The requirements of a good street bike and the ones for a good mountain bike are incredibly different. While a mountain bike needs to be rugged and able to withstand a lot of abuse, a street bike needs to be lightweight and overall has fewer demands placed upon it. Two of the best materials to consider for your street bike today are that of titanium and carbon fiber. These materials are used in some of the finest bicycles in production today. Here are some of the differences between those materials and which one you should consider for your street bike.
With a street bike durability is not the single most important factor. However, it is still highly important to pick a bike that is durable if you want it to be able to stand up to daily use and abuse. A titanium street bike is typically made from a solid, single piece frame. Carbon fiber, on the other hand, is created from a different process. It is essentially a lot of smaller parts woven together to form a singular part. As a result of this there is more flex when you use a carbon fiber bike. This can actually create a somewhat better bike riding experience though it does mean that the durability is decreased.
One of the biggest selling points of titanium is that is highly durable while also being lightweight. That makes it very similar to carbon fiber. Carbon fiber has the advantage over titanium due to the process used to create it. The lighter weight means that it will be easier to transport the bike if you have the added advantage of owning a bike rack for your car.
Titanium road bikes are created with titanium tubing. Titanium bikes are essentially a solid piece made from a solid metal. In this regard titanium is limited in the kind of shapes that can be created from it while it is arguable that carbon fiber can be used to create any number of possible shapes. The unique construction of carbon fiber also enables it to be just a little more flexible which has debatable advantages and disadvantages.
Both titanium and carbon fiber are very expensive materials. However, carbon fiber edges out titanium in the price due to the fact that is such a new material and it takes a much more involved process to create it. You can expect to pay much more for a carbon fiber bike than you would for a titanium bike. However, there is a possibility that you would spend more money on a titanium bike if you went with a custom bike due to the restrictions that come with using titanium. This would make a titanium custom bike more difficult to produce depending on the shape.