Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show 2012: Ti-Cycles 25lbs Full Suspension 69er and more

 

Ti_Cycles_FS_69er_Full_Bike
At this year’s OHBS show, Ti Cycles was showing off the beautiful welds on their full-suspension 69er and their hard-tail. We have covered their 69ers in the past, however these were even lighter and featured more modern standards. Funny thing is, the first thing to catch my eye was the table of titanium bits and pieces that make you (me) want to go deeper into credit card debt. The one component that stood out against the rest was their generously-swept, very light,  25.4 titanium bar. Using an adapter, this will fit the OS 31.8 standard, and allows plenty of room for full cockpit controls. The sweep felt nice, and there was plenty of stiffness for my taste.

Check out the rest of the bike, and more, past the break.

 

Ti_Cycles_FS_69er_Handlebar_Sweep

First, this build showcased the most modern format of… almost everything, really. XTR Shadow Plus RD, 44mm head tube allowing tapered steer tubes, and the BB386EVO bottom bracket whose shell provides a much larger welding area in that most critical location.

Ti_Cycles_FS_69er_BB_Welds

This 69er was rocking a Blur XC carbon rear end, licensed from Santa Cruz. This provides a proven, rock solid, and very light-weight VPP platform. Mate that to the Fox Float flavor-of-the-month and you’re working with a top-notch frameset.

Ti_Cycles_FS_69er_Rear_Suspension

Furthermore, this beast was rolling on a sweet mix-and-match Rolf Ralos 6/9 combo, which are adequately wide for most applications, tubeless ready with Stan’s BST technology, and has a combined (29” front, 26” rear) claimed weight of 1565g. this and that carbon rear end will help keep unsprung weight down to improve the bikes balance and liven up the feel.

Ti_Cycles_FS_69er_Rear_Suspension

Looking past the build, focusing on the actual metal work, I found some great welds. I’ve worked the retail side of titanium frames, selling both production and custom frames built by Moots, Merlin, and even those Litespeed people. With that, I feel I can say these are some very consistent, well-laid titanium welds.

Ti-Cycles Rigid 69er Complete Bike

Also, hanging-out in the booth was this hard tail, belt drive 69er. This one was rocking a slick fork design with an integrated direct mount stem, and the whole package looked super stiff in a good way. This bike made me want to swap-out the pedals and do bad things in the parking lot. Maybe next time.

Ti-Cycles Rigid 69er Front End 2

Ti-Cicyes Rigid 69er Rear End

 

 

 

Comments

steve - 10/28/12 - 3:00pm

Cant see any benefit from that double front fork layout.

gibbon - 10/28/12 - 4:16pm

That’s a lot of titanium ugly in one place (regardless of how well it’s welded).

harnessgnarness - 10/28/12 - 6:00pm

that fork is wack i can just see that as a huge problem already

diehipsterdie - 10/28/12 - 6:07pm

a 69er? really? that crap is still around? this looks like a metal shop project………

dan - 10/28/12 - 7:17pm

It all got hit by the ugly stick

frank villagrana - 10/28/12 - 7:50pm

i can see several things wrong with this bike….i am sorry…

Spencer - 10/28/12 - 8:52pm

Ugly and stupid. Geez, what witch did Ti-cycles piss off?

Lancelotlink17 - 10/28/12 - 8:55pm

Not winning any beauty contests!

MB - 10/28/12 - 9:38pm

Most builders won’t do a non-trussed Ti fork for good reason. It’s trussed for strength alone. I think there’s better looking versions out there.

Funny that the author likes the welds, I was thinking they looked pretty crap, esp in the BB picture.

Both of my TI bikes by different builders look much cleaner, although I’ll be the first to say a pretty weld doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good weld.

Bill - 10/28/12 - 11:48pm

Kind of harsh from all of the fellow readers. Sure the bike isn’t the most recent design and the welds aren’t Moots quality, but when did a Moots welder pour his/her soul and passion into something only to have it belittled by a bunch of keyboard jockeys! I for one believe it’s good that the smaller guys still think it’s worth doing. They have way more passion and soul than any overpriced bike Moots has ever made. Oh and by the way, how many of the readers have tried to weld Ti, or weld anything at all for that matter. Stop your complaining and go back to riding your cookie cutter big red S POS (a company that doesn’t even MAKE bikes anymore).

Anoncyclist - 10/29/12 - 12:08am

It sounds like @Bill is attempting to protect ?HIS? company?

Bill - 10/29/12 - 12:20am

Not at all Anoncyclist. I am protecting any small builder that puts his soul and passion on his sleeve. No I have not made a bike and no I can’t weld, But I do know that what these builders do is not easy. So please, stay behind your desks and your coffee mugs, and let builders like these continue their work.

Harry - 10/29/12 - 1:04am

Im all for new, interesting things but that rigid frame really misses any real point. It seems like it has that really long back end just to facilitate the (outdated 1990′s BMX) interrupted seat tube wishbone. Re-do it as a rigid 29er with a 16.75″ chainstay, 69* headtube and lose the ISP. People want geometry not gimmicks.

Meh - 10/29/12 - 5:23am

My grandfather pioneered some welding inspection techniques for the aerospace industry and he can’t weld for nothing Bill. My cheapo, Chinese made, ti bike has nicer looking welds than those bikes I’m afraid too.

Andrew - 10/29/12 - 5:48am

Haha! I’d love to see someone barreling down a hill with that giant front end barely hanging on like he’s being dragged along by an ox cart and people looking at him going WTF! Whhyyyyyy???

Brandon - 10/29/12 - 9:41am

I don’t know, I kinda like the way that fork looks. I won’t be buying one because I’d like the option of changing stem length, but I like to look at it….

Andy - 10/29/12 - 10:32am

Well I’m no engineer but it looks like that (redundant) fork tube will transmit vertical hits from the front wheel straight into the handlebars like a jackhammer. Sometimes a little flex is a good thing

Chris - 10/29/12 - 4:05pm

I could care less how the welds look – I’m more concerned with how well they hold up. I’ve seen plenty of tidy, pretty TIG welds fail. Ever seen the titanium welds on an aircraft? Nowhere near the level of perfection you see from a lot of bike companies but very strong.

EricNM - 10/29/12 - 4:32pm

Coupla observations:
1) Bravo for outside the box thinking, but cyclists have spoken re: 96ers. They don’t want them, so a curious choice for the Oregon show. Why not straight 29er (or 650b)? Aesthetically too awkward, plus rideably / functionally limited by the small rear wheel.
2) Love the different approach to the truss fork and extended TT. Not my cup o’ tea, but definitely not cookie cutter. Kudos for being different and sticking your neck out. : )
3) Something no one else has yet to mention: why, why, why would you go to all the trouble (and expense) of a Ti frame for a full suspension bike? The ride quality will be almost exclusively determined by the suspension design and set-up from front to back. Titanium suspension bikes (IMHO, anyway) have always seemed to miss the point.
4) My only “harsh” comes at the expense of the ‘shop class project’ appearance (noted previously) of the shock mount gussets. Yikes. They look really, really not good… : (
5) Finally, I can’t comment substantively on the prettiness of welds vs. functionality / strength / or ride quality, but I’ll take the ‘less perfect’ welds on my Black Sheep Stellar over the (admittedly “prettier”) ones on a Lynskey or a Moots any day. (Thanks again, James!)
See you on the trail…

Steve M - 10/29/12 - 6:02pm

6 in the back 9 in the front- sounds good to me. Motorcycles have been doing it forever and it works great.

JS - 11/08/12 - 6:27pm

DUDE these bikes are sick!!!

Dr.Unk - 11/08/12 - 6:35pm

Regarding a ti suspension frame: aluminum fails, you need to get a new frame. When ti breaks (less likely) you fix the frame. Also, you can install couplers in a ti frame.

Will.Bike - 11/09/12 - 12:28pm

WTF?! these comments are amazing. This company has been around for like 25 years and is pretty well known for titanium fab and welding. They fixed a ti MTB frame of mine 5 years ago that everyone else said was scrap, Im still riding it today. Too bad I cant afford one of their builds,
These bikes look great .. Have also seen some of their custom frames around Portland and their track bikes are known as superb. Would love to ride the VPP tho! Cudos for creativity.. .Love the wierd stuff!

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