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  1. #1
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    Sub-23lb Ti Hardtail - easy or hard?

    I have a ten year old Merlin HT frame that I want to build into a really light trailblazer! It will only see logging roads and light use so the parts don't have to be bomb-proof.....however I don't want to spend a fortune to build it My goal is to have a sub-23lb bike and I could live without a suspension fork if needed but I would use a 3" fork if the price and weight were right.

    Can you weight experts suggest dsome good parts to use for the build? I am thinking of a simple XTR 9spd drivetrain (2001 MY), Thomson post, Flite saddle, light bars and 450g tires. What about some inexpensive but light wheels, stem, fork, etc?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I'm working on almost the same thing right now. My frame isn't as old (2001 Merlin Fat Ti) but I'm building it up with older XTR stuff, Cannondale Headshock Fatty, Bontrager Race X Lite wheels and Karma tires. It used to be set up with full XT and XT/717 wheels and weighed about 22.5 so I think you could get it under 23.

  3. #3
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    easy. my zaskar is sub 23 with cheap parts:

    chris king headset ($80, came with a zaskar frame, xtr controls, front derailler, xt rear, misc parts)
    98 sid, 63 mm travel, used from a swap meet $50 (i had an 80mm skareb on an m2 stumpjumper, i did not like the feel or handling of the higher front end. for your frame which is similar era, i'd say keep it under 80mm travel or a rigid fork)
    american classic wheelset (200 off ebay, get the wtb's from bobs-bicycles.com which are also good and light and cheap)
    panaracer dart/smoke tires (not the lightest, but cheap with excellent traction)
    performance ultralight tubes
    use alien aluminum seatpost
    performance brakes, saddle
    easton e 90 riser (got on a special for $69 from cambria, the performance carbon riser is light too for $50, but dont get their carbon flat bar. its too narrow.)
    sette stem ($25 pricepoint.com)
    xtr controls
    xtr front derailler
    alivio rear derailler (temp replacement for the xt that got bent, will be getting a shimano 105)
    ultegra 12-27 cassette
    sram 9 spd chain (getting a kmc x9 or x10 from cambria)
    deore lx hollowtech 2 cranks/bb ($109 on sale @ performance)
    crank bros candy c pedals
    titec pork rind grips

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by R332
    I have a ten year old Merlin HT frame that I want to build into a really light trailblazer! It will only see logging roads and light use so the parts don't have to be bomb-proof.....however I don't want to spend a fortune to build it My goal is to have a sub-23lb bike and I could live without a suspension fork if needed but I would use a 3" fork if the price and weight were right.

    Can you weight experts suggest dsome good parts to use for the build? I am thinking of a simple XTR 9spd drivetrain (2001 MY), Thomson post, Flite saddle, light bars and 450g tires. What about some inexpensive but light wheels, stem, fork, etc?

    Thanks
    Sure, it's easy. Fortune? Weeeeeell ...... that's another story.

    At least we know you'll be using v-brake's with an older frame like your's so that's help to save you some weight right there. If you don't mind the name then Tektro MT-15 v-brake's are very inexpensive and light (165 per end without tuning - same as Avid but less $$$). You can get them lighter by buying an aluminum tuning kit to save 20-30 grams (talk to Nino).

    You can occasionally find Noleen Mega Air forks on E-Bay that have 80/100 mm travel. Very light (a true sub 3-pound fork), stiff with 32 mm stanchions and you can still find rebuild kits for them. Happy hunting.

    KCNC has light stem's and scandium handlebar's (same thing as Control Tech) that you don't have to pay a premium for. You can find the bars for ~$65.

    IF you can live with it try a Dura Ace rear derailleur and 12-27T cassette to save some weight.

    Token has a carbon crankset available that they claim to be 510 grams with ring's and hardware - I don't know any more than that. (might be finding out though)

    Light Bike's is/was having a sale for KNC X9SL chains. Might be worth looking into.

    Sounds like it'll be a nice ride when you're done. I always wanted a ti HT.

    Oh great, now I gotta buy one!

    Good luck and keep us updated, eh!?!!?!??!

    Oh yeah, wheels! Mmmmmm, American Classic MTB 350. Arrhgrhgrhrhrghrgrh.
    I ..... need ..... DIRT!!!!!

    ... and cookies.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the info, this is going to be a fun project!!! Maybe I should set my sights higher and shoot for a sub-22lb bike

    -Is a few year old Rolf satellite wheel set light or heavy?

    -The Tektro V-brakes are a bit off-putting, what else can you suggest without breaking the bank?

    -I think the seatpost, stem and bars will be easy but I will look at the KCNC stuff before I buy.

    -The crankset will be tough. The XTs sound a little ho-hum for a nice Ti bike and the carbon ones probably cost a fortune! What is out there for $200-$250 complete?

    -What year/model SID fork should I be looking for if I want it super light and only ~60mm of travel?

    Can't wait to get this thing rolling!

  6. #6
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    I would have to say it's easy... I did it several years ago and am doing it again but this time my target weight is sub 21.

    quick rundown of my old build:
    21" ti hardtail 1750g
    8 speed xtr ( integrated shifters/levers , der's, brakes)
    race race turbine lp crankset
    sram 11-28 cassette
    S-works wheelset 1480g
    conti twister tires ~~450g each
    stans
    heavy duke race fork
    carbon seatpost
    selle italia flite ti saddle
    carbon handlebar

    you get the idea. This bike weighed 22.22 pounds on my hanging scale.

    my new build should kick the sh!t out of my old build when I finally get done with it.

  7. #7
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    part`s I`ve got sofar that won`t bankrupt you...

    Quote Originally Posted by R332
    Thanks for the info, this is going to be a fun project!!! Maybe I should set my sights higher and shoot for a sub-22lb bike

    -Is a few year old Rolf satellite wheel set light or heavy?

    -The Tektro V-brakes are a bit off-putting, what else can you suggest without breaking the bank?

    -I think the seatpost, stem and bars will be easy but I will look at the KCNC stuff before I buy.

    -The crankset will be tough. The XTs sound a little ho-hum for a nice Ti bike and the carbon ones probably cost a fortune! What is out there for $200-$250 complete?

    -What year/model SID fork should I be looking for if I want it super light and only ~60mm of travel?

    Can't wait to get this thing rolling!
    I`m building up a 18,5" Seven Teres ('01) and here`s are some parts I`ve got sofar that won't brake the bank. i gor most of my stuff from ebay:
    Brakes: older Avid Mag`s with al bushings...will be upgraded with srp ti kit. weight +/-280 gr ebay 56$ (excluding ti kit...)
    Crankset: RF turbines square taper. Not sure about the weight but got them for 75$! Will get 108mm PW ti BB for them...
    Fork: Morati ti rigid. Would go very nicely with the Merlin as well. Very light. Mine weighs 590 gr (190 mm steerer). Pre-owned for +/- 300$. Forget the sid and find a morati!!
    Stem: Older sycros hardcore ti. Belongs on a frame like yours! 330 mm @ 187 gr ! ebay 80$
    Bars: Ibis ancotech bulge bars. Perhaps not the lightest @ 140 gr but would go nice;ly with the Merlin. NOS 110$ Seen them on ebay for 75$ Wheels:Tune mig70/mag170 with mavic 517 ceramic`s and sapim x-rays. Splurged on these a bit although they were pre-owned. A pair of CK bontragers is a bit heavier but just as nice.
    Cable: Nokon
    Good luck!,
    H
    Wanted:
    Morati rigid fork (disk)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by R332
    Thanks for the info, this is going to be a fun project!!! Maybe I should set my sights higher and shoot for a sub-22lb bike

    -Is a few year old Rolf satellite wheel set light or heavy?
    get a cheap digital fishing from your local sporting goods store and weigh them. aim for ~1700 gms (3.5 lbs or less). if they're much over, dont buy em.


    -The Tektro V-brakes are a bit off-putting, what else can you suggest without breaking the bank?
    avids, performance (i have em, work well enough, 10 bucks set on sale), older shimano's that dont have the parallegram crap.


    -I think the seatpost, stem and bars will be easy but I will look at the KCNC stuff before I buy.

    -The crankset will be tough. The XTs sound a little ho-hum for a nice Ti bike and the carbon ones probably cost a fortune! What is out there for $200-$250 complete?
    anything as good or lighter than shimano hollowtech 2 lx's. get the lx's (or hone, same thing but black) and get an aluminum granny and ti bolts if you like.


    -What year/model SID fork should I be looking for if I want it super light and only ~60mm of travel?
    older, pre 2002 i think were either only available as or convertible to 63mm travel.


    Can't wait to get this thing rolling!
    be smart and cost concious about it, it will be easier than pie.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by madhatter
    Bars: Ibis ancotech bulge bars. Perhaps not the lightest @ 140 gr but would go nice;ly with the Merlin. NOS 110$ Seen them on ebay for 75$ H
    bars: easton ec90 99g carbon. 60$ at pricepoint.com

  10. #10
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    Easy
    My nuke proof is 21.25 with a steel rigid fork and a sensible build. You can see pics in the gallery...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by R332
    Thanks for the info, this is going to be a fun project!!!

    -The Tektro V-brakes are a bit off-putting, what else can you suggest without breaking the bank?

    -I think the seatpost, stem and bars will be easy but I will look at the KCNC stuff before I buy.

    -The crankset will be tough. The XTs sound a little ho-hum for a nice Ti bike and the carbon ones probably cost a fortune! What is out there for $200-$250 complete?
    Good, you're looking at it from a FUN perspective.

    Brakes - yeah, Tektro might seem a bit off-putting, but $/gram they can't be beat. Performance or Avid would be the next best as already mentioned.

    My KCNC SC Bone Scandium bar weighs in at 117 grams. It's a 6* sweep, non-riser, 25.4 clamping diameter and 600 mm wide. Under $65 U.S.

    Cranks - Between $200-250? Sure, Token Carbon MTN triple with ("their") Shuriken chainrings. Again, I don't know anymore than this, so you're on your own for research there. I'm working on getting a set locally myself. I'd love to see these on my ProFlex. Keep in mind that's a price from E-Bay, BIN. No, i'm not pushing you to be "our" ginuea pig.
    I ..... need ..... DIRT!!!!!

    ... and cookies.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by turdburgle
    bars: easton ec90 99g carbon. 60$ at pricepoint.com
    Sweet bar for the price but 22" is too narrow for me, I need at least 23". Also the Easton bars are a bit flashy for me, I'd prefer something without the huge billboard plastered on the bars.....I am a low-key guy Can anyone else point me towards a 125-140g bar for $75 or less?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTO
    Good, you're looking at it from a FUN perspective.

    Brakes - yeah, Tektro might seem a bit off-putting, but $/gram they can't be beat. Performance or Avid would be the next best as already mentioned.

    My KCNC SC Bone Scandium bar weighs in at 117 grams. It's a 6* sweep, non-riser, 25.4 clamping diameter and 600 mm wide. Under $65 U.S.

    Cranks - Between $200-250? Sure, Token Carbon MTN triple with ("their") Shuriken chainrings. Again, I don't know anymore than this, so you're on your own for research there. I'm working on getting a set locally myself. I'd love to see these on my ProFlex. Keep in mind that's a price from E-Bay, BIN. No, i'm not pushing you to be "our" ginuea pig.
    Bingo! For sure I want the bike to be light and I need to stick to a 'sensible' budget but I also want this to be a fun project and I'd like some parts that are run of the mill!

    The KCNC bar sounds great....now only if I could find a place that sell them!

    The Token Carbons sound great but the only place I've seen them advertised for is over $400! I didn't know the LX/Hone cranks were light??!! Does this apply to all 2004+ models?

    Time to start saving for a Morati Ti fork......although I might be pretty beat up without some suspension up there!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by R332
    Sweet bar for the price but 22" is too narrow for me, I need at least 23". Also the Easton bars are a bit flashy for me, I'd prefer something without the huge billboard plastered on the bars.....I am a low-key guy Can anyone else point me towards a 125-140g bar for $75 or less?
    Said it before...but...the IBIS ancotech "bulge" bar is the way to go ...have seen them go on ebay for around 75$...but you`ll have to be patient. Putting anything less on your Merlin is blasphemy imho
    Wanted:
    Morati rigid fork (disk)

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by madhatter
    Said it before...but...the IBIS ancotech "bulge" bar is the way to go ...have seen them go on ebay for around 75$...but you`ll have to be patient. Putting anything less on your Merlin is blasphemy imho
    I just looked up this bar....nice unit! What about a second choice, maybe a light Ti bar that is currently in production?

    Thanks

  16. #16
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    dont get hung up on cute boutique parts. sub 23 is easy with off the shelf stuff, just get it done and worry about the fancy stuff later.

  17. #17
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    Light brakes:

    I've found the Tektro MT50 (158g), Tektro MT15 (165g) or the Avid Single Digid SL (165g). Any feedback on which is the better brake, or if there something better out there for $100/wheel or less?

    Fork:

    I need a rigid 1" steerer fork that is light, has the correct rake/trail for my old Merlin HT frame and will be strong enough for a 200lb guy to ride on tame trails.

    Thanks

  18. #18
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    Hey, before you spend a bundle...........perhaps new is cheaper

    Quote Originally Posted by R332
    I have a ten year old Merlin HT frame that I want to build into a really light trailblazer! It will only see logging roads and light use so the parts don't have to be bomb-proof.....however I don't want to spend a fortune to build it My goal is to have a sub-23lb bike and I could live without a suspension fork if needed but I would use a 3" fork if the price and weight were right.

    Can you weight experts suggest dsome good parts to use for the build? I am thinking of a simple XTR 9spd drivetrain (2001 MY), Thomson post, Flite saddle, light bars and 450g tires. What about some inexpensive but light wheels, stem, fork, etc?

    Thanks
    Look, from all the suggested stuff, sounds like you could end up spending a lot of dollars, only to end up with a old hodge podge bike.

    A couple years ago, I got a brand new, out the door, tax and all, Stumpjumper HT with Skareb fork for well under $1,000 and it weighed right at 23.0 pounds before switching anything out.

    Now, if you're gonna have to spend 700 0r 800 to get a old bike down to that weight, perhaps its better to just buy new.

    Or take a look at bikesdirect.com sub 23 for $800

  19. #19
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    No good Heathen!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chester
    Look, from all the suggested stuff, sounds like you could end up spending a lot of dollars, only to end up with a old hodge podge bike.

    A couple years ago, I got a brand new, out the door, tax and all, Stumpjumper HT with Skareb fork for well under $1,000 and it weighed right at 23.0 pounds before switching anything out.

    Now, if you're gonna have to spend 700 0r 800 to get a old bike down to that weight, perhaps its better to just buy new.

    Or take a look at bikesdirect.com sub 23 for $800
    How dareth thou refer to a `95 Merlin as an "old hodge podge bike"...HEATHEN!! Merlin metalworks started it all (that is building ti bikes) and did the best job untill getting desecrated by Litespeed. Any vintage Merlin deserves to be cherished and ridden. Certainly beats any sub 23 lb cookie cutter/taiwanese alucr*p imho!! What could be more fullfilling than searching together all the parts and then resurrecting it and hitting the trails?
    H
    Wanted:
    Morati rigid fork (disk)

  20. #20
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    avid mag`s

    Quote Originally Posted by R332
    Light brakes:

    I've found the Tektro MT50 (158g), Tektro MT15 (165g) or the Avid Single Digid SL (165g). Any feedback on which is the better brake, or if there something better out there for $100/wheel or less?

    Fork:

    I need a rigid 1" steerer fork that is light, has the correct rake/trail for my old Merlin HT frame and will be strong enough for a 200lb guy to ride on tame trails.

    Thanks
    Again...Avid Mag`s. +/- 150g Usually for around 60$ on ebay. There`s this guy selling new ones as well for 75$ (both wheels) + s&h..(item# 7213338502). Ask about the1" fork on the vintage &retro forum. They`ll surely have an answer for you.
    H
    Last edited by madhatter; 01-20-2006 at 05:04 PM. Reason: typo
    Wanted:
    Morati rigid fork (disk)

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by madhatter
    Again...Avid Mag`s. +/- 150g Usually for around 60$ on ebay. There`s this guy selling new ones as well for 75$ (both wheels) + s&h..(item# 7213338502). Ask about the1" fork on the vintage &retro forum. They`ll surely have an answer for you.
    H
    Thanks for the tip, I hit the BUY IT NOW button and I now have brakes for my project! Now I need to find some Ti hardwear to shave off another few Gs!

    I love this forum!

  22. #22
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    Well my 2001 Norco Team Ti is probably one of the heavier ti frames out there and I've got it down to almost 22lb. See it here:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...15087#poststop

    Good luck!

    Frame: Norco Team Ti frame
    Fork: 2001 SID XC
    Wheelset: CK Classic/Mavic 517/DT Supercomp
    Tubes: generic 1.25-1.5
    Tires: Hutchinson Python Airlight
    Headset: Chris King NoThreadSet
    Stem: Syntace F99
    Bar: MaxM MX-1
    Grips: cork tape
    Levers: Avid SD7
    Shifters: XTR
    Brakes: Avid SD7
    BB: UN-72
    Cassette: Shimano 9spd XT 11-34
    Deraillers: XTR
    Crankset: RaceFace Next LP with racerings 22/32/44
    Pedals: Eggbeater stainless
    Chain: SRAM PC59
    Seatpost: Thomsons Masterpiece
    Saddle: Selle San Marco Aspide FX Peperoncini
    CAbles: Jagwire/shimano
    Bottle cage: Specialized rib cage pro

  23. #23
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    ... and if we just ... Ti hardwear

    Quote Originally Posted by R332
    Thanks for the tip, I hit the BUY IT NOW button and I now have brakes for my project! Now I need to find some Ti hardwear to shave off another few Gs!

    I love this forum!
    Ti hardwear no problem: speciality racing products (www.srp-usa.com) part #BR036 directly from them or cambriabike for $ 74.90 not quite cheap unfortunately. Coincidentaly SRP was founded by one of the guys that started up Merlin! /check this thread for more avid mag tuning info: http://weightweenies.starbike.com/ph...light=avid+mag
    Ti handlebars are available form sevencycles a.o. but there`s a pair on ebay now as well, but just be patient and get the ibis bar. You`ll love it
    H
    Last edited by madhatter; 01-20-2006 at 07:40 PM. Reason: typo
    Wanted:
    Morati rigid fork (disk)

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