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  1. #1
    shaken, not stirred. gnome's Avatar
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    Help identify my Mercian.

    My Mercian has finaly arrived. Woot. I'll take it into the good LBS tomorrow and get them to tighten up the headset so I can ride it.

    I was wondering what model Merician it is and if anyone can help me identify it.
    It has the following number on the bottom bracket: 65879
    Specs as follows:
    Cinelli stem and Cinelli mon Campione del Monde handlebars.
    Universal CX brakes and levers
    Campagnolo down tube shifters
    Campagnolo front derailleur
    NR rear derailleur (dated 79)
    Record hubs laced to alloy rims that have a sticker saying Super Champion Competition made in France.
    Brooks Professional saddle. It needs some proofhide and there is a small tear at the front rivets.
    Michelin Elan 27 x 1 tyres.

    Would the tyres be clincher or tubulars?

    Here are some photos. The smaller ones are from the auction and the others are from my cruddy digital. I will try and take some better photos tomorrow when it gets light if anyone wants them.

    Mercian.jpg Mercian Brake Bridge.jpg Mercian Front.JPG
    Mercian Headtube lugs.JPG Mercian Seattube.JPG
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  2. #2
    Viscount viscount's Avatar
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    Hi gnome.
    Nice machine you got there.
    I can't identify model but the number says 1979.
    Should also have another single number on BB which identifies the actual builder.

    If it has 27" wheels fitted it has a lot of clearance, so has it got eyes for guards and rack?
    Can't make it out from your pics.

    I've had a 77 racer/time trial machine for a couple of weeks (knowing very little previously) so I've been researching Mercian. Seems they made machines to personal customers sizes/components etc. as well as having 'standard' stock frames on the shelf. So identifying machines might not be so simple. Still not sure what mine is.

    Have you checked the Mercian site?

    http://www.merciancycles.com/

    Also there is a Mercian group on Flickr with a good number of models, including mine!

    http://flickr.com/groups/435952@N20/

    I reckon you'll get plenty of info from BF later

  3. #3
    shaken, not stirred. gnome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by viscount View Post
    Hi gnome.
    Nice machine you got there.
    I can't identify model but the number says 1979.
    Should also have another single number on BB which identifies the actual builder.

    If it has 27" wheels fitted it has a lot of clearance, so has it got eyes for guards and rack?
    Can't make it out from your pics.

    I've had a 77 racer/time trial machine for a couple of weeks (knowing very little previously) so I've been researching Mercian. Seems they made machines to personal customers sizes/components etc. as well as having 'standard' stock frames on the shelf. So identifying machines might not be so simple. Still not sure what mine is.

    Have you checked the Mercian site?

    http://www.merciancycles.com/

    Also there is a Mercian group on Flickr with a good number of models, including mine!

    http://flickr.com/groups/435952@N20/

    I reckon you'll get plenty of info from BF later
    Thanks for that. It's is my first lightweight roadbike.
    The single digit on on the BB is 2

    I have sent an email to Mercian to see what they can tell me about the bike but I haven't heard back from them yet.

    The bike has braze-ons for mudguards (fenders) but none for racks.
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  4. #4
    Viscount viscount's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnome View Post
    Thanks for that. It's is my first lightweight roadbike.
    The single digit on on the BB is 2

    I have sent an email to Mercian to see what they can tell me about the bike but I haven't heard back from them yet.

    The bike has braze-ons for mudguards (fenders) but none for racks.
    Mine is my first classy lightweight.
    My Viscounts are good but...

    Be interesting to see if they do help you with details.
    I called them enquiring about touch up paint to match my colour and the guy who answered told me it was 10 to buy it and another 10 to search their files. I declined.
    But to be fair, somebody more senior has since got back to me and told me he was wrong.
    It's 11.50 for 50ml.

    The fact that you have mudguard eyes, and clearance, means it's an all weather bicycle at least.
    Most probably not a tourer, which narrows the identification a little.
    Mines got neither so it's not good in our UK winter weather!

    But it's a joy to ride.
    Just a lovely machine, as you will soon discover.

    Be great to see some more photos soon.

  5. #5
    hunter, gatherer coelcanth's Avatar
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    i think the model depends mostly on lugs, geometry, finish, and braze-ons (eyelets)
    check your bike against the current mercian website.. i don't think things have changed that much..

    it's also probably worth contacting them with your serial number

  6. #6
    Senior Member aesmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnome View Post
    Michelin Elan 27 x 1 tyres.

    Would the tyres be clincher or tubulars?
    Michelin Elans were the first really narrow, high-pressure tubed tyres which could be fitted to conventional rims. Not sew-up tubulars. I clearly remember fitting them with my first alloy rims in the late '70s, and they revolutionised the bike. Very puncture prone, though.

    Tony S.

  7. #7
    shaken, not stirred. gnome's Avatar
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    I got the Mercian back from the LBS today. They had been busy with getting bikes ready for people going back to school next week.

    I haven't heard back from Mercian yet, but I think mine might be an Olympic from looking at various pictures on the web.

    This is the first roadbike I've had and Wow! It rides nicely and accelerates like a rocket! It will ride even better when the 29 year old saddle softens up a bit. The saddle is currently rock hard and has drunk two coats of Proofhide.

    As promised here are some more pictures. I still am incompentant at using a point and shoot digital so sorry for some of them.
    Mercian 1.JPG Campy Crankset.JPG Mercian Seattube.JPG Wheel stickers.JPG
    Mercian Front 2.JPG NR Derailleur.JPG Brooks Professional.JPG
    Front brake.JPG Mercian Downtube.JPG Rear cluster.JPG
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  8. #8
    Senior Member aesmith's Avatar
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    That looks fabulous from top to bottom. What's the gearing at the moment? I had a bike with similar fit out, but only a 5 speed with single front ring. The Campaq stuff shifted really sweetly on a 14-24 freewheel.

    I hope you're keeping toe clips and straps.

    When you say "first roadbike", are you comparing to a mountain bike?

    Tony S

  9. #9
    Senior Member aesmith's Avatar
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    By the way, in the late '70s Mercian sold frames separately - I mean not a built-up bikes. I know because I lusted after one, in black with red lug-lines.

  10. #10
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    Nice. Love the Universal CX brakes.

  11. #11
    Viscount viscount's Avatar
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    Mercian in the 70s made some bicycles in batches for sale by dealers/LBSs and don't have precise records for them. (In my case not even the paint colour.)
    This is from them this week.
    Mine is such a one from 1977, so I cannot get much more info from them.
    Not that I'm complaining, if mine had been made to fit me it could not have been closer.

    If yours turns out to be made for an individual, Mercian will probably have comprehensive records for it.
    If not you may still be able to trace it backwards from your vendor.

    Either way you have a very nice machine

  12. #12
    shaken, not stirred. gnome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aesmith View Post
    That looks fabulous from top to bottom. What's the gearing at the moment? I had a bike with similar fit out, but only a 5 speed with single front ring. The Campaq stuff shifted really sweetly on a 14-24 freewheel.

    I hope you're keeping toe clips and straps.

    When you say "first roadbike", are you comparing to a mountain bike?

    Tony S
    It looks good now that I've given the paint a coat of polish and wax. The bike is geared 51/42 - 14-25 and it does shift very nicely.

    I actually swapped the toe clips & straps off one of my other bikes. These ones fit my current shoes better than the ones originally on there. I now have to get some stiff soled shoes so my feet don't go numb.

    I have a collection of bikes, not all of which I have ridden yet. The bikes I'm comparing it against include; a heavy (free) mountain bike, a pre-war fixed gear racing bike, a english three speed with mudguards, dynohub lighting set and chaincase (the bike is now a four-speed), a couple of locally made copies of the Raleigh 20 (one an undergeared fixed gear), a SWB recumbent fitted for commuting & touring, a five speed dutch commuting bike. Compared to all of them it is lighter and/or faster.
    Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live. ~Mark Twain, "Taming the Bicycle"
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  13. #13
    Prodigal road guy MajorA's Avatar
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    Judging from the photo of the saddle, the hardness comes not so much from the age as it comes from the fact that it was never broken in, i.e. just not ridden very much. On the Brooks saddles which I've had, including a Pro which looks a lot like yours, the lettering on the side wears after a while from the rider's thighs, and the seat starts to show depressions, or molding, or whatever you want to call it, where the sitbones go. On the Pros, with the thick leather, it takes a good 1000-1500 miles to get the saddle where it needs to go ... your saddle shows neither sign of wear, which is probably a reflection of how little the bike's been ridden.

  14. #14
    shaken, not stirred. gnome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MajorA View Post
    Judging from the photo of the saddle, the hardness comes not so much from the age as it comes from the fact that it was never broken in, i.e. just not ridden very much. On the Brooks saddles which I've had, including a Pro which looks a lot like yours, the lettering on the side wears after a while from the rider's thighs, and the seat starts to show depressions, or molding, or whatever you want to call it, where the sitbones go. On the Pros, with the thick leather, it takes a good 1000-1500 miles to get the saddle where it needs to go ... your saddle shows neither sign of wear, which is probably a reflection of how little the bike's been ridden.
    I've got 1600km before the saddle becomes comfortable?

    In this case it was both. The saddle was as dry as a bone and the bike has been hardly ridden in the past 29 years. I've just started putting the divots into a Brooks B17, after about 300km, I've got on my Raleigh 20 copy fixie.

    The guys at the LBS also mentioned how little the bike had been ridden. I'd say the previous owner hardly rode it.
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  15. #15
    Prodigal road guy MajorA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnome View Post
    I've got 1600km before the saddle becomes comfortable?
    Nah ... between 300-400 miles, it starts getting comfortable, but definitely rideable before that. At 1000, it should be REALLY comfortable. By 1500 miles, you'll wonder why you ever rode anything else. There is NOTHING like a good Brooks which has been broken in to your own butt.

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