Friday, May 27, 2011

Merlins

Back in the day, I rode with a good group of guys from Albuquerque. We were all in our late 20s to early 30s and we were passionate about mountain biking. We pushed our bikes to the limit and we broke them. Finally one of us got a Merlin and that changed everything. Soon, all of us were riding them.


Merlins in their prime were hard to beat. Beautiful, light, strong, and fun to ride.

As far as I know, all of us still have each of ours; Jim's is now SS with its original steel fork and sits mostly in his shed in Corrales. He has since moved on to an Ibis Mojo SL.

John's is also reborn as an SS and a Russian Ti fork is presently running around the streets and hills of Salida, CO.

Mike's is still configured with its original stuff; rigid Ritchey steel fork and 3 x 8 gearing but it sits in his garage in Albuquerque because he is now riding a custom 29er SS. .

Mine is with me here in Venezuela as my prime bike and currently configured as a 1 x 9 with a carbon fiber fork. It will probably go back to SS mode when it moves back to NM later in the year since I will have the Litespeed and Rocky Mountain as geared bikes.

Technology and innovation plows ahead, but original Merlins will always be considered the ultimate to me. Classic!

5 comments:

tobascofish said...

Nice Barin!
Hope to see you in Salida one of these days (more likely than me coming to Venezuela).

Jim said...

Well shoot,I guess I'm gona mosey on out to the wooden shed and dust off my Merlin .I'm going to use the new Sturmey Archer 2speed kickback non coaster brake hub for it's rebirth

Mimbres Man said...

I still love my Merlin. Its part of me, and often zone out on it. Suddenly I'll be somewhere else.

I have a super light Rocky Mountain (carbon fiber) Vertex Team issue frame ready to be built up. I am afraid it'll ruin me.

2bb02cec-7086-11e0-9f9b-000bcdcb2996 said...

yeah the carbon . . . I write as a Merlin owner. (Road.) I've also had two high end Litespeeds: road and mtn. A couple weeks ago I tested a Giant TCR. Went on a good 35 mi. ride on my favorite road. Big Mistake. The damn thing really goes and was more precise and planted than anything I've ridden. By far. I think maybe time has moved on.

2bb02cec-7086-11e0-9f9b-000bcdcb2996 said...

yeah the carbon . . . I write as a Merlin owner. (Road.) I've also had two high end Litespeeds: road and mtn. A couple weeks ago I tested a Giant TCR. Went on a good 35 mi. ride on my favorite road. Big Mistake. The damn thing really goes and was more precise and planted than anything I've ridden. By far. I think maybe time has moved on.