Best Bike in Africa 2015: #9 MercerBikes Hungry Monkey II

The Best Bike in Africa will be held at the 2015 Standard Bank Africa Cycle Fair on 23 - 25 October at St Stithians College, Johannesburg. The competition invites fair visitors to vote for their favourite bike at the Best Bike in Africa stand. All the entrants that vote for the bike that wins the Best Bike in Africa will go into a draw to win the bike. Leading up to the fair, we'll be be revealing the bikes entered in the Best Bike in Africa. First up today is the MercerBikes Hungry Monkey II.

MercerBikes Hungry Monkey II 1.jpg

 

Usually we use our own words but when the man who designs and builds the bike gives you some text, it just feels wrong to paraphrase. So here's what David Mercer has to say about his Hungry Monkey II:

 

The beating heart of the Hungry Monkey is its handmade steel frame. Fillet brazed from a selection of double butted steel tubes from Columbus and Dedacciai, the Hungry Monkey frame is built one at a time in the tiny Cape Town workshop of MercerBikes. It’s a labour of love. And it shows – the fillets are sanded by hand to give seamless tube junctions and flowing lines. In an era of mass production, the Hungry Monkey stands out as something unique and special.

 

The frame is designed to accept long travel forks (140 – 160mm), 650B wheels and is equipped with sliding dropouts. The head angle is a relatively slack 66 degrees and the top tube is on the long side. The bottom bracket is lower than the norm to make a stable ride at speed and the chainstay length can be adjusted from 420 – 445mm. A 1x specific design, the Hungry Monkey also has cable routing for a stealth dropper post. The Hungry Monkey is a very versatile frame that can be set up for almost any intended use. Steel’s longevity and liveliness are legendary – this should make the Hungry Monkey a frame for life.

 

This particular Hungry Monkey has been built with out-of-bounds trail riding in mind. It rolls on wheels from South Industries – their bombroof AM Carbon rims laced to Tune hubs with double butted DT Swiss spokes and shod in Onza rubber. The Pike up front needs no introduction: 160mm of controlled plush has never felt better. A 1x10 drivetrain with SRAM’s GX cranks turning X9 oily bits provides propulsion and SRAM’s incredible Guide brakes help reign in the madness. The saddle is a custom covered Flite Titanium from Velobrien in Cape Town. Stem and seatpost are both from Thomson and a smattering of BX components round out the build.

 

The Hungry Monkey aims to be the bike you reach most for. It’s fun, involving and rewarding. It’s a bike with soul.

 

Feed it.


Specifications:

  • FRAME:Double butted Nivacrom steel with adjustable dropouts
  • FORK:RockShox Pike RCT3 160mm
  • WHEELS:South Industries AM rims laced to Tune hubs with DT Swiss double butted spokes
  • TIRES:Onza Ibex
  • CRANKS:SRAM GX
  • DERAILLEUR:SRAM X9 Type 2
  • SHIFTER:SRAM X9
  • CASSETTE:SRAM 10sp 11-36
  • BRAKES:SRAM Guide R with Centreline rotors
  • SADDLE:Custom leather covered Flite Titanium from Velobrien (not shown)
  • SEATPOST:Thomson
  • STEM:Thomson
  • HEADSET:BX
  • HANDLEBAR:BX
  • FRAME RETAIL PRICE:R 12,000.00
  • BUILD RETAIL PRICE:R 55,000.00

 

Find out more about MercerBikes over on their website here.

 

If you like this bike and would like the chance to own one, vote for it in the Best Bike in Africa at the Standard Bank Africa Cycle Fair on 23 - 25 October at St Stithians College.

 

Africa Cycle Fair Logo.jpg






17 Comments

Evans_Cuddles, Oct 20 2015 01:03

ding ding ding...we have a winner

Gandalf, Oct 20 2015 01:10

That bike and that blue is dead sexy!

gummibear, Oct 20 2015 02:34

Awesome colour.

gummibear, Oct 20 2015 02:35

HM-in-canyon.jpg

iRide, Oct 20 2015 03:05

Oh yes! A beautiful frame built in Cape Town and wheels 'handgemaak' in the Cape. An African bike that is world class!

skadonk, Oct 20 2015 03:53

Ape Mans creations are killer Cool!

Bibi, Oct 20 2015 06:44

Beautiful 

Yusran, Oct 20 2015 08:23

Amazing workmanship!

 

Can't wait until my turn comes...

Catatonic_Joe, Oct 21 2015 08:39

I think the bike is flikkin gorgeous, the colour stunning, probably the the nicest looking bike after the Yeti SB5c (my opinion). I fail to see the justification of spending 55k on a steel hardtail. What am I missing...?

Chro Mo, Oct 21 2015 04:03

12k for the frame is dead reasonable.

 

Buy the frame and source the rest.

Cptmayhem, Oct 21 2015 04:08

I think the bike is flikkin gorgeous, the colour stunning, probably the the nicest looking bike after the Yeti SB5c (my opinion). I fail to see the justification of spending 55k on a steel hardtail. What am I missing...?

Spec, pure and simple. Things might not seem like it when you start, but dayum, do they start adding up quickly!

 

In this case, it's the carbon rims. Rest of the spec is reasonable (except the Guide R's, I'd at least have specced the RS) 

droo, Oct 21 2015 04:08

I think the bike is flikkin gorgeous, the colour stunning, probably the the nicest looking bike after the Yeti SB5c (my opinion). I fail to see the justification of spending 55k on a steel hardtail. What am I missing...?

 

Ride one. You'll come around.

Evans_Cuddles, Oct 21 2015 04:11

Oh yes! A beautiful frame built in Cape Town and wheels 'handgemaak' in the Cape. An African bike that is world class!

was chatting to 'Mr South' himself the other day...has there been much hoopla over his launch? I've heard nothing but it seems like he's got the real deal going.

NE1L, Oct 21 2015 06:57

This bike is inspirational. Might find myself making my way to St Stithians this weekend

Master216, Oct 23 2015 11:16

The wheels sound interesting, Carbon rims made in Cape Town and not imported from China! winning

dalem44, Oct 25 2015 07:52

I was lucky enough to take one of these for a spin at the show and I can tell you that it is amazing. The geometry makes the bike feel nimble even with the slack-ish head angle. 

amasendeinja, Oct 25 2015 08:53

Spec, pure and simple. Things might not seem like it when you start, but dayum, do they start adding up quickly!

In this case, it's the carbon rims. Rest of the spec is reasonable (except the Guide R's, I'd at least have specced the RS)


Yes and.... it's a custom bike, handbiuilt by one man, who's craft should be paid for. Not a comparable purchase to a non-custom bike. I have the privilege of owning a custom bike, The price of the frame would make your eyes water, mine still do. Would I do it again? Hell yes. And hopefully "again" will be a Mercer to be honest.

All that said a Niner frame is around the same price as a custom Mercer. Makes you think where the smart money should go.