Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

23 July 2011

Progress Report: Miss Mercian II


Marianela feels exposed these days.  Well, she should see Miss Mercian II:  She’s barefoot.  Or tireless, anyway.  Wait, is that the right word?  Well, you get the idea:



She may not have shoes, I mean tires, yet.  But she’s got some nice accessories, like the fenders:



And you remember the Gyes Parkside with my DYI Carradice bag quick-release?  Well, I think MM II is going to wear her well:




Especially since she has gloves, I mean grips, that match, more or less:




The shifter is a Sun Tour micro-ratchet model.  It’s one of a pair, but I’m only using the front.  That’s because MM II is going to have only one chainring on the front:


Amazing, isn’t it, what you can find if you hit a bike shop at the right time.  That’s how I got the Origin 8 chainring, which is really the Rocket ring.  And the chainguard is from BBG in Oregon.

I cleaned the cranks (They came with the bike.) and the logos just happened to come off. ;-)  They were a bit tarnished, so I rubbed them with some fine steel wool. I followed that with a couple of dabs of Simichrome polish, and, after buffing the cranks, I wiped everything down with some Never-Dull pads. 

The cranks, by the way, are Shimano Deore FC-MT 60.  About 20 years ago, higher-end mountain bikes were equipped with them.  They are like a triple version of the Sugino Alpina, which means that they would make nice touring cranks.  But they came with those infernal Bio-Pace chainrings.  The ones that came with these cranks were pretty worn, which gave me a good excuse to get rid of them.


About the accessories:  The cage is from King—not the same one who makes the headsets.  This King makes these cages from stainless steel in Colorado. 


And the rack, which came with the bike, was made by a classic British manufacturer:  Tonard.  If you look at some of those old English club bikes, the racks and bag supports might have been made by Tonard.  I don’t know whether they’re still in business, but it seems like they made some good stuff, on par, quality-wise,  with similar Carradice, Karrimor and Chossy products


And, because I’m so self-indulgent, I’m going to leave you with a couple more shots of the lugwork and tubes.



5 comments:

  1. Tonard does appear to still be in business, though I don't think they make bike racks any more. Wallingford Cycles has some Tonard racks in their "museum."

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  2. She's going to be a lovely bike when you're finished with her--thanks for sharing!

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  3. Thanks for updating on the progress!

    The Racing Green certainly makes this bicycle look English! Have you considered trying upside down North Roads? Could look very appropriate with a mixte like this.

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  4. Steve: I saw the Tonards in the Wallingford "Museum." And I think you're right about the current status of the company. From what I could see, they were never exclusively a bike-parts manufacturer: They were a brazing and welding company. I guess they've found other things to be more profitable than bike racks, or they simply couldn't compete, price-wise with stuff from China.

    K and A: Thanks.

    Velouria: That's an interesting idea. I want the bike to be fairly upright, but I'm not looking to turn it into a sofa on wheels. Your idea might be the way to go.

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  5. It made my Motobecane look like an English bike, which is what gave me the idea. You can see by my posture that it is definitely "not a sofa." I am riding it with an 8cm stem in the photo, though longer would have prob been better.

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