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Any feedback on Merlin compact frames?(4 posts)

Any feedback on Merlin compact frames?Leak
May 18, 2002 12:57 PM
I've never seriously considered a compact road frame, but I may have the opportunity to get a good deal on a Merlin and was wondering whether there was anything that I should know?

Besides the fact that it looks like a MTB frame, are there any idiosyncracies about compact frames (or Merlin compact frames in particular) that I should take into account?

One thing that is interesting, is that Merlin's XLC is actually heavier than the corresponding size XLM, whereas I always thought that compact frames were supposed to be lighter?

Thanks for any feedback!

P.S. I did try a search on "compact frames" for any old threads, but the search came back empty.

Leak
re: Any feedback on Merlin compact frames?legs
May 19, 2002 7:52 AM
I just bought (it hasnt yet arrived) a merlin xl compact.. and for lack of a better way to put it.. i could buy any frame i want. i test rode everything.. from a c-40 to seven odonata to a merckx sc to a vortex...
I never really had a thing for compact frames..
but god is this a great frame...
the compact design really eliminates any sense of bottom bracket noodle/ti complaints..
it accelerates great.. so you feel the power transfer.. and it really smoothes out the road but still leaves me feeling connected.. and it has a low center of gravity .. turns on a dime..its just super responsive..

customer service at merlin is great.. ithey are accessible and get right back to you..
(talk to chris..or email him)..

there is a great review in cycle sport from a few months ago.. and at the oln gear guide on line you can see a review by a few pros..

tghe funny thing about compacts is that they ride like a traditional frame..
going straight and flat out you wouldnt know..until you start climbing/accelating/turning.
go ride one and see....

and as for fit.. merlin has a bunch of size options and also can custom size.. i think unless you have a unusual body it will wwork out..

I dont think the xl's will do you well if you are a big guy...
re: Any feedback on Merlin compact frames?jtolleson
May 19, 2002 12:30 PM
One thing to know about the compact frame... there is a misconception that it can be a good option for smaller riders or those struggling with fit.

Not really. The medium Merlin, for example, has an "effective" standover of a 55 cm frame, and an effective TT length of about 56. That could be a reach issue for many. Just because a frame comes in S/M/L doesn't mean that one of them definitely fits any particular rider. So, evaluate it for fit just as you would any frame.

And compact frames being heavier is not uncommon; longer seatpost, longer head tube.

Just ride and compare and see if you love it.
re: Any feedback on Merlin compact frames?Leak
May 19, 2002 3:47 PM
Thanks for the replys! I happened to find a small article on Spectrum's website about compact frames which was helpful, especially given that it was written by Tom Kellogg who also designs (and manufactures?) Merlin's compact frames.

I'm looking at an XLC and the small is almost the exact same geometry as the bike I'm riding now, so the sizing is not an issue.

When I mentioned that the XLC is heavier than the corresponding XLM, I was referring to just the frame, but I can see that even though it has a shorter seat tube, it does have a longer head tube and yes, I'll need a longer seatpost.

Thanks again to both of you for your feedback!

Leak