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CDollarsign
07-26-2018, 08:14 AM
All,
How old do you think this Merlin Extralight (https://www.ebay.com/itm/Merlin-Extralight-Titanium-Bicycle/163140991288?hash=item25fbf5f938%3Ag%3AVNcAAOSww7R bQpPQ&_sacat=0&_nkw=merlin+extralight&_from=R40&rt=nc&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l1313.TR2.TRC1.A0.H0.Xmerlin +extralight.TRS0) is? If you were looking for one which is the best vintage?

Best,
Colin

AJM100
07-26-2018, 08:20 AM
If that is a 1 1/8" head tube then probable 2001 or newer.

If it is a 1" head tube then I would say mid to late 1990s. It definitely is not the early 1990s as it has an English BB.

glepore
07-26-2018, 09:11 AM
2006 +/-. Here's the page from the 2006 Excell catalog
www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/3033846/catalog-84indd-rob-karman/7
Yes, I was bored this am.

Clean39T
07-26-2018, 09:15 AM
Please buy it and take the temptat away!

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CDollarsign
07-26-2018, 09:17 AM
It looks nice! Wish it was just F/F/HS though...

Who made them in 2006-ish?

old_fat_and_slow
07-26-2018, 09:35 AM
I don't know how he's calling that a "63". No way, unless he's measuring from BB center to top of seatpost.

cribbit
07-26-2018, 09:37 AM
It looks nice! Wish it was just F/F/HS though...

Who made them in 2006-ish?

In the late 90's Litespeed sold, causing their quality to go down. Soon after this same group bought Merlin, causing that quality to go down too.

Post 2000 both of them are no better than a Motobecane or Airborne - perfectly good bikes, but not what they once were. The welding is still fine, the ride is still fine, but it's not quite the same.

If you want "Merlin" quality, go get a Seven. If you want "Litespeed" quality, go get a Lynskey.

Please buy it and take the temptat away!

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The ludicrous price should remove any temptation.

Shameless self plug: my PSA thread has one for $600 https://forums.thepaceline.net/showthread.php?t=224973

tuxbailey
07-26-2018, 10:12 AM
If you want "Merlin" quality, go get a Seven.



you meant Spectrum :)

glepore
07-26-2018, 10:18 AM
Not sure about that. TK said at the time that the ABG bikes were equivalent to the Mass. built ones. ABG still supplies his tubing to Seven.

Agreed that they don't have the attention that a Seven gets, but a modern Litespeed is a as good as production ti gets these days, probably a better value than a Lynskey.

cribbit
07-26-2018, 10:22 AM
Not sure about that. TK said at the time that the ABG bikes were equivalent to the Mass. built ones. ABG still supplies his tubing to Seven.

Agreed that they don't have the attention that a Seven gets, but a modern Litespeed is a as good as production ti gets these days, probably a better value than a Lynskey.

Their new frames do look quite pretty, haven't seen them around enough to gauge if the quality went back up. But the mid '00s had far too many cracked headtubes, especially the integrated headtube stuff. Hard to be better value than a Lynskey when they're selling brand new, lifetime warranty frames for $800 on eBay, including modern stuff like thru axle disc and stuff with their fancier tubing.

In the end the "quality" of these is very hard to determine and most of what I'm talking about ends up being more about prestige instead.

Mark McM
07-26-2018, 10:25 AM
The Retrobike website (http://www.retrobike.co.uk/) is a good resource for older bikes/parts, particularly their archive of manufacturer's catalogs (http://www.retrobike.co.uk/gallery2/v/Manufacturer+Archive/). They have several Merlin catalogs from different years, so you may be able to match the bike to the catalog photos/specs.

Clean39T
07-26-2018, 10:42 AM
I don't know how he's calling that a "63". No way, unless he's measuring from BB center to top of seatpost.Exactly. 61 ctc w 59.5 TT.

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Clean39T
07-26-2018, 10:45 AM
In the late 90's Litespeed sold, causing their quality to go down. Soon after this same group bought Merlin, causing that quality to go down too.

Post 2000 both of them are no better than a Motobecane or Airborne - perfectly good bikes, but not what they once were. The welding is still fine, the ride is still fine, but it's not quite the same.

If you want "Merlin" quality, go get a Seven. If you want "Litespeed" quality, go get a Lynskey.



The ludicrous price should remove any temptation."best offer" could move it into a better place..

I sold this exact frame with an ENVE fork for $1050 last year locally.

It may not be what it was, but the geometry is the same, the welds look great, and they ride exceptionally nice. Plus, this version doesn't have the integrated headset nonsense.

At the right price, it's a very nice bike for someone okay riding 25s.

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Clean39T
07-26-2018, 10:47 AM
Not sure about that. TK said at the time that the ABG bikes were equivalent to the Mass. built ones. ABG still supplies his tubing to Seven.

Agreed that they don't have the attention that a Seven gets, but a modern Litespeed is a as good as production ti gets these days, probably a better value than a Lynskey.

And at one point said the Merlin Works 6/4 was the most advanced titanium bike made...

Anybody got one in XL???

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cribbit
07-26-2018, 10:54 AM
"best offer" could move it into a better place..

I sold this exact frame with an ENVE fork for $1050 last year locally.

It may not be what it was, but the geometry is the same, the welds look great, and they ride exceptionally nice. Plus, this version doesn't have the integrated headset nonsense.

At the right price, it's a very nice bike for someone okay riding 25s.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

Bikes across the board are selling slower and lower this year. And if someone of your skills can get $1050 (with a much nicer fork) that makes this listing about 3x higher than what it should be.

AJM100
07-26-2018, 11:44 AM
I bet that is a 59 or possibly 60 square (c-t-c measurements), and his 61 measurement is bb c-t of seat binder. Head tube size seems consistent with a 59-60 IMO.

My 1997 Merlin is 59 c-t-c on TT and ST, but 63 c-t on ST (has integrated binder bolt). Head tube on mine is 176mm.

Clean39T
07-26-2018, 11:46 AM
Bikes across the board are selling slower and lower this year. And if someone of your skills can get $1050 (with a much nicer fork) that makes this listing about 3x higher than what it should be.

Fair enough - and it did take finding a special buyer who had some nostalgia-related reasons for picking it up...

I was tempted by this one, but don't have room - and really am holding out for a bargain-priced Works 6/4 or Works 3/2.5 in the XL size. Or even better, a bargain-priced Spectrum :cool:

Barring that, maybe in the next few years I can afford to visit the barn and get one done up proper.

Clean39T
07-26-2018, 11:50 AM
I bet that is a 59 or possibly 60 square (c-t-c measurements), and his 61 measurement is bb c-t of seat binder. Head tube size seems consistent with a 59-60 IMO.

My 1997 Merlin is 59 c-t-c on TT and ST, but 63 c-t on ST (has integrated binder bolt). Head tube on mine is 176mm.

Looks like the same size as the one I had last year: https://forums.thepaceline.net/showthread.php?t=207260&highlight=extralight

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170702/bbd0fe30c9e0b0f8b2a837da0bd40d03.png

cribbit
07-26-2018, 12:15 PM
Fair enough - and it did take finding a special buyer who had some nostalgia-related reasons for picking it up...

I was tempted by this one, but don't have room - and really am holding out for a bargain-priced Works 6/4 or Works 3/2.5 in the XL size. Or even better, a bargain-priced Spectrum :cool:

Barring that, maybe in the next few years I can afford to visit the barn and get one done up proper.

Also forgot to mention earlier, there's an older (so proper Merlin) for just $600 in my PSA thread. https://forums.thepaceline.net/showthread.php?t=224973

josephr
07-26-2018, 12:18 PM
Bikes across the board are selling slower and lower this year. And if someone of your skills can get $1050 (with a much nicer fork) that makes this listing about 3x higher than what it should be.

thanks Price Cop for letting us know you're not really interested in this for sale opportunity and not going to be making the guy an offer.

AJM100
07-26-2018, 12:23 PM
To show perspective on size and pricing, I scored this frame for $370 (w/Ebay 15% coupon) recently. It is a 59cm c-t-c from 1997 w/1" head tube that measures 176mm and extended seat tube collar. Also, just felt like sharing photos too! :banana:

cribbit
07-26-2018, 12:28 PM
thanks Price Cop for letting us know you're not really interested in this for sale opportunity and not going to be making the guy an offer.

You're welcome!

in all seriousness, I really don't see the harm in discussing prices on PSA's, as much as certain people here get butthurt. If a bike is rare enough to be worth PSA'ing regardless of price it will be patently obvious

To show perspective on size and pricing, I scored this frame for $370 (w/Ebay 15% coupon) recently. It is a 59cm c-t-c from 1997 w/1" head tube that measures 176mm and extended seat tube collar. Also, just felt like sharing photos too! :banana:

Ooooo pretty. Welds and drops look Merlin but no decals - is it?

AJM100
07-26-2018, 12:30 PM
Ooooo pretty. Welds and drops look Merlin but no decals - is it?

Yes Merlin, only decal left is the Tom Kellogg on the non-drive chain stay. I always strip the decals on the older Merlin frames I own (have owned), just like the look of raw titanium.

cribbit
07-26-2018, 12:31 PM
Yes Merlin, only decal left is the Tom Kellogg on the non-drive chain stay. I always strip the decals on the older Merlin frames I own (have owned), just like the look of raw titanium.

Good call, raw ti is the best and decals have a nasty habit of going bad. Especially Litespeed decals.

---

And while we get off topic with price discussions -

When I talk about prices I'm purely talking about what is reasonable or average to find. Can certain sellers get lucky and get more? Sure. Have I gotten lucky and paid far less? Most definitely. But those aren't your common case. There's craploads of sellers who will sit on overpriced titanium forever.

Clean39T
07-26-2018, 12:47 PM
Let's not forget I sold this beautiful bird for around $600 last year for the frame and original fork. I didn't lose anything on it since I bought the complete bike for quite a steal...but still...it speaks to cribbet's point about the cratered market. If I'd wanted to sit on it for a while, maybe I'd have gotten more. But I was happy to let it go to the seller who made me the offer that got the sale done...I believe they were able to build it into something that worked nicely for them, and end of the day, that's what matters - bikes under butts and rubber on the road.

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170827/b211093bd0c414accc7a728ff936db9b.jpg

CDollarsign
07-26-2018, 12:53 PM
Don't remember that one... I need some reasonably priced Ti in my life!

josephr
07-26-2018, 01:04 PM
You're welcome!

in all seriousness, I really don't see the harm in discussing prices on PSA's, as much as certain people here get butthurt. If a bike is rare enough to be worth PSA'ing regardless of price it will be patently obvious


you made your point before and then you came back declaring its only worth $600... really comes off as more insulting than discussing. A used Ti F/F/HS, particularly those that have updated to the use a threadless headset, still command a decent price. Its those with the threaded headsets that've really taken the nosedive in resale value. And while it may not have the panache of an Enve, the Reynolds fork is still pretty nice. It has a full 7800 groupset, nice wheels, etc....back in 2006, if someone posted pics of this as their 'new bike,' there'd be lots of oooohs and aaaaahhhhs. Its obviously been well taken care of and that price includes having it packed/shipped by an LBS. $1800 may be a little high, but I'd guess the seller is a stand-up guy who's taken care of his bike. Not a flipper or someone trying to pass off his junk to the next idiot that comes along. Like someone else said, a "make an offer" would really help this guy out.

Clean39T
07-26-2018, 01:05 PM
I need some reasonably priced Ti in my life!

Don't we all :banana: !!!

Oh wait, the ti in my life has been relatively reasonably priced in its acquisition, even given the refinishing I paid up for - thanks River! :beer:

Clean39T
07-26-2018, 01:08 PM
you made your point before and then you came back declaring its only worth $600... really comes off as more insulting than discussing. A used Ti F/F/HS, particularly those that have updated to the use a threadless headset, still command a decent price. Its those with the threaded headsets that've really taken the nosedive in resale value. And while it may not have the panache of an Enve, the Reynolds fork is still pretty nice. It has a full 7800 groupset, nice wheels, etc....back in 2006, if someone posted pics of this as their 'new bike,' there'd be lots of oooohs and aaaaahhhhs. Its obviously been well taken care of and that price includes having it packed/shipped by an LBS. $1800 may be a little high, but I'd guess the seller is a stand-up guy who's taken care of his bike. Not a flipper or someone trying to pass off his junk to the next idiot that comes along. Like someone else said, a "make an offer" would really help this guy out.

I'd be happy to pick this one up for $1500+ if I had room, maybe a bit more. It's a great bike, well-cared for, and somewhat rare. YMMV. And I wish the owner GLWS.

cribbit
07-26-2018, 01:19 PM
you made your point before and then you came back declaring its only worth $600... really comes off as more insulting than discussing. A used Ti F/F/HS, particularly those that have updated to the use a threadless headset, still command a decent price. Its those with the threaded headsets that've really taken the nosedive in resale value. And while it may not have the panache of an Enve, the Reynolds fork is still pretty nice. It has a full 7800 groupset, nice wheels, etc....back in 2006, if someone posted pics of this as their 'new bike,' there'd be lots of oooohs and aaaaahhhhs. Its obviously been well taken care of and that price includes having it packed/shipped by an LBS. $1800 may be a little high, but I'd guess the seller is a stand-up guy who's taken care of his bike. Not a flipper or someone trying to pass off his junk to the next idiot that comes along. Like someone else said, a "make an offer" would really help this guy out.

I care a lot more about the Paceliner here asking his question looking for a knowledgeable answer than a random eBay seller.

Someone asking too much for a bike doesn't make them a bad person. If you're affiliated with the seller and feel insulted by my previous posts I apologize. I never said the bike was junk. I never said the guy was a flipper. I just said the price was much higher than I think is feasible to expect. All I know is my own experience, which I consider considerable.

Used titanium is a low supply, low demand market. It's a pretty wide bell curve. As a collector I specialize in grabbing the far left side of it and have a pessimistic view for it. I believe the expensive side of the curve sees almost zero sales, but ti as a material does have enough general prestige that you'll see random expensive sales.

There are a lot of oooohs and aaaahhhs over bikes because they're pretty. Doesn't make them worth whatever price is being asked. When I talk about price I take condition very heavily into account. I can guarantee that you won't see a "random expensive sale" if a bike isn't ready to ride and pretty. Poor cosmetic condition titanium only sells to flippers or collectors and they know how to work the cheap side of the bell curve.

Also the price doesn't include shipping, and as such my value declarations didn't either.

cribbit
07-26-2018, 01:24 PM
In the end, the issue with ti these days is everything has to be compared to the brand new lifetime warranty $800 Lynskey frames.

macaroon
07-26-2018, 01:42 PM
you made your point before and then you came back declaring its only worth $600... really comes off as more insulting than discussing. .

Good grief; you're being insulted by someone commenting on the price of a second hand bike that's not even yours?!?

Stay away from the internet!

Clean39T
07-26-2018, 01:43 PM
In the end, the issue with ti these days is everything has to be compared to the brand new lifetime warranty $800 Lynskey frames.Well yeah, but who buys a product SOLELY for it's guarantee? I have to want it first...the warranty seals the deal...

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cribbit
07-26-2018, 01:52 PM
Well yeah, but who buys a product SOLELY for it's guarantee? I have to want it first...the warranty seals the deal...

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No one buys for the warranty, but if they didn't have one (while their full retail did) then I would question it. The point is that they're full new frames without defect.

macaroon
07-26-2018, 01:54 PM
A similar spec Indy Fab sold apparently for $1999

https://www.ebay.com/itm/-/142864686854?nordt=true&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l10137

So perhaps the price isn't far off?

Still seems a lot to risk on an old Ti bike though.

RWeb
07-26-2018, 01:54 PM
The decals look like what I remember them changing to when Litespeed acquired Merlin. Also, not pictured is the bottom bracket. If you can get a picture of it, Merlin’s “Grease Guard” bottom bracket went away around late 80’s/early 90’s.

AJM100
07-26-2018, 01:58 PM
I have to want it first...

and last! It's all about what you want. Sometimes you get a deal other times you pay up for it. I was looking for an older Merlin with a 1" head tube to mate with a segmented steel fork I had to create a fun bike. I succeeded in completing my build for a reasonable price. If I ever decide to change frames again I will offer a deal to the PL community as I don't flip bikes or acquire them to profit. I enjoy resurrecting an older frame, building it up and riding it.

To the original poster, if you can afford it, if it fits go for it. If you want a better deal, wait and hunt - something always turns up! Patience is key.

CDollarsign
07-26-2018, 02:37 PM
Thanks guys, question answered!

billyd0012
07-27-2018, 08:57 PM
This Merlin's geometry works better for me. How do you think the ride would be compared to this recent purchase:

https://forums.thepaceline.net/showthread.php?t=225396&highlight=legend

Clean39T
07-28-2018, 12:12 AM
This Merlin's geometry works better for me. How do you think the ride would be compared to this recent purchase:

https://forums.thepaceline.net/showthread.php?t=225396&highlight=legend

Well, I have ridden the Extralight in that size, and it was very light and lively. If it fits better, it's a better choice. How it'll ride compared to the Legend is of course hard to say...too many subjective variables and unknowns. If you have the means, give it a whirl. There are a lot worse ways to spend some scratch...