Mike Augspurger: That first Merlin was made using Fat City's shop. Ron Andrews, kingcage.com, and I were able to use their set up and a full sized drawing laid out on the floor to make the first official Merlin. Gary Helfrich had been experimenting on his own and made one bike out of CP (commercially pure) titanium and another out of good tubing. These first two frames proved that he had figured out the welding, gave us a chance to actually ride a titanium frame, and convinced me to join up. We offered Chris Chance a share. People already associated Fat City with titanium. It was a natural thing to start making titanium Fat Chances but Chris didn't want to take it on. If he had been ready to work with us, there never would have been a Merlin at all.
catalogs & manuals:
1988 catalog
1989 catalog
1991 catalog
1991 catalog spec
1993 catalog
1994 1 catalog
1994 2 catalog
1994 catalog flyer germany
1995 catalog flyer newsboy 1
1995 catalog flyer newsboy 2
1997 catalog
1999 catalog
1999 pricelist germany
2002 catalog flyer newsboy
2006 catalog
2007 catalog
2009 catalog

2001 manual MMTM form
2001 manual MBBG
2001 manual MBBG NG

   
  description (presumption)
  1985
- the earlymobile (gary helfrich, 05.11.2014 : First titanium bike sold (by me). Price was $105, or just enough to buy some more materials. The picture is fairly recent, so some parts are new, but the bike has been ridden by the original owner for the last 29 years.)
- headtube externally butted, for 1" forks.
- 4cm flat bottom bracket
- "breezer" dropouts
- atom drum brakes
   
  1986
one of  first titanium made frame at fat city cycles.
- headtube externally butted, for 1" forks.
- titanium fork?
- ? bottom bracket
- dropouts horizontal rear
  1986
- merlin touring (integral titanium rack, added later to the frame).
- headtube externally butted, for 1" forks.
- 4cm bottom bracket
- dropouts horizontal rear
- drum brakes
1987
merlin road titanium xy, bike tech, 12/1987
- headtube externally butted, for 1" forks.
- 4cm bottom bracket
- dropouts horizontal rear
- road brakes
1987
merlin marin titanium xy
first 200 frames should have been marins. but some early frames would have merlin not marin stickers. marin was going to market all the frames, but they didn't buy as many as the promised, so merlin sold a few with merlin stickers (mostly to friends).
merlin made a few frames, then started to make batches of 30. 30 medium first, then 30 large, and 30 small.
- dropouts horizontal rear
   
1987
early titanium made with fat city cycles decals
- headtube externally butted not as extensive.
- dropouts horizontal rear
- dropouts horizontal rear
- chainstay u-brake
 
 
 
 
   
1987
mountain bike action, 12/1987
 mountain bike action, 05/1988, david turners marin team titanium
merlin marin titanium 4?
1987
mountain (catalog 1987?)
1987
merlin mountain 50

 
 
  1987
merlin mountain 65
- dropouts vertical front (new standard)
  1987
marin merlin mountain 90
- solid one-piece/3cable routing (new standard)
  1987
merlin titanium 100
- "chain control device".
 
 
  1987
merlin mountain 154
- constant headtube (new standard)
- constant bottom bracket (new standard), pressfit.
1987
merlin mountain 186, custom build
- bigger 1.5" downtube.
 
1988
merlin mountain 296
- seatstays u-brake
   
1988
merlin ti foon (prototype newsboy)
- round down- & toptubes, seatstays.
- separate internally downtube cable routing
1989
merlin mountain (catalog 1989)
1989
merlin monostay 288
- modified mountain frame
1989
merlin mongoose
- titanium front, steel rear
 
  1990
merlin salsa
1990
merlin elevator (prototype)
- standard diamond front, elevated chainstays.
- bigger down-, top- & seattube.
- custom dropouts
- machined seatpost area
 
1990
merlin elevator prototype
- elevated chainstays.
- downtube/chainstays. linear (new standard).
- bigger down-, top- & seattube.
- canti-brakes.
- titanium girder fork > combo with stem & bar
- custom dropouts
   
1990
merlin ashley, custom build
- geo for smaller people (prototype).
- bigger downtube
- headtube externally butted
- chainstays bended/welded (prototype, new standard 1992).
- seatstays ovalized
- canti brake seatstays (new standard).
 
 
   
1991
merlin mountain (catalog 1991)
   
1991
merlin elevator 4198
- elevated chainstays.
- downtube/chainstays. linear (new standard).
- bigger down-, top- & seattube.
- elevator/suspension dropouts (new standard)
- u-brakes.
  1991
merlin elevator 4276
- elevated chainstays
- downtube/chainstays linear.
- bigger down-, top- & seattube.
- canti-brakes (new standard).
   
1992
merlin suspension prototype 1
- downtube/chainstays. linear.
- no pivot.
- fork, stem & bar combo
 
1992
merlin suspension prototype 2
- downtube/chainstays. linear.
- pivot next to dropouts.
- standard fork
 
1993
merlin suspension
- standard diamond front, elevated chainstays.
- no pivot.
- flat flexible chainstays, round seatstays
- standard fork.
   
1993
merlin mountain 9187
- bended chainstays (s-bend, new standard, 1992)
- custom u-brakes
1993
merlin tandem custom
1994
merlin suspension prototype
- downtube/chainstays. linear. additional flat tube.
- no pivot.
- frame, fork, stem & bar combo.
 
1995
merlin xlm 001
- internally butted tubes (new standard xlm).
- headtube  for 1" forks.
1995
merlin newsboy
- round down- & toptubes, seatstays.
- headtube for 1 1/8" forks (new standard).
- internally downtube cable routing
- titanium machined seatpost binder (new standard).
- u-brake chainstays
   
1995
merlin newsboy
- custom truss fork & bar.
  1995
merlin newsboy n0006
- custom dropouts.
   
1997
merlin xlm 0884
- headtube  for 1 1/8" forks (new standard, 1995).
  1997
merlin newsboy 13519
- alloy seatpost clamp (new standard, 1997).