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merlin vs litespeed vs seven(20 posts)

merlin vs litespeed vs sevenuzi
Jun 23, 2003 8:46 PM
I am planning on spending a s-load of money on a dream ti bike in the next couple of years and was wondering which maker and model was best. everyone seems to have their own opinions and i'm sure it is a very subjective call. I like compact geo or something in-between, any suggestions for the ultimate bike? I am about 6'0 and 160 lbs,. what about these new ti/carbon combos? is it worth waiting a couple years to see whjat happens with that and with new tube shapes or has ti just about reached its final stage?
experiened tips are much appreciated, thanks
re: merlin vs litespeed vs sevenol
Jun 23, 2003 9:57 PM
I own a 2002 merlin xl compact and absolutely love the bike. It's stiff and has the most comfortable silky smooth ride you can imagine. I bought it because like you I wanted a dream bike and the merlin was always it. If you want an awesome allround bike eg. racing ,recreational, long distances, blah blah bike, the merlin will fit the bill. I also own an italian scandium aluminium bike and the merlin blows it away. Hope this helps.
This is probably the only bike that will get you laid...tronracer
Jun 24, 2003 12:24 AM
This is probably the only bike that will get you laid...tronracer
Jun 24, 2003 12:51 AM
Something this sexy must have an ITalian name...I believe it means sky

No doubt whoever owns one of these will give it some tender loving care, but they engraved a reminder in the seat tube for good measure. What attention to detail!!

Che bella! The hour glass figure is just one more reenforcememt of this bike's sex appeal


It even turns on C-3PO
This is probably the only bike that will get you laid...steve-z
Jun 24, 2003 6:01 AM
If this gets you some tail, I suspect that it will be the tail of a middle-aged, male, status-bike snob.
re: merlin vs litespeed vs sevenlarryp2
Jun 24, 2003 3:02 AM
I got the Seven Odonata and absolutely love it. the custom fit is the key. you can't go wrong with any of those you mentioned. don't wait, you could be riding it now.
If you are looking for the ultimate TI bike.............Len J
Jun 24, 2003 3:14 AM
I would add a few additional vendors to your list.


You don't say how much you want to spend so it's hard to narrow it, but if you are looking for the best, I would look at these 4 plus Seven as the cream of the crop.

Something about a Serotta Ti Legend......2melow
Jun 24, 2003 6:19 AM
I would definitely add Ben Serotta's offerings to your short list.

This bike and geometry is simply amazing. Must be ridden to believe.
Jun 24, 2003 6:47 AM
Doesn't Ben Serotta know how to set a bike up? I mean, he may be one of the best bike builders in the world, but look at all those spacers! ;)
you'd never cut the steerer before you sell it (nm)ColnagoFE
Jun 24, 2003 6:55 AM
. . . but you would before taking a marketing pic . . .Dropped
Jun 24, 2003 8:11 AM
. . . if it mattered, which it doesn't.
you'd think so wouldn't youColnagoFE
Jun 24, 2003 8:45 AM
still serotta is not all that big of an operation compared to trek et al...maybe they figured nobody would care so why ruin a fork over it.
Something about a Serotta Ti Legend......Len J
Jun 24, 2003 7:58 AM
I have a Legend and you have to look at the lines closely to really understand the Subtle beauty of the Bike:

-The Top tube that is tapered
-The s bend chainstays
-The Seatstays that are tapered at both ends that create an incredible line.
-The tapering and ovalizing of the Downtube as it gets closer to the Bottom Bracket.
-The Serotta Dropouts.

None of these things are apparent in any pictures and have to be seen to be fully appreciated.

As to the ride..........It is as close to steel as any bike I've ever ridden, but stiffer accelerating, lighter and since it's TI, rustproof.

I would recommend riding as many as you can of the bikes you want (Serotta has a loaner program) and judge for yourself.

In addition, if you are like me & don't like the industrial Ti Look, Serotta has the best paint in the (TI)industry (With the exception of Holland who shares a shop with the legendary Joe Bell (Maybe the best bike painter in the world).

the best is the one that costs most of courseColnagoFE
Jun 24, 2003 6:30 AM
be sure and buy some super expensive carbon fiber racing wheels and full record gruppo. $40 carbon fiber bottle cages as well.
don't forget...bigdeal
Jun 24, 2003 7:05 AM
merlin and litespeed are built under the same roof...and cielo is in a class all it's own (IMO). you don't race the cielo, you put it on a stand, behind glass, and after you're done taking it out for it's Sunday spin you rub it down with a new cloth diaper.
re: merlin vs litespeed vs sevenCaseysdad
Jun 24, 2003 7:51 AM
I'll second the suggestion that you add builders like Spectrum, Serotta and Holland to your list. I recently went through the same investigation process in anticipation of landing my once-in-a-lifetime dream bike. I quickly came to the conclusion that if I'm going to lay out this kind of money, I want to come away with not only a great bike, but one that fits me perfectly and has been specifically tuned for the kind of demands that I'll place on it. Hence, not only will I be going custom, I'll be placing myself in the hands of a true expert - in my case, Tom Kellogg of Spectrum Cycles. You're sure to come away with a similar experience with a Serotta, Holland, or several others on the short list of master builders. If you're going to do this, do it all the way and do it right!

Regarding the carbon/ti issue, you'll encounter a very wide range of opinions. For some reason, this seems to be a very polarizing topic in a lot of forums. Depending on the individual, it's either 100% marketing hype intended to separate suckers from large amounts of their money or it's a valid approach to frame building that offers some very specific advantages for certain types of riding.

My personal conclusion is this (at the moment.) A big part of the reason that I settled on a ti frame is that I expect it to last for many, many years. Say what you want about the potential durability of carbon frames, nine times out of ten a cf bike isn't going to have the same shelf life of an equally well cared for ti bike. (Yes, there are carbon bikes that last for years and years, and there are ti bikes that get trashed after just a season or two, but I'm talking about playing the averages.) That being said, the old adage about the weakest link in the chain applies. Why would I want to potentially compromise the life span of my very expensive titanium dream bike by integrating a material that probably won't last as long as the rest of the frame?

All of this isn't to say that ti/carbon bikes aren't "valid". If that were the case, then reputable builders like Merlin, Spectrum and Serotta probably wouldn't offer them. However, I don't see myself choosing one as my dream bike because I don't envision it meeting my criteria of laying out this kind of money once and forgetting about having to do it again for a LONG time. Now, if I ever strike it rich and have the money to burn, you'd better believe that there will be a Cielo or a Spectrum carbon/ti taking up very prominent residence in my house - but still not as my primary ride.

Good luck, and enjoy the luxury of being able to endulge your bike lust!
re: merlin vs litespeed vs sevenjskins
Jun 24, 2003 2:34 PM
I recently attended a seminar held by Phil Larson, founder of Merlin. During a break I approached him and asked:" Merlin or Lightspeed?" His reply: "Serotta". It seems he sold Merlin to Lightspeed several months ago, and they are now pretty much the same bike, made in the same factory.
re: merlin vs litespeed vs sevenuzi
Jun 24, 2003 6:16 PM
Thanks for all your advice, it echoed many of my own thoughts.
I'll have to do some test-riding on all of them ;)
Jun 24, 2003 5:02 PM
While the Vortex isn't as chi-chi as the "exclusive" brands, it is still at the leading edge of Ti technology. I see the multi-material bikes as needlessly complex and offering nothing by way of performance at the risk of failures at the interface. If some high-zoot builder made the Vortex instead of LS, it would be lusted after to no end. However, only LS has the capability to build a 6/4 frame that is butted, tapered, swaged, ovalized, etc. to get the absolute most out of the material. At this level of bike, it's hard to make arguments that one is truly better than the other, but you can be sure that none are better than the Vortex, all told.
re: merlin vs litespeed vs sevenCritLover
Jun 24, 2003 6:50 PM
Seven is the way to go! While they may not be as popular as the Merlin/Litespeed, it is only due to the exceptional time and attention given to each frame.

My Seven Axiom is a dream come true, and so far 3 others in my group followed my lead and got Odonata's or Axiom's. If I had enough money I would buy a track, tt, and mountain bike frame. Unfortunately, I live in the real world (at least some of the time).

You can test ride a standard frame, but the custom is where it's at! You get exactly what you want in ride style- couldn't be sweeter!