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  #1  
Old 03-30-2013, 05:54 PM
gordieax gordieax is offline
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Ti tubing: Butted vs. straight gauge?

I'm fairly new to all the biking technology while considering a Ti bike. I understand that butted tubing might make the frame slightly lighter than straight ti tubing but does butted tubing give a better quality ride? Relative to that, is it worth the significant extra cost??
Please enlighten me. Thanks
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:35 PM
Peter B Peter B is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gordieax View Post
I'm fairly new to all the biking technology while considering a Ti bike. I understand that butted tubing might make the frame slightly lighter than straight ti tubing but does butted tubing give a better quality ride? Relative to that, is it worth the significant extra cost??
Please enlighten me. Thanks
Either can be built/tuned by the right maker to deliver your desired characteristics. The difference is in the weight of your frame and your wallet.

http://www.spectrum-cycles.com/faq.php

http://www.spectrum-cycles.com/materials.php

http://www.strongframes.com/blog/200...ed-titanium-2/

http://kenteriksen.com/faqs/

http://www.habcycles.com/techstuf.html

http://velonews.competitor.com/2009/...t-simple_91078
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  #3  
Old 03-31-2013, 10:34 AM
Pete Mckeon Pete Mckeon is offline
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Serotta, Moots, Ericksen, Spectrum are among

my most lustful. As to straight gauge verses butted based on a 57 or smaller frame - i bet a bottle of red we can not tell the riding difference. I just got back from tx Hillcountry week of riding on my Ti from 2000 which has been many places in and out of north america continent. To original buyer, I will bet again that structural defects will be covered under warranty. I have yet to have a problem with the SEROTTA TI BIKES THAT I HAVE NOR HAVE I HEARD OF ANY DEFECTS ON MOOTS, ERICKSEN, SPECTRUM IN THE LAST 10 YEARS.
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:30 PM
eddief eddief is offline
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tough topic

as those who build them have mostly been sworn by their cabal to secrecy or obfuscation. you gotta spend about $3K to find out. most who do would probably say it makes no difference...cause they never had a chance to compare. and after spending $3K you gotta love that thing...at least for a while. been there, done that, not with ti...yet.

seems like for butted steel most would say it's lighter and gotta somehow ride better than straight pipes. would logic not suggest the same for ti? or maybe the molecular structure of each makes this an apples and oranges comparision.

it is easter though, so many are probably contemplating things much more cosmic than bikes.
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Last edited by eddief; 03-31-2013 at 01:09 PM.
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  #5  
Old 03-31-2013, 05:09 PM
gordieax gordieax is offline
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Ti tubing: Butted vs. straight gauge?

Good points.
So I guess I spend $6k +++ and get one butted Ti and one straight gauge Ti and then I'll know for sure, right?? That's certainly not happening!
I gather from the various reads and links that the difference is rather insignificant and not worth the extra $$ ? Just get what you like and fits, ride it, enjoy it and don't look back?? Unless someone more knowledgable than I can refute, that seems to make sense.
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:28 PM
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Steve in SLO Steve in SLO is offline
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There is no appreciable ride difference between my old Vamoots and current Vamoots SL. Speaking to the Moots folks, that's how the DB SL was designed: to ride just like the straight gauged frame and to be a bit lighter. This tells me a good builder can tune any way they want to.
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:54 PM
poff poff is offline
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Originally Posted by Steve in SLO View Post
There is no appreciable ride difference between my old Vamoots and current Vamoots SL. Speaking to the Moots folks, that's how the DB SL was designed: to ride just like the straight gauged frame and to be a bit lighter. This tells me a good builder can tune any way they want to.
Your SL was built using 6/4 ti and it was not butted. RSL series is the only butted one offered by Moots.
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Old 03-31-2013, 06:21 PM
jds108 jds108 is offline
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Like many things with high-end bikes, seems to me that the law of diminishing returns applies here. If you have to have the absolute best, then you'd get butted tubing.

Whether any of us can tell the difference is another matter. I bought butted (Merlin and Serotta), but I'm sure I can't tell the difference. Never had the chance to test straight gauge vs butted back-to-back though.

Seems like comparing current Campy chorus to Record or SR. One costs more and is a wee bit lighter, but doesn't have an actual functional difference.

When I bought the Merlin the corporate saying was that the the tubes were a wee bit larger in diameter so the frame was stiffer, yet it was lighter due to the butting. I never compared the tubing diameters so that could have all been BS.

I do know that I don't regret buying the butted models as it kept me from thinking "maybe I should get something better" quite so soon.....
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Old 03-31-2013, 06:26 PM
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Steve in SLO Steve in SLO is offline
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Originally Posted by poff View Post
Your SL was built using 6/4 ti and it was not butted. RSL series is the only butted one offered by Moots.
Oh, are you right and I'm wrong...I got my wires crossed. I will hang my head and resume my mind-numbing train ride.
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Old 03-31-2013, 06:27 PM
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AgilisMerlin AgilisMerlin is offline
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My agilismerlin rides pretty well - straight g. And all
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  #11  
Old 03-31-2013, 10:13 PM
happycampyer happycampyer is offline
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Originally Posted by poff View Post
Your SL was built using 6/4 ti and it was not butted. RSL series is the only butted one offered by Moots.
Actually, Steve was correct—the SL used double-butted 6/4 ti from Reynolds (in the main triangle iirc). From the 2007 catalog: "Sourced from high grade certified 3/2.5 straight gauged aerospace tubing on the standard frame, or the Reynolds double butted 6/4 tubing on the SL." As Steve notes, from my discussions with folks from Moots, their intent with the SL was to build a bike with a similar ride character to the standard Vamoots or Compact of the day, but slightly lighter (about a third of a pound in a size 55 frame). Having owned and/or ridden both, I would say that they succeeded. If you set the frames side by side, you would notice that the diameters of the main tubes of the SL's were slightly smaller, to compensate for the extra stiffness of the 6/4 tubes. The RSL is another thing altogether, with oversized, butted 3/2.5 tubes in the main triangle (and the skinny seatstays are 6/4 ti). The RSL weighs about the same as an SL did, and imo is noticeably stiffer than a Vamoots/Compact CR or the older generation Vamoots/Compact (regular or SL).

This topic has long since gone to the glue factory here if one does some searching in the archives. Butted tubing gives a builder more variables to play with—same stiffness, less weight; stiffer, same weight, etc.—but comes at a cost. Can one feel the difference? That really depends on the design parameters.

Last edited by happycampyer; 04-01-2013 at 05:57 AM.
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:35 AM
Pete Mckeon Pete Mckeon is offline
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Originally Posted by Steve in SLO View Post
Oh, are you right and I'm wrong...I got my wires crossed. I will hang my head and resume my mind-numbing train ride.
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:05 AM
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Your SL was built using 6/4 ti and it was not butted. RSL series is the only butted one offered by Moots.
And they do that to have a carbon class frame, in terms of weight, made out of titanium. 3/2.5 except for the seat stays and I think BB shell.

I think 'in general', ti tubes are butted to save weight and perhaps to have thicker butts when the welders cannot comfortably tolerate welding thin walled, straight gauge ti tubes. IMHO.
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  #14  
Old 04-01-2013, 08:58 AM
redir redir is offline
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Butted tubing was introduced to save weight on steel frames, lugged ones in particular. The thick end was necessary for the brazing process and of course for welding too. They butted AL frames as well. The problem with TI is that the stuff is already pretty light and it's more flexible than steel. The process of butting makes the tubing more flexable. So the builders have to be careful with that and I think you risk a more flexible frame at the expense of less weight. Of course there is nothing wrong with a flexy frame either.
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