1" threadless Fork? 91 Merlin restoration!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    1" threadless Fork? 91 Merlin restoration!

    Hi folks, I have a 1991 custom merlin ti hardtail that belonged to my father, He taught me how to ride, unfortunately he passed 2 years ago. Now I am trying to restore the merlin in his memory. It has full xtr components so everything is working fine on that end, however the fork is an old rockshox judy probably form 93 or 94 which struggles to hold air. Im looking to switch to a rigid fork but this frame has a 1" headtube so a good ti or carbon fork thats not custom is a bit difficult to find. I ride pretty hard so im looking for something that can take a beating preferably carbon or ti and it has to be 1" threadless steerer tube. Any suggestions are welcome. Thank you all for your feedback!

    ps: ive seen carver and woundup and im looking for something a bit more aesthetically pleasing to match the beautiful brushed ti finish on the frame.
    pss: If anyone knows of a good custom ti or carbon fork producer I may be willing to pay $$$ for it if the looks(also the durablility) are right so please any suggestion welcome.

  2. #2
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    Hi, You have a lot of options. You can go with Ritchey Logic, Koski that is from that time period. You can also track down a Bontrager Composite or Tange Switchblade as other options. My be difficult finding threadless, you can always swap the headset also..
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for your suggestions, What fork is pictured here, Ti or alloy?
    Im pretty deadset on either all ti or carbon composite id be willing to go with something modern if i have to as well.

  4. #4
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    Steel Legs, Aluminum Crown. Bontrager Composite, bought new I believe it was 1989-90 if I can remember correctly. I think it was first generation

  5. #5
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    Try looking for a IRD or McMahon titanium fork..

  6. #6
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    Very nice. it seems like most vintage 1" steerer forks i see online are either steel or alloy, Switchblade seems to be closest to what im looking for in the vintage dept. I guess ill have to go modern if I really want a rigid ti fork I can trust?

  7. #7
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    Ah these are much closer to what im looking for, they do seem like a difficult find though.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by troye329 View Post
    Very nice. it seems like most vintage 1" steerer forks i see online are either steel or alloy, Switchblade seems to be closest to what im looking for in the vintage dept. I guess ill have to go modern if I really want a rigid ti fork I can trust?
    First Merlin i saw was a "mountain" and it had a ritchey logic fork along ritchey stem, bars and seat post. It was magazine test bike and everything looked as traditional as it gets: steel unicrown forks and steel stem. Setback seatpost made by Nitto.
    If you find a black tange unicrown fork and they were sold at 60 bucks at shops on line a while a go, you are very close to that spirit. Add a ritchey stem, nitto 65 post and you have the classic Merlin look.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  9. #9
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    A new Nitto 65 post, as Colker mentions, is identical to the ones when the Merlin was fresh. I would go with a Koski as Davy suggested.

  10. #10
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    The other thing to know about a Tange Switchblade is that they were around four pounds, IIRC. Mine was a tank (but basically unbreakable).
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

    Thrill Bikers Unite!

  11. #11
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    Why do you want threadless? A quill stem is so easy to set up. You are saving 50 to 100 grs on an aheadset up.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  12. #12
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    Had https://www.blacksheepbikes.com/ built me a custom titanium fork with disc bosses to fit my 1993 Merlin mountain that I made into a singlespeed a few years ago. I sent them the Ritchey Logic steel fork I had been using to have them duplicate the geometry of it. I think it was about $600.1" threadless Fork? 91 Merlin restoration!-fork-1.jpg1" threadless Fork? 91 Merlin restoration!-fork-2.jpg

  13. #13
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    That's a surprisingly low price for custom work on a Ti fork. But how noodlely is it?

  14. #14
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    Agreed I thought the price was reasonable. If anything the fork is stiffer than I'd like.

  15. #15
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    Thanks to everyone for your input, That black sheep fork looks quite interesting but I've had some breakthroughs with this bike. I was able to figure out that my Dad had put Englund total air replacement cartridges in the Judy xc that is currently on the merlin, I was able to purchase seals and repair the cartridges myself so now they are holding air! May not need to replace the fork after all. When it comes to the headset I'm not so much worried about weight because I have a modern race hardtail to really bomb it out on. However that single speed setup looks rad, How difficult was this to do, Did you convert yourself, How does it do as single jobbie?

  16. #16
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    The conversion wasn't hard, I used an eccentric "ENO" hub from White Industries that provides a way to set the chain tension in the vertical dropouts. It was my first SS bike and I did it partly to avoid the complications of figuring out a multispeed drivetrain that would fit, but it's turned into a really fun machine. I didn't try very hard at all for a light build and it was still right at 20 pounds ready to ride. On most of the Texas trails it's plenty of bike if your line choice is good and it's really fun to pass people on 30 year newer rigs. Wouldn't be a good only bike but it's a great alternative to my FS XC racer sometimes.

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