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Litespeed, Merlin or Seven....(16 posts)

Litespeed, Merlin or Seven....DannyBoy
Mar 4, 2002 5:20 AM
I'm looking at building up a super light compact bike (I know either you love 'em or hate 'em). Was looking at a Litespeed Ghisalo at 1.98lbs in medium.

Anyone know how Merlin's extralight compact or Seven's offering's 'd stack up in terms of cost/weight? Would I be better spending quite a few hundred less on frame and buying mega wheels etc etc, or is it half a dozen of one, 6 of the other??
re: Litespeed, Merlin or Seven....VittoriaRubinowitz
Mar 4, 2002 5:54 AM
All of them will be about the same price. The Litespeed Ghisallo frame alone sells for about 3000 which will probably be comparable to a Merlin or Seven. With Seven you wil get more custom sizing which is a plus, but both the Litespeed and Merlin ti bikes are high quality.

The Ghisallo is very light but has had complaints of excessive BB felx from it's riders. Team Lotto, which was gonna ride the Ghisallo all this year has already scrapped those plans because of complaints from several of their riders that the bike was way too flexy. They are now going to switch to the much stiffer Vortex.

You will probably encounter this problem with all very lightweight ti bikes whether it's made by Seven Merlin or Litespeed. Ti can only be made so light and then it starts producing a wet noodle of a frame because the material itself has so much natural compliance. Unless you are a real lightweight (ie in the 120-140lb range) I would not suggest trying to build a ti frame to the 2lb weight range. It's gonna be a wet noodle and what good is a 2lb wet noodle?
re: Litespeed, Merlin or Seven....woodes
Mar 4, 2002 6:33 AM
Your question is like throwing gasoline on a flame. There are many people on the board who have very passionate feelings about all three bikes. I've ridden a Seven (a dream ride even though it wasn't built to my specs.)and own a Litespeed Classic. The Classic is extremely comfortable, and doesn't flex that much (I weigh 165lbs). If you're going to go to great expense to build a dream super light bike, I would also spring for customization. Seven comes to mind first, but be careful, the customized geometry is only as good as the guy at the LBS who measured you.
I don't think Sevenjtolleson
Mar 4, 2002 8:11 AM
offers anything that approaches the frame weight of the Merlin XL or Ghisallo, but frame weight isn't everything. The double butted Axiom properly equipped can still be under 17 lbs. (depending on frame size) and IMHO will be a much better frame than the Ghisallo.
I don't think SevenTitaniumbuttedhead
Mar 4, 2002 9:17 AM
The lightest frame built by Seven is the compact Alta frame built with what they call their ultrabutted Cirrus tubing. Seven claims that a size 50 weighs 1.80 lbs and a size 54 weighs 2.09 lbs. This comes within 1/10th of a lb of the Litespeed Ghisallo which Litespeed claims weighs 1.98 lbs in a comparable size 54 frame.

I would contact Seven if you are really interested and give them your weight, riding style and ask them what they think. However don't be surprised if they tell you a size 56 would be fine, you buy one, and then find out you are riding a bike with tubes which feel like they are jellomix. The smaller sizes from 50 and under will probably be fine because their triangles are so small. But as you get larger sized frames using relatively the same diameter and wall thickness tubing (which is what they are doing)in order to minimize weight I'm guessing it won't take much above a size 50 before you start encountering jelloville bigtime. If you want a stupid light 2lb frame go carbon fiber - Trek OCLV, Colnago C-40, Calfee Tetra, Parlee XL, Look KG381i, Fondreist. Lots of choices. It still boggles my mind how so many recreational riders (anybody who doesn't race either professionally or get sponsored is a recreational rider despite what they claim) claim they must have the lightest components and lightest bike in order to feel good about their rides. I sometimes wonder if these posers even ride at all and yes they are posers with too much money and too little riding talent on their hands? I think it's a lot more about ego and snob factor and having a hole to burn in your wallet because your bored rather than any real world benefits derived from such a frame by most pretenders. People can disagree but I choose to call a spade a spade, take it or leave it I really don't care!

Good luck with your selection, just don't end up with jellomix.
I am now edumacated!jtolleson
Mar 4, 2002 12:16 PM
Seven measures ctoc and Litespeed ctot..they are closer than .1koala
Mar 4, 2002 4:19 PM
Check their websites.
Does it matter?TJeanloz
Mar 5, 2002 5:19 AM
As a philosophical question, considering that all Sevens are custom built, is it important how they measure important? If I had a Seven ordered for a customer and they asked me what size it was, wouldn't the correct answer be: "your size"?
Does it matter?koala
Mar 5, 2002 6:17 AM
Not if its a seven. My post referred to weight as one is measured differently and the weights are extremely close. Custom Merlins and Lightspeeds are an upcharge.
Difference of oponion.Len J
Mar 5, 2002 5:18 AM
It seems like a gross generalization when you say:

"I sometimes wonder if these posers even ride at all and yes they are posers with too much money and too little riding talent on their hands? I think it's a lot more about ego and snob factor and having a hole to burn in your wallet because your bored rather than any real world benefits derived from such a frame by most pretenders."

While I agree that there are some people who are exactly how you describe, I know that it isn't true about all (or probably most) IMO. I currently ride a under 17 lb Trek 5500, and I don't race, and I don't have the talent to race & yet I don't think that I'm a "poser(s) with too much money and too little riding talent on their hands". I'm 46 yrs old & last year I rode over 5000 miles. Do I "Need" a 17 lb bike to feel good about my ride? No. Do I think that I have earned the right to splurge on myself & get something that I enjoy the feel of, that I enjoy riding? Absolutely. Cycling is one of the few sports where (affordably) one can own world class equipment. I can afford it, I enjoy it, I'm not taking anything away from my family to get it, and I'll be damned if I'm going to let a over-generalized judgement like yours make me feel bad about having it.

In the end, we all make choices for different reasons. Gross generalizations do nothing but reflect badly on the person making them

Ride the one you like.Chris Leon
Mar 5, 2002 3:10 PM
Amen brother. We all enjoy riding no matter what your level. I use to own a bike shop. No matter what type of rider each customer was I tried very hard to treat each one with respect. If the asked me what was the best bike- the one you like the best.
Ride on
You got more money than senseCarl Packer
Mar 4, 2002 8:52 AM
This gets asked about 10 times a week...yawn...Just buy the one that costs the most. You'll be the Poser King.
Thanks for your commentsDannyBoy
Mar 4, 2002 9:29 PM
Thanks for your input, you guys clearly know your onions...

and yes I'll agree I don't need it, I am quite aware it's the guy on the bike that counts and not really what's underneath...... I just don't see what's wrong with buying something cool or cutting edge if you have the money and like that sort of thing....

And no I'm not a rich flash bastard, I've just moved from the UK to New Zealand where salaries are crap and earn about US20,000 and drive a 1988 1.3 Civic!!

I'm just going to blow my UK tax rebate because I can.......
Heck yeahGalibier
Mar 5, 2002 2:53 PM
Screw anyone who says you are a poser for buying the bike you want. Few if any of the folks here are professionals. What's left? Having fun. Get the bike you crave, and enjoy it!
Enjoy your bikedzrider
Mar 6, 2002 1:22 PM
In my value system you're only a poser if you spend more time cleaning it and telling people how light it is than you spend riding it.
Once again.....DannyBoy
Mar 6, 2002 4:13 AM
Thanks for the helpfull input. And thanks to the more positive comments. I agree, I'll ride the best I can afford, not because I'm a poser (here in NZ with a population of 3million no one'll see it anyway), but because I like to.........

Some of the loadmouths here remind me of the arseholes I first encountered when I began racing.... that was until they started getting beat........