Titanium... The ultimate bicycle material. This lightweight, space-age metal is full of mystery and allure. Is it the right tool for every job? surely not, but since I started putting tubes together to build bike frames, Titanium has been a goal. The journey wasn't quick. Fillet brazing was easy to access. I cut my teeth building frames by melting brass between steel tubes and spending hours and hours buffing the joints smooth. It gave me a great base and taught me how a frame comes together, but about twenty painfully slow frames in, I moved on to TIG welding. TIG allowed me to build steel frames faster and more economically - which of course is good all around. TIG welding is also the only way to join titanium tubes and in the back of my mind though I knew that Ti was the goal. Almost as soon as I had purchased my first TIG welder I was cutting up Titanium scraps I scored from my builder friends and trying to get better.
Fast forward a few years and I knew it was time. There is only so much practice you can do before you just have to do the real thing. I learned a lot building this frame and it went a whole lot better than expected. Though I am not yet ready to offer Ti frames for sale, I am confident that I should have them ready to roll by the end of the year.
Anyhow, this bike is based off of my team SSCX bike from last fall. That bike is still one of my favorites, though it was built as a stock size and 56cm is a touch small for me. So this design got a little larger, but the handling is still very similar.
Though I race 10-15 cross races each fall, I ride my bike most days that there isn't snow on the ground here in Montana, so building a bike that is strictly for racing isn't the best choice for me. This geometry isn't quite as twitchy and fast as your traditional CX race bike. It is however awesome for long days on gravel or short after work spins up the many logging roads we have in town, even super fun rattling down some single track. And you know what? when it is time to go race, it is a bike I love, have spent a lot of time on, and feel super comfortable with. It's an all arounder and it is the only cross bike that I need. Especially because the PMW sliding dropouts allow me to make it a single speed for racing or geared for all around riding.
I am looking forward to getting a few more titanium prototypes out the door. This material is fun to work with and even better to ride. Here's to more of the riding part. Lean more about custom titanium gravel bikes here.