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Value of 1979 Miss Mercian ladies bike

Old 06-12-23, 06:23 PM
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Value of 1979 Miss Mercian ladies bike

Howdy! I am hoping to get some insight on the value of my wife's old grad school bike, which I believe to be a Miss Mercian ladies frame -- based on the serial number (45279), it appears to date from 1979. It was used daily as a commuter bike and had regular tuneups at the campus bikeshop, but it's been sitting in a garage for a decade now. I know relatively little about bikes, so if there's anything else on the bike that can be measured, photographed, or described to get a better sense of value, I am happy to do so!

I have pictures, but since I created this account solely to help determine the value of this bike, I have less than 10 posts and am not allowed to post pictures.
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Old 06-12-23, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by santhony
Howdy! I am hoping to get some insight on the value of my wife's old grad school bike, which I believe to be a Miss Mercian ladies frame -- based on the serial number (45279), it appears to date from 1979. It was used daily as a commuter bike and had regular tuneups at the campus bikeshop, but it's been sitting in a garage for a decade now. I know relatively little about bikes, so if there's anything else on the bike that can be measured, photographed, or described to get a better sense of value, I am happy to do so!

I have pictures, but since I created this account solely to help determine the value of this bike, I have less than 10 posts and am not allowed to post pictures.
The 10 post rule is a pain but it is an anti-spam measure. You can create an album and upload pics; someone will then post them to this thread. Or you can introduce yourself in the Introduction forum and get to know a few people to hit 10 posts.
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Old 06-13-23, 02:30 AM
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Pics would be nice but to be honest almost no likely value for this bike. Lesser brand model ladiies bikes from the 70's 0r 80's most market's you couldn't give away a ladies bike with downtube or stem friction shifters. There is just tone of nicer stuff in the $100-300 and $500 price ranges that are not moving.

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Old 06-13-23, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by santhony
Howdy! I am hoping to get some insight on the value of my wife's old grad school bike, which I believe to be a Miss Mercian ladies frame -- based on the serial number (45279), it appears to date from 1979. It was used daily as a commuter bike and had regular tuneups at the campus bikeshop, but it's been sitting in a garage for a decade now. I know relatively little about bikes, so if there's anything else on the bike that can be measured, photographed, or described to get a better sense of value, I am happy to do so!

I have pictures, but since I created this account solely to help determine the value of this bike, I have less than 10 posts and am not allowed to post pictures.
Sadly, there is likely to be little value in the bike. A bike sitting in the garage for a decade is going to need a full overhaul. Sure, if someone doesn't care about preventative maintenance they could just air up the tires and go, but that will lead to problems down the road. Literally.

So what you have is a lower end bike that will need a considerable amount of work. Not a big deal for those of us who have the tools and the knowledge, but for the average consumer, it is. If they take it to a shop for maintenance it is likely to be a minimum of $100.00 and that's on the low end of things. And that doesn't cover any components that might need replaced such as tires and tubes, cables, bearings, etc.

I say sadly because I'm sure it is a nice bike and rides well and has some fond memories associated with it. Right now it isn't going to be worth very much because of the reasons stated.
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Old 06-13-23, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by TugaDude
Sadly, there is likely to be little value in the bike.
Thanks. That's what I expected, especially since it's very hard to find anything about value of the Mercian ladies bikes online, I wanted to make sure (since I know Mercians are hand-made and sometimes fetch higher values) that there wasn't a chance of it being somehow uncommon and worth more.
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Old 06-13-23, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by santhony
Thanks. That's what I expected, especially since it's very hard to find anything about value of the Mercian ladies bikes online, I wanted to make sure (since I know Mercians are hand-made and sometimes fetch higher values) that there wasn't a chance of it being somehow uncommon and worth more.
These are nice bikes. You may find someone who would love to rehab this bike. If you create an album and upload some pics, we can help you value the bike. There are people who value older mixte bikes.

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Old 06-13-23, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by santhony
Thanks. That's what I expected, especially since it's very hard to find anything about value of the Mercian ladies bikes online, I wanted to make sure (since I know Mercians are hand-made and sometimes fetch higher values) that there wasn't a chance of it being somehow uncommon and worth more.
I believe there is a Mercian lovers group on Facebook or something. Perhaps someone there might want to buy it and get it up to snuff.
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Old 06-13-23, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
You can create an album and upload pics; someone will then post them to this thread.
Okay! I've created an album and started with a couple of pics. Unfortunately, I still don't have enough posts on the forum to link the direct URL, but it's at: bikeforums.net/g/album/29689056 so someone can copy and paste that, perhaps? I'm happy to take pictures of anything else on the bike that might be helpful!
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Old 06-13-23, 09:30 AM
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Pic assist. This is a very nice bike and is worth some money to the right buyer. Upper end older mixtes like this are not easy to find. Is there a tubing decal sticker like Reynolds 531 on the frame? If so pics would be helpful. Do the dropouts say campagnolo? Close up of the parts would be helpful as well. The suntour derailleurs are nice but I can't make out the brakes, cranks, hubs, and rims. Does the headset have the name of the manufacturer (it likely does)? Figuring out the parts mix and frame material is helpful in determining a value. Dump the basket and the rack as they detract from the value; this bike is beautiful.


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Old 06-13-23, 11:23 AM
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The Miss Mercian is a long standing Mercian model. It is listed here,

https://www.classiclightweights.co.u...ercian-cycles/

It is still available,

https://www.merciancycles.co.uk/homepage/img_0299-2/
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Old 06-14-23, 08:08 AM
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There is a lot to like about this bike. Mixte frames, especially nicer ones, used to get decent prices. Not so sure now. There's a lot that makes this one attractive, beginning with the overall appearance, which is good. I agree, ditch both the basket and rack and offer them in the deal, but don't show them installed, it takes away from the look.
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Old 06-14-23, 11:06 AM
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This is definitely worth more than the $100 noted above. The frame alone is worth more than that, in my opinion. This is a very nice quality bike from a respected smaller manufacturer. I agree you should remove the rack and basket and offer them as an aside.

If I cleaned it up a bit, took nice pictures, and was selling this here in NYC I would probably want more like $400 for it. In a rural area, it would be less.
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Old 06-14-23, 12:06 PM
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OK! I've added a bunch more close-ups to the album -- bikeforums.net/g/album/29689056

Originally Posted by bikemig
Is there a tubing decal sticker like Reynolds 531 on the frame?
Not that I can see, although I'm not sure I'd know where to look.

Originally Posted by bikemig
Do the dropouts say campagnolo?
Yes! Shown in pics.

Originally Posted by bikemig
Close up of the parts would be helpful as well. The suntour derailleurs are nice but I can't make out the brakes, cranks, hubs, and rims.
I've tried to get as many of the distinguishing marks on these as I can in the album. Let me know if I've missed something key!

Originally Posted by bikemig
Does the headset have the name of the manufacturer (it likely does)?
I don't see a name on what I understand to be the headset, but here are names on several components close to it, including SR, Pivo, and Campagnolo (all shown in pics). Not sure which, if any, would apply to the headset (I really don't know much at all about bikes! )

Thanks for any insight folks can offer!
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Old 06-14-23, 12:32 PM
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Agree with a $400ish valuation in a larger city. High end mixtes like this are rare. The problem is finding the right buyer. The wheels look mismatched (campy front hub but a replacement rear wheel). In addition to the suntour derailleurs, the bike has a sugino mighty tour crank, and weinmann 605 sidepulls. I can't make out the headset. The frame tubing is likely to be Reynolds 531.

This is a neat bike and in fine shape.
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Old 06-14-23, 12:44 PM
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This is a good example of how important it is to have pictures, good pictures, in order to accurately assess the value of a bike. If all we know is it is an "old mixte", there's not much to go on and the result will reflect that.

Thanks to the OP for taking the time to post photos. Some come here and won't or don't.

And, as always, it would be nice to hear how this story ends. Maybe the bike will remain in the family and get lots of use. It deserves to be ridden!
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Old 06-14-23, 01:37 PM
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Nice bike with lots of appealing charm.
Bring it to a large college campus' move-in day, and hang a $200 sign on it outside the dorms.
Keep the rack on. Perform some prudent maintenance on it. That Bianchi will sell in short order.
You could even hang a ten buck cable lock on it.
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Old 06-15-23, 10:32 AM
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Thanks to all who chimed in with input -- it's greatly appreciated, and gives us better perspective on next steps with this bike!
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Old 06-21-23, 06:19 AM
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Sorry, but there is no such thing as a "lower-end" Mercian. Period. They are classic, hand-built British bikes hearth-brazed out of 531. Your best bet is to go find the Mercian group on FB. Someone will provide it a good home. There aren't a lot of high-quality mixtes out there built with 531 throughout. It's not a gold mine, but it's not a beater, either.
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Old 06-21-23, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by TugaDude
There is a lot to like about this bike. Mixte frames, especially nicer ones, used to get decent prices. Not so sure now. There's a lot that makes this one attractive, beginning with the overall appearance, which is good. I agree, ditch both the basket and rack and offer them in the deal, but don't show them installed, it takes away from the look.
Yes, mixtes were really sought after during the retro bike craze with the Gen Xers and millennials, a few years ago. People liked the versatilty of mixtes becsuse it did not ask too much "commitment" from the riders, women or men, with the lower top tubes.
Market prices had pretty much gone back down, since.
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Old 06-21-23, 07:21 PM
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Great Mixte this is higher end sorry for the early lowball value yet most vintage step throughs nice to low end are trash bin salvage in most markets. So I think $400 is high $300 is likely a good sell it and have peace of mind price pretty good for both sides.
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Old 06-25-23, 10:26 PM
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If someone is looking for a mixte bicycle, this has a very top end quality frame. It is better (and probably much better) than any other production European made mixte frame. It would be almost impossible to find a better mixte frame unless one is willing to pay thousands to have a custom builder like myself make one. Just to put this frame in context, a mixte design with twin lateral tubes is superior to other "step through" designs. They are harder and more labor intensive to build and part of the reason they are no longer commonly made. The parts on this bicycle are cheap and as a result disguises the whole bicycle as being cheap. Even though the frame is outstanding, that doesn't mean it has great value. Unless one knows what one is looking for. If they do they would probably get rid of all its parts and equip the frame with parts equal to the quality of the frame.

Mercian is a custom and semi-custom frame building and painting business in the UK. A frame from them is fairly expensive. Just to buy the materials (including its double butted high end tubing) to make a similar frame would cost $400. That doesn't mean the market is willing to pay a lot for this bicycle but it should not be confused with production mixtes (probably from the 70's or 80's). Most buyers probably don't know the differences between this and a lessor frame. Someone with frame knowledge that wants a mixte will be delighted to get this bicycle. This kind of quality in a mixte is very hard to find.
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