Mercier Galaxy SC3 or Gravity Liberty 1,, Please help, first bike.

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by iLikebikee, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. iLikebikee

    iLikebikee New Member

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    I can get the Mercier Galaxy SC3 for 349.00 or the Gravity liberty 1 for 399.00.

    Im not sure if the Liberty is worth the 50$ bump. I see the liberty has MICRO SHIFT SB-R08 wheras the SC3 uses Shimano STI ST-2300/2303. But being new to biking I have no clue which shifters are better. There are probably other differences that I didnt even notice.

    If anyone could please help me to compare these 2 bikes I would really appreciate it. Thanks




    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/gravity/liberty_1.htm

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/mercier/galaxy_al_xi_sc3.htm
     
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  2. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW. Hardly definitive, but the probable reason that the GRAVITY LIBERTY 1 costs more than the MERCIER GALAXY SC3 is because the Gravity has MicroShift shifters which are probably (much) better than the particular Shimano STI ST-2300/2303 shifters (which look like the "old" Shimano SORA shifters to me) ...

    Plus, the wheels on the Gravity bike have FORMULA hubs vs. the no-name, loose Ball Bearing hubs (not necessarily a bad thing if you know how to adjust them & keep them adjusted) ... the Formula hubs may-or-may-not have cartridge bearings OR they may also have "loose" bearings (I just don't know).

    BUT, on the other side of the coin, the Shimano STI ST-2300/2303 shifters which are on the Mercier can probably be resold on eBay for ~$100 and then replaced with a set of 10-speed Campagnolo shifters (which will recreate 8-speed Shiimano indexing when mated to most Shimano rear derailleurs) which will cost between $100 (used) to $200 +/- (used 10-speed Campagnolo RECORD shifters) ...

    • I have NOT heard anything bad about MicroShift's shifters/derailleurs, so they could serve you very well for a very long time
    • of course, the MicroShift shifters could also be replaced with Campagnolo shifters, too!

    THAT's a long way of saying that out-of-the-box, if you aren't going to change any of the components, then the GRAVITY LIBERTY 1 is probably worth $50 more than the MERCIER GALAXY SC3 ...

    BUT, if the color of the bike's frame matters AND the Mercier comes in a color which you "like" AND/OR the idea of swapping out the shifters sounds like a good idea to you, then getting the Mercier may be the better option.
     
  3. iLikebikee

    iLikebikee New Member

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    Wow you helped so much. I really appreciate you taking the time to write me all of that information. You even color coded the different subjects. That was very nice of you. Now at least I have something to go by. Right now Im leaning toward upgrading the mercier. Which ever one I get I will be taking it to my LBS for them to build it. I'll let you know how it goes.
     
  4. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Quote: Originally Posted by iLikebikee [​IMG]

    Right now Im leaning toward upgrading the mercier. Which ever one I get I will be taking it to my LBS for them to build it. I'll let you know how it goes.


    I do not know how much actual assembly is required for a Bikesdirect.com bike ... but, I recommend that you consider doing the work yourself UNLESS you are a surgeon, dental hygenist, or hand model BECAUSE 99% of what needs to be done can certainly be accomplished by anyone who is not impaired with arthritis or other physical malady ...

    FYI. IMO, if you can remove-and-install a light bulb, then you can probably do most-if-not-all the work yourself ...

    Probably ...

    1. grease & insert the seatpost (probably, you will need a 5mm Allen Wrench)
    2. install the saddle (...6mm Allen Wrench, possibly a 5mm Allen Wrench)
    3. install the stem [including, adjusting the headset tension] (... 5mm Allen Wrench)
    4. adjust the handlebar
    5. install the front wheel
    6. add air to the tires (probably, you will need a pump which has a PRESTA head)
    7. install the pedals (non-driveside pedal has a left hand thread)
    8. adjust the saddle height
    9. check to ensure that the brakes are centered & open-and-close
    10. test ride

    • I'm going to presume that the cables are attached & that the handlebar is strapped to the frame's top tube ... if not, then the cables need to be attached & tensioned.

    Basically, most contemporary bikes can be assembled with only a 5mm Allen Wrench ...

    • an Allen Wrench with a 3"-or-longer shaft is better than a stubby shafted Allen Wrench ...
    • some manufacturers think that Torx headed bolts are a good idea (for the extended-moment, I don't!!) ...


    • I recommend that you go to your local library, B&N, or Amazon.com to get a copy of ZINN AND THE ART OF ROAD BIKE MAINTENANCE or the BICYCLING MAGAZINE "repair" manual to familiarize yourself if you are hesitant to work on your bike yourself -- I think that most people can do 99% of the assembly and/or disasssembly ...

    • The parktool.com + YouTube sites are good resources for eyes-on information about adjusting your derailleurs & brakes, etc.

    If there is a a HARBOR FREIGHT near where you live, then you can get most of the non-bicycle tools there ...

    BTW. If you decide to swap out the shifters which come with the bike with a set of 10-speed Campagnolo shfiters, then you may find that unwrapping & re-wrapping the handlebar tape, untaping + re-taping the cable housing may be the most time consuming part of the process!
     
  5. iLikebikee

    iLikebikee New Member

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    Your the man. If the majority of people in the cycling world are half as nice as you then I picked the right sport/hobby to get into. I really truly appreciate the time you took to help me. I am mechanically inclined so after seeing your list of tips I am confident that I would not be biting off more than I can chew just doing the build myself. Which is great because I would prefer doing it myself so that I can get to know my bike and become increasingly efficient in maintaining/upgrading it. I gotta learn some time so I may as well start now.

    I may have to get the Gravity Liberty. I was going to get the Mercier in 54cm as that size is reccomended for those in the range of 5'9 to 6ft and I am 5'11. Well I noticed today when I went to order that they were sold out of that size. They do have the Xlrg 58 cm in stock (recomended for 6ft to 6'3) and although I am an inch shy at 5' 11 my inseem still clears the standover height by 2 1/2 inches so that should be fine (My arms are long as well). So in reality I should be able to adjust either size to fit me. The question is how much less might the 54cm weigh compared to the 58cm. If it was a noticeable difference then I would take adavntage of the fact that I can adjust the smaller size to my liking. (in that case I would have to order the Gravity) If the difference in weight was trivial then I would just order the Xlrg Mercier as originally planned. Unfortunately they dont have the weights of the different size frames listed. Sometimes I overthink things. :)
     
  6. iLikebikee

    iLikebikee New Member

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    Wow I wrote you this big reply in reponse to your tips and then when I finished it said "your new to this site so the message has to be moderated before being posted" I hope it ends up getting sent. Cause if it got erased I gotta write it all over again. haha
     
  7. steve

    steve Administrator
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    Its been approved now! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
     
  8. iLikebikee

    iLikebikee New Member

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    haha thanks ;)
     
  9. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW. MY observation is that a typical aluminum bicycle frame weighs about 3 lbs. Some weigh less and some weigh more depending on the specific type of alloy + the size-and-shape of the tubing ...

    • I'm thinking that 4 ounces is about the difference in the weights of the two frame sizes
    • I know someone whose under-saddle bag has so much stuff crammed in it that it probaby weighs more than a pound

    • BOTH bikes (56cm) probably weigh about 23 lbs. -- maybe a little more, probably not any less just because less expensive parts usually weigh more

    As you may have already deduced, an individual rider can fit on more than one size bike ...


    By MY reckoning (i.e., based on the range of frames which I have had or have), there can be more than a whopping 4cm difference in the so-called "cockpit" (top tube + stem) ...

    Regardless (IMO) to some extent the decision on which frame size to choose is partially COSMETIC (i.e., how much "exposed" seatpost do you want?) ...

    Some of the decision is PRACTICAL (i.e., how high do you want the stem & handlebars to be relative to the saddle?) ...

    • I'm 5'9" tall
    • the smallest frame which I have has a 53cm top tube + 130mm stem ...
    [​IMG]

    • the largest frame which I still have has a 57cm top tube & will be (re-)built with a 90mm stem with a deep drop handlebar

    • for the moment, my preferred frame size has a top tube in the 54.5cm-to-55cm range with a 120mm to 110mm stem, respectively.


    In all cases, after I account for the saddle-to-crank orientation, I set the distance from the back of the center of the saddle (an arbitrary location to measure from) to the back of the hoods & to the Drops is within-an-inch-as-measured-on-the-diagonal [THAT's less than it probably sounds] to ensure that my bikes feel pretty much the same as far as how much I will be leaning forward when I am in the saddle regardless of the frame size.
    THAT's probably a long way of saying that if you are flexible, then the M/L (56cm effective top tube) frame could work well for you ...

    • eventually, you'll possibly want a 120mm stem

    The larger frames have signficantly taller head tubes -- that's possibly a good thing if you are not flexible OR if you know that you want a more relaxed riding position.

    BUT, if you think that you would prefer one of the Merciers then you may want to wait to order since there will probably be MORE bikes in stock within the next 30 +/- days since the peak of the 2013 "buying"season still hasn't been reached.
     
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