Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts
11 posts • Page 1 of 1
I am in the final stages (awaiting delivery) of a Vincitore Special tourer I had built over approx. 8 months. Keep in mind if you're looking to buy one there's a few things to consider:
-Import costs: gst/duty/freight
-It will most likely take some time to construct, the better part of a year imho
-Although my correspondence with Mercian has always been fine, customising a frame isn't the easiest task to set out to do, and if you have questions (like I did), they might not always be answered quickly and completely.
Honestly I would probably not go down the same route again, at least any time soon, as the process is expensive, time consuming and somewhat stifling. That said I have no doubt the frame will be gorgeous.
Hopefully I remember to post pics when it arrives.
I'm looking for a long term project so this sounds perfect.
How did you find the sizing process? Sounds like a bit of to-ing and fro-ing.
What were the cost implications around importing?
Would love to see pics when you have them and I appreciate the frank advice.
Yes this is true, though I guess in my mind the importing also includes taxation. My frame has not yet arrived, but I understand that it should be stopped by customs due to the price exceeding $1000.
After this they send a letter and you need to file paperwork, either yourself or by contacting an import agent (easier and only 50ish dollar fee).
I couldn't tell you of the cost yet, as hypothetically if the outside of the package has no invoice it might not even be stopped. So it could be no more than I've already paid, or hundreds in tax. I'm sure there's gst to be paid (10% of item+shipping cost), but I've heard varying reports on duty as technically a bicycle is environmentally friendly, sustainable or something along those lines.
Keep in mind that the quoted prices on Mercian's website factor in 20% VAT (value added tax), which is negated for international shipping. So a $1400 frame should only cost you 1k.
The importing is fairly irritating but not unexpected... but imho very much worth it. Initially I was interested in a lugged steel frame bicycle after reading some rivendell stuff, but their bikes aren't custom, most of the time cost more, give you less (options, variables) and aren't to me as well made. As I understand it, Mercian paint-work is perfection and one framebuilder creates your frame from start to finish.
The sizing is fairly standard, you'll need to provide your height, inner seam etc. What I found more difficult personally was selecting the right options for the parts. BB shell type (british/italian/french), threaded/threadless, drop out styles, brake braze ons .... lots of options to confuse if you're not too sure of what you want.
I've had all the parts for my frame sitting around for months now, so I'm pretty keen to get the frame and ride it. I thought I'd do the frame justice and get top quality parts... I don't expect to get much change from 7k. But realistically, people spend this and more on carbon bikes, which is fine, but a well-loved Mercian could easily become an heirloom and could take you anywhere.
The only thing I would recommend is to select the parts or get them selected for you separately from the frame. You could save hundreds shopping around for things, due to multiple sub-1k imports rather than importing a whole $5000 bike in one go.
Or you could just do what I did in the end and get your dream bike custom built locally
From Peter Bundy Cycles in Riverwood, New South Wales.
Jim Bundy custom frame set from Reynolds 531 tubing,paint by Star Enamelers
Campagnolo Athena Gruppo
Chorus hubs,Ambrosio Excellence rims
Cinelli Giro D'Italia bars and 1A stem
Campagnolo Chorus seat post
Brooks Professional saddle and bar tape
Cost was probably equivalent to a Mercian frameset but it was built just down the road
It took 2 months to finish, mainly due to having the forks chromed which added about 3 weeks to the process just because the electroplaters were busy.
I'd collected the parts over the previous 6 months and apart from Peter Bundy building the wheels, installing the headset and facing and chasing the bottom bracket I put it together myself.
I really couldn't be happier with my bike and never miss an opportunity to show it off.
But if your heart is set on a Mercian - go for it!
2012 Jim Bundy
1995 Bosevski - Athena
mid/late eighties Colnago Cromor
Thanks, Peter. That is a very nice looking mount. I will check them out.
I had tried Europa locally but they didn't respond to emails so I was worried about communication (and, yes, I could have phoned but figured when we're talking measurements that there is less chance of mistakes with email).
If you're keen to buy local then Jim or Peter Bundy-made frames are great. Also be sure to check out http://www.llewellynbikes.com/ ... The top of the line llewellyn frames are pretty breathtaking, aesthetically and in terms of cost.
I have an old Peter Bundy frame converted to a fixie commuter which is very capable.. it's really a great bike too.
I wouldn't be too turned off by importing costs, because any of these framebuilders will cost a lot at the end of the day, you've just got to weigh up what you're paying for. Mercian also increased their prices in October also, but they're still very reasonable for what you're getting.
I personally chose Mercian for their expertise in touring frames. Local framebuilders could probably make something identical... I guess I just went with my gut on this build.
Let us know if you go through with it
P.S. Mercian's website has a great frame building application you can fiddle with (which I'm sure you probably already have)
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