fastpedaller wrote:Canuk wrote:So there you have it, Mercian et al are not only in the bottom leagues of OTP producers, they're also grossly overpriced compared to what is essentially a better, more refined product from a long established producer from between half and a third of the price.
Its clear its not Taiwanese producers QA and customer service that are in question, but that of the home grown British ones, who's days (when this fashion fit bespoke build begins to fade) are well and truly numbered.
Some bold statements which have been made with little evidence. I have a Spa Tourer frame, and I think it is very good (and certainly a lot better than any mass-produced UK frame from the 80's) - but I'm not sure I'd feel confident in saying it is better than a handbuilt frame from mercian or another small producer.
If you read the posts, you'll see I'm not claiming its better than a bespoke build, I'm saying that a Taiwanese Off the Peg is considerably better quality build /finish and ultimately value than a similar British Off the Peg from one of the more famous UK builders at 4 times the price for exactly the same spec. This is a ludicrous state of affairs. Like I said upthread, Taiwan is to China what Germany is to Bulgaria in terms of QA and build quality.
They're making some of the finest OTP frames in the world, and this, combined with the sure waning of bespoke builds (it is a fashion after all) spells the end for this self indulgent, priced out of business, shabby cottage industry. One look at Mercians website tells you all you need to know. It's been the same shambles ever since I can remember.
These people don't deserve your money. I hope by threads like this that some people might see the light, British is no longer best, in fact its no longer even cost effective. Take a look at the link to the Seaboard Reynolds 725 frame above, the detail, welds and finish and tell me for £329.99 you can get a comparable OTP offering in the UK. It knocks anything comparable from Mercian or BJ into a tin hat. Mercian want £1375 for precisely the same OTP offering and finish level.
£329.99 For that kind of dosh you'd be lucky to get an unpainted pair of forks from Mercian. They're at it, and when they go under I doubt many will mourn the passing.