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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:14 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:45 am
Posts: 486
Location: Cambridgeshire
Can you believe it, I've been looking for a Merlin frame specifically in size 17.5" centre-to-top and then two come along in the same week. Not knowing which one to go for I got both! Now I haven't got a clue which one to start off with?

Frames

1993 (definitely) Merlin Titanium exactly 1761 grams inc ti bb, ck headset and tune qr
2003 (I think) Merlin XLM exactly 1299 grams bare

Old or New?

No specific idea what to buy and which frame to build up first. I'm tempted to build the Merlin XLM up ultra modern and completely bypass the 2003 thing. With the Merlin Titanium I'm thinking XT 737 (chainset/cantilevers/mechs) and XT 739 (shifters/levers).

Forks

I'm struggling here. The '93 looks like a 390 a-c and with a 1" steerer I'm going to find it hard to find a suitable fork. I'm happy with either rigid or suspension so I welcome any thoughts on this.

The '03 is either a Pace RC31 job or a 80mm travel fork. I'm guessing the a-c will be around 440?

Decals

The '03 decals are looking a bit worn. Should I take them off and replace them? If so, how as they look baked on!

Builds

If anyone has any ideas please share them as I'm a bit stuck what to do!!!

EDIT - Decided to start on the 1993 build first.

EDIT 18.06.15 - XT 737 Shifters / Brakes, Cantilevers and Chainset received.

Cheers,

Andy


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merlin1.jpg
merlin1.jpg [ 389.4 KiB | Viewed 1210 times ]


Last edited by konasexthreerider on Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:36 pm 
.o.T.M Triple Crown Winner
.o.T.M Triple Crown Winner
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Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2006 12:59 pm
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Location: Sunny South of France
No choice : keep the 93.
2003 was litespeed made and not a real Merlin…


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:45 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:06 pm
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Location: The Peth
Always the 93' :wink:


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:05 pm 
BoTM | Gold | PoTM
BoTM | Gold | PoTM
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Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:20 pm
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Location: Sunny Cornwall
Don't be expecting the 2003 to be favourite here. Post the same question in the 98 section and you might get a different answer :D


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:21 pm 
gold | rider | rBoTM
gold | rider | rBoTM

Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:06 pm
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Location: Worthing, West Sussex
Although I know nothing about ti frames, I do prefer the look of the '93 one.
What a dilemma, I feel your pain! :lol:

Mike


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:35 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:27 pm
Posts: 844
I always dreamed of owning of the early Merlins so this partly playing devils advocate.

Shame the 2003 doesn't have v-brake mounts - as I'd definitely go with that if so.

It partly depends on what you're used to riding, budget, how you plan to use it, and fit. Personally, my back now complains about an all day ride with my ass in the air on a retro ride. Actually it always did come to think about it.

I think you will have more choice with the newer frame. I recently "swapped" an old very well respected titanium frame for a more modern, but still the same size, titanium bike (but still fairly retro in it's sensibilities - v-brakes/rigid forks) - and found it a much better ride/fit for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:37 pm 
.o.T.M Triple Crown Winner
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Location: Sunny South of France
raidan73 wrote:
Don't be expecting the 2003 to be favourite here. Post the same question in the 98 section and you might get a different answer :D


You're right :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:38 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:45 am
Posts: 486
Location: Cambridgeshire
The only gripe I've got with the '93 is the cantilever hanger. I hate cantilevers! Maybe it's because I'm rubbish at setting them up. V-brakes I'm fine with.

However, I hate the look of unused cantilever mounts so I've got not choice but to go that way.

One question....Pace Suspension forks or Rigid forks?


Last edited by konasexthreerider on Wed Jun 10, 2015 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 6:09 pm 
BoTM | Gold | PoTM
BoTM | Gold | PoTM
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Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:20 pm
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Location: Sunny Cornwall
I prefer rigid but Antstark and Minifreak have both got nice Merlin's with Pace forks if you want to check out their builds


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:03 pm 
BoTM Winner
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Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:03 am
Posts: 1842
Location: Vancouver British Columbia Canada
how about a kona track two.
they look good with one of them.


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