05 April 2018

Tosca's Face Lift

This season has been quite a coming-out party--for me and my bikes.

A few posts ago, I introduced you to Dee-Lilah, my new Mercian Vincitore Special.  She's a gift to myself for a round-number birthday that's coming in July.  

The other day, I told you about my first ride with my new-old (well, not-really-so-old) bike:  Tosca, my Mercian fixie.  A while back, I sent her for a repair and to change the threadless steerer to a threaded one so I could use a prettier stem. All of that, of course, meant, Tosca got a facelift--a refinish.

Previously, she was coated entirely with Mercian's "flip-flop" finish (#57)--which Arielle, my Mercian Audax, still has---and white pinstriping.  I wasn't tired of it, but I decided that while I wanted to keep all of my Mercians in the same color "family", I didn't want them to look the same.

So I had Tosca re-finished in Mercian's Purple Polychromatic (#9) with head tube and seat panel in Dusky Pink Pearl (#49).  The cut-outs in the lugs and fork crown are also finished in that dusky pink hue, and the lugs are outlined in white.

Most of the parts were on the bike before the re-paint.  The exceptions are the stem, brakes, saddle, toe clips and chain (which I would have replaced at some point anyway).  Here's the "spec sheet":

Frame and fork--Reynolds 631.  Threaded steerer.


  • Chris King headet:  This threadless set was overhauled by Mercian and was converted with King's threaded 2Nut adapter.
  • Nitto Pearl Stem, 12 cm.
  • Nitto Model 177 "Noodle" handlebars
  • Brooks Team Professional Special Edition (L'eroica 2015)
  • Nitto "Crystal Fellow" Seat post
  • Phil Wood hubs.  "Flip-flop" (fixed-free) 36 hole rear, high-flange track 32 hole front
  • Mavic Open Pro rims, Velox rim tape
  • DT Champion spokes
  • Continental Grand Prix 4 season tires
  • Sugino RD 2 cranks (130mm BCD), 170mm, with All-City 47T chainring (1/8")
  • Phil Wood bottom bracket, 103mm
  • MKS Urban Platform pedals w/MKS "basket" toe clips and Velo Orange Grand Cru straps
  • Phil Wood stainless cog, 17T, 1/8"
  • Shimano freewheel, 18T
  • SRAM PC-7X chain 
  • Dia Compe BRS 101 in gold (I couldn't resist) w/ Kool Stop salmon pads
  • Cane Creek SCR-5 levers
--Other Items:
  • Newbaum's Cloth tape, Eggplant, w/Rustines (like Velox) plugs
  • Andrew King "Iris" stainless steel cages
(The bag is one of several I use that were made by Ely Rodriguez, of Ruth Works.  I move them around among my bikes, as I need them.)

Welcome back, Tosca!


  1. Tosca came out sharp! I'd love to try her again now that she's lost her varnished bar tape!

  2. Monkey--I agree about the varnished tape. Even if all of the constructeurs did it, I still don't care for it. And, yes, you are welcome to try her again.

  3. Just curious: Is the steerer 1-inch or 1-1/8? That bike is dazzling, by the way. I hope this doesn't start an argument, but I like the slightly slippery feel of shellacked Newbaum's cloth tape.

  4. MT-Thank you. The steerer is indeed 1".

    At my age, I don't get into arguments about tape or saddles. I know what I like, and not everyone will agree. That's OK.