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Titanium Opinions Sought

Old 06-30-09, 02:55 PM
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Titanium Opinions Sought

I'm currently riding a Habanero Team issue Ti bike. I like it a great deal. However... I can get a new Merlin Cyrene frame for half its original price. I've looked at this bike before, but couldn't pull the trigger, because I knew I was being heavily drawn into the "eye candy" syndrome with the way this thing looks, and it was a used frame. But for a new one as less than half price the temptation is so strong..... So, does anyone have any experience in actually riding this frame or know someone who does? Gosh, I just get giddy thinking I could end up with a Merlin Cyrene and the Habby as my bad weather bike. I might even unload the S-Works Roubaix to pull this one off. But once again I don't know how this frame handles. Given the following dimensions, I'm guessing the Merlin is a better rig for all day rides.

Merlin: Head tube angle 73 degrees -- Seat tube angle 73.5 degrees -- Head tube length 15.5 cm -- chain stay 41 cm.

Habanero: Head tube angle 73.5 -- Seat tube angle 73.5 -- Head tube length 14.4 cm -- chain stay 40.5 cm.

Any thoughts?
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Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831
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Old 06-30-09, 03:38 PM
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Do not own either one nor have I ridden either one. Noted a couple of things in comparing geometry. The Merlin has a taller head tube which may mean a more upright riding position. Also, a key metric for fit is the effective top tube. Generally, this is a critical dimension and coupled with the head tube can change the fit of the bike by a lot. Of course, changing the stem dimensions and angles can clean this up to an extent.
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Old 06-30-09, 04:16 PM
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To me, all day comfort is a factor of many things. Fit, obviously is number one. After that, I believe geometry plays an important role, especially as we age and become less supple. My Sworks Roubaix is now my de facto distance bike. It's the wheelbase that makes the difference for me over the Parlee Z4 or my IF Ti CJ. It just has a more mild manner about it which really helps save energy late in a ride. It is a subtle difference but one that adds up with the miles. The reason I can say it is the geometry is that the Z4 is a more comfortable bike as far as ride quality than the Roubaix. But late in a long ride the Roubaix is less taxing. The geometry makes the difference to me.

But if your rides are never more than 4 hours it really wouldn't matter in my opinion. 4 hours is the breakpoint for me.
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Old 06-30-09, 06:37 PM
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I ride a Merlin XL that I rotate through with a couple other bikes and its appeal to me is that it's confortable enough for all day rides, but rides like a muted steel frame (as well as looks like a steel frame w/ its skinny tubes). The appeal of the Cyrene to me would be the engraving...what a nice job they did with that. If they're giving it away, you may have to consign your Habanero to rain bike.

If it's built up and local, you should just take it for a 30 mile ride then decide.
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Old 07-01-09, 04:05 AM
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Since you are into equipment, get a new bike as that's what you enjoy. The key is doing what you enjoy most. As far as the posted question, a lot of folks including myself like Ti the best of all the materials for the lively ride, especially compared to carbon.
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Old 07-01-09, 06:10 AM
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All I can say is don't get rid of the Hab - you may regret it down the road. If you do get the Merlin, and it sounds like a good deal - then revisit the parting of the Hab after you know whether or not you will make friends with the Merlin. Of the two though - IMHO the Hab has more long term value.
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Old 07-03-09, 01:03 PM
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Grace, elegance, an intimidating head badge (well, engraving) vs. pure, industrial function (headbadge is a stick-on decal I believe). A classic dilemma. Is the additional frosting of engraving and reputation solid and substantial or just...hype. One rider's hype is another's mantra. I would never lose the Habby as a back-up-- at the very least. (It got you home safe after that near-disaster blow-out!). The Cyrene will undoubtedly hold lots of its value for resale if need be. If you let the Merlin go, it will forever be a squeaky link in your mind.

Of course, you may need to make some kind of offering to your wife....titanium earrings maybe?
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