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Merlin Malt 1 - Finished

TwellyTwelly Posts: 1,437
edited April 2013 in Your mountain bikes
So I figured it was about time I contributed something vaguely interesting to this site.

I bought a frame on a whim. Here it is:
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P1010593.jpg
P1010595.jpg
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I also bought some wheels, also on a whim:
P1010602.jpg
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(these I bought after):
P1010607.jpg

Thank you classifieds.

(In the mean time, I bought a new camera, thus enabling this thread to exist)

Figured I may as well do something with these new purchases rather than just staring at the shiny bits and going "ooooo" so I bought these:
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and this:
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and these:
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Today was pay day (despite Natwest's boo-boo this weekend) so I have just ordered this:
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and 2 of these:
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Oh and this (bargain - £5):
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In next months issue...

This:
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and these:
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Intended result? Me having fun building something (I miss my Lego collection) and a half decent second bike for town/light rides with Mrs TwellySmat which is less valuable than my Cube.

Oh and about the orange... I like shiny orange things and I like shiny blue things. My road bike is draped in blue and my hardtail is blue and silver. This one will be draped in orange.

Stay tuned kids...

Oh and for anyone who cares...

Frame: REALLY SHINY!
Forks: Recon Silvers
Bars: Raceface Evolve XC flat 600mm
Stem: FSA 90mm
Headset: Merlin - included with frame
Grips: Clarks lock-on
Bar Ends: Clarks

Front Brake Lever assy: Shimano BRM445
Front Caliper: Shimano BRM445
Front disc: Superstar 180mm
Rear Brake Lever assy: Shimano BRM445
Rear Caliper: Shimano BRM445
Rear Disc: Superstar 160mm
Hoses: Shimano


Shifters: Deore 9spd
Cables:
Front Mech: None
Rear Mech: Deore
Chain Device: hmmm... still deciding whether to bother with one. Suggestions?

Seat: Charge Spoon
Seat Post: Superstar inline
Seat Post Clamp: Merlin

Cranks: Raceface Ride XC Singlespeed
Chainring(s):
Chain: Shimano
Cassette: Shimano 9spd
Pedals: Undecided
Bottom Bracket: Raceface

Front Wheel: Yep, it has one.
Rim: WTB SX24
Spokes: Shiny!
Hub: Shimano M475
Tube: Airwave MTB
Tire: Schwalbe City Jet 1.95

Back Wheel: Yes, it has one of those too
Rim: WTB SX24
Spokes: Also shiny!
Hub: Shimano M475
Tube: Airwave MTB
Tire: Schwalbe City Jet

Weight: Like 6kg. Honest

Other info: Orange bling. Like if Mr T was a satsuma.
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Posts

  • TwellyTwelly Posts: 1,437
    Quick update:

    Forks arrived yesterday - excellent service from On One, they even told me the time they would be delivered (12:07-13:07) arrived at 12:08.. well impressed.

    Had a bit of an issue with fitting the forks and headset but Nicklouse and Cooldad soon cleared that up! Forks are now in the frame and just need to trim the steerer and they are good to go. Pinched a pipe cutter from work today to finish that off.

    Got tyres and a different stem (one supplied with the frame has a 31.8mm clamp - I need 25mm for the bars I have) on their way from CRC, should be here tomorrow so I can dress the wheels in their shiny new rubber suits tomorrow evening.

    Glad it's looking more bike-shaped now and I will upload some pics tonight.
  • twonkstwonks Posts: 554
    Interesting choice, but I'd have to question the desire for suspension forks with road tyres ?

    I've just converted my old HT into a road mile muncher using the same tyres, and rigid forks are much more direct and 'road bike' feeling when stomping on the pedals stood up etc.
  • TwellyTwelly Posts: 1,437
    I did consider a set of carbon forks but I have a road bike, which gives me all the direct, stiff feel I need if I want that. I prefer the versatility of the sus fork. I could have spent £80ish on a carbon rigid or £110 on the Recon which can be set firm or locked out but can be softened up if I want. I know there is a weight penalty but weight isn't my priority. Also gives me the option to throw some knobblies on and take it through some rougher stuff if I ever need to.

    The City Jets can handle light gravel and tow paths fine whilst still being very good on tarmac which is good for me pootling round the kind of surfaces the girlfriend likes to ride.

    I may buy some carbon forks at some point in the future so I've got the option to swap. If I do do that, I have an old full sus which would benefit from the Recons.

    Anyway, as promised, pictures as it is now:
    P1010699.jpg
    P1010703.jpg

    New stem will arrive tomorrow so I can size the steerer tube properly, cut it down and fit the star nut and top cap, then time to focus on the drivetrain..
  • TwellyTwelly Posts: 1,437
    Update:

    This all happened on Thursday but I have been in Somerset for the weekend so haven't been able to update.

    Tyres on, forks on, stem and handlebars on, all that's left know is brakes and drivetrain which I can start collecting bits for next month.

    As it is now:
    P1020186.jpg
  • Hairylegs66Hairylegs66 Posts: 103
    Simple idea, will look really nice when finished, I look forward to seeing the pics.
    The polished finish on the Malt lends itself nicely to colour coding the peripheral bits n' pieces.
    I would have gone with a rigid alloy fork personally - my Malt 1 commuter bike weighs under 24lbs with a 3 x 10 Deore transmission, the fork weighs a third as much as my Recon SL did and the fork only cost me £20 new. I have no issues about using the rigid fork off road either with a set of knobblies, but with the same City Jet tyres as you have fitted on the road it goes like stink.
    But - your bike, your choice - enjoy.
  • TwellyTwelly Posts: 1,437
    Cheers for the comments.

    As said above, I did consider the rigid fork. I probably will get one at some point and just chop and change when I fancy. The Recons are very weighty! Feels very nose heavy at the moment (no drivetrain on at the moment of course).

    I think the build will have to take the back seat for the next month or so. The girlfriend doesn't like me spending £200 a month on bike stuff when our holiday fund at the moment will barely cover a night at Butlins, let alone a week away somewhere nice...

    I have noticed some play in the front hub though, so that will give me something to investigate and fix, probably just needs the cones tightening.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Sometimes when you have nothing constructive to say, you could try shutting the F**k up perhaps......

    Not what I would have done but should be a comfy and fairly quick gravel path bike which is what the smat is after....personally I'd fit some ally forks like Onza Tough guys (incidently what my commuter wears!), only 850g and can be had quite cheap.
  • TwellyTwelly Posts: 1,437
    Don't worry, he is just upset because he was wrong in another thread. Oh and he is jealous of my road bike. Bless.

    Any links to best deals on the Onza forks? As said, may chop and change the forks in the future so it's handy to know what options I have.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    I got mine off ebay direct from Onza, not sure if they still sell on there, cost me £45, if I can get some carbon road bike forks with disc mounts (like the Boardman hybrids) for my commuter then mine will be for sale!
  • TwellyTwelly Posts: 1,437
    I'll keep an eye on the classifieds ;)
  • TwellyTwelly Posts: 1,437
    Simple idea, will look really nice when finished, I look forward to seeing the pics.
    The polished finish on the Malt lends itself nicely to colour coding the peripheral bits n' pieces.
    I would have gone with a rigid alloy fork personally - my Malt 1 commuter bike weighs under 24lbs with a 3 x 10 Deore transmission, the fork weighs a third as much as my Recon SL did and the fork only cost me £20 new. I have no issues about using the rigid fork off road either with a set of knobblies, but with the same City Jet tyres as you have fitted on the road it goes like stink.
    But - your bike, your choice - enjoy.

    Just noticed your username, I have actually read your build thread many times for inspiration! When the frame became available I found your thread and your Malt definitely swayed me into handing over the money.

    How is yours off/on road? Which do you think the frame is more suited to? Anything I should beware of with the frame when building up the drivetrain?
  • Hi, sorry for the late reply, have been away in Alaska for a while with no access to the web.

    Thanks for the comments, it is nice to have inspired someone!
    I loved my Malt off road, it was quick handling with great geometry for XC riding and also fairly light for the money. Tyre and clearance was a bit tight with 2.35 tyres, best stick to 2.1's perhaps.

    On-road with a rigid fork - I am pleased with it, it is even lighter than before & it stops and goes very well; I possibly should have gone for 1.5" tyres which would improve the turn-in a bit. Even at 45psi the 1.9" tyres are a bit squidgy for tight corners.

    Frame/drivetrain issues - I would invest in a framestay protector if you do venture off road, the chain slap on a 3 x 9 SLX drivetrain was pretty bad and the chain will mangle the paint really quick (if it hasn't already).
    I have also recently replaced the bog standard Merlin seatclamp with a Hope item (blue, obviously) as after I rebuilt the bike the seatpost kept dropping by about half an inch every time I went for a ride.

    Hope yours is going well, any more orange bits on the horizon? Orange bottle cage bolts?
  • TwellyTwelly Posts: 1,437
    Thanks for the tips.

    The build has been put on hold at the moment (going to Portugal next week - all funds going towards that) but next month I should be able to resume buying orange things!

    I'm going Deore and losing a couple of chain rings to go 1 x 9 - keep it light and simple.

    Will be building up with the Recon still on but I am still thinking about swapping the fork for a rigid. If I do change it, I think I can sell the Recon to my housemate for almost what I paid for it. Failing that it can go on my old Mongoose.

    Orange bottle cages bolts may have to be done...
  • 1 x 9 is a good idea if you can still find the stuff. I don't think I've used the front mech on mine on the road....
    Merlin sell the orange cage bolts, I bought black ones for my Rock Lobster Team Tig. My aluminium forks came from Rutland Cycling's EBay shop; no sign of them any more which is a shame, they were a bit of a bargain for £20 & p&p.

    Have a good holiday and look forward to seeing some more build pics. I'll update my build thread with some new pics as some more blue bits have been fitted.
  • TwellyTwelly Posts: 1,437
    Behold, I have returned from internet limbo...

    So after almost 6 months, one broken computer, one house move, one new laptop and one road bike stolen ( :x ), I have resumed my Merlin build.

    Few changes to the original plan (partly due to road bike theft):
    SLX rear mech, shifter and cassette rather than Deore - bike-discount.de threw up some bargains and the SLX kit has actually cost me less from Germany than Deore is over here..

    10spd, not 9 - I will be using this bike for more than just dawdling around now my road bike has been nicked so the wider gear range was appealing (I went for an 11-36 cassette). The price difference was negligible from the Germans..

    On the hunt for a rigid fork - The recon is still there but a nice light stiff alu or carbon fork will be added soon. I need the fastest bike possible to keep up with my roadie friends while I save for a new road bike.

    Current Spec:
    Frame: Merlin Malt 1
    Forks: Recon Silver TK
    Bars: Raceface Evolve XC flat 600mm
    Stem: FSA 90mm
    Headset: Merlin - included with frame
    Grips: Clarks lock-on
    Bar Ends: Clarks

    Brakes: Most likely Deore
    Front disc: Superstar 180mm
    Rear Disc: Superstar 160mm
    Hoses:


    Shifters: SLX 10spd
    Cables: Shimano
    Front Mech: None
    Rear Mech: SLX
    Chain Device: It's fine without at the moment

    Seat: Charge Spoon
    Seat Post: Superstar inline
    Seat Post Clamp: Merlin

    Cranks: Generic Shimano Octalink
    Chainring(s): 32T (Granny and big ring removed)
    Chain: Shimano HGX
    Cassette: Shimano 10spd
    Pedals: Shimano SPD for the moment
    Bottom Bracket: Shimano Octalink

    Front Wheel: Yep, it has one.
    Rim: WTB SX24
    Spokes: Silver
    Hub: Shimano M475
    Tube: Airwave MTB
    Tire: Schwalbe City Jet 1.95

    Back Wheel: Yes, it has one of those too
    Rim: WTB SX24
    Spokes: Silver
    Hub: Shimano M475
    Tube: Airwave MTB
    Tire: Schwalbe City Jet


    Pictures:
    P1030691_zpsa2a9074b.jpg
    P1030690_zpscc795ff1.jpg
    P1030689_zpsf942badc.jpg
    P1030684_zps35eab096.jpg



    (Oh and this was pinched from the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth on Wednesday - any sightings, let me know!)

    P1030506_zps0cab3269.jpg
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    Wow that Malt frame is massive.
  • TwellyTwelly Posts: 1,437
    I should hope so, the rider is pretty massive too..
  • mrmonkfingermrmonkfinger Posts: 1,452
    Wow that Malt frame is massive.

    Is it?

    Must admit it didn't look that massive. How big is it?


    Oh, and tidy build BTW. Like the clean look with no front mech and associated cabling etc.
  • TwellyTwelly Posts: 1,437
    21" supposedly but it feels bigger than my 20" Cube LTD. Different geometry I guess.

    Took it for a short (and slow - no brakes!) test ride this evening and everything is in order. Gear change is perfect and crisp and the range is very good bearing in mind I have left it as a single ring up front. I will wait until I can use it properly before I make a final decision on the size of the front ring. Brakes should be here in a couple of weeks and then I can get some miles done on it.

    I have seen these forks cheap on the bay to replace the Recons. 685g compared to over 2kg for the Recon and under £30. Any opinions?
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-MOSSO-Alu ... 2326e364ec
  • mrmonkfingermrmonkfinger Posts: 1,452
    I looked at those. Light, but not suspension corrected, so quite short axle-to-crown measurement, 41.3cm. Also every seller on ebay worked out near £40 by the time its posted.

    I ended up going for some pipedream infinity forks, they're 45cm axle to crown, so work on an XC frame quite nicely. Brand spanking for £50 as well, http://www.pipedreamcycles.com/infinity-rigids/
  • TwellyTwelly Posts: 1,437
    Cheers for the tip. I'm assuming they are steel? How heavy?
  • Levi_501Levi_501 Posts: 1,105
    Nice bike.

    IMHO, best rigid fork for the money is the Kona Project II. They seem a bit difficult to find these days , but do come up.
  • mrmonkfingermrmonkfinger Posts: 1,452
    TwellySmat wrote:
    Cheers for the tip. I'm assuming they are steel? How heavy?

    Not a clue I'm afraid.

    You could always ask Pipedream :)

    Kona P2 was on my list, but didn't manage to find one of the right type. They seem to come in different sizes and some have rack/guard eyes, some don't, some are disc, some canti, etc...
  • TwellyTwelly Posts: 1,437
    Finished! (pretty much)

    Brakes arrived today so they are on, hoses shortened and all working beautifully. Bit of a bodge with the cable ties on the hoses but I'm sure somebody will let me know of a neater way of keeping the rear hose attached to this frame...

    Pictures:
    P1030693_zpsa3f38536.jpg
    P1030706_zpsc6dfd3cf.jpg
    P1030707_zps8b35a29d.jpg
    P1030708_zps12ca7368.jpg
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    P1030713_zps79c22bba.jpg
    P1030714_zps5e1608b3.jpg
  • TwellyTwelly Posts: 1,437
    Still on the hunt for a rigid fork but I may also throw some nobblies on this and take it off road occasionally.

    May change the chainring after I have spent a few miles on it.

    For anyone who cares, the build cost is on the good side of £600, will work out the total when I can be arsed.

    This will eventually inherit the wheelset from my Cube LTD and the WTB wheels will become a slick tyred spare set which I can use with the Cube or the Malt.
  • Looking good! I'd love to build something like this but I already have 4 bikes and get in enough trouble for that many :P At one point had 7 last year and made myself cut that number down to 3 then just recently acquired a nice allez second hand like new for a cracking price and fitted some crud race guards for mucky winter road rides.

    On a side note looks lovely finished but sort those the cable ties out, Slot zip ties through those little slots on the frame hose guides and will look much neater or you can get 'c' clips that clip onto those little slots :)
  • mrmonkfingermrmonkfinger Posts: 1,452
    TwellySmat wrote:
    Bit of a bodge with the cable ties on the hoses but I'm sure somebody will let me know of a neater way of keeping the rear hose attached to this frame.

    Got any close ups of the hose guide / clips / etc on the seat stay?

    The top tube guides look like they might need these things:

    http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stor ... yId_273959
  • TwellyTwelly Posts: 1,437
    On a side note looks lovely finished but sort those the cable ties out, Slot zip ties through those little slots on the frame hose guides and will look much neater or you can get 'c' clips that clip onto those little slots :)

    Thanks, hadn't even noticed the slots underneath! Have rearranged the cable ties - much neater now.

    P1030719_zps97f0414c.jpg
    P1030718_zpsec009670.jpg
    P1030717_zps622b2b37.jpg

    Got any close ups of the hose guide / clips / etc on the seat stay?

    The top tube guides look like they might need these things:

    http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stor ... yId_273959

    I think you are right, cable ties will do for now but I'll pick some up next time I'm in Halfords.
  • mrmonkfingermrmonkfinger Posts: 1,452
    Now you've got them on, I'd stick with the cable ties. They don't fall off, unlike those clips...
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