Hey there, yep I have The Ti now, it’s an awesome uni. I’m not entirely sure of what titanium alloy it is, but it’s extremely lightweight (400g or so?.. which is over 100g lighter than the 2nd lightest… Triton).
It was Dan’s who let Zack borrow, who then sold it on to Isaac LeMasters, who then traded it on to me.
For the Triton, I first talked to Dmitry about a design similar to my ‘Ti’ frame, as it was the initial inspiration for producing titanium frames. That design was rejected (advised against, actually) because the way that the tubes of the crown join the legs at a 45 degree angle wasn’t good for tubing as thin as 1mm. KH and Dominas can do this as aluminium tubing can be obtained in thicker 2mm. It’s all to do with weld-contact area, nothing to do with material strength. If alu tubes were 1mm thick at that join area, they’d snap like crackers.
My Ti just about holds up to that design, but it needed to later have ‘cross-welds’ welded across the 45 degree join to further reinforce it. It works really well, and I bet it’ll outlast any aluminium frame out there right now; but I decided to pursue an overall better design for the Triton Sponge.
The Triton’s crown design is pretty much as strong as can be for a tubed crown. It’s also the stiffest frame by far out there, (you can hardly flex the legs together), when I compared it to several steel frames I’ve used and the XTP and KH. Though its price tag is quite high, it can’t be helped as the costs of raw materials is extremely high, much more so than common taiwanese aluminium. Still, with the 1mm tubes, the Triton is also the most resistant frame to dents and scratches, those who own one will know this well. You’d have to crash down as hard as you can with a hammer to even put a small ding into into it (yep, it’s been tried as a test, and there was hardly any denting). Scratches don’t really even show up due to them blending very well with the raw titanium colour. I’d say confidently, and in all honesty, that after having used almost every high-end frame there has been for trials, the Triton is confidently the strongest, lightest, and stiffest. What’s more, it’s got a warranty against any breakage or fault, and titanium can always be rewelded at any point back to 100% strenght, or even greater if you want reinforcements. (aluminium and steel rewelding isn’t as successful for frame strength due to their properties).
Overall, I’d say titanium is the greatest of the three major metals used in uni frame building. Though alloys vary, titanium is far far more reliable than any aluminum alloy currently. All frame makers know this, but alu is great as it’s cheap whilst being light…
A tiny handful of people are fussing over the Triton’s slightly thicker legs nearer the bearing holders. They extend larger towards the bottom to provide maximum weld-contact area to the bearing holder for optimum strength. However, if you’re still fussed about the aesthetics, then just specially request for the legs to be made straight-blade (like the XTP and Domina legs are). It’ll save even more weight at the same time. I wonder how much a slimmed down version will weigh? CNC’d crowns, CNC’d bearing holders… they are all possibilities for the future, for the Triton is almost endlessly modifiable, placing it in a far more advantageous position than its rival aluminium (and steel)