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Restoring the Merlin (or why Titanium is still cool)

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Restoring the Merlin (or why Titanium is still cool)

Old 02-21-24, 05:16 PM
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I need to do this to my ritchey breakaway. I wonder if my wife has forgotten about the 105 R7000 group set I bought for it last year.
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Old 02-23-24, 12:05 PM
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Love it! Those era Ti bikes are having a comback. Yep, can't get 32mm tires on most, but...

My Serotta Concours Ti was a t-a-d too small, so in the interim of waiting for the right Serotta Ti frame to come along, I found this sleeper Mongoose TST/Sandvik frame and after getting hit by a van in November (frame not damaged), decided to Ultegra/105 it. (Riser stem because rider is still healing, that's why)
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Old 02-27-24, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by choddo
The OPís bike looks like a pretty standard BSA threaded BB.
.
Correct. I didnít know Merlin ever made press fit. Was that after the original company was sold?
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Old 03-03-24, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
This is the quandary I'm in with my Litespeed. I built it up with 7410 Dura Ace, partly because I had most of the groupset, and partly because it was 'age appropriate' for a 1995 frame. And it looks REALLY GOOD with it, and of course the shifting is wonderfully crisp, like 7410 always was. But I really wish I had at least two more speeds and a 30t cog every time the gradient goes over 6%. OTOH, the more modern stuff just doesn't LOOK as good.
My Litespeed is refreshed with R8000 11 speed. 30 cog is available. Works great with Compact chain rings.
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Old 03-03-24, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
Correct. I didnít know Merlin ever made press fit. Was that after the original company was sold?
itís how they started. They moved away from them 92/93
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Old 03-04-24, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
If Ti is fly, and steel is real, what are Carbon and Aluminum?
for those who have recent experience on all of these - Ive heard it said by some riders that titanium, while super nice to ride, does not give you as solid a "connection" to the road as steel does. Basically less feedback and "read" of the road. Confirm/deny?
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Old 03-04-24, 10:30 AM
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Responding to the second part of this thread title, I think my Merlin is still cool.

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Old 03-04-24, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Acadianbob
My Litespeed is refreshed with R8000 11 speed. 30 cog is available. Works great with Compact chain rings.
That is ultimately how I went too, but I went with 53/39 and 11-32.
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Old 03-04-24, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by BillyD
Responding to the second part of this thread title, I think my Merlin is still cool.

lovely bike
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Old 03-05-24, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Scrib4lex
for those who have recent experience on all of these - Ive heard it said by some riders that titanium, while super nice to ride, does not give you as solid a "connection" to the road as steel does. Basically less feedback and "read" of the road. Confirm/deny?
I think that's as much placebo-effect blather as "the magic titanium ride"
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Old 03-05-24, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
I decided to restore my 24 year old Merlin Extralight. In its current configuration it has a mishmash of Shimano 10 speed mechanical components.

A few years back, I added S&S couplers to make use of it as a travel bike. The rebuild will SRAM Force electric 12 speed. The wireless components should be really nice with only one brake cable to futz with in packing and unpacking the bike.

So far Iíve removed the old components and cleaned up the frame. After 24 years use, guesstimated 50,000 miles, a hundred or so crits, a few crashes, and schlepped around the US and Europe in an S&S travel case, it still looks close to new.



I didn't realize SRAM Force 12 speed came with rim brake hoods. I thought they were hydraulic disc only.
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Old 03-06-24, 11:51 AM
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As recently as last year, when I updated my Willier, sram 12 speed etap was available with rim brakes. I believe they still are.
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Old 03-06-24, 08:34 PM
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"Ride" and "feel" = geometry, fit and tires. Period.
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Old 03-07-24, 07:53 AM
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For some of us

Originally Posted by Camilo
"Ride" and "feel" = geometry, fit and tires. Period.
While true for most riders I think you can understand that some of us such as myself dealing with osteoarthritis or other impairments one could have can be very sensitive to "vertical compliance". These days I will be on my Vitus 979 or titaniums not on one of my lovely Italians which for years got all the mileage and on bad hip, neck or lower back days be more comfortable on a bike with higher handlebars so you can sit more upright or even my recumbent trike.
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Old 03-07-24, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by easyupbug
While true for most riders I think you can understand that some of us such as myself dealing with osteoarthritis or other impairments one could have can be very sensitive to "vertical compliance". These days I will be on my Vitus 979 or titaniums not on one of my lovely Italians which for years got all the mileage and on bad hip, neck or lower back days be more comfortable on a bike with higher handlebars so you can sit more upright or even my recumbent trike.
Not surprising. Lovely Italian bikes, especially those from the Golden Age of the 1980's, tend to have shorter wheelbases than otherwise-equivalent bikes from other countries. Except Cannondale's Crit Series bikes, of course, which, like the Italian thoroughbreds, were essentially track bikes with brakes and gears. Great for a fling, as it were, but maybe not marriage material.

(Key to metaphor: "fling" = short, fast courses; "marriage material" = compatibility for the long haul.)
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Old 03-07-24, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Camilo
"Ride" and "feel" = geometry, fit and tires. Period.
+ tubing diameter, wall thickness, and alloy in some cases.
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Old 03-08-24, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by 13ollocks
I think that's as much placebo-effect blather as "the magic titanium ride"
Yeah. I mean, I LOVE my Titanium bike, but I'm not sure I could point to any particular special thing about the ride. It could just be that of all my bikes it's the one where the fit is the most perfectly dialed in. It's not the fastest, or the most cushy, or the stiffest. But when I want to head out, it's the first bike I reach for.
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Old 03-08-24, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by big john
+ tubing diameter, wall thickness, and alloy in some cases.
+ rim width, tire size, and air pressure.
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Old 03-09-24, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
Yeah. I mean, I LOVE my Titanium bike, but I'm not sure I could point to any particular special thing about the ride. It could just be that of all my bikes it's the one where the fit is the most perfectly dialed in. It's not the fastest, or the most cushy, or the stiffest. But when I want to head out, it's the first bike I reach for.
Absolutely - my 2000 LS Vortex has been my "go-to" road bike for the last ~20 years (~100k). It fits me, rides well, it's robust, and after a couple of decades of slow tweaking, I know it like an old pair of jeans. I don't buy into the "magic ride", but it's as ideal for me as I can get it.

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