Ricker's 88-89 Merlin

Ricker

Dirt Disciple
I is really pretty stiff- it is also quite short so the head angle is steep. One of the things I really liked about these early Merlins is the geometry. they were steep angled and short both in wheel base and chainstay length relative to what was popular at the time. the geometry made for a fast climbing bike here in Colorado and I liked that. This fork seems to make everything steeper and shorter, which I am not sure is a good thing for this bike. I am now used to 29'ers and their more relaxed geometry even though I ride a new bike that does very similar things. The Merlin seems like a handful downhill and the stem seems like it is really long at 135 mm and to think I ride a stem that is considered long by today's standards and is 80mm long. I would like to find a hooded dropout spinner Koski canti fork which is what I had on my old bike bitd. I have a restored U-brake version that I keep thinking about putting on this but now I (luckily) ran across an early IRD fork but I would have to lose the awesome Salsa stem with its roller... first world problems
 

Prodigal Son

Senior Retro Guru
I ask because i have a tange unicrown which lacks both rigidity and damping. I too wish for a Koski which could bring both to my rider, a fat city wicked.
 

Ricker

Dirt Disciple
I think the Koski's are one of the best rigid forks of their time. My first mountain bike was a Mongoose Kos-Kruiser with gears and atom drum brakes and that thing was so fast- just a little heavy. I think Koski was a sublime designer-
 

Prodigal Son

Senior Retro Guru
The triple butted specialized direct drive is also very good. And not rarified as the Koskis. I saw a Koski on the vintage market some yrs ago under 100 bucks and stupidly let it go.
 

Ricker

Dirt Disciple
I know how that goes- you see it and think "I'll pick that up later, it will still be there". I have found that they hide as spinner forks sometimes since I have seen those dropouts used on them- at least that what I have been led to believe. They have the same rake which is subtle so I have tend to think this might be true-
 

pw_pw_la

Senior Retro Guru
If I ever find a Koski I'll be a happy man.

On the wishlist, for sure.

Would pair so perfectly with a late 80's Merlin, too...
 

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