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Item # MLN000J

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  • Etched Titanium, 54cm ($4,199.00)
  • Etched Titanium, 56cm ($4,199.00)
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The gravel standard.

The Merlin CrusherTi Frameset began life here in our office-bound daydreams with the eventual aim of producing the ideal gravel racer. The Crusher isn't a grinder made for noodling and commuting. Instead, it's inspired by the new breed of multi-surface races and events that take riders across road, gravel, dirt, and high-altitude granite moonscapes where patches of snow manage to persist even into the heat of July. By adding an ENVE carbon disc fork to Merlin's titanium expertise, we think we've helped establish the new standard, but we'll let your own legs and gravel ambitions be the final metric.

By now, you know the standard line about titanium. It's springy, it dampens vibrations without feeling dead, it's responsive, it's lively — all of which sounds very nice, but the tendency to apply these modifiers to a frame's material alone glosses over the most important aspect of any frame's ride quality: how the damn thing is put together. That's why names like Merlin, who knows how to manipulate titanium in order to excite the above praise, carry so much weight in the cycling industry. That's also why the US-based manufacturer was the only obvious choice to build the CrusherTi.

The CrusherTi's head badge indicates that Merlin's company name refers to the bird of prey and not the sorcerous Briton of Arthurian myth. But we know better. There's definitely some alchemy at play in how the frame transforms rough roads and multi-surface punishment into solid gold. Of course, no frame-design magic in the world can elicit descriptions like "springy, damping, etc." from a frame that starts with sub-prime materials, so the CrusherTi is made entirely from double-butted 3Al-2.5V titanium sourced right here in the US.

This alloyed Ti's particular modulus means that, under stress, it expresses less deformity than aluminum and more than carbon fiber — all of which is the pseudo-engineering talk behind the pseudo-marketing fluff ("springy, responsive") that all sloughs away once you feel the frame underneath you. There may be a pre-Roman road languishing somewhere in Eastern Europe whose surface is so unfortunate that it wouldn't melt into a strip of butter under the CrusherTi, but even the Napoleonic stones of northern France will find little weakness in the long wheelbase and generous, stable rake.

Those material's resistance to deformity also means that, when the path or the watts turn up, the frame continues to transfer power efficiently from pedal to wheel. After all, plush ride aside, titanium still has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any metal, which puts it on par with all but the most punishing carbon frames. No matter how much marketing magic is wished into carbon, we find it often feels dead and dull compared to the CrusherTi, and it definitely won't stand up to the abuse of flung pebbles and trail-type detritus that titanium shrugs off.

Tech Specs

Frame Material:
titanium
Wheel Size:
700 c
Fork:
ENVE Disc
Fork Material:
carbon fiber
Headset Included:
yes, Chris King
Bottom Bracket Type:
PressFit 30
Cable Routing:
external
Front Derailleur Mount:
34.9mm clamp-on
Derailleur Pull:
bottom
Brake Type:
disc
Compatible Components:
up to 35mm tires
Seatpost Diameter:
31.6 mm
Seat Collar:
Thomson
Recommended Use:
gravel
Manufacturer Warranty:
2 years
Actual Weight:
Etched Titanium, 56cm: 2430g

sizing chart

Crusher size by rider height

|

Geometry chart

Merlin

Geometry Chart

 

Crusher
 

Seat Tube

(c-t)

Effective Top Tube

(eTT)

Stack

(S)

Reach

(R)

Stand Over

Head Tube

(HT)

Head Tube Angle

(HT°)

Seat Tube Angle

(ST°)

Bottom Bracket Drop

(BBD)

Chainstay

(CS)

Wheelbase
50cm  46.0cm 50.0cm 52.97cm 34.01cm 74.31cm 10.45cm 69.5o
73.5o 6.7cm 41.5cm 97.28cm
52cm   49.0cm 52.0cm 54.30cm 35.70cm 76.50cm 11.45cm 70.5o 73.5o 6.7cm 41.5cm 98.49cm
 54cm  52.5cm 54.0cm 56.40cm  36.62cm  78.70cm 12.95cm  71.0o 73.0o 7.2cm 41.9cm 99.80cm 
56cm  56.0cm 56.0cm 58.49cm  38.02cm  81.48cm  14.95cm  71.5o 73.0o 7.2cm 41.9cm 101.41cm 
58cm 58.0cm 58.0cm 60.57cm 39.41cm 83.47cm 16.95cm 72.0o 73.0o 7.2cm 41.9cm 102.97cm

Geometry Chart

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