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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:08 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 11:46 pm
Posts: 290
Location: NYC
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.

Image

Image Image

What hub is this? Ringle?
Image Image

Image

Image Image

Image

The way I bought it.

Frame: Merlin Fat Ti Extralight / Spectrum Super

Fork: Fatty Ultra

Headset: Cannondale
Stem: Coda
Handlebar: Ti - unknown brand
Grips: Yeti
Barends: Titec aluminum

Brakes: XT V's
Brake Pads: XT
Brake Levers: XT

Shifters: XT
Front Derailleur: XT
Rear Derailleur: XT
Cassette: XT
Chain: IG
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
Nipples: DT
Spokes: DT
Tyres: WTB Velociraptors

Saddle: Flight Ti gel
Seatpost: American Classic Ti
Seatpost Binder: Merlin w/ti bolt

Weight: 24 lbs on the nose


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:12 am 
Lincs AEC
Lincs AEC

Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 8:34 pm
Posts: 12314
Location: Branston, Lincoln
That is really nice! 8)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:59 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 7:18 pm
Posts: 3186
Location: NFA
different, and very cool 8)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:41 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 5:32 pm
Posts: 500
Location: Sweden
i would strip the paint...


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:38 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 11:46 pm
Posts: 290
Location: NYC
Im sure it would look even more brand new with the paint stripped. For now I will probably leave it since it really is done well. My first instincts were to strip until I saw it. Is there a way I can strip it but leave the logos?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:14 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:49 am
Posts: 807
Location: hiding under the bed
i like! keep the paint, its got character.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:45 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 11:46 pm
Posts: 290
Location: NYC
Went to my local shop today and showed it to the owner who is a retro bike junky. The consensus there was to keep the paint. The logos are really bitchin'. They even had the idea of painting the fork either a matte black to match the other paint. Someone picked it up and said it felt heavy for a Ti bike. 24 lbs is reasonable. With the full XT m739 group it isn't being helped in the ultra light weight department. Also it's a big frame cause I'm a tall guy. The one thing I really do need is a shorter Headshok stem. Anyone know who is hoarding the aftermarket ones? A black Kore Elite would be really sweet.


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 Post subject: well
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:17 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 5:32 pm
Posts: 500
Location: Sweden
there's a lot of weight to shed on that thing! BB/cranks- Tires/tubes and that sort of thing would easily take some serious grams off!

but people always pressume that ti bikes are really featherlight, but compared to a carbon/ scandium frame they're often heavier. Thoose people don't really realize the purpose with ti-frames is not in my mind the weight savings but having a frame that haves all the magic from a steel frame but better and a bit lighter.


Headshock stems is no problem, even think that Hope makes some? just remember to put it on pointing down...:-)


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:44 am 
Retired Mod
Retired Mod
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Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:16 pm
Posts: 9939
Location: ÜberUnderbidder
nice find, Atom!

I had seen the ad, and didn't give it a second look, even after you had described it to me, I didn't put the two together.

I would leave the paint as well; I love a natural Ti finish, but one doesn't see painted Ti everyday. Plus, it's a cool story behind it.

I would get a reducer headset, and swap out the cannondale headshock system all together, maybe get a rigid fork on there, or a white SID. That should save some weight, in addition to swapping out the bb/crankset as mentioned, while adding a bit to its overall look.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:21 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 11:46 pm
Posts: 290
Location: NYC
I'm happy with the Headshok Rob. If I ever upgraded it I would put a Lefty on it. I purposely sought out the Fat Ti. The Headshok has always intrigued me but Cannondale frames bore me. I am looking forward to seeing what it can do.

I never really wanted a Ti frame because I was seeking something super light weight. Although I like the fact that Ti is resilient and light, I don't expect it to be feather weight. I feel confident on a bike that doesn't feel like it will have even the potential of breaking. I don't really like carbon bikes for this reason, for mountain use anyhow (I know this thought is not founded, carbon keeps getting better). I suppose I am speaking to the choir about the merits of Ti.

I have a pretty nice selection of components to mix and match to help lighten this thing up too. A Phil Wood Ti bb is probably the first to get added. A lighter front wheel has already been added. I have a set of Crosslands but I'm not sure if they are really much lighter than what's already on there. XTR v's and Ti skewers are in the works as well. A nice set of Race Face cranks would work, I'll have to see what i can dig up.

Oh: The claimed weight of the entire headshok system for this bike is 3 lbs. Supposed to be the lightest to date it was produced. Don't know if getting a reducer and a superlight/ super expensive new fork would help me.


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