Hi all. I'm new here and having found similar threads on this forum to the one I'm starting wonder if you might be able to help me. I've spent weeks researching this and can't find what I want without spending a fortune.
I'm looking for a steel road bike that's fast, reliable, practical and relatively light and is equipped with a Rohloff hub. The combination of light weight, disc brakes, wide 35c tyres, mudguards and panniers seems to be an unusual one. The only bike that fits is the Thorn Mercury and that, fully specc'd, comes to over £4k and is still 12-13kgs.
The only other bike I can find is the On One Alfine 11 but I'm not too keen on the Alfine. I've also read people having trouble with simple things like removing the rear wheel. If I could get just the frame they use and build the bike myself tp the spec I want that could be an option.
I've wondered about getting a non-Rohloff frame and retrofitting a Rohloff to it - on the one hand I realise that frames should ideally be designed for Rohloff but on the other hand I've also read that the Rohloff can be retrofitted to most frames with a bit of fiddling. Something like a Condor frame maybe.
The thing is that I really like the Mercury. I just wonder whether I can't either find something a bit lighter for the price, or a bit cheaper for the weight. I'm starting to find my research frustrating though because few companies publish weights and there's almost always something missing: weight, tyre size or whatever. I don't even know what the Mercury frame weighs so I can't make a comparison with frames for self-build. Does anyone have any thoughts?