Why are Merlin more expensive than Litespeed ?
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  1. #1
    Tourist
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    Why are Merlin more expensive than Litespeed ?

    1. Now Litespeed & Merlin are the same company
    2. the welders are the same 6 people. One day they weld Litespeed, the other they weld Merlin

    so why is Merlin more expensive ? Is there a huge difference in the quality of the tubes ? Personally, while I love Merlin and have 2 of their bikes, last year I've ridden a Litespeed Ultimate on ~60 miles and was not impressed at all by the frame (6/4 while Merlin is 3/2.5 if I understand correctly).

    Additionaly question: has anybody used the full-carbon Merlin fork ? If so, how do you rate it against other forks ?

    Pierre

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    It's called Bling factor.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pierre
    ...so why is Merlin more expensive ?...last year I've ridden a Litespeed Ultimate on ~60 miles and was not impressed at all by the frame
    Pierre
    Perhaps you just answered your own question? ;)
    When trouble comes lookin' for me...I'm mighty hard to find!

  4. #4
    NeoRetroGrouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pierre
    1. Now Litespeed & Merlin are the same company
    2. the welders are the same 6 people. One day they weld Litespeed, the other they weld Merlin

    so why is Merlin more expensive ? Is there a huge difference in the quality of the tubes ? Personally, while I love Merlin and have 2 of their bikes, last year I've ridden a Litespeed Ultimate on ~60 miles and was not impressed at all by the frame (6/4 while Merlin is 3/2.5 if I understand correctly).

    Additionaly question: has anybody used the full-carbon Merlin fork ? If so, how do you rate it against other forks ?

    Pierre
    Merlins are a little more exclusive. That's where much of our cycling dollars go. - TF
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    Me, off the back, at my first 50+ road race.

  5. #5
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    no - frame manufacturer and dealers don't care about my opinion, they just want to make profit. While I personally don't like the comfort of Litespeed, many people seem to like it.

    I'm just asking, because it would seem normal to see the prices of both lines aligned, since they are made by the same people... or is there somewhere a huge difference in quality ?

    Pierre



    Quote Originally Posted by rriddle3
    Perhaps you just answered your own question? ;)

  6. #6
    NeoRetroGrouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pierre
    no - frame manufacturer and dealers don't care about my opinion, they just want to make profit. While I personally don't like the comfort of Litespeed, many people seem to like it.

    I'm just asking, because it would seem normal to see the prices of both lines aligned, since they are made by the same people... or is there somewhere a huge difference in quality ?

    Pierre
    What makes you think that price and quality are related for any product? Price is what people are willing to pay the perceived value. That is mainly controlled by marketing. - TF
    "Don't those guys know they're old?!!"
    Me, off the back, at my first 50+ road race.

  7. #7
    Get me to In&Out
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    This falls back to the auto industry. Why did Mercury Sables cost more than the Ford Tarus. Or the Chrysler version of anything cost more than the Buick version. Or the cutlass cost more than the Monte Carlo. All the same cars, just different marketing.
    Cyclists really need to learn a little Rule #5.

  8. #8
    Say "nuke-u-lar"
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    I thought it was them fancy laser etchings

    that done it.
    Suum quique.

  9. #9
    Juanmoretime
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    ABG is riding on the legend of Merlin.

    I'm sure that AMG is setting their pricing and riding on the coatails of Merlin of the past, wouldn't you if it were your company.

    I don't think your ride on the Ultimate was an apples to apples comparison since the Ultimate is not a bike built for long term comfort. It was built as more of a crit bike. I have a 1997 Vortex that in my opinion is the best bike I've ever owned. There are those that will argue against it and also argue that it's 6.4 sheets rolled into tubes and that effects the ride. I guess it does effect the ride although for me, in a very positive way, I like it! The Vortex is one bike out of the many I have owned and own that I continue to like more and more each time I ride it. I wouldn't base your opinion of Litespeed on the ride of one model. Ride a few other models that are sized correctly and then decide, you may still feel the same and that's good. It will make you appreciate your Merlins even more as I do my Vortex.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pierre
    1. Now Litespeed & Merlin are the same company
    2. the welders are the same 6 people. One day they weld Litespeed, the other they weld Merlin

    so why is Merlin more expensive ? Is there a huge difference in the quality of the tubes ? Personally, while I love Merlin and have 2 of their bikes, last year I've ridden a Litespeed Ultimate on ~60 miles and was not impressed at all by the frame (6/4 while Merlin is 3/2.5 if I understand correctly).

    Additionaly question: has anybody used the full-carbon Merlin fork ? If so, how do you rate it against other forks ?

    Pierre
    For my next trick I will now set myself on fire!

  10. #10
    Zeppelin/Ultegra Rider
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    Did you mean???

    Quote Originally Posted by spookyload
    This falls back to the auto industry. Why did Mercury Sables cost more than the Ford Tarus. Or the Chrysler version of anything cost more than the Buick version. Or the cutlass cost more than the Monte Carlo. All the same cars, just different marketing.
    Or the Chrysler version of anything cost more than the Dodge (or Plymouth) version.

    Buick is GM, and is a more costly Chevy
    Ride in Peace....Enjoy every sandwich......Mike

  11. #11
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    Litespeed has lots of models....

    Quote Originally Posted by Pierre
    1. Now Litespeed & Merlin are the same company
    2. the welders are the same 6 people. One day they weld Litespeed, the other they weld Merlin

    so why is Merlin more expensive ? Is there a huge difference in the quality of the tubes ? Personally, while I love Merlin and have 2 of their bikes, last year I've ridden a Litespeed Ultimate on ~60 miles and was not impressed at all by the frame (6/4 while Merlin is 3/2.5 if I understand correctly).

    Additionaly question: has anybody used the full-carbon Merlin fork ? If so, how do you rate it against other forks ?

    Pierre
    Litespeed seems to sell more lower end models.

    Jaybo

  12. #12
    eminence grease
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    They're not more expensive

    If you look at the top end, Merlins are not more expensive.

    Litespeed Ghisallo frame from Competive = $3665
    Litespeed Vortex frame from Colorado Cyclist = $3395
    Litespeed Ultimate from Competive = $3445

    Merlin Magia from Bikyle = $3299
    Merlin Extralight from Excel = $3095

    You should ignore the Merlin Cielo since it's a hybrid, but at $3599, it's not more expensive either. And it's the most costly Merlin frame.

    They don't look more expensive to me, I think the point that Litespeed offers more lower priced bikes is correct.

    (Of course given that none of them come with a fork, they're all obscene.)

  13. #13
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    Pay pay more for prettier things.

    Don't have any idea which bike rides better but there's no doubt that Merlin's look a lot tastier to me.
    We have nothing to lube but our chains.

  14. #14
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    rules of bike buying 101

    1)If you have to state that the bike is too expensive, it probably is and the maintenance will eat you alive financially. Along the same lines of if you have to ask how much, then yes, its too expensive..........

    2)High cost and quality are NOT the same.

    3)High cost and durability are NOT the same

    4)(personal favorite) If you plan on spending multiple thousands on any machine, how about trying it out and then deciding?????

    5)ride what fits
    This old anvil has cracked alot of hammers

  15. #15
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Easy Answer

    BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO PAY MORE.

    Case in point...I'm shopping for a seatpost right now and was going to get a DA post that I'd seen selling for $80 for the past couple year. Now they're selling for $120, I'm guessing b/c of the roll-out of DA 10-speed. Same post as the one they've had for 5+ years, but people will pay $120 for it so $120 it is.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by terry b
    Litespeed Ghisallo frame from Competive = $3665
    Litespeed Vortex frame from Colorado Cyclist = $3395
    Litespeed Ultimate from Competive = $3445

    Merlin Magia from Bikyle = $3299
    Merlin Extralight from Excel = $3095
    Those are the prices for the suckers. Anyone with a clue buys after the marks have run out and Litespeed starts blowing out the stuff out at rock bottom prices.

  17. #17
    eminence grease
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utah CragHopper
    Those are the prices for the suckers. Anyone with a clue buys after the marks have run out and Litespeed starts blowing out the stuff out at rock bottom prices.
    You're right.

    But for some reason the unwashed public still has this notion that Merlins cost more. If someone wanted to buy a 2005 bike today, Litespeed trumps Merlin across the whole upper end of both lines.

  18. #18
    eminence grease
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbomatic73
    BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO PAY MORE.

    Case in point...I'm shopping for a seatpost right now and was going to get a DA post that I'd seen selling for $80 for the past couple year. Now they're selling for $120, I'm guessing b/c of the roll-out of DA 10-speed. Same post as the one they've had for 5+ years, but people will pay $120 for it so $120 it is.
    The easier answer is that Merlins don't cost more than Litespeeds, as their prices indicate.

  19. #19
    Cipo's long lost cousin
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    All of above plus

    I seem to remember that Merlins are double pass welds versus singlepass welds for LS. More time in manufacturing for the double pass...
    "Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand." -- Jim Burlant

  20. #20
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    ok, thanks all for the thoughts.

    As somebody pointed out, the argument 'Merlin doesn't cost more than Litespeed, look at the MSRP' is not valid. Real-life prices on both lines are not the same, and apart for a couple models like the Vortex, I believe that the prices I see on Litespeed are lower. Well, maybe this has to do with the lower number of retailers for Merlin ? So that probably the production numbers are lower than those for Litespeed ?

    Probably the comparison with cars and the 'people are willing to pay more' is good. But there's always a trade-off between market price and quantities you sell.

    Pierre

  21. #21
    eminence grease
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pierre
    As somebody pointed out, the argument 'Merlin doesn't cost more than Litespeed, look at the MSRP' is not valid..
    Dude - go do the online shopping yourself. If you wanted to buy 1 Merlin and 1 Litespeed, right now, this afternoon, you'd pay more for the Ghisallo, Vortex and Ultimate than you would for the Magia. I'm not making the numbers up, and I can't control what the LBS's in your town charge, but I can provide data that says my argument is completely valid.

    Why don't you post some prices to show the opposite to be true? Or, if you want to believe Merlins cost more in spite of the prices, that's cool too.

  22. #22

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    Magia in Europe for $4277 and Ghisallo for $4938.70. How do you like them apples

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4bykn
    Or the Chrysler version of anything cost more than the Dodge (or Plymouth) version.

    Buick is GM, and is a more costly Chevy
    or Ford/mercury...
    "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark." -S. Hawking

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pierre
    ok, thanks all for the thoughts.

    As somebody pointed out, the argument 'Merlin doesn't cost more than Litespeed, look at the MSRP' is not valid. Real-life prices on both lines are not the same, and apart for a couple models like the Vortex, I believe that the prices I see on Litespeed are lower. Well, maybe this has to do with the lower number of retailers for Merlin ? So that probably the production numbers are lower than those for Litespeed ?

    Probably the comparison with cars and the 'people are willing to pay more' is good. But there's always a trade-off between market price and quantities you sell.

    Pierre
    Manufacturers charge what they can get. Merlins used to be THE TI bike to own. They are riding on that rep. Merlins do have some really cool laser etching now though. I owned a pre-litespeed XL and it was a great bike, but personally for my weight I like the ride and geometry of my present Colnago MXL better. Sevens, Merlins, Serottas and the like are positioned in the market as luxury brands and marketed to those with lots of disposable income because they want to have "the best". Doesn't mean they are really better. Is a Ferarri functionally that much better than a Mustang or Corvette?

    ed--My Merlin story is kinda cool so I'll relate it. My wife had not gotten me anything for Valentine's day. No big deal to me, but she insisted she take me to the bike shop and pick out any new bike I wanted because I'd been hinting I wanted a replacement for my Bianchi Eros and a TI bike would be really cool. Long story short--I took her up on it and we went down to Excel Sports and I picked out a new Merlin XL with Campy Chorus on the spot. I'm not sure that she realized that it would cost $3k plus (90s prices) but she went along with it anyway and I soon had the bike. I knew I married her for a reason! I still have a soft spot in my heart for Merlin because of that bike.
    "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark." -S. Hawking

  25. #25
    eminence grease
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    Quote Originally Posted by divve
    Magia in Europe for $4277 and Ghisallo for $4938.70. How do you like them apples
    I know I can always count on you to cover my back.

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