Author Topic: Spa Cycles Elan Ti  (Read 12144 times)

Hot Flatus

  • Mediocre polyglot.Scoutmaster and nudist
Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #50 on: February 12, 2021, 07:54:49 am »
The legendary 'Porter'  ;D

I found them ok, actually, but I suspect that I am quite easy to deal with in so far as I knew what I wanted and didn't constantly change my mind and dick them around. I think ordering from them is a bit like having a meal at Wong Kei's. If you dither you are going to get shouted at. I ordered two frames from them at different intervals, both of which I specced myself, using their drawings and tweaking them. The first was a track frame that I altered to give a huge ovalised downtube for stiffness and I slackened some of the angles off a little. The second was a road frame that I had built with as small a triangle as I thought would work. Unfortunately a bit too small for me, so I sold it. New owner loved it.

The track frame arrived with BB threads crushed, which means whoever had welded it had clamped it badly. That is actually quite shit. The welds on both looked a bit amateur (in keeping with all the other frames I've seen from them with brand names on). Chasing the BB threads out was a nightmare and it was then that I discovered how hard titanium is. Fortunately The Legendary Shane  at my LBS was willing to total his tool in the process because he was really enjoying doing something that wasn't mending a puncture on a 30 year old shopping bike, or fixing a shit BMX.

I quite like it. Its in the shed because I have soemthing much more fun to ride, but it will make a reappearance at some point. Would I buy from them again? Probably not. If they are so careless as to crush BB threads, I can't see how they are going to take care with welding, avoiding contamination and welding with inert gas. Ain't going to happen.  I wasn't surprised when I heard about Setavento frames falling apart, and when I first saw a Qoroz frame at a trade display I actually felt pretty furious because I recognised the 'workmanship' and I realised what they were up to. Taking £1200 off somebody for a £200 frame, and then leaving them high and dry when it cracks...

Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #51 on: February 12, 2021, 08:25:43 am »
The legendary 'Porter'  ;D

I found them ok, actually, but I suspect that I am quite easy to deal with in so far as I knew what I wanted and didn't constantly change my mind and dick them around. I think ordering from them is a bit like having a meal at Wong Kei's. If you dither you are going to get shouted at. I ordered two frames from them at different intervals, both of which I specced myself, using their drawings and tweaking them. The first was a track frame that I altered to give a huge ovalised downtube for stiffness and I slackened some of the angles off a little. The second was a road frame that I had built with as small a triangle as I thought would work. Unfortunately a bit too small for me, so I sold it. New owner loved it.

The track frame arrived with BB threads crushed, which means whoever had welded it had clamped it badly. That is actually quite shit. The welds on both looked a bit amateur (in keeping with all the other frames I've seen from them with brand names on). Chasing the BB threads out was a nightmare and it was then that I discovered how hard titanium is. Fortunately The Legendary Shane  at my LBS was willing to total his tool in the process because he was really enjoying doing something that wasn't mending a puncture on a 30 year old shopping bike, or fixing a shit BMX.

I quite like it. Its in the shed because I have soemthing much more fun to ride, but it will make a reappearance at some point. Would I buy from them again? Probably not. If they are so careless as to crush BB threads, I can't see how they are going to take care with welding, avoiding contamination and welding with inert gas. Ain't going to happen.  I wasn't surprised when I heard about Setavento frames falling apart, and when I first saw a Qoroz frame at a trade display I actually felt pretty furious because I recognised the 'workmanship' and I realised what they were up to. Taking £1200 off somebody for a £200 frame, and then leaving them high and dry when it cracks...

Yep, that’s the business model that too many have followed, and it stinks. Prices have gone up now on both side of the sea mind.

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #52 on: February 12, 2021, 03:01:51 pm »
engineer's pov about titanium bike frames: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CTjg1TFHDc

Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #53 on: February 12, 2021, 07:17:17 pm »
engineer's pov about titanium bike frames: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CTjg1TFHDc

Er, yes. Steel is the same too. UTS varies and the practicality of drawing and butting tubes.

Most Ti DB is 9/7/9, although some in the ISA claims to go down to 0.5mm.

Columbus draw down to .6/.4/.9

Rikulau in Taiwan have a Carpenter originated stainless tube set (equivalent of 953) that is seamless cold drawn down to .7/.4/.7 and .65/.45./.65 - see the Master Vulcan V9. The frame is heat treated and aged after welding. Not a cheap frame.

Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #54 on: February 13, 2021, 04:31:07 pm »
My Van Nic Yukon is 14 years old, and with LEL's, PBP's, LEJoG's & many other miles the frame still looks brand new (apart from very minor cable rub - virtually invisible).

I don't think that aspect of ti should be under-estimated.  The Yukon has been chucked in coach holds, backs of vans with other bikes, on top of boats in the pouring rain and I've never worried about it.  No dings in the top tube (steel) or chips on the bottom bracket shell & chainstays from gravel (carbon).

It'll never need a respray and has a lifetime warranty (which seems as though it might actually be worth the paper it's written on in this case).

All those factors make a compelling case for ti, irrespective of the "buttery glide" or other marketing hype.  It's just a damn good reliable bike and the best money I've spent cycle-wise.

Hot Flatus

  • Mediocre polyglot.Scoutmaster and nudist
Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #55 on: February 13, 2021, 05:49:26 pm »
Yep, a very compelling case for your usage. I love carbon frames, but you can't throw them around, you cant stack them into a trailer with other bikes in case a pedal smashes into the frame.

Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #56 on: February 13, 2021, 06:02:19 pm »
Yes, agree with all that.

Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #57 on: February 13, 2021, 06:17:21 pm »
Yep, a very compelling case for your usage. I love carbon frames, but you can't throw them around, you cant stack them into a trailer with other bikes in case a pedal smashes into the frame.

Indeed.  In contrast with the Van Nic, the Cervelo gets minimum abuse and a watchful eye at all times.  It doesn't even leave the house if there is the slightest chance of precipitation   ;)

Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #58 on: February 14, 2021, 11:12:46 am »
engineer's pov about titanium bike frames: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CTjg1TFHDc

Thank you for the link - that is a brilliant channel. That reflects my subjective experience that I got virtually all my gains in comfort with bigger, thinner sidewall tyres running at a lower pressure. And of course continuing to experiment with the touch points to see what fatigues me the least on a long ride. (seat height, seat forward position, bar height etc. I still haven't figure those all out yet)

He bought Ti because he prefers its fatigue resistance compared to Aluminium, its puncture resistance compared to Carbon, and he likes how it looks!

Somewhat off topic. He also did a fascinating comparison of carbon fibre as a material - long story short, it is possible to have a lighter frame for the same stiffness but ONLY if there is a high degree of skill in both analysis of layers to meet the expected loads and twisting forces, and skilful layup of the perfect design to achieve that. The less skill in either necessitates more layers to add a safety factor, and that makes the frame heavier for the same stiffness. F1 teams are brilliant at this - but I suspect the bike industry has nowhere near that level of design and layup skill.

Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #59 on: February 14, 2021, 05:15:05 pm »
engineer's pov about titanium bike frames: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CTjg1TFHDc

Thank you for the link - that is a brilliant channel. That reflects my subjective experience that I got virtually all my gains in comfort with bigger, thinner sidewall tyres running at a lower pressure. And of course continuing to experiment with the touch points to see what fatigues me the least on a long ride. (seat height, seat forward position, bar height etc. I still haven't figure those all out yet)

He bought Ti because he prefers its fatigue resistance compared to Aluminium, its puncture resistance compared to Carbon, and he likes how it looks!

Somewhat off topic. He also did a fascinating comparison of carbon fibre as a material - long story short, it is possible to have a lighter frame for the same stiffness but ONLY if there is a high degree of skill in both analysis of layers to meet the expected loads and twisting forces, and skilful layup of the perfect design to achieve that. The less skill in either necessitates more layers to add a safety factor, and that makes the frame heavier for the same stiffness. F1 teams are brilliant at this - but I suspect the bike industry has nowhere near that level of design and layup skill.

It is interesting but it’s a shame he didn’t include steel.

Here’s a Columbus Spirit tube set - https://ciclicorsa.com/shop/columbus-spirit-tube-set/ - the top and down tube are drawn to 0.5mm/0.38mm/0.5mm. That would be weight, stiffness and fatigue competitive with 0.9/0.7/0.9 Ti of similar diameter (38mm down tube). Back to aesthetics then...

Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #60 on: February 14, 2021, 05:33:35 pm »
I’m quite fond of steel and Ti frames, for the reasons given. Just picked up a secondhand Holdsworth Competition. Columbus Spirit, welded in Taiwan of course (Planet X). Big, thin pipes. Should be fun when I get around to moving some bits across to it.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #61 on: February 14, 2021, 05:38:41 pm »
Here’s a Columbus Spirit tube set - https://ciclicorsa.com/shop/columbus-spirit-tube-set/ - the top and down tube are drawn to 0.5mm/0.38mm/0.5mm. That would be weight, stiffness and fatigue competitive with 0.9/0.7/0.9 Ti of similar diameter (38mm down tube). Back to aesthetics then...
Such thin walls might be more dent-prone?
Faster than a walk, slower than a train, often slightly higher than a person. (David Byrne)

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #62 on: February 14, 2021, 05:52:24 pm »
Indeed. Rule of thumb limit for robust tubes is 50:1 diameter:thickness, though you can push that a bit with sufficiently high strength materials.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #63 on: February 16, 2021, 12:23:30 am »
engineer's pov about titanium bike frames: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CTjg1TFHDc

Thank you for the link - that is a brilliant channel. That reflects my subjective experience that I got virtually all my gains in comfort with bigger, thinner sidewall tyres running at a lower pressure. And of course continuing to experiment with the touch points to see what fatigues me the least on a long ride. (seat height, seat forward position, bar height etc. I still haven't figure those all out yet)

He bought Ti because he prefers its fatigue resistance compared to Aluminium, its puncture resistance compared to Carbon, and he likes how it looks!

Somewhat off topic. He also did a fascinating comparison of carbon fibre as a material - long story short, it is possible to have a lighter frame for the same stiffness but ONLY if there is a high degree of skill in both analysis of layers to meet the expected loads and twisting forces, and skilful layup of the perfect design to achieve that. The less skill in either necessitates more layers to add a safety factor, and that makes the frame heavier for the same stiffness. F1 teams are brilliant at this - but I suspect the bike industry has nowhere near that level of design and layup skill.

yeah, he's very good, and in the recent video rants about the same thing i've been ranting for years. as a fellow engineer i can totally relate to his frustration, while most of consumers seem not to mind the substandard equipment they use..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hp8IBAQYggE

TimC

  • Old blerk sometimes onabike.
Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #64 on: February 16, 2021, 08:57:15 am »
I’m quite fond of steel and Ti frames, for the reasons given. Just picked up a secondhand Holdsworth Competition. Columbus Spirit, welded in Taiwan of course (Planet X). Big, thin pipes. Should be fun when I get around to moving some bits across to it.

I have a PX Holdsworth Cyclone (similar: linky) which is Italian rather than Taiwanese - indeed, I think I have the prototype, which was done in Columbus tubing not 531, as it has no frame number and the discussion with PX when I bought it suggested that might be the case. It's a great ride and I love it, though it's not as trad as the example in the link.

I have two Ti bikes - a Kinesis GFTi v3, and a Ritchey Break-Away. The GFTi is everything Ti is traditionally sold as: reasonably soft ride but good responsiveness and pretty to look at, but not outrageously expensive. There have been quality issues with these frames, but I've been lucky and I think this is my favourite bike. The Ritchey was outrageously expensive, and rides like a carbon race bike with the stiffness edge slightly taken off. I love it, and did 700 miles on it in 7 days from SF to LA via the mountains in 2019. It is the perfect travel bike for me.

I have a carbon Boardman SLS. Frame and fork weigh about 1.2kg all in, and the entire bike weighs around 7kg. It is stiff as hell, and I wouldn't put it within pedal range of any other bikes.

Among the ally bikes I've owned (I still have a couple), my favourite was the Cannondale R2000 (USA-made CAAD 8 frame). A beautiful ride, but so thin that one crash dinged the top tube to the extent that I wouldn't ride it again. That frame decorates my garage wall.

All these bikes are great, but given a choice for road riding at almost any time of year and weather, the GFTi wins most of the time.

Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #65 on: February 23, 2021, 05:51:43 pm »
Back on topic  ;D

I'm in the last stages of buying an Elan 725 mech disk for long rides and Audax.

I would be interested in the gearing the rest of you choose for your Elan's?


Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #66 on: February 23, 2021, 07:08:53 pm »
Mine has an 11speed 11-34 cassette and a Spa 46/30 chainset.

I've only had it since last month but already ridden nearly 500 miles. All local miles and so I haven't been up the really steep hills that seem to appear at the end of audaxes! But the low gear of 30/34 is the same as my other bikes.

The advantage to me of the Spa chainset is that as my legs get older and the hills get steeper I can easily change to 44/28, 42/26 and 40/24 chainrings before the e-bike beckons.

offcumden

  • Oh, no!
Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #67 on: February 23, 2021, 07:26:08 pm »
I went for the triple 30/39/50 combined with 14-30 to give me a good range and avoid large jumps between gears (see my earlier posts above).  I find the closer ratios particulary helpful for longer rides in the hills. I provided my own Miche custom cassette, which allows me to dispense with the smaller sprockets - which I would hardly use.  It does cost a little more than the standard Shimano but, when you are spending over £1000 on a bike, it makes sense to get it right from the start.

30/30 bottom gear suits me for now, but a Spa triple would open up the possibility of lower gears still, especially if combined with bigger sprockets.


Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #68 on: February 23, 2021, 08:01:51 pm »
Thank you Neil and offcumden.

Neil - I was also drawn to the 46/30 in GRX flavour - but you make a good case for the ability to change the rings easily.

I didn't know about Miche cassettes - they look great: I too would happily swap the 11,12,13 for some better choice in the middle 18,19,20.

I've only used a triple on a bar end friction lever - does a triple index well on an STI lever? It's the type of thing my engineer brain suggests might need constant tweaking to keep shifting well? Or suffers chain rub on the front mech when you have middle ring on largest sprocket? With a friction lever it's easy just to tweak that.

offcumden

  • Oh, no!
Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #69 on: February 23, 2021, 08:19:25 pm »
I didn't know about Miche cassettes - they look great: I too would happily swap the 11,12,13 for some better choice in the middle 18,19,20.

I've only used a triple on a bar end friction lever - does a triple index well on an STI lever? It's the type of thing my engineer brain suggests might need constant tweaking to keep shifting well? Or suffers chain rub on the front mech when you have middle ring on largest sprocket? With a friction lever it's easy just to tweak that.
Miche cassettes obtainable from https://thecycleclinic.co.uk/collections/cassette/products/miche-10-speed-cassette-shimano-sram-compatible

I've used triples successfully for many years, with bar-ends, Shimergo, and now Sti. This is the first time I've had 3x10 (previously 3x8) and it works perfectly. The left hand shifter does allow you to 'trim' the FD when on the extremes of the cassette,  Ideally, I suppose, you should try and avoid this degree of mis-alignment by changing rings, but it doesn't seem to cause much of a problem in practice.

Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #70 on: February 23, 2021, 09:07:55 pm »
Agree re Miche cassettes. My Audax bike currently has 13-32 fitted. Used to be 50/34 at the front, but has been switched to 48/32. I’ve also got the few cassette cogs needed to remove the 16 tooth and convert to 12-32 if I want. The bike is my ‘Elan equivalent’

Mike

TimC

  • Old blerk sometimes onabike.
Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #71 on: February 24, 2021, 02:54:14 am »

JonB

  • Granny Ring ... Yes Please!
Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #72 on: February 24, 2021, 09:09:52 am »
I've only used a triple on a bar end friction lever - does a triple index well on an STI lever? It's the type of thing my engineer brain suggests might need constant tweaking to keep shifting well? Or suffers chain rub on the front mech when you have middle ring on largest sprocket? With a friction lever it's easy just to tweak that.

Triples work fine with STIs, I've used them with Tiagra and 105 set ups and once set I've not tweaked them until I've changed the cables. Having said that with my recent geared bike I've gone for GRX 46/30 which is good despite the big jump and I've got a bottom gear below a 1:1 ratio which is good for the stupidly steep stuff.

Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #73 on: February 24, 2021, 01:05:42 pm »
Thanks all.

I was determined to try and simplify with a double but when I played with the gearing on paper against the way I ride, I couldn't get the GRX 46/30, or any double combination to work. Evidently I am weird: I end up with a crossed chain at the speeds, cadence and power I favour on long rides. Or too big a difference in cadence moving between rings requiring gazillions of cassette sprocket changes at the same time.

So I'm going to go with what I know - triple onto a 11/3-something: Spa don't have Shimano Deore 48/36/26 crank - so I'm going to try the 105 50/39/30; If that works, great - if not, I'll get the Shimano Deore crank from SJS for £90.

My riding is pretty much 48 for flat and slight hills (2% gradient), 36 for most hills (3-20% gradient), and 26 when I am doing something that is way beyond my ability and endurance and I just need to limp home. :)

Re: Spa Cycles Elan Ti
« Reply #74 on: February 25, 2021, 09:30:12 am »
At age 61, 44-34-22 suited me well. 18 years later, all getting harder to turn!