Restoring a 1970s Merlin

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roncat
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Joined: 28 Nov 2016, 4:04pm

Restoring a 1970s Merlin

Postby roncat » 28 Nov 2016, 4:17pm

Hi from an old life member - can you help with advice please sourcing parts.

I have an almost unused Merlin frameset (Bob Jackson of Leeds) that I am trying to restore to full working order. I need gear mechanisms, front and rear and chainrings. The frameset has Campagnolo ends and brazed of down tube gear lever bosses.

Is there anywhere I can get a Campag Nuovo Record rear changer? If not, is there any other changer that will hang on the Campag rear end?
Same for the Campag front changer.

I have TA 5-pin cranks (these are the old small 5-pin) and b/b, but need rings (54/44 would be ideal). Is there anywhere I can still get the old TA 5-pin double chain rings. If not, will any others fit?

I really also need a Campag seat pillar, 27.2mm. to fit a Brooks saddle. (I have a 26.4mm I can steal from my track bike, but it is a bit too loose.) If not, any alternative available?

All the best, and thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Ron

jk49
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Joined: 6 Apr 2013, 7:51pm

Re: Restoring a 1970s Merlin

Postby jk49 » 28 Nov 2016, 5:39pm

Not much of an answer, but have you tried keeping an eye out on the retrobike forum's classifieds. Perhaps posting a wanted ad on there may yield what you are after. Sorry, can't help with your other q's, as I know next to nothing about campag stuff.

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Vetus Ossa
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Re: Restoring a 1970s Merlin

Postby Vetus Ossa » 28 Nov 2016, 5:51pm

All of the parts you need Ron regularly show up on eBay, though they are getting more and more expensive, especially if you are looking for very good conditioned components.

tatanab
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Re: Restoring a 1970s Merlin

Postby tatanab » 28 Nov 2016, 5:51pm

roncat wrote:Is there anywhere I can get a Campag Nuovo Record rear changer? If not, is there any other changer that will hang on the Campag rear end? Same for the Campag front changer.
eBay, and pay the premium because it is Eroica eligible. Just about any old or modern rear mech , and front with the correct 28.6 diameter clamp will fit. It depends how fussy you are. A year ago I rebuilt a 1956 machine with 1960s kit (Nuovo Record rear mech for example) and it was quite pricey because of the Eroica effect.

I have TA 5-pin cranks (these are the old small 5-pin) and b/b, but need rings (54/44 would be ideal). Is there anywhere I can still get the old TA 5-pin double chain rings. If not, will any others fit?
Spa Cycles or St John Street Cycles. Velo Orange (I think) make a modern copy and is probably compatible.

I really also need a Campag seat pillar, 27.2mm. to fit a Brooks saddle. (I have a 26.4mm I can steal from my track bike, but it is a bit too loose.)
As above, eBay and pay typically £30 or so. I assume you are talking about a conventional Brooks saddle. About 1960 there was a special type made with narrow rails (loads of money) with a special Campag pillar to suit (again, loads of money). If I assume it is the conventional one then I have one I might offer at a bit less than eBay prices. I will try to PM you, but as you are a new member it may not work.
Last edited by tatanab on 28 Nov 2016, 5:55pm, edited 1 time in total.

fastpedaller
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Location: Norfolk

Re: Restoring a 1970s Merlin

Postby fastpedaller » 28 Nov 2016, 5:54pm

I sold a few TA rings last year - I realise that's not a helpful comment! They are regularly available (in various states of wear) on auction or internet sites. If you want new ones SJS cycles stock some (under obsolete/obscure), also Velo Orange cycles sell 'replicas' of both cranks and chainrings - they appear to be great quality. The uk distributor is freshtrip.

Brucey
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Re: Restoring a 1970s Merlin

Postby Brucey » 28 Nov 2016, 10:58pm

if you are going for period correct gears there is plenty of choice that will fit your frame. Are you going for early 70s or late 70's ?

- most gear levers are compatible with campag lever bosses; the exceptions mostly being French stuff. Having said that if you are going for late 70's a set of Simplex retrofriction levers would be kind of nice.

- most rear mechs will bolt onto a campag gear hanger OK. Just be sure to get a mech with enough capacity for your chosen gear ratios ( I would find 54/44 rather taxing, or need enormous sprockets at the back.... :shock: )

- as others have said a 28.6mm front mech is probably what you need. Two main wrinkles;

1) very few front mechs have a stop built in for cable housing, so if your front mech cable routing uses a housing stop on the down tube near the bottom bracket (as is common on 1970's frames), you will need to revise this or get a mech to suit.

2) The other thing is a bit more subtle; if you are looking to use TA (or similar stronglight) cranks, you can't easily use a mech with a cambered/shaped outer side plate, because it will tend to hit the crank (and/or scrape on the chain) when you are in top gear. Post 1978 campagnolo nuovo record front mechs often have a shaped outer side plate; this was added to satisfy the US CPSC's worries that the front edge would otherwise be too sharp and cause an accident. Later crank designs nearly all have an increased clearance between the crank and the big ring, so that a wider front mech can be used.

BTW if you want a campag seat pin but can't find one (or don't want to shim the one you have), you could try looking for an SR one instead; they were made in the same pattern as the classic campag two-bolt, but are cheaper, lighter(than one with steel clamp parts), and perhaps easier to find.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ANTONISH
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Re: Restoring a 1970s Merlin

Postby ANTONISH » 29 Nov 2016, 9:52am

Cycle jumbles are often a good source for vintage equipment.

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MikewsMITH2
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Re: Restoring a 1970s Merlin

Postby MikewsMITH2 » 2 Dec 2016, 8:58pm

New TA Pro 5 Vis (Cyclotouriste) rings are still made and (sporadically) available in all sizes 26-52T. PM me if you need some.
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roncat
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Re: Restoring a 1970s Merlin

Postby roncat » 3 Dec 2016, 12:14am

Thanks to everyone for some great suggestions. Now I can move ahead.
(PM reply to tatanab)
Ron