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Odd Mercier 300

Old 05-18-16, 03:58 PM
  #1  
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Odd Mercier 300

A fellow I've bought from a couple times in Milwaukee has this bike for sale. I already talked to him and he knows very little about the bike. It got passed along to him by a "picker." Never seen a Mercier 300 in this color or with a full chrome fork. Also, the chainrings are the same size. What does all this add up to? Anybody know?

Mercier 300 Road Bike (63cm Reynolds 531 Frame)

Mercier 300 Road Bike (63cm Reynolds 531 Frame) - $275

Mercier 300 - 10 Speed Road Bike
63cm Reynolds 531 Manganese Molybdenum Steel Frame/Fork/Stays
27" Weinmann Aluminum Alloy Quick Release Wheelset
Stronglight Crankset
Suntour VX Derailers/Bar End Shifters
Dia Compe Gran Compe Side Pull Brakes
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Old 05-18-16, 04:34 PM
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Yeah, that's a weird one. I was looking at that too. Almost all Merciers from that time period had contrasting lugs. The fork is not original, and the 531 sticker questionable. So me thinks a repaint. It looks cool though. Surprised he's asking so much. He had that Davis for $175.

It would be interesting to see in person.

I bought a couple bikes from this guy too. He has a lot of bikes. But all mediocre. Once in a while he gets a niceTrek. But mostly $175-225 range Schwinns and Raleighs.
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Old 05-18-16, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
Yeah, that's a weird one. I was looking at that too. Almost all Merciers from that time period had contrasting lugs. The fork is not original, and the 531 sticker questionable. So me thinks a repaint. It looks cool though. Surprised he's asking so much. He had that Davis for $175.

It would be interesting to see in person.

I bought a couple bikes from this guy too. He has a lot of bikes. But all mediocre. Once in a while he gets a niceTrek. But mostly $175-225 range Schwinns and Raleighs.
That's what I was figuring about the fork; that it's not original. Seller says it's all paint and no decals, so the repaint idea is looking pretty strong too. I might go up and have a look at it, anyway. It is an intriguing bike. I imagine he'll wind up selling it for a good bit less than the asking price.
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Old 05-19-16, 07:55 AM
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Buahahaha! I was just searching the model to see if it was worth investigating when Google led me to this thread.
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Old 05-19-16, 08:20 AM
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This one came up on my radar as well, just my size, and I love 531 Frenchies. Frame details look right, but as mentioned, the fork is likely a replacement. The fork has a Vagner crown and appears to have fairly clean construction, so it might be a quality replacement. Not bad, but not worth the price he's asking. Also, the headset seems to be missing a spacer, maybe the stack height is too low due to the replacement fork? Frame paint looks oxidized, so it might be original. Interesting... if it was closer, I'd take a look.
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Old 05-19-16, 08:38 AM
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I'd like to see the fork crown in closeup before I were to say for sure it is a replacement. From the photos it looks very much like the 300 I have, just the paint has been stripped, and maybe the 531 decal is a replacement.

If you need reference photos, let me know.

EDIT: Just saw the fork crown closeup. I think it's original. Rake looks about right, too.

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Old 05-19-16, 08:46 AM
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Old 05-19-16, 08:53 AM
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Nice!

So the fork on the Milwaukee bike might be original.

I hope this sells quickly to save me from myself...
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Old 05-19-16, 09:03 AM
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Double check the dropouts to make sure they're Simplex. My Mercier has them marked on the rear dropouts but no markings on the front ones. So don't let that deter you.

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Old 05-19-16, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by satbuilder View Post
Double check the dropouts to make sure they're Simplex. My Mercier has them marked on the rear dropouts but no markings on the front ones. So don't let that deter you.

I asked about the dropouts when I spoke to the seller and the rear is Simplex. No markings up front.
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Old 05-19-16, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by satbuilder View Post
I'd like to see the fork crown in closeup before I were to say for sure it is a replacement. From the photos it looks very much like the 300 I have, just the paint has been stripped, and maybe the 531 decal is a replacement.

If you need reference photos, let me know.

EDIT: Just saw the fork crown closeup. I think it's original. Rake looks about right, too.
What I couldn't tell from the photos, and might be able to tell in person, is if the paint has been stripped on the fork. The old paint usually leaves a shadow. I might have to go look at this thing. It's an intriguing one.

Thanks for the input, by the way.
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Old 05-19-16, 09:43 AM
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Usually the area where the chrome was to be seen will have a higher polish than the rest of the fork. Look for that as well.
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Old 05-19-16, 11:23 AM
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I can't tell from the pictures, but I'll bet the chainrings are not equal in size, but differ by 3 teeth, which, coupled with a 2-tooth development in back, would make a superb half-step gear progression.

The French purists will flame me for stating this, but the SunTour transmission is a significant step up from the stock Simplex.
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Old 05-19-16, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
I can't tell from the pictures, but I'll bet the chainrings are not equal in size, but differ by 3 teeth, which, coupled with a 2-tooth development in back, would make a superb half-step gear progression.

The French purists will flame me for stating this, but the SunTour transmission is a significant step up from the stock Simplex.
Right, that is what makes sense, the half-step progression. Curious about the size of the bigger chainring too. Looks smallish. Definitely looking at the Suntour as an upgrade.
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Old 05-19-16, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
I can't tell from the pictures, but I'll bet the chainrings are not equal in size, but differ by 3 teeth, which, coupled with a 2-tooth development in back, would make a superb half-step gear progression.

The French purists will flame me for stating this, but the SunTour transmission is a significant step up from the stock Simplex.
+ 1 as to both points.
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Old 05-19-16, 11:30 AM
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And if memory serves, the dropout did not need modification for the Suntour rear derailleur to fit.
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Old 05-19-16, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by satbuilder View Post
And if memory serves, the dropout did not need modification for the Suntour rear derailleur to fit.
My 1980 Peugeot PKN-10 took a SunTour Cyclone II without any issues, but the early 1970s Simplex dropouts did need a bit of tweaking to work with anything other than Simplex.
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Old 05-19-16, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Sedgemop View Post
Right, that is what makes sense, the half-step progression. Curious about the size of the bigger chainring too. Looks smallish. Definitely looking at the Suntour as an upgrade.
49-46, perhaps? It still gives one a very reasonable 94.5 or 102 gear-inch top end with a 14 or a 13 in back.
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Old 05-19-16, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
49-46, perhaps? It still gives one a very reasonable 94.5 or 102 gear-inch top end with a 14 or a 13 in back.
Yeah, this sounds right to me.
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