MERCIAN

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
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Woodbridge Pete
Posts: 148
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 7:36pm
Location: Suffolk
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Postby Woodbridge Pete » 18 Mar 2007, 6:07pm

Our two Mercian tandems are flamboyant Ruby, with gold lining
Revenge is sweet, but nicer served with custard

JohnW
Posts: 6450
Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Yorkshire

Postby JohnW » 18 Mar 2007, 10:02pm

My new frame will be orange (to the amusement of several members of the Halifax Section), with silver graphics, silver head tube, silver lug lining (Nervex lugs) and silver panels on the seat tube.

Comments are welcome, but mickey-taking and criticism will be taken as insults and I'll cry.

If I can figure out how to do it, I will put a picture on the site when I receive the frame.

If you look on the Mercian site, you will find that they have an art gallery of pictures from scores of loving Mercian owners.

Keep the wheels turning - it's snowing in Halifax as I write, and it's sticking indeed.

JohnW

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Woodbridge Pete
Posts: 148
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 7:36pm
Location: Suffolk
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Postby Woodbridge Pete » 24 Mar 2007, 7:25am

Mercian bikes certainly ooze quality.

They may not be the cheapest frame, but they will do everything you want, with a touch of class.

We have two of their touring tandems. They have been brilliant for over 15 years. Paintwork still immaculate.

Pete
Revenge is sweet, but nicer served with custard

rovers69
Posts: 27
Joined: 9 Apr 2007, 2:12pm

Postby rovers69 » 9 Apr 2007, 2:19pm

i am returning to cycling after a decade or so of idleness. I have decided to buy myself a nice machine and am drawn to mercian for all the most obvious reasons. However, the accepted wisdom these days seems to be that steel is 'old hat', carbon, aluminium etc..is better and is more sensible for long rides as you don't end up as tired at the end of the day. There seems to be some logic to this.
I see myself doing day rides and perhaps a 'sportive' or 2. I find myself drawn to special offer 2006 Carbon specials, rather than a trip to Derby!

Any views?

stof

Postby stof » 9 Apr 2007, 3:30pm

rovers69 wrote: the accepted wisdom these days seems to be that steel is 'old hat'


Hmmm... I'm not at all sure that this is the received wisdom. Steel is still an extremely popular frame material for a number of reasons, not least because it is more forgiving than aluminium, hence more comfortable on longer rides. Aluminium is stiff, so transfers power well, weight for weight, but can give a harsh ride. With the same wheels, steel will be slightly springier.

Carbon I have no knowledge of, but if you're after something 'better' than steel then it really has to be titanium. Lasts a lifetime, extremely tough (unlike aluminium, which fatigues after a time) and more flexible than steel so can be built for long-distance comfort. Doesn't rust either.

If it concerns you at all, steel is still the least environmentally costly material too (in terms of chemical wastes, Co2 etc), though I don't know how this would be off-set against the longevity of titanium...

JohnW
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Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Yorkshire

Postby JohnW » 9 Apr 2007, 3:53pm

rovers69 - there's nothing wrong with steel, don't be put off, and it won't cost you anything to enquire with Mercian. The frame will be sized, designed and made for you and your intended usage. A carbon will be a stock-size, although probably pretty well sized for you. Mercian do a frame with steel main diamond and carbon rear triangle and front forks. I've seen one in the shop and it looks impressive - and gives possibly the best of both worlds, although dearer than all steel.

As for being "old hat" - don't listen - the Titanic was the latest state of the art creation, so the latest fad and fashion cannot be guaranteed to be better than the tried and tested. I regularly ride a frame built in 1979, before even Titanium was anything but experimental, and it does the job - it's had one re-spray. I did the Red Rose 200k Audax on it a couple of weeks ago and at 63 I wouldn't have wanted to ride on anything that was sluggish and unresponsive.

I'm still awaiting the call to go Mercian and collect my new frame, although I've seen it in it's pre-painted state.

I think "stof" talks sense (however, I have frames from before titanium was ever used, and to me it still has to proove itself).

Happy return to the wheels.

JohnW

pliptrot
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Joined: 12 Jan 2007, 2:50am

Postby pliptrot » 9 Apr 2007, 5:21pm

There is absolutely nothing wrong with steel that a coat of paint can't fix - the only issue with this material is corrosion, which is relatively straightforward to prevent (and deal with if it begins). Titanium may not corrode, but there is little advantage in it other than that - from a fatigue stand point it does technicallyoffer an advantage, but that argument is largely academic, and by the same reckoning you'd never touch aluminium. Similar handling frames in steel and titanium will weigh the same.

Also, in terms of tube design and manufacture steel is streets ahead; 3-2.5 Ti (the titanium alloy commonly used for frames) is not the best, but its use is expedient.

Carbon fibre composite frames do offer performance advantages, but their longevity is a big question. Chris Juden is right, IMHO, to be wary of its adoption in cycle equipment. I'd like to see someone in the cycle industry answer the following;

1. how on earth do you justify the high prices for titanium and composite frames? Everybody, it seems, is offering one (or both) of these in their line-ups, and this competition has evidently done nothing to reduce prices.

2. It's well known that if you could get Lance Armstrong to ride on square wheels, every cyclist would want a pair. Is this gullibility allowing the frame building industry to pull a fast one on us all and get big premiums from these "exotic" materials?

Go to Dave Yates's web site for some common sense from one of the best builders around. He really does know what he is talking about. It seems such builders are a dying breed (Dave himself moved south after M Steel in Newcastle closed their frame shop) and we should be supporting them. Otherwise, we'll all be paying premium prices for decidedly ordinary bicycles from the Far East, whether we like it or not.

Pjl

rovers69
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Joined: 9 Apr 2007, 2:12pm

Postby rovers69 » 9 Apr 2007, 8:07pm

Thanks for the responses, think i may be in process of thinking up an excuse to wangle out of work on wednesday and head off to Derby!

I'll keep you posted.

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robbo
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Joined: 12 Jan 2007, 3:29pm
Location: Barsac/Ulverston

Postby robbo » 9 Apr 2007, 10:59pm

Don't go on Wednesday! They're shut.

glueman
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Joined: 16 Mar 2007, 1:22pm

Postby glueman » 9 Apr 2007, 11:39pm

People are still riding fifty year old steel bikes so longevity is not an issue. On another board riders posted their old bikes and reasons for changing them. One chap had 5 broken frames, each was aluminium. Catastrophic failure is not what it was and designs are better but I'd still baulk at taking one on a world tour.

rovers69
Posts: 27
Joined: 9 Apr 2007, 2:12pm

Postby rovers69 » 10 Apr 2007, 8:55pm

thanks everyone for the input. I will take my query a little further.

Which tubing?

631/725 or 853.

Back in the old days, unless you were a minor Royal, you rode 531. Minor Royals had 753.

I will probably use my bike for just fastish short rides or day rides. I want something with a racing geometry, and would like lightness and comfort.
I am 6'3" and my weight will be anything up to approximately 14 stone. probably looking at something with lugs (as opposed to pro-lugless).

What do we think? I am prepared to pay for the correct tubing.

glueman
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Joined: 16 Mar 2007, 1:22pm

Postby glueman » 10 Apr 2007, 9:52pm

Doesn't really matter. If it makes you feel better throw some money at it but all those tube sets would fit the bill.

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robbo
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Joined: 12 Jan 2007, 3:29pm
Location: Barsac/Ulverston

Postby robbo » 10 Apr 2007, 10:47pm

I'm a similar weight and height to you, with a Mercian lugless with their standard racing geometry slightly stretched for mudguards. I think oversize top and down tubes are worthwhile.

JohnW
Posts: 6450
Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Yorkshire

Postby JohnW » 10 Apr 2007, 10:50pm

rovers69 -

robbo is right of course, Mercian are closed on Wednesdays

They will advise on which tubing. Tall blokes may require particular frame features - I'm a small bloke with short fat hairy legs and a made to measure frame is the only way I can seem to get it right.

631 seems to be the current equivelant of 531, but Mercian do a full range.

Why not give them a ring and ask for a brochure? - their phone number is in the CTC Gazette (*now, of course, known as "Cycling"), but wait, I have their confirmation of order letter here before my very eyes, and the shop number is 01332 / 752468.

You could also look on their webb-site www.merciancycles.co.uk.

The pleasure you'll get from getting measured, discussing the specification, choosing the colour (hardest part) and then dreaming while you wait for the call to collect is beyond words.

Go for it.

JohnW

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robbo
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Joined: 12 Jan 2007, 3:29pm
Location: Barsac/Ulverston

Postby robbo » 10 Apr 2007, 11:00pm