I’ve been spending a lot of time on retrobike.co.uk, which is probably the biggest English retro site out there, going through the 250 pages of posts on readers bikes.
Here’s a beautiful Merlin from the back pages;
It’s pretty much perfect. Not just in the period correctness of the parts, but in the particular brands chosen. Parts on this bike come from the legends of the industry that are of just the right style for a Merlin. Like Wilderness Trail Bikes (hubs), Interloc Racing Designs (seatpost), Salsa (stem), Specialized (tires), and Ritchey (fork).
Add in rare black Shimano XT brakes, those fabulous 4-finger brake levers, Mavic rims, Sugino cranks, and a Regina Extra Amercia freewheel – this is some crazily rare piece that I don’t even know what it is – and you have perfection.
It was posted three years ago, but there are some more fabulous pictures here;
I talked about price in my last post, but this is a bike that it would be very hard to put a price on. I don’t know that I’d ever have the budget to make the builder let it go. But even then, you’d hope that it’s a bike the owner can hang onto it until he’s able to pass it on to a younger family member, and so on.
No question, this is a 10.