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  1. #1
    Folding bike junkie! Wavshrdr's Avatar
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    The new Merc I ordered

    I know there has been a lot of talk about the Mercbike. I have recently ordered the new version of the Merc. It really isn't available yet but I am posting pictures of it. I am sure you more eagle-eyed riders will figure out the cool new upgrades. Take a look and see what you think. I rather like the improvements they have made. This will be the basis of my new hybrid.





  2. #2
    Edd
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    Thanks for the photos, the upgrades are all the ones that will impove the Brompton design, shame the original company has not adopted them already. I suppose we will all benefit from he competition! Look forward to your future experiences.

  3. #3
    Seņor Mambo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wavshrdr
    I am sure you more eagle-eyed riders will figure out the cool new upgrades.
    You mean the bell?

    Do they sell spare parts?

  4. #4
    Folding bike junkie! Wavshrdr's Avatar
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    I knew about it earlier but I wanted to make sure I had the company's permission before I shared the photos. A lot of nice improvements to look for. The fold is not impacted either.

  5. #5
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    looks nice ....

    I dont like the cluttered up-ness of the bike... and I hate the shifting cable free hanging cable mess..... surely things one can de-clutter and route much better.
    why a double chain tensioner ... that could be solved with a much smallerless complicated one speed conversion idler I would think .... doesnt that idler puller steel plates make a funny noise ?

    whats the rubber block in front of the head tube for ?

    but not bad , it does make a small fold indeed.

    thor

  6. #6
    Folding bike junkie! Wavshrdr's Avatar
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    Double tensioner is similiar to the Brompton design as in 2 idler wheels. All cable routing is determined by the Bromptonesque fold. One of the facts of life in this design but I can't say that it has resulted in bad feel on my Bromptons. The steel plates are only there to guide during the fold.

    The front rubber block is actually a front bag carrier that comes standard on the Merc but it is a $100 upgrade on most Bromptons.

    My plan is to use this drive setup in combination with the rear hub and rear derailleur to have a 12spd Brompton. The brakes are going to be far superior to any of the factory Brompton's I have ridden. One general plus to all Mercs is they powdercoat the frames rather than paint them.

  7. #7
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    Wav, are you a gentleman of independant means? I'm digging my way through the past threads in this forum in order to learn more about folders, and it seems that you're either assembling a personal museum, or you're Ernst Blofeld, secretly equipping a personal army of bicycle-mounted death squads.


  8. #8
    Folding bike junkie! Wavshrdr's Avatar
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    @bookishboy I may have to start moving the kids out of their bedrooms to make room for more bikes.

    Fortunately they share my affliction to things with wheels and wings. My son came home from doing a PE test and said I didn't do too well in school at the mile run. He rattled of his time and it was darn good for his age and I commented as such. He said but someone beat him and he was second in his grade but before I could even console him a little and say it was an excellent performance he said "That if it was on a bicycle there was no one in school that would beat him regardless of age!" Which I prouldly could admit is probably true and he is no where near the oldest or highest grade in school.

    So fortunately for me they don't mind a few folders stuffed in their rooms, (just kidding). My new job is stressful job and this is a good way for me to relax and unwind. It helps teach my children about engineering and other useful concepts. They learn to turn their own wrenches and do maintenance. Fortunately to by an excellent bike isn't quite as expensive as an excellent car.

    I must admit though their is a method to my apparent madness. I have a few kids and each year I was stuck with the task of the continuous cycle of buying a bike as they grew and grew and grew. I didn't want to buy them a piece of junk so I ended up laying out quite a bit of money on an annual basis. Then it hit me. Why not move them to a folder that could easily "grow" with them due to the great range of adjustability? So instead of buying a new bike each year I invested in one GOOD folder for each of them. A side benefit was that I could fit several folders in the trunk of the car and often not need to take a bike rack when we went riding somewhere other than locally.

    Now the kids have learned to appreciate quality. They are much faster and I can employ "trickle down" bicycle economics for them. If I buy something and I dont' really like it I pass it down the bicycle hand-me-down path. If one of the kids actually likes it enough to give up their current bike it then gets passed down to the next in line. If it finally reaches bottom (i.e. no more kids or family members) it gets sold off. So even while buying some pretty decent bikes on an annual basis my overal expenditures have dropped substantially while overal bicycling satisfaction is at an all time high. Ask how many kids (or adults for that matter) enjoy going bicycling when it is below freezing. This past winter we went numerous times as weather and roads allowed. Only one of my children elected to keep their "normal" bike and that was under the condition they could keep a folder too as their normal bike was a "race" bike. So now my children have turned into the ultimate folder fanatics. As my son says "You can't ride your bike if you don't have it with you!" So now we almost always have a bike around to ride. I am tame compared to Chop.

    Anyway there is a lot of info to dig through here and most everyone is a helpful bunch. If you can't find what you are looking for I am sure someone will be glad to help. I will be posting my observations of the Merc when I get it which should be next week sometime. Hopefully by then we will have less snow on the ground. I am sick of winter and want to get in some longer rides.
    Last edited by Wavshrdr; 04-04-06 at 09:01 PM.

  9. #9
    Edd
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    Wav I wondered how you did it, my kids aren't into it, what a shame, I could have used the same rationale. Your a clever man! Must be tempting to have more kids.

    When will these bikes be available and what will the distribution channels be?

  10. #10
    Seņor Mambo
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    Quote Originally Posted by brakemeister
    why a double chain tensioner ... that could be solved with a much smallerless complicated one speed conversion idler I would think ....
    Actually, that "double chain tensioner" is pretty neat.

    Because of the way it folds, the Brompton should lose chain tension since the distance between the rear hub and chainring become smaller (for Bike Friday, the chain often falls off; I forget the effect on a Birdy). However, when folding, the long arm of the chain tensioner flips itself over to keep the chain tensioned so that there is no slop in the chain, thus no chain drop (important especially for commuting on train or bus, I suppose).

    It's ugly, but performs well. Too bad there is not a picture of the other side of the bike to see it in action.

  11. #11
    Senior Member pharnabazos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brakemeister
    looks nice ....

    I dont like the cluttered up-ness of the bike...
    +1
    nikę d' epameibetai andras

  12. #12
    easy racer
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    That's it! Decent brakes, alloy frame, and proper looking handlebars.
    I want one!

    What's the price? The same as the previous model?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Fear&Trembling's Avatar
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    The pictures look enticing. It appears that Merc have addressed a number of issues that Brommie owners often complain about or modify. As such, it may well provide Brompton with some serious competition.

    I would be interested to know how it rides...

  14. #14
    Life in Mono
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    Looks like improvements all round - Did you order it from the UK or US ... or direct from far east ?

    I feel Brompton have got a bum deal - just as folding bikes start to take off (and they were a major influence in this), their patent runs out - and lower cost copies (OK with improvements) come out. I guess they must now trade on their brand - ie do we want want a real 'Gucci' or a far east 'Gucci' copy.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simple Simon
    I feel Brompton have got a bum deal - just as folding bikes start to take off (and they were a major influence in this), their patent runs out - and lower cost copies (OK with improvements) come out. I guess they must now trade on their brand - ie do we want want a real 'Gucci' or a far east 'Gucci' copy.
    In Britain at least, Brompton have had some interesting legal rulings regarding design 'copyright'. Their patents expired years ago. It will be interesting to see what will happen with Merc in the EU.

  16. #16
    Folding bike junkie! Wavshrdr's Avatar
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    Brakes are upgraded a lot; pads, levers, brakes themselves. Fold stays the same. I too like the dropped bars. I also like that they use the rotating shifter levers better than the funky levers that Brompton uses.

    Something nobody has mentioned so far is shock absorbing handlebar stem. Now you will have suspension front and rear. It has high pressure kevlar belted tires. I like the grips better than what come on the bars.

    I like the fact that it has a kickstand that I can remove if I want to save weight or keep it if I plan to load the rack up with luggage. It will kneel like th Bromptons do as well. I like the bar ends as well and the height adjustable stem. The telescopic seatpost is a $70 add-on from Brompton as well.

    I think that the Merc is a much better competitor to the Brompton. Its price has creeped up but I can't honestly comment on exactly what it will be as firm pricing hasn't been set yet. I ordered it from the UK. It took a lot of cajoling to get them to part with it but since it was obvious and I am an avid bike enthusiast I was able to pry one of them loose.

    It is obvious they put a lot of thought into this time around and listened to other owners. The overall fit and finish seems better to and definitely compenents are of a higher spec. It sort of reminds of the car maker Kia in how they have improved. The base model will still be around. My initial impression is that even if the final price is much closer to the mid-level Brommies that you will have a lot more bang for the buck as the most critical bits seem to be of good or better quality. The hub is the same. Now we have real Shimano brakes, better tires, etc. etc.
    Last edited by Wavshrdr; 04-04-06 at 09:03 PM.

  17. #17
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    wavshrdr,

    Thanks for the pics. I hope this bike makes it to the states! I am particularly interested in how you think the front suspension performs...it looks like an adaptation of a standard suspension seatpost. BTW, I definitely have folding bike envy when I think of all the bikes you own!!!

    juan162

  18. #18
    Senior Member Fear&Trembling's Avatar
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    it looks like an adaptation of a standard suspension seatpost.

    Yep, Steve Parry has been doing this adaptation for years - good to see Merc have employed it!

    Reach looks a bit short for taller riders wanting a more stretched out riding position (why I could not live with my Brompton), but you could presumably swop the S-Type Brompton stem and gain approx 50mm.

  19. #19
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    This bike was manufactured by a company called Neobike, based in Taiwan. They had a license many years ago to make Brompton bikes for Asia and the US. Brompton let the license run out without renewing many years ago. The original founders of Neobike were sued successfully by Dahon for IP theft and the company was subsequently sold a few times and won't be around much longer. I read somewhere that Merc was trying to bring these bikes into the UK a few years ago but Brompton was making some noise about suing for design infringement and so the whole thing stopped. I wonder if Merc has a whole warehouse of these somewhere or if it's just a sample.

    They have made some nice improvements to the Brompton's typical shortcomings. But I don't like that suspension stem (really just a suspension seat post). I've ridden suspension stems before and I prefer my handlebars stationary rather than moving up and down.

  20. #20
    Folding bike junkie! Wavshrdr's Avatar
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    I can deal with some handlebar movement if it is well controlled. The bars are going to move up and down when you hit a big bump anyway so what is the difference. If it is not well controlled then it will be an issue for me too. Too early to say until I try this particular version. I have either liked it or hated it based on my past experience. One bike I hated it at first and then it got better over time as I adapted a bit. If I can adjust the pre-load then I will be much happier.

    What I do appreciate is they are trying to advance the design a bit. Regardless of if you really like it or not we all benefit when manufacturers compete. It improves the breed in general and prevents stagnation. They way I see it is if you will never fail if you don't take chances but you won't ever succeed either. If they make 6 changes and 1 fails so what at least we made progress and hopefullly the one failure isn't a critical one and I can correct it myself.

  21. #21
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    Well, what is the price Wavshrdr? And how can someone else get one?

  22. #22
    Folding bike junkie! Wavshrdr's Avatar
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    Price isn't final yet and I can't say what I paid. I think it will be about 600 pounds or so. Which is abouth 200 pounds more than the normal bike which seems quite reasonable in light of all the upbrades. So roughly about $1000 US. The model like mine should be actual available to order in about 6-8 weeks. They had received a few in house for a bike show and I was able to secure one of them. I can't actually comment too much about price because of the circumstances of how I am getting the bike. Once they decided price I am sure they will publish it.
    Last edited by Wavshrdr; 04-04-06 at 09:04 PM.

  23. #23
    www.getafolder.com wpflem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wavshrdr
    Price isn't final yet and I can't say what I paid. I think it will be about 600 pounds or so. Which is abouth 200 pounds more than the normal bike which seems quite reasonable in light of all the upbrades. So roughly about $1000 US. The model like mine should be actual available to order in about 6-8 weeks. They had received a few in house for a bike show and I was able to secure one of them.
    Thanks for the images. Looks like Merc may not be a good Brompton competition in the USA, the big problem with bike import pricing is in the cost of shipping. Brompton has somehow managed to put together an amazingly economical distribution system. As long as my Brompton dealer order exceeds $500, I don't pay shipping (only import fees) and the products come all the way to our store. Anyone know how they do this? I've asked, but never gotten an answer. In contrast, Pashley or Moulton originating in England costs 300 or 400 dollars to send over.

    Wavshrdr, you son's quote, "can't ride your bike if you don't have it" has got to be the best pitch for folders for that I've ever heard.
    Celebrating Bicycling
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    http://www.sfbikes.com or http://www.getafolder.com/

  24. #24
    Folding bike junkie! Wavshrdr's Avatar
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    Shipping wasn't terrible.
    Last edited by Wavshrdr; 04-04-06 at 09:04 PM.

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    Amazing. Top notch. IMO that Merc boots Brompton but in every conceivable way. So you are saying that is a standard model and not a custom job? I am well impressed and may one day get one.

    @ Wav., do you get the feeling that Merc is here to stay? Or are they having trouble and might they soon cease to exist? I really hope the former.

    It is really high time for Brompton to wake up and smell the coffee.
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

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