to a Lynskey Ti road bike. There were quite a few differences other than the material, such as geometry (and definitely price!).

I found the Lynskey felt less stiff than the steel bike, which once I'd got used to it is mainly a blessing. It feels slightly less stable at speed but I've mainly got used to that as well.

The Lynskey remains my main ride and is likely to do so for the foreseeable future. Whether, knowing what I know now, I'd shell out the cost of a Lynskey Ti frame again is hard to say, and possibly a "no", but then that's mainly because I've done it once already.

Ross K
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Re: Chinese titanium frame

Postby Ross K » 16 Dec 2015, 8:46pm

dondelion wrote:The company I think I'm going to use is Waltly http://www.waltlytitanium.com/


There's a guy on the BikeRadar forum that has bought several Waltly Ti frames, all made to measure and all delivered promptly and accurately and backed up by excellent service. The photos show a great quality frame and the price is very low for the quality.

If you start a thread on there with Waltly titanium you will reap some good info, or maybe just do a forum search to find the old threads on the subject.

This whole "Chinese made" thing makes me smile. Most big UK brands have their Ti frames made in China.

For what it's worth, I researched this to death and ended up ordering from Justin Burls, a UK based steel frame builder who will design you a Ti frame and get his company in Russia** to make it for you in just 5 weeks. They are a Ti-bike-specific, small company, who made the Ti Colnago "Titanio" back in the day. Superb quality frame and a great uk-based guy to deal with.

**(or his alternative supplier in China, if you wish)

irc
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Re: Chinese titanium frame

Postby irc » 16 Dec 2015, 10:24pm

531colin wrote:
irc wrote:...........My LHT has far better loaded handling than the 531ST Galaxy it replaced.........
.........My everyday bike is a Spa Tourer .............


How do the LHT and Spa compare? Do you have the LHT set up in "camping" mode and the Spa set up in "day ride" mode?


The builds are pretty similar. A mix of XT and Deore components. Both 22/33/42 and 11-34 cassettes. Maybe an 11-32 on the Spa. Identical drop bars, saddles. V brakes, bar end shifters. At the moment both have Tubus Cargo rear racks. I never replaced the front rack on the LHT after dismantling the bike for flying home from the USA last time. Similar tyres on both bikes too. 700x35 Marathon Supremes on the LHT. 700x37 Vittoria Hypers on the Spa.

On the LHT I've toured both with full camping gear - around 30 pounds including the 4 panniers, before food and water and with lighter weekend loads. Flawless handling loaded or unloaded. It's 60cm.

My Spa tourer is a 57cm. Set up as far as I could identically to the LHT for fit. I've only used it for local day rides and shopping. Mostly with a single pannier. Sometimes stuffed full with up to 15 or 20 pounds of shopping.

To be honest the handling is pretty similar to the LHT. Predictable. Forgiving when any poor road surfaces are hit. Stable at all speeds. Good on gravel tracks. Possibly slightly quicker steering than the LHT.

If I had to pick only one to keep, leaving aside the sentiment attachment I have to the LHT because of where it has taken me, I'd be hard pushed to choose which one.

A minor point - the quality of the paint finish is far better on the Spa. Which might swing it for some people.

In some ways buying the Spa was not a logical decision. I didn't want to risk parking the LHT around Glasgow and getting it stolen. So I bought a fairly similar bike (or rather frame/fork) I'd rather risk. Unless there was a similar reason the two bikes are probably so close in handling that it isn't worth someone buying both.