Strengths: The frame tracks remarkably well and holds a line even with a strong descent and tight line. Also, it looks beautiful and is unique.
Weaknesses: None yet, except for price which really did not affect me.
I have ridden my Cielo now for about 800+ miles and must say that it does everything I ask of it exceptionally well. Back in the late '80's and early '90's I was a cat 2 rider who put way too many miles on steel frames. I dabbled in aluminum which I must admit I preferred for crits. With that said, since riding this frame I now wonder what took me so long to spend the money for carbon fiber and Ti.
Similar Products Used: Prior to this purchase I raced a Bob Jackson steel frame (which I still own and will not throw out much to my wife's irritation) and also own a Cervelo team soloist limited edition.
Bike Setup: I have always rode Shimano Ultegra but this bike is set up with the new SRAM Force. I must admit that I am now a SRAM fan and must point out that the braking is better than Shimano.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: May 21, 2007
Strengths: Craftsmanship, comfortable, handles well, responsive, absorbs road vibrations without sacrificing road feel. It is a beautiful bike to look at and ride.
Weaknesses: When you pay this much money for a bike, you get paranoid about group rides with inexperienced riders and nipping in the store to buy fluids on solo rides.
I ride about 150 miles/week with a long ride (70-100 miles) on the weekend. This is the most comfortable bike I have ridden. You don't have that beat up feeling caused by excessive road vibrations after a long ride. It is stable, very responsive and elegant in design.
Similar Products Used: Trek alpha 2500, Dura Ace 9 set up. I put ~ 30,000 miles on this bike in the last 8 years, it is a good bike, but no comparison to the Merlin. Also have a Raleigh competition. Same comment
Bike Setup: Fizik Arione saddle, Zipp stem and bar, Eurus wheels, Record 10 speed double set up, Continental Grand Prix Supersonic front, GP 3000 rear.