Author Topic: Drop bar Mercury, maybe, maybe not……  (Read 2971 times)

UKTony

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Drop bar Mercury, maybe, maybe not……
« on: October 08, 2022, 10:49:16 pm »
An immaculate 2013 model Mercury with only circa 1000 miles on the clock which I was lucky to pick up on eBay a couple of months ago.

I’d promised myself a Mercury last year but the frame  (580L) I wanted was not available in the Mk3 or among the new old stock of the previous model. Also the delivery of new stock was undetermined.
I wasn’t looking for a drop bar Mercury but it’s the right size and colour and easily converted back to the original Thorn flat track  bars included in the sale. The seller (second owner) did a lovely conversion to drop bars and added a Son deluxe hub, B&M IQX front light and B&M Secula rear light, for Audax rides.

The bike in the picture is as bought except I’ve replaced the 44T drilled chainring with 39T keeping the 17T rear sprocket. The Carradice Super C Midi saddle pack is interchangeable with my Nomad - same toolset for day rides but different spare inner tube. I’ve also rotated the drop bars up slightly so the hoods are a bit closer to level with the saddle for a more relaxed position and moved the saddle forward as far as possible. A pity the steerer tube is not longer, hey ho!
The drop bar conversion is so nice I’m actually not in a hurry to convert to straight bars although that would suit the long frame size better and I would much prefer not to  have to take my hand off the bars to reach the shifter.

The Avid BB7 disk brake doesnt make fitting a rack easy so also deliberating replacing with lower profile TRP mechanical or Shimano hydraulic (as suggested by PH) .

Another short familiarisation ride today ending up in Berkeley, South Gloucestershire. Photo taken by the door of the detached bell tower of St Mary’s Berkeley, a stones throw from Berkeley Castle and the Dr Edward Jenner museum.

PH

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Re: Drop bar Mercury, maybe, maybe not……
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2022, 11:56:05 pm »
Looks great.  Is that the 853 fork?  I find it hard to imagine that someone would have only done that mileage in nine years, but of course there may be an unfortunate story...
I no longer have a drop bar bike, the last one sold a couple of months ago, but it was for reasons other than the bars. I'd always been happy swapping between them, though I know some get religious one way or the other.
Hydraulic brakes get my vote for anything other than remote touring, though they'd have to go with straight bars or the levers are prohibitively expensive.
If not, you might want to do a bit of research on Mercury racks with BB7's. Thorn were using them originally, so it might be worth looking at what racks work or if there's a workaround.

martinf

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Re: Drop bar Mercury, maybe, maybe not……
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2022, 06:58:28 am »
The Avid BB7 disk brake doesnt make fitting a rack easy so also deliberating replacing with lower profile TRP mechanical or Shimano hydraulic (as suggested by PH).

If you use the bike for day rides and very lightweight touring, you might be able to use a large traditional saddlebag and do without a rack.

This was my setup on my Raven Sport Tour until recently:


geocycle

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Re: Drop bar Mercury, maybe, maybe not……
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2022, 07:44:51 pm »
That’s a very, very nice bike Tony. I like the leather bar tape with the saddle and contrast with the gunmetal grey. If it fits with the long frame it would seem a shame to convert it to flat bars although I can imagine that reaching to the accessory bar takes time to become learned behaviour. What have you got in mind for it in terms of use?
 

UKTony

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Re: Drop bar Mercury, maybe, maybe not……
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2022, 09:34:04 am »
That’s a very, very nice bike Tony. I like the leather bar tape with the saddle and contrast with the gunmetal grey. If it fits with the long frame it would seem a shame to convert it to flat bars although I can imagine that reaching to the accessory bar takes time to become learned behaviour. What have you got in mind for it in terms of use?

 I think if you insert the word ‘faux’ in front of leather you’ll get the picture but it does look nice and feel good!
The Mk2 Nomad I bought in 2013 nine years on and 9 years older (me) I’m finding is getting harder work on some rides especially with groups despite spec’dwith lightweight rims and  a lighter (than Thorn EXp. rack) Vega rack but I’ll be keeping the Nomad because it excels on some routes eg with longer stretches of mixed surface cycle paths. In SE Wales valleys for example there are 40+ mile routes  on canal paths, dismtld railway paths etc which are 90% traffic free. So a while ago I’d set my sight on a Mercury to fill the gap for rides that are mostly on tarmac and also some routes around here are a bit lumpy pumpy like up the scarp onto the Cotswolds or in the Forest of Dean. However I don’t rule out the Mercury developing its spec to become my one all rounder. We shall see!

Thanks to Paul and Martinf for their steer re disk brakes and rack/luggage for the Mercury.

PS forgot to answer Paul’s question, the fork is a MER853VC
, that is assuming it’s the same as on the original bill of sale 🙂
« Last Edit: October 10, 2022, 09:53:03 am by UKTony »

UKTony

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Re: Drop bar Mercury, maybe, maybe not……
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2022, 01:56:26 pm »
Looks great.  Is that the 853 fork? 


You got me worried because there’s no Reynolds 853  yellow/green transfer on the fork just the Thorn oval logo,  so I checked with Thorn.

Robin T. Replied and amazingly found an archive image which shows this fork and the 853 logo is on the INSIDE of the fork. One of their stealthy components no doubt! Panic over! 😀


PH

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Re: Drop bar Mercury, maybe, maybe not……
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2022, 10:33:40 pm »
However I don’t rule out the Mercury developing its spec to become my one all rounder. We shall see!
Be interesting to see where you go with this, bars, brake and usage.
Some people have successfully specified and used Mercurys as all rounders, it doesn't work for me.  It suits me for a quite narrow band of my cycling, happily the cycling I enjoy the most, and the Mercury has been the best bike I've owned for it, but it's never felt like the general purpose bike it's predecessor was. It hasn't been my most used bike, and now I have a Nomad to go with it, it's likely to be used less.
You didn't need a decal to tell if it was an 853 fork, it's the only V brake version that doesn't have any fittings for luggage.  The decal on my fork is an ugly black one, rather than the usual green, I'm tempted to remove it as it's over the lacquer, I think on the original forks it was under, as it is on the frame. But then no one would know it was 853... vanity, vanity (Not that anyone notices anyway!) Regardless of stickers, it is IMO an excellent fork.