Re: [CR]Who really used Ti?

(Example: Component Manufacturers:Cinelli)

Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2001 06:26:17 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Tom Dalton" <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Who really used Ti?
In-Reply-To: <>

> Along with Speedwell Titanium of the UK, I think
> these bikes are a truly
> interesting piece of cycling history, being the
> introduction of a material
> that would be a major player later in the world of
> competitive cycling.

Not to be contrary, but...

Early Ti bikes are indeed interesting as precursors to the ubiquitous tiboneum Merlins and Lightspeeds of the 1990's, but it may be a stretch to characterize titanium as a major player in the world of competitive cycling. Indeed ti bikes were a dime a dozen in local pelotons throughout the past decade, but how many national or international level riders really used ti frames? It seems that titanium frames are a good example of something that became desireable despite never really getting the seal of approval of professional use. I suppose it might be the sheer exotic-ness of the metal, or it's association with military applications, or maybe it's just that the "last bike you'll ever need" is easy to sell to the customer (and associated spouse). In any case, Ti seems to have had a huge if temporary influence on the ultra-high-end bike market, and little influence on the equipment choices of actual riders.

I'd be interested to know if I'm wildly off the mark here. Were there actually a lot of pros on Ti at one (post-classic) point in history? Were these bikes just dressed up to look like steel or aluminum? Any top level teams that made extensive use of ti bikes?

Tom Dalton

> were made of commercially pure Ti which is now
> looked down upon as inferior
> with newer alloys in the forefront, but that was the
> state of the art at the
> time....
> When Teledyne were introduced at the various
> International bike shows, they
> created quite a stir in a few ways.
> First, of course, was the use of the ti material and
> the strength of the host
> Company (Teledyne Linair.) This ensured a serious
> effort was underway and
> gave credibility to the marque.
> Secondly was the company's use of Shimano Dura Ace
> as the premier parts group
> shown on the show bikes. This was a big break with
> past practices of
> virtually all major pro bikes being shown with full
> Campagnolo. The Super
> Record group was introduced just about the same time
> as the Teledyne, so this
> was a really brave move on the part of Teledyne.
> The Teledyne were sold as frame and fork though and
> they showed up at time
> trials and races with all sorts of lightweight
> components. Many had the state
> of the art parts of the day. For example, Fred
> Kozak (are you on the CR list
> at the moment, Fred?) built up a Teledyne will all
> the top bits of the day
> including (if memory serves) Huret Jubilee
> derailleurs, Regina Ti freewheel &
> chain, etc. He will display that bike at the <A
> HREF="">Cirque
> du
> Cyclisme</A> this spring I understand! I do not
> know the end weight but it
> is darned light!!
> Of course, one of Teledyne's achilles heels (along
> with a fragile fork) was
> the reduction of sizing of the frame down tube at
> the points of shift lever
> and gear cable guide attachment. This was said to
> cause frame breakage at
> that point, being a stress riser (although I never
> actually heard a specific
> case of that happening.) The top tube however,
> while also oversized, was
> not squeezed down to accept "normal" 1 ' to[p tube
> cable clips so the special
> oversized clips were made by Shimano to be used for
> these bikes. Those are
> the clips some of us are looking for....
> The finish on Teledyne is not just a bead blast (as
> I assumed originally) but
> a special odd anodizing that is very hard to
> reproduce. Sadly, scratches and
> blemishes are not easily touched up.
> Decal sets have been accurately reproduced and are
> available through Pro
> refinishing shops (including those turkeys at the
> below address!)
> Hope that fills in the blanks for many of you...
> Dale Brown
> cycles de ORO, Inc.
> 1410 Mill Street
> Greensboro, North Carolina
> USA 27408
> 336-274-5959
> Fax 336-274-6360
> <A
> HREF=""></A>
> <A
> HREF="">Classic
> Rendezvous</A>
> _______________________________________________
> Classicrendezvous mailing list

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