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Dave’s Custom Titanium Audax from Titan Product Part II: the build

I know a few of you have been interested to see how Dave’s order with Titan Product ended up. As you might remember we saw the frame a few months ago:

…and now Dave’s been able to get it built up!

Looking very smart – Dave’s Titan Product frame brought to life


It looks like things have come together very nicely, although there were a few snags along the way…

The build has gone very smoothly after one little hiccup with the headset.  I had originally asked for a Campagnolo 45/45 headtube without knowing exactly what that meant because that was what was on my other frame.  I assumed that Titan would know, but apparently they don’t.

FYI a Campag standard 45/45 headset has bearings with an OD of 41.8mm. Titan prepared the headtube to what I now know as IS41 or Cane Creek standard which has bearings with an OD of 41.1mm.  It was detailed on their drawings that the headtube would be cut to 41.2mm, but at the time, I didn’t know that the Campag one was bigger.

After a few attempts at fitting the Campag headset I had bought, I took it to the LBS to see if they could ream the headtube.  First thing they told me was that they wouldn’t face or ream titanium because it ruins the tools (£400 for a new headtube cutter).  The guy then got out his fancy bearing/headtube template and told me that the headtube wasn’t Campag fit anyway.  Conclusion to the story, no work needed to the frame, pocket was £40 lighter but filled with a Cane Creek 40 headset that fitted perfectly.

The build has been completed with Campag 10 speed gearing, brakes and hubs, DT Swiss R1.1 rims, ITM stem and bars, Stronglight 50/34 chainset and a Brooks saddle.

It just shows the headset minefield we have to negotiate these days with so many different ‘standards’ for the integrated bearings that mount directly to the frame. When I got my carbon frame from China they recommended a specific model which made things easier (FSA’s Integrated Orbit CE in that instance). It’s good to see that Dave has a friendly local bike shop able to lend a hand.

Neat dropouts showing there’s more meat to the welding that it looks from the side

I have given it a bit of a shake down ride, just to make sure everything is working and the forks don’t drop off, but I only fitted the bar tape and tightened everything up a few days ago.

From the very short ride the other night, the geometry seems pretty good, with everything in reach.  I need to finalise the saddle height, as I felt myself ‘rocking’ a little, but I need to wear my cycling shoes for that.

I hope someone else gives Titan a try too, I felt the whole transaction went very smoothly.

The tricky brake bridge placement – David spent ages working out the clearance for ‘guards while still keeping a short drop calliper

I think Dave’s built this one up very nicely, you can’t go wrong with a few traditional touches like the Brooks saddle and Stronglight chainset to bring a contrast to the carbon and titanium!

It also looks like Dave’s been able to meet his goal of putting together a sporty frame that can still take mudguards or a light rack if needed. You can see from the position of the bars and saddle that he was always going to struggle to find something suitable ‘off the peg’ so finding such a reasonably priced custom option was a big bonus.

I’d say we’ve found another alternative to XACD, Titan Product certainly look like they can provide similar quality for a keener price which is always welcome these days. Apart from the lost in translation headset issue it also looks like everything was spot on to the drawing too. So who’s going to be next to give them a try out..?

Have you had a frame made in the Far East? If so I’d love to hear about your experience and share it with everyone else so do drop me a line via the contacts page, thanks!