Author Topic: Thorn Mercury wanted  (Read 3481 times)

Tomoverthehill

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Thorn Mercury wanted
« on: February 28, 2022, 02:21:22 pm »
I am interested in buying a Thorn Mercury with Rohloff hub.  I am 6ft 1in tall so I guess I will need either a 580 or a 610 frame.  Will consider either straight or drop bars, disc or rim brakes.

PH

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Re: Thorn Mercury wanted
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2022, 05:12:44 pm »
Found what you're looking for yet?
I'm tempted to put my original Mercury up for sale, crash damaged, fork written off, frame cosmetic.  New fork and quality powdercoat, I've rebuilt it with an Alfine rather than have the frame gather dust, but I don't really have a use for it!  Too many bikes!!
Anyway, if you're interested, it wouldn't work out bargain basement, but new Rohloff wheel and a couple of upgrades where I've economised and you'd end up with a decent saving over new.  It's 610L.

Alfie by Paul, on Flickr

Tomoverthehill

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Re: Thorn Mercury wanted
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2022, 03:57:17 pm »
Hi Paul,
Thanks for the reply.  I am in North Lincolnshire, are you anywhere within reasonable travelling distance? 
One of the attractions of the Rohloff is its near total reliability, which I am not sure that he Alfine can match, but if you are not too far away, then I am willing to come and have a look without any commitment either way.   
 

martinf

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Re: Thorn Mercury wanted
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2022, 10:55:19 pm »
One of the attractions of the Rohloff is its near total reliability, which I am not sure that the Alfine can match.   

Probably not, but IMO recent Shimano 8-speed hubs are reasonably reliable. The older ones reportedly had problems with inadequate seals that let water in and corroded the innards if used a lot for winter commuting.

I currently have 5 in use on the family bikes, for about 13,000 kms without any trouble so far. Mine are the slightly cheaper Nexus 8 Premium version, which has nearly the same internals as the Alfine version (with needle roller bearings in the planet gears, so supposed to be more efficient than the standard Nexus version), but in a less pretty shell and with roller-brake compatibilty rather than disc brake.

Two are on my wife's bikes, so are used very gently as my wife only weighs about 42 Kg.

Two are on our visitor bikes, so do relatively little mileage, but they get abused by people that don't take any care with the gear changes.

The fifth is on one of my utility bikes that I regularly use for hauling up to about 30kg of groceries in panniers, also for towing trailer loads with typical all-up weights from 140 to 170 kg.   

I don't notice much difference between Rohloff and Nexus 8 Premium for local use, the range of the 8-speed is generally sufficient and I only notice the relatively big jump between 5th and 6th gear on longer rides. The Rohloff is supposed to be more efficient, but again I don't really notice the difference, perhaps partly because I run my Nexus hubs with oil lubrication rather than the factory grease. 

The Rohloff beats the 8-speed hub on long rides where I appreciate the closer and more regular gear steps. The very wide range is useful in really hilly areas, especially on long climbs at the end of the day.

Another advantage of the Nexus 8 Premium over the Rohloff is that it is relatively inexpensive, so I am less bothered about leaving the bike locked up outside the supermarket.

PH

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Re: Thorn Mercury wanted
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2022, 08:47:43 am »
One of the attractions of the Rohloff is its near total reliability, which I am not sure that he Alfine can match
that wasn't what I was suggesting, the Alfine has many attributes, but would be a pretty poor substitute for someone looking for a Rohloff.
Rather, I offered it on the basis that it could easily be converted back to original spec and still offer a good saving over new. 
The idea, and cost, might not appeal, I'm not pushing it.
I'm in Derby and you'd be welcome, to come for a ride.

JohnR

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Re: Thorn Mercury wanted
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2022, 10:13:39 am »
that wasn't what I was suggesting, the Alfine has many attributes, but would be a pretty poor substitute for someone looking for a Rohloff.
That's also my thinking. I tried bikes with the Alfine 8 and then the Alfine 11 before ending up with Rohloff because the Alfines lacked the gearing range I wanted. However, the Alfine would be fine for test riding a bike to find out if the size and ride were OK before embarking on a rebuild. Last week, out of curiosity, I added up the corrent cost of parts to build my Mercury and came to just over 3k.

Tomoverthehill

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Re: Thorn Mercury wanted
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2022, 02:32:48 pm »
Thanks for the offer.  I maybe over in Derbyshire later this months, so I may take the opportunity to call in and have a look.   I can't help thinking that by the time I have bought a Rohloff at the current price of 1275 for the bare hub, plus all the other odds and ends needed, then the total cost will be getting up towards the cost of a new bike.   The last couple of Mercurys went on Ebay for about 2000, second hand, one of them virtually new.   
I am doing LejOG in September, hence the need for something that is both comfortable and reliable.  My present bike has a Shimano Deore 3 x 10 setup, while it gives  me a wide range, chains only last about 4 months and cassettes 8 months before gear selection becomes unreliable.

PH

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Re: Thorn Mercury wanted
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2022, 03:33:04 pm »
I can't help thinking that by the time I have bought a Rohloff at the current price of 1275 for the bare hub, plus all the other odds and ends needed, then the total cost will be getting up towards the cost of a new bike.   The last couple of Mercurys went on Ebay for about 2000, second hand, one of them virtually new.   
Hubs have shot up in price, like everything else! my youngest one was 1,050 less than two years ago.  I think the right hub for a Mercury is 1,200 so add another 100 for it to be built into a wheel and that's about right.
My scribbled down estimate to bring it to the usual sort of spec, new tyres, mudguards, Thorn chainset, better bars and bar ends,  would probably save you 900 - 1000 over the equivalent spec new.  As I said in the original post, it's not bargain basement, still a very expensive bike, but you would have a new hub with the usual reassurances that provides, plus a lot of the other kit is almost new...
I hope that doesn't sound like a hard sell!  I'm making the case why it might suit you, though I'd easily accept that it might not.
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I maybe over in Derbyshire later this months, so I may take the opportunity to call in and have a look.
If you give me a bit of notice, I can swap wheels and you can try it with a Rohloff.  Plenty of nice riding round here.