If you had asked me 20 years back about the future of bicycle frames and the materials used to build them, I would've told you that titanium would be the main material used to build bicycles by the year 2000. It seemed that it was the perfect answer for the rider that wants a bike that rides like a steel frame, coupled with the light weight of aluminum or carbon fiber. The only drawback was the price. My thinking was that titanium would eventually drop in price and heavy steel frames would finally meet their match.
Well, something got in the way of that prediction. Steel got much stronger, and therefore, much lighter. Steel actually got so light, that we can build a steel frame as light, or lighter than any titanium frame (unless we build a wet noodle ti frame), and it still comes in a lot less expensive. Titanium is so springy, that it is possible to build it lighter, but then the ride really suffers. For these reasons, we really saw no sense in offering titanium frames in the Rodriguez line-up.
However, it came to my attention that some customers want titanium for other reasons than weight. Some people like the look of ti, or don't want to have to protect a paint job, and are willing to pay a bit more for that convenience. So, in 2009, R+E Cycles was happy to re-introduce the the Rodriguez titanium custom frame.
Stainless steel seems to be more popular than ti as a lower cost version of bicycle frame that needs no paint, but some folks really like the idea of ti anyway, so we do continue to offer it.
Titanium doesn't replace any of the steel frames we make. So, if you're looking for extreme light weight, you'll still want to be looking over the Steel Rodriguez Outlaw frames, or even a fly-weight stainless steel bike from Rodriguez. But if you are looking for titanium, you can now come on over to R+E Cycles and have your ti frame built in Seattle with care, attention to fit and service that we strive to achieve with every frame.
For more information, give us a call at 206.527.4822 or e-mail me
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