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Best Riding Steel Road Bike - I have been on - Seen It?(11 posts)

Best Riding Steel Road Bike - I have been on - Seen It?bikejack
Feb 2, 2002 2:21 AM
I guy I sometimes ride with just got a Mercier Serpens with a Reynolds 853 frame and Ultegra. What a sweet bike ~ he let me ride it about 10 miles yesterday and I was amazed and depressed. Rides much better than my bike and cost him a lot less. Has anyone else out there riden this bike? Is there any problem with Reynolds 853 that I dont know about?
How much does a bike like this seem to be worth? I think a lot more than he says he paid. Any other steel bikes out there you would reccommend in the $1200 to $1500 range?
your friend got it rightcolker
Feb 2, 2002 4:05 AM
road bikes are slightly over priced in the us. they are sold sometimes as "art" with a corresponding price tag. sometimes as spaceships, made of carbon and titanium. or with "you save a pound and spend 3000 dollars tag.steel rides really well and for soemone who isn't racing aginst the clock, a 1/2 pound won't ruin your ride.
fine spending money is good, i like it too but that mercian could ride better than a..... if!
that mercian probably won't pass a "weld quality" test wiht if fans but will ride that good for many years.
am i wrong?
you are rightkoala
Feb 2, 2002 5:00 AM
My Tom Teesdale foco(columbus) weighs 3.34 in 55 c-c, rides incredibly smooth, and only cost 799 and that was full custom. Sure the welds are not serotta like, but the bike is straight and he threw in the reynolds ouzo pro for 260. If I was racing(did a little in the 80s) I would probably go alu for the weight/stiffness but for most of us the value in good American steel frame builders is outstanding. Same it seems across the pond in England.
your friend got it right - only a little wrongbikejack
Feb 2, 2002 5:01 AM
you have it right - Except it is a Mercier -- and the welds look fantastic to me ~ I go to shops a lot and see $1000 frames from Italy and the welds do not look as good as the Mercier does to me. I have been thinking about it all night - is that sick? And I am going to go to the Dealer and see if he has my size and will make a 'deal' with me. After reading all I could find on Reynolds; it sounds like to me 853 is the ultimate tubing.
Feb 2, 2002 5:26 AM
My 2 Waterford 2200 (R853) lugged frames are the loves of my life.....Ride quality, workmanship and paint are 5-star...and I've never been on a group ride that someone doesn't compliment the bike.....Yes, there are a lot of teriffic frames on the market, but for overall performance, I'll stay with the ones I have.
your friend got it right - only a little wrongcolker
Feb 2, 2002 6:09 AM
i checked mercian's website a while a go and i remmeber their geometry was somewhat different, wiht steep angles. it may work better for you than all other bieks you've ridden before! another reason for you to get one (maybe the most important reason) and yes.. 853 is top gun.
all that on a nice budget. nice.
Could be a Mercier, but there IS a MercianRetro
Feb 2, 2002 5:03 PM
Friend of mine has an old one he says he'll never give up. Way too small for me, so I've never tried it, but he loves it.
Feb 2, 2002 6:09 AM
853 comes in a varity of tube configurations from super thin to thick and stout. If you buy a frame from the same manufactuer as your friends bike the ride should be the same. But if you buy an 853 frame from someone else, it may be different. Just something to think about.
re: Best Riding Steel Road Bike - I have been on - Seen It?vol245
Feb 2, 2002 9:09 AM has a Cervélo Prodigy with full Ultegra for $1399 - it lists for $1799. You can get more info on the bike at I don't work for either company.
"Best" is a word that opens up debate...DINOSAUR
Feb 2, 2002 10:11 AM
The problem is with the word "Best". Everyone has their own preferences. Custom frame builders work with the rider and build steel frames using different types of tubing depending numerous factors. Steel can be tweaked in different angles and is a material of choice as it is easier to work with and repair. If you like this bike, go with it. If you found your "best" bike, you've just located the holy grail....
re: Best Riding Steel Road Bike - I have been on - Seen It?gtx
Feb 2, 2002 10:35 AM
You didn't mention what bike you ride. What was so great about this bike? What don't you like about yours? I wouldn't get too concerned with a 853 sticker--it's what the builder does with it. There are all sorts of nice bikes out there for $1500 if you know what you want and shop around. I put together a pretty nice rain bike for about $700 recently--a like new used Merckx frame build with a mix of new Ultegra and some parts I had lying around. It's funny to me how many people comment on that bike. I think you could put together a new Merckx or other quality steel frame from GVHbikes with Ultegra and stay in your price range. But you have to know what you're looking for in terms of fit and geometry.