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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 12-13-05, 06:40 PM   #1
Ken Cox
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Ordering a Mercian

Someone wrote a PM to me, thinking I had ordered a Mercian Super Vigorelli.

I didn't.

However, I have corresponded with Mercian and learned a lot.

The Super Vigorelli, custom proportioned (no extra cost), will show up at the buyer's specified address, here in America, two to three weeks after placing the order, for about $1000, shipping included.

They asked me to do the body measurement thing, email a small picture of myself riding my present bike, my present bike's geometry, and for me to tell them what I liked about my bike and what I didn't like.

When asked about the lightest tubing, they said the differences in tubing affected the handling more than the weight, and if I didn't know what I liked to trust them and probably go with the cheapest tube set.

They said they would do a threadless headset or a threaded headset, as I preferred.

I had two rounds of email with Mercian, and they sent me a very nice brochure with enamel chips of the paint choices.

Local friends who have made lugged bicycles sometime in the past describe Mercian's Open Hearth Brazing method as a good method for getting consistent results.

Friends who have owned Mercians praise the finish.

So, I haven't ordered one, yet.
Maybe in the Spring, or maybe not.

I turn 60 in July of 2006.
It seems like a reasonable Birthday present to myself.
I mean, someone might accuse me of a second childhood thing, and rightfully so, but at least I don't want a Corvette.

Anyway, very friendly emails from Mercian.
They want the business and I think will guard their reputation by doing a good job.

I never thought I'd want a red bike, but that red Vigorelli looks good:

http://www.merciancycles.co.uk/frame_vigorelli.asp
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Old 12-13-05, 06:45 PM   #2
helvetica
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I have a friend who picked one up for free! it was laying in some guys backyard and he said he could have it.
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Old 12-13-05, 07:16 PM   #3
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Do it Ken!! You deserve it. Seriously. Treat yourself to an awesome bike, Mercian or not. Get whatever you want. Gotta do it right for the big 6-0.
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Old 12-13-05, 07:38 PM   #4
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get one... we need more bike pr0n! I drool over mercian just because they are pure class.
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Old 12-13-05, 08:20 PM   #5
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Apparently, they respond to email (and promptly).

Can't really say the same about Bob Jackson.
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Old 12-13-05, 08:38 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by eat_raw
Apparently, they respond to email (and promptly).

Can't really say the same about Bob Jackson.
that seems consistent with their confusing website full of dead ends.
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Old 12-13-05, 08:40 PM   #7
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Yes! Go for it and post pics!
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Old 12-13-05, 08:40 PM   #8
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Hey Ken, congrats!

I was curious though, can you confidently squeeze a 28mm tire in there? It sounds like it's 25 or less.

And, can you order almost any of the bikes with horizontal drop outs? Or just the Vigorelli?
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Old 12-13-05, 08:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 610
Hey Ken, congrats!

I was curious though, can you confidently squeeze a 28mm tire in there? It sounds like it's 25 or less.

And, can you order almost any of the bikes with horizontal drop outs? Or just the Vigorelli?
from the website:
"Most of our frame models can be built as a track model if you desire."

http://www.merciancycles.co.uk/frames_story.asp
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Old 12-13-05, 10:10 PM   #10
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This is a rather timely thread as I'm planning on placing my Mercian order in the next few days. It says the waiting list for custom frames is 12-16 weeks, which I'm hoping is true because I sure as hell don't have the grand it's going to cost right now...

I'm gonna go with the Vigorelli with an undrilled fork, electric blue pearl base, silver pearl contrasting head tube and silver pearl seat tube stripes in reynolds 631 tubing. I'm going to tell them I want it as TIGHT as will allow 700x23 tires.
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Old 12-13-05, 10:29 PM   #11
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Do it.
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Old 12-13-05, 10:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12XU
I'm going to tell them I want it as TIGHT as will allow 700x23 tires.
This is something I just don't understand in a bike that's going to see street. Do you have totally bulletproof wheels or something?
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Old 12-13-05, 11:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim-bob
This is something I just don't understand in a bike that's going to see street. Do you have totally bulletproof wheels or something?
It's for track use only, homie. I have a "street track" bike and a road conversion for bombing around town. My wheelset is C-Record laced to Campy Omega/Mavic M-4 sew-ups.
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Old 12-13-05, 11:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12XU
It's for track use only, homie. I have a "street track" bike and a road conversion for bombing around town. My wheelset is C-Record laced to Campy Omega/Mavic M-4 sew-ups.
That answers that, then.
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Old 12-14-05, 12:29 AM   #15
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I emailed Bob Jackson and recieved a reply in less than 12 hours...maybe your problem was a fluke.
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Old 12-14-05, 08:45 AM   #16
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I've emailed both and they both seem to be quite responsive.

With Bob Jackson, I also traded emailed with the factory manager. This summer the wait was about 10 weeks. I suspect it's shortened now.

Mercian is quite accomodating as Ken mentioned and I received a reply from them this morning (I sent an email last night). 3 months turnaround time, fully custom. Chroming on the rear is 50 pounds, front, 38 pounds. 4 months turnaround with chrome.
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Old 12-14-05, 01:52 PM   #17
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sorry but every time i see this thread, i think it says "Ordering a Mexican".

I have absolutely nothing valuable to contribute except I love the fact that you're turning 60 and riding like mad. 60 is the new 40. or something like that.
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Old 12-14-05, 11:34 PM   #18
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E-mailed my measurements to them this evening; expecting a phone call tomorrow morning to give them the rest of the custom details and charging my deposit. Here's to a new Mercian in late March (and hopefully built up with all of the bits I'll be buying between now and then).
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Old 12-18-05, 08:45 AM   #19
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I purchased a Mercian custom in '04. It took about 5 months from order to delivery. The service from Mercian was spectacular! They called me several times during production to check in on things and keep me abreast of the progress. And the final product is wonderful. I should’ve done it long ago… I highly recommend them. I plan to purchase a custom tandem from them before I get too old.
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Old 12-19-05, 02:27 PM   #20
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Mercians are lovely - I have their Lugless Track with a few extra braze-ons and it's a light, lively, springy ride that takes insane punishment (offroad!). The finish is sweet classic enamel. Yes, they take a while to make to order, but this is artisan framebuilding, you expect that. Savour the wait and spend the time buying components!
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