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Rivendell Atlantis or Mercian Vincitore - Suggestions?(11 posts)

Rivendell Atlantis or Mercian Vincitore - Suggestions?Me Dot Org
Mar 21, 2002 3:48 PM
Last fall I crashed a Bianchi Veloce and totaled the frame. (I replaced it with a Carl Strong road bike - very happy with it). The Veloce has been sitting collecting dust since then. All the other bits and pieces are fine.

I've been thinking of swapping the frame for an "old school" lugged touring frame, to create a bike that is more suited for the rigors of the city (I'd go to cantilever brakes, add fenders and a rack for grocery shopping, etc.) and some light off-road use.

I've been looking at the Mercian Vincitore: http://www.btinternet.com/~merciancycleslimited/pages/frames.htm

...and by the time I get the options and details (custom paint scheme, lined lugs, etc.) I want, I'm up to about $700 (before shipping).

The other frame I'm considering is the Rivendell Atlantis for $950 (before tax and shipping).

http://www.rivendellbicycles.com/html/bikes_atlantisframes.html

I guess I'm cheating a little with the Mercian because I don't pay V.A.T. (value added tax) or sales tax.

Rivendell has a great reputation, but Mercian seems to be a great value. Any suggestions, opinions?
mercianSpirito di Finocchio
Mar 21, 2002 4:14 PM
wow, you must be speccing that custom with gold plate or something. just kidding ;-)

the only downfall is that they are accross the pond if anything goes wrong but - their builders have been around for a while and work all year round rather than in fits and spurts. the quality is generally very good.

the bonus is that the tubing is of better quality and of higher grade and that you choose all your details and color and such. it could also be with you in two weeks which was the case with a guy i saw upon one and rode alongside him to ask about his gorgeous frame. made my italian superlight look plain. and they do look fantasic.

reynolds 531c is still a great tubeset in my eyes and im surprised its not used much anymore. plus most of the english builders have been using the same tubing for the last 20 years and know its nuances. the atlantis just shy's down in reputation, materials and frame fittings.

BUT,.... with either of them. they are still relatively cheap frames. if you are the kind of guy to look them over when in your posession underneath a micro-scope you will find small faults. whether it be a slight overspray, or a little file mark or needing a good session to clean the threads and such..... whilst they will be well built the extra time and money will be needed for a first rate completely finished bike. rest assured they will be both far better than anything you ever bought from italy in the 80's in terms of a finsihed product. we used to joke about how each of our colnago's were different by the overspray and paint drippings and that it gave them character rather than complain and take it back to the distributor which at the time was unheard of.

i love rivendell but they dont have the scale of an operation to make the atlantis at the price it should be.

mercian are also very keen to sell here as they dont have a distributor or anyone marketing their stuff. im sure they will make sure of all the details before they send it off. they are derby's finest.

then to appease your faith in rivendell buy all the parts and things from them. and your keeping both in business. the mercian will look very pretty so if you go with it let us gloat over some pics.
re: have you looked at Donohue or Yates?cyclopathic
Mar 21, 2002 4:39 PM
the friend of mine got Yates when he was in UK and he loves it
http://www.donohuecycles.co.uk/
http://www.msteelcycles.co.uk/
I have an Atlantis; friend has a Mercian...cory
Mar 21, 2002 4:46 PM
Unfortunately, they're 10 cm apart in size so we can't trade off and compare very well. For what it's worth, they both work great and we both love 'em (his is Ultegra; mine is pieced together from components I had or bought cheap, mostly about LX-level stuff).
I ran SKS fenders and 700x35 Paselas over the winter (just took the fenders off), and I've used it on fire roads and light offroad as well as for day rides and just riding around (century coming at the end of April). I can't imagine a better bike for all-around use. I've just about parked everything else, except for occasional mountain bike rides. But he feels the same way about the Mercian, so that's no help to you.
not lugged, but...gtx
Mar 21, 2002 5:18 PM
if this is your size, seems like a heck of a deal

http://www.tetcycles.com/Specials/55CM_Allrounder/55cm_allrounder.html
i tried to grow some incehs to buy this bike. nmcolker
Mar 21, 2002 5:35 PM
nm
apples and orangesSteveS
Mar 21, 2002 7:59 PM
The Atlantis and the Vincitore aren't really the same thing, one a kind of an all-arounder and the other somewhat of the ultimate classic sport tourer.

I like Rivendell a lot and think the Atlantis would be a great all around bike, however, I have a Mercian King of Merica tour frame and it is beautiful and rode great on my tour in the UK in Sept. even though the frame is 20 years old. (and re-sprayed by Bob Jackson while I was there).

The Vincitore has the fantasic classic lug design. Mercian will do anything you want in terms of geometry or braze-ons. Paint jobs, lug-lining, etc. are works of art. Something I would not want to expose to rough treatment. (plus it is stove enamaled so not as tough as an Imron type paint). Personally, if I was to have it to do over again, I would have had a Vincitore built for me rather than the King. Lug work on either is not inferior in any way to my Tom Kellogg. (but I didn't inspect it microscopically) The Vincitore is a frame that you get and keep forever.
Thanks to all for your feedbackMe Dot Org
Mar 21, 2002 8:42 PM
I'm probably leaning a little more towards the Mercian, but I still miss the comfort factor that Rivendell is right across the bay in Walnut Creek (Yeah, I know, the bikes come from Japan...)

The nice thing is that it's not a bad dilemna, I don't thing I would be wrong with either bike. I guess I'm starting to live the retro-grouch life...
Same decision recentlyRay Sachs
Mar 22, 2002 5:29 AM
I recently went through the same decision on a Rivendell Rambouillet (their new sport touring frame - same price and lugs as Atlantis, but more of a relaxed road bike than a touring/all-rounder type) vs a Mercian. In my case, there was a bigger price difference because I was just thinking about Mercian's audax frame, which could have been had for about half the price of the Rambouillet, even with an upgrade to 653 tubing (some sort of combo of 631 and 753, I've heard) and even after shipping.

I went for the Riv. Part of that is my history with them. For all of their retro eccentricities, I've owned three Grant Petersen designed frames and they've been the three sweetest riding bikes I've ever owned (except for an old beater fixed-gear, but that's a different kettle of fish).

I'm sure I could duplicate the Riv geometry with a Mercian and have it come out great, but I finally decided not to mess with as close to a sure thing as I've found in the bike universe. I also read an account of a guy who recently got a Mercian who found the alignment off - probably a very rare occurance and probably easily remedied, but it was the one data point I needed to finish rationalizing what I wanted to do anyway.

Gotta go with your gut. Good luck.

-Ray
So, Ray--how's the Rambouillet?retro
Mar 22, 2002 8:45 AM
I like my Atlantis so much I don't NEED another bike, but there it is in the catalog winking at me, and I sort of have the money at the moment. How's it working out?
Dunno YetRay Sachs
Mar 22, 2002 11:25 AM
I won't get it until sometime in May or possibly June. The first run of frames hasn't been delivered yet, so nobody actually has one except the handfull of prototypes Riv has at their shop. But the geometry is very similar to the Riv Road I've been riding for four years now (my favorite ride ever, by far), so I'm pretty sure I know what the ride and comfort are gonna be like. I'm gonna keep fenders and 28mm tires on this one for tours and bad weather riding and baby the Riv so it'll last the 25-30 years that I can hopefully keep riding it.

I for d@mn-sure don't need another bike, but I've gotten real good at rationalizing :)

-Ray