Mercian has always been synonymous with serious cycling for me.
I used to live next door to a keen club rider who had two. He’d ride his skinny-wheeled Audax with its lustrous red frame most days and keep a stunning chromed-plated racing machine for serious workouts.
And serious he was… I would trundle next door on my BMX to call on his son, my friend, and he would be on the rollers, rivulets of sweat running down his face and dripping on the macadam of the driveway.
When he was at work, we’d sneak a peek at these marvellous machines in the garage… cammed full of wheelsets and tyres hanging from the ceiling. Both were kitted out with the finest Campagnolo.
My friend would mention that the frames were made-to-measure and were only available from a man in Derby. His dad would never say how much they’d cost, but would mention the ‘sacrifices’ that had been made in the past to acquire them.
My friend would then nod towards their battered estate car and say how he could watch the road speeding by through a hole in the floor under the rear passenger seat.
One day, I thought, I would have one of my own. This ambition persists 25 years later, preferably with hand cut lugs in the finest Reynolds tubing and with the best artisan group set money can buy.
Until then, Mercian have a new website to drool over, and one feature in particular: the frame builder.
Here you can select your frame type and all the extras you may wish to add and then choose the colour scheme (my favourite part). In fact it’s perfect for whiling away that last half hour in the office at the end of the week (assuming your company’s IT department haven’t blocked it).