1992 Merlin Mountain Titanium

SF Klein

Senior Retro Guru
This build has been slower than I planned. Last spring, I found the frame on eBay in really nice shape - just a little damage to the "Titanium" decals. I bought a set of original Merlin decals just in case, but I kind of like the current decals and the patina they give to the bike. The frame included the original WTB Grease Guard bottom bracket and the bearings are still buttery smooth. This is a Rob Vandemark designed frame with the S-bend chain stays and seat stays for less flex than the earlier Joe Murray design with straight stays.

Sourcing a 1" fork with the appropriate steerer length was a lot harder than I thought it would be but I now have acquired an assortment of 1" rigid and suspension forks as I try to figure out the final direction. At the moment, I've set it up with a RockShox Judy XC that I tested on a preliminary buildup and I really liked the ride. Plus the finish works well with the white/silver/bit-of-green look that I'm going for to be a little different from the more typical black/silver setups I've seen. I decided I wasn't going to be as stringent with the period-correctness of the parts for this build although most are period correct. The Gravity Research brakes and levers are the newest parts and are from around 1996 (not too far off from the 1993 frame).

To finish it up, I want to replace the M735 XT rear derailleur with an M900 once I find one and then replace the XT RapidFire shifter pods with M900. Once that's all sorted, I'll finish up the Nokon cabling (which is a bit tedious) and decide on the saddle. There's a modern Selle Italia Flite Flow on it now but I'll either use a white perforated Flite Titanium or a white perforated Turbo in the final build. Will definitely have it all done by springtime!

Preliminary parts list:

Frame: 1993 Merlin Mountain

Fork: RockShox Judy XC

Headset: Shimano M900 XTR
Stem: Ibis titanium quill
Handlebar: Ibis titanium (Ancotech)
Grips: Oury
Bottle cage: King titanium

Brakes: Gravity Research NOS (green)
Brake Pads: Kool Stop
Brake Cables: Nokon
Brake Levers: Gravity Research NOS

Shifters: Shimano M900 XTR
Front Derailleur: Shimano M735 XT
Rear Derailleur: Shimano M900 XTR
Derailleur Cables: Nokon
Cassette: Shimano M900 XTR
Chain: Shimano Dura Ace 7701
Cranks: Topline (might switch to a titanium set I have)
Crank Bolts: Dia Compe
Chainrings: Shimano (or Action Tec titanium if I switch to ti cranks)
Bottom Bracket: Suntour Grease Guarde
Pedals: Suntour Bear Traps

Hub Skewers: Ultimate titanium (green)
Rims: Araya RM-20 NOS
Hubs: White Industries
Spokes: Wheelsmith
Tyres: Panaracer Magic

Saddle: Flite Titanium or Turbo (white perforated)
Seatpost: Syncros titanium

Weight: approx. 23 pounds (final weighing once finished)


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