OK, Velouria. I'm going to give you, and everyone else reading this, a quick "just out of the box" look at Miss Mercian II.
I didn't fully assemble it because I am going to change a few things. I plan to keep most of the components because they're all good, if not at the same level as the ones on my other Mercians.
The cranks, hubs and brakes are from Shimano's Deore DX line. When it was introduced in 1987, it was one step below Deore XT, making it Shimano's second-best mountain bike set. (I hate using the word "gruppo.") When the Deore XTR came out in 1991, it moved the DX to third in Shimano's mountain bike line. Then Shimano introduced the Deore LX line in 1994. It was priced somewhat lower than the DX but incorporated some of the more desirable features of the XT and XTR lines. Some time after introducing LX, Shimano discontinued DX.
So, I've gotten a first-rate frame with second- to- third-tier (but still perfectly good) components. That will work fine for me if I'm going to commute on this bike. I'll just ride the components until they wear out.
The head-to-downtube lug on this bike has a noticeably longer point and larger cutout window than the same lug on my other Mercians. There's nothing wrong with this; it's just a different kind of look. I think the lug on this bike works well with the color and the fact that the "top tube" is two parallel tubes.
Finding this bike was utterly serendipitous. I was looking for something else on eBay and, for fun, I decided to type "Mercian" in the search box. Mercians don't show up often on eBay and, when they do, they tend to command good prices. What made this bike even more of a find is that it's a mixte--only a small percentage of Mercian's productions is this model--and it was in a large size. And, if Mercian didn't offer the finish that's on my other bikes (Number 57, a.k.a. "flip-flop" purple to green) or lilac, I would have chosen "British racing green," which is the color of this bike.
I didn't assemble it completely because of the changes I plan to make. As an example, I didn't bother to put on the front fender, which was removed for shipping. Instead, I'm going to strip the Velo Orange "Zeppelin" fenders off Marianela. (The ones that came with the bike are plastic. I think they were painted, because the black seems to be coming off in spots on the side you see when the fender is installed. The underside is gray.) And, as I mentioned in a previous post, I'm taking Marianela's saddle for this bike.
Poor Marianela! I'm so mean, stripping her that way! You'd think I was a guy or something. ;=)
At least the handlebars, brake levers and chainring I'm putting on this bike are new.
Don't worry. No bikes are being harmed in this process.