Ever wondered what the perfect custom-made bike to cycle accross the african content might look like? Well I spoke to my friend Alex who completed two times the Tour d’Afrique as accompanying cycling guide and bike mechanic. Really, if he didn’t know what to look for in a bicycle for such a demanding trip, who else would?
When you go on a cross continent bike trip, it’s not simply you and your bike. It’s you, others on the same trip and travelling mechanics to guarantee that no matter what happens, you can keep pedaling to the finish line. So is how it is for my friend Alex, a tough-as-nails cyclists, adventurer, tour guide, bike mechanic and most importantly, first time in 2014, receiver of a beautiful custom-built David Mercer bike.
Friends since teenagers, the two had gotten into mountain biking together. While Mercer settled down to focus on excellent bike craftsmanship, Alex continued on toward farther reaching dreams, namely those of bike travel. Currently, Alex completed hist second Tour d’Afrique, one that starts up in Cairo, Egypt and ends in Cape Town, South Africa, as a mechanic traveling with the group. Soon, he’ll be completing a similar journey in Asia, as the group he joins goes along the Bamboo Road, from Sinagpore to Malaysia.
Rugged trips like those require much more than the average road bike, leading to Alex asking his best friend for some assistance. What Mercer ended up designing proved to be exactly what Alex need. Its unique arched skinny top tubes combined with 700c rims around bomb-proof XT Mountain Bike hubs and road bike proportions mixed with Cyclocross geometry resulted in a sturdy, versatile bike complete with less stiffness in the seat. Tested and approved, it ended up being everything Alex needed as he took on (and continues to take on) the ever shifting terrain of roads across the continents.
In between his last african crossing and the upcoming asia adventure he finished the Maratona dles Dolomites road race, which counts to one of the toughest in the world, on the very same bike.