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Merlin Extralight Road Bike Frame

$3,999.00

Item # MLN0010

4 5

Community Rating | 6 Reviews

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  • Titanium, 51cm ($3,999.00)
  • Titanium, 52cm ($3,999.00)
  • Titanium, 54cm ($3,999.00)
  • Titanium, 55cm ($3,999.00)
  • Titanium, 57cm ($3,999.00)
  • Titanium, 58cm ($3,999.00)
  • Titanium, 50cm ($3,999.00)
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Item # MLN0010

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Description

A star reborn.

We understand that the bird of prey for which Merlin is named translates more to the aggressiveness of carbon fiber than the romanticism of titanium, but like every bike racer, we have fond memories of the first bike we really pined after. And for us, that bike was the Merlin Extralight Road Bike Frame.

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 down tube'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. Given its strength, durability, and eternal good looks, Merlin has created a timeless ride that will long outpace the zeitgeist, quite possibly making it the last bike that you'll ever need.

The Merlin Extralight Road Bike Frame is available in the color Brushed Titanium and in the sizes 50, 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. Each Extralight frameset ships with the following: an ENVE Composites Carbon 2.0 tapered road fork, a Chris King Inset 7 headset, and a Thomson seatpost collar.

READ OUR REVIEW

Tech Specs

Frame Material:
3-2.5 titanium
Fork:
Enve Tapered 2.0
Fork Material:
carbon fiber
Fork Blade Shape:
straight
Steer Tube Type:
tapered carbon fiber
Rear Axle:
quick-release
Dropout Type:
vertical
Replaceable Rear Derailleur Hanger:
no, 6-4 titanium
Seatpost Diameter:
31.6 mm
Cable Routing:
external
Compatible Components:
SRAM, Shimano, Campagnolo
Recommended Use:
road cycling and racing
Actual Weight:
Titanium, 55cm: 1,860g

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

Reviews & Community

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Merlin Extralight Road Bike Frame

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Here's what others have to say...

2 5

What's with the pricing increases?

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Whoa.... Not sure how many other people noticed the hefty price increase to the Merlin XLM and Extralight here in the past few days. Being that these bikes are being made for Competitive and sold only through Competitive, I find it very hard to believe that anyone in the market for titanium will find these new prices for the ti models acceptable when you can go to FORM directly for the essentially the exact same bikes, being built by the same hands with a different logo/headbadge for considerably cheaper. This pricing now puts these 2 ti bikes from Merlin into the territory of the finest titanium manufacturers like Moots, Firefly, Eriksen, Alchemy, Mosaic etc. Unless these are being scheduled to be offered at 30-40% or something, the price increase makes no sense.

5 5

Not just for graybeards anymore!

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

There's a reason why you see a lot of old dudes riding Ti frames. Ti reminds them of the sweet steel bike they rode 30 or 40 years ago. But Ti goes a step further. That smoothness is combine with incredible light weight and with modern tubing a wonderfully responsive feel on the road.

I've now ridden the new carbon Merlin Empire and most recently the Extralight. I am so enamored with both..

For the Extralight, the first thing I noticed was just how sexy the Ti coloring and fatter tubes really are. This bike looks hot! Second, I noticed the beautiful welds. The Extrlight is handmade in the USA and the attention to detail is impeccable.

The ride is out of this world. I've been on the Pinarello Dogma and the Dogma was damp, too damp for me. It absorbed bumps but felt dead. The Extralight on the other hand was damp and smooth, but keeps a lively feel. It doesn't have the snap of the carbon Empire, but the bikes have different purposes. The Empire is more a pure racer. The Extralight would be my choice for an "everything" bike. Race it, climb with it, do some centuries. This would be my bike for the 206 mile LOTOJA Classic.

Merlin has it down. The Extralight should be on the top of anyone's list if they're looking for an excellent all around bike.

Responded on

In your opinion, how much flex are you getting compared to a steel bike? I have yet to try a ti bike, and I heard that ti flexes more under power than steel. I'm really considering it but I need a bit more feed back.

Thanks

5 5

Smooth Character

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

We've all gotten very used to our highly engineered carbon bikes. Sure they're all vertically stiff, laterally compliant, lightweight and stiff in all the right place etc. etc., but a week on the extra-light brought me back to the basics with a simple, smooth and all around great bike.

The first thing I noticed was how the Extralight seems to compress the road surface before your eyes into perfectly smooth pavement. This titanium beauty provided one of most tranquil riding experience of any frame I've been on. There are plenty of carbon bikes that aim to provide a similar ride quality, but the 3-2.5 titanium was extraordinarily unique in this regard. A very simple, but unique looking bike with a one of a kind ride.

One of the best aspects of the Extralight, is that it really fits into any category. Fast, smooth and stable on the flats and descents. Steady, lightweight and capable on any climb. Comfortable for rough roads or long days on the road. And fast, agile and plenty capable of handling the stress of a race as well. Not particularly specializing in one department, but absolutely capable for anything you throw it. This bike is what's known as a "lifer."

If you have any questions, I will be happy to help you out. You can request me on chat, or reach me by phone (1.888.276.7130 ext. 4579) or get in touch via email at. tjackson@backcountry.com.

Responded on

Is it made in the USA? Double-butted tubing? Thanks. I am interested in getting one to replace my old Tarmac.

Responded on

Made in the USA and Double-butted tubing. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Would love to help you replace your old Tarmac.

Responded on

In your opinion, how much flex are you getting compared to a steel bike? I have yet to try a ti bike, and I heard that ti flexes more under power than steel. I'm really considering it but I need a bit more feed back.

Thanks

Unanswered Question

When might l be able to purchase a rear...

When might l be able to purchase a rear derailleur hanger?

5 5

Thank you to Merlin to stay alive :)

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Very light, surprisingly stiff, super strong, beautiful Ti finished. This Bike meet my expectations and hopefully for the next 10 years as my old Merlin did for the past 12 years.
Merlin xlight 52/ Dura ace 9000/ Ksyrium Elite S
wheelset/ Carbon Enve fork.

Can't imagine with lighter wheels...ouchhh!

Avant celui la j'ai possede 1 Merlin regulier et un Merlin extralight. Ce dernier modele es passablement plus leger et rigide que l'ancienne version. Pour les amoureux du Titane et pour ceux qui gardent leurs velo longtemps, je pense que c'est un excellent achat. Le velo est nerveux et l'on sent bien la rigidite debout sur les pedales en cote.

5 5

Exceeds High Expectations!

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is the first instance where l have felt compelled to leave feedback, for any product purchase. After several rides equalling 400 miles, my very high expectations were met and easily exceeded. I have owned some nice bikes in the past, this is truly the first road bike that l have been completely confident riding. I have used the bike for racing including criteriums, hill climbs, even long distance.

I am unable to think of anything that l don't like or would improve on. Thanks to the staff at Competitive Cyclist for answering all my questions before and after the purchase.

What is the maximum tire width in the rear...

What is the maximum tire width in the rear on this frame ? 25 or 28mm ?

Responded on

I am running 25mm currently on this frame, but am unsure about 28mm.

Any chance of a Merlin Extralight Disc in...

Any chance of a Merlin Extralight Disc in the future? I'm riding a 1995 Extralight 61cm and still LOVE IT!

Responded on

Hey there,
We don't have a ton of specifics on it just yet, but to answer your question, yes. You will be seeing a disc road bike coming out later on this year. It'll be named the Crusher after a great race here in Utah called the Crusher in the Tushar.
Keep checking in and we'll have info out soon.
Let us know if you need anything else.

Are you sure the measured "stack" is correct...

Are you sure the measured "stack" is correct in the geometry chart? From what I understand, stack is the *vertical* distance from the middle of the BB to the horizontal at the head-tube top middle (where effective top-tube is measured from). The measurements displayed here seem to be center-to-center measurements instead.

Responded on

Chewie, the stack appears to be correct for all of these. The smaller sizes are actually longer than the Seat tube CT measurement and then decreases to less in the larger sizes- sense the headtube doesn't grow as fast as the seatutbe on this model.

4 5

This isn't Fred's Serotta.

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I reviewed the Merlin in depth here: http://wordpress.localsarepainting.com/?p=1172

Incredible power transfer, stiffness, ride quality, beautiful finishing touches, durability and made in-country appeal round out the package. Long story short? A magnificent frame reminiscent of the Pinarello Dogma, but lacking a bit when it comes to aesthetics/brand presence and electronic routing.

Truly, one of the few titanium bikes that the go-fast racerboys of my generation can get behind. In short? This isn't grandpa's Seven. This is a bike built to race, but still ride all day without complaint.

This isn't Fred's Serotta.
Responded on

In your opinion, how much flex are you getting compared to a steel bike? I have yet to try a ti bike, and I heard that ti flexes more under power than steel. I'm really considering it but I need a bit more feed back.

Thanks

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