I was just looking at Baum bikes the other day on the net, the thought of having a bike made just for you sounds inviting....
Any idea on a rough cost would be?
Would love to swap over my di2 gearing from my Azzurri to a Baum frame.
My Corretto was a $9k frameset. That was all the bells and whistles (integrated seatpost, integrated Di2, Enve 1.0 fork, and a custom painted saddle), but that lot didn't add all that much extra.
In short, bloody expensive.
Yikes! Makes the Lynskey Helix OS Di2 look cheap!
'11 Lynskey Cooper CX, '00 Hillbrick Steel Racing (Total Rebuild '10), '09 Electra Townie Original 21D
It makes a car a more viable option, frankly...
It was worth it, for a brief while, in a manner of speaking - at least whilst I was back in London and they were still rare. I lost count of how many I saw on the Amy Gillet GF in September though!
I would, and could, never do it again though.
I've got a chance to pick up an old Merlin Ti frame, mid 90's I think for a pretty reasonable price. Just waiting to find out what size frame it is really.
Does anyone know much about the old Merlin's and are they okay?
Just going to use it for a commuter/trainer and love the look of it more than anything else.
There are other options for those who don't have a Baum budget. Quite likely (almost certainly) not as good as a Baum, but much cheaper.
If you know what you're doing, you can go with the Chinese Ti frame builders, XACD or Titan Product. They'll build you whatever bike you tell them to build, but have no "design consultancy" as such. You choose the geometry, tubing specs, braze-on placement... agree to the drawing and they build the frame. I'm in the "they build the frame" stage of this process at the moment, waiting nervously and hoping like hell I didn't do something silly with my design . I started from their standard production frame drawings, then applied my own geometry and made a few minor design tweaks. So, my custom titanium disc braked road frame should be in my hands about 1 month after I handed over my $1015. Hopefully more than 1/9th as good as a Baum, at least for my purposes.
There are a few horror stories out there (including on BNA) of XACD and Titan frames gone wrong, but there are also many very satisfied customers (including quite a few repeat buyers). They're known / believed / rumoured to be the source of a few reasonably well known off-the-shelf Ti bikes (albeit the lower end of the Ti market) and workmanship is said to be very good - in most cases.
Another low-cost option is Triton Frames in Russia. A fraction more expensive, and now with a bit of a wait list, but their guy seems to take a bit of design control and helps figure out what bike to build you. There's a prolific picture-heavy thread on one of the other forums (google for it), where the guy from Triton posts a lot. The frames really are beautiful looking, and he seems to be a good bloke to work with.
There are other local custom builders other than Baum - although I'm not sure whether anybody else does titanium (given that's the title of this thread). Ewan Gellie does lovely custom steel frames in Melbourne, for example, for a fair bit less than a Baum. Still significantly more expensive than a 3rd world custom though. And not titanium, as far as I'm aware.
WIth a bare metal finish, the frame/fork/headset for each model is roughly
Romano - $5200
Cubano - $6200
Coretto - $7300
Paint is an extra $800 which also includes the seatpost and stem. The Romano is an equivalent price to a Moots CR as sold by Cycling Edge.
We all have biases due to our own and others experiences in life. If you think you don't, then you are fooling yourself. The point is can we discuss it and learn more in the process? Not on this thread obviously.
I went looking for some more detail, but didn't find anything conclusive this time. To be honest I can't be bothered to spend too much of my time searching. Something more may come up in the future.
Last edited by Nobody on Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
One thing I can say is that there are very few bikes in the groups i ride in that are older than about 3. I don't think this is entirely a limitation of the material. I'm sure there is some attrition along the way... But I can only gather most of them get sold on or hung up in sheds.
Why do people change? I suspect it's more just built in obsolescence of main stream bikes. People want to change to get the latest model, colours, shapes, group sets etc.
I kinda like the idea of stepping out of that cycle (groan). Virtually any titanium bike is bike porn for life IMHO.
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill.
Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day.
Things do change though. Last time I was up at Kinglake I made the effort to go and chat to another rider on a Cecil Walker. He's was 80's vintage (think downtube shifters and exposed brake cables) which he rescued from a dumpster. We had a good 'ol chat about 'old bikes'...and then someone in his group turned up on a Baum steel bike.
Some people will always keep buying new bikes because its just like buying a new suit or a new pair of shoes. Other people will begin to reject the aspect of 'conspicuous consumption' that has taken over the bike industry ever since cheap carbon fibre manufacturing became available in Asia...and look for something else.
There isn't that much obselescence in bikes. I could still fit a brand-new groupset to my 18 year old frame. And I could replace the threaded headset with a threadless one, fit a a new carbon fork, a modern ergonomic handlebars and flashy wheels.**
**although I may need to file out the drop-outs..see my latest thread in The Shed.
My LBS will do you a custom titanium frame. They do the design and measuring work and their frame builder (somewhere in Asia, can't remember but it wasn't China if that makes any difference). It will cost more - I think it was about $1800 with an Easton fork.
The nice thing about the LBS involvement is that it greatly reduces the chances of a SNAFU and there's local warranty.
Obviously not Baum territory but not a bad option either.
I think they are good - if I ever come across a merlin cyrene in my size I'm buying it.
I think competitive cyclist bought the name and was going to start building frames under Merlin brand name again but don't know if they got it back up and running.
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What size are you just incase it's the right model?
It's raw Ti with the standard white Merlin stickers and carbon forks. The welds are near invisible so I think it is a reasonable quality frame. Cant remember the model though. I will try to drop into the lbs and have a look today in between watching both the kids at cricket (different grounds)
I don't want to diverge to far into an off topic area but the hand-built wheels feel smoother than the Fulcrum racing zeros over the chip seal that dominates my area. A totally subjective opinion it is probably a bit of both the wider rim and the spoking.
Guys, slightly different take on Baum pricing. My Cubano (double butted main triangle as opposed to all DB tubes on a Corretto) with a Record 11 speed group, Fulcrum Racing Zeros, deda bar, stem and post, 3T Funda fork was a little over $ 11 K. Not cheap but comparable with other high end CF similarly equipped bikes. Like any bike purchase you can up spec or down spec and radically alter the price!
Horizontal Top tube measurement of 540mm to 550mm would be acceptable.
The Cyrene has engraved tubing which is very beautiful and unquie.
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Sorry mate it's not a Cyrene.
Couldn't get a measurement as the shop was packed and it's a one man shop. There is no model on it just Merlin on the down tube and Titanium on the top tube.
I'm looking for a 55-56cm but it looks smaller than this, maybe smaller than a 54.
It has more running gear on it than I thought with Durace cranks and brakes and old 8 speed ultegra shifters on it. She's a bit tired looking but that adds to the attraction IMO.
Oh well knowing the lbs it will just sit on the floor in the workshop for the next 10 years.....
I couldn't help but chine in...
I love titanium bikes and currently have three Merlins...two Extralight's and a Cyrene...I've been riding titanium bikes since about 94. My first Ti frame was a Litespeed Ultimate which I sold & upgraded to a Merlin...
I can't recall seeing many, if any broken Merlin's but I'm sure there have been...I have seen failures on Litespeed's, Lynskey's & Baum's...Competitive Cyclist continue to twiddle their thumbs with the Merlin brand...if I was to buy a new Ti today I'd go straight to http://fireflybicycles.com or http://www.sevencycles.com or http://www.spectrum-cycles.com
No disrespect intended but Baum's appear overpriced and becoming a dime a dozen here(common), tend to smell of elitism, a bit like Rapha gear...Van Nicholas look ok but I wont buy a made in China/Asia frame...
Sorry if my opinion sounds biased or bigoted but I really just don't care...
Cycling Edge is not in Melbourne anymore.
I tried a Moots and a 2 Parlee from Cycling Edge in January 2012, and went for the Parlee, Z3, display model. Knowing what I know now, and having tried a Cannondale Super Six Evo, I would still go with the Parlee, unless I got the group set with the bike.
They ride beautifully, and look nice... but mine certainly hasn't justified it's cost, and I'd never use them again.
Likewise I'd go Firefly, but I'd also consider Hampsten and Moots, and the new Mosaic frames are looking good too.
I would go Ti again - my Corretto is my fifth Ti road bike so I clearly have some kind of affinity with the material, but what I have learnt is that I'm less of a fan of the usual 'soft' Ti feel. My Corretto rides like a carbon race bike; a characteristic which is not normal of Ti.
My Gaulzetti hasn't arrived yet, but I'm already keen to try a Corsa (Craig's aluminium model) alongside my Cazzo steely. I think aluminium is going through a resurgence - proven by Gaulzetti, Stoemper and others (Worx in the UK are workung on a new alu road bike too) beginning to work with alu again, along with Cannondale's CAAD9 and CAAD10, and with Specialized doing a top spec (SRAM Red) Allez for 2013.
After all, companies only stopped working in alu because carbon processes became so straightforward - as a material there's no reason not to use alu, and anyone riding a top end alu bike will realise the belief that they're a harsh ride is totally unfounded. My CAAD9 was a better bike than my Cervélo R3!
Be it Gaulzetti or someone else, I reckon alu is where my next bike budget will go.
4 of the top 5 bikes in the road.cc bike of the year article were either steel or Al. The winner was Al.
http://road.cc/content/news/72588-roadc ... ear-top-10
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