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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all:

I have a c1999 Merlin Extralite that I can't hold together with scrounged parts anymore. I just can't bear to get rid of it, so it looks like I'm going to have to throw down for a full rebuild. Probably 11 speed Ultegra with a set of carbon Powertap wheels.

Being mostly a mountain biker, I don't really keep up on road tech and that leaves me with a few questions:

1: I think this bike has a 68mm BB with an English thread (haven't pulled the cranks to check yet.) Will one of the new Hollowtech designs work in it? Right now it just has an old style square taper BB in it.

2: Does anyone make stems for 1" steerer tubes anymore or is it better to just use a shim?

3: Is rear dropout spacing still the same--ie will an 11sp wheel fit in the frame?

4: Finally, are there any individual components that I should consider upgrading to DA--ie that offer a significant a performance boost for not much cost? I'm not concerned with weight--I have a 14# rocket for group rides.

Thanks!
 

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1 yes.
2. maybe but I'd just use a shim. The era of 1" threadless lasted about 2 years. They used to come as standard with 1 1/8 stems.
3. dropout spacing has been 130 mm since 8-speed came out. So yes.
4. don't know Shimano.
 

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1:yes, Hollwgram bottom bracket will work and is ridiculously easy to install.
2: get a shim
3: 130mm works
4: Shimano 6800 is the best value for money anywhere, no need to switch anything

Check for youtube videos by Shimano for help doing complete bike builds.
Shimano Netherlands tech support had one about 9070 that helped me a lot.
 

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Is your 1" steerer tube threaded or threadless? (with 1999, it could go either way)

If it's threadless, 1-1/8 shims work just fine for the stem. I'm not sure if anyone make good stems and bars in 26.0mm size, so you'll have to go oversized.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, all.

My steerer is threadless. Honestly, I should probably just keep the stem/bars I have, but since I'm tearing the whole thing down, it would be nice to have a sweet set of carbon bars.

My hope is that replacing the decals is the worst part of the build...
 

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Why do you think that you need/want Carbon bars??
 

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4. Art's Cyclery posted a video on the best bang for the buck in Shimano components: Ask a Mechanic: Mixing Shimano components

Summary: The most compelling component for a DA upgrade is the FD. DA shifters are worth the upgrade, but stick to 105 if budget is tight.

Ultegra is the drivetrain sweet-spot, coupled with a 105 RD.

Just an FYI, Art's also posted a video for Campy components just last week: Ask a Mechanic: Campy parts ? how to buy smart but it only discusses Chorus and higher.
 

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Take a closer look at the BB. The early Merlin's up to and including many of the Extralights used pressed in bearings with a proprietary BB spindle. If you have one of these, you are going to be stuck with keeping the BB and choosing square taper cranks. If the frame does have threaded BB cups, then yes, then any standard English threaded BB will work. Unless my memory is failing me, Extralights came out after the industry switched to 8sp, so even if your estimate on the age of the frame is off, you should have no issue mounting new wheels with 11sp.
 

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Take a closer look at the BB. The early Merlin's up to and including many of the Extralights used pressed in bearings with a proprietary BB spindle. If you have one of these, you are going to be stuck with keeping the BB and choosing square taper cranks. If the frame does have threaded BB cups, then yes, then any standard English threaded BB will work. Unless my memory is failing me, Extralights came out after the industry switched to 8sp, so even if your estimate on the age of the frame is off, you should have no issue mounting new wheels with 11sp.
I did a bit of looking, and according to Bikepedia, the 1996 - 1999 Extralights used a regular Campy Record BB 1996 Merlin Extralight - BikePedia
 

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Correct. By 1999 Merlin had been using regular BB's for sometime. If I recall correctly, they started switching over to regular BB's around 1994 or so. I threw the comment out there, as I don't know how confident the OP was with the year of manufacture which if it wasn't a custom frame could be a year or three prior to when it was purchased from a retailer. It's a very quick/easy to tell if the frame uses a regular BB or pressed in cartridge bearings. There are definitely Extralights out there with the pressed in cartridge bearings.
 

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Why do you think that you need/want Carbon bars??
Advantages to carbon bars:
1) flat section on tops is slightly more comfortable
2) carbon bars don't corrode from salt in sweat

I switched to carbon bars because I was seeing aluminum bars corrode out every 40,000 miles or so. But maybe my sweat is more corrosive than most. Otherwise carbon bars would not be on my list.
 

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If your bike falls over, you should replace your bars, or you will die.
 
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