Switch from Prince to Merlin Extralight?
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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Switch from Prince to Merlin Extralight?

    Hi All

    I currently ride a Pinarello Prince, Record, Deda, Eurus/Bora. Its a nice stiff and fast ride, and very stable and dependable. However, its not exactly very comfortable or shock absorbing.

    Of late, I've been plagued by back pains and sciatic problems due to an old spinal condition [PID - Prolapsed Discs] I am currently resting up and easing slowly back onto the bike. Thus, I am considering a change to titanium for its comfort factor and ability to absord road shocks. I am not very keen on carbon, as I find its 'feel' not quite to my taste. Also, the durability and ease of maintanance of Ti is a plus point.

    I can get a good deal on Lightspeed and Merlin frames from a local dealer. I dont like the big decals on Lightspeeds, and kinda prefer the elegance of Merlin. I'm considering the Merlin Extralight or maybe the Cyrene. And yeah, though I'm in Asia and have always ridden mainly Italian bikes, I know American titanium builders are better with more experience and better workmanship.

    Has anyone any thoughts on this? Anyone made such a switch? Is Ti really that more comfortable? Will performance be compromised? Is it true that Ti is generally not stiff compared to bikes like the Prince? Any comments, advise, thoughts are appreciated. Thank you

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I made the switch from an AL Cannondale bike to a Merlin extralight road and I have been all smiles since. I am much less fatigued from road shock at the end of a long ride. I glady made the tradeoff of a bit of stiffness, (my XLR is plenty responsive btw) for long term comfort.

    The usuals also apply: a proper size frame / stem, adjusting air pressures in the widest size tire (I use a 25), a decent saddle, my San Marco Aero gelaround is a bit wider than most but is well worth the extra weight, and decent gloves (Louis Garnea makes great ones) helps also.

  3. #3
    Juanmoretime
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    I have the same sciatic eproblem..

    although for a different reason. Yes, frame material can make a difference although you have to calculate construction, tube size and shape into the picture of overall comfort. I has a Litespeed Arensberg which was a very comfortable frame and I know have a Litespped Vortex, while much stiffer, it yields enough comfort that my back can handle it, especially compared to my old Klein's.

    Regarding the decals, if you don't like them you can either remove them all or reduce the number of them to an acceptable level for you. They come off easily with nail polish remover. Litespeed does like to make a rolling billboard out of their frames. They should give some cash back for all the free advertisement.
    For my next trick I will now set myself on fire!

  4. #4
    Juanmoretime
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    I have the same sciatic eproblem..

    although for a different reason. Yes, frame material can make a difference although you have to calculate construction, tube size and shape into the picture of overall comfort. I has a Litespeed Arensberg which was a very comfortable frame and I know have a Litespeed Vortex, while much stiffer, it yields enough comfort that my back can handle it, especially compared to my old Klein's.

    Regarding the decals, if you don't like them you can either remove them all or reduce the number of them to an acceptable level for you. They come off easily with nail polish remover. Litespeed does like to make a rolling billboard out of their frames. They should give some cash back for all the free advertisement.
    For my next trick I will now set myself on fire!

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I also switched to Compact XL

    Eliminated the vibration I got from riding the CAAD 5 R2000si road bike I had which for the money was a great bike. The Merlin is a great bike and the craftsmanship is second to none. OK may MOOTS has nicer welds. THis is the first compact frame I have owned and still getting used to the looks, but the ride is fantasic.

    Morgan

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParticleMan
    Hi All

    I currently ride a Pinarello Prince, Record, Deda, Eurus/Bora. Its a nice stiff and fast ride, and very stable and dependable. However, its not exactly very comfortable or shock absorbing.

    Of late, I've been plagued by back pains and sciatic problems due to an old spinal condition [PID - Prolapsed Discs] I am currently resting up and easing slowly back onto the bike. Thus, I am considering a change to titanium for its comfort factor and ability to absord road shocks. I am not very keen on carbon, as I find its 'feel' not quite to my taste. Also, the durability and ease of maintanance of Ti is a plus point.

    I can get a good deal on Lightspeed and Merlin frames from a local dealer. I dont like the big decals on Lightspeeds, and kinda prefer the elegance of Merlin. I'm considering the Merlin Extralight or maybe the Cyrene. And yeah, though I'm in Asia and have always ridden mainly Italian bikes, I know American titanium builders are better with more experience and better workmanship.

    Has anyone any thoughts on this? Anyone made such a switch? Is Ti really that more comfortable? Will performance be compromised? Is it true that Ti is generally not stiff compared to bikes like the Prince? Any comments, advise, thoughts are appreciated. Thank you
    Prince or Merlin? Fortunately I don't have to make a choice because I'm a very lucky owner/rider of a Tribute to the Green Prince and a Merlin Agilis. I don't want to brag about my bike collection, but help you out with your dilemma and tell you about my experiences on both bikes and a cyclingfriend of mine with backproblems. To tell you the truth the comfort difference between the alu/carbon ride and the titanium one is not that significant. Both are stiff and very responsive frames without being harsh and bumpy like the Principia RS6 I rode before. A friend of mine with back problems (hernia) thought that changing from a full alu Klein to a Litespeed Tuscany would solve this problem. It didn't. I'm no expert but I think the position on the bike is more important then the framematerial used: it sure helped him. Use of 25mm tires on not to stiff wheels and a more comfy saddle like a Fizik Aliante are probably a cheaper and better option than buying a new frame although I can relate to the urge of wanting a new ride.

    Lex

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