Rock Lobster Team Tig 853 review

Merlin Cycles has been building bikes under the licensed Rock Lobster brand name for years, and the 853 is a perennial favourite

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
£299.00 RRP
Rock Lobster Team Tig 853

Our review

Beautifully made, seriously light, well priced 100mm XC ride
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Merlin Cycles has been building bikes under the licensed Rock Lobster brand name for years, and the 853 is a perennial favourite.

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It’s a classic XC/trail frame with angles set up to be happiest around a 100mm travel fork. We’ve ridden several complete bikes on this frame over the years, and even taken them on trips to the ultra-technical singletrack of Sierra Nevada with FreerideSpain.com, but we’ve never had a bad moment.

Despite being impressively race light for a steel frame (one of only two here under 2kg), it has a resilient toughness that won’t shrink or skitter away from sketchy lines or rock fields. Reynolds’ flagship tubing keeps a stiff upper lip in steering terms, while the slim tapered tube back end gives a good balance between long-haul comfort and muscular power delivery.

Touches such as investment cast dropouts, low-profile ring reinforcing on the head tube and captured bolt sockets on the forward-facing seatpost slot give a retro feel. We’d avoid using really big discs on the rear because there’s no inter stay brace to spread stress, and there are no rack mounts either.

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The excellent-value complete bikes Merlin creates are another great reason to play ‘team tig’ if you’re after a classic steel speed bike, though.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Team Tig 853 frame (08)
Brand Rock Lobster

Weight (kg) 1.988
Frame Material Reynolds 853
Available Sizes 15 Inches 17 Inches 19 Inches 21 Inches
Year 2008