Weekly Roundup: For Whom The Titanium Bicycle Bell Tolls Edition

The last time I bought a grownup-style road bike was in… whoa… way back in 2002, when I picked up a closeout Schwinn Super Sport SL. It served me faithfully for five years of frequent use, including several “centuries” and long-distance tours. Two years ago I refreshed it a bit and put a couple hundred more miles under the tires. There’s nothing wrong with the bike whatsoever.

Still, I’ve enjoyed my Lynskey Pro 29 so much that I thought I’d try switching to a flat-bar titanium road bike just for fun. So This is my Urbano, complete with King Cage Shot Glass bell in titanium to match the frame and bars. True to Lynskey form, it arrived two months late, right before the end of the Ohio outdoor touring season. Oh well. I’ll be able to look forward to some long rides in Spring. I might even try my luck at the TOSRV 205-miler come April.

Not that I’ve been riding any bike whatsoever lately. Between PCOTY testing and a couple of full-length features for another magazine I’ve been cranking flat out in the non-cycling sense…

It was an all-green week at R&T with coverage of the Lamborghini Huracan Performante and the factory where Lenora the Evora was built.

Brother Bark told you about the collapse of salesperson compensation at Kia dealers and the likely aftereffects.

For TTAC, I made the case for Tesla, answered a reader question about cheap speed, and reviewed the refreshed 2018 Mazda CX-9.

In the week to come I’ll be giving you an exclusive look at the stick-shift-equipped 2018 Porsche 911 GT3, so stay tuned and, as, always, thanks for reading!

19 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: For Whom The Titanium Bicycle Bell Tolls Edition”

  1. Ryan

    Looking forward to the PCOTY stuff.

    Great looking bike! I have a Moots road bike that I have loved for the last 10 years.

    I too am in the process of getting a new bike, this time I’m going steel and custom made. I’m fortunate to have one the best steel bike builders in my (relative) back yard, Dave Wages of Ellis Cycles:

    http://www.elliscycles.com/

    Reply
    • craig.

      ellis’ are nice, dave is a super friendly dude too, talked to him numerous times at the nahbs’ i’ve attended…..

      craig.

      Reply
  2. phr3dly

    I’m all too aware of the siren call of titanium accessories. My garage has housed 6 titanium steeds over the years, including a Lynskey 650b (not too different than your 29er), and a handful of custom Ti road bikes (including a custom Ti tandem touring rig). While rebuilding a couple of the road bikes a few years back, in a fit of vanity, I purchased Chris King titanium crown races. When you’re paying for Titanium for bits that nobody will ever see, you. know you’ve gone over the edge. I equipped them all with King Cage Ti cages in a single 12-cage order.

    I am however disappointed to report that the King Cage Ti tire levers are virtually worthless. Best to stick with plastic.

    Still trying to get the nerve to buy one of the $$$$ Titanium Frame pumps next time they come up on eBay….

    Reply
    • phr3dly

      They’re great for short hops around town where performance isn’t an issue, nor having multiple hand positions to relieve wrist stress.

      I would question JB’s plan to use it for “long rides come Spring”. Flat bars for long rides is a Bad Idea.

      Reply
    • rpn453

      I think you’d prefer them to a set of road bike handlebars on your moto, Nate!

      They do have some backward sweep to them. I suppose one could angle them down a bit. I’ve never seen it done on a bicycle though. Not intentionally, anyway.

      Now you’ve got me thinking. I don’t know why motorcycle bars are swept down, mountain bike bars are flat, and BMX bars are swept up.

      It looks like motocross bars are swept up as well. Must be a control versus comfort thing.

      Reply
    • Kevin Jaeger

      I’m curious about the choice for flat bars on a road bike, too. At least if you’re planning to do long rides it seems an odd choice. But that Lynskey is a cool ride no matter what set of bars you have on it.

      Reply
        • Ronnie Schreiber

          Drops also give a variety of hand positions. The only time I get in the drops is when I’m facing a stiff headwind and need to be more aero, but that still leaves me with three other positions for my hands: on the brake hoods, on the corners of the bar, and on the flat.

          Have you tried a mustache bar like on the Bridgestone X0-1?

          Reply
        • Harry

          It is a bit out there, but I have had excellent success setting up alternative road/gravel/commuting rigs for people with wrist injuries using a mustache bar setup.

          http://www.origin8.bike/product-description/?prod_model_uid=1671

          That one is probably an improvement over the original Nitto bar used on the Bridgestone X0-1

          I have trouble finding pics of a modern version of that bike that doesn’t look like a hipsters fever dream, but this is a decent example of the original concept.

          http://www.cyclofiend.com/cc/images3/cc323-1IMG_0013.jpg

          It provides the benefits of many hand/arm positions to move around between on longer rides but can be set up to put less strain on the wrists, depending on what position causes you discomfort.

          Unfortunately, it is not compatible with the components already on the bike.

          Reply
        • sabotenfighter

          I’m surprised you can handle century rides with how many surgeries and injuries you’ve had. I’m a fair bit younger and a lot less broken, but after 150km of a 200km ride last spring, my knees were gone. Luckily hot springs are plentiful where I was riding, so I could take a load off and boil my knees at that point, but unluckily, it was also 95F outside.
          I could barely walk to work after that weekend and didn’t ride for a few weeks.

          Reply
          • sabotenfighter

            I’d like to add that I was riding a 58cm Bridgestone road frame (I need a 61cm or larger with my height, but outside of custom order, they don’t exist in Japan) from 1979. So not exactly the lightest or easiest pedaling bike. I also had a backpack full of camping gear.
            My newer Centurion Carbon R and Concorde Aquila feel like rockets compared to that old bike.

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            I’m pretty good at pacing myself… The farthest I’ve ridden in one day during my forties was about thirty-four miles, so I might find out that I have a physical limit well before the 100-mile mark now, at least with any kind of pace.

  3. Mike

    Will you be testing a CX5 as I recalled you liked the first and only test you did in 2012. We’re you overall impressed by the CX9? Since your review was a little criptic on that.

    Reply
  4. rpn453

    Mmmmm, titanium. I loved the stuff so much in my heavy riding days that I wore a ring I made from one of my Titec PG 3AL-2.5V bars. I couldn’t afford any more titanium than that while in university.

    Reply
  5. Ronnie Schreiber

    I bought my Litespeed Catalyst not that long after the Lynskey family transitioned from defense/aerospace stuff to bicycles and I have to say that it’s one of the most satisfied purchases I’ve ever made.

    Titanium isn’t easy to work with but I’ve never seen any welding, in any metal, that’s as smooth and regular as the welds on my Litespeed.

    I also think that titanium is in the sweet spot between stiff aluminum frames and springy steel. It’s got a very comfortable ride (augmented by the hard to find Rock Shox Ruby road suspension fork).

    Reply
  6. Aoletsgo

    Nice bike!
    I just sold a bike so I had to buy a replacement. I got a flat bar gravel road/path bike for the same pain issues.
    For my serious road bike I add aero bars for the long distance rides for the same reason. However, this year my long road rides have been limited due to caution – too many close calls and friends/friends of friends killed by cars.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *