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Old 07-12-14, 06:32 PM   #1
dredclaw
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First Road Bike: Garage Sale Vintage

Hello!

Found an older Mercier road bike at a garage sale for $30.

Though I've ridden road bikes in the past, I've been looking to purchase one for every day use.

An Imgur album of the bike:
Mercier Vintage - Imgur

I have no experience with bike work and was wondering if someone could identify the bike as well as comment on its quality and state. I am looking to have it fixed up at a local family run bike shop so was wondering what kind of work it might need.

Thanks!
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Old 07-12-14, 06:41 PM   #2
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Wow looks like a great find. I don't see a lot of rust a bit of cleaning should make it shine. Keep in mind the bike is French, so French threads abound. I would also really advise you to pick a book on bicycle mechanics and do the work yourself; one thing about vintage bikes (especially as old as yours), they require more maintenance than the newer bikes of today. You will need to remove all the components, and service (clean and grease) all the bearings. If you are going to properly service the components, you'll have to invest in some pricey tools that even your LBS may not have.

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Old 07-12-14, 06:46 PM   #3
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Interesting bike. I can't speak to what model it is. It should ride very nicely. It looks like middle to late 70's, or maybe early 80's, medium price to judge by the cottered crank and pedals. Probably 5-spd rear, right? I see no front derailleur. What happened to it? Maybe it broke, as so many Simplex FDs did. Don't limit yourself to "original" components.

Your biggest challenge will be it's French dimensions, French ST diameter for the FD, French threads for the BB, French steerer tube and headset components. All that stuff is not impossible to find, just a bit harder. But measure things to be sure. I'd be surprised if your LBS is cooperative, except that mom&pop stores usually try to be helpful and they may appreciate older stuff.

Nice find.
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Old 07-12-14, 07:10 PM   #4
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Wow looks like a great find. I don't see a lot of rust a bit of cleaning should make it shine. Keep in mind the bike is French, so French threads abound. I would also really advise you to pick a book on bicycle mechanics and do the work yourself; one thing about vintage bikes (especially as old as yours), they require more maintenance than the newer bikes of today. You will need to remove all the components, and service (clean and grease) all the bearings. If you are going to properly service the components, you'll have to invest in some pricey tools that even your LBS may not have.
How would you suggest I clean it up? Any suggestions for a beginner friendly bike mechanic book? Appreciate all the comments!
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Old 07-12-14, 07:30 PM   #5
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Nice score. I would have bought it. Find a shop to clean and lube the bottom bracket. That is best left to pro`s with this type of crankset. Learning to do the rest is a good idea but at the price you paid, having the shop clean and lube the bike would not brake the bank. There are a lot of how to videos and plenty of websites to show you how to do everything yourself.
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Old 07-12-14, 07:40 PM   #6
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Raymond Poulidor decals

Those Raymond Poulidor decals are cool.
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Old 07-12-14, 07:42 PM   #7
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All the advice can be found at sheldonbrown.com or the Park tool web site.Rust has been discussed in these forums at least several hundred times, google it.

i don't understand why every noob with a French bike gets the spiel about how hard it is to find French threaded or sized parts. More Sheldon folklore? Vintage Raleigh parts can be difficult to source as well. Furthermore, at least in my experience with French bikes, the headset, bottom bracket cups, even the quill stem, and axle cones are all fine and may just need a good cleaning and fresh grease. Ball bearings are standard dimensions. Only problem is finding new cotter pins that don't need hand filing. There may be a need for a unique crank puller and pedals can be tricky, but that's about it. And all the French size and thread issues generally apply only to bikes preceding the early 1980's. Campy parts often need special tools, but I don't hear moaning from the Campy Chorus!
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Old 07-12-14, 07:50 PM   #8
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i don't understand why every noob with a French bike gets the spiel about how hard it is to find French threaded or sized parts.
Not so much that they are hard to find, but that they are different. The vast majority of vintage parts available are non-French, which is to say they really are more or less interchangeable. So if you pick up any random component thinking they are all the same, with an English bike the probability is that they will fit. You would be okay even if you weren't even aware that different threads existed. With a French bike the probability goes against you. So you need to be aware that the differences exist.
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Old 07-12-14, 07:59 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post

Your biggest challenge will be it's French dimensions, French ST diameter for the FD, French threads for the BB, French steerer tube and headset components. All that stuff is not impossible to find, just a bit harder.
...and may not ever need replacing anyway, so don't sweat it. But you really should take it apart, lube it, inspect bearings, replace as needed, etc. For that you need to get some special tools, or hand it over to someone who already has them.

I'm guessing early 70's on that bike.
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Old 07-12-14, 08:34 PM   #10
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How would you suggest I clean it up? Any suggestions for a beginner friendly bike mechanic book? Appreciate all the comments!
I can tell you how to lose 5Lbs real quick. Get rid of that fat pillow seat, lock/cable and lighter tires. That will trim it up. A good wash to remove grime, pull the back wheel and spray gear set with brake cleaner. Go to your Dollar General and get the LA's Awesome and spray around FD and chainset to loosen gunk.

Nice find!
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