Sunday, August 12, 2007

1991 Merlin upgrades

Unsure if I've previously blathered on about the Merlin, here's a brief history. Geoff Knotman bought it brand new on the early '90s. It was by far the sexiest bike ever. He upgraded the Deore XT to 8 speed XTR when that first came out. It sat in his garage and was sold to Fred
Christensen 2 years back to finance Jeff's move to a Surly 1x1 singlespeed purchased from Jonty Ritchie. (Notice all the old has-beens popping up?) I got talking to Fred at the Oceania mtb champs....and the deal was done. It duly turned up and has been constantly fettled ever since. I can't disclose how much I paid for it - the Reserve Bank doesn't want me to be the cause of another OCR increase....Te Papa are pleased it is in safe hands of course.
It started off like this :

Then this: mmmm suspension.....Thanks Tom.
Try buying a one inch threaded suspension fork to fit a Chris King headset.........

And after moving to Wanaka and breaking a spoke on Keighleys Ringle wheels and riding Hugh's Orange with disc brakes, well that was that - the Merlin had already re-embraced the XTR drivetrain, - she was getting disc brakes.

And that was when the fun started. Welding disc tabs on? I don't think so Tim.

Going back to rigid forks with disc tabs ? Forget it.

I found a vee brake to disc convertor, swapped my forks legs with Keighley (don't tell) borrowed Callums wide open brakes and promptly replaced the calipers with Formula B4 's that I had liberated from the wheelie bin at Worralls one day ! Currently using the wheels off the Foes as they were close at hand and Al. has lent me some 6 inch rotors.

After all the faffing around I'm not surprised to announce that they stop worse than a badly tuned pair of old worn out cantilever brakes. I will try some new brake pads but am not holding my breath.

Plenty of time to get things sorted before the last N-duro race in October though.

Oh, did I mention it is now also sporting a titanium stem? Woof woof.

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