If ever a bike could be encapsulated in a single phrase, this would be it.
"Yeah, but can we do it in black?"
I met Jonny at Full Court Press shortly after graduating to Big Boy Fancy Coffee™ from my jar of slowly festering instant. If you've met Jonny you'll know he likes black. Black jeans jeans, black top, black boots, black coffee (probably?), heart of gold. He wanted a bike to match, and asked if I'd be up for a repaint of his trusty Merlin. A true classic of Yorkshire cyclocross, with top tube cable routing and, initially, a sunshine yellow and red paint job.
Everything got stripped right back and cleaned up, and after removing the old paint a dent in the top tube was filled with epoxy (nothing structural, but its always nice to have smooth tubes). The seatpost was painted to match the frame in matte black, and the headset replaced with a black Tange Falcon for that buttery smoothness that only sealed bearings can give (plus it'll stand up to not being serviced regularly too).
At a glance, it appears as if it's just a monochromatic desert, but when the sun hits it the Merlin logos have been painted in high gloss, and full of gold flake, as have those beautiful gothic lugs. The last few touches were the Full Court Press logo tucked under the top tube, reminiscent of a tubeset badge, and a little message tucked behind the chainrings where only those in the know will ever see.
It's getting plenty of use now in all weathers delivering delicious beans across the city, which makes me a happy boy.