Author Topic: Atlantis, Mercian or Bob Jackson  (Read 14353 times)

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Offline froze

Atlantis, Mercian or Bob Jackson
« on: September 04, 2005, 03:20:16 am »
I have been trying to decide between buying a Atlantis, Mercian or a Bob Jackson; all of these bikes would be for touring.  Can anyone give me any insight on these that could help me to eliminate at least one of the brands!


Offline driftlessregion

Atlantis, Mercian or Bob Jackson
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2005, 12:28:11 am »
They're all great bikes. In this price range you should also consider the Waterford Adventure Cycle (http://www.waterfordbikes.com) from the folks that used to make frames for Rivendell (who makes the Atlantis)  and the Schwinn Paramount. I love my Waterford RST-22.


Offline RussellSeaton

Atlantis, Mercian or Bob Jackson
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2005, 06:59:29 pm »
I don't know if I would use the term eliminate, but the Bob Jackson has 130mm spacing between the rear dropouts.  This more or less necessitates road rear HUB (Ultegra, Dura Ace) or possibly respacing mountain bike rear HUB from 135mm to 130mm by removing washers/spacers.  You would have to retrue the mountain bike hub wheel if you could not remove equal spacers from both sides.  Mountain bike rear HUBS would be Shimano XTR, XT, LX, etc.  Generally these are used on loaded touring bikes.

However, Bob Jackson frames/forks are really cheap compared to the Rivendell you mention.  I priced a stock loaded touring frame if ordered from England to the USA.  About $700.  Half the Rivendell.  I would guess Mercian would be similar in price to the Jackson.

Bob Jackson's have that certain style, name recognition, you can't get with many other frames.

This message was edited by RussellSeaton on 9-10-05 @ 3:42 PM

Offline DaveB

Atlantis, Mercian or Bob Jackson
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2005, 08:58:42 pm »
respacing mountain bike rear derailleurs from 135mm to 130mm by removing washers/spacers.

Please explain this.  Dropout spacing can be altered from 130 to 135 mm and hub width can be altered between 130 and 135mm but how can a rear derailleur be respaced?  




Offline RussellSeaton

Atlantis, Mercian or Bob Jackson
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2005, 07:36:11 pm »
I must have been thinking of derailleurs instead of hubs when I typed that.  Of course I meant respace the rear hub from 135mm to 130mm by removing washers/spacers.  That is what I did with my 1991 DX rear hub that was 135mm but I needed it to fit my new cheap Redline Conquest Tour aluminum frame that was 130mm rear spacing.  Took a washer off either side and no redishing of the rear wheel was needed.  In my case the rear dropouts were thick enough so the extra axle length did not stick out beyond the dropouts and the quick release was still able to work.  You may have to get a shorter threaded axle if the 135mm hub axle sticks out beyond the dropouts.

This message was edited by RussellSeaton on 9-10-05 @ 3:39 PM

Offline acojo

Atlantis, Mercian or Bob Jackson
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2005, 07:40:32 pm »
I don't know anything about the Mercian or Bob Jackson but the
Atlantis is a great bike. There is nothing it can't do.  I just completed
the Continental Divide Colorado ride using the Atlantis with 29" MTB
tires (700x52). The bike was outstanding and very comfortable. When
using a second set of road rims it is very capable of doing pace lines at
20mph plus. It's a very well balanced bike. Hope this helps.


Offline froze

Atlantis, Mercian or Bob Jackson
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2005, 12:31:12 am »
Thanks Acojo, it's real life experience that I was looking for.  I went and test rode a Atlantis at a shop in Toledo and it was a very nice bike, unfortunatly for the others there is no shops that I know of-at least in my area that has the British bikes I mentioned or the Woodrup.  Years ago I tested a Woodrup and it to was a excellent bike, but I can't remember the ride quality well enough to make a comparison with the Atlantis.

I know the Japanese have some of the best frame builders in the world working on the Atlantis, and the steel used is top notch; so it's still a strong contender but there is that nasty money issue which begs the question: is the Atlantis $700 better then the others?


Offline ATSFfan

Atlantis, Mercian or Bob Jackson
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2005, 01:21:24 pm »
I've owned a Mercian Vincitore since 1976 (frame was $210 back then!). Did the Trans-Am route in '81 and the Southern Tier in '04. A number of shorter tours in between. Mercian does excellent work - and it will last forever. You will pay a premium for the frameset initially, but extrapolate that cost over the years of ownership and you'll see it will be well worth the cost. Mercian also provides a long list of options when you order your frame, so it can be perfectly customized to your liking.


Offline froze

Atlantis, Mercian or Bob Jackson
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2005, 11:16:37 pm »
Actually the Mercian is almost 1/2 the cost of an Atlantis!  That's why I'm still on the fence on this bike thing.  Then I found out just last week that Woodrup still makes bicyles; I always like their frame design and especially the full wrap seat stay end that went completely around the seat tube.  

As much as I liked the ride of the Atlantis the price has me wondering if it's worth $700 more then the Mercian, Woodrup or Bob Jackson...I can't find the value difference yet.

I've seen and rode Waterford bikes, but I'm an odd duck thus looking for something that is rarely seen.


Offline OmahaNeb

Atlantis, Mercian or Bob Jackson
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2005, 01:03:15 pm »
Buying a bike that will last forever ....Keep in  mind
that after some years, you will not be able to easily
find component parts to fit the older frames.  In
todays bike market, you will see neat technology
appear on components that you may not be able to take
advantage of.  As an example, how long will the rear
triangle distance reamin what it is today.  Over the
years we have moved from a width of 120 to what..125
mm?  The shifting technology has changed.  We are
moving from rim based brakes to disc brakes.  I have
learned the hard way, don't buy a bike with the
expectaction that you will never buy another bike.  
Will the bike market move to a different size of
wheel.  Will the 700cc standard move to 710cc in 15
years?  Will that bike frame that lasts forever still
be as attractive?


Offline froze

Atlantis, Mercian or Bob Jackson
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2005, 01:31:50 pm »
I understand the thought behind an older frame becoming an extinct species with parts hard to get, but how old is too old?  I have no problems at all getting parts or compatiablity for my 84 Trek 660...but I have no desire to switch to cassette freehub system either, which still wouldn't be a problem since all I have to do is spread the rear stays a bit if I changed my mind for some insane reason!  In fact I know folks with bikes built in the 50's and 60's and they have no real issues with parts either, most find older parts on E-Bay and some have converted to more up to date friction systems for better shifting.




Offline OmahaNeb

Atlantis, Mercian or Bob Jackson
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2005, 02:56:37 pm »
How old is too old?  My bike was purchased in 1974.  I still ride the bike, but it has lost something over time.  There is not a market for manufactures to make  light quality parts that fit the frame designs of 30 years ago.  Yes you can find "vintage" parts but I want to go to a bike shop and find the part, not the internet.  I have ended up replacing parts on my older bike with less quality parts. The end result is a lesser quality of bike that what I had 30 years ago.  I also think that bike performance has increased due to newer technology, STI vs friction, dual pivot vs side pull, 27 speed vs 10, carbon fork vs steel, light weight frame vs quality double butted-lugged steel frame.  If you are going to buy an expensive frame set that will "last forever", with the mind set that you can adapt the bike to newer technology, I think you will be disappointed.  


Offline froze

Atlantis, Mercian or Bob Jackson
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2005, 02:00:56 am »
I disagree with much of what you said.  First off it's true that manufactures are not making performance parts specifically for bike made 30 years ago; but the parts that are being made for todays bikes can be put on a bike made 30 years ago.  I could go out and find a set of expensive new highend racing wheels and put them on my bike and all I would have to do is to spread the rear stays a tad.  Then replace the chain and derailleur to handle the thinner gears.  And most if not all new derailleurs can be made to work in the friction mode if I desire or I could convert to STI or ERGO no problem...other then cost of course.

I have a bike with STI and quite frankly, I'm not impressed!  I find the darn thing always needs adjustment in order for it to work at it's best and it's not faster then friction no matter what you might think.  The only part where STI is faster over mine is that with mine I have to reach for the downtube shifters, BUT if I had barend shifters I would be just as fast as STI-PLUS be able to shift as many gears as I want in one throw whereas with STI you can't.  Also friction shifting is far more dependable.

Dual pivot brakes is another fantasy world, my sidepulls vs dual pivots in stopping power are the same; the only gain with dual pivots is a smoother action, sort of like going from power assist brakes to power brakes on a car-very little difference.

27 speeds vs 14 (I have), how many gears does one need?  I use to ride, train and race in the mountains of Southern California with only 12 gears and never had a need for more.  In fact with more gears you find yourself shifting more, but you don't gain any lower or higher gear ratios with 27 vs 10, 12 or 14 just closer gearing.

Light weight frame VS double butted steel, my 84 is double butted lug steel so no issues there; but obviously steel has gotten a tad lighter since then and probably quite a bit lighter from the 70's.

My bike in racing form weighed 21.5 pounds; it no longer is in racing form since I don't race anymore; I removed the tubulars and some small odd parts that made the bike heavier today.  But if I went back to tubulars put on lightweight carbon parts including forks (there's at least a pound savings in the fork alone) I could get the bike easily down to 19 pounds range and maybe break into the 18 pound range.  In reality the best modern steel is only at the most about a pound less then the best was back in the 80's.  And what do you gain for the less weight?  Thinner tube walls that are easier to dent.

But all this lighter weight stuff doesn't really work with touring bikes anyway, and that's what this forum is all about.

This message was edited by froze on 9-30-05 @ 10:05 PM

Offline judyrans

Atlantis, Mercian or Bob Jackson
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2005, 12:45:25 am »
Froze wrote:
Quote

I disagree with much of what you said.... I could go out and find a set of expensive new highend racing wheels and put them on my bike and all I would have to do is to spread the rear stays a tad.  

Not exactly something an inexperienced mechanic could do...
Quote

Then replace the chain and derailleur to handle the thinner gears.  

You might also need a new hub, as todays clusters may not fit yesterday's setup. More expense...
Quote

I have a bike with STI and quite frankly, I'm not impressed!

Me either! The custom builders that build bikes to carry heavy loads seem to go for the bar cons. I like mine.
Quote

27 speeds vs 14 (I have), how many gears does one need?  I use to ride, train and race in the mountains of Southern California with only 12 gears and never had a need for more.  In fact with more gears you find yourself shifting more, but you don't gain any lower or higher gear ratios with 27 vs 10, 12 or 14 just closer gearing.

Well, now, I'm a gray-haired old lady, and I like lots of gears. A triple (three chainwheels on the front) will do wonders for saving your knees! I used to have an 18-speed (3X6), but now I have a 27-speed (3X9). I used to often find myself in a gear that was "a little bit too high," but the next gear down was "a little bit too low." Now I can more often find one that's "just right!"

When pedalling a heavily-loaded bike over mountain passes or over many miles, being able to pedal in "just the right gear" can make a big difference in how tired you are at the end of the day. And if the 27-speeds give you a lower bottom end, it will be much easier to "spin" up the mountain. Again, better for the knees. And did you notice Lance "spinning" away from Jan Ulrich?
Quote

But all this lighter weight stuff doesn't really work with touring bikes anyway, and that's what this forum is all about.

Yup, when you're touring a long way from a bike shop, and you carrying a heavy load, you want a sturdy steed that will hold up.  

Judy


Offline mike_khad1

Atlantis, Mercian or Bob Jackson
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2006, 11:44:28 pm »
Have you considered the Burley Hudson?

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