View Full Version : a little heat, but no fire

12-22-2003, 04:06 PM
WARNING: a premediated attempt to stir things up, a little. as others have noted, as wonderful as it is to have the forum back, it is, so far anyway, a bit tame. so here goes...

in '04, i'm limiting myself to one new bike. right now, i'm leaning toward a ti frame. i've owned only one ti, a litespeed ghisallo. and while it has some nice traits, in total, its shortcomings outweigh its strengths.

those of you who've ridden and owned various ti frames, i'd love your takes. what are the strengths of your frames? my ideal is a light climbing demon, stiff in the drivetrain, but with enough flex elsewhere to "load" it while climbing.

i guess i'm also curious to see if we can recapture some of the passion and heat of the old forum, without bashing any brand, especially not ben. because certainly a legend would be on my shopping list. honestly, i'm not trying to start any trouble. i'd just dig some spirited discussions. so please, with decorum intact, let the games begin. :argue:

Dick Little
12-22-2003, 04:22 PM
I got hell on the old forum when I stated I wasn't overly impressed with the Legend as a race bike. .NOTE: RACE BIKE . Not overly light, not really stiff, and a rather bland ride. As an everyday bike, it would be an extremely nice ride and it would last forever. I think as far as Ti bikes go, a Legend is the cream of the crop, so the commentary could really apply to all Ti frames.

Dr. Doofus
12-22-2003, 04:22 PM
The good doctor thinks that Ti is a moronic material for a bike frame, unless its 1992 and Ti is the *next big thing*.

If you want a light, stiff, racing bike, get a Merckx Team SC, a Prince, a Fina Estampa, or even a servicable, but uninspiring Orbea Lobular. Aluminum is the answer if you really want a modern, high-performance bike.

You want a nice bike to take out on the club rides? Get a CSi, or a CDA if you have to be au courant. If you're on a budget, get a Palosanto or a Corsa.

If you absolutely must make a vulgar bourgeois display of disposable income and moral depravity, then by all means get a Legend, because, wow, gee-whillikers, it doesn't rust and its very very expensive.


12-22-2003, 04:28 PM
my esteemed doctor:

i'm a happy owner of a fina estampa, and it does many nice things. many. but out of the saddle, it is so stiff, there's no loading it, no spring.

and yes, your adminition about steel is spot on, too, and for example i dig my CIII a lot. but the heart wants what the heart wants.

PS: thanks so much, honorable doof, for playing.

12-22-2003, 04:36 PM
dr. doofus-
you're sounding like the jerk there. but i guess that just proves that the jerk is always right...any way...top titanium frames:

colnago ovalmaster-good big guy bike, desigend for the larger more powerful rider

serotta legend ti-again a good bike for a big guy...not really super light bu then again no rideable ti bike really is...

opera palladio- very nice all around ti bike....smooth and comfy while still being torsionally stiff enough to climb well.....

the jerk

12-22-2003, 04:42 PM
jerk, how 'bout ti for 150 pound weaklings (not me of course, a FRIEND of mine is 150 pound weakling).

H.Frank Beshear
12-22-2003, 04:52 PM
Climb, I just saw your message sorry took so long. I like steel bikes but then I 've never ridden Ti. Dbrk likes his moots, my lbs swears by his moots road and the welds are very nice. The ybb is an interesting concept as well. Take care Frank

Dr. Doofus
12-22-2003, 05:03 PM
The Dr. Prescribes (well, I'm not an M.D., but in a fit of graduate-student folly I once coined the term "post-pre-scription" in a conference paper, which some moron from Brown thought was brilliant...I did too, for a second, then realized I had written that on the plane while checking out the rack on the blonde in the next row):

1) Concours: not light, not as stiff as the Legend. I really liked the CS, but in the end I was too old-school cheap-ass to spring for it.

2) CT-1. Not as beefy as the Ovalmaster, but might be more up your alley. Has some spring, but I wasn't crazy about the B-Stay....

3) Get one of those hideous Spanish-made goops of guano that ONCE had in the late 90s...the only boutique-made "pro" bike that was as hideous-looking enough to be convincing as the house brand, leading one to say They Might Be Giants....


pale scotsman
12-22-2003, 05:21 PM
Climb - You'd be shorting yourself if you don't look into a legend and or a moots vamoots/vamoots sl. I've owned a merckxspeed in the past and if you can find one on closeout it may fit the bill. Let me qualify that I have never ridden a legend but the moots vamoots with DA 9 and 32 spoke Mavic OP's is awesome. If I could swing it without getting divorced, which by the way is more expensive I hear, that's what I'd get.

Scotsman sans tan.

12-22-2003, 05:32 PM
The nice thing about Serotta, is that if you know precisely what you want, they can build it. I wanted the stiffest possible ti frameset as a sprinter (we donna got no stinkin' hills here in Flatland.) Why ti? Given our crap roads, I wanted a bit of the reslience of ti.

Between my LBS (Alberto's) and Kelly at Serotta, I ended up with a Legend Ti Compact (14-15deg of slope) with oversized tubing and stays, a 40cm seat tube, a beefy tubeset, and still very, very light. (All this is searchable at the archives.) I love that puppy, and then had Dave Kirk duplicate it in steel with only a slight variation to allow for the differences in the tubing. Result there? One hell of a responsive steel ride.

Of course, being the total bike slut that I am, when the new Colnago CT-2 emerged with them finally going to the larger HT and beefier tubeset, in a 52 sloping geom (which allows me to get the bar height I need) and in that neat PR-23 color scheme, I now have two ti frames that I find to be great sprinters.

If I was a woman, I'd be pregnant all the time. I just can't say no to a pretty face, or to a bargain. (Well, the Serotta isn't a bargin, but I sure find it pretty.) Dave N.

12-22-2003, 08:28 PM
I think my view is known but I'll repeat it in the hope it will add to my post total and thereby elevate me from pedestrian "Junior Member" status ...

After about 1K miles I find the Legend to be pretty amazing and, while I really like my Marcelo, the Legend is preferable to it and to the (defunct) Pinarello Opera which preceded it. The Legend it really very comfortable and seems to translate power into motion well.

If you shop carefully and are not an anatomical oddity you will find Legends reasonably priced on the secondary market. You can also find them unreasonably priced on the secondary market... but I digress. Fit will be a function of how long you are willing to shop, your stem/bars/seatpost budget, and a bit of chance. Ditto for finish but here you have the option of a factory refinish.

The owners seem to be fanatics so I'd guess examples would be in good to excellent condition, generally. As noted they seem indestructible, although I do know someone who cracked the down tube by trying to enter his garage with the bike on the roof of his car. Mine spent the weekend covered with road salt from a ride last Thursday but that didn't seem to bother the Ti bits much.

A buddy has recently bought a Merckx Majestic but has yet to build it up, so I have not a lot to say about it other than it is available for about 40% of the price of a new Legend.

Good luck - maybe we should try to hook up for a ride one of these days.

12-22-2003, 11:08 PM
You asked about ti bikes which have their own virtues. For me, I like that I can hose it down after a really crappy day of wet, mud, or gravel. And not as if this is news but if I had to bring it all down to one bike it would be something in beautiful lugged steel, because that's a bike you will never get tired of, moving or standing still. Everything else is just a great ride. Let's stick to your friend's 150lbs weakling status too. I can't help but look to save money because that's my style.

Choices numbered but without priority.

1. Hampsten/Moots. Costs less than most others, welds are perfect, dealing with the Hampstens is fun and easy). It's like buying directly from the manufacter even though you aren't really. You'll get excellent advice. Hampsten graphics are as slick as Moots welds. Why not go with a straight VaMoots? Why deal with a dealer, I say. Oooo, this is not a nice thing to say if you _need_ a dealer but do you?

2. Legends are expensive but I am _sure_ that they are the coolest. I would get the Concours because it is EVERY BIT as good a ride for a person your size and costs waaaay less. Tune them pipes. Still, lots of bucks. That's fine if that's what you want. Heck, I want one and I need one like I need....uhh....another bike!

3. Strong. Carl builds beautiful bikes and the price is excellent. Good tubes, nice guy, what's not to like?

Some of this depends in part in knowing what fits and what you like in a fit. I'm at the point where I want no fit advice, zero. I want as much direct contact with the builder as possible. I'm not itching to spend more to have the "best" when the best may not cost more. I am only willing to spend on what I really really want. I want a Legend but haven't pulled the trigger. I want as many CSi, Sachs, Nagasawa, and Rivendells as will fit in my basement and then the barn...

But alas, don't, please don't go searching for the "last" or "ultimate" ride because you can talk yourself into that but it's a load of nonsense. The beauty of bicycles is that there is more than one way to be really happy.

may there be more gopis and more butter every day, i'm with novo on this one,


p.s. N.B., the jerk and others make good points about Colnagos but Colnagos are a fit unto themselves. Go there knowing what you like and need or don't go there at all! Short head tubes, slack angles, strange, strange things going on.

pps Intrigued by the Opera but I positively dislike Pinarello geometries, to each his own...

Too Tall
12-23-2003, 06:55 AM
Storck Scenario Pro. It can be as light as your wallet will make it and has all the qualities you indicated.

Bonus. Nobody here has one.

If I was spending your $$ it would be a compact Ti Serotta or Spectrum...a toss up and both based on their track record for fitting and customer satisfaction.

12-23-2003, 08:07 AM
thank you to everyone who replied.

douglas, when you posted your thoughts on your hampsten/parlee, i visited hampsten's site and saw that moots makes their ti's. and i remembered you saying that you really like your moots. i'm not that familiar with moots. any tidbits on what makes a moots a "moots"?

one consideration is fit. i know this may sound wierd, but there is just something about the way my serottas fit me. now that i have a very modest collection of bikes, i've noticed something. whenever i come back to my CIII, there is this distinct feeling of slipping into a glove. both of my kirks were built with my serotta numbers and my pegoretti (seat and bar position) was tweaked to match my ottrott/CIII position, and all are nice. but man, when i hop on my CIII, it just Fits with a capital "F". i've taken my tape measure out a zillion times tryting to figure out the differences. no dice. but somehow, serotta and thom at belmont nailed my numbers. so while i'm intrigued by other frames, this niggling reality pops up. it's the difference between sweet and sweetest. but where that difference lies baffles me.

12-23-2003, 09:37 AM
I love my CT1--love it. It's responsive, but it definitely has that old feeling of life to it when you jump on the pedals. Respectibly light, respectibly stiff, and rock solid around the corners. Extremely comfy for a fast bike (and yes, I know this is largely a function of fit, and highly subjective in any case). This is my favorite of all the frames I've owned or tried.

I have nothing bad to say about the legend, never having ridden one. My Serotta experience is limited to my CSi, which I'm happy with and definitely keeping, and some rides long ago on older models.

12-23-2003, 10:14 AM

I second the CT-1 (mine is a B-stay). It climbs really well. Full of speed when you pedal and yet comfortable (This sounds like a perfect bike. Why do I still keep buying others? I know. We are all sick :D ). And unless you are a bigger fella, who really wants the newer CT-2 with a 1 1/8 inch headset (personally do not like the ugly highpower model), CT-1 can be a bargain (it is on sale now). That said, Colnago, as dbrk and otheres suggested, may be different, and you need to know your fit.

I know you have a ghisallo, a fina, and a new merckx, what else have you experienced?

12-23-2003, 10:20 AM
johny--merckx has yet to arrive (can't wait) and then there are two steel kirks, CIII, an ottrott and a look kg281. a marcelo is due soon. all of which is why, in '04, sanity must rule. one year/one bike. (odds on how long that new year's resolution will last?)

12-23-2003, 10:40 AM
Originally posted by Climb01742
johny--merckx has yet to arrive (can't wait) and then there are two steel kirks, CIII, an ottrott and a look kg281. a marcelo is due soon. all of which is why, in '04, sanity must rule. one year/one bike. (odds on how long that new year's resolution will last?)


Sorry, how can I forget your two lovely Kirks. An Ottrott also! Wow, you are spoiled. Now I believe you can use some of my sanity... Wait a minute, let me ckeck any of mine left... Sorry, it is all gone (don't worry. I have some on order). :D


12-23-2003, 10:55 AM
Climb --

If you want snap, I would definitely put the Legend/Concours at the top of your list, particularly since the fit would be optimal. The Legend is generally more responsive (I would say stiffer) than other Ti frames. In fact, they are often found to be a bit stiff for those seeking a super smooth ride. That being said, they are more giving in the vertical plane than carbon or AL. Ride one to get a sense of how a standard Legend feels and go from there. Perhaps you can elaborate on what you don't like about your Ghisallo that you would like addressed in your new Ti ride?

To respond to some other posts: Perhaps it's simply because I am not a racer; however, the claim that the Legend is not race-worthy strikes me as odd. If the claim is meant to say that pros care about weight more than durability or feel then fine. If one means to suggest any of us will be faster on an AL frame with a relatively short shelf-life than a Legend or that a bike is better simply because pros are paid to ride it, then it seems laughable. If I were riding in the Alps and had to choose between my Legend and any "pro" race bike, it would be no contest. The Legend descends like a dream, feels beautiful climbing, and weighs a few ounces more than my other bike that has made disguised appearances in the peloton, namely my Parlee (Hampsten) Z1x. Is the Parlee a great bike? Sure, but I would not trade my Legend for anything. The whole discussion reminds me of Boardman's review of the Derosa King, where he remarked that the King was great for a cafe ride, but handled abysmally. He said would rather take a LeMond for descending in the Alps anyday. If that's a pro bike, I'll stick with my oh so heavy and not stiff enough Serotta. :confused:

12-23-2003, 11:56 AM
jeffg--i've test ridden a few legends and wow, they were stiff. building in enough flex for my style of riding would be the challenge.

johny--yeah, i went a bit overboard on frames this year. to quote chairman greenspan, irrational exhuberance on my part.

sanity in '04.

Dick Little
12-23-2003, 02:56 PM

ANY bike is race-worthy - if you can race on it, it's race- worthy!
My comments on the Legend, and Ti in general, were more in a comparative sense. For a race machine, I'd take a 1/2 decent, stiff AL frame over a Ti frame any day of the week. Stiffer, lighter, more responsive - that's really all I care about. Road feel? Not really important to me. And I wouldn't call the Parlee a bike proven in the pro pelton - it was used very sparingly by Tyler.

Too Tall
12-24-2003, 07:01 AM
I had heard a comment third hand that sort of sums up my feeling as to whether a Ti Legend is raceworthy. "Serotta is what pros train on".

Guys, you should hear my teammates bit$h about their Orbeas every time we hit a patch of rough road. Their comments are similar regarding their Orbeas...awesome race bike....cra@ for training.

12-24-2003, 09:18 AM
Climb - I don't have a Serotta titanium frame so I can't provide any comparison there. However, I have a CT-1 and Merlin Extralight, both picked up slightly used. The CT-1 fits great and carves turns with the stability of a gocart, but the Merlin seems a bit faster during seated climbing. The Extralight also has more snap than any other frame I've ever ridden, including a number of steel frames. The CT-1 rides almost identically to the Masterlight, if you've ever had a chance to ride one of those, and it's rear end is extremely plush without being flexy.

Let us know what you decide to do.

12-24-2003, 11:12 AM
slowgoing--funny you mention a merlin extralight. years ago, when merlin was still merlin and based here in boston, i test rode an extralight. and loved it. but at the time, i had an idea in my head: i wanted an italian steel frame. but butt said extralight. my head said italian steel. bought a derosa primato. which i ended up liking, but not really loving. and still remember the extralight. is yours new or old? is it a merlin merlin or a litespeed merlin? no judgement in that question, just curious. i'm not anti-litespeed (i have a ghisallo.) thanks.

12-24-2003, 01:12 PM
It's a 2001 model, post Litespeed. It climbs great and has phenomenal snap, but it doesn't handle quite as well as the CT-1, Masterlight or Fina Estampa. It is quite comfortable, however. The pre versus post Litespeed issue doesn't bother me. Of course, I never rode a pre Litespeed frame to compare it with, so take my opinion for what it's worth.

12-25-2003, 05:45 AM
slow, when you say it doesn't handle as well, how? descending? too quick, too slow? twitchy? not hands off stable? just curious. thanks muchly.

12-25-2003, 06:49 AM
Johny: As one of those 'larger guys' I like both the 1 1/8" headtube and the new colors of the CT-2 (PR-23 shown on mine below) I also love the way 'Nagos ride and handle, and second all of Slow's comments about the Master X-Light. One of those bikes that will NEVER leave the fleet here.

12-25-2003, 07:09 AM
One of the threads that is starting to run through this thread may be effects of larger headtube size and tubing in general. Dario Pegoretti, who has staunchly resisted going to using carbon stays or 'funny' shaped tubing on his bikes, staying with round tubes and no carbon add-ons, has gone to very large tubing and beefier headtubes to get a stiff, responsive, yet not a punishing ride. That is exemplified by the Fina Estampa which several of us on this group own, an aluminum frame that many say rides like a very light steel frame. His GGM took the existing Marcelo and added an oversized headtube and integrated headset. The Big Leg Emma has done that 'in spades' and features HUGE chainstays, beefy, reinforced main tubes and a big, big head tube. The bike is surprisingly light and incredibly responsive and pleasing to ride.

Colnago has taken a slightly different approach with the Master X-light, which uses la arge diameter but 'clover leaf' shaped Columbus tubeset that results in a steel frame that I love and which has been a longtime best seller for them, again without the need for a carbon rear triangle or seat stays.

The 2004 Colnago line has gone 'fat' in a big way. The long-running C-40 has been complimented by and clearly about to be replaced by the C-50, which features a 1 1/8" headtube and much larger tubing. Tried one out, and you really can feel that difference between that and its younger brother. Colnago has also started to feature sloping or semi-compact geom to go with the larger diam HT and main tubes. I tried out a CT-1, liked it, but found a CT-2 in the 52cm sloping geom fit me better and responded with a touch more 'oomph' and with a bit more responsiveness than the CT-1. The former was a great ride. I found the latter a bit better, and when my dealer offered me the CT-2 at almost the same price, and that price was low enough to be the 'offer you can't refuse', it just followed me home.

I had a discussion with Dave Kirk when he and I were talking about building my filet brazed bike. I asked him to give me a very stiff sprinter. I was surprised when he said to stay with the Reynolds 725 tubing he had used on my traditional geom lugged frame. He laughed and said that the diameter of the tubing used, as well as the various angles of the frame et al, would be the real key to tuning the frame for the stiff and fast response out of the saddle I wanted. He pointed out that Kelly at Serotta had gotten that response for me by going to their oversized Ti tubing on my Compact Legend Ti.

So it would seem that there really is a point to this movement towards larger headtubes and oversized tubing after all. The Litespeed you were discussing is built to be a 'climber' and the tubing is not that beefy. That may be why there is a different feel there than in the other bikes under discussion?

The larger headtube and sloping TT on the CT-2 are shown below: Dave N.

12-25-2003, 07:11 AM

Thanks for the pict. It is absolutely beautiful. Hey, now, I can "legitimately" ask you about the comparison b/w the Ottrott and CT-2. Tell me. Tell me.

12-25-2003, 07:28 AM

Is there any bike left that has not been photographed in your house? How many bikes do you own? You are a certified collector.


12-25-2003, 07:35 AM
My wife would most assuredly go along with the 'certified' part, Kevin. Indeed, when I spent last night putting my Christmas gift (a Blue Fizik Aliante Carbon) on the Tommasini Tecno rather than talk to my family, I did hear something from her about my being 'certifiable', but I am not sure if you and her were using that in the same context.

As I said before, I own too many, but a number go out to a good home. I just sold an older Mondonico to an Italian bike buff in NYC and the CT-2 was added in its place. Yin and Yang. Wax on, wax off.

No comparing the Ottrott and CT-2 yet. The Ottrott is getting a 'clean the grime off' session in the workstand and I haven't been on that since I got the CT-2. Will let you know when I have a chance to compare the two.

Still 17 degrees here. It was COLD out on the Tommasini this morning. Come on, Sun, do your thing, get it up into the high 20s at least. Dave N.

12-25-2003, 07:47 AM

Based on the 20 years I have been with my wife I have come to the following conclusion. When the term "certified" is used between cyclists it is a good thing, when it is used by my wife it is time to say I am sorry, agree with her and go to the jewelery store. I usually stop by my LBS on the way back and the circle starts all over again.

I don't know if you already own one, but you are going to love the Aliante saddle. It is the only saddle I own. Its on my four bikes and I have some on the shelf in case it is discontinued.

I have an Ottrott ST so I am interested in your comparison to the CT-2. How did you let grime get on the Ottrott? I wash mine continously, which is probably why my wife says that I am certifiable and why I end up at the jewelery store and then the LBS. Well you get the idea.

Merry Chrictmas.


12-25-2003, 09:46 AM
Climb - The Merlin XL descends well, just not as well as any of the Colangos. It's a matter of stability. The Colnagos just seem rock solid. Set them on course downhill, and they won't budge off course, and they feel very stable. It's confidence inspiring and quite a bit of fun. I find myself making small little "s" turns while descending just because I can and it feels good, something I wouldn't do with most other frames. It's probably due to the slack head tube angle, a trait it shares with Serottas, by the way. The Fina Estampa feels the same way, but it doesn't have a slack head tube angle, so I don't know what's going on there. The XL doesn't feel particularly unstable, or slow, or fast, or jittery, but it doesn't inspire the same kind of handling confidence as the others. But it does everything else well, including seated climbing (I don't do much standing climbing because that tends to aggravate my weak achilles). I use it as a long distance frame, and it's perfect for that because it's very comfortable.

12-25-2003, 11:23 AM
i've never ridden a colnago, so i have no frame of reference there. but as dave n. said earlier, my fina is super-smoothe (as smoothe as some steel) and takes very little torque to accelerate. built with many fat tubes. it's my go-fast ride. while not harsh at all, it is very stiff. out of the saddle, i can't get a bit of flex out of it. which many of you love, i know. but me, i like a little flex. both kelly and david kirk believe that flex actually aids in climbing. and speaking of cleaning a bike, got caught in quite a rainstorm this morning. my CIII was green when it left the house. now a nice shade of gravel and muck. that will be my evening chore. one last thought: mt CIII fits like a glove. in the pouring rain, on narrow roads, getting sprayed by cars, fit equal confidence equals handling equal safety. thanks, kelly & ben.