Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

The death of a once great brand (Merlin)

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

The death of a once great brand (Merlin)

Old 01-18-12, 11:36 PM
  #1  
tuxbailey
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
tuxbailey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Elkridge, MD
Posts: 1,300

Bikes: 2012 Guru Praemio R - 2001 Jamis Ventura - 1990 Specialized Hard Rock (with original tires) - 2012 Trek Cobias

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked 6 Times in 3 Posts
The death of a once great brand (Merlin)

https://www.competitivecyclist.com/wh...pdate.433.html

- A few of you have asked "What's going on with Merlin?" A brief update is overdue:

It's been a yearlong struggle trying to nail down our goals for the resurrection of the brand: Is an art project OK, or should we pursue financially viability? Is it reasonable to maintain Merlin's fanaticism for titanium, or is moving into carbon inevitable?

It was a debate with a deadline because of a daydream I couldn’t shed. I wanted to officially and pyrotechnically re-introduce the brand and unveil our design concepts in March at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) in Sacramento.
I shall hang on to my Extralight for a very long time.

Last edited by CbadRider; 01-23-12 at 03:20 PM. Reason: copyright violation
tuxbailey is offline  
Old 01-18-12, 11:48 PM
  #2  
patentcad
Peloton Shelter Dog
 
patentcad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Chester, NY
Posts: 90,508

Bikes: 2017 Scott Foil, 2016 Scott Addict SL, 2018 Santa Cruz Blur CC MTB

Mentioned: 74 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1140 Post(s)
Liked 25 Times in 19 Posts
This doesn't surprise or bother me one tiny bike weenie bit.
__________________
https://www.cotsiscad.com
patentcad is offline  
Old 01-19-12, 05:53 AM
  #3  
mihlbach
Senior Member
 
mihlbach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 6,636
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 112 Post(s)
Liked 116 Times in 61 Posts
All the ti weenies are buying motobecanes.
mihlbach is offline  
Old 01-19-12, 06:49 AM
  #4  
mconlonx 
Str*t*gic *quivoc*tor
 
mconlonx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 7,552
Mentioned: 46 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7071 Post(s)
Liked 88 Times in 63 Posts
I think "The Death of Titanium" is slightly overblow. Sounds like "The Death of Steel" -- now that Ti is not the latest, greatest, and more specifically lightest, popularity is going to fall, but it will maintain its fans. Maybe not at the semi mass production as Merlin at its heyday, or Lightspeed for that matter, but with a small cadre who love the Ti niche. Merlin and Lightspeed size operations, maybe not, but IF spawned Firefly bikes, and when I visited IF last year, they still seemed to be moving a decent amount of Ti bikes through their workshop.
__________________
I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.
mconlonx is offline  
Old 01-19-12, 07:03 AM
  #5  
datlas 
Should Be More Popular
 
datlas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Malvern, PA (20 miles West of Philly)
Posts: 39,888

Bikes: 1986 Alpine (steel road bike), 2009 Ti Habenero, 2013 Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 539 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19558 Post(s)
Liked 6,222 Times in 3,015 Posts
Steel is still viable too.
__________________
Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
Addiction is all about class.
datlas is offline  
Old 01-19-12, 07:17 AM
  #6  
krooj
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 19
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
That letter sounds like an excuse.
krooj is offline  
Old 01-19-12, 07:27 AM
  #7  
RUOkie
Scarlet Knight
 
RUOkie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: In a Haggard Song
Posts: 11,271

Bikes: 2009 ORBEA Onix Rival. 2012 Felt Breed, 1999 Raleigh 500

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 285 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by krooj View Post
That letter sounds like an excuse.
To me as well. They decided not to go forward with production because they were not allowed to display the bike at a show?

If they wanted to go forward they could have, given their distribution network.
RUOkie is offline  
Old 01-19-12, 07:37 AM
  #8  
topflightpro
Senior Member
 
topflightpro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,519
Mentioned: 54 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1831 Post(s)
Liked 651 Times in 411 Posts
I have to agree with the line about Moots.
topflightpro is offline  
Old 01-19-12, 07:49 AM
  #9  
jfmckenna
Tiocfáidh ár Lá
 
jfmckenna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: The edge of b#
Posts: 5,475

Bikes: A whole bunch-a bikes.

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 444 Post(s)
Liked 114 Times in 70 Posts
Maybe bikesdirect will pick up the brand

I never liked how they engraved their logo's into the frame. Otherwise they seemed like nice frames.
jfmckenna is offline  
Old 01-19-12, 08:25 AM
  #10  
surgeonstone
Senior Member
 
surgeonstone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: South Bend IN
Posts: 11,218

Bikes: 1976 FRESCHI, 2004 Crumpton.

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 925 Post(s)
Liked 21 Times in 10 Posts
I have been riding the Merlin Ti/CF Lunaris for 8 years now and have never been happier with a bike ( of course I am fairly low maintenance and recognize that buying stuff for the sake of buying stuff will not make me happy). But this bike does make me happy.... very, very happy. And so I see no foreseeable need for another bike within the next 10-20 years. This may very well then, be my last bike.
I have been riding this bike through everything and anything, rain, snow, salt. It is still equipped with it's original Campy Record group and it still operates flawlessly.
For me then, the news is of very little importance.
I am though, a little sad that others will not get the opportunity to experience the beauty and ride of this bike.
C'est l vie!
surgeonstone is offline  
Old 01-19-12, 08:36 AM
  #11  
MegaTom
Senior Member
 
MegaTom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 2,012

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix SL3, Lynskey Cooper CX

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by RUOkie View Post
To me as well. They decided not to go forward with production because they were not allowed to display the bike at a show?

If they wanted to go forward they could have, given their distribution network.
That's the gist of what I gathered from the statement...
MegaTom is offline  
Old 01-19-12, 08:50 AM
  #12  
AngryScientist 
Lost
 
AngryScientist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: nutley, nj
Posts: 4,546
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Liked 24 Times in 16 Posts
its an excuse to throw in the towel. they got in over their heads, especially considering their recent takeover. sad, but i'd rather see the name retire with dignity than to go the way of offshore produced, inexpensive crap.

RIP Merlin.
AngryScientist is offline  
Old 01-19-12, 08:53 AM
  #13  
pallen
Descends like a rock
 
pallen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 4,034

Bikes: Scott Foil, Surly Pacer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked 16 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by AngryScientist View Post
sad, but i'd rather see the name retire with dignity than to go the way of offshore produced, inexpensive crap.

RIP Merlin.
very true. sad to see them go though.
pallen is offline  
Old 01-19-12, 08:55 AM
  #14  
BillyD
Administrator
 
BillyD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
Posts: 31,063

Bikes: Merlin Cyrene '04; Bridgestone RB-1 '92

Mentioned: 315 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10371 Post(s)
Liked 4,441 Times in 2,432 Posts
"what differentiated Merlin was its approach to Ti, not Ti in itself. Its key distinction in the market was its commitment to amazing quality. "




Originally Posted by tuxbailey View Post
I shall hang on to my Extralight for a very long time.
I don't anticipate EVER giving up my Cyrene, either.
__________________
See, this is why we can't have nice things. - - smarkinson
Where else but the internet can a bunch of cyclists go and be the tough guy? - - jdon
BillyD is offline  
Old 01-19-12, 08:58 AM
  #15  
pallen
Descends like a rock
 
pallen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 4,034

Bikes: Scott Foil, Surly Pacer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked 16 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by BillyD View Post
I don't anticipate EVER giving up my Cyrene, either.
That might be what did them in. I would say that is pretty typical of Merlin owners. They buy a Merlin and keep it forever. A thriving bike brand needs you "upgrading" every few years.
pallen is offline  
Old 01-19-12, 09:09 AM
  #16  
surgeonstone
Senior Member
 
surgeonstone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: South Bend IN
Posts: 11,218

Bikes: 1976 FRESCHI, 2004 Crumpton.

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 925 Post(s)
Liked 21 Times in 10 Posts
Originally Posted by pallen View Post
That might be what did them in. I would say that is pretty typical of Merlin owners. They buy a Merlin and keep it forever. A thriving bike brand needs you "upgrading" every few years.
And that is what makes the CF bikes so good, they just keep breaking!
surgeonstone is offline  
Old 01-19-12, 09:21 AM
  #17  
FrenchFit 
The Left Coast, USA
 
FrenchFit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 3,757

Bikes: Bulls, Bianchi, Koga, Trek, Miyata

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 361 Post(s)
Liked 25 Times in 18 Posts
Disposable clothes, cars, computers, homes, marriages, pensions, bicycles. A consumer society doesn't want things that aren't designed to be spent & replaced.

Can you imagine the ad in Bicycle Magazine "The last bike you'll ever buy." ..talk about DOA.

Last edited by FrenchFit; 01-19-12 at 09:25 AM.
FrenchFit is offline  
Old 01-19-12, 09:24 AM
  #18  
BillyD
Administrator
 
BillyD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
Posts: 31,063

Bikes: Merlin Cyrene '04; Bridgestone RB-1 '92

Mentioned: 315 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10371 Post(s)
Liked 4,441 Times in 2,432 Posts
Originally Posted by surgeonstone View Post
And that is what makes the CF bikes so good, they just keep breaking!
Exactly!

Disposable bikes, planned obsolescence.
__________________
See, this is why we can't have nice things. - - smarkinson
Where else but the internet can a bunch of cyclists go and be the tough guy? - - jdon
BillyD is offline  
Old 01-19-12, 09:28 AM
  #19  
BillyD
Administrator
 
BillyD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
Posts: 31,063

Bikes: Merlin Cyrene '04; Bridgestone RB-1 '92

Mentioned: 315 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10371 Post(s)
Liked 4,441 Times in 2,432 Posts
Originally Posted by BillyD View Post
Exactly!

Disposable bikes, planned obsolescence.
But I digress.

I'd like to see this thread remain on track and not degrade into a bike materials slugfest.
__________________
See, this is why we can't have nice things. - - smarkinson
Where else but the internet can a bunch of cyclists go and be the tough guy? - - jdon

Last edited by BillyD; 01-19-12 at 10:45 AM.
BillyD is offline  
Old 01-19-12, 09:31 AM
  #20  
LAJ
So it is
 
LAJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Westminster, CO
Posts: 20,472

Bikes: Luzerne, 684, Boreas, Wheelhouse, Alize©®, Bayamo, Cayo

Mentioned: 245 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10736 Post(s)
Liked 4,103 Times in 2,409 Posts
Originally Posted by tuxbailey View Post



I shall hang on to my Extralight for a very long time.
May not hurt to take a picture of it with your Kodak camera.
LAJ is offline  
Old 01-19-12, 09:36 AM
  #21  
Macster
Senior Member
 
Macster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: New Yawk, NY
Posts: 1,243

Bikes: Litespeed Classic; Lemond Zurich

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 80 Post(s)
Liked 70 Times in 24 Posts
Originally Posted by LAJ View Post
May not hurt to take a picture of it with your Kodak camera.
Ha ha. Cute! Very funny! You have just confirmed Frenchfit's ^^^ observation on rampant consumerism. It's like people just like to spend money because they got it to spend, like it's burning a hole in their pocket. If you buy quality the first time you can then spend that "extra" money on something else instead of the latest and so-called greatest.
Macster is offline  
Old 01-19-12, 09:43 AM
  #22  
mpath
Recusant Iconoclast
 
mpath's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Tsawwassen, BC
Posts: 2,560

Bikes: Look 695, Wilier Izoard

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 247 Post(s)
Liked 58 Times in 29 Posts
Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
Disposable clothes, cars, computers, homes, marriages, pensions, bicycles. A consumer society doesn't want things that aren't designed to be spent & replaced.

Can you imagine the ad in Bicycle Magazine "The last bike you'll ever buy." ..talk about DOA.
+1.

Another case of history repeating itself. Two hundred years ago the Luddites rebelled and lost. Now we pay a premium for handmade. Tongue and groove furniture is completely lost on Ikea shoppers.
mpath is offline  
Old 01-19-12, 09:45 AM
  #23  
ColinL
Two-Wheeled Aficionado
 
ColinL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Wichita
Posts: 4,903

Bikes: Santa Cruz Blur TR, Cannondale Quick CX dropbar conversion & others

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by BillyD View Post
Exactly!

Disposable bikes, planned obsolescence.
Not sure about the breakable being part of it, but certainly carbon frames are perceived as 'still improving'. We can debate how much of carbon frame updates are cosmetic, trivial (50 grams less weight, etc) or impactful (stiffer BB, better bump absorption, etc) but one thing that isn't debateable is that carbon frames are still changing in appearance and shape.

Titanium and steel bikes looked the same for a long, long time because the geometry was well proven and the material didn't allow funny shapes like carbon.

This is what caused the slow refresh in Titanium and steel compared to carbon.
ColinL is offline  
Old 01-19-12, 09:54 AM
  #24  
save10
Arrogant Roadie Punk
 
save10's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: California
Posts: 2,353
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
meh.....
save10 is offline  
Old 01-19-12, 09:55 AM
  #25  
Rutnick
Senior Member
 
Rutnick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,892
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The owner of competitive cyclist bought Merlin around two years ago. Last year, he sold competitive cyclists to backcountry.com which moved competitive cyclists from their awesome home in Arkansas to Utah and left employees behind while they trailered up their inventory and move it to Utah.


The REAL reason would be (if you read between the lines) is that backcountry didn't want to fool with the pet project of the previous owner.

And whatever about the death of Ti. Linskey is doing well and they were the heart of litespeed anyway. Linskey did more in year one of operation regarding Ti than the last few years of litespeed. Litespeed got stale when the founders (Linskey) sold out.
Rutnick is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.