Titanium custom China

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Bozabyka
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Titanium custom China

Postby Bozabyka » Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:18 pm

I would like to buy a custom titanium frame from a Chinese factory.
Has anyone done this?
Would they do it again?
Which factory can be recommended?
Thanks


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Monty Dog
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Re: Titanium custom China

Postby Monty Dog » Wed Jul 10, 2013 14:20 pm

I've ordered 4 custom frames from China for myself an others and I'm just in the process of specc'ing up another - if they can weld it in titanium, then they'll make you it. Never had a problem with quality of construction - seen worse from US builders. There are 3-4 factories that will take individual orders - XACD is the most popular but they tend to be a bit steep on extras, but others include Walty Titanium and Titan. Basic frame prices are in the region of $550-600/ frame plus shipping and you can easily double that in terms of extras if not careful. You do need a good eye for detail as they will make exactly what's on the drawing - as English isn't their first language, the drawing is your only point of reference and it costs £100 to ship a frame back to China. Best to start your design on a proven bike design/geometry and take it from there. Spannerbikes.org is a good site to look at for ideas
Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..

Bozabyka
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Re: Titanium custom China

Postby Bozabyka » Thu Jul 11, 2013 07:59 am

Thanks
I have sent my dimensions and am waiting for a reply.

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Monty Dog
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Re: Titanium custom China

Postby Monty Dog » Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:40 am

Looks like Walty will get my next order for a half-fat 29er that has clearance for 3" tyres
Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..

Bozabyka
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Re: Titanium custom China

Postby Bozabyka » Thu Jul 11, 2013 22:08 pm

Xacd has sent my first plan.
I am still yet to contact Walty and Titan.

Should I get a carbon fork or titanium?
Does Titanium need to be double butted?
Ali, steel and carbon and titamium have different characteristics.
Does a bikes design take the material into consideration?
Eg If I commission a titanium bike should I use proven geometry from a titanium bike in production?

SmoggySteve
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Re: Titanium custom China

Postby SmoggySteve » Thu Jul 11, 2013 22:14 pm

I know China is the capital of carbon frames, but Titanium? Not sure buying from China is going to be a better deal. I would rather buy from a Titanium specialist from the UK or Europe where I know the craftsmanship is better.

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Monty Dog
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Re: Titanium custom China

Postby Monty Dog » Fri Jul 12, 2013 07:14 am

SmoggySteve wrote:I know China is the capital of carbon frames, but Titanium? Not sure buying from China is going to be a better deal. I would rather buy from a Titanium specialist from the UK or Europe where I know the craftsmanship is better.


On what basis do you believe that UK or European craftmanship is better? Show me where I can buy a custom titanium frame in the UK for $800? Who do you thinks makes the frames for the likes of Planet-X, Van Nicholas, Sabbath, Spin and numerous others? I've bought 4 custom frames from XACD and all have been bang-on it terms of quality of finish and ride characteristics. On what basis do you know UK craftsmanship is better? In my line of business, it's well known there is an acute shortage of highly quality welders in the UK and hence why work is off-shored to places like China. In a city like Xi'an, there are probably more titanium welders than the whole of the UK.

Please provide evidence before making unfounded arguments.
Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..

Imposter
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Re: Titanium custom China

Postby Imposter » Fri Jul 12, 2013 08:35 am

Bozabyka wrote:Eg If I commission a titanium bike should I use proven geometry from a titanium bike in production?


Geometry is personal choice, obviously. The critical thing is that you must (in my understanding) include everything in the drawing that you want to see on the bike. For instance, if you don't include bottle cage bosses or cable stops on the drawing, there won't be any on the frame when you get it.

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southdownswolf
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Re: Titanium custom China

Postby southdownswolf » Fri Jul 12, 2013 14:11 pm

Enigma have most of their titanium frames made in Taiwan as they can not find people with the welding skills in this country. Only the custom frame titanium are made in Sussex. they are more than happy with the quality of workmanship in the far east though....
http://www.stuartmole.co.uk/

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Monty Dog
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Re: Titanium custom China

Postby Monty Dog » Fri Jul 12, 2013 14:35 pm

Getting the drawing right is absolutely critical as it effectively forms your 'contract' with the factory - miss a detail or get it wrong and it'll be down to the buyer. I've always based my designs on existing bikes / designs plus features or details that I've borrowed from others - it's quite easy to email a piccie to describe exactly what you want. The good thing about titanium fabrication is that there's little opportunity to hide mistakes - you can't apply filler, grind down welds or cover it in paint which can often happen with other types of construction. Modern production techniques include water-jet cutting / laser tube mitreing which is typically more accurate that traditional handbuilt methods. Welding titanium is critically process dependent too - someone who is doing a lot of welding is likely to get this right because the consequences of making mistakes is expensive. Most broken ti frames I have seen have been down to poor design execution which can be avoided by certain construction features.
Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..

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jordan_217
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Re: Titanium custom China

Postby jordan_217 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 14:57 pm

As already stated. Off the peg Enigmas are made in the Far East. Jim Walker himself says the level of craftsmanship is excellent and that very few in the UK could match it. I'm happy with the frame on my Echo.
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