Audax/Sportive Quandry

arlowood

New Member
Hi Guys

Finally decided that my Mercian Audax Triple Mirage is getting a bit long in the tooth. Have had it since 1996 and ridden many enjoyable miles on it but I fear the time has come to part company.

Have been looking at several options for a replacement but am undecided about which might best suit me. I generally ride for fitness and would prefer something that would give me comfortable rather than super fast riding over distances up to 50 miles. I would be looking to extend to 100 mile rides eventually.

My short list so far is:-

Specialized Tricross Sport 27
Scott Speedster S30 27 speed
Trek 1.5 Triple
Trek Pilot 2.0 triple
Cannondale CAAD 8 Tagra Triple

As you can see I have gone for triple chainset options as my Mercian is all Campag with a triple at the front. I think switching to a double crank would cause some issues with gear selection.

Any thoughts out there on my options would be appreciated
 

Tim Bennet.

Entirely Average Member
Location
S of Kendal
Paul Hewitt has his own carbon Audax bike that might be worth a look as it's light enough for fun riding but is set up for longer distances. It would also come with his fitting service which is worth more than anything if you plan to put the miles in.

You can also spec it with any bits you like including anything salvaged off your old bike.
 

Fiona N

Veteran
Tim Bennet. said:
Paul Hewitt has his own carbon Audax bike that might be worth a look as it's light enough for fun riding but is set up for longer distances. It would also come with his fitting service which is worth more than anything if you plan to put the miles in.
I can vouch for both the Hewitt Alpine Carbon and Paul Hewitt's fitting service.
My new bike's the above frame kitted out with Campag Athena (11 speed compact, carbon bling) and Ambrosio rims on Record hubs - so I wasn't trying to save money and came in above the budget you're looking at for the bikes you named.
But the bike is perfect for the sportive/audax/light touring remit - it's very noticeably lighter than the Al/C Ribble with 105 it displaced in my affections, but even more noticeably, more comfortable. The fit is really so good that not only do I no longer get the constant back niggles on the hills (and we do have hills around here :smile:) but the higher bottom gear than the Ribble (which had a triple) hasn't been a problem as I climb so much better sitting down.

I actually feel like it knocked about 10 years off my 'cycling age' - so I now feel like I did about 10 years ago when I'd just given up racing in the Alps but was still fit and light :smile:
 
OP
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arlowood

New Member
Tim Bennet. said:
Paul Hewitt has his own carbon Audax bike that might be worth a look as it's light enough for fun riding but is set up for longer distances. It would also come with his fitting service which is worth more than anything if you plan to put the miles in.

You can also spec it with any bits you like including anything salvaged off your old bike.

Hi Tim

Ta for the comments about the Paul Hewitt option. Bit concerned that a custom built might stretch too far for my budget. I'm looking to spend up to £850 and feel that the hewitt bike might exceed that limit.

Also I live in the Midlands and would have a problem visiting the Hewitt base for a fitting service.
 

jimboalee

New Member
Location
Solihull
What size is the Mercian?

BAGSEE it.

I don't care what size it is, if some idiot is dropping a 1996 Mercian Audax, I'm at the head of the queue.


Not really, I'm only pulling you leg.

But I'm serious about "some idiot".:smile:
 

MichaelM

Guru
Location
Tayside
Buying a new bike just because you want a new bike is a good enough reason as far as I'm concerned, but I can't think why any of the bikes you mention will be more comfortable than your Mercian.

How about new STI'S, chainset and wheels? maybe a carbon fork and a respray.
 
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arlowood

New Member
MichaelM said:
Buying a new bike just because you want a new bike is a good enough reason as far as I'm concerned, but I can't think why any of the bikes you mention will be more comfortable than your Mercian.

How about new STI'S, chainset and wheels? maybe a carbon fork and a respray.

Hi MichaelM

A refurb was also on my mind since I don't live too far from the Mercian shop in Derby.

My Mercian Audax Triple is a 23" (58cm) frame in Reynolds 531 Competition. The chainset and brakes are all Campag Mirage with STI type ergo shifters, a 50-40-30 triple crankset and 13 - 26, 8-speed cassette. Wheels are Mavic 700 Open 4CD and both hubs are Campag. Headset is ITM and bars are ITM Super Italia Pro-2. Not sure what the forks are. Saddle is a Rolls San Marco.

I'm not sure what the cost of speccing new gears, forks and wheels might be. The other consideration is that a refurb would mean the bike being off the road for several weeks (I had Mercian do a service on it a couple of years back and that took at least 2 weeks). Bit reluctant to be without a set of wheels for that long, particularly during the summer months.

My thinking is that I could buy a new steed then sell of the Mercian to offset the cost. Despite its age it is still in very good condition cosmetically and all the mechanics are still working OK.
 
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arlowood

New Member
jimboalee said:
What size is the Mercian?

BAGSEE it.

I don't care what size it is, if some idiot is dropping a 1996 Mercian Audax, I'm at the head of the queue.


Not really, I'm only pulling you leg.

But I'm serious about "some idiot".:biggrin:

Hi there

Pic of Mercian attached. Sorry not cleaned yet after my last ride on Friday. Too hot for menial tasks like that
 

GrumpyGregry

Here for rides.
You are selling a bike that most randoneers can only aspire to own to, imo, trade down to some mass produced bit of kit than won't work as well. Don't do it.

upgrade. get a decent LBS to do it or do it yourself. that way you'll only be without wheels for a day or two.
 

MichaelM

Guru
Location
Tayside
Looks classy.

If you've allready got Campag mechs, then you could keep them get some 10 speed shifters for under £100, or £150 for carbon Centaur from Parker. Put on new cassette & chain and that's around £200.

New chainrings or chainset if needed and you're sorted.
 

yello

Legendary Member
Location
France
If the Mercian fits then don't be daft - keep it. By another bike, certainly, but I reckon you'd regret selling the Mercian. It may not look all new and bling but it is the envy of many another rider. It's a class bike.
 
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arlowood

New Member
MichaelM said:
Looks classy.

If you've allready got Campag mechs, then you could keep them get some 10 speed shifters for under £100, or £150 for carbon Centaur from Parker. Put on new cassette & chain and that's around £200.

New chainrings or chainset if needed and you're sorted.

Hi MichaelM

Will think about an upgrade and maybe get some quotes.

My only concern is that one LBS I visited last year when the indexing on my gears was playing up (turned out to be a frayed cable) stated that the rear fork spread would limit the size of cassette I could consider. The guy thought I might get away with a 9-speed but that would be the largest. Anything larger would require the frame being tweaked to accomodate the additional width. That would mean more costs and possibly a trip back to the Mercian workshop!!!

Just a quick look see indicates that in the years since I bought my Mercian the norm for cassette sizes has increased up to 10 and 11 speed.

Also a new Campag groupset could end up costing me more than one of the new bikes I was looking at???

I may end up talking to both Mercian and a couple of local bike techs to see what upgrade or refurb options are possible and the costs involved.
 

RecordAceFromNew

Swinging Member
Location
West London
arlowood said:
My only concern is that one LBS I visited last year when the indexing on my gears was playing up (turned out to be a frayed cable) stated that the rear fork spread would limit the size of cassette I could consider. The guy thought I might get away with a 9-speed but that would be the largest. Anything larger would require the frame being tweaked to accomodate the additional width. That would mean more costs and possibly a trip back to the Mercian workshop!!!
I don't understand this bit. All campag road rear hubs since the early 90's have exactly the same OLN distance of 130mm. Their 8, 9, 10 and 11 speed cassettes are all of the same width, the sprockets/spacers/chains however get progressively thinner.

You might need a better LBS.
 

Scoosh

Velocouchiste
Moderator
Location
Edinburgh
With a triple, do you need a 10/11 speed cassette ?

I would have thought the triple would give you all the range you would need.
 
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