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Curb find: trashed Mercian

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Curb find: trashed Mercian

Old 06-03-15, 05:57 AM
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rcschafer
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Curb find: trashed Mercian

Here in New Orleans bike theft is rampant so we have a local Facebook group whose members are attempting to stem the tide (with some success.) Abandoned frames are often reported to the group and upon noticing that that this one was a Mercian I went and picked it up.





I don't know Mercian models but the serial number seems to indicate a '79 of some sort. It was in pretty bad shape even before being sawn in half (rusty, random low-end drivetrain components and wheels) but with those lugs and forged Campy dropouts it must have been quite a bike once. Mercian will replace top/down tubes at £99 and then there's the repaint but would it be worth it?

It's just about my size, too.
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Old 06-03-15, 06:19 AM
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99 pounds is about $165 US plus shipping. You could do it for less stateside. If it fit, I'd do it, but then again I'm partial to British steel.

Worth it...eh probably not.......but for a hobby, it's cheap fun.
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Old 06-03-15, 06:28 AM
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From the lugs and paint scheme, I believe that's a King of Mercia model. I had one just like it, now in the hands of another BF-er:

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Old 06-03-15, 06:57 AM
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Any hope of finding the original owner, letting them know the fate of their bike, and getting permission to make it yours?
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Old 06-03-15, 07:11 AM
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Oh, man... if that had once been my bike, I'm not sure I'd want to know what happened to it.
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Old 06-03-15, 07:39 AM
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Looks like the fork and headset could be salvaged. And is that a Dura-Ace drivetrain?
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Old 06-03-15, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
From the lugs and paint scheme, I believe that's a King of Mercia model. I had one just like it, now in the hands of another BF-er:
Good spot - that King of Mercia is the closest match I've seen.

Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
Any hope of finding the original owner, letting them know the fate of their bike, and getting permission to make it yours?
I'm going to try - I've posted to our local bike theft database and the FB group has been reasonably effective at reunited owners with recovered bikes. There's an LBS sticker on the seat tube but just checked and it's been out of business for years.

Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Looks like the fork and headset could be salvaged. And is that a Dura-Ace drivetrain?
No such luck - it's a mishmash of low-end Suntour and Shimano. The crank is a no-name Japanese brand.
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Old 06-03-15, 09:29 AM
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Cool. No telling whether the bike was abandoned by the rightful owner, or stolen last week, or stolen 30 years ago. Glad to hear you're trying to do the right thing. I get just how tempting it can be to "save" an abandoned bike, and how easy it could be to skip the process of trying to locate the true owner.
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Old 06-03-15, 09:35 AM
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Yikes. As a Mercian guy, that's painful to look at. I'd try to find a local framebuilder to do the repair and repaint. The King of Mercia is a nice frame and deserves better components than it's wearing. Decals are easy to come by:

mercian decals | eBay
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Old 06-03-15, 09:35 AM
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One theory on its condition is that it was locked to a gallery pole of one of the nearby businesses that are a bit over-protective of their property rights. Such places generally will destroy the bike while removing it and then dump it.
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Old 06-03-15, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by rcschafer View Post
One theory on its condition is that it was locked to a gallery pole of one of the nearby businesses that are a bit over-protective of their property rights. Such places generally will destroy the bike while removing it and then dump it.
That sounds fairly likely for Nawlins. Another theory, based on it's condition, is that it was locked up somewhere when Katrina hit and ended up in a pile of hurricane flotsam, eventually to be dug up cleanup crews or scroungers doing salvage rounds after the waters receded. And the loss of one nice bicycle seems less tragic that way, considering the scale of that disaster.
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