Group Rides

Join us for evening indoor training rides on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30pm at the Recycle Bicycle Shop in downtown Ellensburg.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

What about titanium?

Titanium. That word elicits desire among many cyclists. Titanium is that ultimate lightweight metal that doesn't bend or rust like steel, break like carbon fiber or produce a harsh ride like aluminum. It is also makes for some of the more expensive bikes you could buy.

I have one titanium road bike that is a "wall hanger". It is a 1974 or 1975 Teledyne Titan which was one of the first mass produced road bikes. The Classic Rendezvous site has some excellent information on the Teledyne. It's very, very light. However, the Teledyne, because it was produced with what some would say the incorrect grade of titanium was often prone to fractures at the bottom bracket or seat post binder. Mine was at the seat post and it has been professionally repaired by Ti Bicycles in Portland, OR.

Now, there's another one hanging out in my shop for some overhaul work - a 1989 Spectrum of my dad's. The frame was provided by Merlin but all the finish and paint work was done by Spectrum (who is still in business and produces beautiful custom bikes).

The Spectrum weighs between 18 and 19 lbs and is very stiff. This particular model has probably close to 20,000 miles on it with no sign of slowing down. It should be noted these photos are before any clean up has been done.

I will say, however, you should always check your components. While swapping out some pedals this past week I discovered both lightweight, CNC machined crank arms had significant cracks in them from possible over torquing of the crank arm bolts. This could have been catastrophic for my dad had one snapped in half while he was riding. Make sure you are regularly inspecting your bikes for damage and cracks that could prove to be disastrous.


I, as I'm sure many other riders do, have a tough time as the weather cools to stay motivated for training. This fall has been just like the past few - the Manastash Metric finishes and the number of rides a week decreases. I can feel the fitness starting to slip away like and ice cube slowly melting in the kitchen sink.

This year I was determined to not let my fitness level drop as quickly as years past. I've worked hard for the conditioning since 2007 but there's always that little drop off during the winter, regardless of how much time is spent on the indoor trainer, that makes those first few rides in the spring some of the toughest to endure. The legs tire quickly with the added resistance of the road and wind and the lungs are trying to adjust to working harder with cooler air.

Determination and goals only go so far sometimes. This past week brought rib injury which has brought all movement (and exercise) to a halt. This is one of the most painful and demoralizing injuries I've had. My philosophy in life is there's got to be a reason for everything. I'm not sure what the reason is now but maybe it's a chance to let some of the other nagging injuries that invade a 46 year old body to heal.

There will undoubtedly be some hard work once I can get back on the bike and in the gym. At least the motivation is there as I anxiously wait.