When it comes to titanium road bikes, we know that it’s all about striking the perfect balance between compliance and stiffness to create the ultimate riding experience. Over the years we’ve seen manufacturers allow for too much compliance, thus creating speed wobble, and we’ve seen them put in too much stiffness, thus taking away the ride characteristics that titanium is so well-known for. Here at Alchemy, we’ve taken a creative approach to avoid those problems by seeking inspiration from an unexpected place: our carbon fiber road bike frame.
Though titanium tubing cannot be perfectly laid out for functionality like carbon fiber can, we can be picky about our titanium features to mimic that functionality and produce the ideal combination of ride characteristics. Here’s what we care about most when it comes to our titanium frames:
- Metal sourcing: All Alchemy titanium tubing comes from the USA. Though it’s slightly pricier, it is more highly regulated, ensuring it is stronger and less susceptible to cracking. Also, the higher quality the metal, the more malleable it is, so we can really push the limits with how we manipulate it.
- Metal treatment: We use titanium tubing that has been annealed or cold worked stress relieved (CWSR) to ensure it is as tough, ductile and dimensional as possible.
- Tube diameter: Use a tube diameter that’s too wide and you end up with an overly stiff ride. Use a diameter that’s not wide enough and you end up with an overly compliant ride. We use tubes of varying diameters throughout our titanium frames to balance it all out.
- Tube wall thickness: We hand pick the wall thickness of each tube that comes through our facility, as it’s very important in determining the vertical compliance and horizontal stiffness.
So, how do we combine all of those features to create the best titanium road bike possible?
We keep the compliance in the top of the bike with a smaller diameter top tube and seat stay with added s-bends. We then keep the stiffness in the bottom of the bike with a larger diameter down tube and chain stays. Our tapered head tube also helps stiffen up the front end, while the wide bottom bracket (PF86), allows us to flatten out the down tube to give it more surface area and create the needed bottom bracket stiffness.
This design ensures the perfect blend of complinance versus stiffness that you can get on a titanium road bike. If you’re interested in learning more about our Eros or Chiron frames, you can give us a call or stop by our Denver showroom if you’re in the area.