Road bike frames are made of an alloy of titanium with other metals, typically aluminium and vanadium in varying proportions dependent on the desired physical properties, which improve durability and physical properties over the pure metal. Frame makers often cite “aerospace grade” tubing.
Titanium tubesets can be cold drawn as well as being hydroformed, like aluminium alloy. So although titanium frames may come with round main tubes with external cable routing, tubesets can have other shapes and allow internal cabling too. An extreme example of this is Lynskey’s Helix Framesets, which use helically twisted tubing that Lynskey says helps to resist torsional forces.
As with any metal frameset, the frame tubes are cut to length and mitred before welding. Welding titanium tubesets is more complex than making alloy frames, as titanium reacts with oxygen. So completing the welds can take as much as five hours of labour. The tubing then has to be tapped to fit the components bolted and screwed to the frame and the final finish and logos added.
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