Daniel Dhers Talks Titanium

The world of freestyle BMX has flirted with titanium for decades, but nobody has put it to the test at the highest level like Daniel Dhers has. Daniel has exclusively ridden a titanium Lairdframe for over two years and has been on RNC cranks for the past five months. We caught up with Daniel to see if he really thinks it's worth the hefty price tag and if he ever sees himself crawling back to good old chromoly. Check it - 


You’ve been on a titanium frame for a little over two years now. Any regrets?

No regrets at all. The way titanium feels when riding is just amazing.

How many have you been through? Have you broken one yet?

I've ridden two so far. I was on my first one for a year and I’ve been on my second for a year and a couple of months. I might have it for about four more months - until I build a whole new bike for The Olympics.

Why don’t you think more of the riders you’re competing against have switched to titanium frames?

Not sure. Most likely either because they have sponsors who conflict or because they don’t see the value in having a lighter, more versatile bike. The frame is expensive when you compare it to a regular chromoly frame, but I think it's worth the price tag. 


What was the hardest thing to get used to when switching frames?

There wasn’t any hard part about getting used to it. Titanium absorbs vibration differently than chromoly, so when you air, you feel like you float more. I actually really like that feeling, so it wasn’t hard to adjust.

Do you think you’ll ever be back on a chromoly frame?

I doubt it. I don’t see any benefits in chromoly anymore.

How long have you been on the RNC cranks?

I’ve been on them for about five months.


How are those holding up?

So far so good. No issues.

Did you notice any drastic differences in the feeling of your bike when you switched to those?

Similar to the frame - they absorb vibration differently, so I actually feel like my pump is more efficient.

Do you think you’ll ever ride chromoly cranks again?

Maybe. I think if I do run into any issues with these I would, but I don’t see what could go wrong with these cranks besides the spindle possibly twisting - which I’ve done with chromoly cranks as well. 


Would you ever ride titanium bars or forks? 

I never have, but I would like to try them some point. I also wonder how the feeling would be with those parts... 

What other titanium parts would you be interested in trying?

I think that would be it. Those are probably the only big ticket items that you really can’t do in aluminum. 

Why did you take the titanium bolts out of your stem?

I kept having issues with the bolts coming loose or seizing in the stem. I would also kind of strip the heads because I take my bike apart a lot to travel.


How much does your bike weigh right now?

It is 18.5lbs - 8.34kg - right now.

Would you like to get it lighter or is this weight perfect for you?

I like the weight of my bike at the moment. I do wish there were more options for light Kevlar tires. I'm running some skinny race tires - the sizing is all insane on the Tioga tires - so I just ordered a pair of the IRC race tires to try them out. I think I can also play with certain items if they do become available - like forks and bars - but I’m not pursuing going much lighter. I run a pretty heavy seat, so I know I have room for potential.  

Titanium is expensive. Do you think it’s worth it for the average BMX rider to invest in?

I think it is. Frames and cranks are probably much more durable than spokes. I haven’t had an issue with spokes in maybe ten years, but I know if I land a flair crazy sideways, they can explode. As for the frame and cranks, I think they are a bit stronger than chromoly, but just like anything, if you hit a 30-footer and case the back of the jump with your front wheel, the frame will disintegrate just like any other frame would. No bike part is eternal. Not sure why BMX can’t cope with everything having an expiration date. I say go ahead and try it -  you’ll love the feel of the bike for sure!


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