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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: redmasi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Merlin Extralight........... or Cyrene?

    Help me out....

    $2K budget. Choice is a 2000 Extralight (near-new) + $1K for components, or a 2009 Cyrene (new, frame only), both in my size.
    The XL does not have the hour-glass seat stays, was built the year Merlin moved to TN, and has the brass headtube badge + decals.
    Original, perfect condition, no warranty.

    Then there's the Cyrene, which.... much like a beautiful woman... has me mesmerized at the moment and not thinking straight.
    I believe the XL's still being made (updated w/ hour-glass seat stays and stiffer in the BB area), the Cyrene's been discontinued, adding to it's allure. Authorized dealer / 'Lifetime' ABG warranty.

    Justified the $2K for a Ti training & century steed, comfort over raw performance. The XL would be on the road quickly, within budget. The Cyrene would need to hang on the rack for a while, but I do have other (non-Ti) bikes that fit the role. Only room for one Ti bike in the stable. Long-term hold. Like I said, I'm not seeing straight.... Is the beauty skin deep? Will the love last?


    Last edited by redmasi; 07-22-2010 at 09:21 AM.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    No doubt the Cyrene is a beautiful and unique fram!e!

    Study the geometries of each with your goals in mind. E.g., assuming the XL's geometry has remained unchanged, you'll see the Cyrene has a longer seat tube, head tube, chain stays, wheelbase, etc.... shorter top tube. It provides a bit more upright position, a little slacker angles, all of which can be a good thing when riding centuries as you get older.

    You're right... Love is blind. So try to break it down to dollars and cents, similar to buying a new car w/ options. Put a monetary value on a lifetime warrant 'option'. Then try to put a monetary value on the engraving 'option', as well as the hour-glass seat-stay 'option'. The reality is that both frames will provide a very smooth, enjoyable ride, so there's no absolute right answer here and you really can't go wrong with either. If you can get it down to something like; OK, I'm going to have this for a long time, so the warranty option is worth $100 for the peace of mind, the engraving option is worth $500 to me, I really prefer the hour-glass stays, so that option is worth $100 to me, it's brand spanking new, and that option is worth $100 to me... Then you can justify the Cyrene's extra dough in the long run.... But also figure in if there will be the 'need' to spend $1K+ more on more expensive components on the Cyrene then you would on the XL, etc. to get it the way you REALLY will want it... In the end, the Cyrene could end up costing a whole lot more dough than the current $1K delta.

    Only you can put a monetary value on the intangibles. Good Luck!
    Last edited by mango1; 07-22-2010 at 04:28 PM.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: redmasi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Good points and thanks for the sanity check!

    Certainly more thought required... but off the bat, I might put a $500 'value' on the engraving on a titanium frame. It would only make sense if you plan to hang on to it. Doubt you would recoup the $$$ if you later sold it (?). Anyone want to venture to guess how many engraved Cyrene's were made since 2003, now that's discontinued?

    Kudos to Merlin for tastefully executing the idea, and I normally don't care for engraving. Every once in awhile, it seems to work. Perhaps another 'offtopic' example:

    Last edited by redmasi; 07-23-2010 at 08:40 AM.

  4. #4
    Parlee fan!
    Reputation: santosjep's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004

    which Merlin?


    I too was faced with a similar conundrum 2 years ago when I was in the market for a Ti bike. I went in my LBS and knew I was going to get the Extralight... until I saw the Cyrene next to it. In less than a minute, after carefully looking at the welds and scroll work, I had a change of heart.

    I was looking for a century/long distance bike and this fit the bill. The geometry allowed for a slightly more upright stance compared to the Extralight. That was a good thing, I thought, since this bike was marked "FOR KEEPS". I thought.."It will grow old with me... "

    The waranty was great (as with the Extralight) and the LBS owner was kind enough to guarantee me liking the fit. If I don't like how it rides, he'll take it back. So, I went with the Cyrene. Without a doubt, it was one of the most beautiful frames I've ever laid my eyes on.

    If you're looking for a comfortable long distance bike, this will be a good choice. A) you dont have any decals to worry about and B) it's so pretty... I mean, the geometry is more for touring vs racing.

    Good luck with your decision....


    PS: 2 months later, I got a SEVEN. I still have both. The Seven fit my riding style more than the Cyrene... but that's just me.

    Last edited by santosjep; 07-23-2010 at 11:18 AM.
    Ow.. ow.. oww... CRAMP!

  5. #5
    haole from the mainland
    Reputation: jorgy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Prolly a 1" head tube on the 2000 XL. Which could limit your component choices.

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