Unidentified Ti MTB Frame(s) Any Idea?


Retro Newbie
I was in a local shop last year that mainly does repairs and used bike sales. While I was waiting for the proprietor's attention, I noticed what appeared to be a new titanium frame hanging on the wall. It had canti-bosses, cable-guides on the drive-side of the top tube (so pre V-brake era) and tapered chainstays with no chainstay bridge. (like a cyclocross frame or a Bontrager) Looking around the shop I saw that he had several of these frames. I asked about them.

He'd gotten them as NOS from a distributor. No other information. No idea where or who built them. He only wanted $500 CAD each for them. I bought one to build up as a work bike. Old school MTB geometry, similar to an early Merlin or an old Litespeed. 15.5" frame size with a 21.75" top tube length, bottom bracket 12" high (ground to centre) when using 26 x 1.8" tires. Cool! I like high bottom brackets. Straight-gauge head tube for 1+1/8", 1.25" diameter main tubes, 5/8" seatstays and tapered chainstays with no bridge. Top-tube cable-guides are alloy, riveted on. Water bottle bosses are also riveted.

I built it up with a Tsunami rigid disc-fork. Mostly using it for food delivery but I've taken it on a few short trail rides. Very bouncy, springy ride, much like an '89 Merlin I used to have. The welds on the main triangle are pretty ugly. They remind me a bit of a MiG frame I had for a short while. I love this frame so much though, I bought a second one to build up as my 'fun' bike. Somebody had stuck a Salsa decal on the head tube of the second frame but I've confirmed it is definitely not a Salsa.

Anybody out there have any idea of who made these? I'm guessing by the drive-side cable routing that they're mid-90s.


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Retro Newbie
Perhaps this seller may know? May be worth asking.

Ha ha! That certainly looks like the identical tubing, braze-ons, dropouts. (and weld quality) Hope my rear triangle doesn't become a seperate item like that one did. ;)


Old School Grand Master
A shot in the dark, I have a vague memory that the REI sports outlet did their own Ti MTB frames at one point.


Retro Newbie
A shot in the dark, I have a vague memory that the REI sports outlet did their own Ti MTB frames at one point.
I remember Supergo also had one in their catalogue back in the early/mid 1990s. So far, only that scary looking rear triangle on Ebay is a match.