VIDEO: The Ultimate Titanium Gravel Bike? Part One!

What defines the “Ultimate Titanium Gravel Bike”? Good looks? Performance? Light weight? There are so many variables. What one person considers to be the “Ultimate” bike of any kind, may not equate to the same in the requirements or opinion of another rider.

This new titanium project bike is JOM’s interpretation of the “Ultimate Titanium Gravel Bike”. Watch this space as this project develops!

A huge thank you to Lynskey Performance for their assistance with this project.

Links:
JOM’s 2018 Dirty Kanza 200 Race Video
JOM’s race bike from the 2018 Dirty Kanza
The “Ultimate” Carbon Gravel Bike

Thanks for watching!

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8 comments on “VIDEO: The Ultimate Titanium Gravel Bike? Part One!

  1. Great video – love the bike!! I’m hoping to get a titanium gravel frame in the not too distant future and the Lynskey Pro GR looks really great but having seen the prototype Litespeed Titanium Aero Ultimate Gravel in another article on your site I’m wondering if that might be a better fit for me because the ride looks like it will be more compliant with the passive suspension seat stays (i’m not a racer….yet anyway). It’s going to be my only bike because i live in a small flat in London so i’m looking for it to be fast on the tarmac and therefore an aero frame is on my list. Is the Pro GR frame aero or is the shape purely for strength and comfort. It looks frickin COOL but if it’s not specifically aero and the ride of the Litespeed going to be more comfortable then i’d hang on until that becomes available. Any thoughts much appreciated.

    1. Jimbo, bear in mind the Litespeed is a prototype that may not see production? I’ll post follow-up information as it becomes available.

      1. Yup I know it might not make it to production but assuming that it works well and is manufacturable at an attractive price point then I suspect there is a decent market for aero titanium frames, particularly for those people who want a versatile do it all bike that they can ride fast on almost any surface whilst offering more durability than carbon. Is the Lynskey an aero frame or is the tube design purely for strength / weight / compliance?

    1. LOL that is a serious windup! Voice may have been a bit dodgy that day… after 20 years of living in the USA, I’m doing pretty well to keep the voice this fresh haha.

  2. How do you feel Titanium stands up on the demands of gravel riding/racing? I’m at the carbon/titanium crossroads and not sure which way to go material wise.

    1. I’m no expert but my understanding is that titanium has a very high tolerance to fatigue cycles, ie being subjected to loads, bending and then returning to its original shape. For this reason you’ll sometimes see titanium frame referred to as a bike for life. It’s less susceptible to damage compared to carbon – my Carbon Synapse frame cracked badly when someone pulled it in an attempt to steal it when it was locked to a building. Two weeks ago I was out on a gravel route for the first time but it rapidly turned into very technical single track and I had a few minor tumbles. Carbon is fairly robust but in an offroad environment, particularly when out bikepacking where the bike might not get the world’s kindest treatment, I don’t think I’d be able to fully relax for fear of damaging it.

      I’m test riding a titanium gravel frame for the first time on Saturday so I can’t comment from personal experience but everything I’ve read suggests that the ride quality is very special – compliant, comfortable and yet full of energy and character. I can’t wait to try it.

      The downside is a little extra weight compared to a premium carbon frame and more difficulty forming complex tube shapes, so aerodynamic shapes are challenging. Weight is not that bit of a factor from everything I’ve read recently – body drag and therefore position, clothes and shaving legs (see Specialized wind runner research articles!) are much more important in the vast majority of scenarios. Often we’ll need to carry more water because we’re further away from civilisation and in bikepacking we’re carrying loads that make frame weight fairly unimportant. A good set of lightweight wheels will make a huge difference if you buy a bike with average quality stock wheels. One could argue that aero is less important on gravel due to typically lower average speeds and no doubt this is the case for the majority of routes and riders but no doubt aero gravel bikes will become more prevalent and indeed the 3T Exploro (carbon) and the bike featured in this video Ultimate Gravel are beginning to expand into this niche. I personally think that this is less of a consideration compared to the previous points.

      Fork material on all the gravel Ti framesets I’ve looked at is carbon for the better suspension it can offer (I believe) but that’s a cheaper and easier part to replace if damaged than the frame frame so i’m comfortable with that.

      I’ve thought about this a lot because I’m saving up to replace my CAADX aluminium frame and fork. Initially I thought carbon because of weight. However, I’m trying to build a highly versatile bike that will be a one bike quiver for a long time I hope. It will spend a long time on tarmac training with my tri club using 28mm tubeless tyres and a lot of time off-road with fat tyres on. It will no doubt get abused on extended bikepacking trips. I hope to keep it for years and years. In my experience carbon is not durable enough and I always worry about it getting damaged and whilst it is repairable that adds weigh, weak points (I imagine) and sometimes isn’t possible.

      For me the Ultimate Gravel could be the ideal bike because on higher tarmac speeds the aero benefit will become more pronounced (saving watts is always welcome for my legs and lungs), it will be durable, the ride will no doubt be lovely and it will look gorgeous. Let’s see how the full review on this site goes! ??

    2. Long story short, I prefer titanium over carbon. I’ve ridden both materials at many flagship events. I prefer the durability and ride quality of Ti.

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