I gave up on the Merlin Extralight. Beauty it is. Light it is. Titanium it is. Ideal fit it is not. I probably could tweak it to fit right, but the handling felt off up front with the short stem and stacked too high steer tube.
I've finally convinced myself after going through numerous road frames over the years that I simply can not fit ideally on any of them out there. O, I can make some fit. But the bike is not happy with high rise, short stems and/or long carbon steer tubes jutting out from the headtube. I've never had a stem over 90mm. I've always had to flip it up - a huge no-no in bike aesthetics!
So what does all this mean? Back to the drawing board, for sure. Literally.
Last Friday I coughed up a painful amount of not-so-hard-earned green for a professional fit session for a custom frameset at the chic Signature Cycles studio on the Upper West side of Manhattan. Three hours of being poked and prodded, stretched and stressed, and finally, spinning away on a size cycle, hooked up to a computer, going through infinitely small micro adjustments in every conceivable direction. Reach, saddle height, angles, etc. All were manipulated until the boss was happy with my position - and I guess, so was I.
At the end of the day and a swipe of the credit card, all I had to show for my time was a lousy piece of paper.
This fine sheet shall be laminated and stored and scanned and copied and framed and worshipped for the rest of my life.
It has the dimensions. THE DIMENSIONS. The numbers that make my bike fit with a 110mm stem flipped DOWN and 1.5cm of spacers beneath. a straight seat post with the rails CENTERED! What the hell is going on?
An Independent Fabrications is going on. Two months! or less or more. Who cares??
On order is a IF SSR 953 painted midnight blue, sterling silver headbadge, and I opted for a steel fork instead of the standard carbon since I figured I could swap easier for a carbon but IF steel forks painted to match are a bit tougher to come by!