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  1. #1
    Bicycling Gnome
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    The Merc has finally cracked.

    Well, today it finally happened. The frame on my 4000 mile Merc has cracked right around about an inch below where the seat post enters the frame. Quite disappointing since I have a ton of new spare parts waiting to fit on it as the old ones wore out. In fact, the only thing to wear out aside from two rear tyres and brake pads has been the frame....

    Is it worth trying to repair, or should I try and get a spare frame? I know alloy is supposed to be non-repairable in an economic sense, but hell, I don't want to give this bike up for dead.








    By the way - I hardly ever sit in the saddle over bumps and I weigh about 165 - 170 pounds, so it has not been abused much.
    Last edited by EvilV; 08-15-09 at 06:53 AM.
    “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live." - Mark Twain

  2. #2
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    Your pictures didn't post. Roger

  3. #3
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Oy! Sorry to hear that. You sure made good use out of the bike. If the frame can't be repaired, can you find used Mercs in the UK? Or, used Bromptons?

    Or, do you want your TSR back now ?

  4. #4
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Quote Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
    Oy! Sorry to hear that. You sure made good use out of the bike. If the frame can't be repaired, can you find used Mercs in the UK? Or, used Bromptons?

    Or, do you want your TSR back now ?
    LOL - no, I was always worried some beast would steal that one.

    Can you see the pictures SesameCrunch? I can. Maybe if they aren't visible it is a permissions issue on the hosting.

    I could contact Anita and see if she has a spare frame. She did have spares to fix common problems, but I doubt that this is a frequent issue.

    I even thought of having a go at it with some supposedly 'miracle' brazing rod for allu called HTS-2000. Looks like you might be able to do it in the yard with a butane torch.

    http://www.video.dental-links.co.uk/.../Hts_2000.html
    “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live." - Mark Twain

  5. #5
    Bicycling Gnome
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    In case the top set of images are invisible to other people as reported.
    “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live." - Mark Twain

  6. #6
    Senior Member kamtsa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilV View Post
    In case the top set of images are invisible to other people as reported.
    These two images and the image you posted earlier are visible form here.

    Kam

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilV View Post
    I could contact Anita and see if she has a spare frame. She did have spares to fix common problems, but I doubt that this is a frequent issue.

    I even thought of having a go at it with some supposedly 'miracle' brazing rod for allu called HTS-2000. Looks like you might be able to do it in the yard with a butane torch.

    http://www.video.dental-links.co.uk/.../Hts_2000.html
    EvilOne, sorry to see that on a bike so gingerly ridden .. I like your style.. I'd give it a go with the miracle stuff.. sand it down, grind the crack out.. fill it up and see what happens.. nothing to lose.. you might even come up with a pretty good bodge... someone with a talent for tig welding could repair it.. but to be optimal, the frame should then be heat treated.. and there is always the option of locating another frame.. good luck with it... let us know the progress..
    Last edited by BruceMetras; 08-15-09 at 09:55 AM.

  8. #8
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    Nasty! My condolences... You can pick up spare brompton frames in lovely non-cracking steel over at SJS cycles - prices really not bad at all.

  9. #9
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Could you braze a shim in and use a narrower seatpost diameter ?
    you could also turn it in to a seatless trail bike,but thats another post.

    Does it still need to fold? I know you hardly fold it usually.

  10. #10
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Thanks for the ideas and condolences. I will need to think over the options you have suggested. I have so many brand new spares that I can't bear to just dump the bike. I have a brand new rear wheel complete with gears, spare rear triangle, spare front fork spare handlebars, four new tyres, spare cables and twist grip, new mud guards, tubes. Strangely, the only thing I lack is a frame - oh and a front wheel.

    Maybe the best plan would be to think about the new brompton frame - but being cheap, only if they are really goood value. LOL. I might try and find out about the sjs cycles option.

    I rarely fold it right down Bhkyte, I do the tuck under of the back wheel and drop over the bars to get it into the back of my car, but hardly ever fold the front tube.
    “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live." - Mark Twain

  11. #11
    Bicycling Gnome
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    This might be a possibility for £177....



    It's kind of the opposite of what Pixel did, since he built up his Mercton with a Merc frame and Brompton parts, whereas I would be doing the opposite if I went this way.

    On the other hand, I could just buy a Brompton, but that would be so mainstream that I'd probably have to do something much more ridiculous than that.

    Anyway - I now have my Scott mountain bike shod with city slick tyres. It handles like a dog in comparison to my beloved Merc and I feel all stretched out on it. However - I have to ride something.

    Last edited by EvilV; 08-15-09 at 11:46 AM.
    “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live." - Mark Twain

  12. #12
    Senior Member Chop!'s Avatar
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    Buying copies @ knock down prices has it's allure, but then stuff like this happens & it becomes clear why paying the extra beer chitties pays off in the end! Sorry to see you've damaged your pride & joy, especially when you were about to upgrade it. Was your seat post set as high as was possible? Are you of the 'portly' persuasion? What made it crack? Do you like Marmite? Did they really put a man on the moon? These & many other questions constantly vex my poor Welsh brain!
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  13. #13
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    The reason I asked about the fold was, could you weld the seatpost to the frame possibly using a gusset.

    I think £177 for the Brompton front is possibly the best solution, but at a cost. You will get a better seatpost clamp and you can then fit the self locking clip as I have fitted one OK to a Bromie,but on a Merc it was very hard work to alter to to fit. Although usefull I felt was poor value. The resale value of your bike will increase also,and the Brompton finish is better,plus the QR are better IMO, so it is not all dead money. What about getting a Mezzo for £300 used on ebay?

    Will the hybrid frame be lighter than a merc or brommie?

    However, EvilV is currently riding a non folding bike. I say we disown him!


    Ps. I am really enjoying my messing about my cycle trails bike recently (oops) Ignore the last comment.

  14. #14
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chop! View Post
    Buying copies @ knock down prices has it's allure, but then stuff like this happens & it becomes clear why paying the extra beer chitties pays off in the end! Sorry to see you've damaged your pride & joy, especially when you were about to upgrade it. Was your seat post set as high as was possible? Are you of the 'portly' persuasion? What made it crack? Do you like Marmite? Did they really put a man on the moon? These & many other questions constantly vex my poor Welsh brain!
    Well, yes - but I have read of many Dahons cracking and usually with far fewer miles than 4000 on them, and when I used to read the Brompton Talk forum there were mentions of several cracked Brompton frames, so I doubt that buying a fake is the reason it failed. It has been ridden a long way and the point at which it broke is subject to heavy stress from the long seatpost. Even Bike Friday have released clamps to protect their Tikit frame at the same kind of place. Did you read SesamiCrunch's thread about the Tikit safety notice and recovery kit? http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ck#post9013988
    “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live." - Mark Twain

  15. #15
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
    The reason I asked about the fold was, could you weld the seatpost to the frame possibly using a gusset.

    I think £177 for the Brompton front is possibly the best solution, but at a cost. You will get a better seatpost clamp and you can then fit the self locking clip as I have fitted one OK to a Bromie,but on a Merc it was very hard work to alter to to fit. Although usefull I felt was poor value. The resale value of your bike will increase also,and the Brompton finish is better,plus the QR are better IMO, so it is not all dead money. What about getting a Mezzo for £300 used on ebay?

    Will the hybrid frame be lighter than a merc or brommie?

    However, EvilV is currently riding a non folding bike. I say we disown him!


    Ps. I am really enjoying my messing about my cycle trails bike recently (oops) Ignore the last comment.
    I have emailed the lady who imported the Mercs to ask if she had any spare frames. She only imported one container load and stopped but she did seem to have a good spares inventory so maybe she might have a frame. If not, the SJS Cycles route might be the way forward, but I could still buy a Brompton, I would have done originally except they had a ludicrous waiting list at the time. It was over three months at the local dealers. I know a guy who works at a B dealer and he offered to get me discount a while back on anything I wanted. I might check that out if there is no other good solution. I could always use most of the spares on a B as it got older and worn. The parts are easily interchangeable as far as I can see.
    “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live." - Mark Twain

  16. #16
    Goldmember 2wheeldeal's Avatar
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    Curve SL '07 Frame Crack!

    Just to show a similar problem - seems to be associated with 16" wheel bikes with long seatposts and seat tube extensions. That guy was also normal-sized.
    One less car, twenty-six more gears

  17. #17
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2wheeldeal View Post
    Curve SL '07 Frame Crack!

    Just to show a similar problem - seems to be associated with 16" wheel bikes with long seatposts and seat tube extensions. That guy was also normal-sized.
    Thanks 2wheeldeal. That crack on the Dahon Curve is absolutely identical to mine. Long seat posts obviously will work the top tube rather harshly. I mostly had my tube up as far as it would go - certainly no less than an inch from the top of its travel. I was just looking at the bike out in the yard. It looks in great nick apart from the fact that it's f***ed.
    “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live." - Mark Twain

  18. #18
    It's got electrolytes! chucky's Avatar
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    If I were you then I'd take this as the perfect time for a recumbent conversion and if I were me I'd ask you to sell me the broken frame for a few pence.

  19. #19
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilV View Post
    In case the top set of images are invisible to other people as reported.
    I can only see the second set or photos.

    Assuming Anita doesn't have spares, I would get the Brompton and pick the best parts between the two: you can probably use the same front mount and bag. I think that the brake improvements would be worth the switch since you already need a new frame. But YMMV (as well as the amount of free time you have!).

  20. #20
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    EvilV please let me know the cost of the brazing on V brakes bosses if you do get it done. I always thought £45 for a rear Brompton brake was ridiculous.

  21. #21
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    there is a secound hand Merc on ebay. 123Maddy,which was Anita old shop user name.
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8. Birdie red.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
    there is a secound hand Merc on ebay. 123Maddy,which was Anita old shop user name.
    I can't find it. Already sold maybe ? Do you have the eBay link please ?

    I will eventually sell my Merc frame (black), as I am already using parts of it for experimenting with e-bike / pedelec stuff for my Brompton (see my thread in the electric bike forum on here). My wife doesn't actually use the Merc much so I don't really want to spend time putting everything back together. Let me know if you are interested. Cheers, Dan

  23. #23
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danoulz View Post
    I can't find it. Already sold maybe ? Do you have the eBay link please ?
    item number 220492949793 finished ,did not reach reserve
    Last edited by bhkyte; 10-18-09 at 10:01 AM.
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8. Birdie red.

  24. #24
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    that is where aluminum frames break, I broke a reissue Raleigh Chopper at exactly that spot, and I didn't buy a Downtube 8H because I was concerned about the frame strength in that location. Some bikes like the Downtube 8FH and 9FS and the Breezer Zig7 and Zag8 have an additional reinforcement gusset in that location, which I now think is essential.



    Last edited by randya; 10-19-09 at 12:03 AM.

  25. #25
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Did you get a new frame Evilv?
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8. Birdie red.

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