Craig’s beloved 1979 Mercian after a complete rebuild in our workshop.  He bought the bike from GBH Custom Hacks in Manchester’s Norther Quarter several years ago and – hopefully he won’t mind me saying this – ran it into the ground!  He then brought it to us with a decent budget and asked us to do our thing.  GBH were an inspiration to me when I started Dead Rats Cycles in 2009, and this made me even more determined to go the extra mile on this rebuild.  It’s still a ‘bitsa’ but now clean as a whistle and functioning beautifully.

I spent a long time restoring the original finish, after I’d coldset the frame out from original 120mm to 126mm in preparation to replace the FUBAR’d wheels and shifters so that the bike could run Shimano 14 speed SIS gearing instead of Suntour 10 speed friction.  I would assume the bike’s original parts include the Suntour front derailleur, Weinmann brakes and Sakae Ringyo seatpost, stem and bars, while the headset and 105 rear derailleur were added later.  We replaced the crankset, fitting a period correct Sugino Maxy, and added new Michelin tyres and a stunning Brooks B17 Champion Special with copper plated rails and matching honey bar tape…