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  1. #1
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    Merlin Works 4.0

    hi there,

    are there any Works 4.0 owners out there or did anyone already have a chance to ride this bike?
    Any experiences, pros and cons you could share?
    Am interested to learn some details about this babe.
    thx
    Nick

  2. #2
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    on paper it's an ellsworth truth with a ti front triangle. so ride characteristic will be similar to a truth... why not check out the threads over at the ellsworth forum?

    i don't think there are many works 4 owners around as yet.. still new and too pricey!? so a review is gonna be tough to come by. but i would think it as a truth with more responsive front.

  3. #3
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    I don't believe there are any owners yet. I know a Litespeed employee what should be riding one in the nxt week or 2 that is thesame size as me. I'll hopefully take it for a spin at our Festival October 7th. I could report back if that works out. Should be a super sweet bike.

  4. #4
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    No owners yet but people who have ridden it (briefly) were very impressed by the working of the ICT rear suspension (Ellsworth)
    It's on my wishlist for 2007
    Titanium or Bust !

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bad Wolf
    No owners yet but people who have ridden it (briefly) were very impressed by the working of the ICT rear suspension (Ellsworth)
    It's on my wishlist for 2007
    Agree - it's on my wishlist too ;-) Just wondering about the frame weight. But should be possible to build up a 11kg trailbike.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Napfgeist
    Agree - it's on my wishlist too ;-) Just wondering about the frame weight. But should be possible to build up a 11kg trailbike.
    Pricing over here ( source : ABG Europe) is 3000Ä / frame only..which is acceptable compared to Seven Duo(Lux) or Litespeed Niota (which I believe to be the major competition for this bike)

    And the hideous stickers can be replaced with more laid-back old-style Merlin ones .

    I am just wondering if it is possible to get the rear triangle in another color than black and/or have it custom made in Ti 6/4.

    I think the rear triangle section is made by Ellsworth ( logically this should be the case) and the assembly is done at Merlin.
    Titanium or Bust !

  7. #7
    zeb
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    Chainstay in TI 6/4 would be great upgrade for even original Ellsworth bikes

    Rear triangle section is made by Ellsworth,which is very sad and true.

  8. #8
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    Why sad and true?
    Afaik Ellsworth make a very good product, the quality of bearings and materials is top-notch.
    Having the swinger in Ti 6/4 would be a good place to start with
    Titanium or Bust !

  9. #9
    zeb
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    Chainstays break at same spot on the driveside.I have been waiting for replacement chainstay for my bike now for 5 weeks.I am not saying that Ellsworth bikes are no great to ride,My bike has been nothing but joke to riding buddies,maybe its my own fault because i did hype Ellsworth very loudly:Yeah i got the greatest bike.None of the other bikes that i used to have, can compare to Ellsworth.
    If Merlin would make their own chainstay i could consider 4,0 to my next bike,but spending big money on TI bike with chainstay manufactured by Ellsworth sounds no option to me.Bike is as good as the weakest detail on it.Hope Merlin bike really put better effort on chainstay issue.They could get new customers from E-riders who are willing to get upgrade rearend to more reliable one.
    Ps. I ride ID just because of high BB,can not find any frame to replace it in same weightclass.

  10. #10
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    That is disturbing news, does this also happen with Turner bikes and the likes?
    They use(d) the same type of suspension.
    Also there is a difference is usage between a XC bike and a freeride or downhill rig.
    Titanium or Bust !

  11. #11
    zeb
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    I think the dilemma with chainstay is not the ITC-suspenion system ,but just too weak material or bad desing when it comes to durabilty of chainstay.Mayby just beefier construction or change of material would be solution.

  12. #12
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    But that was breaking of chainstays was happening back in 2003 , by now the Ellsworth design has been upgraded.
    The newer ICT chainstays are beefed up if I understand correctly what Mr.Ellsworth said
    So the issue is no issue anymore, right?
    Titanium or Bust !

  13. #13
    zeb
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    It is matter of trust.You either belive manīs word or not.I have read about problems with even "new desing" chainstay . Both asy and regular type. I really dont care about Ellsworthbikes after todayīs experince with Ellsworth and my LBS warranty/replacement price policy ! I Need to start look for new frame...Take it easy.
    Last edited by zeb; 10-11-2006 at 09:24 AM.

  14. #14
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    I think they yet have to make the first bike that someone can not break or have trouble with sooner or later.
    So I''m not worried
    .
    Titanium or Bust !

  15. #15
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    Merlin Works 4.0

    Bike is VERY nice! Handles well, spend most of you time thinking about the trail, forget the bike is there. The oversized downtube is adequately stiff. Seems to dampen trail vibration beyond the suspension. Set up is a bit heavy (26lbs) for now with Crossmax XL wheels and Continential tires (700gm ea) for aggressive riding, still.. screams through winding single track, descends with confidence, and climbs without hesitation. The climbing is truly amazing. I am coming from a Ti Softail, which must eat some of my power up on climbs. The Merlin seems to pull you forward uphill thanks to the Ellsworth design. I would highly recommend this bike! A bit pricey, but then again Ti is durable and this bike should last a while.

    Rear shock - Fox Float R Custom tuned (Light Propedal)
    Front shock - Currently Fox F80X
    Components - XTR / Easton

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinworks4
    Bike is VERY nice! Handles well, spend most of you time thinking about the trail, forget the bike is there. The oversized downtube is adequately stiff. Seems to dampen trail vibration beyond the suspension. Set up is a bit heavy (26lbs) for now with Crossmax XL wheels and Continential tires (700gm ea) for aggressive riding, still.. screams through winding single track, descends with confidence, and climbs without hesitation. The climbing is truly amazing. I am coming from a Ti Softail, which must eat some of my power up on climbs. The Merlin seems to pull you forward uphill thanks to the Ellsworth design. I would highly recommend this bike! A bit pricey, but then again Ti is durable and this bike should last a while.

    Rear shock - Fox Float R Custom tuned (Light Propedal)
    Front shock - Currently Fox F80X
    Components - XTR / Easton
    Cool, can you post some pics?
    Did you get a custom one?
    Titanium or Bust !

  17. #17
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    I have one in stock in the 18.75 frame size. It just came in today. I will build it up to your specs if anyone wants one now. I have an XTR/Crossmax build kit for it too.
    35,000+Bicycle Parts at BikePartsExpress.com, largest selection of Bike Parts on the web.

  18. #18
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    Merlin Works 4.0 Picture

    Will update with a better picture soon... I did not get a custom frame. The 18.75" was perfect as far as desired geometry. I did custom on a Ti road frame, didnt feel necessary for this one. If you are going to spend that much, consider doing it, if you can locate a helpful dealer.
    Last edited by merlinworks4; 10-25-2006 at 07:56 PM.

  19. #19
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    Merlin Works 4.0

    Merlin Works 4.0

    18.75"
    Fox F80X
    Crossmax XL
    Continental Vapor/Vertical UST
    XTR - 2006 - 2003 Drive
    Eatson - Control

    26 lbs. waiting to dial in fit, then upgrade parts
    Attached Images Attached Images

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinworks4
    Merlin Works 4.0

    18.75"
    Fox F80X
    Crossmax XL
    Continental Vapor/Vertical UST
    XTR - 2006 - 2003 Drive
    Eatson - Control

    26 lbs. waiting to dial in fit, then upgrade parts
    Finally a good report about the Works 4.0, thank you.
    I am actually riding a Ti-softtail and considering the Works 4.0.
    You are using the F80, dont you feel unbalanced with the F80 - should'nt be there an F100 due to the frames geometry?

    Thanks, Pius

  21. #21
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    Merlin Works 4.0 - 80mm front shock setup

    The F80X came off my Litespeed soft tail. I do plan on changing the fork to a 100mm travel. Probably a Fox. The bike still handles well with the 80mm. It does put me a little lower at the front end, but am used to that on my other bikes. Ellsworth website recommends 80 - 105 mm travel for the Truth which is setup just like this bike. I do feel a little unbalanced over really rough terrain, but wanted to evaluate the 80mm option. Unbalanced in terms of suspension, not handling. Will give more feed back when I change to longer travel.

  22. #22
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    Waiting

    I just purchased a Works 4.0 (17.5) but I am waiting on parts (07 XTR) currently so that I can ride. So far I have a Reba World Cup, Race Face Next LP cranks, Avid Juicy Ultimates, Thomson X4 stem and Masterpiece Seatpost. Im still debating on what rims to go with, either Mavic 819's or waiting on the new DT Swiss 4.2's. I will update my post as im planning on going up to Arkansas to test it out as soon as my build is complete hopefully in a couple weeks.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickm
    I have one in stock in the 18.75 frame size. It just came in today. I will build it up to your specs if anyone wants one now. I have an XTR/Crossmax build kit for it too.
    Mmh, interesting. What is the real weight of that 18.75 frame? Can you post a picture of the frame on the scale? Thanks.

  24. #24
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    i will photo it when I get back to the store.
    Join For Free Beginner Bicycle ,new social network for new cyclists. Win $140 Giro Sunglasses. Videos, Contests, Events.

  25. #25
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    Please do, I'm really looking forward to see some real production unit pics.
    Titanium or Bust !

  26. #26
    memento mori
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    Now how about a lefty-specific head tube ala "fatbeat"?A "left-truth"?I'll be the first in line...or a 96'er lefty front end with a bb around 13"?A New England trail rocket!I want one NOW!!!

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAVID J
    Now how about a lefty-specific head tube ala "fatbeat"?A "left-truth"?I'll be the first in line...or a 96'er lefty front end with a bb around 13"?A New England trail rocket!I want one NOW!!!
    I guess they could do.. probably as customized frame request, have look at the "Litespeed Obed 2007" shown @Interbike.



    Source:

    http://thelitespeedblog.blogspot.com/
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAVID J
    Now how about a lefty-specific head tube ala "fatbeat"?A "left-truth"?I'll be the first in line...or a 96'er lefty front end with a bb around 13"?A New England trail rocket!I want one NOW!!!
    Merlin still had the licensing rights to use cannondale headtube design (Lefty/Headshock) as recently as last year. It was a custom headtube option when you ordered custom. A lefty version of this bike would be awesome.

  29. #29
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    I would like to see more and bigger pics.. I will probably get to ride a 17.5" Works 4.0 soon. If I like it I will buy one.
    Titanium or Bust !

  30. #30
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    Winter Project

    Iíve been building my Merlin Works 4.0 up over the winter and itís nearly ready to roll! Don't ask the cost, but with Reba World Cup, Chris King Ti, Full 2007 XTR, Mavic SLR's to name a few, I'm really looking forward to the experience. I'm surprised this thread has gone a little cold and there has been very little in the bike mags about this new creation, but I guess there is some really good bike currently on the market at the moment. A friend has just bought a Titus Race X and it looks totally superb. Can't wait for the tracks to dry a bit, and try some proper cyclings, rather than peddling nowhere on my turbo trainer. Anyway, for those interested, here's a photo so far..
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  31. #31
    nightriding is fun !
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    I'm not a big fan of the stickers.. for the rest it's the kind of stuff I would want on my bike as well, perhaps I'd choose XTR wheels instead of the Mavics.
    Why wait for things to dry out? Get on your bike
    Titanium or Bust !

  32. #32
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    Nice bike indeed. I have not seen one in person yet but have ridden the Truth of a buddy of mine. Sweet ride.

  33. #33
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    Wink Merlin Spec

    Love the spec. What final weight do you envisage? Would like to see the final build - post a picture and let us all know how it rides?


  34. #34
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    my 4.0

    Heres a pic of my complete build. My front fork is really a reba world cup but i just swapped the casting out for black.

    Merlin Works 4.0 (17.5")
    Reba World Cup
    Race Face Next Cranks
    American Classic BB
    XTR Derailleurs & Shifters
    Thomson Masterspiece Seatpost
    Thomson X4 stem
    Avid Juicy Ultimate's (160 F/R)
    Chris King (headset & hubs)
    Mavic 819 rims
    Hutchinson Phythons
    Maxxis Ultralight tubes
    Selle Italia SLR XP seat
    Nokon Cables
    Ellsworth QR skewers
    Shimano M525 pedals (upgrading soon)

    = 25.0 lbs exact.

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  35. #35
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    Does anybody consider it is worth protecting titanium fame with Copter Tape to eliminate cable rub? Are these frames as susceptible to dents as the Ellsworth Truth?

  36. #36
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    Would also be interested in advice for Titus Racer X Aluminium frame as to best protection?

  37. #37
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    Yes, protect them, because even though titanium is very strong and resistant, the cables do rub .It's amazing but it's true
    I use carbon patches.
    Titanium or Bust !

  38. #38
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    At last, my test bike will be delivered this week. I'll post my findings in a report soon.
    Pity no more Works 4.0 series owners are around?
    Titanium or Bust !

  39. #39
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    As promised, here are my first impressions. I rode the bike in moderately hilly terrain today, will take it to the real hills tomorrow or monday.

    Last edited by Big Bad Wolf; 08-25-2007 at 01:37 PM.
    Titanium or Bust !

  40. #40
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    Another ride with the Works 4.0

    another day of fun with the Merlin Works 4.0 , this time on a lot more challenging terrain.
    The story is here

    Titanium or Bust !

  41. #41
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    After 4 days of testdriving I just ordered me a Merlin Works 4.0..
    buildup will be alongs these lines.. weights of the Hope levers and calipers are guesstimates.. real weights will be lower.
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    Titanium or Bust !

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bad Wolf
    After 4 days of testdriving I just ordered me a Merlin Works 4.0..
    buildup will be alongs these lines.. weights of the Hope levers and calipers are guesstimates.. real weights will be lower.
    Well... happy for you but I don't understand... This bike is horrible

    Ok it's a Merlin, I have no doubt the quality of the titanium work is perfect... but the triple-tube junction with the seat tube is ugly... the Ellsworth rear end looks so cheap... the weight is heavy for a 100mm rear travel compare to the new generation of xc/trail bike you can find on the market...

    Anyway, it's only my opinion... I have never ridden it and if your test went good it should be a good bike... but beside the fact you're riding a Merlin/Ellsworth bike, is it really worth it, I am not sure.

  43. #43
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    You forgot to mention it's a shamefully overpriced Ellsworth Truth .
    taste is a personal thing, and thats good.

    Like you said, you've never ridden it, ride it first and try to forget about cosmetics.
    Last edited by Big Bad Wolf; 08-30-2007 at 12:27 AM.
    Titanium or Bust !

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bad Wolf
    You forgot to mention it's a shamefully overpriced Ellsworth Truth .
    taste is a personal thing, and thats good.

    Like you said, you've never ridden it, ride it first and try to forget about cosmetics.
    I have never ridden it and that's why I believe you when your report says it's a good bike. Again I don't say it's not a good bike, but it's just a good bike like many others.

    But still... More than 2.4 kg for 100mm of travel, I don't see the cosmetic point on that... still an heavy frame for that travel. And no revolution to expect from the Ellsworth ITC which is known from several years by now with its qualities and defaults. And yes cosmetic is secondary but unless the bike is so revolutionary and efficient like no other, I still prefer to ride a not too ugly bike.

    IMO this bike shows that Merlin doesn't know what to do anymore with mountain bikes, they should leave the mountain bike develompment to Litespeed instead of using old stuff trying to make it new... and expensive.

    Anyway, like you said taste is a personnal thing and I don't want to make you cancel your order... you tested it, liked it and you will be happy to ride it every day, that's the most important thing.

  45. #45
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    From where I'm sitting, 2.4kg for frame and shock is not too bad. Not superlight either but I rather have material that goes the extra mile instead of breaking up on me. The ICT design suits me and my style of riding. I have already put it to the test on an unexpectedly hard downhill I completely misjudged, went in way too fast, and the bike just took it, saving me from an accident.
    That kinda gave me confidence in its capabilities...
    Riding the bike I don't feel the weight at all, its 25 pounds in this build , compared to other designs I've tested that is. It climbs as good as my Moots YBB, which is a reference to me when tackling uphills , and with 100mm in the downhills it's a blast, again for my kind of use, marathon mountainbiking.
    The titanium is a must for me, I have long decided not to ride any other kind of material, thats a personal choice (that costs a lot of money )
    Btw : I would have gotten me a titanium Scalpel 5 years ago if only Cannondale would make them..
    I have a Litespeed Sewanee at home I will check out next week, it's a friends' and he wanted me to ride it but it is a size too small (an S I believe, I need a 17" at least ) for me so perhaps not a fair comparison, but I will give it a spin. At 60mm it lacks a bit of travel but if the workings of the rear suspension are good this might compensate a bit for the lack of travel. Here is a pic of the two bike I took yesterday ..


    Titanium or Bust !

  46. #46
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    looks are in the mine....

    Hey,

    Both bikes look cool. I was wondering if you both ever tried the Titus Racer X ti? I almost bought an Eppi but know am leaning towords the motolite Ti. I like Ti myself but want a 5" er

    my $.02

    David

  47. #47
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    Nope, no Titus in sight over here in Europe.
    Too bad really, I'm sure its a good bike, it has a strong reputation.
    Titanium or Bust !

  48. #48
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    So have you confirmed your order for the works 4.0? if u asked me, i'd say it looks fantastic! definitely on my wishlist. but personally i prefer the old-style merlin decals

    I ride a truth now.. when it gets too old i'll be looking for a replacement. i'll be looking hard at the titruth, merlin 4.0 or titus racer-x exogrid. merlin is the best in terms of value so far, but titus looks really good with the carbon/ti mix. titruth is just way over-priced

    well do post more pics when u get yours!

  49. #49
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    Will do, its bound to arrive in a few weeks
    Titanium or Bust !

  50. #50
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    Received this pic from the temporary buildup of my 4.0 today

    Still waiting for the Thomson Elite silver 31.6/350 seatpost, a story on its own.. The Belgian distributor folded and a seatpost that was promised could not be delivered.. so my lbs contacted Thomson directly and they will help us out asap..
    So ignore the bacl seatpost (and the tower on the stem as well
    Titanium or Bust !

  51. #51
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    wow it's looking good! interesting stem/bar combo you have there, more pics pls!

  52. #52
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    More pics when the bike is finished.. should be somewhere next week
    Titanium or Bust !

  53. #53
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    The bike has been delivered yesterday. Reason for the long wait was the Thomson seatpost. The Belgian importer folded in september and because I wanted a silver-colored Elite this was very hard to find. So after searching around a bit (and getting a lot of 'sorry, we only have them in black' ) my LBS contacted the Thomson factory in the USA directly and hey presto within 4 days the seatpost was delivered.. So thumbs up to Thomson
    With a weight just shy of 24 pounds the Works 4.0 is as light as my Moots YBB and just half a pound heavier than my Litespeed Obed.

    I was pleasantly surprised, this is a good weight for a 17.5 frame 4" full suspension bike.
    Weather has been really bad around here so the first ride - mainly to check out the riding position, cut the suspension tower and brake in the pads - will have to wait until it dries out.
    You can check out the pictures HERE in the meantime. Gallery will be updated when things develop.
    Titanium or Bust !

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bad Wolf


    I was pleasantly surprised, this is a good weight for a 17.5 frame 4" full suspension bike.
    Weather has been really bad around here so the first ride - mainly to check out the riding position, cut the suspension tower and brake in the pads - will have to wait until it dries out.
    You can check out the pictures HERE in the meantime. Gallery will be updated when things develop.
    Adri, 10.9 kg is just fantastic.

    That bring me back to Merlin / Litespeed in my evalutaion for the next bike in 2008. Disregard all the rumors about the American Bicycle Group. What counts are the products - your's is a awesome bike!

  55. #55
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    Nice bike Adri, 10.9kg is unbelievably light for a 4" susser. Is that with or without pedals? Let me know what you think of the Hopes, am considering some myself.

  56. #56
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    The bike was weighed complete.
    http://haineadri.fotopic.net/p46546896.html
    I was aiming for sub-25 and it came in just below 24 pounds.
    Titanium or Bust !

  57. #57
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    BBW, what size frame is that? That sure is a lot of seatpost showing.
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  58. #58
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    17.5.. the seatpost was not set to height for the first batch of pictures.
    I had to drop it considerably until it was Ok, which you can see on the outside pictures.
    http://haineadri.fotopic.net/p46570990.html

    Compare this pic with the one from the bike I tested, the only thing different in the geometry is the longer stem (was too long for me) and the fork which was set to 85mm instead of 100mm
    http://redridinghood.fotopic.net/p44439470.html
    Titanium or Bust !

  59. #59
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    I may have missed this as I'm very tired so I did not read every post (my bad). I saw earlier on you said you could replace the gaudy Merlin stickers with more traditional ones. Is that true? Have you? Can you tell me how you got the stickers and how they were replaced? How do you like the ride? No complaints?
    Thanks,
    Liz
    WWXD.
    What would Xena do?
    She used to clean the whole trail.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by 20_bandh
    Nice bike Adri, 10.9kg is unbelievably light for a 4" susser. Is that with or without pedals? Let me know what you think of the Hopes, am considering some myself.
    Well... 4-5 years ago maybe

    Now you can find a bunch of frames with 4" to build a reliable bike under 10kg.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtmistress
    I may have missed this as I'm very tired so I did not read every post (my bad). I saw earlier on you said you could replace the gaudy Merlin stickers with more traditional ones. Is that true? Have you? Can you tell me how you got the stickers and how they were replaced? How do you like the ride? No complaints?
    Thanks,
    Liz
    Liz, I am assuming you are asking me..?
    No, I did not change the stickers. I don't mind them. Merlin has all the stickers you want.
    As for my ride impressions. I did not yet ride my 4.0 but I spent a week riding a test bike last august. The ride reports are HERE.
    Titanium or Bust !

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bad Wolf
    Liz, I am assuming you are asking me..?
    No, I did not change the stickers. I don't mind them. Merlin has all the stickers you want.
    As for my ride impressions. I did not yet ride my 4.0 but I spent a week riding a test bike last august. The ride reports are HERE.
    Thanks! I did read some of your report some time ago but I do need to reread it to jog my memory. I'm not fond of the Merlin stickers. I think they take away from the frame. They are too big for me but that is just my opinion. I have a '91 and a '95 Merlin and now a Santa Cruz but I really, really want the 4.0. I did see you got sub 24. That is my goal for sure. I'll keep an eye on this thread and anything you can tell me about your bike, let me know! Take care!
    WWXD.
    What would Xena do?
    She used to clean the whole trail.

  63. #63
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    Will do.
    If you are in the market for a 16.25 Works 4.0 , I know of a new frame for sale..never used.
    PM me if interested. Frame is in France though
    Titanium or Bust !

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bad Wolf
    Will do.
    If you are in the market for a 16.25 Works 4.0 , I know of a new frame for sale..never used.
    PM me if interested. Frame is in France though
    WOW! Yeah, France may be a bit far and then I'm sure there are import/export fees. Too bad. We go to France and tour every year in may except the one coming up. The Euro is killing us! I'm very sad about it. uumm.. nah! Anyway, I'll stay in touch with you.
    Thanks, Liz
    WWXD.
    What would Xena do?
    She used to clean the whole trail.

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    4.0 Standover Height

    I noticed that the standover heights listed on Merlin's site for the 4.0 don't vary much across the different frame sizes. They start at 30.0 for a 15" frame, and go all the way up to 31.0 for the 20". If that's correct, it's something to think about for (us) shorter riders. I'm 5'8", and would consider 30" to be higher than I'm comfortable with. Doesn't seem to make sense, since the seat tube lengths vary by 5" from smallest to largest frames. Anyone have the scoop on this?

    Cheers,
    Pat

  66. #66
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    Looking for one?

    I don't know that much about this frame, or if they are hard to get or not, etc. But if anyone is looking for one, my LBS actually has one that's been hanging in the shop for some time.....they might be willing to give a good deal. I think it's a 17.5", approx a medium frame I would think. It's frame only, and never built up before. If interested, PM me and I can get you in contact with them.

    I hope this isn't considered SPAM.....I'm not associated with the shop, other than being friends with the owner (only LBS in a small Indiana town.) I just see the darn thing hanging up there every time I go in!

    Randy

  67. #67
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    I don't think this is anywhere near spam.
    You can check the size from the frame number on the bottom bracket.
    Its says 17.5 and M on this one.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Titanium or Bust !

  68. #68
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    Very nice pics! wat a beautiful bike....

  69. #69
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    I would like to know how the Merlin Works 4.0 compares to the Litespeed Niota Ti in terms of handling and performance.
    Last edited by drmark67; 12-11-2007 at 01:31 AM.
    "Carpe diem, quam minimun credula postero"- Seize the day, trust as little as possible in tomorrow.(Horace)

  70. #70
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    Wink Merlin Works 4

    Well, have you got this bike dirty yet? How are you finding it now that its nearly its first birthday? :-)


  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bad Wolf
    You can check out the pictures HERE in the meantime. Gallery will be updated when things develop.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
    Nice bike, nice machine!!..I'am still waiting my ordered frm USA 18.75 size.

    Btw Adri....frm your pict image, something like tape or...

  72. #72
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    Thanks.

    No, it's no tape, just a reflection from the light on the weld of the swingarm.
    This is a picture from another angle

    and you can see this here as well:
    Last edited by Big Bad Wolf; 01-16-2008 at 03:46 AM.
    Titanium or Bust !

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    niota vs. works 4.0 review

    Quote Originally Posted by drmark67
    I would like to know how the Merlin Works 4.0 compares to the Litespeed Niota Ti in terms of handling and performance.
    I had an original Niota Ti that I broke and replaced it with the 4.0 back in the spring '07. I've put just under 1000 miles on the 4.0(according to my computer) including (2) 24 hour races. I took the niota on several long distance rides (60mi+) as well as a couple 12 hour and 24 hour races. I personally weigh in at just under 200lbs, am 5'10'' and have a 17.5 4.0. I had a ML Niota. I am a gear masher and I do not pedal in perfect little circles like the magazines say you're supposed to. My opinion is that the litespeed is a more nimble, quicker handling ride while the merlin is more stable but slower to maneuver in both slow and high speeds. I prefer the quickness for my riding style. Also, the Litespeed's suspension design seems to put up with my bigger gear mashing than the merlin is doing for me. I replaced the shock with an RP3 on the merlin but it still seems sluggish compared to what I remember of the niota's responsiveness.

    To sum up:
    the niota is quicker handling and its suspension is more comfortable and forgiving to gear mashers. It depends on your riding style, but personally I miss my niota. The merlin is very stable for fast descents but feels a lot bigger than it should when trying to maneuver.

    So that's my 20 cents. Good luck. For those of you who are not dissuaded from the merlin purchase by my tyrade, I may have a 4.0 w/ XT for sale if I can figure out what I would like to get to replace it.

    -Tim

  74. #74
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    Morlysafer:
    Thanks for the feedback. I don't share the same sensations that you have on the Merlin, but then I'm no gear masher. I felt it competed with my YBB in the tricky technical bits, as well uphill as downhill, which is quite a reference.
    I do agree it feel very stable in the downhills, as it damn well should.
    I'm 1m80 and weigh 70kg (155pounds and 5 foot 10 inches..)
    ..
    Oh, and there's one other difference.. you broke the Litespeed..
    Titanium or Bust !

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bad Wolf
    Morlysafer:
    Thanks for the feedback. I don't share the same sensations that you have on the Merlin, but then I'm no gear masher. I felt it competed with my YBB in the tricky technical bits, as well uphill as downhill, which is quite a reference.
    I do agree it feel very stable in the downhills, as it damn well should.
    I'm 1m80 and weigh 70kg (155pounds and 5 foot 10 inches..)
    ..
    Oh, and there's one other difference.. you broke the Litespeed..
    Your comments are well met. Hopefully the ellsworth rear will stand up to the test and for that reason it certainly earns more points. As you implied, the sluggish acceleration is much more likely to come from my gear mashing than from any frame design. Also, the merlin, and all merlins for that matter, is much more appealing to the eyes with the fantastic build quality, cleaner welds, etc. than the litespeed is. I've been riding my hardtail a lot more lately and am so pleased with the ride of the HT that I'm considering making it my full time ride. The problem is 3 or 4 hours into a long ride/race when my back starts to complain.
    I do like the stability in the downhill in some applications. Generally though, I like a little more nimbleness. I think the culprit is the longer wheelbase.

  76. #76
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    I just put on another stem/handlebar combo. The Morati was only 110mm and I couldn't get the postion right.
    This stem is an 120mm Hi-Light titanium one, and the handlebar is a carbon Race Face Next SL.. the combination weighs 30 grammes less than the Morati as well.
    Here is a pic after the build. Bike is ready to roll now, but since they are predicting snow it will have to wait yet some time





    Last edited by Big Bad Wolf; 01-29-2008 at 10:33 AM.
    Titanium or Bust !

  77. #77
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    [QUOTE=Big Bad Wolf]I just put on another stem/handlebar combo. The Morati was only 110mm and I couldn't get the postion right.
    This stem is an 120mm Hi-Light titanium one, and the handlebar is a carbon Race Face Next SL.. the combination weighs 30 grammes less than the Morati as well.
    Here is a pic after the build. Bike is ready to roll now, but since they are predicting snow it will have to wait yet some time


    I see that you have an 80mm fork on there. Does it feel balanced enough with the 4 inches in the rear?
    Your bike is beautiful. Much fancier stuff than I have on my 4.0. I hope those 30 grams give you the edge you're looking for.
    Sorry to hear about the snow. It's 55 degrees F here, I'm riding tonight!

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by morlysafer

    I see that you have an 80mm fork on there. Does it feel balanced enough with the 4 inches in the rear?
    Your bike is beautiful. Much fancier stuff than I have on my 4.0. I hope those 30 grams give you the edge you're looking for.
    Sorry to hear about the snow. It's 55 degrees F here, I'm riding tonight!

    The fork is a 100mm Reba
    Titanium or Bust !

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bad Wolf

    The fork is a 100mm Reba
    I've never seen the reba with a carbon crown. Then again, I don't keep up with rockshox since I switched to fox. I will say that I have not been over the moon with my fox either though, as it has required a couple rebuilds and my original terralogic fork completely failed. Maybe I should give them another chance on the next go 'round. :-)

  80. #80
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    I like the Reba better than the F80 Fox I have on another bike , it works a bit smoother in the early stages of the travel.
    The carbon crown was only available for the World Cup versions.
    Titanium or Bust !

  81. #81
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    Well my bike is finally ready. We cut the fork to lenght and put in some Ti Seven spacers.

    here are a few pics taken today .




    Titanium or Bust !

  82. #82
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    Wow i just love your bike! judging by the frame size and seatpost i guess you're around 5'11 to 6' tall?

  83. #83
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    Glad you like the bike
    I'm 1meter79centimeter I think thats indeed 5feet11inches
    Titanium or Bust !

  84. #84
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    It's finally done!

    My dad gave me big $$$ for a new bike. My first in 8 years! So I splurged on my 3rd Merlin. My first was a used 1990 7 speed. The 2nd a 1994 with blue Judy's. Still runs great though!
    They both do and the first Merlin is now my trusty commuter bike resplendent with fenders and lights and a rack and the whole geek commuter look!!
    But this is my pride. It handles like a dream and weighs in at 21 1/2 pounds! No I'm not making that up!!
    I was not at all fond of the large black graphics and after a few phone calls to Merlin, I was able to get some secure some white graphics from a great guy named Craig. I called back to see if I could get more and by then he's left the company. Their loss!
    This will probably be my last mountain bike. I just can't imagine buying another. This is better than I could have ever dreamed about!!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    WWXD.
    What would Xena do?
    She used to clean the whole trail.

  85. #85
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    Obviously I stink at loading pics. I'll try a few more.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    WWXD.
    What would Xena do?
    She used to clean the whole trail.

  86. #86
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    Here's a couple more. It's full XTR with Ritchy carbon WCS stem and seatpost. It also has a Seven 22" wide ti handle bar. That's what I use. 22" for 20 years now. Gets me between the tree's!!
    I'm 5'4" so it's a 15" frame which
    helps for lighter weight. The wheels are Mavic SL disc.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    WWXD.
    What would Xena do?
    She used to clean the whole trail.

  87. #87
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    Great looking bike I really like the old school Merlin decals, they look great with the Fox fork.

  88. #88
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    Wow, Dirtmistress, what a great looking bike.
    Yeah, ze olde Merlin decals do it justice but I'll keep my new ones just the same.
    It took me a while to see where the Seven sticker fitted in. I nearly got a fit
    Looks like you built it up with the quality stuff a bike like this deserves.. good job and for sure a 23 pound bike is the result.
    Happy trails with it Amiga
    [PS: Too bad we're on diiferent sides of this rather big pond.. our bikes should meet ]
    Titanium or Bust !

  89. #89
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    WOW it looks so much more mature with the classic decals. I like it !

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    Very nice with the old school decals. I've been thinking of doing the same one mine. The big, poster-sized, decals are a little loud for the merlin brand. However, when I think about it being a ti ellsworth, I can understand why they upped the decal ante.
    I hate to hear that Craig (Sutton) left American Bicycle, he was one of the last from back in the heyday.

    Now that we've seen all of the bike, how about a shot of the mistress?

  91. #91
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    erhm... the Merlin XLMs have the same 'loud' decals..
    Underneath its all the same bike so who really cares?
    Which decals you like is a choice you should leave to each individual owner. There is no good , bad or better
    Titanium or Bust !

  92. #92
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    you're right about individual tastes for bike owners. I'm speaking from my experience when I actually worked in marketing for Merlin, or rather for American Bicycle group, way back in 2003 and 2004. The brand of merlin has a lot of heritage and has always carried a more subdued image. It is only in very recent years that this has changed with the "Works" brand that is supposed to appeal to the racer who wants to stay attached to that heritage. I will say that this new racer oriented brand feels a bit disjointed from the old, Cambridge, MA, brand because Tom Kellog, the merlin founder, was not much for bike racing and big logos generally have more in common with racers. When I say the decals are loud for the brand, I'm speaking for the overall brand image of Merlin, not that the bike itself neccessarily looks bad with them. My XLM 6/4 also has these same decals that practically scream MERLIN!! to every passerby when compared to my wife's XLM from 2001.

  93. #93
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    I have known Merlin for quite a time now, I saw my first one in 1996 or thereabouts, so I know what you mean.
    But I'm not one to remove decals or any other part of my bike unless the are worn
    Titanium or Bust !

  94. #94
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    The large black Merlin decals were too much for me. I'm old school and prefer the old school look.As I said earlier, they were too much on a 15" bike.
    They took up the entire frame practically.
    Anyway, it's all personal preferance. If I liked lime green I could have custom made those and stuck them on. Hmm..maybe when these wear off.
    I didn't know that was Craig Sutton. I don't know him but the name is familiar. No wonder he is so nice. He's been around awhile and he told me what you said Morley, they are trying to make it a bit more agressive and hard-core so they thought the decals matched the new look. He was very kind to respect the history I have with Merlin and send me the old style!
    Either way, my friends are calling it a MerWorth! I call it EllMer! But they still all think it's Merlin all the way!!
    The handle bar is a ti bar from Seven that I got from a friend. KInd of odd but whatever,it's ti! We weighed it on two different scales after it was fully built. The first weigh-in came in at 21 and three quarter pounds, the second came in at 21 pounds so we are calling it 21 and a half pounds. I am putting some Ritchy WCS bar ends on tomorrow so I guess it'll go up a bit.
    Take care!!
    WWXD.
    What would Xena do?
    She used to clean the whole trail.

  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtmistress
    My dad gave me big $$$ for a new bike. My first in 8 years! So I splurged on my 3rd Merlin. My first was a used 1990 7 speed. The 2nd a 1994 with blue Judy's. Still runs great though!
    They both do and the first Merlin is now my trusty commuter bike resplendent with fenders and lights and a rack and the whole geek commuter look!!
    But this is my pride. It handles like a dream and weighs in at 21 1/2 pounds! No I'm not making that up!!
    I was not at all fond of the large black graphics and after a few phone calls to Merlin, I was able to get some secure some white graphics from a great guy named Craig. I called back to see if I could get more and by then he's left the company. Their loss!
    This will probably be my last mountain bike. I just can't imagine buying another. This is better than I could have ever dreamed about!!
    That's a darn fine bike! Love the pictures and all... but the only question that matters is: does your dad need a godson??

  96. #96
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    21.5 yikes thats light.. but then its a 15 incher and has top-notch stuff on it - light BUT dependable, the way it should be - so I figure thats a good weigth..
    Mine is at 23.9 pounds/10.85kilos (17.5 inch) and its already lighter than my Moots YBB so I'm happy with that.
    Well, about the handlebar.. My Moots has a Morati Ti bar and my Litespeed sports a Moots Ti bar .. it's all interchangeable
    Have fun with the bike
    Titanium or Bust !

  97. #97
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    Hey. I wanted to give you all a heads up. I made a mistake about the weight.
    My scales were off and when I took the bike to the shop for something, their scale said 24 pounds. So later, I weighed it somewhere else and it weighed 24 1/2 so i give up trusting any scale. It is not 21 1/2 pounds but it's still 5 pounds less than my Santa Cruz. I don't mind. Actually, the really depressing thing is that means I'm 4 pounds heavier than I thought I was. Just wanted to come clean so you all were not thinking somebody in Cali has a 21 pound Merlin! Ride report! I've been on it 5 times in some pretty technical places and it rides like buttah!!
    WWXD.
    What would Xena do?
    She used to clean the whole trail.

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtmistress
    Hey. I wanted to give you all a heads up. I made a mistake about the weight.
    My scales were off and when I took the bike to the shop for something, their scale said 24 pounds. So later, I weighed it somewhere else and it weighed 24 1/2 so i give up trusting any scale. It is not 21 1/2 pounds but it's still 5 pounds less than my Santa Cruz. I don't mind. Actually, the really depressing thing is that means I'm 4 pounds heavier than I thought I was. Just wanted to come clean so you all were not thinking somebody in Cali has a 21 pound Merlin! Ride report! I've been on it 5 times in some pretty technical places and it rides like buttah!!
    Lol, so now mine is lighter unless your balance is right and the other is not
    Weather is taking a turn for the better over here.. so it won't be long before it gets its maiden run
    Titanium or Bust !

  99. #99
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    I just ordered a Van Nicholas OS titanium bar to replace the NEXT SL.
    This bike has been giving me some fine moments this summer.
    Here are a few more pics



    Titanium or Bust !

  100. #100
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    Nice pics

    My Merlin had some setbacks this summer, I was rear ended on my way to Utah for some riding and the rear end of my Merlin was messed up along with other things. It took me a few month before I got the insurance money but I got it put back together for some riding up in Alaska and some in California before I headed back to Louisiana.






    Also got a bike bag that I will be using for some bikepacking in Arkansas.


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