Wednesday, July 8, 2015

My Merlin Agilis

I've had this bike since ~2004 when I was sponsored by Merlin. It's just perfect for me in both fit and POU (Philosophy Of Use) meaning it's bomb proof. I also like the compact design. I also have a Merlin Extralight which is a more traditional geometry but this is the bike I always feel best on.
 Nothing special at all about the build, again back to POU. I ride maybe 80% on dirt roads and it's been raining for days now so I've been riding in a bit of muck. No sense in using a $300 derailleur or carbon rims. The tires are Kenda Karvs, like little Tomac Small Block 8's which is my favorite mountain tires, these are perfect for the sandy soil I ride on. Even when it's wet up here it doesn't get super sloppy so the minimal tread pattern is perfect. These are 25c's which is all my Merlin will tolerate at the chainstays. They're only ~25.00 too and come in several colorways.  
54cm Merlin Agilis ca 2004. 3/2 titanium. I hate those handlebars. I can't get a comfortable adjustment for both the tops and the drops. If I get the tops flat then the drops aren't comfortable. 

Compact cranks rule up here. My cassette is a 12-27. Definitely a climbing set-up. I ride 172.5mm. 

Time ATAC pedals. I love Time pedals. My first pair of real pedals were Time Magnesium something-or-others (Criterium I think) and I have newer Time road pedals but the cleats suck in dirt. 

Engraved head tube/ badge. Love it.  

Kenda Karvs road tires. 

Engraved Merlin on the BB shell. Nice welds too. Not quite a Moots but good nonetheless.  

Tight tolerance on the chainstays. 

Engraved Merlin on the rear dropout. I also favor the non-lever skewers. These are machined aluminum with steel rods. Another POU of mine is to not skimp too much on load bearing things like a skewer (stems and handlebars too). I hit a lot of rocks and holes at speed. I'm adding 30g with the steel... whatever. 

Shimano wheelset. Not a big fan of radial lacing for a training wheel but these are proving to be solid.  

Definitely not slammed, but neither is my lumbar spine. And you can see in the first picture I have plenty of handlebar drop.   

I love this seatpost. Zero offset, 6/4 Ti. Elegant, comfortable, and indestructible. Also pretty damn light. And my Fizik Arione Wing Flex. Best saddle ever! I have one on my MTB too. Super long and flexy.   


Anonymous said...

What bike did you use when you raced triathlon? One of the Merlins? Big fan by the way...

Lucho said...

I started out on a 650c Cannondale that was way too big. Went 9:10 at Kona on it and then got sponsored by Griffen Bicycles and raced on them for about 4 years. Then moved to Merlin.