26 June 2014

Which Mercian Should He Ride Today?

It wouldn't surprise you too much to know that one of the blogs on my reading list is Mercian Cycles'.

People are amazed when they find out that I have four Mercians.  My usual response usually goes something like, "I'm the luckiest girl in the world."

(All right, now you know where my priorities lie!)

I figured that there are other people who have more Mercians than I do, but I don't know any personally.  I'd like to meet them--or look at their collection, anyway!

One such person--or, more appropriately, his bikes--are the subject of today's post on the Mercian Cycles blog.

A fellow named Kyle--who goes by the nom de blog "Retrogrouch"--has just restored a 1980 Strada Speciale with period-correct parts, including a first-generation SunTour Cyclone derailleur, Simplex retrofriction levers, milled Sugino Mighty cranks with "drillium" chainrings and Campagnolo Nuovo Tipo hubs.  This Strada Speciale, he says, is his eighth Mercian.

His collection includes vintage as well as modern models--and a modern bike with vintage Campagnolo parts that looks like a vintage bike.  They're all lovely bikes, so it's hard to decide which I liked best.

If you've been following my blog, though, you can probably understand why I like his 2008 Strada Speciale track bike:

or his 2012 Vincitore, built as an urban/path bike:

or, for that matter, his second Mercian, a 1979 "Classic":

I'd love to know how Kyle decides which bike to ride.


  1. Hi Justine -- it's The Retrogrouch here. Obviously I'm a big fan of Mercians. They're all different -- built up for different things. For example, the pretty celeste blue "classic" model now has fenders and an easily removed basket -- I use it for a lot of riding around town, running errands, shopping, etc. The urban/path bike, a "vincitore" model, is good for getting around the city also, but is mainly the bike I use on an old canal towpath nearby, which is a popular, wonderful, and scenic bike path -- the surface is a bit loose/gravelly, but a single speed bike with cyclocross tires and fenders is perfect for it. The track bike is for the velodrome, but it can also be quickly fitted with a front brake for use on the road -- There is a relatively flat road loop in my area where I can ride laps. I have a lovely pearl orange and cream "60th anniversary" model equipped with racks, fenders, bags, and lights which I originally built for weekend overnight rides, but mostly gets used as a really nice commuting bike. Thanks for the interest!

  2. HI Retrogrouch--They're all beautiful bikes. I admire your collection--and spirit--and, yes, your blog.

    If you ever want to exchange notes about bikes or related things, feel free to contact me at justineisadream@gmail.com!