Thursday, January 3, 2008

A little titanium visual treat...

Recently, it seemed like it was ti times. I had an early Merlin road bike and an early 90s Merlin mountain bike in for some work and a Steve Potts frame in for a complete build up.

The Merlin road bike initially came in during a ride for a disturbing "clunk" in the front end which ended up being an old White Industries hub in need of an adjustment and an equally old American Classic QR that just wasn't secure enough. After the owner inquired about easier to pedal gears, the bike also got a new White Industries VBC 48/32 crankset, new Phil Wood bottom bracket bearings and Phil axle. This bike was one of the old Merlins with a bottom bracket that utilizes pressed in bearings. I sure like working on neat old bikes like this. And with the new cranks on, it turned out really sweet. I also found a new Kinesis carbon fork with a 1" threaded steerer tube for it to replace the ancient SR Liteage aluminum fork.

Next up is a very clean Merlin mountain bike with first gen Shimano M900 XTR parts, White Industries hubs, Judy SL fork (1" and with canti stop no less), and highly desirable red Ritchey -Max tires in great condition. The owner hadn't ridden it much because it wasn't comfortable with the low, stretched out stem. In fact, because of that, he was actually considering selling it. I told him if it was my bike, I'd find a way to make it fit better so that I enjoyed riding it again. We ended up, by utilizing a Salsa adjustable stem, finding a Thomson 15 degree rise stem that did the job. It's not easy trying to find a silver stem for a 1" threadless fork in a 15 deg x 120 size. Luckily, Thomson still makes silver stems in that size, and with a 1" to 1 1/8" shim over the steerer, it turned out darn near perfect.

Finally, here's the custom Steve Potts titanium 29er that I built up. Super fun project with a great mix of parts: Marzocchi 29er fork, King hubs and headset, Crank Bros. crank and BB, Thomson stem and post, SRAM XO twisters with X9 derailleur, and Avid BB7 disc brakes. The report is that it is a great riding bike.

(What's playing: Ghostland Observatory on KEXP Live Performances Podcast. I stumbled across these two guys flipping through the channels and landing on the PBS program Austin City Limits. They looked like a super fun live show. Check it the video of their live performance of at this link.)