1989 Merlin Mountain

I managed to finish off the build this week and get a few different types of rides in, more on the ride later.

If I had to pick a favorite from my current stable I couldn’t. This Merlin would basically tie with my brodie. It really ticks every box, I love the way it looks and the way it rides.

I wouldn’t change one component at this point, I was careful to only swap out a few key items and to keep the bike fairly original as it came to me already good to go.

Major bucket list bike now checked off :cool:

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Few more pics:

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Finished build spec:

Frame: 1989 Merlin Mountain (17”)
Fork: Kona Track Two

Headset: Deore XT HP-M730
Stem: Salsa Moto
Handlebar: Merlin Titanium
Grips: Ritchey WCS TrueGrip

Front Brake: Deore XT BR-M732

Rear Brake: Deore XT BR-M731 (with Brodie booster)
Brake Pads: Deore XT/Kool-Stop
Brake Levers: Dia-Compe SS-5 (MK-II)

Shifters: Deore XT SL-M732
Front Derailleur: Deore XT FD-M735
Rear Derailleur: Deore XT RD-M735
Cassette: Shimano CS-HG41 11-28
Chain: Sram
Cranks: Cook Bros RSR
Chainrings: Sugino (46/36/24)
Bottom Bracket: Merlin steel spindle
Pedals: Suntour XC 9000

Hub Skewers: Cook Bros
Rims: Wolber AT 18 (32H)
Hubs: Deore XT HB-M730/FH-M732
Tires: Vittoria Spinx 2.0

Saddle: Selle Italia Flite Titanium
Seatpost: Syncros Titanium

Seatpost QR: American Classic

Weight: 22 lbs 10oz
Ride report:

I took the Merlin out to a nearby trail which has a very steep hill climb. I always use this climb as my turn around and the descent is pretty great with some nice rolling turns after it mostly levels off at the bottom.

I also got out on quite a few casual rides just tooling around the great beach town of Birch Bay in Washington state this long weekend.

I’d say all the hype about the titanium ride is justified. For me it rides a lot like steel, stiff where you want it a compliant where you need it. But the compliant feel of it is just a bit more “silky”. Not sure how to better describe it.

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perfection! makes me really want a track2 fork on my own merlin.

interesting to see the hg41 cassette without the huge label. i've always felt it makes them look so cheap and shoddy, but simply removed and it looks right at home on a vintage example! good to know.