And so Fast Forward roughly 15 years...
I'm laying the blame squarely with this site! After flicking around here OOGLING the builds of bike far out of my reach BITD and even more so now, I tested the water and posted up a request for decals after having no joy with Merlin or Paul Sadof himself...
Being a fellow Lobster owner, Makster replied & posted me out a spare set he had. & so my downfall (financially) began with Paypal gifts being sent like they were going out of fashion.
The frame & forks were sent to 'Reality Works' in Bristol for a coating. The parts over the Summer that I was collecting, got stripped of every bolt, degreased, polished & rebuilt. It was just like the old days, stripping stuff down once the rear mech refused to work after plenty of rides in the winter mud. Plus the smell of 'Autosol' on your fingers never leaves you...
Parts came from all corners of the UK, Germany & USA. I got the call from the paint shop to collect & so drove to Bristol...It was a scorching hot day & when I took it outside, the Sun just bounced off it!! AMAZING! This was it...I fully understand now why many of these bikes never get to be a rider...
Since that day it's taken more waiting on parts, time out due to work, my Old Man for polishing, machining & fixing things for me when it needs more than a hammer & screwdriver...but eventually I got it built. Completed, (well almost, just a couple of snagging parts to get) ready to ride.
Frame: Rock Lobster Expert 1994 Tig Welded Double Butted Tange Cromoly.
Fork: Rock Shox Judy XC 1995. Rebuilt with Kronos Springs, NOS Judy SL Aluminium Crown & Steerer, repainted a more Gold colour with a Metallic Flake
Headset: Chris King
Stem: Control Tech 1" Aheadset
Handlebar: Control Tech Carbon Fibre
Grips: ODI Attack
Brakes: Shimano XT M737 Cantilevers
Brake Pads: M70 XTR
Brake Cables: Courtesy of SithLord
Cantilever cable hangers: Shimano A & B Linkwires
Brake Levers/Shifters: Shimano XT M738 8spd STI - NOS
Front Derailleur: Shimano XT M737
Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT M737
Derailleur Cables: Courtesy of SithLord
Cassette: Shimano XT M737 11-30
Chain: Shimano IG91
Cranks: Shimano XT M737
Chainrings: Shimano XT M737 IG 22-32-42
Bottom Bracket: Shimano UN72 68mm Shell 113mm Axle
Pedals: Time Atac Carbon
Hub Skewers: Shimano XT M737
Rims: Mavic 231
Hubs: Shimano XT M737
Spokes: DT Swiss Double Butted
Tyres: IRC Mythos Kevlar Skinwall
Saddle: Selle Titanium Flite
Seatpost: Control Tech 27.0mm
Seatpost Binder: Rock Lobster Supplied
Weight: TBC (But surprisingly not too heavy)
It'll be an awesome Xmas day this year! 15 years on & the Steel Lobster is having a rebirth (Surely there's a message in there somewhere?) going to take it round my local bridleways for a gentle spin. The Sun is shining & the Snow is still glistening, great days ahead...
So to end this 3 part drama I'd like to Thank everybody whom contributed & continues to do so with information, advice & pleas for help. All of those who sacrificed parts to help me get my parts list built up and those who bought from me to help fund this in the instance.
A BIG Thanks go to Makster (as a fellow Lobster owner) for kick starting this with the decals, inspiration, chats and info on this build and to SithLord for all his Technical Input when I asked & the fact he bought nearly all of my stuff to fund this!
Cheers Guys! It's been & continues to be a pleasure...hope to see any of you on future ride outs.
A Very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year