Retrobike Forum Index

It is currently Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:28 pm

* Login   * Register * Search  * FAQ



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 36 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:22 pm 
Retro Guru
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:47 am
Posts: 466
Location: belgium
absolutely beautiful


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:28 pm 
.o.T.M Triple Crown Winner
.o.T.M Triple Crown Winner
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2006 12:59 pm
Posts: 3135
Location: Sunny South of France
So cool ! 8)
And nice pictures !

But why "Merlin" ? :?:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:16 pm 
North Wales Deputy AEC
North Wales Deputy AEC
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 12:50 am
Posts: 6218
An amazing find! What's the backstory?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:15 pm 
BoTY & PoTM Winner
BoTY & PoTM Winner
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:19 pm
Posts: 7055
Location: KEEPING THEM SAFE FROM HARM, ANYWAY I CAN....!
[quote="mrkawasaki"]An amazing find! What's the backstory?[/quote

You cant help but wonder, .

A very interesting bike for sure. I like it.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:21 pm 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider

Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:22 pm
Posts: 7306
Location: Hove
Rod_Saetan wrote:
The geometry is also, as you can see, a little relaxed, it rides OK though, I have it set up for use to pootle along the canal with the good lady wife, hence the Crossroads II tyres, its pretty heavy too, despite the fairly good tubeset and full M730 build, the wheels weigh a ton, and I cannot recommend the Rando M4 rims for anyone who changes tyres or gets punctures a lot.

It does seem to have a head angle in the region of 68. As ever though, a shorter stem will always liven up over-relaxed steering. 68 degrees with that length of stem is a no no, 68 degrees with a 10cm or less stem is right back in the land of the living.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:02 pm 
.o.T.M Triple Crown Winner
.o.T.M Triple Crown Winner
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2006 12:59 pm
Posts: 3135
Location: Sunny South of France
24pouces wrote:
But why "Merlin" ? :?:

bmx4130crmo wrote:
can somebody explain me why this bike called "merlin"?

Rod_Saetan wrote:
I honestly dont know much about it. It is not from the Merlin 'mail-order' shop, but I believe a Merlin badged, Bob Jackson built custom frame. There are some similarities in terms of construction between this and another lugged/brazed BJB MTB I used to have, however BJB claim that the frame number is not one of theirs.…

We lern things everyday in Retrobike… :D


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:30 pm 
Old School Grand Master
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:40 pm
Posts: 3461
Location: The Royal Society of Insobriety
Anthony wrote:
It does seem to have a head angle in the region of 68. As ever though, a shorter stem will always liven up over-relaxed steering. 68 degrees with that length of stem is a no no, 68 degrees with a 10cm or less stem is right back in the land of the living.


That stem is 110mm centre to centre - the steering feels better since I changed the headset and put the stem up a little though, but its still not the most nimble of bikes. Now sporting a Suntour seatpost, Suntour brake levers, some no longer NOS Michelin period tyres and a blue suede Turbo too, plus I have a correct Merlin Cycles head tube decal to fit - Ill take a pic of that once done.

As to how it rides, well its alright, I dont love riding it, but I have other bikes that I do love riding so its no big deal.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:28 pm 
Old School Grand Master
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:40 pm
Posts: 3461
Location: The Royal Society of Insobriety
Something of an update, both to the bike, and to the background of the bike.

A recent find by our very own Mr nevadasmith - http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=250974 - struck a chord with regards to the frame shape, and some of the little details, I studied his pictures diligently, looked at my bike, and asked a few questions, and the 3 year old mystery of what exactly my 'Merlin' was is now solved. An email to Bicycles by Design and a response from Rob confirmed my suspicions:

Quote:
Your bike is definitely one of ours and the frame was completed on 16th June 1989 - hence the frame number...

Just to clarify how we worked and named our frames: Frames bearing the "Swallow" name have only ever been as one off bespoke frames for individual customers. We always used Reynolds or Columbus tubing (we'd choose tubing to suit rider and style) quality or hand cut lugs or lugless construction plus Cinelli cast bottom bracket shells and fork crowns. Certainly while we were based in Essex 1981-91 Swallow frames were built by Peter Bird or myself. Swallow frame numbers are prefixed SW and are sequential.

Our frames with other bird names: Toucan (tandem), Giffon, Merlin, Ptarmigan, Wren, Swift, Osprey and Puffin were all what could be called semi-custom with set designs using standard tube sets, standard lugs or lugless construction, pressed steel bottom brackets, standard braze-ons (with some options at an up-charge.The frames were made to measure, rather than fully bespoke and were still made by Peter or myself, with some of the work was done by apprentices and other employees. At the time these were still very high quality frames compared to other sectors of the industry.

Fitting SA drum brakes was not an oddity as disc brakes were not available back then and the drum brake gave all weather performance, compared to basic cantilever or the useless U brakes.

Looking at the photo the bike looks all original (and in good condition) including Columbus tubing decals and the '80s smoked paint. The smoke effect was made using a candle or burning our brazing torch 'dirty' around the tubes before the final clear lacquer coat was applied.


Which is pretty cool, nice to know for sure anyway.

This provided the motivation to put some effort into 'finishing' it, so I have now more or less nailed the spec, having tracked down a Swallow designed seat post, a British made steel stem with more normal geometry and a saddle, tyres and brake lever change. I would like to track down a pump to fit the braze-on as it looks a bit lonely hanging out there, and I shall be ordering some new decals for the frame from Rob.

I shall update with some more dungeon pics in a bit.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:33 pm 
Feature Bike
Feature Bike
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:13 pm
Posts: 1143
Location: York-ish UK
Missed this the first time round: what a cool development! Has it got the little swallow embossed in the seatstay bridge?


With Nevada's, this and the odd pink one from a while ago, I think we've now got three of these rare birds on RB.

It's turning out to be a nice Spring after all.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:44 pm 
Old School Grand Master
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:40 pm
Posts: 3461
Location: The Royal Society of Insobriety
Yes Doc, it does have a bird on the seat stay bridge, HOWEVER, I always assumed this was a Columbus Dove, as it's Columbus tubing?


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 36 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], grarea, Last Exit, Piperdave, pipmeister and 31 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

About Us

Follow Retrobike

Other cool stuff

All content © 2005-2015 Retrobike unless otherwise stated.
Cookies Policy.
bikedeals - the best bike deals in one place
FatCOGS - Fat Chance Owner's Group

Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group