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 Post subject: 1994/5 Homebuilt Merlin
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:30 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:10 pm
Posts: 46
Location: Nr Exeter, Devon
I thought I’d document the build of my mtb as I built it back in 1994/5 on the money I got from my paper round and my Saturday job. It all started with a pair of mavic 238 wheels with s/steel spokes and Alivio hubs and a 7sp rear crank. At the time I didn’t know what I was going to build but I knew I wanted a cross country/light down hill, hard tail bike.

I did some homework and fell across Merlin cycles advert in one of the magazines, and after speaking with a well knowledged friend, I settled on one of Merlins aluminium frames, I nearly got a chrome frame! Glad I didn’t now.... :facepalm:

Anyway, built on a very minimal budget and starting out with a shimano LX rear, Sachs wave grip shifts, LX front crank, XT front mech and solid front forks, that was about the best I could do at the time with a loan from the parents.

Over the next year I was lucky enough to get a pair of rockshox Quadra 21r’s , Sachs quartz rear mech and upgraded the hubs and a silent ratchet and a 8 speed rear crank. The only thing I didn’t want to change at the time and still don’t is the LX front crank set, I seem to remember that the small ring was the smallest available at the time and I found myself able to climb things that my friends couldn’t! :twisted:

Fast forward 23 odd years, thousands of miles and several dozen pairs of tyres and here we are.

I started a thread on the general pages about rebuilding the front forks. Those of you who noticed, the front forks have collapsed in the photos.

http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewto ... p;t=381253

Here is the bike as she stands today, after adding a few new Christmassy bits. Bottle, cage, mud guards (don’t care to think how many ‘crud catchers’ I’ve broken over the years), new brake cable inners (a bit hard to notice) and a recently fitted ‘flux madison’ seat.

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Saddle number three, the cracking Selle Royale.

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New comfort...

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The ancient stopping power, tektro v brakes, always done me good... With new cable lead ins.

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Old and reliable...

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New bottle, cage and pump.

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New rubber to go on. Never had 2.2’s on before, didn’t think they’d fit in the forks.

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New under seat bag (my favourite type, stops my jersey getting stuck if I’m hanging off of the back)

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I’m still waiting on the elastomers for the forks and a new set of brake blocks.


Last edited by pingu_turbo on Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:22 am 
Gold Trader
Gold Trader
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Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:16 pm
Posts: 4118
Location: The Pub
I did wonder exactly what year mine was, I guessed at 95 and seeing yours confirms my thoughts. Like yours, mine has an equally odd mix of parts but all works very well together and rides better than...errrh... ahem... most of my more desirable retro rides :oops:


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:04 am 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:10 pm
Posts: 46
Location: Nr Exeter, Devon
Thanks for the photo, looks great in that colour. Do you know if your bike was a factory built bike or a Heinz 57 like mine?

This evening I got on with a couple of jobs.

Finishing changing the perishables, brake blocks. These still work great but I am so out of touch with what is best, I started with some blocks that had good reviews on several sites.

The old kool stop’s and Clark’s elite

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Whilst the brakes were undone, I changed the tyres. From 195’s to 2.2’s, according to the forks, that’s the largest I can use.

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I have also bought a new set of forks, on the advice of others on my fork rebuild thread, a pair of MAG 21’s. Believed to be in good mechanical condition, with some flaky paint on the legs. I may repaint them yellow to match this bike or just leave them as they are. This bike has a lot of patina about it, new paint would look silly! More on those when they arrive.


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