Friday, January 22, 2010

General Purpose Ti Bike

Ever since the early 1990's I have wanted a titanium bicyle. Over the years I resigned myself to the fact I probably would never have one. I do ok but I don't have the salary of a dentist or a banker or an insurance company executive. About five years ago I found a titanium mountain bike frame for sale as a closeout from one of the big mail order houses. The frame is long and tall and is way to big for me as a trail bike but the geometry is fine for a commuter/road trainer/general purpose fun bike. For $350.00 I could not pass up the deal and the opportunity to ride on this magic metal. If that sounds like alot of cash go price a titanium bike today. The frame was built by a company called Titanium Sports Technology here in America. I threw on some decent components and have enjoyed this bike greatly. Out of my stable this bike gets ridden the most.

The Bike's initial configuration was a single speed with a 44T-16T gear set up. The weight was about 16 and 1/2 pounds and was a blast to zip around town. I even rode my 50 mile flat loop on it just to see if I could. Practicality won out and eventually on went the rear derailleur and some fenders. The weight is still a respectable 20 lbs with a seat pack and a couple full water bottles. I run a 12-25 road cassette on the back and the same 44T ring up front and have yet to find a hill I could not climb.

Old man winter has my part of the planet in his icy grip now so the ti bike is currently stuck in the trainer in the dining room where I spin away and watch tv. My usual routine is a 30 minute spin as a warmup for my strengh training workouts. In the winter time I taper down my cardio and concentrate on weight lifting. I find lifting challenging and a nice way to break up the monotony of off season cardio training. Where it really pays off is on the mountain bike trail. Upper body strength helps make bike handling easier and instills confidence.

Anyway back to the ti bike post. I know carbon fiber is all the rage in the cycling world now but I'm old school and I like my bikes made from metal tubes and welds.

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