Is there any element that calls to mind the notion of strength quite like titanium? Named after the Titans, Greek gods of myth, the 22nd element on the Periodic Table appears in airliners and lacrosse sticks, body piercings and medical equipment and even sunscreen. Titanium resists corrosion and is particularly strong and lightweight.
Somewhere along the way I concluded that a custom made aluminium or titanium frame would cost roughly the same, and that carbon should be dropped as an option because it’s too brittle and expensive. In the end there was not much of a choice — I settled on titanium. That’s all fine and dandy, except that this is a very challenging material to handle, and it takes knowledge and equipment to do so. I found a website listing all companies making titanium frames. Some were selling them at ridiculous prices, as if they were made of gold. I am no Rockefeller, so I created an account at alibaba.com. This lead to all kinds of negotiations with Chinese companies on who would make the frame, based on my engineering drawing and for the least amount of money. As you can already guess — the first company (the one with the lowest price) failed and only wasted my time; at least I got my advance payment back, plus an apology. I contacted another company and only approved the fifth drawing they presented to me (every detail must be SCRUTINISED). My new custom titanium bike frame is made by higher-quality Chinese company, Waltly Titanium.