Sunday, June 22, 2014

1989-90 Merlin Titanium

Finally got around to taking some proper photos of the 89-90 Merlin Titanium. I picked up this bike back in 2013 or maybe even 2012 for around $200. Most of the parts came off of other donor bikes picked up along the way. All in all this was a fairly low budget build which came out rather well. About the only thing I'm not really happy with are the rims, should have gone for some MA40s or maybe some Arayas. Otherwise it's a great bike and I can wait to check it out on the trails. The frame is pretty tall and I'm not convinced how well it'll feel out in the rough.

Picking out a fork was quote possibly the hardest thing about this build, or any Merlin for that matter. Not a whole lot seems right and most everything just look wrong. In the end I went with a Koski fork. I like the Accutrax look, but felt that a stiff, straight blade fork like that might feel a bit harsh on an otherwise supple frame like a Merlin. I am going to try a straight blade Koski fork on Merlin #50, it seems like it might be a bit less harsh than an Accutrax.

Salsa stem and a Merlin bar are a really classic look for any bike, and feel especially correct here. I considered going with a Suntour XC-PRO build, but it seems that everytime I build a personal bike I opt for Shimano over Suntour or any of the other options out there. So, in this case I went for a straight Shimano M735 XT build. I briefly considered using Cook Bros cranks, but in the end decided to keep it simple.

WTB parts are sprinkled throughout this build. I gotta say that aside from the rear brake, which is pretty freaking awesome the hubs and headset are more flash than performance.

This is the first bike that I personally picked out a roller cam for and I must say I had a bit of a struggle setting it up and I'm still not sure I got it right. Only one way to really tell though!

Yellow label Ground Controls go hand in hand with the Specialized rims and always pair up well with a WTB themed build.

WTB classic grease guard hubset completes the theme build.

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