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New Bike Arrives Thursday(21 posts)

New Bike Arrives ThursdayPsyDoc
Jun 5, 2001 9:43 AM
I ordered my new frame/fork yesterday from Excel Sports and I should have it Thursday. I ordered a Merlin XL 56cm with the Reynolds Ouzo Pro fork, and the Ritchey WCS stem. I am curious as to the benefits of a threadless setup (I have not bought a new bike in 9 years). Because I will still have my "old" Merlin XL, I will post my thoughts on the issue in a week or so. I will be building it up with a blend of Dura Ace and Ultegra (ultegra brakes and BB), 3T bars, American Classic Seatpost, Specialized saddle, mavic open pros with dura ace hubs (32 hole), and conti GP 3000 tires.

Oh tape will be the Neo-Pro from "Off the Front". Due to my somewhat recent accident caused by a very angry dog, I decided to go with the design shown below.
I thought ti bikes were "for life."boy nigel
Jun 5, 2001 9:57 AM
Congrats, PsyDoc, on the soon-to-be stork delivery. Gotta be a nice ride!

Questions, however. I notice that you're going from an "old" Merlin XL to a "new" Merlin XL.

1) I've heard people call ti bikes "lifetime bikes" as opposed to aluminum (fatigue) or even steel (rust). In your recent accident, did you damage your "old" XL? Is this the reason for replacement?

2) If your "old" XL is okay, what's making you get a new one? Have you tweaked/fatigued the old one at this point? Most people would try something else (as long as the "something else" fits properly), like another brand of titanium (custom, Colnago, etc.). Just curious as to why you'd get the exact same frame, that's all.

I'm not trying to challenge you on this; please don't misinterpret. It's just that I've heard so much about titanium and how it lasts (and even how easy it can be to repair the tubes compared with other metals and carbon fiber), and wonder why one would need another of the same bike in their stable.

Thanks for humoring me.

Best of luck, fun, speed, and safety (you've got your angry-dog mojo to ward off further canine encounters now) on your new XL.

I broke a merlin xlColnagoFE
Jun 5, 2001 11:20 AM
when i got hit from behind by a truck. it is possible.
They are...PsyDoc
Jun 5, 2001 11:21 AM
I did not take your questions as a have always been cordial in your postings to this board. In my recent accident, the Merlin came out unscathed. I am serious...not a frick'n scratch on it. The alignment was still perfect; typical...the rider gets bashed, but the bike is fine or the bike gets hammered and the rider is relatively fine. My wife wants me to sell the "old" Merlin, but I am very reluctant. The frame feels as fresh as it did back in 1992 and I have not noticed any fatigue-related issues. I figure that bike could have lasted me years and years to come, but I got bit by the "new bike" bug.

The reason for the replacement is threefold. First, the 2001 Merlins allow me to take advantage of a 1 1/8" headtubes, which purportedly increases front-end stiffness. The issue of weight savings with a threadless system did not figure into the equation. Second, the shifter bosses have been moved from the downtube to the headtube. As you may recall, there was a site posted that tested numerous frames for fatigue. There was a 60cm (?) Merlin Road that had a failure at the shifter bosses located on the downtube. I suspect this is one reason Merlin moved them to the headtube. Third...well...I just wanted a new bike and the Merlin seems to fit me pretty well. Also, I really like the way the bike rides/handles and I love the raw titanium finish. I cannot tell you how many times I have taken a previous bike in for maintenance only to pick it up with 1 or 2 new paint chips and/or scratches when I pick it up. Also, I have seen my friends bikes come back from shops only to have a new scratch or chip in the paint. I am horribly overprotective of my bike and I try to keep it well-maintained.

I considered several bikes: Merlin, Serotta, Litespeed, Trek, Fuji, and Lemond's new titanium bike (Tete de Course). The Trek 5500 was eliminated, because it actually flexed more than my original Merlin and I did not like the muted feel of the ride. Also, have you taken a close look at the finish of the OCLV's? Very poor; uneven clearcoat, clearcoat missing, etc. The Tete de Course was eliminated because I did not like the geometry. The Litespeed line was eliminated for numerous reasons. First, I did not like the ride quality of the Classic, Palmares, or Vortex. Second, only the Palmares was available in a 56cm and is a smidge pricey. Third, in my opinion, radial seat stays are plain ugly. Fourth, I do not like the finish of the Litespeeds...again, my opinion. The Serotta was eliminated due to several factors as well. I could not tell a difference in ride quality between my Merlin and the Serotta. I do not like the tapered tubes of the Serotta Legend, which is the model I was considering. And, I feel that the "Legend" is overpriced. My wife has a new Team Fuji and I do not think I like the idea of being "twins."

I did not consider other bikes, such as Moots, Seven, IF, Pinarello, Colnago, Eddy Merckx, etc., because I am unable to find one to test ride. Because I do not particularly like the look of sloping top tube frames, I did not consider them.

I guess it boils down to when you find something you really like, you tend to stick with it. Now, I guess I will have a "bad" weather Merlin and a "fair" weather Merlin. That is, of course, unless my wife decides to drop the hammer.
Thanks, PsyDoc. Sounds reasonable enough!boy nigel
Jun 5, 2001 12:20 PM
Not that it HAS to sound reasonable to ME for YOU to bike a new toy. :)

Thanks for not taking my queries the wrong way; it's important to me that I'm not "misread." Tough to get subleties across in typing form, you know.

You certainly have done your homework; I'm impressed, and wish you all the best with the new baby.

Glad to hear, as well, that your "old" Merlin came out unscathed from the accident.

Effortless swiftness right at you,
1 1/8ColnagoFE
Jun 5, 2001 4:39 PM
is only so that manufacturers have to stock one steerer tube size. there is no benefit to it for road bikes IMHO...stiffer? was it not stiff enough? probably more the fork/steerer than anything...threadless may be a bit stiffer, but youcan get all kinds of good CF forks for 1"
Jun 6, 2001 9:03 AM
I have threadless on my Spectrum and threaded on my Zeppelin and there is no real advantage to threadless other than ease of tightening a loose headset, if that is ever a real problem. Never was for me. In terms of weight, with exteneded headtubes, spacers, et al, threadless are probably not a bit lighter, maybe even heavier than a threaded. Stiffness? There is zero noticeable difference in my two frames headtube/headset/stem stiffness.
Riders are being sold a bill of goods on threadless and lots of them just quote some sales pitch (lighter, stiffer, etc.) all of which has proven to be false in my hands-on experience. And threadless stems are graceless.
Enough of my rant. A bike will ride fine with either system, but threaded/quilled is much better for fine tuning.
Jun 6, 2001 2:12 PM
I am partial to the threaded system as well. Personally, I have never had any problems adjusting the headset or it loosening on me. I hope the threaded system does not go the way of the dinosaur, but it is beginning to look that way. Some the reasons I stated for getting a new bike were rationalizations, in part. In fact, one of our club members looked at my Merlin and, in front of my wife, said, "Hey, some new wheels, and a carbon fork and this bike will be great!" Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my wife crack a grin as she knows how much I want a new bike.
You know, I'm very sure that you know more about this than I,bill
Jun 5, 2001 10:03 AM
but I've heard that the ultegra BB and Dura-Ace crank are not compatible (or, at least, that last year's weren't). Even though they were both splined, there was some reason why you had to use a DA BB.
Also, I believe that the Ritchey stem is a 26 mm stem, and 3TTT makes 25.8 mm bars. That so little difference can make a difference seems absurd, but I could not get my Profile Design stem to hold my 3TTT bars securely enough. I finally got a 3TTT stem. Maybe I could have tightened the clamp harder, but I was starting to worry about the integrity of the bar.
But, hey, what do I know?
You know, I'm very sure that you know more about this than I,Larry Meade
Jun 5, 2001 10:45 AM
I have been using the Ultegra BB with a DA crank for about 3 years with absolutely no problems. I haven't ever heard this particular rumor before and neither has my buddy who used to work customer support for Shimano.

The last generation DA/Ultegra were not compatibleDave Hickey
Jun 5, 2001 1:05 PM
The last generation cranks were the ones that were not compatible. The Dura Ace 7410 cranks were low profile and used a 103mm BB, the Ultegra took a longer size. Both of these were tapered bottom brackets. The current generation DA/ULT work fine with each other.
I hope this clears up the confusion.
Non-Issuesgrz mnky
Jun 5, 2001 11:12 AM
He really won't have any problems with the mentioned equipment and compatibility. Many folk use the Ultegra BB on DA cranks instead of the DA for reliability reasons. In fact you can also throw the 105 BB into the mix, but I'm not sure why you'd do it unless it was the only thing available. The Ritchey WCS stem will work fine with the 3T bars - plus it has a removable face so it can accept small differences in diamneters if there are any.

Should be a really sweet ride!
Jun 5, 2001 11:27 AM
I think the Ritchey WCS stem has a 25.8mm clamp least that is how it is listed by Excel Sports. I recently purchased a Profile Design quill stem from Nashbar and it fits my 3T bars fine.
I stand corrected...PsyDoc
Jun 5, 2001 11:37 AM
I just called Greg at Excel and he said that the clamp diameter of the WCS is 26.0. But, as long as the face plate has at least two bolts, the 2/10ths of a mm do not pose a problem. He said the face plate hits the bars well before the screws max out, and that only with a threaded stem with a single bolt would you have a problem.
Mine was built this way, too.look271
Jun 5, 2001 8:29 PM
I had heard conflicting stories about the 2 being compatible. Performance's catalogue said that you couldn't, a friend of mine said he was sure that you could. My LBS called Shimano tech-service. They said that it is perfectly OK to do this.
re: New Bike Arrives ThursdayCima Coppi
Jun 5, 2001 10:09 AM
I wish you well on the new ride!!! Curious, though, on the choice of Ultegra brakes over Dura-Ace. I thought stopping power is significantly better with D/A. Weight is only a bit less on D/A, but relative to what you are spending on the total ride, the $75 more for D/A seems worth the investment, at least to me.

I have a Dura-Ace group with Ultegra brakesJ.S.
Jun 5, 2001 11:04 AM
and I can't imagine needing more power, I can do nose wheelies at stop lights on command. I would eventually like to get a Dura-Ace brakeset to complete the group as they are lighter and more durable(thrust bearings instead of bushings)but I believed they were the least needed of the parts I upgraded.
re: New Bike Arrives ThursdayPsyDoc
Jun 5, 2001 11:41 AM
I have a new 2000 pair of ultegra brakes sitting around that I was going to put on my "old" Merlin, but never got around to it. I have heard that the stopping power of ultegra's is better, but I cannot recall the source. Besides, I have to give my wife something to buy me on our anniversary :)
Jun 5, 2001 11:50 AM
I heard the same thing about the new Ultegra brakes vs. the new DA brakes. I have the new Ultegras on one bike and the don't stop as well as the very-beefy previous generation DA brakes on my other bike. I heard that the newer DA brakes were a bit flexy cause they're so light.
Latest Ultegra stops better than latest Dura Ace in my opinion.railer
Jun 5, 2001 2:44 PM
DA has less metal and therefore more flex. I think the ideal set up would be Ult in front and DA in back. They are identical in leverage.
re: New Bike Arrives ThursdaySkip
Jun 5, 2001 12:04 PM
Congratulations. As a MXL owner, I look forward to your comparison of the "old" with the new. BTW, my 2000 MXL has the bosses on the HT. Thanks.