Please note that this article discusses cutting metal, and it intended for adults.
The reader/participant releases and holds Pro Scooter Shop LLC harmless from all costs, fees, damages, judgments, liabilities, injuries, physical or psychological, death, or personal or real property damage (“Claims”) arising out of or resulting from the reader/participation in the modifying of any scooter part, including but not limited to titanium bars, whether or not such Claims were caused by the negligence or default of Pro Scooter Shop LLC.
Titanium (Ti). The word just sounds strong and badass, especially if you say it using the Thor deep voice. No doubt it is strong and low density (light weight). Named after the Titans of Greek mythology...bet you didn't know that.
So why all the hype and hoopla about titanium bars for pro scooters? Over the last 3-4 years the industry has seen a massive increase in the number of riders running Ti bars, and just about every manufacturer is now producing them. Top three (3) reasons why Ti bars are popular:
Super light - forget strong. Riders for the most part like light scooters, and except for the deck, the bar represent the next largest, and heaviest, part of a scooter. So makes sense to lighten the scooter with light bars.
Strong - no surprise there. Titanium (Ti) can be just as strong as steel, and definitely stronger than aluminum. Ti bars have some flex to them, so they can take a fair amount of force before they bend or break. Indestructible? Absolutely not, especially if they are modified (see FAQ below).
Stylish - Don't kid yourself. While a large majority of scooter riders are male, they most definitely care how their scooter looks. The natural silver color is very appealing. Some companies are now producing black Ti bars, and they look marvelous.
Ti is also resistant to corrosion from sea water, which makes it a suitable material for marine equipment. What's that got to do with scooter bars? Nothing, but interesting tidbit.
Ti bars do cost quite a bit more than steel or aluminum bars, sometimes even twice as much. Two (2) reasons:
Material - cost of raw titanium is more expense than most other metals
Labor - it takes quite a bit more effort to forge, form and modify Ti bars. And because Ti is so strong, it wears down materials used to cut Ti bar faster than other metals.
Let's hit up some common questions and dispel some myths:
Q: Are Ti bars worth the money?
A: 100% subjective. If strength AND lightweight AND style are important to you, then yes.
Q: What sizes to Ti bars come in?
A: Just like steel/chromoly bars, standard size and oversized.
Q: Are oversized Ti bars stronger than standard-sized Ti bars?
A: Yup. Oversized bars are bigger, so more metal, so stronger.
Q: I ride SCS. Can I use Ti bars with my set up?
A: Absolutely! In fact, titanium bars are best suited for SCS; no slit is needed for SCS. See the next Q.
Q: Should Ti bars be used for compression systems (HIC, IHC)?
A: Ah, this is the big one. We won't go into depth about compression systems, but basically a clamp for HIC or IHC only works if the bars have a matching slit. Any time you cut any metal bars, chromoly or aluminum or titanium, the metal is by default less strong. Less strong before the cut was made. But should you cut a slit in Ti bars? To run HIC or IHC clamps, you have to.
Q: Does cutting the slit void the warranty on Ti bar?
A: Yes. 100% of the time. I'm not aware of any shop or manufacturer that will refund/exchange or cover warranty on Ti bars that have been cut. Envy Scooters even went so far as to remove the warranty on their titanium Union bars that had factory-cut slits made during production. That should tell you something about the impact of modifying Ti bars.
One last thought here. Most Ti bars do not come with slits in them. Some will say that is because riders want to change the height of the bars, so why cut a slit if the customer is going to cut it off anyway? Valid, but the more realistic answers has to do with warranty and impact on the integrity of the bars.
Q: Is there a best-practice if you do decide to have a slit cut in your Ti bars?
A: Yes, but again, any modification impacts the integrity. It is recommended to drill a pilot, or relief, hole ON THE SIDE of the bars, just above the height of the clamp. And the slit should be 1/8th" wide and cut IN A STRAIGHT LINE, from the bottom of the pilot hole to the bottom of the bars.
You will have to file off the burrs and melted titanium in order to fit the clamp on the bars, and to slide the bars over the fork.
The reader/participant releases and holds Pro Scooter Shop LLC harmless from all costs, fees, damages, judgments, liabilities, injuries, physical or psychological, death, or personal or real property damage (“Claims”) arising out of or resulting from the reader/participation in the modifying of any scooter part, including but not limited to titanium bars, whether or not such Claims were caused by the negligence or default of Pro Scooter Shop LLC