Jul 7, 2001 3:11 PM
|What (if any) problems have there been in terms of bike quality from the Merlin takeover by Litespeed?|
Jul 8, 2001 8:11 AM
|I am not aware of any problems. If anything, I would suspect that the quality of the bikes are "better" as one perception is that Merlin needs to "prove" themselves since the acquisition. One of Merlin's quality control guys did make the move down to Tennessee and said that the "new" Merlins coming off the line are better in many ways than the "old" Merlins. According to Merlin, they will still be making about 3,000 frames a year. |
One positive thing is that since the acquisition is that Merlin is quicker to make changes. For example, the pitch of the 6/4 races that are pressed into the headtube has been changed to allow the use of Campy's "Hiddenset" headset. Also, I am pretty sure the brake bridge has been redesigned. On Spectrum's website, Tom Kellogg seems pretty happy that the acquisition is leading to getting "...changes and improvements instituted...These include both product changes and also process improvements. The new Merlin owners are very interested in my plans and they are the best placed people in the industry to make the upgrades to Merlin's equipment and processes."
I own a 1992 Merlin Extralight (56cm). During a recent vacation in Jacksonville, FL, we were staying was in close proximity to two nice bike shops. One of them had a 57cm 2001 Extralight that was built up, so I took the bike out for about a 3 mile spin. I can honestly say that I could tell a positive difference in ride quality, but I am sure that was due to the Reynolds Ouzo Pro fork. I also inspected the welds on the bike quite carefully. The welds on the new Merlins are an improvement over the welds on my 1992 Merlin. The quality of the welds on this 2001 Extralight were much better than the welds on my 1992 Merlin.