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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:04 pm 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider

Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:14 pm
Posts: 3039
Location: Cheshire
I bought this yesterday

http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=194407

looking for information however I dont think it is a US made rock lobster, i suspect it is probably one of the first merlin frames made in taiwan badged as rock lobster

the serial number is

G66400060

will post some pics up later to help with a fuller identification


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:31 pm 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider

Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:22 pm
Posts: 7306
Location: Hove
Notwithstanding what the seller's recollection is, everything about that bike says 1997/8 Rock Lobster Expert. Certainly the build is from then, but the frame has a detachable seat clamp, cable stops on top of the top tube and no canti bridge, unlike the early NTi frames. They also had 1" head tubes incidentally. The gusset is also much more 97 than 94.

I don't recognise the serial number format, but more likely than not it's saying it was built in late 96, consistent with it being a 97 model. I don't know what maker was 'G'.

Do the stickers on the seat tube say what the tubeset is?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:11 pm 
Gold Trader
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Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:11 am
Posts: 1227
Location: Birmingham
See my link Mate & you'll see mine is a '94. So as Anthony says, your bought bike is later than that as the early models were Tange Cro-moly...I've never found out any more. But you could always speak to Merlin direct...

This came up on an alternative forum...
Bill Nicol of N.T.I. was looking for kind of an affordable 'house brand' to sell, he knew of me and figured that my designs were well liked by the locals and could be duplicated as limited production frames made in Taiwan. Bill offered me a kind of partnership and we proceeded, making about 400-500 from 1993-1998. Now the range has expanded to have aluminum and titanium versions offered by Merlin Cycles Ltd. who took up the partnership when N.T.I. closed its doors in 1998. You would have to ask Merlin about the production numbers for the frames produced after N.T.I. folded.

So, could be yours is 1998 onwards...


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:18 pm 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider

Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:14 pm
Posts: 3039
Location: Cheshire
some pics


Attachments:
P1020530.JPG
P1020530.JPG [ 170.46 KiB | Viewed 1858 times ]
P1020528.JPG
P1020528.JPG [ 154.31 KiB | Viewed 1858 times ]
P1020527.JPG
P1020527.JPG [ 175.69 KiB | Viewed 1858 times ]
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:04 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:09 am
Posts: 9399
Location: Devon
Anthony wrote:
Do the stickers on the seat tube say what the tubeset is?


Heat treated 7005. I would have expected Easton tubes, but the frame is very nice.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:13 pm 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider

Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:22 pm
Posts: 7306
Location: Hove
This is the best picture I have from a Merlin advert, December 1997 - very similar to yours except for the canti bridge, so your frame must be from a later batch during 1998. The frame was £199, and Merlin used to offer really keen prices back then, so he could have had it built up with full STX-RC including hand-built wheels with db spokes for £499. Believe it or not, the Indy SL was c£275, so the bike probably cost £750-775.


Attachments:
1997 Rock Lobster Expert AL Merlin advert.jpg
1997 Rock Lobster Expert AL Merlin advert.jpg [ 210.1 KiB | Viewed 1843 times ]
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:21 pm 
Gold Trader
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Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:11 am
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Location: Birmingham
Nice find! Bit of a gap though in dating it? Hardly Antiques Roadshow...14 years old but still plenty Retro, or does it need moving to the '98 Onwards...Still, a lovely bike for what you paid...


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:46 pm 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider

Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:14 pm
Posts: 3039
Location: Cheshire
A very big thank you for all the information, there is very little wrong with the bike apart from the patina from use, as I will add to this its not an issue. Out of curiosity tomorrow I will weigh and publish, it does strike me as lighter than most of the retro bikes I have.
For me it is a learning curve and I get as much interest from it as well as the tinkering and riding


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:44 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:41 am
Posts: 78
Location: In the workshop
Probably not much help but the Kinesis 7005 sticker on the tubing is identical to that on my 2010 Merlin Malt 1 frame. The frame number on that started with a 'K' as does the frame number on my 2010 Rock Lobster Team Tig SL, which is Easton Superlight tubing.

You got a bargain there, looks superb!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:26 pm 
Gold Trader
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Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:11 am
Posts: 1227
Location: Birmingham
bhill22 wrote:
For me it is a learning curve and I get as much interest from it as well as the tinkering and riding

Damn Right!!! That's what it's all about...There's a few Rock Lobsters on here, we should form a mini club...


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