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Question for any Merlin/Spectrum experts

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Question for any Merlin/Spectrum experts

Old 03-11-08, 03:58 PM
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Question for any Merlin/Spectrum experts

i got a question to throw out here. theres a shop in the Boston area that has a 14yr old Merlin Custom frame for sale. the cheapest they would let it go for is $1300, frame only. i'm told by the shop that it's on consignment, but in talking with the person who knows about the frame (and it appears he doesn't know much), it sounded more to me that it's the shops bike, old stock, and not a consignment for someone. anywho, the day i'm there looking at it, a guy from IF is there too, and he (supposedly) was the shop mgr when Merlin was in Mass. he's looking at the frame with me and tells me that it's actually a Spectrum, rebaged as a Merlin. he points out that Merlin didn't do internal cable routing as fancy as this frame had. i've held off because it just seems to me to be a bit high for a 14yr old frame. granted it was never used, doesn't even look like it was built up. so what do you all think? go for it or leave it alone? i haven't talked to the shop for a couple of months now so i'm not even sure it's still there. and i tried to get them to lower the price on it, but they wouldn't budge. i've sent an email to Spectrum asking them to verify that they made the frame but haven't gotten a reply yet and it's been over 2 weeks. so if anyone has any info, please let me know.
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Old 03-11-08, 04:12 PM
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Does it have the curved stays? Can you verify the serial number? It should be on the inside of the drop out.

I picked up a Merlin of the same vintage for ~$900. It was a complete bike w/ some older Mavic, and Shimano stuff. It had difinetly been ridin' but no damage, and it cleaned up great. It sounds like what you are looking at has never been built up?

Either way You could call or Email Tom Kellog at Spectrum and ask what he knows about it if you can find the serial number. He was more then helpfull with me, he's a real nice guy.
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Old 03-11-08, 04:22 PM
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IMHO, that's nuts. For that money you can get a new frame, even custom. I have a lot of respect
for Spectrum, but jeez.

Btw, if you want a surprise, check what it cost new.
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Old 03-11-08, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by late View Post
Btw, if you want a surprise, check what it cost new.
Not sure if you're suggesting it'll be a good surprise or a bad surprise... My LBS has a Merlin Extralight w/ DuraAce that's at least 2 or 3 years old, & it's been marked at $8000 for as long as I've noticed it. I was thinking recently I should just go in there with $4000 cash and offer to take it off their hands, let them make some room for new inventory...when I noticed that Colorado Cyclist is currently selling new Merlin Extralights w/ DuraAce for $4000!
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Old 03-11-08, 05:17 PM
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it has straight stays and i never got to check what the serial # is. i tried to contact Spectrum about it but haven't rec'd an answer yet and it's been over 2 weeks. if i get a chance to get to the shop i'll try to get more info.
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Old 03-13-08, 11:08 AM
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so i went to the shop today to look at the frame again and here's what i found on it. it's a 60cm with a 58cm tt, so it's a little big for me but not by much, like a cm. it has a pump peg, chain hanger, the STI braze ons are on the head tube, 1in head tube, internal cable routing, straight seat/chain stays and a metal headbadge. the serial # is 3313 so that makes me think it's a Cambridge model but there is no sticker saying so. it looks like it's never been built up, no marks in the bb shell or head tube or rear drops. the price was quoted at $1200 this time and it's on consignment. so i guess i'll need to confirm the production date.
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Old 03-13-08, 11:54 AM
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I sold a 1990 Merlin Extralight frame on ebay for $800. It was in great shape. I'd say your price is high b/c it's a Massachusetts old school thing. Let me guess they have a Fat City Cycles mountain bike frame in the shop they have listed for $2500?

Sentimental price if you ask me
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Old 03-13-08, 12:02 PM
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Tom Kellogg posts on the Serotta forums, as do a lot of Spectrum owners. You might try asking there.

I also know he's often backed up with work so doesn't have time to respond to his e-mails. You might just try calling them. The person who answers the phone will either be Tom himself or his business partner, Jeff Duser.
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Old 03-13-08, 12:40 PM
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sorry charlie, no fat city's there anymore. i tried emailing Merlin but all they could tell me it's pre 2000 production and they have no files from any year prior to that, when Litespeed bought them.
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Old 03-13-08, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
Not sure if you're suggesting it'll be a good surprise or a bad surprise... My LBS has a Merlin Extralight w/ DuraAce that's at least 2 or 3 years old, & it's been marked at $8000 for as long as I've noticed it. I was thinking recently I should just go in there with $4000 cash and offer to take it off their hands, let them make some room for new inventory...when I noticed that Colorado Cyclist is currently selling new Merlin Extralights w/ DuraAce for $4000!
I'll glady sell you a 1998 Merlin Extralight with a 10 speed D/A group, and Zipp 404s for $4000. Admittedly its seena little use.
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Old 03-13-08, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by maddog17 View Post
tells me that it's actually a Spectrum, rebaged as a Merlin. he points out that Merlin didn't do internal cable routing as fancy as this frame had.
And are you thinking its worth more or less because if its a Spectrum? In my mind a Ti bike built under Tom Kellog in that era, doesn't matter much what the decal says.

IMHO $1300 for a NOS Merlin that's 14 years old is borderline.
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Old 03-14-08, 03:22 PM
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i'm not necessarily thinking it's worth more if it's a Spectrum, just would be nice to know as an fyi type thing. i guess it would be a topic of discussion more than a prized possession. if Merlin didn't do internal routing, or pump pegs or chain hangers, then who built the frame? plus the welds were worked on to file them smooth and i don't recall Merlins welds being "smooth". they were looking for $1200 for it but in the end i'm gonna pass on it since it's a tad big for me. i normally ride a 59/57.5 and this is a 60/58. so if anyone is interested in it i can let you know who the shop is and maybe you can talk them down more.
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Old 03-14-08, 03:38 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by maddog17 View Post
so i went to the shop today to look at the frame again and here's what i found on it. it's a 60cm with a 58cm tt, so it's a little big for me but not by much, like a cm. it has a pump peg, chain hanger, the STI braze ons are on the head tube, 1in head tube, internal cable routing, straight seat/chain stays and a metal headbadge. the serial # is 3313 so that makes me think it's a Cambridge model but there is no sticker saying so. it looks like it's never been built up, no marks in the bb shell or head tube or rear drops. the price was quoted at $1200 this time and it's on consignment. so i guess i'll need to confirm the production date.
Be careful with that size. You said it is custom. A 60 cm and a 58 cc tt means the person it was built for has a short torso You also said it's a cm too big for you. If you anything close to an average build, you likely will end up with a too large a frame seatpostwise and too short a tt. Most likely you'll need a long stem to compensate and lose some handling.

A brand new frame from Colordao Cyclist runs $3300 with free shipping.
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Old 03-14-08, 06:12 PM
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Spectrum does not manufacture Ti frames so who cares if it's Spectrum or not? And $1200 is still too high for an old frame with 1" head tube.
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Old 03-15-08, 06:52 AM
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since when does Spectrum not make Ti frames?
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Old 03-15-08, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by maddog17 View Post
since when does Spectrum not make Ti frames?
Since forever. They spec the angles and Merlin welds the frame together. Since this is a used frame, built for someone else, it doesn't matter if Spectrum was the middle man brokering the deal.
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Old 03-15-08, 12:34 PM
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That price sounds stupid high. My Spectrum Ti was a 1991 model and in 1996 it cracked in two places. I was the second owner. I left it out with the trash. Yes, the bike had 35K+ miles on it, no I don't think it should have broken (not at the welds, the tubing CRACKED at the shifter bosses and on the chain stay).

You couldn't GIVE me an older Merlin Ti frame, but if I was buying one, it would be half the price you're being quoted.
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Old 03-16-08, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Nessism View Post
Since forever. They spec the angles and Merlin welds the frame together. Since this is a used frame, built for someone else, it doesn't matter if Spectrum was the middle man brokering the deal.
never knew that! i always had thought that Merlin was founded with the help of Tom because Tom was doing his on Ti thing with Spectrum. but now that i've gone to Spectrums web site i'm filled in as it were. so does this mean that the current Spectrums are still being built by Merlin/Litespeed?
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Old 03-16-08, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by maddog17 View Post
never knew that! i always had thought that Merlin was founded with the help of Tom because Tom was doing his on Ti thing with Spectrum. but now that i've gone to Spectrums web site i'm filled in as it were. so does this mean that the current Spectrums are still being built by Merlin/Litespeed?
From the Spectrum site:

"TITANIUM BICYCLES
Spectrum Titanium: the ultimate marriage of geometry, material and craftsmanship.

By now everyone knows that a Titanium bicycle can offer a rider stiffness without compromising comfort, incredible durability without added weight, and unmatched value because it will never wear out. But with Titanium more than any other frame material, ride characteristics and fit must be built into the bicycle by an experienced Master. Enter Tom Kellogg and Spectrum Cycles.

Since designing and testing the first modern Titanium frames with Merlin Metal Works, Master frame builder Tom Kellogg has been creating ultra-light, Full Custom Titanium bicycles that are known to be among the World's finest. Spectrum Custom Titanium is more than a bicycle; it is an experience. But if you are not riding a Spectrum Custom Titanium Bicycle, you are still only experiencing a fraction of the benefits Titanium has to offer. At Spectrum, the experience begins with Spectrum's Titanium Tubing. In collaboration with Merlin Metal Works, Spectrum uses the highest quality, seamless, titanium tubing in the business. In fact, the tolerances of our tubing are the highest in not only the cycling industry but of any industry period. Master frame builder Tom Kellogg collaborates with you to chose from the widest selection of tubing available. He matches your unique characteristics and riding requirements with the optimum combination of tube diameters, gauges, and butting options in order to create for you the ideal Titanium ride.

After the frame is designed, the tubes are cut, mitered and welded by the most experienced craftsman at Merlin Metal Works using Spectrum's exclusive "non-push weld" technique. The result is a gorgeous, glass smooth weld that's as strong as it is beautiful. Finally, Tom Kellogg finishes each frame with your custom paint scheme. If you can dream it, he will paint it. At Spectrum we know that buying an expensive titanium bicycle is a lifetime investment. We match the highest quality materials, with intelligent design choices to meet your unique needs. The result is the perfect Spectrum Custom Titanium bicycle that you will want to keep for a lifetime.


In short, you simply can't make a better decision than Spectrum Titanium."
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Old 03-16-08, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by maddog17 View Post
never knew that! i always had thought that Merlin was founded with the help of Tom because Tom was doing his on Ti thing with Spectrum. but now that i've gone to Spectrums web site i'm filled in as it were. so does this mean that the current Spectrums are still being built by Merlin/Litespeed?
That's my understanding.

Regarding that blurb on the Spectrum web site...just my opinion of course, but I don't trust companies that spout out the marketing mumbo jumbo like they do. Talk about tooting your own horn.
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Old 12-09-17, 08:34 PM
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Proud owner of Merlin Custom S/N 3313

So, I'm the guy who bought this frame off the wall in the bike shop in Cambridge, back in 2009.

I did a complete custom build in Campy Record Carbon 10 spd, and I've enjoyed 10K wonderful miles since then...

This year, I updated to Super Record Carbon 11 spd, and put on another 1401 miles.... until November 28, when I was hit head-on by a driver who 'didn't even see me', and never even hit her brakes. This, at an intersection I've crossed 821 times over the past 6 years, 820 of them, without incident.

I managed to get out with 6 fractured ribs, a collapsed lung, and three fractured vertebrae, in addition to the wicked road rash you might imagine after a 40mph impact and an 8 foot high airborne cartwheel that ended on my lumbar spine... But no TBI, no broken limbs, and never even lost consciousness. I'm the luckiest guy alive, that I'm even able to write this post!

My bike is another story. The Profile carbon fork snapped off, as did the FSA carbon handlebar. The bike landed about 40 feet from the point of impact, I'm told. I'm reaching out to current Merlin and Spectrum to see if they can rebuild this frame or build me a duplicate of it, with all the unusual custom features it has, like the sculpted integral seatpost clamp, internal cable routing, and smooth ground welds...

Needless to say, this is folly, compared to new frames available today, but I love this ride that much.

I'll come back and post when I figure out what I'm going to do with it, but that may be quite a few weeks from now, because I've got a bit of healing and rehab to do first.

Love this forum, and love the fact that my baby, S/N 3313, has been out here on the forum for so many years....
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Old 12-10-17, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by zoooomz View Post
So, I'm the guy who bought this frame off the wall in the bike shop in Cambridge, back in 2009.

I did a complete custom build in Campy Record Carbon 10 spd, and I've enjoyed 10K wonderful miles since then...

This year, I updated to Super Record Carbon 11 spd, and put on another 1401 miles.... until November 28, when I was hit head-on by a driver who 'didn't even see me', and never even hit her brakes. This, at an intersection I've crossed 821 times over the past 6 years, 820 of them, without incident.

I managed to get out with 6 fractured ribs, a collapsed lung, and three fractured vertebrae, in addition to the wicked road rash you might imagine after a 40mph impact and an 8 foot high airborne cartwheel that ended on my lumbar spine... But no TBI, no broken limbs, and never even lost consciousness. I'm the luckiest guy alive, that I'm even able to write this post!

My bike is another story. The Profile carbon fork snapped off, as did the FSA carbon handlebar. The bike landed about 40 feet from the point of impact, I'm told. I'm reaching out to current Merlin and Spectrum to see if they can rebuild this frame or build me a duplicate of it, with all the unusual custom features it has, like the sculpted integral seatpost clamp, internal cable routing, and smooth ground welds...

Needless to say, this is folly, compared to new frames available today, but I love this ride that much.

I'll come back and post when I figure out what I'm going to do with it, but that may be quite a few weeks from now, because I've got a bit of healing and rehab to do first.

Love this forum, and love the fact that my baby, S/N 3313, has been out here on the forum for so many years....
wow!!! talk about coming full circle!! completely forgot about this post and the frame. sucks you got hit and the frame is toast. it was a unique frame. hopefully you got a better deal on it when you bought it
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Old 12-10-17, 08:01 PM
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Well, I've enjoyed 10,000 miles of fun on this frame, and it may be repairable. We'll see. I'll post here when the prognosis is available...
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Old 12-10-17, 10:40 PM
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I know nothing about Spectrum, but Merlin does not exist anymore. The name is a brand owned by Competitive Cyclist. They don’t do anything even faintly resembling custom. Start looking for a used one on eBay or call Lynskey and tell them your story. Many Ti builders would be glad to charge you more, but none are likely to make you happier.
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Old 12-17-17, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by zoooomz View Post
Well, I've enjoyed 10,000 miles of fun on this frame, and it may be repairable. We'll see. I'll post here when the prognosis is available...
hopefully Merlin still has info on the frame as far as the geometry. if so you could just take that to a current Ti builder and have it replicated. Firefly and IF come to mind since there is a chance that some of those guys were with Merlin back in their hay day
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