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My Litespeed Tachyon, a 1996 model, of which I am the second owner, (So Litespeed will not honour the warranty) has now developed its 3rd crack.

First was in the seat tube above the deraullier and I got that welded successfully in 2005 and have been riding it ever since.

Turns out the bottom bracket, and the right side of the rear stays have developed cracks.

I am trying to find a welder in New Jersey who will weld Ti, and will probably try it, since they charge about $50-100 to do it. (My big delay is that I have to take off the chain ring for him to get at it, and I keep forgetting to bring my crank puller to remove the chain ring off the bottom bracket.)

Anyone else done this? My first experience worked pretty well. Trying to decide if I should do it again. I am too cheap to buy a new Ti bike, and I have to say, I love Ti as a frame, and am completely happy with the bike otherwise.

(I have now cracked a Ti seat rail, a seat tube, a Ti front stem (twice!), and now two more places on my Ti frame. Perhaps there is a hint here. I am a big guy, but this is Ti! It is strong stuff!)

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The tool is a crank puller, I think. I'd answer your actual question if I could... My LBS steered me towards steel instead of Ti since at my size (6'3" 225lbs) I might flex the frame too much during standing climbs. –  darkcanuck Aug 30 '10 at 2:30
    
Edited crank puller in. Thanks. I am 6'2" and raced at 235 lbs, but am now at 270 lbs, alas. –  geoffc Aug 30 '10 at 10:15
    
With that many cracks, and you still think TI frames are strong? –  dotjoe Aug 31 '10 at 15:29
    
@dotjoe: Yes I still do, over a LOT of riding, I have done a LOT more damage to steel frames than I have to a Ti frame. It is 14 years old, and many tens of thousands of miles riding. And I am a big guy (270 lbs now, was racing at 235 lbs) so I expect things to wear out/break. Also, all the cracks but one do not affect riding. –  geoffc Aug 31 '10 at 18:02
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1 Answer

I think this question has gone a while without an answer because it's a little unclear what you want to do... do you want to do it yourself? Or by 'experience with welding' do you mean 'experience with having welded'?

Either way, I don't have an answer for you, because I don't have direct experience welding titanium, nor do I know any welders in NJ, but I do have some tips for you:

There's nothing wrong with being a big guy and riding bikes--trust me, I know many people who do it. However, it's important to realize here that most of the higher-end bikes you've ridden haven't been designed with you in mind at all. They're designed for the cyclist who weighs twice as many pounds as he is inches tall, because that's where the market is.

And sure, titanium is technically a stronger metal than steel, but yet again, even your titanium bike is designed for the same person your steel bikes have been designed for.

Here's my suggestion: Before you spend another $100 with a welder, think about this: for the approximate price of an average new titanium frame, you could have a custom frame made from steel, but with you and your size in mind: oversized tubing, reinforced lugs, maybe even a double top-tube*. The bike would be specifically designed for you (it's been done before) and would not fail like your previous experiences.

There's lots of framebuilders in Philadelphia and New York--it can't hurt to ask around. Hope that helps!

* An aside: I actually think they look pretty cool. I'm a really tall guy, and I'm looking forward to the day when I can buy a custom-made bike that actually needs one. =]

enter image description here

Image Source.

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Very interesting answer Dustin. +1 –  sixtyfootersdude May 14 '11 at 19:24
    
I found a image of a double top tube bike (from the 30s). I hope you don't mind that I included a picture. Feel free to revert if you don't like my edit. –  sixtyfootersdude May 14 '11 at 19:28
    
@Dustin, interesting. I did find a welder, $30 and it is back up and running. I do not want to buy a new frame, I like the current one, just needed to get it fixed. –  geoffc Jun 8 '12 at 12:10
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