...this is the kind of stuff I'd post on it.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Mercian Arrives!!!

Let me start off by saying that I'm the last person on earth that should order a custom bike frame from halfway around the world. I'm a little on the impatient side in general, and much more so when it involves the opening of packages, or the pushing of buttons on a new gadget. So when I ordered a frame that I knew was going to take a minimum of 4-5 months to get, I should have known I was setting myself up for a hellacious wait.

I checked my email a million times every day, like I always do, but each time hoping that I just might hear from Mercian cycles about my frame. Days, weeks, months, rolled by, rides came and went, and all the while, I remained sad. :-( I constantly fought the urge to email, call and otherwise pester the good folks at Mercian about my order, but I managed to only contact them a couple of times during that 6 months.

Just when I thought all hope was lost, that I wouldn't EVER get my frame, I came home to the most glorous sight I've seen in quite some time: a FedEx door tag hanging on my door knob. I flew down to the FedEx distribution center (which is thankfully, right near my house) and got there right before they closed.

I opened the box in the parking lot. That's how excited I was to see this beast.

So, here's what I got:

Mercian Audax Special (like this, with different paint)
Reynolds 631 tubing
57cm (C-T) seat tube, 56.5 (C-C) top tube
73 degree angles

It's designed around 47-57mm reach brakes, with fork crown and rear brake bridge bosses for fenders (or mudguards, if you're British, or "wheel eyebrows" if you're bikesnobnyc). The 57cm size (as opposed to my usual 56) will make it easier to get the bars up closer to the saddle height, for more long-ride comfort.

My parts collection for this bike currently consists of:
  • Campy Centaur Ergo 'brifters'
  • Campy Centaur alloy Ultra-Torque cranks (53-39T)
  • Campy Centaur derailleurs
  • Tektro R538 brakes (more room for fenders!)
  • Campy Record BB/Headset
I scored a sweet wheelset on eBay fer cheap that constsists of:
  • Mavic OpenPros, 32H, laced 3x to:
  • Campy Record hubs (the new-style, black ones)
  • DT Swiss double-butted spokes
I've never felt a smoother, quieter, more true wheelset. I'm super-exicted to see how they ride. I'm throwing my trusty 700x25C Conti Gatorskins on them, since they seem to be the only road tires I don't despise at the moment.

To finish off the build, I've got:
  • A Brooks Swift saddle in Antique Brown
  • Nitto Dynamic 626 seatpost (aka the "Crystal Fellow")
  • Some sweet Nitto Soba bars
  • Brooks Antique Brown perforated leather bar tape
  • Honjo extra-long polished fenders
That's a lot of fancy-ass parts, but I think the bike is going to come together nicely, and be super-practical. I'm a little nervous about the Swift saddle, since it's a little narrower in person that I'd imagined, but we'll see how it breaks in. I love my Brooks Champion Special, and the lady loves her B-17S, so our luck with Brooks saddles in general has been good. I'm not really down with the idea of having a bike that you can't ride in the rain, or for long distances, so I'm trying to keep the geometry and setup really comfortable.

Pictures to come later. I've been too busy building this thing up to get them onto the internets.

~D

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