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  1. #1
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    ... and if we just ... Vintage Merlin MTB Build Thread

    My Dad recently handed down his early 90's Merlin Ti MTB to me. He was the original purchaser back in 1991. It has serial number 1505, which falls between the 1989 and 1990 range typically given for model year identification (found on this forum and elsewhere).

    1988 1 - 59
    1989 60 - 139
    1990 3518 - 3604
    1991 3605 - 6353
    1992 6354 - 8150
    1993 8151 - 9948
    1994 9949 - 10757 C002 - C039
    1995 10758 - 11568 C040 - C081
    1996 11569 - 13111 C082 - C235 XM 034 - XM268
    1997 13112 - 14352
    1998 14353 - 16702
    1999 16703 - 19096
    2000 19097 - 19782

    I'm not sure what happened to S/N 140-3517, but that's where it seems to fit. I sent an email to Merlin but it bounced back.

    My Dad rode this bike for many years before he started having some upper back trouble and finally gave up riding all together. The tall stem and handlebars were installed to help him ride more upright. A lot of the bikes original components were ultra-light, but as he started to see the effects of the trade off between light weight and durability, he replaced parts with less-expensive but generally more durable versions. I'm not sure how many miles he put on it, but I know that many parts were replaced and then replaced again. Here are some pictures of the bike the night I took it home. It weighs roughly 26.5lbs as pictured. Thanks for looking at my thread. I will be looking for a lot of advice and help as I build it up.
    Vintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170822_204135.jpgVintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170822_201532.jpg


  2. #2
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    Still undecided about how or if I should re-build this bike, I thought it might be wise to start by cleaning it up and learning what I could. As I began to clean, I realized that a lot of components would need to come off for the years of grease to be thoroughly removed. Well as I took things apart, the signs of years of trail riding began to show more and more. It didn't take long for me to have the bike down to the bottom bracket and front headset. I could tell from the feel and strange clunking noises that the Judy XC fork had seen better days. Also, the top inch or so of travel was mostly dead. The adjustment knobs seemed to have no effect at all. Here are some close ups of the components before they were removed.Vintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170822_201542.jpgVintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170822_201551.jpgVintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170822_201556.jpgVintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170822_201603.jpgVintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170822_201615.jpg

  3. #3
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    Vintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170822_201627.jpgVintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170822_201620.jpgVintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170822_201634.jpgVintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170822_201642.jpgVintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170822_201723.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Vintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170822_201727.jpg  


  4. #4
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    Do you have the original fork? Very cool rear brake youīve got there. Cool crankset as well. Those resisted the test of time.
    I believe those frames came w/ a Ritchey logic fork. You could start by going after a Logic fork if you canīt find the original. Best would be a threaded fork but if not, go after an ahead set up. Then you would go after stem and handlebars: a 135mm stem and 23in wide flat bars. Hyperlites, Ritchey or titanium merlin.
    Replace the front brake w/ cantilever. Shifting should be done w/thumbshifters if you want 91 period correct and those units are a joy to use. IMO.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

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    Whoa, great stuff. Please keep this thread going.

  6. #6
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    NOw that you post more photos i will correct: the rear brake is not what i thought it was.. but nevermind. You have good brake levers. Follow through w/ the logic fork and everything else.
    I suggest finding a shop that knows press fit bottom brackets so it can be opened and serviced. Nice crankset. If you are in NOrth Cali, talk to Hollister here.
    I would rebuild the rear wheel w/ a proper hub.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by colker1 View Post
    Do you have the original fork? Very cool rear brake youīve got there. Cool crankset as well. Those resisted the test of time.
    I believe those frames came w/ a Ritchey logic fork. You could start by going after a Logic fork if you canīt find the original. Best would be a threaded fork but if not, go after an ahead set up. Then you would go after stem and handlebars: a 135mm stem and 23in wide flat bars. Hyperlites, Ritchey or titanium merlin.
    Replace the front brake w/ cantilever. Shifting should be done w/thumbshifters if you want 91 period correct and those units are a joy to use. IMO.
    Unfortunately I don't have the original fork. I think my Dad had the bike built with an original Rock Shox Air Fork. He bought the frame at a local sporting goods store, and the mechanic there built it for him with components he and the mechanic picked. So on that note, I don't really have any "original" parts as if the bike were bought off of the shelf built (if that was even an option?)

    Quote Originally Posted by scoon View Post
    Whoa, great stuff. Please keep this thread going.
    Thanks! I'm glad there is some interest.

    Quote Originally Posted by colker1 View Post
    NOw that you post more photos i will correct: the rear brake is not what i thought it was.. but nevermind. You have good brake levers. Follow through w/ the logic fork and everything else.
    I suggest finding a shop that knows press fit bottom brackets so it can be opened and serviced. Nice crankset. If you are in NOrth Cali, talk to Hollister here.
    I would rebuild the rear wheel w/ a proper hub.
    The rear brake is a Cunninham Design Roller-Cam I believe. My Dad said they were even clunky by early 90's standards, but he wanted it as a throw-back to an even earlier MTB. Interestingly enough, I do have a "new" spare of the roller cam rear brake.

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    Vintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170828_200205.jpg

    Yep SunTour XC Power Cunningham Design...

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    Vintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170826_083919.jpgVintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170826_083852.jpgVintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170826_083915.jpg

  10. #10
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    This forum needs a good vintage bike project. Look forward to updates.
    Seek: Koski Trailmaster. Breezer Series 2 or 3. Cunningham Racer.

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    Not sure about the Bottom Bracket other than it seems to be pretty non-standard... It has 2x 6903 (17mm x 30mm x 7mm) bearings pressed directly into the frame. The bearings were utterly shot which is why I removed them.

    I was able to order two more 6903-2RS "sealed" bearings (ABEC-5 was the highest grade I could find). I couldn't find a reputable source for the 17mm x 122mm spindle shaft. I'm also not sure if it is JIS or ISO. I would like to replace it because you can see where it's worn from spinning inside of the original bearings. While I'm in there I wouldn't mind replacing the shaft collars too. Once again, I can't seem to find a reputable source for them.

    Any suggestions on what to do here?

    Vintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170826_105136.jpgVintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170826_105815.jpgVintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170828_204447.jpgVintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170828_204555.jpgVintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170828_204657.jpg

  12. #12
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    Here are some close ups of the shaft end. Based on:

    Square Taper Bottom Bracket Interchangeability

    I'm thinking its ISO.

    Vintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170828_210353.jpgVintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170828_210333.jpg

    Even after the gasoline soak the shaft is still dirty. It's destined for the ultrasonic cleaner if I can't find a replacement it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by colker1 View Post
    NOw that you post more photos i will correct: the rear brake is not what i thought it was.. but nevermind. You have good brake levers. Follow through w/ the logic fork and everything else.
    I suggest finding a shop that knows press fit bottom brackets so it can be opened and serviced. Nice crankset. If you are in NOrth Cali, talk to Hollister here.
    I would rebuild the rear wheel w/ a proper hub.
    So speaking of proper hub... Any recommendations on light and strong 26" rim brake wheel sets? Most of the wheels I'm finding that work with rim brakes are cheap and heavy... I'm not sure if I am going to restore the bike to period correct items yet or not so I'd be interested in any suggestions...

    Oh and I'm definitely not a wheel builder... I've tried truing wheels before and I can't seem to get the hang of it.

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    And now the next seemingly non-standard piece... The Headset! It is an older Stronglight Delta. I pulled it because the crown race was riding loose on the Judy fork and the o-ring groove was chipped in several places. Once again this seems rather non standard because the Merlin Ti frame has an id of 29.90mm. The headset has a 30.15mm cup diameter and a 26.4mm crown race. So it would seem to me the bike is JIS but someone crammed an English/ISO headset into it? I'm not very familiar with Headset standards so please correct me if I'm wrong.

    Vintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170828_213435.jpg
    Damaged Crown Race

    Vintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170828_213509.jpg
    Crown Race ID

    Vintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170828_214208.jpg
    Headset Press-In Cup Diameter

    Vintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170828_213053.jpg
    Frame opening (measured ID then rotated the caliper for easy read)

  15. #15
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    JIS stuff is primarily for track/Keirin racing bikes, so I doubt any of it is that.

    BB, headset, should all be ISO.

    Too bad about the headset, might be able to find another with a functional crown race on eBay, or there's a $$$ place out in CA, EuroAsia Imports that sells NOS stuff, if you have the stomach for their prices.

    Wheels, lots of options if you resist the urge of a prebuilt system type offering.

    Wheel building seems to be a bit of a dying art, in the same way that 26" MTB wheels are a dying breed. If you don't have a local shop that willingly offers to build what you want, (and you're not near the already mentioned Hollister) shoot me a note, been building wheels (and wrenching on them) for over 30 years, and have several Merlins sitting around the shop too.

    Your post hits me in all the right spots, my god do I love old Merlins....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  16. #16
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    I had a 1991. I think that's a 1990 model. The 1991 model year had a cantilever on the back. (The roller cam worked better, FWIW.)
    The BB also looks pre-1991, as the 1991 model had circlips and corresponding ridge in the bb shell instead of those external collars.
    Show me your Toads. Old Brodies, too.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryBird View Post
    So speaking of proper hub... Any recommendations on light and strong 26" rim brake wheel sets? Most of the wheels I'm finding that work with rim brakes are cheap and heavy... I'm not sure if I am going to restore the bike to period correct items yet or not so I'd be interested in any suggestions...

    Oh and I'm definitely not a wheel builder... I've tried truing wheels before and I can't seem to get the hang of it.
    Period correct is fun! And the parts can stand mostly anything you throw at them. WTB hubset, vintage is the best hubset from the ra. xtr m900 is another option. Or go retro w/ white industries non disc hubset or king classic.
    Period rims are hard to find. I like later mavic 217 and 517. Rims are disposable so as long as they look discreet i donīt mind them being new. There are good wheelbuilders around.
    I noticed the brakes are suntours. I thought they could be maybe ....cunningham made. Those are not clunky.
    Search for a koski fork. Hard to find. A Logic fork is not that easy but easier. You could get away w/ a tange unicrown while you look for the unicorn: tanges are cheap, good and elegant. if you ever decide to go back to susp. no big damage to the wallet.
    Try deore thumbshifters... I believe rear derr donīt need top be exactly pc. Itīs a mountain bike and sopme parts get wasted eventually.
    Maybe Phil Wood has the axle and bearings for that BB.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  18. #18
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    Tange levin headsets have been around forever. Steel. 50 grs heavier. 1/3 of the price of King.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    JIS stuff is primarily for track/Keirin racing bikes, so I doubt any of it is that.

    BB, headset, should all be ISO.

    Too bad about the headset, might be able to find another with a functional crown race on eBay, or there's a $$$ place out in CA, EuroAsia Imports that sells NOS stuff, if you have the stomach for their prices.

    Wheels, lots of options if you resist the urge of a prebuilt system type offering.

    Wheel building seems to be a bit of a dying art, in the same way that 26" MTB wheels are a dying breed. If you don't have a local shop that willingly offers to build what you want, (and you're not near the already mentioned Hollister) shoot me a note, been building wheels (and wrenching on them) for over 30 years, and have several Merlins sitting around the shop too.

    Your post hits me in all the right spots, my god do I love old Merlins....
    So it would really be ISO with a 29.9mm cup opening? Cramming a 30.2mm cup in there is heck of an interference fit. I'm in northern New Mexico so finding a local wheel builder may be tough.

    Quote Originally Posted by GonaSovereign View Post
    I had a 1991. I think that's a 1990 model. The 1991 model year had a cantilever on the back. (The roller cam worked better, FWIW.)
    The BB also looks pre-1991, as the 1991 model had circlips and corresponding ridge in the bb shell instead of those external collars.
    Quote Originally Posted by colker1 View Post
    Period correct is fun! And the parts can stand mostly anything you throw at them. WTB hubset, vintage is the best hubset from the ra. xtr m900 is another option. Or go retro w/ white industries non disc hubset or king classic.
    Period rims are hard to find. I like later mavic 217 and 517. Rims are disposable so as long as they look discreet i donīt mind them being new. There are good wheelbuilders around.
    I noticed the brakes are suntours. I thought they could be maybe ....cunningham made. Those are not clunky.
    Search for a koski fork. Hard to find. A Logic fork is not that easy but easier. You could get away w/ a tange unicrown while you look for the unicorn: tanges are cheap, good and elegant. if you ever decide to go back to susp. no big damage to the wallet.
    Try deore thumbshifters... I believe rear derr donīt need top be exactly pc. Itīs a mountain bike and sopme parts get wasted eventually.
    Maybe Phil Wood has the axle and bearings for that BB.
    Quote Originally Posted by colker1 View Post
    Tange levin headsets have been around forever. Steel. 50 grs heavier. 1/3 of the price of King.
    Are Cunningham made roller cam brakes rare? If those brakes are period correct, I'd definitely consider keeping them. I have the extra set too I posted above.

    I like XTR components. My roommate in college had an S-works Epic with almost all XTR components. That bike was incredibly strong and light.

    I bought an SID fork from the same period as the Judy. I was thinking of running that. Definetly not period correct but its in great shape and seems like it can be easily rebuilt if need be.

    I appreciate all the input. Please keep it coming...

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    Got a weight on just the Merlin frame. 1608g or 3.55lbs. There might still be a few grams worth of dirt and grease in there but that seems pretty light to me.

    Vintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170828_220403.jpgVintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170828_220438.jpg

  21. #21
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    A Sid fork will raise the front, teh BB and change the head angle. Handling is changed. You may like it. Why not? Itīs a bike; not religion. I would at least try it w/a tange unicrown and feel the handling as it was designed.
    Cunningham rollercams are EXPENSIVE but much netter than the suntours. Did I mention they are expensive? Many folks on this forum know a thing or two about those brakes.
    xtr m900 is considered by some the finest ever shimano off road group. If you can, go for it. I like deore xt from that era: itīs affordable, looks good and works really well.
    I would invest in a nice set of wheels. Thatīs where i would throw my money.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

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    Hmm... I do like the idea of trying it with the original geometry...I see the Tange Unicrowns on ebay but none in the 1" threaded. Is there a source for new replacement forks with the same geometry or do I need to look for something from the 90s?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryBird View Post
    Hmm... I do like the idea of trying it with the original geometry...I see the Tange Unicrowns on ebay but none in the 1" threaded. Is there a source for new replacement forks with the same geometry or do I need to look for something from the 90s?
    Just check the axle to crown distance. You want 395mm. MOst of the tange unicrowns if not all are like that. Another option is the Kona P2, more expensive and they come in different a-c measures.
    I would stick w/ tange. Fat Chance wickeds came with those forks. Tange is nice stuff. Just get something aheadset ready and change headset on the frame since it will be difficult to find a fork w/ exact steerer threaded size. I remember when mountain goat was converting bikes to ahead system in early 90s. Itīs a lighter set up.
    Your bike will feel quicker, snappier w/ a rigid fork. Itīs more fun.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  24. #24
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    Light Tange wheel fork 91.c CR-MO Rigid see pictures 1 inch Diameter - lot Q | eBay

    Also check retrobikeuk classifieds. someone was selling an accutrax threaded fork.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  25. #25
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    Awesome. Thanks for the info. The 395mm should help me narrow it down. What does aheadset ready mean?

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    Thanks for the link. What do you think about this wheelset? It looks lightly used and has M900 XTR hubs. Never heard of the wheels though.

    Shimano XTR M900 Wheelset 32 hole 100/135 Hyperglide Uniglide 26" Araya Japan | eBay

  27. #27
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    https://www.niagaracycle.com/categor...140x50mm-black

    check if itīs the right steerer length. Itīs not fancy stuff but itīs cheap, looks good, must ride pretty well and you can look later for a bontrager composite fork, ritchey logic, koski , accutrax or other true vintage legendary fork.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryBird View Post
    Thanks for the link. What do you think about this wheelset? It looks lightly used and has M900 XTR hubs. Never heard of the wheels though.

    Shimano XTR M900 Wheelset 32 hole 100/135 Hyperglide Uniglide 26" Araya Japan | eBay
    Does it say which rims are those? Should be good stuff if itīs built on xtr hubs. Otoh who knows how used are those wheels. You can always find nos hubs, rims and have someone build your wheels. More expensive but the peace of mind is priceless.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryBird View Post
    Awesome. Thanks for the info. The 395mm should help me narrow it down. What does aheadset ready mean?
    Aheadset means itīs not threaded. It goes w/ a different headset and stem. Itīs from the early 90s and itīs adopted by everybody. Stem is much lighter since it has no quill. Much more popular these days. Hard to find 1in ahead stems but doable and there are sleeves you can add so you can use 1 1/8 stems. It makes everything easier.
    Finding a fork w/ the exact size threaded steerer in 1in is not easy.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  30. #30
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    The Merlin's head tube is 120mm long and the Judy fork measures 168mm from the crown to where it was cut.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by colker1 View Post
    https://www.niagaracycle.com/categor...140x50mm-black

    check if itīs the right steerer length. Itīs not fancy stuff but itīs cheap, looks good, must ride pretty well and you can look later for a bontrager composite fork, ritchey logic, koski , accutrax or other true vintage legendary fork.
    They have this fork in 150mm and 170mm steerer. May be what you need. Itīs a quality fork. Light.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

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    If I get the 170mm, couldn't I cut it to length when I get my new headset in?

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryBird View Post
    If I get the 170mm, couldn't I cut it to length when I get my new headset in?
    whatīs the size of your head tube?
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by colker1 View Post
    whatīs the size of your head tube?
    Head tube is 120mm long with a 29.90mm machined ID. I'm a little concerned because all the ISO headsets I'm finding have 30.20mm cups. That's an ~11 thousands interference fit which seems excessively tight.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryBird View Post
    If I get the 170mm, couldn't I cut it to length when I get my new headset in?
    From what i see in the pics, the 170mm may work. You can add spacers on the headset. Then you will need a 130mm quill stem.. a ritchey stem.
    Ritchey Force Quill Stem 25.4x130mm 10 Degree Steel 1" 22.2mm Road Mountain | eBay
    This shop, TPC, has good stuff.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  36. #36
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    Is your rear spacing 135?
    Last edited by okieflats; 2 Weeks Ago at 07:06 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by okieflats View Post
    Is your rear spacing 135? In the late 80's 130mm was common.
    It's 135.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryBird View Post
    Head tube is 120mm long with a 29.90mm machined ID. I'm a little concerned because all the ISO headsets I'm finding have 30.20mm cups. That's an ~11 thousands interference fit which seems excessively tight.
    If itīs 120mm long i believe the 170mm will do. Most threaded headsets will add 35mm. The difference will be dealt w/spacers. It will look good.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryBird View Post
    It's 135.
    Easy to find rear wheels. As for the internal diameter of head tube x cups i believe the frame should use standard stuff. Check w/ Mendon...
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  40. #40
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    I found a used excellent condition wheelset for only $30 on CL
    Last edited by okieflats; 2 Weeks Ago at 07:08 PM.

  41. #41
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    I had, if can remember, number 34, it was built in 1987. I broke that frame in 1996 and Merlin sent me a new frame, which I sold in 2002..... I still miss that bike!
    EXODUX Jeff

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    Suspension Retrofit

    I started looking around at my options for front suspension forks a couple of weeks ago. At first, I really wanted a modern air fork with a total lockout but most of these had a lot of travel and all of them came with a more modern 1-1/8" steerer tube. The Merlin head tube diameter was designed for a 1" steerer and that greatly limits the options for modern suspension forks.

    After doing a bit of research, I realized that I could buy an older RockShox SID with 28mm stanchions (up to 2007) and bolt my Judy XC crown onto it. The hard part would be removing the SID stanchions from their press-fit crown. I knew I could figure something out, so I found a nice used SID fork on ebay and ordered it up. People seem to highly regard the SID shocks and rebuild kits are cheap, so I figured I couldn't go wrong. It turned out to be perfectly functional and doesn't seem to need a rebuild. Maybe I should still change the oil though?

    Here is a picture of the Judy and the SID side by side:
    Vintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170827_140106.jpg
    I carefully cut the crown using a hacksaw blade with the end wrapped in some electrical tape. This helped keep me from scratching the stanchions (and ruining the shock)
    Vintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170827_140307.jpg
    Vintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170827_141805.jpg
    Once I cut most of the way through, I put a chisel in the cut and twisted it (like a screwdriver) to crack the crown. I was afraid that if I used the hacksaw blade to cut any deeper, I might end up scratching the stanchion.
    Vintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170827_142640.jpgVintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170827_142650.jpg
    It turns out that even with both sides of the crown cut and broken, it still wouldn't let go. I ended up having to do 2 relief cuts on each side (not all the way through) and more twisting in the original cut with the chisel before it finally let the stanchions out.
    Vintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170830_214625.jpgVintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170830_214547.jpg
    The Judy was much easier, a few turn of the bolts and it's stanchions came right out with a little twisting.

    Here are a couple of shots of the finished product:
    Vintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170829_201858.jpg

    Vintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-20170829_201927.jpg

  43. #43
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    Nice work 👍
    --------------

    [WTB] 1987 Cannondale SM800, 20", Pink with airbrushed graphics.

  44. #44
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    One of the Merlin founders works for the County of Sonoma in Northern California

    Gary Helfrich | Camp Meeker http://mmbhof.org/gary-helfrich/

  45. #45
    Phobia of petting zoos.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryBird View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	1155100Click image for larger version. 

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    You're awesome enough to deserve a Dremel.

    Even so, I'd have been sweating bullets doing surgery like that. Nice work, sir!

    Grumps

  46. #46
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    Thanks everyone! I did use a dremel to make the relief cuts. It probably would have gone faster if I started the main cuts with the dremel and finished them with the saw. The crown actually cut pretty fast with just the hacksaw blade.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane Jeff View Post
    I had, if can remember, number 34, it was built in 1987. I broke that frame in 1996 and Merlin sent me a new frame, which I sold in 2002..... I still miss that bike!
    #34? Wow it doesn't get much more original than that! What part of the frame failed if you don't mind me asking?

  48. #48
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    Great work, glad it all worked out. You have courage, patience and a stready hand like a brain surgeon.

    Sent from my F5121 using Tapatalk
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    'Geez, I wish I had a witty signature'

  49. #49
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    I was finally able to get the headset installed. I tried an FSA EC30(1" ISO with 30.2mm cups) headset and the couldn't get the cups pressed in. The cups were just too large to fit in the frame. I'm sure I could have forced compliance with my 12ton shop press but it just didn't seem right.

    I ordered a Neco headset off of ebay that has EC29(1" JIS) 30.0mm cups and a 26.4mm (1" Pro/Euro/ISO) crown race. From measuring the head tube inner diameter (29.90mm) and the fork seat(24.47mm), this headset is exactly the strange combination I need.

    Vintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-ebayheadset2.jpgVintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-ebayheadset1.jpg

    I was able to press it into the head tube with a piece of 1/2" all thread and various washers. It still took quite a bit of force to get them seated (further validating I shouldn't try to cram a 30.2mm cup set in)

    Vintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-headsetpress1.jpgVintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-headsetpress2.jpg

    The previous headset had a 10mm spacer in it. This one looks like it will need more like 13-15mm of spacing. I could cut the fork down, but I'm afraid it might limit taller stack height headset options later. I just need to find a decent set of 1" ID spacers now. There seem to be plenty for 1-1/8" but not many options in 1".

    Vintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-headsetstackspace.jpg

    All and All I think this will work fine. The Neco headset seems to be pretty decent quality. Machining is good, dimensions are consistent, bearings are sealed and smooth, and the anodized blue finish looks great. Honestly it's much better than I thought I would get for a Chinese made $30 headset on ebay. Not many EC29 options available anyhow. Time will tell...

  50. #50
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    My Phil Wood spindle came in. I ordered it in a 124mm long ISO taper. The original spindle is 122mm so the difference in length is negligible. Apparently the ISO variant of the 17mm diameter spindle isn't as common as the JIS. I went with ISO because and I want to re-use the Cook's Cranks.

    The gentleman I talked to on the phone at Phil Wood was very helpful. He told me that their spindles are precision machined and don't require the use of the collars that were on the original shaft. The bearings press fit onto the shaft. I have to figure out how to press the bearings onto the shaft while simultaneously pressing them into the bottom bracket tube. I'll need to find a way to press the inner race and outer racer at the same time so I don't damage the bearing. I searched the internet for a tool to do this with no luck.

    Phil Wood with Crankbolts from Amazon:
    Vintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-spindlecompwithbolts.jpgVintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-spindlecomp1.jpgName:  SpindleComp2.jpeg
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Size:  10.0 KBVintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-spindle-comp3.jpg
    Plenty of taper left so the cranks won't bottom out.
    Vintage Merlin MTB Build Thread-newspindlecookscrank.jpg

  51. #51
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    I likewise have a classic Merlin.

    I'll post pictures as soon as I clean it up.

    I would love to know how old it is.

    Where is the serial number located?

    I can't find it anywhere.

    Thanks.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by myt1 View Post
    I likewise have a classic Merlin.

    I'll post pictures as soon as I clean it up.

    I would love to know how old it is.

    Where is the serial number located?

    I can't find it anywhere.

    Thanks.
    Look on the rear dropout.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by mainlyfats View Post
    Look on the rear dropout.
    Yes, thank you very much.

    Mine says: 739.

    Sadly, the chart in the first post isn't much help.

    I bought mine lightly used in about 1993.

    I always thought it was a 1990 or a 1991.

    Thanks again for the help.

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