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Old 04-05-06, 11:51 AM   #1
folder fanatic
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What Wrong With Merc?

I received a puzzling e-mail today on the Merc. Here it is in it's present unaltered form:

Subject: Re: [BromptonTalk] New Merc

steve wrote:
> There is one selling on the Ebay at 330 new - are they as good as a
> Brompton? I thought Brompton had a patent on the design of the bike?
>
> http://www.mercbike.com/
>

AtoB's review of them says "A bit scary this. The Merc is an attractive
Chinese pirated clone of the Brompton, correct in most respects, and
apparently upgraded from the classic British bike, thanks to a light
alloy frame. The reality is a bike that weighs 13.2kg (heavier than the
steel Brompton!), on which almost nothing works properly - the saddle
slips down, the brakes barely function, the front carrier block is a bit
dodgy, and the cables get in a tangle when you fold it up. If offered
one at the ludicrous price of 499 - or any other price - just say no."


Tony

Care to comment new and potentual Merc owners?
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Old 04-05-06, 12:20 PM   #2
pharnabazos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by folder fanatic
I received a puzzling e-mail today on the Merc. Here it is in it's present unaltered form:

Subject: Re: [BromptonTalk] New Merc

steve wrote:
> There is one selling on the Ebay at 330 new - are they as good as a
> Brompton? I thought Brompton had a patent on the design of the bike?
>
> http://www.mercbike.com/
>


Care to comment new and potentual Merc owners?
I think they're weighing the bike with lights and whatever else comes with it. And there was already some question about AtoB being cronies of Brompton.

http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php...highlight=AtoB
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Old 04-05-06, 01:17 PM   #3
Tazman
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The review was a while ago from the looks of it. Prices on the Merc have come down too. I read the review by waveshrdr and it seemed pretty positive. No mention of cable issues or luggage problems. I saw that same one on eBay. It looked like it came from the company that was importing them. Maybe they are following Downtube's marketing plan.
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Old 04-05-06, 02:25 PM   #4
LittlePixel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tazman
Maybe they are following Downtube's marketing plan.
LOL!
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Old 04-15-06, 01:38 PM   #5
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I bought one of these Merc Bikes on ebay for 330, and I've been riding it around for a few days. I like it a lot, though I think with a fifty two tooth chain ring and a 14 tooth sprocket, it is a bit over geared for the terrain around here. I am used to riding a mountain bike though, so having only three gears takes a little getting used to. I intend to reduce the gearing a bit and have ordered a 44 tooth front chainring at the local bike shop to substitute for the original. This may be an idiosyncracy of my own (I'm 55 years old) and I do regularly need to ride up some steep hills. The bike felt weird at first, but now it's second nature to me and I love it.

It seems nicely finished from a cosmetic point of view, though as delivered it had a jammed gear change cable, which foxed me for a few minutes until I discovered what was wrong. The brakes are a LOT less effective than I'm used to and need a darned good pull to stop you on a hill. This may improve as the rims and shoes wear in. Another minor annoyance is that the seat post seems to slide down gradually, even though I have it clamped pretty tight. The movement is slight, but over say a half and hour, the seat post will sink maybe a half an inch into the frame.

I really like the bike inspite of these minor niggles, it rides amazingly well for such a compact machine, and has all the gadgets you need at a budget price. It comes equipped with lights, dynamo, mudguards, front luggage system, rear rack, carrying bag and a wee pouch to put it in whch will attach under the saddle.

It is such a compact and effective little ride that I think my other bikes will see a lot less use in future. For everyday whizzing about the city it seems hard to beat, and I can easily ride it at twelve to eighteen miles an hour, depending on headwinds, hills and so on.

When I get the smaller chain wheel, I'll bring some feedback about how it works out. Plenty of people on the Brompton discussion sites recommend this change if you happen to live somewhere a bit steep and windy like I do.
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