Oooooohhh man, where do I start? I've been riding my new Mercian for about a week now, tweaking things here and there, and just generally getting it dialed in. I snapped these pics yesterday, after I finished getting the Honjo fenders on.**
It's the smoothest, snappiest bike I've ever ridden. No joke. I've been over-joyed with the way the bike fits, handles, and rides. Everything has come together really nicely, and the finished bike has gotten me lots of compliments, from cyclists and non-cyclists alike.
So far, I've gotten along pretty well with the 53x39 chainrings and the 12-25 cassette, since I normally ride with a lower cadence and taller gear than most. It feels wrong to not have a lower gear than 39x25 in a place as hilly as Seattle though. We'll see how I feel after taking a longer, hillier ride. I've got some other Campy cogs that I can swap out if need be.
My only real complaint is that Mercian screwed up and only put on one set of water-bottle braze-ons, when I requested 2. Sigh.
Pictures are worth 1,000 words, especially when they're pictures of such a handsome bike:
** Honjos, and their ilk, are the biggest pains-in-the-ass to install. They require tons of time, tools, and tweaking, and then they make you worried about bumping your bike into stuff once they're on. And did I mention they're gorgeous, sturdy, and complementary to the look of certain bikes in a way that no other fender could be? Despite the setup pain, they're fantastic fenders, and really high quality. Just don't ask me for help putting them on......