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deciding between Litespeed Vortex and Merlin XL(26 posts)

deciding between Litespeed Vortex and Merlin XLgsxrawd
Jun 17, 2002 3:41 PM
i'm deciding between a Litespeed Vortex and Merlin XL. price between the 2 is similar. But now Merlin is owned by Litespeed is the "ride" there? Or should I go custom like the frames from Bill Holland?
If you want a pro level frameLazywriter
Jun 17, 2002 3:56 PM
that is stiff and quick, get the Vortex. If you want a more comfort oriented, century type ride, get the Merlin. However, the Vortex can be both and the Merlin IMO is less of a pro level racer. I got the new Vortex and also own a LS Classic and I would say the Merlin XL is more like my Classic ride. I actually prefer my Classic at this point to my new Vortex as it is familiar. The Merlin should be stiffer(a bit more) than my Classic, but not near the Vortex. If you are a light weight, it won't matter as much but if you are larger I would go with the Vortex. I hear the Merlin is a bit flexy.
The Vortex is a beast. It accelerates fast and I don't flex it and I am a larger rider. Plus the shaping in the Vortex is really cool. The Merlin is more of a traditional looking bike but the Vrotex looks more high tech (if that matters). I am lucky enough to have the Vortex, the Classic and a Fondriest (as well as a Fuji moutain bike to bang around), so I appreciate the classic lines but dig the technology that goes into my Vortex.
Both are great bikes though
I'd get a Vrotex...tirider
Jun 17, 2002 4:58 PM
...if it looks more high tech than the Vortex and is the same price.
I'd get a Vrotex...Lazywriter
Jun 17, 2002 6:40 PM
But it is not a Vortex. Lotto guys sure seem to be doing well on them.
Jun 17, 2002 7:37 PM, I couldn't get you going this time.
Get a DeanNessism
Jun 17, 2002 6:17 PM
They will build you a full custom for about $1800. Save some money and get the perfect fit.

Ed--you stole my line. ;-)~ nmloop
Jun 17, 2002 6:20 PM
Sorry, seems like a no-brainer to meNessism
Jun 17, 2002 6:34 PM
I've been researching Ti frame builders for quite some time now and Dean strikes me as the best value. Well, actually TST is the best value but that's another story. The El Diente is a great value for $1200 and Dean will pick the tubes to give the desired stiffness. Good stuff.

Jun 17, 2002 6:41 PM
And the Xtra Lt is a better deal in fully custom geom. I've been looking for a while, and whereas I honestly believed that Strong was the front runner, Dean has taken the lead (for me at least). Good stuff.

Incidentally, TST used to make their ti road frames in the latter 90's before they started welding them in-house.

You thinking about buying one? If so, please share the experience.

I agree that there is better value out there other thanLazywriter
Jun 17, 2002 6:53 PM
a Vortex, but Dean and TST DO NOT make a frame that is comparable to the Vortex. The only factor involved in buying a Dean or TST over Litespeed is the fact that your bike will be moe rare as people seem sick of seeing Litespeeds. I almost got a Seven Axiom instead of the Vortex. Great bike, very exclusive but not remarkably different than my Classic in road feel. The Vortex is a true balls to the wall race bike. Nothing less.
You can easily get a cheaper bike to fit your needs. Money is an object for me in general, but not when it comes to my bikes. Not much is better than a Vortex. It has been ridden in the European Peleton for over 7 years now and was one of the most rebadged bikes ever (with some teams paying for custom frames and slapping their sponsored logos on them). That in and of itself doesn't make it a great bike, but ride one and you will see.
Jun 17, 2002 7:00 PM
... you are either a Troll looking for reaction or a dweeb with a small penis. Hard to tell which.

Jun 17, 2002 7:04 PM
6 inches baby!
Jun 17, 2002 7:04 PM
In circumference that is. :)
By the way,Lazywriter
Jun 17, 2002 7:06 PM
the DEAN is an atrocious looking bike. Let the guy who started this thread go to their website and tell me if he likes the aesthetics of that thing. Man, they cannot have done worse.
Jun 17, 2002 10:41 PM
It may be small, but his penis is 30% stiffer, An overachiever.

He is having lots of fun in the photo gallery:

If you can find his new Vortex, the one with all the spacers and a few inches of seat post showing (you'd think for $2995 they would make them in less than 3cm increments), you will probably notice he responded to his own photo!
Lazy in disguise...unchained
Jun 17, 2002 10:52 PM
Notice the three initials he uses after each silly nickname. I think he actually wants to be caught! Lazy what is up with you? LOL. He is probably "BigD" as well, or an I obsessed?
LOL, what a totalLazywriter
Jun 18, 2002 2:42 PM
douchebag. As far as spacers and seatpost, I am 10mm less than what the Ouzo pro maxes out at and I have almost 4 inches of seatpost showing but the seat collar goes up almost an inch. My Classic is set up the same way with the same dimensions and looks different due to the shorter seat collar. The spacer was custom cut by my LBS and is lower now. That pic was from the first 2 days I owned it and not dialed in yet. Moron, I am not gonna cut down my fork prematurely. You cannot add on and I don't ride too small a frame so I can have 5 1/2 plus inches of seatpost showing. My ego doesn't require I look like a little racer boy.
I have...ride an ED XLT, you might be surprised.loop
Jun 17, 2002 7:06 PM
6.4 ti can be made into a wonderful bike, and your's is admittedly a beauty (seen it twice here), but don't discount others just because your's is ridden in the peloton.

give it a try--you might enjoy the ride.
I have ridden an XL and it is aLazywriter
Jun 17, 2002 7:09 PM
great bike. Light and comfortable but a little flexy compared to the Vortex. If rider weight isn't an issue or he need a small frame, then stiffness is less an issue. 55cm or greater may have more of a penalty.
I would love a Merlin, but I gotta choose one.
Jun 17, 2002 7:09 PM
It's obvious you're looking for top quality, the cost be damned. To me, that means a Bill Holland. Totally custom, unlike the stock or "modified stock" geometries available from LS and Merlin. Holland can specify tube alloys and sizes to your needs, and his quality and workmanship are unmatched. Plus, if you're tired of grey bikes, he shares space with the best painter around, Joe Bell. Some of their collaborations have produced truly stunning bicycles.

I'm not bashing LS or Merlin. They're both fine bikes, and I happen to own an older LS Ultimate. But if I was buying a top Ti bike today, I wouldn't look anywhere but Holland. As far as I'm concerned he's the Richard Sachs of titanium, and to me there is no higher praise.
We have a winner!loop
Jun 17, 2002 7:13 PM
Holland is, bar none, in a league with Tom Kellogg, Moots and a handfull of others. Well spoken indeed.

Shall we even mention the paint that Bell does?
Joe Bellunchained
Jun 17, 2002 11:03 PM
I called Brian Baylis about a paintjob, he is busy with frame building orders. He recommended Joe Bell. That says it all.
Why not tryDragon33
Jun 18, 2002 8:59 AM
this new company they have a real sweet ti bike and will sell it to you frame only or built. They are less exspensive with the same if not better quality.
Pretty uninformative web siteDMoore
Jun 18, 2002 10:12 AM
That's a pretty uninformative web site. One photo (small) of a road frame, no material specs, no closeups of the welds or tubes. To say these frames are the "same if not better quality" as the frames discussed above (Merlin, LS, Holland) is a pretty bold claim. Merlin, LS, and Holland have all been well known for years.

Zermatt doesn't even list any address on the website, just an e-mail address. Is this the latest Chinese/Taiwanese/Russian import?
Pretty uninformative web siteDragon33
Jun 18, 2002 10:29 AM
I have spoken in detail with the President of the company and yes they are new and their site is even newer. As to you claim of the latest import well you couldn't be further from the truth all of their frams are built in the U.S.A. Your statement of a bold claim well I have owned a LS and I am pretty familiar with the others so I can make a claim like that in my opinion. By the way the guy is located in Florida and his frames built in the West, probably by the same guy that builds those other bikes.
Jun 18, 2002 10:37 AM
Wifey loves her custom Holland. No doubt where I'd end up if she had to choose between her bike and me (in the dumpster). ;-(

Why go off the shelf when there are so many great custom frames from Holland, Serotta, Seven, etc.? People have reported recent problems with LS/Merlin quality - why risk it?