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Moots, Seven, or Merlin ?(11 posts)

Moots, Seven, or Merlin ?mike chaiko
May 21, 2001 7:22 PM
I'm in the market for a ti road bike. For the past ten years I've ridden a Paramount OS (Reynolds steel tubing) and love the ride. Unfortunately, I've crunched the frame twice and it's tended to rust. I'm 6'2" and 185 lbs, 40 years and an ex-racer. I still like to ride hard, ie. sprints and out of saddle climbing. I've heard a lot of good things about the Vamoots but am concerned that it won't be stiff enough for my size and style of riding. I ride a 59cm. Should I go with a frame that has butted tubing as opposed to the straight gauge tubing that the Vamoots has? I tested a Seven Axiom that was made to be super stiff. I felt every rough spot in the road. The ride was very tight and responsive but just a bit too harsh. I haven't tested a Merlin yet. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Go for the SevenLargo
May 21, 2001 8:20 PM
The others are sweet, but at Seven, you can order the frame as stiff as you like. Custom rules.
Merlin can be made custom too...probably also mootsColnagoFE
May 22, 2001 3:05 PM
i think merlin charges another $200...still cheaper than the 7.
re: Moots, Seven, or Merlin ?Kyle
May 21, 2001 10:37 PM
I tested all of these when I was trying to decide on a bike. My thoughts (assuming all fit you):

Moots: Beautiful bike, incredible construction quality. Heavier and actually felt stiffer than the standard MerlinXL or Axiom. Butting doesn't affect the ride as much as it shaves weight. I seem to remember it being a little cheaper. Don't know how you 'crunched' your old frame, but the walls on this baby will be thicker than the other two and might be more durable if you plan on doing it again.

MerlinXL: Perfect in every way except those #$@%! head tube cable bosses (PS: I weight 150#.) Very light, supple, yet stiff where it counts. Now made by Lightspeed, so I don't know if the attention to detail will be the same.

Seven Axiom: As near as I can tell, the same bike as a Merlin XL--I think the guy who owns Seven designed the XL, in fact. Couldn't tell the difference. Possibly the most drooled over bike in America, if you care about such things. Custom is good as long as you know what you're asking for. Sometimes you can have too much freedom.

If you like steel, check out the Independent Fabrications Crown Jewel. I thought it was more or less equal to the above bikes in ride quality (different but equal) but is quite a bit cheaper.

Oh, I ended up with the Merlin--got a deal used.

Good luck.
IF Tijed
May 22, 2001 8:25 AM
In reference to IF they have put out a Ti frame for 2001. It is very nice. You probably can't go wrong with any of the above choices. People sure seem to love their Merlins though!
Don't Forget Serotta......Dan BB
May 22, 2001 5:15 AM get custom fitting, the sweetest welds you will ever want to see and a stiff, comfortable ride (no, this is not an oxymoron); not to mentioned customer service which is non-pareil!! I spent over 6 months evaluating all the high-zoot Ti builders, Serotta stood out as the clear winner. But I must say, my friends 4 year-old Merlin Extra-Light does have some awesome welds!

Don't Forget Serotta......grz mnky
May 22, 2001 10:40 AM
Test ride a Legend Ti - they have a program, but finding one your size could be a challenge. Custom is the same price as stock geometry and you can get them to tweak the frame to your liking. No one works the tube set like Serotta - butted and tapered to perfection.

You're in the high end arena and all of the bikes are great. It all comes down to the subjective aspects and with Serotta you can have it any way you want, right down to the color of the decals.

Check out and browse their customer comment board.
Love my Legend Ti!bike_junkie
May 22, 2001 12:13 PM
Looked closely at Merlin, Seven and owned a VaMoots before my Legend.

Seven will coddle you with customer service and make you feel good that way, but when you get down to the nuts & bolts of the frame, I preferred the Serotta's butted/tapered Colorado Concept tubeset, finish choices, and silky but stiff ride quality. Like a great steel frame but smoother and lighter. More stable than the Moots was.

All great bikes, including the "new" Merlins from TN. Can't go wrong .

Sure do like my Serotta, Ben knows what he's doing.
re: Moots, Seven, or Merlin ?revitup
May 22, 2001 2:30 PM
You forgot about Titus. They are the same or better quality than Seven and quite a bit less money. Like Seven, you can pick your level of stiffness. The frames are awesome and soooo comfortable - especially for long rides. Titus is also completely custom - so you can have traditional or compact geometry etc. They also have a lifetime warranty on all titanium frames. You can go to for more info.
Or, if you want something really uniqueLazy
May 22, 2001 3:16 PM
Try Vail Cycle Works. I have never seen one of the frames live, but it looks like they do really nice work. You can be pretty sure you'll be the only kid on the block with one.
re: Titusbike_junkie
May 22, 2001 5:24 PM
I live near the Titus factory and have visited them. Nice mtb's but face it, their roadbikes are ugly. And still $2k for a custom straight-gauge Ti frame which is the same as Moots, Seven, and Serotta's custom straight-gauge frames. MTB yeah, but their roadbikes lack the panache of a Serotta, Moots, Merlin or Seven. Just my opinion.