Mercian - King of Mercia - Touring Geometry 653 - update Page: 6

Jamiedyer

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For me I decided to take the Mercian out as the weather finally got a bit better this afternoon.
Not the best shakedown conditions being mid winter on wet or damp roads and the main thing needing finished being the mudguards, but I was really keen to get it ridden and sorted and see if the difference between the two Mercians geometry wise was really noticeable.
I had originally planned just to go a couple of mile along the road and back as the main road was reasonably dry and quiet as well.
The bike was riding really sweetly, gears were fine, position was fine with everything just quietly rolling along. I ended up turning inland and taking the long back roads home, the only problem being that they were a bit wetter and I had to pass through a farm that had a good bit of silage runoff seeping across the road. Most was fine, or so I thought until I got home and removed my jacket to find road grime sprayed up my back. Just glad I had my jacket on.
Anyway home just on dark after a really nice ride with the Mercian handling really nicely and finding while I have a few things to tweak, like changing brake pads and the hoods, the mains things like contact points, seat, pedals etc were all spot on and comfortable. A good start.
The geometry differences between the two KOMs is quite noticeable on the road. While they are only small differences in geometry and chain stay length I think the fork rake difference combined with the chainstay length are what makes this feel more comfortable again, especially on the less than ideal roads around here. These are just some initial thoughts and time will tell if they are in the ballpark.
Home just on dark so a quick wash, the bike and myself and then some lovely soup to warm up before dinner. It was cold but not icy.
Hope everyone has had a nice start to the New Year.

Jamie

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ibbz

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Thanks for that
You live in a beautiful part of the country! Very nice to be able to ride like this!
Bike and photos look very nice indeed!
 

fourstringsisplenty

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Nice bike. I also have a Mercian with touring geometry (no idea the model, but it’s from 1967). It’s absolutely the smoothest bike I’ve ever owned, amazingly comfortable and also great at covering ground. It gets wrapped in a blanket and put in the loft in winter, so the photos show it last summer.
 

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Jamiedyer

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Fourstrings, that is a beauty indeed.
I must admit I do like the geometry of this one a bit more and while my other KOM is in the loft for winter, this one won't get too abused as none of my older bikes do but will see the colder but hopefully drier days.
I must say too that 1967 is the best year for great things to be made ;)

Jamie
 

fourstringsisplenty

Dirt Disciple
Jamiedyer":14blp4ur said:
I must say too that 1967 is the best year for great things to be made ;)

Jamie

Ha! Then I’m guessing we’re the same age.

I got this frame from my stepfather; it sat in the garage for years, until one day I looked at the serial number and realised it had first graced the world in late 1967. Like me.

Dusted it down and sent it back to Mercian for restoration (by then it had done LEJoG, Alpine tours, the route of Paris-Brest-Paris twice and a lot else besides, and was looking a bit battered). They did a wonderful job and it’s now my pride and joy.
 

Jamiedyer

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Lovely weekend and nice dry roads so itching to get out. I had lots to do yesterday and a few things to finish off but as we are still in lockdown and I can't really vary the rides too much after all this time I would vary what I take out. So as I was working on the changing the tandems handlebars I thought, 'I might just throw all the Arabesque stuff back on the Ventoux Flying Scot and take that out. Shouldn't take too long, I had most of the morning to organise as Caleb wanted us all to go and have a picnic at his horse seen as it was such a nice day. It is also the only time he and Heather can leave the yard as they are still shielding. So a plan was hatched that I would build the Flying Scot and I would meet them up there.
..... well, it didn't quite work out as the only thing that was holding me back was I couldn't find the safe place where I had put the top tube cable clamps. I even tried the Dia Compe BMX ones I have in the loft, but no, they were a slightly bigger size. Almost out of time, what will I ride now? I pulled the Mercian King of Mercia tourer out the loft and gave it the once over and thought, it will do.
I ended up riding up to the farm where Calebs tiny pony is and having a nice lunch next to the watering hole with the horses. Afterwards I said to Heather I would take a longer way back but shouldn't be too long. Well the Mercian was riding so nicely, smooth, slick and setup lovely that I spent the next few hours wandering the counties back roads before taking the scenic coastal route home. This one rides really lovely and seems to fit a bit better and the geometry suites nicely as well. Oh well, maybe I painted the wrong Mercian ;)
What a great way things ended up as I am so glad I took the Mercian out, such a nice riding machine and it was just one of those satisfying rides.
As it was I made it home to set up the pizza oven once again for a lovely dinner with the family. Think I am ready to face another week now.
Hope you all had a nice weekend and hopefully had some nice weather.

Jamie

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Jamiedyer

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Hi all
Was out riding this evening and realised I hadn't posted an update or added to this thread for a long time. Not that there has been much to add. The odd ride locally and a few commutes is about it and the only real change/update has been mostly today as I finally got round to putting some better mudguards on as I had been using the old SKS greenish/silver ones. I picked these up in a Planet X sale in the summer and they were originally going to be for the tandem, so today I got round to putting them on the KOM along with my larger rack that was off of my green KOM. It is a good one for commuting with the bonus of a light attached already.
I also have a set of new modern aero brake levers to go on but will get around to those when needed.
It was pretty late by the time I got these on but was excited to ride it again as it's been a couple of months, so off it was to ride the backroads locally while I still had a little light.
The Mercian rode even better than I remembered and once again reminded me why I chose to keep this built and not my other. The longer wheelbase and slight difference in angles and rake make such a tangible difference to the feel. While this has the quick feeling it also has that extra stability and relaxed feel. Very hard to put a finger on but just suites me better these days. Most likely says more about myself and my riding as I get older but it is a sweet feeling to the ride for sure. The positioning and setup definitely help. The 700 x 30 Jackie Brown tyres certainly smooth out the rough roads.
Anyway I pretty much covered a few backroads I had been on yesterdays Jack Taylor ride but in a slightly shorter and quicker route due to time/light.
Strange weather for this time of year, especially with dry roads allowing the road fleet to keep putting the miles in :)

Jamie

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ibbz

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Thanks for the update - beautiful bike and something I’d want at some point after reading your posts and looking at the pictures
 

PeterPerfect

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I've seen quite a few Mercians in my time. If that's 653 tubing then it can only be the top and down tube. I think the rest must be 531 or maybe even a 708 top tube.

That's a very rare spec for a Mercian.

A lovely bike in a fabulous colour.

Must be a dream to amble round on.

Would have been a very expensive build in the day !
 

Jamiedyer

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Hi Peter
It is a lovely ride for sure.
Up until very recently I had two Mercians, this and my 531C in road geometry. Several slight differences besides the usual geometry and angles etc between the touring and the road versions in that my other was 21" while this is 19 1/2 ". All these little things add up to a very different ride from each. I must admit that it took a lot of riding to make up my mind to stick with the tourer. Don't get me wrong both are lovely to ride but this just fits and feels better suited to my riding at this point. This was a hard decision to make as I had been riding my other one for years and had a real attachment to it and typically, had just had it repainted. Though once I had got this back out the loft and cobbled together it didn't take long to start rethinking my decision, and that was with it in winter commuting mode. This will most likely get some nicer components fitted now it is my #1 Mercian.
I did get this with quite a few marks and scrapes but have touched them in enough that a repaint is a long way off as it is such a nice colour.
It would have been nice to keep them both forever but a replacement cargo bike needed funded so I have kept the one I most like riding.
As for the 653, Reynolds and Mercian say that it is basically 531 main tubes with 753 rear stays. The 531 while being double butted is thinner drawn and a few other tweaks, but basically built for strength and comfort.
I have enquired with Mercian about an off road, disc braked version but due to angles etc it can only be done lugless. Maybe if I get saving :)

All the best

Jamie
 
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