Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Mercian's initial build

The Merc with most part installed, but not connected.

Both the wife and I are laying low due to colds, so I thought I'd post a couple of shots of the Mercian with most of the parts installed, but not yet connected. I've done an initial cut of the steerer tube, you can see I left a couple of centimeters on just in case. In the photo's the handlebars are set to saddle height. That's what I'm shooting for, but I will most likely keep the extra length if I decide it doesn't look too weird. The black cloth tape on the top tube is there to prevent the handlebars from smacking into the tube and marring the paint.

Profile shot!
Here's a list of the installed components:

- Tom Ritchey seatpost.
- Velo Orange Model 6 Saddle in honey.
- VO threadless stem with shim, 120mm.
- Cinelli Giro d'Italia handlebars, 40cm
- Cane Creek SCR-5 brake levers, (re-badged Tektros)
- Cane Creek S-2 threadless headset, 1"
- Dia Compe ENE shift levers
- Tektro CR-720 Cantilever Brakes front and rear, polished silver
- Shimana Tiagra 4600 rear derailleur
- Shimano RX100 front derailleur 
- VO Gran Cru crankset, 46/30 (50.4 BCD)
- VO bottom bracket, (122mm)
- Shimano SPD pedals, PD-M520
- Wheelset: Shimano Tiagra 4600 hubs, (rear re-spaced to 135mm), rim Sun CR18, polished
silver, Wheelsmith 14g stainless spokes. (36 rear, 32 front).
- Panaracer Pasela Tour Guard tires, 700X28c
- Tanaka Polished alloy fenders, 45mm*

Assembly and part selection notes:

Most everything has installed fairly easily so far. One thing with the ENE shift levers is that the lever stops seem to position the levers at a slightly "raised" position. Not sure if I can live with that.

I thought that the 122mm bottom bracket was going to be too wide, but it turns out to be just about perfect clearance for the chainstays. Update!! Turns out I had some chain clearance issues, had to go to 127mm!

I also thought a 120mm stem might have too long, but my initial calculations proved correct, the 120 puts the bars at the right spot.

I chose a NOS RX100 front derailleur to avoid using the shim needed in today's selection of FD's. Seems like nothing else has changed in FD design in recent years!

Ritchey "Classic" seatpost seems pretty nice. Very light, I thought I was getting a single bolt SP when I ordered this, then was excited to realize it was a "two bolt" design. Then I was not so excited to find that the two bolts are positioned side by side, not fore and aft as in, say the Campy NR of old. Still, it seems like a pretty nice post, I'll keep it!

I'm happy with the frame size this time. 60cm seems right for me. I'm experimenting with handlebar height and it will be a while before I have that nailed down. When I do, I may cut more of the steerer.

*A quick update- I was able to install my Tanaka Alloy fenders today. This will probably merit a separate posting someday as it is an interesting process! 

With the Tanaka 45mm Alloys fenders

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Mercian has arrived!

Fresh out of the box!
Last Monday I received an email from Mercian with the tracking information for my frame! I got to follow it from Nottingham to Loomis. The transit was amazingly fast, and the box was delivered to my door on Thursday!
Here's the box!

Here's a view of the wrapping
Head Tube Detail

Seat cluster.


Nice bend to the fork blades.

Important sizing detail. (The last Mercian I had purchased was about 2 cm too small because I did not realize the point where the seat tube was measured to).

Well, it was pretty exciting to finally see the finished frame. I'm very happy with the finish. I have almost all the components on hand. It's now just a matter of getting time to assemble the bike. What fun!

Here's a link to the start of the assembly process.