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Old 10-19-08, 12:03 PM   #1
danoulz
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Brompton / Merc on eBay: advice please

Hello all !

There's a Merc for sale on eBay. It has upgraded parts and comes with a few spares:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...m=220296158846

The paint is flaking away in places but apart from that it looks like a decent ride.

What do you think, price-wise ? Up to how much would you be ready to spend for it ? (knowing that most Bromptons don't sell below 300 GBP on eBay)

Cheers, Dan

Last edited by danoulz; 10-19-08 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 10-19-08, 12:51 PM   #2
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Can you really get a brommi for 300? If yes, I would wait for that. But then on the other hand, I recall Anita sold those mercs for ~ 440.. Since she not sells them any more, this might be a rare chance to get your hands on such bike. They are durable and I believe this bike is "as good" as a new merc, (with exception of the broken roller wheel stay) especially if you don't want to upgrade yourself but benefit from all the adds the seller made, so probably also for 300 an okay deal - as long as you are sure this bike will fit you?

I think, the seller errors in a few of his claims:
  • "...The MERC chain tensioner is alloy not plastic like the Brompton..."
No, the standard Merc chain tensioner is plastic, but then, probably on this bike it was upgraded for an alloy tensioner.
  • "...and I believe a 70 Brompton kit will fit straight on to convert it to 2 speed derailleur..!"
No, when using the 2Spd derailleur brompton uses the SRAM 3 spd hub, the derailleur does not fit with the sturmey archer hub, at least not without mods. The merc hub is already very wide, when folded the nut sticks between the spokes of the front wheel.
  • "...The Brompton self locking catch does not always self lock as the seat post clamp[COLOR="Blue"] is about the only area of dimension difference between the two bikes..."
Well no, there are a lot of other - admittedly small - dimension differences between a merc and and a current brompton.
  • "...It it powder coated finish not liquored like the Brompton is..."
Brompton bikes are powder coated, like mercs. At least on my merc the colour is far less durable than on my brommi.
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Old 10-19-08, 02:11 PM   #3
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Can you really get a brommi for 300? If yes, I would wait for that. But then on the other hand, I recall Anita sold those mercs for ~ 440.. Since she not sells them any more, this might be a rare chance to get your hands on such bike. They are durable and I believe this bike is "as good" as a new merc, (with exception of the broken roller wheel stay) especially if you don't want to upgrade yourself but benefit from all the adds the seller made, so probably also for 300 an okay deal - as long as you are sure this bike will fit you?

I think, the seller errors in a few of his claims:
  • "...The MERC chain tensioner is alloy not plastic like the Brompton..."
No, the standard Merc chain tensioner is plastic, but then, probably on this bike it was upgraded for an alloy tensioner.
  • "...and I believe a 70 Brompton kit will fit straight on to convert it to 2 speed derailleur..!"
No, when using the 2Spd derailleur brompton uses the SRAM 3 spd hub, the derailleur does not fit with the sturmey archer hub, at least not without mods. The merc hub is already very wide, when folded the nut sticks between the spokes of the front wheel.
  • "...The Brompton self locking catch does not always self lock as the seat post clamp[color="Blue"] is about the only area of dimension difference between the two bikes..."
Well no, there are a lot of other - admittedly small - dimension differences between a merc and and a current brompton.
  • "...It it powder coated finish not liquored like the Brompton is..."
Brompton bikes are powder coated, like mercs. At least on my merc the colour is far less durable than on my brommi.
OMG, you are such a Brommie freak !!! , If I were to buy a Brompton I would take you with me !!!

Last edited by Tommy C; 10-19-08 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 10-19-08, 02:45 PM   #4
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OMG, you are such a Brommie freak !!! , I were to buy a Brompton I would take you with me !!!
I admit, you are probably right...you are not by any chance plan to buy one? You pay the air travel to toronto and I will be happy to assist your shopping - and be more than happy for the chance to have a close look at some nice US folders
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Old 10-20-08, 03:53 AM   #5
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I have to say that I think this is a very honest assessment by the seller, the q I would ask any buyer is how heavy are you - I think I am too heavy for my merc.... (so am following this sale with interest, mine might be up next).
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Old 10-20-08, 09:40 AM   #6
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Y'all know that I am an avid fan of the Merc. This seller has made some useful mods - the brakes especially, although I have learned to live with mine (perhaps I should say that I have lived in spite of them).

A mate of mine bought one and managed to destroy the thread that holds the front luggage mounting block to the frame. Maybe they used the same dimension bolt in the soft alloy Merc frame as Brompton used in the original steel one. My block is fine, but I haven't used the luggage much and don't overload it anyway. My mate certainly did overload his and the bolt pulled out, stripped the threads and broke his block. Anita had it repaired at her expense which I wouldn't have done at all.

The bike is at 200 right now, but it could well rise since there are six days to go. Given that Anita was selling them for 330, I would n't go above pretty well where it is now or maybe another 30. I think she still has a few which she wanted to keep for some reason. Maybe you could work on her and still get a new one.



As to weight limits. The original bike never had a published weight limit on it as far as I know. It is true that the new Grace Gallant bikes (they are the manufacturers) publish a 180 pound rider weight limit, but those have a different frame design. I weigh about 170 pounds and have ridden mine 3300 miles in all kinds of rough and ready roads. The only failures were some spokes in the early days, but I think the back wheel was badly tensioned from new. They have ceased to be a problem a long time ago. I carefully inspect my frame and wheels about every 300 miles and can find no signs of flaws in either.

Last edited by EvilV; 10-20-08 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 10-20-08, 09:49 AM   #7
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I think she still has a few which she wanted to keep for some reason. Maybe you could work on her and still get a new one.
I appreciate your advice, thank you !

How can I contact this "Anita", and is she UK-based ?

Regards, Dan
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Old 10-20-08, 10:04 AM   #8
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I appreciate your advice, thank you !

How can I contact this "Anita", and is she UK-based ?

Regards, Dan
Yes she is UK based - Hitchin, I think or around that locality.

this is her ebay seller detail:

http://shop.ebay.co.uk/merchant/123maddy

You can email her through that link I think. She has stopped selling them, but last I heard she still had a few.
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Old 10-20-08, 12:04 PM   #9
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You can email her through that link I think. She has stopped selling them, but last I heard she still had a few.
Just got confirmation from Anita that she does not have any Mercs for sale.
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Old 10-20-08, 05:42 PM   #10
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If it helps at all you might want to search for the Nishiki Oxford or Flamingobike as they are also aluminium Brompton clones, albeit with slightly different frame tubing.
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Old 10-21-08, 04:21 AM   #11
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If it helps at all you might want to search for the Nishiki Oxford or Flamingobike as they are also aluminium Brompton clones, albeit with slightly different frame tubing.
I don't like the looks of the Flamingo bike very much, but the Nishiki Oxford seems great !

http://blocs.mesvilaweb.cat/node/view/id/56800

http://www.segundamano.es/vi/12267601.htm?ca=28_s

http://www.flamingobike.com/products...id=3&cid=3#pro

http://www.flamingobike.com/products...d=55&cid=3#pro

http://www.flamingobike.com/products...d=60&cid=3#pro
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Old 10-21-08, 05:09 AM   #12
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I'd bet anything that the Nishi Oxford is the same bike as the Merc. Apart from looking exactly the same as mine except for the seat, it has the exact same badge on the dynamo. Unfortunately, 720 Euros is hugely more expensive than the Merc's old price of 330.
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Old 10-24-08, 09:50 AM   #13
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this has been removed - did it sell privately does anyone know by any chance?
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Old 10-24-08, 10:43 AM   #14
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this has been removed - did it sell privately does anyone know by any chance?
It was purchased for 280 including postage (auction ended with "Buy-it-Now") .

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...m=220299546514

A bit steep in my opinion, as a similarly-equipped Brompton can be bought for not much more in the classifieds or eBay, with better components and maybe a lifetime frame warranty. In addition, a new Merc was 330 IIRC, so not much more than this second-hand one.

But then again, there are not many used Mercs on the market at the moment, which could explain why they still get some interest.

I am still looking for one myself, for parts and to start a new project. Anyone on here wants to sell his/hers ?
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