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Merlin Extralight , Pre/Post Lightspeed(7 posts)

Merlin Extralight , Pre/Post LightspeedScummer
Mar 28, 2002 6:35 AM
I'm contemplating buying a Merlin Extralight but am concerned about the "post Lightspeed" quality.
Has anyone personally compared a pre and post Lightspeed Extralight? Are there any significant differences?
re: Merlin Extralight , Pre/Post Lightspeed345
Mar 28, 2002 7:04 AM
According to Tom Kellogg (who is in a position to know), the quality of the Tennesse Merlins is now better than the Massachusetts ones. I think it took a little while to work out some welding issues, but that is in the past. The newer capital equipment in Tennessee is benefitting the product.

For a more complete discussion, try Tom has a message board there for Spectrum. He addresses this specific issue.

Rather than a Merlin, you might want to have Tom build you a custom Spectrum instead. The pricing is similar, the welds are nicer, you get Tom to fit you live if you want, custom geometry and paint.

There is a link to his website on the board mentioned above.
re: Merlin Extralight , Pre/Post Lightspeedjaybird
Mar 28, 2002 7:43 AM
The welds are nicer? Be careful with such generalized statements. It is impossible to tell the quality/integrity of the weld by simply looking at it.

Thanks for not making this Litespeed flame war...

Ride on,
I knew he'd get caught on that one,TJeanloz
Mar 28, 2002 8:04 AM
How can the welds on a Spectrum ti be nicer than a Merlin, considering that Merlin welds Tom's bikes?
Nicer welds345
Mar 28, 2002 8:30 AM
Just to clarify...

It is my opinion that Spectrum's welds LOOK nicer than Merlin's. They are smooth and flawless. When you buy a custom bike, aesthetics should also enter the equation, shouldn't they? I'm not making any comment on their integrity. I'm sure they are both fine.

That being said, Spectrum's are welded by the ONE guy in Chattanooga who Tom thinks is THE best. Tom is a perfectionist so that does instill some additional confidence.
re: Merlin Extralight , Pre/Post LightspeedColnagoFE
Mar 28, 2002 7:08 AM
I don't think you have anything to worry about. Tom kellogg still uses Merlin/Litespeed and if there were any quality issues I'm sure he'd go with another builder.
re: Merlin Extralight , Pre/Post Lightspeeddmilkerson
Mar 28, 2002 7:11 AM
I think there is a lot of BS concerning the Tennessee Merlins. Mostly based on hearsay and just plain old opinions without any foundation. Tom Kellog from Spectrum bikes has basically stated that while their may have been some initial problems when Merlin moved, the quality of the bikes he is getting now is better and much more consistent than what he was getting from Merlin when they were in Mass.
Tom seems like a pretty honest guy and I don't think he would be lying. He had the opportunity to get his Ti frames produced either by Seven or IF. He asked them along with Merlin to provide samples so he could decide who should be making his frames. He decided that Merlin was still better than the other two. He is a master frame builder and he knows what he is looking for. There's many on this forum that will tell you that Seven's welds are the best but it's just their opinion nothing else. They probably have bought a Seven and need to justify their purchase. Tom is looking at the frames from a craftsman and builder's perspective, and I would have to believe that counts for more. I would go ahead with the Extralight with no hesitations whatsoever. If you want to contact Tom, you can do so at I guarantee he will answer your questions. You may end up buying his Ti Super instead of the Extralight. It's an Extralight with some modifications that Tom specifies. On top of that it is custom fitted for you. Give him a try, I doubt you'll be disappointed.