Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: NJ, NYC, LI
Bikes: 1940s Fothergill, 1959 Allegro Special, 1963? Claud Butler Olympic Sprint, Lambert 'Clubman', 1974 Fuji "the Ace", 1976 Holdsworth 650b conversion rando bike, 1983 Trek 720 tourer, 1984 Counterpoint Opus II, 1993 Basso Gap, 2010 Downtube 8h, and...
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Ack, I just replied to this, hit 'send', and my precious words of wisdom just vanished! So I did it again, and the same thing happened! I really hate that. Well, they say insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result... so here we go again.
The fact that there are already this many replies to this thread shows that there are people who know, appreciate, and desire Mercian frames; just not as many as who feel that way about certain other makes, such as Hetchins. The actual quality of the desirandum is really beside the point.
The value of an item, such as a bike frame, is largely determined by what it will bring on ebay. The better known the item, the more watchers, the more bidders, the higher the price. For example, how many people have saved an ebay search for "Raleigh Clubman" versus how many people have saved a search for "Norman Invader"? I don't know either number, but I am sure the former number is higher than that latter. Anyway, both bikes were straight gauge 531 with fancy lugwork and high (but not top) end components. The Norman had more alloy components than the Raleigh.
Yesterday a Norman Invader, 1950 lady's model, sold on ebay for about $50. I would have bid, but it was in London and the seller would not ship. There were two bidders. A Raleigh Clubman in the same condition would have sold for five times that. A Schwinn Paramount... who knows? It's the same phenomenon.