Titanium MTB for XC Racing

Just wondering if anybody has a titanium mtb they use for XC racing? I’m so keen to build one up for longevity reasons…

If there is anyone a pic would be awesome! Cheers :beers:

I used to race a Kingdom Double9 around the UK. It was comfy, fast and low maintenance. I’ve moved away from racing now, so have a Pivot Les SS currently and a new Mach 4 SL on the way.

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Oh mate that looks beautiful. Just asking, why did you move away from it? I’m 38years old and think I’ve got one more hardtail left in me!!!

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In all honesty - 650B wheels. I’ve now gone to 29 inch wheels. I love my Pivot Les, but I’d gladly have another titanium bike!

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I think it depends on how competitive and at what level you are racing at? Compared to a carbon bike, it will probably be a little heavier, and maybe not quite as stiff. If you are just racing locally, sure why not, race the bike you like the best. If you are at the pointy end, then a purpose built carbon bike is the better option, but you are probably fine with ti since you are asking the question.

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A titanium hardtail with good geometry and a good fork would be great for XC racing. Plus everyone will want to talk to you about your bike after the race.

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My son races XC on a Salsa A La Carte from circa 2015 (I think):

We were lucky to get it second hand from a local bike shop when he first got into MTB. Other than a newer set of forks (that pic is a couple of years old now) it still looks like new.

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What an amazing bike. That won’t age at all!!!

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Yeah that’s what I am thinking!

Yeah it’s for club races and the occasional interstate. I was thinking I’d just upgrade that parts…but things can change like wheel sizes over time.

Wheel size … that makes perfect sense!

Old ti MTB race bikes don’t die, they just get repurposed. As noted, this was likely Marc Gullickson’s or Todd Wells’ team bike from ~2000. Still going strong…taken in the streets of Durango just recently.

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That is so nice - the less rubbish on the planet the better hey.

I am extremely late in adding, but I built a titanium hardtail last spring with the purpose of racing single speed xc marathon events. I’ve raced the Tahoe Trail 100k, which I was geared way too heavy for, and the Barn Burner 50mi on it and absolutely love it. Compared to a carbon bike I noticed flex right away but it is comfortable and compliant instead of annoying. While a tad heavier than a carbon frame, it comes in at just under 21 lbs. with pedals, a dropper, and Renegade T5 tires.

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Nice! My buddy rides a Ti hard tail and seems to handle it pretty well. He did a local weekday XC race as well as the HC100 and likes it. I stress ‘like’ because after he rode my Epic Evo and our other buddy’s Spur, he’s on the fence about switching, or at least considering a XC FS. :wink: Honestly I like Ti hardtails and would add this depending on the trails and/or event.

Absolutely! I’ve done Leadville, 12 hour races, 24 HOP, local races. They are so versatile, good looking, and it’s a fact that ti bikes actually have a soul.

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Couldn’t have said it better.
I’m in a long term relationship with mine. We share toothbrushes.

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I don’t think titanium mountain bikes live any longer in practice. My mountain bike is 9 years old, made of aluminum and the frame has some dings, but is in perfect working order. All other parts, though, are nearing EOL. In addition, my bike is incompatible with all of the new standards.

So I don’t want to discourage you from getting a Ti bike, you do you, but I don’t think your bike is practically going to last longer. Ti bikes are also heavier than carbon bikes with the same components — I include carbon because they are in the same price bracket. Nevertheless, of course, you can race on a Ti bike just like you could on an aluminum bike. And if you want a Ti frame because of “the feel” or simply because you love the looks, go right ahead :slight_smile:

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I think there are more options for titanium. For instance, I have a Bontrager Ti-Lite racing frame from the late ‘90s (before Trek bought Keith’s company). You know how they say gravel bikes are just 90s mountain bikes? It’s true - and you can still get great wheels for it. That’s one of two components that are subject to changing standards (the other is the one inch threadless fork, which would be harder to replace).

And my Ti Lynskey Ridgeline is boost with a tapered headset. So there are still plenty of components available for it, and should be for a while.

I agree, the changing standards can be frustrating, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep riding the bike - you just ride it on different rides…

Perhaps you are luckier now than I was in terms of standards: my bike was the last of its breed, a 26” bike with quick releases and all that. But I think the geometry of the new bikes is so much better that this is a factor you shouldn’t overlook either.

My larger point is that the longevity advantage of titanium as a frame material is largely theoretical, all frame materials live long enough (barring a catastrophic crash, of course) to cover the expected lifespan of a bike. And I think 9.5 years for a mountain bike is past its life span actually, especially considering how frequently I have been using it. (It is currently on commuter duty, so I use it at least 5 days out 7.)

However, nothing I write should be construed as saying that the OP should not get a Ti bike, quite the contrary, even if it is just for looks. (We buy so many expensive things based on looks alone, cars, etc.) I just think longevity is not an argument in favor of titanium, but more of an equivocal point.

AFAIK from the people I know who own their frames Lynskey has a great customer support, so you are getting something for the money.

What’s funny is that I just watched a Cycling Tips video that tested this premise.