Sof-Ti, Fatt-Ti, Pret-Ti

On the Fatbikers on Facebook page, there was a recent debate about whether the incredible ride quality of titanium frames could be detected whilst riding atop 4-5″ wide tires.  The conclusion of those who had ridden both back to back was that the difference was detectable and delectable.  While my Mukluk 2 is aluminum, I still appreciate the glory of Ti bikes.

With that in mind, the Saturday ‘bike of the day’ is Mike Curiak’s beautiful Ti fatbike on MTBR.

If you look closely, you’ll see 45NRTH on 80mm rims in the rear, Big Fat Larry on 100mm Clownshoes in the front, and a soft tail in the rear / suspension crown fork in the front.

It’s a beautiful bike, and Mike shows his usual great eye for photos…

All of those photos are from his post, and all photo credit belongs to Mike.  He makes some great wheel sets at his custom wheel shop.

Salsa recently posted some info on a full suspension fat bike that they’re working on as a concept.  That prompted a great deal of discussion and speculation.  In seeing Mike’s great bike, I really have to wonder if full suspension is the way to go, or if his  approach, with minimal travel to take the hard edge off of knocks, is a more elegant option.


3 thoughts on “Sof-Ti, Fatt-Ti, Pret-Ti

  1. When it comes to frame design/materials the placebo effect is a good chunk of the potential difference between competing options. I’d love to see some objective blind testing of different fatbike frames [Ti, steel, carbon, AL].

    I’ve read lots of reports of folks with custom and production Ti bikes that are struggling to justify their expensive purchases. Often these dream bikes get sold within a few years once they’ve kept them long enough to avoid having to say they weren’t all that great.

    That’s not to suggest there aren’t awesome Ti bikes out there, but separating Placebo Effect and Wallet Ego from the equation would change a lot of the reported results.

    safe riding,


    • What’s the fun of separating Wallet Ego and Placebo Effect, though, Vik?

      I do agree–it would be interesting to see objective, instrumented testing of the vibration dampening ability, lateral/vertical stiffness, and similar qualities that could be tested.

      • If a $4K Ti frame really doesn’t perform any better than a $2K steel frame of a $1K AL frame I would say that’s useful information for someone buying a bike. If you are able to show that the Placebo Effect/Wallet Ego Effect are responsible than you can ride your $1K AL frame with as much stoke as you would a $4K ti frame.

        That’s sort of like asking why would you want to know that wide supple tires roll as fast if not faster than narrow high pressure tires? To me understanding your choices well is key to making good decisions.

        Now if you find out the Ti frame performs no better than the AL and still want one because it’s pretty or just makes you happy. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.

        safe riding,


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