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Dean Bikes Anyone?

Old 07-14-21, 06:06 PM
  #1  
Steve_sr
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Dean Bikes Anyone?

Hello,

I am in the market for a new Ti gravel bike. A friend recommended Merlin. However, my research has shown that the Merlin brand has probably changed hands 4-6 times over their lifetime and are now apparently owned by Dean Bikes. Based on my physic I will probably be needing custom geometry so off the rack sizing won't be possible.

Apparently Dean has also gone through some changes in the last few years and it appears that some of the original folks like John Siegrist have moved on. So do any of you have any knowledge of the current lineup at Dean's with regard to service, quality and workmanship?

Are there any other bike companies / frame builders that I should be looking at?

Thanks,
Steve
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Old 07-14-21, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve_sr View Post
Hello,

I am in the market for a new Ti gravel bike. A friend recommended Merlin. However, my research has shown that the Merlin brand has probably changed hands 4-6 times over their lifetime and are now apparently owned by Dean Bikes. Based on my physic I will probably be needing custom geometry so off the rack sizing won't be possible.

Apparently Dean has also gone through some changes in the last few years and it appears that some of the original folks like John Siegrist have moved on. So do any of you have any knowledge of the current lineup at Dean's with regard to service, quality and workmanship?

Are there any other bike companies / frame builders that I should be looking at?

Thanks,
Steve
Davidson Cycles in Seattle offers Ti. Ti Cycles near Portland Oregon would be another. Both have 35+ years in the business designing and building bikes
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Old 08-04-21, 03:18 PM
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I have started the process to get a frame from Dean: first stages but nothing out of the ordinary for the moment - certain slowness in the communications but that is to be expected with small operations. They seem really nice and knowledgeable

I have been talking to KFried in the forums who had his Grays delivered, and is super happy with the result

This is the thread

Dean Torrey Gravel/Grays All Road Riders?

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Old 08-04-21, 06:07 PM
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Dean just changed ownership again and has raised prices significantly and a lot of the previously include (or free) options like internal cable routing and custom geometry are no longer free. I put a deposit on a Merlin Sandstone. Hopefully everything will work out.
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Old 08-06-21, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve_sr View Post
Hello,

I am in the market for a new Ti gravel bike. A friend recommended Merlin. However, my research has shown that the Merlin brand has probably changed hands 4-6 times over their lifetime and are now apparently owned by Dean Bikes. Based on my physic I will probably be needing custom geometry so off the rack sizing won't be possible.

Apparently Dean has also gone through some changes in the last few years and it appears that some of the original folks like John Siegrist have moved on. So do any of you have any knowledge of the current lineup at Dean's with regard to service, quality and workmanship?

Are there any other bike companies / frame builders that I should be looking at?

Thanks,
Steve
I know some of the folks there (local shop for me), and have heard some complaints. If you have to have Ti, maybe talk to Rodriguez?
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Old 08-06-21, 09:18 AM
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My two cents, and reiterating that I haven't received the bike yet, but I must say that they (Yo, from Dean) are being fantastic in the preliminary discussions...really great communication and service and overall great guy

If you don't want to go with Dean or Merlin, Carver does an allroad frame which looks nice, or VanNicholas maybe? or these guys I found while checking other options

Terlingua Titanium Gravel / All Road 700c / 650b Plus — Titanium & Steel Gravel, Mountain & All Road Bikes | Chumba

No idea whether they're good or not though
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Old 08-06-21, 12:43 PM
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Holland Custom Ti Cycles in San Diego has one of the best reputations in the business. Not well known outside of San Diego since he sells enough bikes here to cult-like loyal customers. I've seen a whole bunch of these riding around and craftsmansip/welding is some of the best I've ever seen. Been building Ti frames for 30 years and steel long before that. Not cheap though. Holland Titanium Bicycle Holland Cycles
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Old 08-08-21, 03:20 PM
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repechage
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Dean and Merlin and another brand were recently reported sold to an investor as read on Bicycleretailer site.
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Old 08-16-21, 07:05 PM
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I somehow missed this thread. I recently took delivery of my Dean Grays All Road fframeset and could not be happier. I built it out with an Ultegra R8000 groupset. It looks great, and now that I have it dialed in it rides beautifully. I did my first century last weekend and I finished the ride feeling very fresh. My previous bike (a Charge Plug steel frame/fork) always left me feeling like I had been in a street fight. But the Dean rode smooth all day--due also to the Rene Herse tires and carbon seatpost--and I was thrilled. There was one significant muck up on the frame. I had asked for a T47 BB and this was listed on the final CAD drawing. But the frame was delivered with a BSA. For me, that's not a deal breaker but it might have been for others. But again, just totally happy with my Dean.

I should also note that the builder who oversaw my frame has now moved on with the sale mentioned above. But I was told the new lead welder coming in had decades of experience and they expected no drop off in weld quality.


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Old 08-16-21, 07:41 PM
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The previous welder (and previous owner as I understand it) is now welding for Mosaic
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Old 08-25-21, 10:42 AM
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I'm very interested in the Grays All Road bike from Dean. I am local to the Denver metro area, so liked the idea of working with a local builder and was considering doing a bike fitting and possibly a custom frame. I would want them to build an entire bike for me as I don't have the knowledge or tools to build the bike myself.

Is there any reason to stay away from this company due to all the recent turn over?
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Old 08-25-21, 10:57 AM
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As I've posted earlier, I really like my Dean and it rides like a dream. But that doesn't really answer your question about turnover. And on that, I can't really say. My bike was done just before the announced sale, and when I asked my contact point there I was told they had a new lead welder coming on with decades of experience working with Ti and they expected the same high quality as before. Again, that's what was communicated to me.

My two cents: I will say that it seems Dean has a habit of bringing in talent. The previous lead welder (and owner, I believe) of Dean now works at Mosaic. And Mosaic itself was founded by a previous lead welder/builder at Dean. So there does seem to be a talent pipeline, which is a positive. Of course, that's no guarantee of future quality.

My suggestion would bee to reach out to Yo at Dean and start a conversation and/or lurk around the website to see what you can glean about the new welder coming in.
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Old 08-26-21, 10:53 AM
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A buddy of mine bought a VanNicholas 27.5 ti bike and it is beautiful and the welding is top notch. I have a secondhand Moots and Indy Fab they are awesome. I got a screaming deal the Moots as its a 26" otherwise they really hold their value.
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Old 08-28-21, 02:08 PM
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I guess that the most important things for getting a custom bike from Dean (or anyone else for that matter) is the guy that turns your fit measurements into a bike frame design and then the guy that takes that BikeCAD drawing and does the actual fabrication.

In talking with Yo not to long ago the Bike CAD guy is John Seigrist who has been with Dean for quite some time and who I think is still there. I think that John may have actually started Dean. Dean's main fabricator was a guy named Ari who may or may not still be there. It would be nice if someone can confirm this.
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Old 08-28-21, 04:57 PM
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Last I saw, Ari Emmett said he is at Mosaic. Sorry for the huge picture
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Old 09-14-21, 12:43 PM
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Yo is also leaving, so don't really know who is left: in my case I have asked for the deposit back and the whole thing to be scrapped - I still hadn't received the CAD so at least they hadn't spent too much time with me/my project/frame.

I'm absolutely bummed out - I don't doubt that whoever is left in Dean is very capable, but I'm not risking $3k on an unknown team/welder - wish them all the best
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Old 09-15-21, 11:19 AM
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So I may have been a bit hasty in my alarm: Yo is leaving but John, the founder, is still working there and they have been in contact to assure me all is well and no need to worry.

Not ecstatic on the whole ordering the bike while in the middle of a firmwide reshuffling, but at least they have been in touch and sound reassuring. So back on track with the order I think...it's being an interesting process
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Old 09-17-21, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by msr_78 View Post
So I may have been a bit hasty in my alarm: Yo is leaving but John, the founder, is still working there and they have been in contact to assure me all is well and no need to worry.

Not ecstatic on the whole ordering the bike while in the middle of a firmwide reshuffling, but at least they have been in touch and sound reassuring. So back on track with the order I think...it's being an interesting process
I think that Yo is already gone. John actually answered the last email that I sent to Yo.
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Old 09-17-21, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve_sr View Post
I think that Yo is already gone. John actually answered the last email that I sent to Yo.
Yeah, he was starting in his new job on Monday, so I imagine he took Friday off, or John has taken over all Yo's open projects - btw, John told me he still does most of the welding, and the new guy he's brought in used to work for Yeti, so it seems we're in good hands
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