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Merlin Extralight/SRAM Force Complete Bike

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Item # MLN0012

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Item # MLN0012

Description

Made in America.

Made in America. We love the sound of those three words together, and when it comes to the truly venerable American frame builders, none match the storied history of Merlin. As seen with its Extralight, Merlin's trendsetting hallmarks of perfectly executed geometry, sophisticated materials, and unparalleled craftsmanship quickly set it apart from the pack. And if you're anything like us, you were disappointed to see the Extralight go away. However, like a phoenix from the ashes, Merlin is back, and instead of dwelling on the past, it brought the Extralight ahead of the curve and into the future with the Extralight/SRAM Force Complete Bike.

The Extralight features the same double-butted 3Al-2.5V titanium (3-2.5) tubing of yesteryear. But, to refresh your memory, we'll shed some light on this designation. Simply put, it refers to the percentages of the material composition, with the 'three' being 3% aluminum, the '2.5' being 2.5% vanadium, and the remaining 94.5% being that of titanium. In its original application, 3-2.5 was used throughout the aerospace industry for its exceptional strength-to-weight ratio and high resistance to corrosion. Today, however, you'll find its primary application in the high pressure hydraulic lines of airplanes, and of course, in the Merlin Extralight.

Still, strength and low weight considered, the question begs to be asked, why 3-2.5 titanium? Well, it all comes down to its ride quality. In comparison to other alloys, you'll find that 3-2.5 features a higher strength-to-weight ratio, lower sidewall density, and a higher elastic modulus, all in exponential figures. But, in layman's terms, this means that the Extralight is lighter, stiffer, and stronger than other alloys -- even the exotics like scandium and magnesium. However, we feel that these terms are simply thrown around far too often, so let us explain how these actually translate to ride quality.

3-2.5 expresses less deformity under stress than aluminum, but more so than carbon fiber. This characteristic translates to a highly responsive and direct feel under load. However, unlike carbon fiber, which strategically redirects shock energy throughout the frame, 3-2.5's elastic modulus creates a natural dampening of vibration and shock. The Extralight benefits from less abrasive handling without diminishing any of its natural stiffness.

And this brings us onto the subject of engineered-in rigidity. Merlin brought the Extralight into the modern age by increasing the diameter of the tubing to 1.375in at the top and seat tubes and 0.875in at the seatstays. You'll also find that this generation features a 44mm oversized head tube that's been mated with a full carbon Enve Composites fork. Additionally, Merlin designed the bike around a PressFit 30 bottom bracket. This allows for the use of a contemporary drivetrain, which will guarantee efficient power transfer along the S-bend chainstays to the rear wheel. Merlin also took the liberty of varying the downtube's diameter to correspond with frame size. As a result, the smaller frames feature a 1.5in diameter down tube, while you'll find 1.75in tubes on the larger frames. The head and seat tube angles are likewise size-specific. Essentially, this tunes the characteristics to each frame size, creating a seemingly custom feel. And just as importantly, the aforementioned updates make the Extralight stiffer, increasingly responsive, and more compliant than any iteration before.

But, of course, we can't discuss the topic of Merlin without mentioning its uncompromising level of craftsmanship. Every Extralight features American sourced titanium tubing and is hand-built in the USA. And just to keep the Old Glory Train running, each frame includes a Chris King Inset 7 headset and a Thomson seatpost collar. Of course, the Extralight's welds are seamless, and due to 3-2.5's natural resistance to corrosion, its beautiful, brushed finish will never rust -- even for those living seaside.

Furthering the build, Merlin has equipped the bike with a complete SRAM Force group with compact, 50-34 tooth chainrings. At the rear, you'll find the climber's theme continued with a 12-25 tooth, SRAM PG-1050 cassette. The bike rolls on a Reynolds Solitude clincher wheelset that's been cased with Vittoria Zaffiro tires. Rounding out the build is a Zipp Service Course cockpit, Arundel cork handlebar tape, and a Selle Italia SL Kit Carbonio saddle.

The Merlin Extralight/SRAM Force Complete Bike is available in the color Brushed Titanium and in the sizes 51, 52, 54, 55, 57, and 58cm. Please note that the sizing numeral references the top tube length of the frame. To be certain on fit, please reference our size chart. 

Tech Specs

Frame Material:
3-2.5 titanium
Fork Material:
carbon fiber
Shifters:
SRAM Force
Front Derailleur:
SRAM Force
Rear Derailleur:
SRAM Force
Crank Arm Length:
172.5 mm
Bottom Bracket:
BB30
Pedals:
not included
Chain:
SRAM PC-1031
Brake Levers:
SRAM Force
Brake Calipers:
SRAM Force
Bar Tape:
Arundel
Stem:
Zipp Service Course
Stem Length:
90 deg
Saddle:
Selle Italia SL Kit Carbonio
Seatpost:
Zipp Service Course
Wheelset:
Reynolds Solitude
Tires:
Vittoria Zaffiro
Tire Size:
700 cm x 23 mm
Recommended Use:
road cycling
Actual Weight:
Titanium, 57cm: 8,010g

Geometry chart

Merlin

Geometry Chart
 
 
Extralight
 

Seat Tube

(c-t)

Effective Top Tube

(TT)

Stack

(S)

Reach

(R)

Standover

(SO)

Head Tube

(HT)

Head Tube Angle

(HTo)

Seat Tube Angle

(STo)

Bottom Bracket Drop

(BBD)

Chainstay Length

(CS)

50 50.5cm 50.3cm

50.9cm

35.8cm 74.4cm 11.2cm 70.0 deg 74.5 deg 7.45cm 40.8cm
51 51.5cm 51.5cm

51.6cm

36.9cm 75.4cm 11.7cm 70.5 deg 74.5 deg 7.45cm 40.8cm
52 52.5cm 52.5cm 52.7cm 37.2cm 76.3cm 12.5cm 71.5 deg 74.0 deg 7.45cm 40.8cm
54 55.0cm 54.5cm 54.5cm 38.3cm 78.1cm 14.0cm 72.5 deg 73.5 deg 7.45cm 41.0cm
55 57.5cm 55.7cm 56.5cm 38.9cm 80.5cm 16.0cm 72.75 deg 73.5 deg 7.45cm 41.0cm
57 59.5cm 57.5cm 58.6cm 39.6cm 82.3cm 18.0cm 73.5 deg 73.0deg 7.45cm 41.2cm
58 62.5cm 58.7cm 60.6cm 39.7cm 84.1cm 18.8cm 73.5 deg 72.5 deg 7.45cm 41.4cm

Merlin Extralight Geo

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