Grey Mercian

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  • Changed mind once again. All the SRAM stuff and Cambium is now built with the blue frame and the Mercian is ready to send for a respray. It will be red I think, like the Pinarello above.

  • Pic of blue build. Cambium toughness is taking some getting used to.


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  • Thats a long way forward mon brave. Someone gave me a tip once, pop your elbow on the nose of the saddle and you should just be able to touch the bar with the tips of your fingers. Something I've always done and it seems pretty accurate to get the first position. That blue's great by the way.

  • My fingers can touch the bars with about an inch to spare, so I might move it back a touch, thanks good tip! Still fiddling with set-up. Yes, the blue is nicer than these pictures, it shines in the light.

  • Quick update. The blue build has been great over the last couple of months now the saddle has been moved back. Love the cambium after the initial ass-hurt stage. Struggling to get on with the bars as I like the classic drops where you can sit you hands on a truly flat area.

    The grey Mercian was hanging around waiting to get resprayed so I decided to Hammerite paint it in the meantime in a lighter shade of grey. Actually doesn't look to bad for now. I will build up as a tourer with my front and rear rack.

    Yesterday I picked up a new bike kindly from @jgadd - thanks! The yellow Bob Jackson below. Have wanted a Jackson for a while and the paint scheme is so much fun. So far I have stripped it down. I'd like to put a different fork on it, the other example I saw has a red fork which works really well. The trispoke is for now on the blue bike. Never had anything Dura-Ace before, it's lovely. Have to have a think what will be done with it and will put up some recent pictures soon.


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  • Have you levelled the bars? They’re point up quite a bit in the last photo on the blue build

  • Think I did, will check in a bit, ta.

  • Glad to see someone who is going to use and enjoy it, rather than it just sitting in a corner - all the best with the build!

  • Small update. The Hammerite'd Grey Mercian Frame has replaced the blue frame, because rack mounts and space for eventual winter mudguards. Seems a while ago of the struggle with the stuck post and finally now get to ride it. Still have some bits to do. Bars don't feel right, maybe they need to come down and I have to move brifters up more?

    Did some work on Bob Jackson. New Deda bars (mistakenly bought a weird shape bend), stem, levers, calipers, front wheel from the Mercian, new seat post, stripped saddle and mounted the bar-end shifters on the down tube. Feels more like a road bike than TT apart from the 55T big ring. I am running the gears non-indexed so think there might be a possibility to experiment with a ten-speed cassette on the back? Feels more nippy than the Mercian and tricky to get used to down tube shifting again.


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  • Time for an update after a year. Yellow Bob frame got sold. I had painted it black with the hopes of building it up, then realised that the yellow flame paint job was the thing I most liked after all. Now wishing I'd kept the TriSpoke too. Oh well.

    Grey Mercian has seen through the year. A few changes occurred: saddle switch to a flat Fizik R3. Always found the Cambium hard, but it was still excellent on 100 mile + rides, just hard at first. Silver components switched to black ones i.e brake calipers, headset etc. Replaced wheelset after the rear hub blew one day. They are same Shimano RS010's. Recently put on a tan wall 32mm width Panaracer Pasela Compe on the back as an experiment. Wanted to see what width it could go up to with the tyres. Turns out there is still lots of room at 32mm. Now on the look out for a 38mm for the rear and switch the 32mm rear to the front. I will get a pic up soon. With the tanwalls and mudguards it looks a little more gravelly. The shitty Hammerite brush paint job has held up over the year, seems tougher than some enamelled bikes I have owned. The dream is still to get Mercian to do a proper paint job in cherry red... eventually :)

    Onto two new projects. A dusty old Claud Butler (1967 Spectra, pictured as I received it) and a Dolan Pre Cursa track build. Bit about the Dolan first: The frame will be arriving from @ Acliff later this month. Black and white, 50cm sq. usual understated Dolan decals ha. I once had an FXE in 52cm that always was a touch too big, 50 should be snug. In the meantime I have picked up some used track bits for it: Nitto B123aa drop bars now wrapped in black brooks leather tape, Nitto S65 seatpost (the layback could be an issue), Zipp SL stem, woven Flite saddle, Campy Record BB, Campy (Chorus?) Crank bodged to make single ring. The wheels will be my old Shimano RS010 ones for now. I have rebuilt the rear rim with a Primato track hub. Was tricky to get a rear 24 hole hub for cheap, still have to true it, not sure it is dished correctly, but appears to function well in my hand haha. Will this be ridden on the road or what ? I have no idea yet, quite pointless.

    On to the Claud: I wanted something to tinker with and picked up a rusty thing. It has sat in a shed for 40 years and accumulated lots of dirt, dust, rust. The frame is too big for me of course. Had imagined it would be and sourced a similar 19 inch Claud Electron frame 1970 in 'flamboyant red' and white. It's equally rat-quality (it had a shunt to the front, includes mismatched blue Carlton forks too). Am transferring whatever working parts over. The smaller Electron frame was apparently made for 26 inch wheels. The clearances are a little tighter on the smaller frame with the 27 inch wheels, the Synchron brakes now just about fit. After much fettling and swearing I have a sort of functional bike happening. :) Pic will come shortly.

    Current problems with the Claud are a stuck TD Cross Drive side BB cup, A heavily caked freewheel I have yet to remove (it spins well though with some WD40 aid) and one of the Lyotard pedals has seized on the crank arm that has yet to be attacked. The joy of 50 year old bikes. Some of the chrome has shined up and the Brooks saddle came up well with some neutral shoe polishing. Anyway pictures to come of further progress...


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  • I cried when i read you painted the BJ black

  • repainting that BJ was sinful :(

  • @kjlem, @JT agree it was a mistake. Got overexcited with the paint after painting the Mercian and it working well. You live and learn I suppose.

  • Update time:

    Grey Mercian: Sorry for crappy photo. It hasn’t changed too much in a year. Frame might get repainted this year.

    Rat Claud: I worked on this last winter and it have ridden it twice since. Everything got a clean and was reassembled onto this red frame, the blue frame was sold as it was too big for me. There are some outstanding issues listed below. I am going to sell it because I don’t use it, but I’m not sure whether to fix the issues first.

    Claud outstanding issues:

    Shorter period correct callipers needed.
    Crown race needs swapping as it is loose on these forks.
    The original tyres are pretty perished.

    I would be tempted to swap bars and saddle if I kept it.


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  • I bought some Weinmann short reach type 500 brakes and a new headset crown race. Will take some pictures when I fit them. Should really swap the tyres too as they are starting to split. Wheels are 27 x 1. Don't know if I will even ride it again, it is destined to be sold.

  • Small update: Claud Rat was sold today, I fitted the new calipers and sorted the headset beforehand. Grey Mercian: Fitted new Brooks bar tape. I have some 40mm tyres to try out without the mudguards just to see if they fit, not sure they will. Some new pedals coming as the current ones are getting scrappy. I'm going to fit a quill to ahead converter to try and fit a very short (35mm?) stem and get the bars a bit closer. It's a 60mm stem currently. I have no problem with the reach to the bars, it is more the distance to the brake levers that has always been a stretch. Putting off the respray for this year, might get done in winter time. Oh, and the seatpost wouldn't budge by hand the other day so I'm a bit worried that it has possibly seized (not again!), could be an issue. At least this time I can ride it to Mercian to help if need be. Think it might just need a bit of force, let's see.

  • Been a while since an update. Time flies. Since the below picture, taken a few months ago, the cassette is now slightly smaller 11-28, the Wolftooth style link has been removed. Tyres are now 35mm, the widest it can fit comfortably. Upcoming summer jobs:

    1. frame repainting, might be dark red
    2. bb replace
    3. regrease headset
    4. maybe 25mm/23mm tyres for summer

    Found a bench that used the same tin of Hammerite that I had 😂


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Grey Mercian

Posted by Avatar for Squaredisk @Squaredisk

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