I have always wanted a titanium mountain bike. Since I first saw the deep satin beauty of a nude ti frame I got the bug. I have a great collection of American made aluminum goodness but nothing ti. Desirable frames have come into my focus but somehow always miss the mark. Too expensive, mass produced no name frames. I wanted a Moots, a Litespeed/Lynskey, a Merlin! Patience finally paid off. A few weeks and the bike I bought was still for sale on craigslist. I was the first serious nibble they had received on their fairly vague ad with a crappy picture. After further inquiry I had found my grail. Turns out the guy lives next door to famed frame designer and all around amazing bicycle guru Tom Kellogg!
I tell the guy I'm in, drive the 2 hours from New York City to Allentown, Pennsylvania. The crappy photos made the paint job look pretty bad, one of the reasons no one else was into the ad. Since when did Merlin paint their Fat Ti's? Who is this Spectrum company with all their badges and logos littering this master work of a bike? This question was answered quickly by searching for Spectrum online. http://www.spectrum-cycles.com/index.htm
If you are as ignorant as I was go read the 'about us' page.
The fellow I bought the bike from bought it new from Spectrum "a few years back", he doesn't remember when. I'm not sure if this frame was made within the time period the Extralight was offered. The way Spectrum works with Ti orders is they take the measurements and design the frame specs and then have Merlin produce it. According to their website they don't make mountain bikes. Who knows what someone will do for their neighbor though. I was at least told it was a stock size. I'm going to contact Merlin and find out when this was made, so keep checking back. When I saw the paint in person I was pleasantly surprised, I had already looked up ways to strip it off at home. It is done extremely well, decals hidden under clear coat and not raised up or applied on top. The Spectrum logo is on the head tube, seat tube, and next to Tom's name on the non drive side chain stay. Unfortunately the guy's name who sold it to me is on the top tube. Any ideas on how to remove it are welcome. Should I sand it down until it's gone then re-clear coat it? It turns out the original owner is more of a roady and has ridden this amazing bike about a dozen times, leaving it in nearly new condition. The "SUPER" on the top tube refers to all the Spectrum Ti frames that are double butted, like the Fat Ti Extralight was, like the XLM.
And with out further ado, a few quick sample photos.
What hub is this? Ringle?
The way I bought it.
Frame: Merlin Fat Ti Extralight / Spectrum Super
Fork: Fatty Ultra
Handlebar: Ti - unknown brand
Barends: Titec aluminum
Brakes: XT V's
Brake Pads: XT
Brake Levers: XT
Front Derailleur: XT
Rear Derailleur: XT
Cranks: XT m739
Bottom Bracket: un-72
Pedals: Shimano m747
Hub Skewers: XT
Rims: Mavic 220 front, 217 rear
Hubs: Unknown (help!) front, XT rear
Tyres: WTB Velociraptors
Saddle: Flight Ti gel
Seatpost: American Classic Ti
Seatpost Binder: Merlin w/ti bolt
Weight: 24 lbs on the nose