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Posted: 26 Aug 2006, 4:00pm
It is time for me to order my new frame - I do this from time to time, but accelarated on this occasion by a write-off accident. My previous framebuilder is now no longer building frames and I'm now faced with decision making.
Asking around, everyone of course has their favourite, but MERCIAN is the name that always seems to come up, and often is the frame put forward as the best.
I've never had a MERCIAN; they're not he cheapest, but telephone contact certainly suggests deep knowledge and sincere interest, and I am inclined to take a trip to Derby and place my order.
However, I would be grateful for advice and the experience of others, and I eagerly invite a response from other members.
Posted: 26 Aug 2006, 4:39pm
John W I'm trying to come up with an anology you can instantly accept. Mercian are equivalent to senna in F1, Lineker in Football, Led Zep in music, Roses in flowers, clouds in the sky.
They have been one of the top five to ten builders for tha last fifty years, many who have been rated lasted so short a time - Wester Ross!
They charge a comensurate price for their product, something I beleive cannot be compared to other makers as we are talking about bespoke one off bikes.
Keep researching and enjoy others unabashed praise for them!!!!
Yes I 've have a 1977 Mercian Olympic which I did LeJog on in 1979.
Posted: 26 Aug 2006, 7:53pm
That has certainly helped - no doubt further comments will interest both of us.
Posted: 26 Aug 2006, 8:42pm
Words cannot describe my love of my Mercian Vincitore.
I had the frame made in 1986 (No 63386) to my spec, in the colour I selected, with the braze-ons I wanted, in the size I required, and I love it.
I've cycled, God knows how many miles, over the past 20 years. I've cycled in many countries (see "Foreign Countries" elsewhere on the forum) over my time with the bike. Also did JOG/LE in 1994, and recently completed LE/JOG/LE (1789 miles).
I'm on my second set of wheels and groupset on it in the 20 years, and at present have Campag Mirage Triple 9/Ergo with Chorus headset, Mavic MA 3 rims, Cinelli bars and stem, and Brooks saddle.
I feel I want to get the frame re-sprayed soon. Not that there's anything in the slightest that's wrong, but it's showing its age. But there's a part of me that says that the chips and scratches make the bike MINE!
As you can tell, I'm in love .......
(Mrs Mick F understands ........ )
Mick F. Cornwall
Posted: 30 Aug 2006, 11:06pm
I also have a Mercian - Audax. Their service was first class, took time to listen and did not patronise!
I would recommend a visit and talk to the staff.
Posted: 1 Sep 2006, 6:25pm
Members of my club who have Mercian frames rate them vey highly and would most definitely buy another.
Posted: 2 Sep 2006, 7:24pm
I have not owned a Mercian so cannot comment from experience, however, a Mercian was reviewed in a recent C+ along with a Longstaff and a couple of off the peg tourers.
I have a MtM Dave Yates audax which is a lovely rides and can recommend his frames.
Posted: 2 Sep 2006, 11:25pm
Can you tell me which issue of Cycling+? : it is obviously one that I missed.
Thank you to all who have replied.
Posted: 23 Sep 2006, 11:15pm
I own three Mercians and they are all a joy to ride, and are some of the fastest bikes I have owned.
Posted: 24 Sep 2006, 8:57pm
Lovely bikes for those like me who like retro paint jobs but just one reservation about Mercian - you don't get to speak to the person who'll be building your frame. If you are very particular about design geometry etc I think this is a disadvantage.
I should add that I've two of them both bought S/H so have not direct experience of bespoke ordering from them.
Posted: 24 Sep 2006, 9:07pm
Thanks again everyone, and Iwill bear David's input in mind.
I have been in telephone contact with Mercian, and they do seem positive and helpful, but they did confirm that the customer doen't get to meet the framebuilder, whci I agree is a disadvantage.
To set against this is Merciam's reputation, which from enquiries that I have made in various places is second to none, and the fact that some other companies that I have contacted, also with good reputations, do not give the customer the chance to meet the actual framebuilder either.
Does anyone know who does? I must say that all my previous frames have been built by a builder with whom I was personally acquainted (initially through being his customer), but he has since retired.
Posted: 25 Sep 2006, 5:04pm
I think it needs to be a one man enterprise such as Dave Yates, Lee Cooper, Robin Mather (or Vernon Barker in Dronfield who I go to for renovations etc).
Posted: 26 Sep 2006, 11:00am
I feel there is an element of deduction going on here which is without any evidence base.
Perhaps we could have some reall evidence:
1. Anyone bought a bike from a 'builder' and found it not to there satisfaction.
2. Did you get to talk to a welder or trained sales person ?
Then based upon that we'll know if meeting the welder counts.
All makers have unsatisfied customers and yet there isn't a thread which is about noit meeting the welders.
Posted: 27 Sep 2006, 12:28am
If anyone builds a cycle frame by welding, keep clear of him - brazing or silver soldering are most common - I don't actually know whether any other tecniques are used for building lugged frames, but not welding. Unless someone knows better and different.
We all have different views about our frames, but to me the frame is unique to me and part of my relationship with the frame has previously been my friendship with the framebuilder. Maybe it's just unecessary emotion, but thats how I am.
As for problems with hand built to measure frames, I personally have had none except my most recent, which was built in 1993. This frame was built by the builder who carried on from the chap who had built frames for me for years. The problem is not with the quality of the frame, it is due to me trying to be too clever and asking for features which had other implications which in my ingnorance I hadn't anticipated. The builder built the frame as his interpretation of what I had asked and I have no complaints against him, only against myself. However, my previous builder would have said "are you sure? I don't think that that is what you want" and the frame would have been better.
Don't misunderstand, the frame is actually fine and rides well, it is just that, in order to get the clearances that I had asked for, the frame is a little longer than my previous ones and just a tad less lively.
My belief is that it is best for the builder to measure one up for each frame, and to trust him.
Posted: 27 Sep 2006, 9:25am
Dawes advertise that their frames are TIG Welded ......
My Mercian Vinictore is Brazed.
Mick F. Cornwall