In the market for a Titanium road/touring/audax bike

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)

In the market for a Titanium road/touring/audax bike

Postby TheRedEyeJedi » Sat Jun 07, 2014 7:14 pm

New bike time - big choice as Im moving from a starting point specialized secteur into something a bit more special.

After doing Lands End to John o Groats I would definitely like to do some more lightweight touring. My other riding will be long one day rides and general commuting, town and country riding.

I would like the option of mudguards, 25cm (possibly even 28cm) tyres and also would like the option of mounting my rear saddle bag or a rack and panniers for touring.

Groupset wise I want at least shimano 105. I already have hand built 36 spoke touring wheels to use for tours so I will be speccing the new bike with lighter racing wheels for use with one day sportives and some audaxes. It needs to be comfortable for long rides above all else, but retain the ability to cover ground fast. I like my descending so it needs to be sure footed too.

Budget is about £2k max - I have finished my cycle to work payments now so I can take out another £1k on the scheme and pay the rest cash.


The choice currently is this....

Van Nicholas Yukon.

Titanium - Looks great, very strong, lifetime guarantee on frame, doesnt rust, doesnt mark, silent (no road noise is a big plus on a long ride) .... also rediculously comfortable while being stiff enough to be spirited still

105 groupset with a triple - Iused my triple on lejog and Im looking at doing stuff like C2C in a day next year .... 150 miles and 8000ft of climbing in 14 hours .... yeah, im gonna need a triple

You can spec nearly every part of the bike to your liking - Im gonna get some colour into the saddle and bars it to make it look a bit more modern and custom.

They have a tester in a shop in Oxford - gonna borrow it for the weekend soon to see if its the one. This bike will be my only bike so it needs to be a proper all rounder, and it needs to last......

Pics of some in race mode

Image
Image
Image

commute/audax mode

Image

Heres one in full touring mode

Image


Im pretty convinced Carbon isnt for me - I want the ability to tour and the comfort and quality of rides on British roads you get from Titanium is really tempting.... plus I love the look of them. Im convinced the way a titanium bike rolls over rougher roads negates also of the weight advantage you get with carbon - plus they last for ever.


Any other options out there im missing?
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Re: In the market for a Titanium road/touring/audax bike

Postby mercalia » Sat Jun 07, 2014 7:28 pm

looks like a thief magnet
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Re: In the market for a Titanium road/touring/audax bike

Postby TheRedEyeJedi » Sat Jun 07, 2014 7:31 pm

mercalia wrote:looks like a thief magnet



I did 13 days lejog, and 4000 miles in last year ...dont think my bike was ever out of sight. I know what your saying but I am very, very careful with my bike
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Re: In the market for a Titanium road/touring/audax bike

Postby BrianP » Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:07 pm

Enigma http://www.enigmabikes.com/products/esprit

Sabbath http://www.sabbathbicycles.co.uk

My Sabbath September was really nice.

Van Nic are highly regarded.
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Re: In the market for a Titanium road/touring/audax bike

Postby TheRedEyeJedi » Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:15 pm

BrianP wrote:Enigma http://www.enigmabikes.com/products/esprit

Sabbath http://www.sabbathbicycles.co.uk

My Sabbath September was really nice.

Van Nic are highly regarded.



Thanks - I have looked at the Enigma - I dont think the Espirit has rack mounts? The Etape model has the rack mounts but I kind of prefer the VN styling

That Sabbath is nice! What kind of riding were you doing on yours?
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Re: In the market for a Titanium road/touring/audax bike

Postby Neil Wheadon » Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:52 pm

Buy the frame you really really want and if necessary put cheaper components on it if your budget is set. The logic is that the frame will last forever whilst components wear out, so you can upgrade as time passes.
I have an Enigma Etape that takes both a rack and will take mudguards and has a triple and rides beautifully. I have 105 on mine which is perfectly adequate
A carbon is out of the question as you can't carry a lot on board.
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Re: In the market for a Titanium road/touring/audax bike

Postby beardy » Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:09 pm

One of your Yukons is an Amazon.

Like a spot the difference competition. :lol:

I am seeing a fair bit of talk as to why CF is unsuitable, yet all those bikes have CF forks.
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Re: In the market for a Titanium road/touring/audax bike

Postby Aikon » Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:17 pm

OT but what's the seatpack in the Audax mode pic?
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Re: In the market for a Titanium road/touring/audax bike

Postby TheRedEyeJedi » Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:17 pm

beardy wrote:One of your Yukons is an Amazon.

Like a spot the difference competition. :lol:

I am seeing a fair bit of talk as to why CF is unsuitable, yet all those bikes have CF forks.


I dont have a problem with CF .... It was my original choice before I started getting into it. I just dont see a CF bike with rear rack mounts out there. I would be happy with steel too but I cant see a bike like the Van Nicholas or its TI competitiors that has the all around package I want.

If anyone can give me a cheaper steel option that is sporty but also lightweight tour ready then I am very interested. I dont want to spend more than I absolutely need to - but I dont want to buy a bike that doesnt suit my needs either
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Re: In the market for a Titanium road/touring/audax bike

Postby PH » Sun Jun 08, 2014 12:49 am

TheRedEyeJedi wrote:
If anyone can give me a cheaper steel option that is sporty but also lightweight tour ready then I am very interested. I dont want to spend more than I absolutely need to - but I dont want to buy a bike that doesnt suit my needs either


I think the weight difference between a decent steel frame and a Titainium one is likely to be around 300 - 500g. You'll have to decide for yourself if that difference is significant, it isn't to me. Last year I swapped frames from a Planet X/Linskey Ti Sportive to a steel SOMA ES, I prefer the SOMA in every way, though they're different in more ways than frame material.
I believe if you get a bike that really suites you then what it's made of is a long way down the list.
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Re: In the market for a Titanium road/touring/audax bike

Postby freeflow » Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:58 am

Look at the Kinesis ATR.
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Re: In the market for a Titanium road/touring/audax bike

Postby OnYourRight » Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:03 am

You could also consider the Spa Cycles Audax, reviewed (against a Van Nicholas Mistral) by CTC here (PDF).

Spa Cycles also does a triple-equipped titanium touring bike, also reviewed by CTC here (PDF).

These bikes are both available in steel versions for less money.

As you can see, they get very favourable reviews. They are exceptionally carefully conceived bicycles, though this would not have been apparent to me in my first few years of cycling. Whether you like the look of them is another matter. I think it wouldn’t do Spa Cycles any harm to hire a pro to design a new logotype, at a minimum.
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Re: In the market for a Titanium road/touring/audax bike

Postby beardy » Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:36 am

The first reply to this thread was that the bikes looked "like a thief magnet".

The plain appearance of the Spa bikes does make them much less conspicuous.
Though it is a shame to have their rather dull brushed finish compared to the gleam of the polished others, which can always be hidden under luggage, tapes and dirt.

The Spa bikes are much more sensible than the others but there are very few people buying Ti bikes for anything resembling sensible reasons.
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Re: In the market for a Titanium road/touring/audax bike

Postby Redvee » Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:13 am

I've got my eye on a Sabbath September Disc bike at present but the finances are blinkering me, a question of saving or hoping for that elusive lottery jackpot.
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Re: In the market for a Titanium road/touring/audax bike

Postby iandriver » Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:11 pm

Something like a crox de fur in 931 might be a very attractive alternative to titanium. Will build up in a multitude of ways http://www.genesisbikes.co.uk/bikes/fra ... de-fer-931
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