is there a difference
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  1. #1

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    is there a difference

    I would like to know the difference of these two bikes.

    Litespeed VORTEX or the Merlin Extralight

    Would either one make a good all round bike; training, racing, touring, ......?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Bill
    I would like to know the difference of these two bikes.

    Litespeed VORTEX or the Merlin Extralight

    Would either one make a good all round bike; training, racing, touring, ......?
    I don't think that there is a bike built that is good at racing and touring. They are different activities, and require different bikes. For that kind of money you could buy a racing bike and a touring bike. Then you don't have to find an all rounder. That said both are excellent bikes, and your local bike shop can help you decide if one would be a good fit for you, or if something else would be better.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Bill
    I would like to know the difference of these two bikes.

    Litespeed VORTEX or the Merlin Extralight

    Would either one make a good all round bike; training, racing, touring, ......?
    Racing and training seem to me to be facets of the same thing - I wouldn't want to race on something that I hadn't trained on. But a race bike and a touring bike are very different beasts, if by touring you mean that "my bike is my RV" sort of touring. A bike needs to be equipped to handle such things, with beefy brakes, wheels, and attachment points for all the racks and panniers. That's not to mention the differences in geometry that are necessary to keep that load stable.

    Now, if by touring we mean event and charity rides, centuries, and so on, then we're closer to finding a bike that can be good for all our uses. Then, it's only a matter of choosing which end of the spectrum you want to be on. The tendency will be for a "racing" bike to have aggressive (some would say twitchy) steering and a firm (some would say rough) ride, compared to a "touring" bike of similar heritage. That "heritage" qualifier is necessary, because one builders racer will seem downright lazy, another's tourer a wicked-fast demon.

    I'm not trying to steer you away from the Litespeed or Merlin bikes - I own their product (a Solano) and love it. But take a look at the Seven site, and the graphs (and corresponding details) might help describe the compromises involved better than I can:

    http://www.sevencycles.com/bikes/index.html

    Personally, I'd call both of these "race" bikes, along the imaginary line I've just created. Maybe not all the way to the end point, but not in the middle of the road, either. As a guess, it sounds like you're looking more for an all-rounder that won't leave you lonely if you should decide to race, rather than an all-out speed demon that you'll be able to endure for longer periods in the saddle if you decide to. While you can't go wrong with these bikes, I'd suggest that there are other bikes in either line (the Tuscany and Cyrene come to mind) that would serve slightly better as all-rounders, but retain the option to mix it up on race day.
    A good habit is as hard to break as a bad one..

  4. #4

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    You also need to define what you mean by racing, are you talking about criteriums or stage races?

  5. #5

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    Okay, you guys have got me.
    About the type of riding, so here it is again; fast aggressive road riding, charity rides, centuries, and so on, stage races, pleasure riding.
    I hope this is clear enough, I didn't know that you need a different bike for different activities?

  6. #6

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    You don't...

    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Bill
    Okay, you guys have got me.
    About the type of riding, so here it is again; fast aggressive road riding, charity rides, centuries, and so on, stage races, pleasure riding.
    I hope this is clear enough, I didn't know that you need a different bike for different activities?
    You don't need a different bike for different things, but it is a good excuse to get more bikes.

    That being said, for what you're looking at doing (above referenced) either bike would be okey dokey, and probably more bike than any of us will ever need, but that's not to say you shouldn't have it. I come from the school of get the best bike you can, if you want it, and can afford, who cares?

    Some people will tell you that a "stage racing" bike is a lot different than a "crit" bike, but that just ain't that true. What works well in one race, will work well in another. The Vortex and Extralight are both superb steeds with good pedigrees on the high end of road bikes. The Vortex was ridden by several different pro teams over the last 5 years or so, and the Extralight has made racing appearances under "other" bike company names in the past as well. The Merlin and the Litespeed are made at the same facility as well in TN.

  7. #7
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    The questions you are asking lead me to believe you need to do more research before you buy. Those are expensive bikes and both are nice, but they are far from representative of the full spectrum of fine road bikes out there. If I was looking into a racing bike I think I'd shy away from both due to the expense of them and how much I'd cry if I ruined it at the local crit.
    "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

  8. #8

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    Okay, one more time.
    Is it safe to say that both bikes ( Litespeed VORTEX or the Merlin Extralight) are top of the line bikes and are used for the same type of riding.
    That said, what are the differences in the two bikes? (comfort, ride, steering, climbing, sprinting,......)
    All I want is a comparison of the two bikes.
    Thanks to all who reply.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Bill
    Okay, one more time.
    Is it safe to say that both bikes ( Litespeed VORTEX or the Merlin Extralight) are top of the line bikes and are used for the same type of riding.
    That said, what are the differences in the two bikes? (comfort, ride, steering, climbing, sprinting,......)
    All I want is a comparison of the two bikes.
    Thanks to all who reply.
    Probably not enough difference in ride to mention. Have you looked at the geometry and specs? The XL is much more traditional in design than the Vortex (which uses shaped tubes and such). Angles are very similar but the Vortex has slightly shorter chainstays (good for sprinting--not so much for stability), slightly longer TT, higher BB than the XL (nice for crits so you can pedal through corners but can affect handling) weighs slightly less--based on just that and assuming both fit you OK, I think I'd pick the Vortex for racing and the XL for more century-riding and casual riding, but you could definately use either. I had a pre-Litespeed Merlin XL and it was pretty quick handling compared to my current Colnago. I tend to like more of a "stage race" geometry as I don't do much racing these days and like the added stability. I don't need a bike that handles super quick. SO I guess if these are the only 2 bikes you are gonna consider that would be what I'd think about before buying.
    "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

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Bill
    Okay, one more time.
    Is it safe to say that both bikes ( Litespeed VORTEX or the Merlin Extralight) are top of the line bikes and are used for the same type of riding.
    That said, what are the differences in the two bikes? (comfort, ride, steering, climbing, sprinting,......)
    All I want is a comparison of the two bikes.
    Thanks to all who reply.
    My LBS guy puts it this way: He sells Litespeed to folks driving Acura, Merlin to folks driving Lexus. The difference would be minor, but you'd probably find the Vortex a 'hotter' bike, meaning a firmer ride and more agile/twitchy on the steering. That's not to say the Extralight would be slow or mushy, but a tad more stable and perhaps comfortable.

    In the end, you've gotta find a way to put your butt on both, and see what you like best. You'll know. If not, find another bike.

    Me? The bike that turns my head every time is the Cielo. I've never had the opportunity to ride one, and it could easily be exactly not what I want, but to my eye, that thing is dead sexy.
    A good habit is as hard to break as a bad one..

  11. #11
    haole from the mainland
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    Also, Vortex is 6/4 while Extralight is 3/2.5

    3/2.5 Ti (3% aluminum, 2.5% vandium) is the 'classic' material that titanium bikes are made out of. I've never ridden 6/4 Ti, but it is supposed to be a stiffer ride, and not as cushy a ride as regular 3/2.5; I don't know that a bike made out of 6/4 would be as comfortable for long rides like centuries.

    Quote Originally Posted by danl1
    My LBS guy puts it this way: He sells Litespeed to folks driving Acura, Merlin to folks driving Lexus. The difference would be minor, but you'd probably find the Vortex a 'hotter' bike, meaning a firmer ride and more agile/twitchy on the steering. That's not to say the Extralight would be slow or mushy, but a tad more stable and perhaps comfortable.

    In the end, you've gotta find a way to put your butt on both, and see what you like best. You'll know. If not, find another bike.

    Me? The bike that turns my head every time is the Cielo. I've never had the opportunity to ride one, and it could easily be exactly not what I want, but to my eye, that thing is dead sexy.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by danl1
    My LBS guy puts it this way: He sells Litespeed to folks driving Acura, Merlin to folks driving Lexus. The difference would be minor, but you'd probably find the Vortex a 'hotter' bike, meaning a firmer ride and more agile/twitchy on the steering. That's not to say the Extralight would be slow or mushy, but a tad more stable and perhaps comfortable.

    In the end, you've gotta find a way to put your butt on both, and see what you like best. You'll know. If not, find another bike.

    Me? The bike that turns my head every time is the Cielo. I've never had the opportunity to ride one, and it could easily be exactly not what I want, but to my eye, that thing is dead sexy.
    What kind of LBSs do you people have that allow you to test ride $5000 frames?
    "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

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by danl1
    My LBS guy puts it this way: He sells Litespeed to folks driving Acura, Merlin to folks driving Lexus. The difference would be minor, but you'd probably find the Vortex a 'hotter' bike, meaning a firmer ride and more agile/twitchy on the steering. That's not to say the Extralight would be slow or mushy, but a tad more stable and perhaps comfortable.

    In the end, you've gotta find a way to put your butt on both, and see what you like best. You'll know. If not, find another bike.

    Me? The bike that turns my head every time is the Cielo. I've never had the opportunity to ride one, and it could easily be exactly not what I want, but to my eye, that thing is dead sexy.
    The Cyrene is HOT.

    I still wonder about the original poster, was he just sitting around with a bag full of twenty dollar bills, thinking "Hmmm, I think I'll spend 6 grand on a bike. Let me randomly choose two bikes, then solicit opinions from strangers."
    That said, of the two the Extralight seems to be a solid bike- you see them around for years. I would be afraid that I'd let the Vortex fall over and dent one of the thin walled, but very pretty and stiff, tubes.

    BTW, I get a chuckle whenever stage races come up. Like all these three, four and five riders are spending the winter training for the tour of somerville or toona or something. Stage races are the exception in amateur racing, crits are the rule, and road races are the infrequent pleasure.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipped teeth
    The Cyrene is HOT.

    I still wonder about the original poster, was he just sitting around with a bag full of twenty dollar bills, thinking "Hmmm, I think I'll spend 6 grand on a bike. Let me randomly choose two bikes, then solicit opinions from strangers."
    That said, of the two the Extralight seems to be a solid bike- you see them around for years. I would be afraid that I'd let the Vortex fall over and dent one of the thin walled, but very pretty and stiff, tubes.

    BTW, I get a chuckle whenever stage races come up. Like all these three, four and five riders are spending the winter training for the tour of somerville or toona or something. Stage races are the exception in amateur racing, crits are the rule, and road races are the infrequent pleasure.
    And then after he ignored the posters saying he should explore other bikes I actually give him some real advice re: geometry/handling and such he doesn't bother to respond. I think he might have just been bored and wanting opinions on these high end frames. If he thinks he's gonna just be able to waltz into a LBS and test ride both of these (unless he's a REALLY common size) I think he's dreaming.
    "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

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jorgy
    3/2.5 Ti (3% aluminum, 2.5% vandium) is the 'classic' material that titanium bikes are made out of. I've never ridden 6/4 Ti, but it is supposed to be a stiffer ride, and not as cushy a ride as regular 3/2.5; I don't know that a bike made out of 6/4 would be as comfortable for long rides like centuries.
    totally irrelevant as far as confort goes. You can build a stiff bike out of any material. The geometry and wheelset will make more of a diff than frame material.
    "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

  16. #16
    Juanmoretime
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    The Vortex is tougher than you think.

    Quote Originally Posted by chipped teeth
    The Cyrene is HOT.

    I still wonder about the original poster, was he just sitting around with a bag full of twenty dollar bills, thinking "Hmmm, I think I'll spend 6 grand on a bike. Let me randomly choose two bikes, then solicit opinions from strangers."
    That said, of the two the Extralight seems to be a solid bike- you see them around for years. I would be afraid that I'd let the Vortex fall over and dent one of the thin walled, but very pretty and stiff, tubes.

    BTW, I get a chuckle whenever stage races come up. Like all these three, four and five riders are spending the winter training for the tour of somerville or toona or something. Stage races are the exception in amateur racing, crits are the rule, and road races are the infrequent pleasure.
    Mine is nine years old and no dings or dents although it is still as sweet to ride now as when I first bought it.
    For my next trick I will now set myself on fire!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juanmoretime
    Mine is nine years old and no dings or dents although it is still as sweet to ride now as when I first bought it.
    Is your nine year old Vortex this one?
    https://images.competitivecyclist.co...tex_zoom_1.jpg

  18. #18
    Juanmoretime
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    Nope.

    Quote Originally Posted by chipped teeth
    Is your nine year old Vortex this one?
    https://images.competitivecyclist.co...tex_zoom_1.jpg
    This one:

    https://weightweenies.starbike.com/p...t=juanmoretime
    For my next trick I will now set myself on fire!

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