Thunder Bay is into bicycle donation drive time and at the Mercy of the local Bicycles for Humanity chapter. Each year we surround the Thanksgiving weekend with a four day Bicycle Donation Drive and invite citizens of Thunder Bay and surrounding area to drop off their unwanted bikes. Last year saw over four hundred bikes dropped off in a space of 17 hours. The drive also includes pick-up service for people who do not have the means to transport bicycles to our workshop. However...
Not all of the bicycles donated are suitable for sending to Africa and this neat old Mercier is one that will not be sent across the pond. Ten Speeds and old roadsters are not appropriate bicycle for use in the third world conditions of Namibia. With that in mind, the Mercier will be recycled domestically. In fact, the Mercier has already been claimed under the "B4H-TB Volunteers Earn a Bike Program". I asked if I could have the bike and the request was granted.
So take a peek at the first old Mercier that I have found that sports cantilevered brakes. The bike, a five speed, is in good shape, works very well and should prove to be a nice bicycle to restore.
The little old lady, so often referred to in automobile deals, donated two other bikes along with the Mercier and one of the bikes, hers, was fitted with a lovely real leather saddle tool pouch. That was also asked for by me and again the request was granted. Not a bad find. But there is more...
The weekend before I picked up a near identical Mercier, ladies step through model, and some of the components on it are perfect for the man's bike I got yesterday. Funny how this sort of thing works...
There's nothing really unusual about the bicycle, with the possible exception of the cantilever brakes. Otherwise, it's a typical boom era, French city bicycle, along the lines similar to a Peugeot UP41 or Gitane Tourister.
You don't see many of these because most of the consumers duirng the boom were teenagers and young adultswho favoured 10 speeds. Those that did buy 5 speed city bicycles tended to be middle aged or older, and favoured domestic brands, which also had the appeal of being slightly less expensive. Hence the popularity of models such as CCM's 5 speed Elite. I'm sure you see lots of those around.
I've never seen one like that or remember seeing one. You can hardly say its typical for this side of the Atlantic. Maybe a handfull of these bikes made it to North America. Definately an unusual find.
Originally Posted by T-Mar
I communicated poorly. For me this type of Mercier is an unusual find in that I have never seen one with the cantilevered brakes before. It is also unusual in the fact that I find this old five speed attractive and I am considering building it up for myself.
As far as being unusual as an old roadster, T-Mar is right and I find lots. Our group presently has close to fifty to pass on to others. And will likely have fifty more by the end of next week - honestly flavored with hopefully - when our annual bicycle donation drive ends.
Its a beautiful bike. Like the color. Also for this type of bike it has a large frame size. 3 and 5 speeds tend to show up in 21" frame sizes. Nice to see a large frame. Looks like its missing the fender headlight? It would be nice to find or fabricate a replacement.
The Old Shed's treasures...
Though not positive, I am pretty sure that I have an appropriate light in The Old Shed. And to that, add this...
The weekend before I got this old man's Mercier, I found a near identical step through one with even nicer components fitted(nicer condition wise). Just pumped up the tires and looked the bike over carefully. Looks safe to ride slowly just to get a feel for the bike and see if it interests me.