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Merlin Titanium 1991 Road with DA 7400

Old 04-12-20, 03:03 PM
  #1  
zenmonkey
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Merlin Titanium 1991 Road with DA 7400

Hi all,
Recently acquired bike... I'm definitely enjoying this and not thinking of selling but was curious about worth?

54cm Merlin Titanium Bike Shimano Dura-Ace 7400 / 7403 8-speed
Serial Number 4980
Probably 91 (or 92)

Your thoughts?
Thanks in advance,
zm








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Old 04-12-20, 07:45 PM
  #2  
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Hmmm...let’s see. Willing buyer, wiling seller, recent purchase.
I guess it’s worth what you paid for it!
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Old 04-12-20, 11:27 PM
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That's true. I think it's worth more that what I paid for. But isn't that true of most bike purchases?

The only problem now is that it isn't a 54 cm but closer to a 59 cm (it's a custom build and I only just measured it, versus what the seller said) and I'm going to need to figure out if I want to keep it beyond a few months, if I can't feel a good fit.
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Old 04-13-20, 01:07 AM
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By looking at the head tube, it looks like a 59cm. Maybe the seller measured the tube tube if you didn't specify what measurement you wanted.
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Old 04-13-20, 05:37 AM
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Definitely in the ~60cm range size so 59cm probably right. Great group on a nice Ti frame. For me this bike is more of an alternative to a modern carbon bike than a vintage bike. In that space, the 8 speed group hurts the value a bit.

I do not see enough of these to form a solid valuation but I’d hazard a guess of $600.
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Old 04-13-20, 09:27 AM
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Merlins and Moots retain the most value of the titanium brands --- I think $600 is light and value should be around 1k if the seller has patience

Nowhere near a 54c in size though
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Old 04-13-20, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
Merlins and Moots retain the most value of the titanium brands --- I think $600 is light and value should be around 1k if the seller has patience

Nowhere near a 54c in size though
They may hold their value better, but I have to agree with Plonz; those individuals looking to add a titanium bike to the stable are not looking for 8speed shifting or a mid-range aluminum fork.
For $1000, it best be rocking 10 speed and a quality carbon fork.
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Old 04-13-20, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
Merlins and Moots retain the most value of the titanium brands --- I think $600 is light and value should be around 1k if the seller has patience

Nowhere near a 54c in size though
I recently purchase the same bike, same components, in size 55 (TT c-c) for 850 CND$ (roughly $610 in US $). I am not an expert in Merlin bikes valuation but I would not have paid more for the bike. One reason is that there is always some work to do on these kind of bike. Moreover, what I think limits the resale value (or at least the number of potential buyers) is the proprietary bottom bracket. My plan is to put some more modern components on the bike but with the BB, I am limited to use square taper cranks. Not a problem for me but could be for some. Also, servicing the BB can be tricky since the tooling / expertise is hard to find.

Edit: The white lettering of OP's bike would likely indicate 1993. Not 100% sure but 1991 and 1992 catalogs show the bike with black lettering, just like mine.
Edit-2: Seconding @nesteel, once modified with more modern DA components, I would probably expect around $1000. But modified, clean and ready to ride.

Last edited by fraba; 04-13-20 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 04-13-20, 03:52 PM
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Some folks will also want a 1-1/8" threadless headset over a 1" quill stem, a CF fork as mentioned, and something other than Merlin's press-fit BB. If you're into classics with the quill stem, tho, shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 04-14-20, 06:58 AM
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I'm not sure of the value zen but just wanted to say VERY COOL! Looks like a beautiful ride
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Old 04-14-20, 07:10 AM
  #11  
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A fine bike, but I doubt there is enough demand anymore to fetch $1k.
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Old 04-14-20, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by plonz View Post
Definitely in the ~60cm range size so 59cm probably right. Great group on a nice Ti frame. For me this bike is more of an alternative to a modern carbon bike than a vintage bike. In that space, the 8 speed group hurts the value a bit.

I do not see enough of these to form a solid valuation but Id hazard a guess of $600.

Normally i'd expect a more garden variety Litespeed (still not exactly garden variety) with 105 or tri color to be worth 6 bills --- but this pandemic is admittedly affecting value of things ----

sheesh - I have a mint chrome Bianchi Pista (one from the mid '00s -- nothing vintage) that I was asking $400 for locally (and would've entertained $3-325 ) and a prospective buyer sent me a screenshot of the Bike Blue Book and said "I'll give you $100"
I normally show quiet restraint with things like this and usually will reply with "Thanks for the offer but i'll pass" or something along those lines , but I regrettably blew a fuse this time and gave the person a regrettable reply

I just put the bike on a trainer and resigned myself to keeping it even though im drowning in track bikes
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Old 04-14-20, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by nesteel View Post
.
For $1000, it best be rocking 10 speed and a quality carbon fork.
This bike is an iconic American classic. In my eyes , the well preserved D-A groupset on it now looks better than a somewhat modern 10 speed setup would . That (to me- and opinions vary for sure) would be the equivalent of adding "rims" to your Honda Accord - it wouldn't add any value and may in fact de-value the ride. The frameset may be earlier than the advent of carbon forks, but its close, -- however the only thing going then would have been the Kestrel EMS fork

But yes --- as I mentioned above, it is disheartening trying to sell bikes right now, so I can see someone picking one of these up for 6 now that I think about it
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Old 04-14-20, 09:55 AM
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Here's one, 56cm, on San Francisco Craigslist with Campy Record and Chris King for $850. It's been there for at least a couple days and San Francisco is usually a pretty hot market for higher end bikes.
https://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/bik...107899971.html
Brent
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Old 04-16-20, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by zenmonkey View Post
Hi all,
Recently acquired bike... I'm definitely enjoying this and not thinking of selling but was curious about worth?

54cm Merlin Titanium Bike Shimano Dura-Ace 7400 / 7403 8-speed
Serial Number 4980
Probably 91 (or 92)

Your thoughts?
Thanks in advance,
zm
This site MOMBAT: Merlin Bicycles History, at the very bottom of the page, show a list of S/N per model year. Based on this info, it would be a 1991. So my previous comment about the lettering color is apparently irrelevant, since mine would also be a 1991 and has black lettering.

Last edited by fraba; 04-16-20 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 04-16-20, 12:48 PM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by fraba View Post
I recently purchase the same bike, same components, in size 55 (TT c-c) for 850 CND$ (roughly $610 in US $). I am not an expert in Merlin bikes valuation but I would not have paid more for the bike. One reason is that there is always some work to do on these kind of bike. Moreover, what I think limits the resale value (or at least the number of potential buyers) is the proprietary bottom bracket. My plan is to put some more modern components on the bike but with the BB, I am limited to use square taper cranks. Not a problem for me but could be for some. Also, servicing the BB can be tricky since the tooling / expertise is hard to find.

Edit: The white lettering of OP's bike would likely indicate 1993. Not 100% sure but 1991 and 1992 catalogs show the bike with black lettering, just like mine.
Edit-2: Seconding @nesteel, once modified with more modern DA components, I would probably expect around $1000. But modified, clean and ready to ride.
I really appreciate all the feedback I've been getting. From the input it would seem that it's somewhere in the $600-$1000 range which matches my thoughts. I was lucky and paid less.

Couple of things - 91 catalog also has a white letter version and on this bike these are all original's (had a discussion with seller, these are beat up and he never changed them). I may replace them because the "Merlin" ones are really trashed but I also like having the original there vs "restored".
Bike is currently rideable (I've put in 100km already) but probably will change out tires, no dry rot but I am particularly untrusting of tires without knowing their history.
Pressed BB - I have both experience personally and an amazing local mechanic friend that has more than enough tooling to deal with it. Agree that this takes away from the market value because it limits what can be installed. Currently it runs smoothly with no creak, grind or stickiness.
All cabling is clean, functional and no fraying. The two things I do want to deal with is truing a wheel a bit and the crap black handlebar tape.
I won't be modernising the components because, in my eyes the DA for the period was great and fits the bike's history.
I've other bikes that are more modern, this is going to be a bike I can leave at my father's house and use it when I'm there. (I'm in my 50s.)
Really, the worst thing about this bike is the size. It's a slight stretch for me, and if I find another deal in a better size range I'll swap... maybe. Never enough bikes.

Bike is definitely a not the equivalent of a more modern bike - just a fun old bike for light outings.
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Old 04-16-20, 12:50 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
Normally i'd expect a more garden variety Litespeed (still not exactly garden variety) with 105 or tri color to be worth 6 bills --- but this pandemic is admittedly affecting value of things ----

sheesh - I have a mint chrome Bianchi Pista (one from the mid '00s -- nothing vintage) that I was asking $400 for locally (and would've entertained $3-325 ) and a prospective buyer sent me a screenshot of the Bike Blue Book and said "I'll give you $100"
I normally show quiet restraint with things like this and usually will reply with "Thanks for the offer but i'll pass" or something along those lines , but I regrettably blew a fuse this time and gave the person a regrettable reply

I just put the bike on a trainer and resigned myself to keeping it even though im drowning in track bikes
Yikes. One would think people would be wanting to buy bikes right now but I guess uncertainty overrides that.
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Old 04-16-20, 01:09 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by obrentharris View Post
Here's one, 56cm, on San Francisco Craigslist with Campy Record and Chris King for $850. It's been there for at least a couple days and San Francisco is usually a pretty hot market for higher end bikes.
https://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/bik...107899971.html
Brent
That's a great looking set-up, not too far from here. The carbon fork is one that Merlin suggests a bit newer bike, maybe 94? Certainly pre metal badge.
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