I originally planned on buying a Surly Steamroller frameset, after selling my Capo, because I was feeling really limited by what could be done with it as a "fast" road commuter/lockup bike/long distance rider. It was because of buying a Crosscheck that I discovered how awesome it is to have the ability to run large tires anytime you want. Since the Steamroller had a similar geo to the Capo, I was pretty much set on making the trade, but when a fellow bike aficionado told me about the Mercier WT I had to check it out since he mentioned it also had room for large tires. I was surprised to find it had the same geo as the Steamroller along with having more tire room and fender/rack eyelets, but I was a bit bummed it had a 26.8 seatpost listed in the specs. After some thinking it over, it only made sense to get it because it was only $30 more at $440 for a complete bike (including shipping) as opposed to buying a Steamroller frameset for $410 (including shipping from universal cycles).
When I got the frame I was super excited to start piecing it up. Got the tires on and was pleased to find all that space left even with 40mm Schwalbe Marathon XR tires. Even 50mm Big Apples fit!! (but you have to ride brakeless with those because the tire rubs the brake calipher) I was even more happy to find that the frame in fact did take a 27.2 post, but that excitement was short-lived when I took it for a test ride and found the seatpost shifted on me. After taking a closer look I was so pissed to find this:
At first I thought I had to send it back to get a replacement since they F'd up, but I didn't even want to go through all the trouble (since they only sell complete bikes and I would have to send everything back) so I decided to be resourceful and find out how to make my own compression slot on some frame building sites. 15 minutes later with a hacksaw and dremel and I solved the problem:
Now I think this was just a mistake on my frame since on the website photo gallery, it shows the frame to have a compression slot cut
The ride is absolutely great with the large tires and I was really really suprised to find how fast the handling is. I think it handles a little faster than the Capo and definitely much faster than the converted Crosscheck. It does have toe overlap, even with clipless pedals, (due to the large tires), but I've dealt with it before on previous bikes. While it is a much heavier than the Capo, I don't care about the weight because it more than makes up for it with how comfortable the ride is. With a Brooks and fat tires, it's really smooth and comfy to ride on. It's nice having a fast bike along with the option to put small or large tires. Depending on the mood, smaller tires will make it both lighter and faster, but the option for larger tires makes it able to roll off road as well. I also want to make note that since it has the same geo as a Steamroller, it can also be raced on the velodrome as well! I'll be doing a lot of Barbie dress-up since it has so many options available!