I"m in the market for a new gravel bike. (currently riding first generation checkpoint). This will be the bike i ride 90% of the time, so i’m going " all in". I have the Moots Rout RSL at the top of my list. I live in the mountains, so climbing is my primary focus. One issue that i’m having trouble researching is the weight of a titanium bike vs the best carbon bikes. Its so hard to find accurate frame weights. so im wondering if in general a Titanium bike is going to be heavier then a carbon. Any other thoughts about the bike would be appreciated as well.
My Gravel bike is just aluminium but for my I chose a Titanium frame over a carbon one partly because of titaniums robustness. I think that would be more of a influencing factor if I was weighing up a carbon gravel bike v a ti gravel bike. The choice I had at the time I bought my gravel bike was a aluminium gravel bike v a carbon gravel bike and folk reccomended me the aluminium one being more robust and I haven’t find extra weight to be an issue anyway.
may not be the exact answer you’re looking for but dolan here in the UK list there frameset weights on there website.
at first glance Ti about a kilo heavier for frame with carbon fork vs aluminium, maybe 1.3kg vs carbon
Moots will likely be a bit lighter but a good starting point
Ti will probably be a bit heavier. I think litespeed has frame weights on their website so you can get an idea. I really enjoyed my watia this fall, looking forward to when it warms up again and I can ride it some more.
Generally titanium will be heavier than carbon and lighter than aluminium. You might get the odd very heavy carbon frame or very light alu, but usually, it’s about that.
Lynskey has from weights too. I had a GR300 in XL…the frame was listed at 4 lbs or 1.8 kg. Not sure how that compares to a carbon gravel bike but Ti is a bit heavier.
Rough estimated weights
- Moots Routt RSL Frameset = 1,400g (54cm) according to this CyclingTips article
- Parlee Chebacco XD Frame weight = 870 - 980g per Parlee website for S - XL. So assume ~900g for equivalent size to the 54cm Routt
Gives you a frame weight penalty ~500g / 1.1lbs
The CyclingTips Parlee Chebacco article lists the complete bike as tested at 7.8kg, so if we go with 0.9kg (900g) for the frame, then everything else besides the frame = 6.8kg. So the frame makes up only 11.5% of the total bike weight. So your choices for everything else will probably influence the overall bike weight as much or more than just the 0.5kg difference in frame weight
For completeness, I would check out:
Firefly (custom frame … long wait time, but exquisite)
thanks! thats funny…cause the Parlee is also on my short list…thats a pretty big Delta!
On the Parlee Chebacco XD - I have the first generation Chebacco, and the XD looks to have fixed my biggest gripes:
- Slightly tweaked geometry, which should reduce / eliminate toe overlap and make it slightly more stable
- clearance for bigger tires, especially important as internal rim widths are getting bigger
- Storage mounts on the top tube for a bento box
Overall I like the Chebacco, but I’m probably not the best person to compare it to another gravel bike, as my gravel handling skills are the limiter, not the bike
While I’m not in the market now for a new gravel bike, I’ve been thinking that when I am, I would go with a Ti bike - I rode Ti road bikes for almost 30 years (that was just 2 different Merlin road bikes) - so I could tweak the geometry for my riding style, aesthetic tastes, and body geometry.
As an aside, a general word about titanium frame weight …
I have a titanium road bike (Firefly, FTW) and it is lighter than any carbon bike I’ve ever owned due not only to the lightness of the titanium, but because of the components I built around it…
Now, if I went for a featherweight carbon build, sure … I could build one lower weight than the titanium. But if you go for a featherweight build on a titanium bike, and build it up with very light components … at the end of the day the only thing that will be lighter than it is like and SWorks Crux, or some other top-end carbon hummingbird. And even then you might only be talking about 200-300 grams.
In the hands of the best of the best titanium builders, they will shave even more weight in smart places. See the attached photo of a Firefly … most titanium bikes will have standard butting, but Firefly and others will use an adaptive butting technique … they add thickness where necessary, like around bottle bosses … but shave it everywhere else.
Clearly, I’m not only a Firefly owner, but I’m a fanboy and lover of titanium ride quality … so take that for what it’s worth.
Also, check out No.22 bikes as well … they do semi-custom builds with shorter wait times, I believe. Good luck🤘
thanks , great info
In terms of factors that influence choosing a frame, I’d say weight would be further down the list when making a decision - particularly when looking at top end ti builders that you seem to be looking at.
But if you must know a number, I’d say it will be in the 300-500g range depending on what frames you are comparing.
Other than picking the bike up, you’d likely never notice it….we’ve beat the weight topic to death, but it really doesn’t impact performance much.
I am super-happy with my Cervelo Aspero gravel bike, but my next gravel bike will almost certainly be titanium.
That picture of the butting on the firefly, superb. Such fine machining. Get one of those instead of a moots. Go Boston! I live in MA by the way so I’m somewhat biased. A seven evergreen would also satisfy those custom Ti gravel lusts. Can even get it with some carbon tubes to bring the weight down of both the bike and your wallet. A lot of good reviews for their 622.
That being said I own 2 litespeeds, a road ultimate disc and most recently an ultimate gravel frame bought on the black friday sale. Love my ultimate road so figured another would work and so it does, quite well in fact. Also went with them since I figure I don’t really need custom geo and the available payment plan option makes affording such a lovely Ti frame much easier. Limited riding on it so far since new england winter is new england winter but what little riding I’ve done on it is super fun. A gripe about toe overlap on technical climbing but it descends quite well and responds to input in a spritely manner. As mine is specced it’s 19.5 lbs with cages and pedals. The frame itself is 1341g and the build could probably be lighter if I could have gone full hydro for the group. It has ultegra 8000 mechanical brifters and trp hy/rds with yokozuna cables which make a world of difference in how well those work. If I was able to get hydro brifters for this build I would have but part shortages and all. Would definitely drop the weight a bit since those calipers ain’t light and I can’t imagine those super robust steel wound cables are helping either. But also not worried about it since my old gravel bike weighed around that and I have 48/32 and 11-34 so that can make things decently spinny when needed. Both my Ti bikes ride smoother than my wife’s trek domane with 32c tires.
To be honest, I wouldn’t being too concerned about weight as others have already mentioned. FWIW, my Aspero weighs the same as my old custom Mosaic titanium gravel bike (about 19 lbs each). Granted the Aspero is 2x Di2 GRX and the Mosaic was 1x SRAM mechanical.
Reach out to a bunch of builders, have conversations with them, and pick the one that you like. Firefly, Moots, Seven, Mosaic, Alliance, Bingham, and 22 to name a few. Some will have butted tubes as an option for some weight savings, whereas others will recommend straight gauge. A good builder will try to tune the tubeset for your riding preferences.
If you’re patient enough, you can’t go wrong with a Firefly. It’s about a 28 month wait based on recent word of mouth.
IMHO if weight is on the forefront of your mind a lot, stay away from titanium and stick to carbon. I’d say as a general estimate titanium frames are roughly 500 g heavier than carbon frames. Of course, you might be able to compare heavier carbon frame to a very light titanium frame.
Whether 500 g is nothing to worry about or the end of the world™ depends on you. Personally, I have no strong allegiance to a frame material per se. Carbon frames are the lightest, so I am partial to them to some degree.
On the other hand, I don’t think titanium’s longevity is of practical relevance to me: my previous mountain bike’s aluminum frame was still going strong after about 10 years of constant usage. Perhaps it’ll make a difference in another 10, 20 years, but I’m not going to ride a bike for that long anyway.
Don’t take that as me badmouthing titanium, Ti bikes are very pretty and are made by very opinionated people, i. e. you’ll get more interesting frames. The big advantage of metal frames is the option to have a custom frame.
To give you a few more options, I think the Open UP, Open UPPER, Open WIDE, 3T Exploro, Cervelo Aspero and Vielo’s V+1 are all similar options with carbon frames.
I looked back through my build notes on the Firefly and I found where they quoted me 1300g frame weight and I’m about a 55/56 in a stock frame. I’ve got Dura Ace mechanical and i9 wheels on it, Thomson carbon handlebars, Enve seatpost, SWorks carbon saddle. It’s a featherweight.
We could debate the ride quality of titanium all day, but count me a believer. Also, the bike was built custom for my body and build, so that could have as much to do with the ride quality as anything.
To the earlier poster’s comment … if weight is your primary concern, buy a carbon bike that leads the industry in that category and you’ll get what you want. UPPER, Crux, Ibis Hakka, etc.