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Serotta, Seven or Merlin?(40 posts)

Serotta, Seven or Merlin?doctorbarth
Nov 28, 2001 2:18 PM
Looking at Serotta CSI and Legend Ti, Seven axiom steel and axiom Ti, or finally Merlin Ti. What do you think? Thanks-
Can we ever ask NEW QUESTIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Borrrrrreeeeddd
Nov 28, 2001 2:21 PM
I mean c'mon dude, they Are all great bikes if you have the dosh. Just flip a figgin coin or soemthing.
Sure! Shimano or Campy? :-) (nm)ET
Nov 28, 2001 2:26 PM
How about this, where is the best place toDr. Pack Meat
Nov 28, 2001 2:28 PM
go for some spring training in March. I am attempting to put together a 10 day trip for a bunch of people that want to get in a ton of miles. Obviously it needs to be somewhere warm with great roads and great scenary. I would like to stay within the contiguous US for ease of travel with bikes and gear. Someplace with great mountain biking would be a bonus. I really don't want to do any of the prepackaged cycling camps. Any ideas Mr. Borrrrrreeeeddd?
Try Tsali, down in North Carolina... (nm)Greg Taylor
Nov 28, 2001 2:31 PM
Whaddaya lookin' here for? G'wan, get outta here...
Boulder, Colorado (nm)Borrrrrreeeeddd
Nov 28, 2001 2:33 PM
come on man put some thought into itDr. Pack Meat
Nov 28, 2001 3:19 PM
Colorado ain't warm in March and I live in freak'n Denver
it ain't all that bad eitherBorrrrrreeeeddd
Nov 28, 2001 3:24 PM
So you need some tights and booties. It's still pretty nice riding in March.
Santa Rosa or Santa Barbara, Calif. (nm)Elefantino
Nov 28, 2001 2:36 PM
Or Solvangmr_spin
Nov 28, 2001 3:33 PM
Anywhere in Santa Barbara county is good. That's why pro teams train there. Saturn is there every year. US Postal used to go there.
Yes, but Zabel trains in...Bruno S
Nov 28, 2001 8:40 PM
San Diego and he is the current #1 on the UCI rankings. Because of this, San Diego has to be the best place to train :-)
California's Central Valley!Spokeman
Nov 28, 2001 3:24 PM
In the spring it's heaven for bikes. It has near perfect weather and great roads to train on. You can climb all day or ride on the flats all day. Plus, lodging is inexpensive.

The national team used to have a spring camp in the foothills near Fresno. Eddie B realized it was a great place for early season riding.

Plus, there are several national calendar races in the valley in March.

I bet Do(u)g will agree.

SoCal is the only place to becioccman
Nov 28, 2001 3:36 PM
I don't like riding in the rain at all.
What about Arizona?Dr. Pack Meat
Nov 28, 2001 3:39 PM
I hear the spring is nice time to be there.
I know it's not in the US butDutchy
Nov 28, 2001 5:10 PM
Get on a plane and come down to Australia, it's our first week of Autumn in March,
and you guys get a 2-1 exchange rate.

Great weather, great exchange rate, cold beer, doesn't get any better.

Although you have to ride on the left side of the road.

Silver City NMBipedZed
Nov 28, 2001 5:19 PM
Home to the Tour of the Gila. An easy 10-12 hour drive from Denver. Ride the race routes. Lots of high altitude climbing.
Can we ever ask NEW QUESTIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!doctorbarth
Nov 28, 2001 2:33 PM
Did the thought ever cross your mind that I might be new to this chat room. Thanks for your help.
Can we ever ask NEW QUESTIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Borrrrrreeeeddd
Nov 28, 2001 2:36 PM
You gotta realize this is not really an answerable question without a LOT more specifics. All the bikes you quoted are good. What do you intend to use it for? How much budget do you have? have you considered other bikes? Why the 2 steel and one TI choice since Serotta and Seven make great TI bikes too? What frame size? What frames have you tested, ridden in the past? Do you race? etc....
Can we ever ask NEW QUESTIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!doctorbarth
Nov 28, 2001 2:48 PM
The reason for several steel and only a few Ti, is I often wonder if Ti is worth the extra grand, but as you might guess from my choices of bikes, money is not my absolute concern. Just like everyone, I want the best bike I can get that will last me a a good while and not feel like I spent way too much. I don't race, just do centuries/club rides. 57 frame. Currently have a c40.
Huffy, Pacific, or Roadmaster? (nm)DaveG
Nov 29, 2001 9:27 AM
Well...Terry Salazar
Nov 28, 2001 2:32 PM
What models of Merlin are you talking about? You list two steel bikes...the CSI being the vastly superior steel ride. Your sorta comparing apples and oranges here. Have you really done your homework or do you want us to do it for you?
Nov 28, 2001 2:41 PM
Done the homework, but over it. Currently have a C40 and my bike before that was an old Basso, so I've not had much experience with Ti. All these companies seem great, but just looking for comments from people who OWN or have RIDDEN any of these bikes. As far as Merlin the extralite and road. As far as the apples/oranges thing-why is it that all Serotta bikes are compared to the csi?
Nov 28, 2001 2:50 PM
Have ridden the Merlin XL. It was nice, but a tad flexy in my 61cm frame size...the Road is supposed to be even flexier--probably OK for centuries and the like, but not a good choice if you are gonna race in my opinion. Don't know anything about their new compact frames. The Seven steel should be off the list. TIG welded steel and even though it's custom, Seven is not exactly known for steel bikes. You can do much better with the CSI. I happen to like my Colnago master XL, but the CSI was a close second. Personally I like the ride of the steel Colnago over the TI Merlin, but I ride a big frame and am no lightweight. Other riders may think the Colnago is too stiff. Serotta TI bikes ride much like steel bikes (by design...Ben Serotta likes it that way) but at a slight weight penalty over other brands of TI (like Merlin or Litespeed).

Why do you need another bike with a C-40 in the stable? never ridden one, but I've heard they are pretty nice.
Vastly superior?koala
Nov 28, 2001 3:33 PM
You have ridden the axiom steel? I thought it rode beautifully as did the csi.
Vastly superior?ColnagoFE
Nov 28, 2001 3:41 PM
Well I should state I've never ridden a steel Seven but I've seen a few up close. Nothing really special about them. Basic TIG welded steel bike. I would think for that kind of cash you'd get something unique like a SACHS or one of the many talented steel builders. Everyone I know who has a CSI loves it. Serotta built their reputation on that bike. Yes...I'd say the Seven is not gonna be as nice as the CSI, but not having ridden one I suppose I'd be wrong. If it were my cash though I'd stay away from the 7.
Vastly superior?koala
Nov 28, 2001 5:44 PM
I could buy the seven for 400 less and they both rode very well. The csi; is the better looks worth 400? You think so, in your case I guess it is.
re: Serotta, Seven or Merlin?Sprockets
Nov 28, 2001 2:57 PM
There is little we can tell you that riding and gathering dealer information won't provide won't provide. Don't buy a bike sight unseen/unridden if you can help it.

About all that I can say is that if you are big, Ti might not be a good idea. Every ti frame I have ridden-admittedly only a couple-has been less stiff than a comparable decent steel, not to mention custom steel. Also, in this already ridiculously high priced category, I think that Seven is too ridiculous in their pricing, if they are indeed Canadien as I have been informed.
Nov 28, 2001 3:20 PM
You've been fed a bunch of BS (and something that can be easily verified) - they're out of Watertown, Massachusetts, my home state. Why do people pass on speculative BS when it's so easily determined?

Isn't Fiji part of Canada?
because I was told by a formerly reliable....spigots
Nov 29, 2001 8:50 AM
source. I hedged in my original post because I lacked the personal experience with them. I did not consider it speculation at the time, although it was probably wrong. (I have not checked their site and having been chastised once, I shall hedge). Mistakes are made, sometimes with good intent behind them.

That, however, is not the important point: as I said, the source of the bike was only a contributing factor to my main point, which was that I believe that Seven's bikes are over-priced.

They are probably a great outfit, given the loyalty they apparently have. Having said that, I have ridden-admittedly not very extensively-two Sevens and neither had any special riding qualities or capabilities, or were particularly well crafted, that would lead me to believe that their price is justifiable, especially in view of some of the other fine bikes available at the price levels we are talking about. Do not misunderstand, they were nice bikes, and I would love to have one, but not being rich, I could not justify buying them over others, even if I raced.

Could there be some construction/design/material/? things with the bikes that might justify the price? There may well be, but it is not apparent from riding them. Maybe it is a high-end thing. A bit better here and there in some small matters, and valued at x many dollars; if you can afford it, fine, if not, shop elsewhere.
re: Serotta, Seven or Merlin?jerry allen
Nov 28, 2001 3:00 PM
You guys are not being very kind to Dr Barth. I think any of the three mfgs would work just fine - they all make quality products. Steel vs ti is certainly a matter of judgement only you can decide. I just bought a steel Waterford frame as I felt it gave me 85 to 90% of the compliancy of the Serotta Legend Ti I took on a test ride. (I'm old and I want some forgiveness in my steed) I made a value decision and went with a steel frame I really like. On the other hand, if I were a bit more flush with $$ I could see the choice going to ti. Someday perhaps but for now I don't feel disenfranchised from the cycling community. Ride them both. Some like steel the best while others would not give up ti for anything. Ti is sweet but only you decide if the difference is worth it to you.
re: Serotta, Seven or Merlin?grzy
Nov 28, 2001 3:14 PM
I'd highly recommend the Serotta Legend Ti, but I'm really biased. Buddy rides an Axiom and another an Odonata, wifey runs a Holland. I've riden the Holland and the Odonata, but the Axiom is too big for me. I like the Legend best. Ultimately you need to try and ride all of them, but that's not often very possible. I wasn't interested in my current ride until by chance I happened to ride it - fell in love on the third pedal stroke and dropped my trusty OCLV like a bad habit. Serotta does have a demo program which you should look into. Since you have the cake and ride a C40 you should really just go with the Ti and get the weight savings. It's a pretty dreamy ride for centuries and doubles - stirs up lots of passion and makes you want ot just keep going. The Trek never did that for me - it was just a tool. Check out the tapered, shaped and curved tubeset of the Legend, then compare it to everyone else's mostly straight pipes.

In the final analysis it all comes down to the fitting process and the kind of relationship you have with your shop. With that in mind you only real choice is dealing with the Seven facotry folks or the Serotta Certified Fit porgram - in this arena custom sizing if required is no extra cost. I wouldn't mess with Merlin now that they've been swallowed up - there have been reports of spotty quality, but that's just scuttle-butt. Check for Ben's view on the Serotta/Seven issue.

Where are you located? There are some great shops in the SF Bay Area - one in Santa Cruz , The Spokesman, carries all of the highend stuff including Seven, Serotta, Colnago, Ibis, IF, Kestrel, Calfee, etc. They can give a pretty good assessment - they also do a fine job of fitting and have a couple certified fit specialists.

In the end you won't find people more rabid about their bikes than the Serotta crowd - must be something in their water bottles......
re: Serotta, Seven or Merlin?doctorbarth
Nov 28, 2001 3:25 PM
I really appreciate the info. I'm in Atlanta so most everything I need is here. I'm leaning toward Serotta, but I've still not ridden the axiom ti. We'll see.
re: Serotta, Seven or Merlin?cioccman
Nov 28, 2001 3:29 PM
Why Ti? Just wondering. Your C40 will be stiffer and is just as expensive.
re: Serotta, Seven or Merlin?Tiger
Nov 28, 2001 5:26 PM
If you get a chance, check out the web site. It also has a message board and one of the topics was the comparison of the Legend (ti) and CSI (steel). Most of those who owned both seemed to like the CSI better. Being a Serotta owner, I'm very happy with it, but all three of those bikes are excellent choices.
re: Serotta, Seven or Merlin?PsyDoc
Nov 29, 2001 4:00 AM
I'm down the road from you just "a bit" in Valdosta. I owned a Merlin XL from 1992 to just recently and loved the way it rode. I decided to get a new ti bike with the 1 1/8" headtube and ended up with a Seven Axiom Ti. The Seven is noticeably stiffer and, in my opinion, handles better than the Merlin. I have no experience riding a Serotta Legend Ti, but I am sure they are fine bikes. Regardless of the choice you make, I do not think you will be disappointed.
One more choiceDMoore
Nov 28, 2001 7:07 PM
You're obviously looking for a top-flight bike. All 3 Ti frames you mention are terrific, of course, and each has its rabid fans who will tell you why their particular preference is best. The 7 steel frame is just not in the same league. Nice enough bike, but there are MANY steel bikes I would take over a 7. If you're really pursuing a top Ti frame, of course the most important factor is always going to be fit. Each bike will fit differently, and the 7 at least is available fully custom. I have to suggest Bill Holland. He certainly isn't a big name like the others, but his work is world class. I've seen frames from all the above, and I truly believe that Holland is making the best quality Ti bikes out there, period. Totally custom, with impeccable build quality. Plus, if you're tired of gray bikes, Holland shares space with Joe Bell, one of the very best custom painters now working. A JB paint job on a Holland Ti frame will turn anyone's head, and the quality of the ride will be stunning.

Just a thought.
re: Serotta, Seven or Merlin?bike_junkie
Nov 28, 2001 11:30 PM
My LBS carries Seven and Serotta. I wanted high-end Ti and chose the Legend over the Axiom, but both are nice. Previously owned a VaMoots and the Legend is a better ride.
Can't go wrong on these two. For steel, the Seven Axiom steel isn't a match for the CSI. The CSI has been the benchmark steel ride for years before Seven was a company. Seven is best at Ti, not tig welded steel frames.

Merlin isn't up there with Seven or Serotta, IMHO.
Nov 29, 2001 5:13 AM
Get a Litespeed.

All these bikes are made by guys who flunked out of Litespeed's welding program.

Those three bikes are for posers. Get a bike made for someone who spends his time riding rather than polishing his Campy components.
Where in Atlanta?...jaybird
Nov 29, 2001 5:48 AM
I dont remember the name of the shop but it is in Buckhead across the street from the cheesecake factory and the ESPN zone. They have serrottas and can do the measurements for you.

Since you are relatively close to Chattanooga you can actually get a custom Litespeed and pick it up from the factory yourself. They are really cool about tours etc... Otherwise you wont go wrong with any of the bikes...
There are two shops I can think of...dmoller
Nov 29, 2001 7:25 AM
in that specific area. One's Bicycle Link on Pharr Rd. one block off Peachtree (404) 233-4103 which is the one closest to the ESPN Zone and the other is Peachtree Bicycles just down the road on Peachtree a couple blocks 404-262-9853. Yellow pages ad for Bicycle Link says they have the Serotta sizing cycle. Shopped in both before picking up an Airborne from a LBS near my house.