Daniel Dhers Goes Titanium

Daniel Dhers likes light bikes. He really, really, really likes really, really, really light bikes. Whether you’re from the same school of thought or not, his success speaks for itself. When Mike Laird started producing titanium frames around two years ago, Daniel was interested, but not quite ready to pull the trigger. After letting a few other riders put them through the ringer, he celebrated the end of 2018 by gifting himself two brand new titanium Lairdframes. We were on hand for Daniel’s first ride and got all of the details on how it went down.


In your not-so-humble opinion, what are the advantages of riding a light bike?

I think a lighter bike helps you do certain power tricks easier and ride for longer on your day-to-day sessions. It's logical. Less weight equals less effort.

Can a bike be too light?

I always thought a light bike would give you trouble on big jumps, but I changed my mind after watching some of the guys ride the Nitro ramp without a problem. Maybe the geometry has more to do than the weight - I remember having a 12.5" back end and having issues riding a big set of jumps as well as icing big walls. It was just too responsive. Some might say you could be affected by wind, but when we have been in those situations, wind seems to affect riders with all sorts of different bikes and body weight.


What made you finally dive into riding a titanium frame?

I've always been into light bikes. I think it was a matter of what would be the next step and this is it. 

Unless some other material comes in the future of bikes, I don't think you can go lighter any in freestyle.

What other titanium parts do you ride?

I ride spokes and spindle. Not titanium, but I also run the Albe's latex tubes and they are a game changer as well.


What other titanium parts would you ride?

I might ride forks and bars one day. I was hesitant on the frame because it's a material I didn't fully understand. Many brands have done them in the past with little success until now. I don't want to be the guinea pig but I'm willing to try bars and forks after some other riders give them a try for a bit.

What was your first impression when you received your titanium frames?

How crazy light, clean, and nice it looks! 

Did you run into any abnormal issues when building up your new bike?

Nothing too crazy. The rear triangle and bottom bracket were a bit wider than my old chromoly frame, so I added a couple washers and problem solved.





What were your first impressions when riding the frame all built up?

How easy it whips! But, the weirdest thing is how you feel like you float in the air. I remember watching Ricky Veronick ride and noticed how he seemed like he floated and now I feel the same way. Im not sure why, I don't think it's the weight because Ive never felt it before any time I dropped weight with other parts.

Any flexing?

There's some, but nothing crazy yet.


What aspects will take some time to get used to?

I think that because it's lighter, it seems easier to jump obstacles - so over shooting and all that. Also, the way Ti absorbs impact when you ride; it's like you don't really feel the coping when airing out. I haven't cased anything yet, but it does feel a bit weird.

Do you honestly, seriously, sincerely feel safe on it?

So far Ive only had a couple rides on it, but I don't feel unsafe. I think after watching a couple gnarly dudes ride them, I think it should hold me up just fine. It's like running Ti spokes, some people think they break very easily, but Ive been running them for about twelve years now and have never had an issue where they broke because they were Ti.


Have any tricks came easier?

So far everything feels a bit easier. Just less weight to carry around.

Have any tricks been more difficult?

Not really. My timing was a bit off on a few tricks at first, but everything feels fine now.


Do you think you’re done with chromoly forever?

Possibly. I was telling Laird if these frames do well for me, he will own me forever!

How much do the frames weigh?

The raw weighs just under 3.1lbs. The Blue one is 3.2lbs.


How much does your complete bike way?

Just under 18lbs - even with brakes and pegs! 

The going rate for a titanium frame is around $2,000. Is it worth it?

I think for a rider like me who makes a living of riding at high level competitions, it could potentially be. It would help save energy and be more explosive. It's really early to have a definitive answer, but I'll let you know after the first few events how it actually feels while competing. As for the leisure rider goes, I think if it isn't going to break the bank, it probably is as well. 

It would be like buying a Chevy vs a Lamborghini. It's a huge price difference between the two, but if it makes you happy, then go for it!


Any tips for a rider looking to lighten up their bike if that price range is out of their budget?

The barebones way to save weight would be to get rid of the things you don't always use like extra pegs and brakes. The second thing would be to cut all excess weight like the seat post and to cut axles flush to the nuts if you ride male. Third, although not really recommended and up to you if you want to risk it and be hood about it, then drill holes in the areas were the parts don't need the extra material like in between every spoke, dropouts, seat tube, bottom bracket, head tube, handlebars cross bar, etcetera. If you have a bit of budget, I would suggest getting the new Latex tubes from Albe's. They weight about an once without sacrificing strength. Also, getting Ti or hollow crank spindles, Ti spokes, kevlar tires, and so on. By the way, I've done all of the above.

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