Carbon v. Titanium

Once upon a time, I rode a Specialized S-Works E5 frame. Gawd, was it stiff and plenty fast. Gawd, did it punish me on 100-milers. 

Then came carbon. A Specialized Roubaix (after my bride accidentially drove into the garage with the E5 on the roof rack). Carbon? Wasn’t too bad. A little squirrely downhill but more forgiving overall.

Then I got my first taste of Titanium. It won me over. A Moots Vamoots with Open Pros is divine. I’ve logged a load of miles on the trusty rig. Only quibble: steep or long climbs. I knew all along I was giving up something to gain comfort that Titanium provides. I just forgot how much.

Until today.

I took out a new Specialized Tarmac SL Pro on some 7%-8% grade: In all, 60 miles and 6,000 feet. The bike is pleasantly nimble, while stable as hell on descents. Its fat headset and oversized down tube are hardly beautiful. But from an engineering perspective, they’re pretty. 

Did I really just say that?

My plan for the 2009 riding season (I don’t race, just do a couple organized climbs and try to hit Mt. Evans in Colorado):

  • Moots for base miles, recovery rides and road pleasure. (Think BMW 7 series)
  • Tarmac SL Pro for climbing, intervals and going a bit harder. (Think BMW M3)

If you’re on the East Coast, I hope the cold relents. Getting outdoors is a joy.


2 thoughts on “Carbon v. Titanium

  1. Glad you like the new bike! Sounds like it’s a blast. I’m still waiting for my gruppo to come for mine, probably works out best though. The weather here has really sucked, so I wouldn’t want to take a brand-new carbon bike out anyway. Keep rockin’ man, tell Palomar I said hello!

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