12 July 2011

Another Mercian On The Way

What do a Miss Mercian bike and Anthony Hopkins have in common?  

They're British.  And, soon, they'll both be residing in America.

Pete, from whom I bought the bike, sent me a tracking number.  He's checked out this blog and asked me, "Have you picked a name for her yet?"  I told him I'll name her once I customise her. 


I envision her as a sophisticated roadster/elegant commuter.  So, today I also ordered a pair of Tourist handlebars, which are patterned after North Road bars, from Velo Orange.  However, instead of ordering cork grips, as I originally planned, I decided to order a pair of Kraton rubber grips with a "basket weave" pattern.  I figure they'll go nicely with the Gyes Parkside saddle I'm going to take off Marianela.  And, I plan to install a pair of handlebar-mount shifters.    Finally, I might take Marianela's fenders, too:  They're the VO "Zeppelin" fenders, with a brown leather mudflap, which I think will look really nice on the Mercian.

Of course, Marianela will get the saddle and fenders that come with the Mercian.

This is going to be interesting, to say the least.  And lots of fun.


  1. OMG, what??
    I need to catch my breath!

    An earlier twin stay mixte, and what a beautiful colour too!
    I am envious!!

    If she doesn't suit you, you know whom to call : )

  2. Velouria: When I saw that colour, I thought of you!

    If I didn't choose Mercian's Number 57 or lilac for my custom Mercians, I might've chosen the green that's on the bike I just bought. After all, how can you go wrong with a Mercian, or any other traditionally-built British bike, in that colour?

  3. Is that a triple chain wheel?

  4. Steve: Yes, it is. But I think I'm going to use it as a single with a 42T ring in the middle position and a guard in place of the outer ring. Then I could keep the inner ring, or take it and the front derailleur off.

  5. A 1x9 conversion could be interesting!

    By the way, I do not find that the VO Tourist bars are too similar to the original North Roads. Have you considered Nitto North Roads?

  6. A few weeks back I found a book on-line called "The Custom Bicycle" published in the late 70's. It provides a brief history of the Mercian Bicycles and how their custom frames are built and what makes them special. It caught my attention because I knew you owned a few and now I understand why you like them. Best of luck with the new Mercian.

  7. That looks like a very comfortable commuter bike. Wish you many happy miles on it!
    Paz :)

    PS. How bicycle friendly is Long Island City, Queens?

  8. Sue: I had that book back in the day. In fact, it's one of the reasons why I started to look at custom bikes and bike makers that concentrated on high-end frames.

    Chandra: I think it should work well as a commuter, as the (effective) top tube is longer than on my other Mercians. That makes it more suitable for upright bars and a stem with a shorter reach.

    I would say that LIC is bike friendly, at least to the extent that any NYC community is. There are lots of cyclists there and in neighboring Astoria, where I live. Several of the streets have bike lanes, and a number of buildings have bike racks in front of them. The drivers, for the most part, are civil--or, at least, they have been toward me. Plus, because I have lived here more than eight years, most of the store owners know me and allow me to bring my bike in. So I feel comfortable as a cyclist in the community.

  9. Velouria: I'm going to try the VO bars. If I don't like them, I might try the Nittos or another type of bar (perhaps even another Porteur).

    Actually, I'm going to have a 1x7, as the bike came with seven in the rear. If and when the wheel dies, I'll go to an 8 or 9 speed cassette.