Rock Lobster Expert 1994


Gold Trader
I think it was about July this year when I randomly found this site via Google. A Forum member by the name 'Makster' responded to a request for some Rock Lobster Decals after an enthusiastic (forget the expense) thought of rebuilding the Lobster frame that had spent most of its time against the garage wall in a VERY unloved state.

Spent some time flicking through the site and found the Spec sheet, which I completed a good few times before ticking off parts I wanted or could get hold of.

This is one of the 'Expert' frames that Sadof licensed to Bill Nicol of NTI Trading. The frames were assembled in Taiwan, but to a licensed 753 Builder. However the frame is Tange Double Butted CroMoly. I remember driving down to the lockup with 2 Clubmates and 2 of us both bought a Lobster each, mine in Blue, the other in Green. I need to find out more about NTI as my mate at the time worked for 'On yer Bike' so possibly had NTI as a contact from the shop.

I spent a week or 2 building it up, this was at the end of the summer prior to going out to Vail Colorado for the 1994 MTB World Championships. I had a usual mixture of XT 732, 735 with upgrades such as Royce TI BB, Grafton Joystix in Ano Blue, Onza, Project 2's, Gripshift 7spd.

Rode heaps of Singletrack & the World's X-Country course around Vail. Drove to Moab, bought a pair of Mag 21 SL-Ti's from Poison Spider Bicycles and rode the SlickRock Trail.

I don't know why, but by the following year I was on a Trek 8000 that I bought off my Clubmate and the Lobster kinda got shelved. I have no recollection as to why though? Eventually after a couple more Worlds Trips, I fell out of MTBing and took up the road, where I've remained until this year.

Through a Mate from Australia who had bought a Trek Fuel, my fire had been rekindled. Came ever so close to just buying a Full Susser after riding FTD at Cannock Chase on a hired Trek Fuel. Rode at Coed y Brenin & Afan over the Summer & the MTB Bug had really taken a grip. Funny how you never lose the knack. YEP! I was S**T! Then...

Had a clear out of my Dad's garage, found some willing buyers here & over the coming months raised a princely sum for parts to get the Lobster back as a rider...



  • RL_Original_1.jpg
    224.1 KB · Views: 9,325
  • RL_Original_2.jpg
    229.6 KB · Views: 9,325


Gold Trader
Part Deux...

More mystery looking back at photos of the Lobster. Seems for some reason, whether Sadoff withdrew his license or NTI went & rebadged the frames themselves? The Lobster Expert took on the name of 'Amazon'. Pic attached with the decals on. I think this was taken around 1995 as the photo on the wall of Sean Yates in his Yellow Jersey was the previous Tour. Look how shiny those Mag 21's are!! :cool:

Absolute disgraceful what I did with those! They lingered at the bottom of the wardrobe leaking oil & not getting used...had a clearout & took them to the 'Tip'...Yep! Tossed them into the recycling truck!! :shock:

Looking at that image again, I think this got built but never rode again by myself. The wheels on this (Mavic 230's) I still have & are Spanking new! Once I'd moved fully over to the Trek 8000, the Lobster got a slight rebuild for my Dad which he used occasionally to ride to work along the canals...


  • A Dying Lobster.jpg
    A Dying Lobster.jpg
    159.4 KB · Views: 9,282
  • RL_Amazon.jpg
    224.7 KB · Views: 9,282


Gold Trader
And so Fast Forward roughly 15 years...

I'm laying the blame squarely with this site! After flicking around here OOGLING the builds of bike far out of my reach BITD and even more so now, I tested the water and posted up a request for decals after having no joy with Merlin or Paul Sadof himself...

Being a fellow Lobster owner, Makster replied & posted me out a spare set he had. & so my downfall (financially) began with Paypal gifts being sent like they were going out of fashion.

The frame & forks were sent to 'Reality Works' in Bristol for a coating. The parts over the Summer that I was collecting, got stripped of every bolt, degreased, polished & rebuilt. It was just like the old days, stripping stuff down once the rear mech refused to work after plenty of rides in the winter mud. Plus the smell of 'Autosol' on your fingers never leaves you...

Parts came from all corners of the UK, Germany & USA. I got the call from the paint shop to collect & so drove to Bristol...It was a scorching hot day & when I took it outside, the Sun just bounced off it!! AMAZING! This was it...I fully understand now why many of these bikes never get to be a rider...

Since that day it's taken more waiting on parts, time out due to work, my Old Man for polishing, machining & fixing things for me when it needs more than a hammer & screwdriver...but eventually I got it built. Completed, (well almost, just a couple of snagging parts to get) ready to ride.

Frame: Rock Lobster Expert 1994 Tig Welded Double Butted Tange Cromoly.

Fork: Rock Shox Judy XC 1995. Rebuilt with Kronos Springs, NOS Judy SL Aluminium Crown & Steerer, repainted a more Gold colour with a Metallic Flake

Headset: Chris King
Stem: Control Tech 1" Aheadset
Handlebar: Control Tech Carbon Fibre
Grips: ODI Attack

Brakes: Shimano XT M737 Cantilevers
Brake Pads: M70 XTR
Brake Cables: Courtesy of SithLord
Cantilever cable hangers: Shimano A & B Linkwires
Brake Levers/Shifters: Shimano XT M738 8spd STI - NOS

Front Derailleur: Shimano XT M737
Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT M737
Derailleur Cables: Courtesy of SithLord
Cassette: Shimano XT M737 11-30
Chain: Shimano IG91
Cranks: Shimano XT M737
Chainrings: Shimano XT M737 IG 22-32-42
Bottom Bracket: Shimano UN72 68mm Shell 113mm Axle
Pedals: Time Atac Carbon

Hub Skewers: Shimano XT M737
Rims: Mavic 231
Hubs: Shimano XT M737
Spokes: DT Swiss Double Butted
Tyres: IRC Mythos Kevlar Skinwall
Tubes: Continental

Saddle: Selle Titanium Flite
Seatpost: Control Tech 27.0mm
Seatpost Binder: Rock Lobster Supplied

Weight: TBC (But surprisingly not too heavy)

It'll be an awesome Xmas day this year! 15 years on & the Steel Lobster is having a rebirth (Surely there's a message in there somewhere?) going to take it round my local bridleways for a gentle spin. The Sun is shining & the Snow is still glistening, great days ahead...

So to end this 3 part drama I'd like to Thank everybody whom contributed & continues to do so with information, advice & pleas for help. All of those who sacrificed parts to help me get my parts list built up and those who bought from me to help fund this in the instance.

A BIG Thanks go to Makster (as a fellow Lobster owner) for kick starting this with the decals, inspiration, chats and info on this build and to SithLord for all his Technical Input when I asked & the fact he bought nearly all of my stuff to fund this! :LOL: :LOL:

Cheers Guys! It's been & continues to be a pleasure...hope to see any of you on future ride outs.

A Very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year


  • RL_RTa.jpg
    220.9 KB · Views: 9,268
  • RL_RT_Forks.jpg
    171.4 KB · Views: 9,268
  • RL_RT_Wishbone.jpg
    173 KB · Views: 9,268
  • RL_RT_Left.jpg
    189.4 KB · Views: 9,268


Retrobike Rider
BoTM Winner
Great build and an even better story behind it :cool:
Uber cool bike!
What a shame you just missed out on getting it into BOTM as I think it would have walked it.
Great work mate :D

racer x

Gold Trader
Nice bike mate looks new what happend to your blue grafton cranks :?: Are you putting them on your bike again they looked fantastic on your bike :cool:


Gold Trader
The Graftons got stripped back to polished late 90's...rebuilt onto a Ti Obed that I eventually sold along with my passion for MTBing...

So no idea what happened to the Cranks? I've seen them go for silly money too!...


Gold Trader
makster":1mt9w048 said:
What a shame you just missed out on getting it into BOTM

Did I miss it?? I wasn't in it for the glory! or the accolades. You know Mate, it's gonna be a rider! & I thought I'd sling it in as something different after all the effort I've put in last 6 Months...

Should've got yours in too Mark...but we can wait & get a pair in! ;)


Gold Trader
Thanks for the comments! I'm really not showboating, but as you can tell from the story, this bike has a personal history & sentiments along the way make this reincarnation a special build...

& Yes! It does look that Good!! :LOL: :LOL:

Just gotta decide if to ride it?...

Latest posts