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Serotta Legend Ti vs. Merlin Extralight(17 posts)

Serotta Legend Ti vs. Merlin Extralightbnlkid
Jun 28, 2002 6:36 AM
Just when I thought I had conquered my bike lust, I came across an opportunity to pick up a 2001 Merlin Extralight frame, headset and Ouzo Pro fork for $2000. I'm not sure what to do now. I was lusting after the Legend frame, but decided that $3000 was too much for a frame only.

Does anyone know what the differences would be between these two frames. The Legend is triple butted, while the Merlin is double butted. Both are stiff in the bottom bracket, but in terms of quality and value, is the Merlin too good of a deal to pass up? I am a standard body type, so custom fit doesn't work into this equation. The only reason for me to go with the Serotta would be to get a compact frame, and different paint option. Does anyone have an opinion?
do you like a stiff bike? what size frame and weight are you?ColnagoFE
Jun 28, 2002 7:20 AM
The MXL will be flexier and lighter than the Serotta. I had a 60cm and at 195lbs it wasn't stiff enough for my taste. A bit quick handling as well. Serotta would be better suited for a heavier rider or someone riding a bigger frame. Another option would be to have Merlin make a custom with bigger tubes.
I ride a 54cm.bnlkid
Jun 28, 2002 7:35 AM
But at 200lbs, I am looking for something stiff. all the information states that the MXL is for bigger riders, but if you found it flexy, then I most likely will, too. Maybe the smaller size will make it a little bit stiffer, but I am still leaning towards a custom compact with Serotta and have them build with oversized tubes. I was intrigued with the Merlin because of the deal. The shop owner wants to get his cost out of it.
are you selling the csi? nmcolker
Jun 28, 2002 8:40 AM
Not right now.bnlkid
Jun 28, 2002 9:43 AM
I don't think I will sell the CSI. I may change my mind if I decide to get a Legend, but for now the bike is just too beautiful to part with. Even if I don't ride it, it still looks beautiful hanging in my apartment.
keep it! even better:colker
Jun 28, 2002 12:32 PM
don't buy the legend. i've had ti. lugeed steel rides the same or better and looks better.
resist the urge. there will probably appear another bike down the road with different ride for you to have.
Jun 28, 2002 9:31 AM
I love all these quick generalizations about this bike being to stiff for you and this other one isn't enough. Kinda makes one wonder how the rest of the world gets by. The Serotta rides like a dream - or at least as good as any other bike and most people use it as the standard for comparison. In the end it really should come down to what YOU like - not what someone else likes or is on sale. A good deal on something you don't want isn't really a deal. Gotta ask yourself why the dealer still has the frame and can't get rid of it at cost. The Serotta Legend has the most manipulated tube set in the business - not only is it butted, but many of the tubes are tapered as well - most everyone else uses straight tubes b/c it's easier and cheaper.

In any event I bought a 54 Legend used and love it, but it was a tad small for me so I found another used 56 Legend. The 54 cm is for sale with an Ouzo Pro if you're interested give me your email I'll send you more info. It'll be a better deal than the Merlin if you're interested. No reason you can't have it all - question is how much cash do you want to part with?
What year is the Legend?bnlkid
Jun 28, 2002 9:45 AM
Email me at
you might be OK at 54cmColnagoFE
Jun 28, 2002 9:46 AM
The XL is the stiffest bike in Merlin's lineup I think (well...not sure about the compacts) but I didn't find it all that stiff personally.
Thanks for the feedback.bnlkid
Jun 28, 2002 9:57 AM
That's the kind of feedback I was looking for. If it's not stiff enough at 60cm, I don't think I want to try it. Especailly for that kind of money. At 200 lbs it doesn't take a lot for me to notice flex. I read that the older models were very flexy, but they fixed it in 2001. I will continue to contemplate the Legend, and see if I can have them build it really stiff.
for what it's worth I had a '99 Merlin XL...(nm)ColnagoFE
Jun 28, 2002 11:57 AM
re: Serotta Legend Ti vs. Merlin ExtralightNessism
Jun 28, 2002 8:54 AM
The Extralight will be flexy due to the butted tubes. At your weight, you should be looking for straight gauge oversize tubes. The Serotta would be fine since they swedge the tubes to increase the diameter which stiffens up the ride. In my opinion though, the Serotta represents a very poor value. There are other options that would be more suitable from a function and cost standpoint.

butting really doesn't have a lot to do with ride quality for TIColnagoFE
Jun 28, 2002 9:49 AM
it's more about weight savings than anything. The same bike could be made custom with a beefier butted tubeset and be way stiffer. then again a non-butted TI frame could still be whippy. Depends on how it's built.
Of course...Nessism
Jun 28, 2002 10:05 AM
...the overall build of the frame does matter. But we are talking about a Merlin here. To make the butted tubes they take a regular straight gauge tube and then machine cut the exterior surface of the tube to remove material. This machining operation makes the tube lighter but it also makes it more flexable. Now, it is possible to start with a super oversize tube, machine the surface, and wind up with a stiff and light tube. But Merlin does not do this. The use fairly standard diameters, so when they machine them they get flexy.

Don't take me wrong here, they are a very nice frame. Just not the thing for a 200 lbs. rider in my opinion.

In the case of the Merlin I'd have to agreeColnagoFE
Jun 28, 2002 11:58 AM
If I got another one it'd be custom with bigger tubes and probably weigh as much if not more than the Serotta.
Frame weight obsession - Rant Warning!-Nessism
Jun 28, 2002 12:54 PM
The difference in weight between a straight gauge Ti frame and a butted one is only going to be about 75-100 grams. Who cares? The frame is the backbone of the bike, no reason to skimp there! I know that it should be possible to use some super oversize butted tubes to get both stiff and light, but to my knowledge, no one does this. At least, no one in the sub $3000 price range!

I also can't understand why people get all emotional and teary eyed over these boutique brand Ti frames. Geese, it's only a frame. Almost all Ti frame builders start with straight gauge tubes and manipulate and shape them into their preferred shape. Good stuff but not rocket science. The companies that impress me are the ones that can put out a product with good functional characteristics at a value-oriented price. Dean and TST are the value leaders in my mind. Of course, no one wants to believe that a Douglas or Mongoose Ti frame is a quality product - way too cheep.

Sorry rant over.
Don't know how it rides, but I saw a Mongoose Ti bikedjg
Jun 28, 2002 1:41 PM
the other day and it looked decently made to me, cheap or not.