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Mercier 300

Old 03-21-19, 01:13 PM
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I will do some digging once I am home and see if I can find any numbers.

The reynolds decal is certainly boom era as mentioned. The decals are the same as my 1972 px-10 except there is only one fork decal on the drive side and it has reddish font instead of the typical green. Maybe a French way to save half a cent per bike or it has been lost along the way.

I have also potentially found a damaged stem bar clamp after reviewing pictures this afternoon. Undersized French diameter bar and overzealous clamping?

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Old 03-21-19, 02:37 PM
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Ouch. Yeah I'd change that stem out.
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Old 03-21-19, 02:43 PM
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Red font in a 531 decal usually meant "SL" or later was called "531 PRO" (at least for the complete tubeset) but not sure if that's the case for fork-blade decals or if (as you think) it may be a case of using what was on-hand that day. Also not sure if the SL/Pro 531 sets came in metric versions but that would not have been a factor for just fork blades.

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Old 03-21-19, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Narhay
I will do some digging once I am home and see if I can find any numbers.


The reynolds decal is certainly boom era as mentioned. The decals are the same as my 1972 px-10 except there is only one fork decal on the drive side and it has reddish font instead of the typical green. Maybe a French way to save half a cent per bike or it has been lost along the way.


I have also potentially found a damaged stem bar clamp after reviewing pictures this afternoon. Undersized French diameter bar and overzealous clamping?
Red 531 versus green 531 is indicative of 531SL (Special Lightweight). This was an even thinner gauge of 531 favoured by some French manufactures for their pro racing models (i.e late 1970s Peugeot PY10). However, you said it has a 26.4mm post which is indicative of 19/22g seat tube, which is the heavier of the two options for the butted 531 set of the era. Had this been 531SL, the seat post would have been 26.8mm
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Old 03-21-19, 03:37 PM
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Bikes: Peugeot: AO-8 1973, PA-10 1971, PR-10 1973, Sante 1988; Masi Gran Criterium 1975, Stevenson Tourer 1980, Stevenson Criterium 1981, Schwinn Paramount 1972, Rodriguez 2006, Gitane Federal ~1975, Holdsworth Pro, Follis 172 ~1973, Bianchi '62

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Originally Posted by Narhay
I have also potentially found a damaged stem bar clamp after reviewing pictures this afternoon. Undersized French diameter bar and overzealous clamping?
Possibly not. 3TTT made stems for the typical French sizes.
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Old 03-21-19, 05:29 PM
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Date code July 72. No other codes or serial numbers I could find on components or the bike itself.


Unfortunately cracked stem clamp. Will have to find a french stem now.
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Old 03-21-19, 07:34 PM
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I have a ‘71 Mercier 300. Had it since new. Mine has chrome socks, 531 tubing throughout. Will try to get pics up
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Old 03-21-19, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by satbuilder
I have a ‘71 Mercier 300. Had it since new. Mine has chrome socks, 531 tubing throughout. Will try to get pics up
Mine also has chrome as well as different graphics. I hope to learn whether Narhay's bike, and others like it, appear different because of the model year or perhaps because it is a special model. To me it looks just like the Gan team bikes. Any any case it is a fine looking bike!
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Old 03-22-19, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Insidious C.
Mine also has chrome as well as different graphics. I hope to learn whether Narhay's bike, and others like it, appear different because of the model year or perhaps because it is a special model. To me it looks just like the Gan team bikes. Any any case it is a fine looking bike!
The boom era GAN-Mercier Equipe model is readily distinguishable from the more common 300 model. They were Campagnolo (Nuovo) Record equipped and consequently used a Campagnolo dropout, making them identifiable even as a bare frameset. A friend of mine had one that he owned from 1974 to 1983. We had watched live, as Poulidor finished 2nd to Merckx, yet again, in the final sprint at the 1974 World Championships in Montreal.

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Old 03-22-19, 07:06 AM
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Old 03-22-19, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by satbuilder


i like this very much. I am partial to green and chrome. Looks like yours has an earlier LJ1000 rd or maybe an sx610?
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Old 03-22-19, 11:38 AM
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It's all Simplex Criterium.

To be totally honest, my sister was the original owner of the bike. I purchased it from her in the mid/late '70s That sort of explains the extended seat post and stem. It has all original equipment, except for tires, spokes, bar tape, cables and housings. Kickstand is missing though.

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Old 03-22-19, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by satbuilder
It's all Simplex Criterium.

To be totally honest, my sister was the original owner of the bike. I purchased it from her in the mid/late '70s That sort of explains the extended seat post and stem. It has all original equipment, except for tires, spokes, bar tape, cables and housings. Kickstand is missing though.
I see the rd better now. I have mafac racers on my peugeot and I am interested to see how these first gen dura ace compare.
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Old 03-22-19, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Narhay
I see the rd better now. I have mafac racers on my peugeot and I am interested to see how these first gen dura ace compare.
1st generation Dura-Ace side-pull brakes were boss in the mid-1970s. They were 40% less expensive than Campagnolo, with all the performance and drilled levers to boot. The quick release wasn't as nice and they didn't have the patented toothed washer but you could buy something that performed the same function for 2 cents. MAFAC Racers can perform almost as well. They have just as much stopping power but aren't quite as stiff. They're more tunable due to the number of set-up parameters but this also makes them more difficult to set-up and prone to changes in settings. The first generation Dura-Ace side-pull brakes were my favourite side-pull brakes for over a decade.

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Old 03-22-19, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar
1st generation Dura-Ace side-pull brakes were boss in the mid-1970s. They were 40% less expensive than Campagnolo, with all the performance and drilled levers to boot. The quick release wasn't as nice and they didn't have the patented toothed washer but you could buy something that performed the same function for 2 cents. MAFAC Racers can perform almost as well. They have just as much stopping power but aren't quite as stiff. They're more tunable due to the number of set-up parameters but this also makes them more difficult to set-up and prone to changes in settings. The first generation Dura-Ace side-pull brakes were my favourite side-pull brakes for over a decade.
I have to agree that the quality of the DA brakes were surprisingly good. The quick release is slightly less refined than my record brakes.

I am assuming a set of cane creek hoods will fit on the DA levers.
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Old 03-22-19, 06:22 PM
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Ive also found the serial number in the head tube badge. 383759.

Not that serials are ever as straightforward but 1973, august, 3759th bike? The mid 1972 component and boom reynolds decal support this as well.
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Old 04-06-20, 08:06 AM
  #42  
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I started the teardown yesterday:







The bearings in the headset and bottom bracket were bone dry. Hopefully it is salvagable but the lower crown race and cup in the headset might need a replacement as there is some pitting.
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Old 04-06-20, 10:14 AM
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Cool. I'm wrapping up a 1979 Trek 510 build. Once I wrap that up, I think it's time for me to get to my Mercier 300. This is mine as I bought it.

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Old 04-06-20, 10:38 AM
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Thanks very much for the update!

Now that HS disassembled maybe you could check steerer to see if marked NERVOR or Reynolds.


-----
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Old 04-06-20, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela
-----

Thanks very much for the update!

Now that HS disassembled maybe you could check steerer to see if marked NERVOR or Reynolds.


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No external markings on the steerer. Couldnt see anything on the inside either.
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Old 04-07-20, 08:33 PM
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I polished and waxed the frame and I think it came out pretty nicely. A few rough spots around the bottom bracket but otherwise the frame is in good shape. The bottom bracket was bone dry but turned out ok after a lot of scraping and polishing with no damage to the cups and spindle. The upper headset is so-so but the lower assembly needs to be replaced as it is pitted and the headset doesn't swivel properly without binding or having too much play.
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Old 04-07-20, 09:12 PM
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Thank you for this update.

Fine to see she's coming along nicely for you.

Have not before seeen a 300 with a transfer directly below the tubing one. Is this perchance from the retailer? Went through the gallery to attempt to read it but in the closest image the pump is in the way.

In the image from the front of the machine it appears the front wheel is not quite centered; off by two mm or so. You might wish to check it with a dishing gauge.

Do you plan to look for a replacement P3?

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Old 04-08-20, 05:09 AM
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I missed this before--what a nice bike. Look forward to seeing it come back together!
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Old 04-08-20, 05:14 AM
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Velo orange sells a French threaded headset. That's too bad about the original headset though. Those old stronglight headsets are good quality.
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Old 04-08-20, 07:01 AM
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Thanks for all the comments. It is nice to see people responding to things I post.









The decal is Bloor Cycles from here in Toronto. And juvela you are right, the wheel sits about 2mm to the drive side. Annoying but testing a few wheels resulted in it being off by a little bit here and there but not by a large amount. The fork legs may not be perfectly straight but I think I can live with it for now and maybe get it checked at a framebuilder when the pandemic is over. The dropouts are aligned and they continue to be aligned as I screw the barrels to one side or the other.

As for the headset I had this issue with a stronglight P3 on a Gitane Tour de France. Replacing the lower headset crown race and cup with a low stack new Tange unit sorted the problems there and I hope it will do it here too. I just have to measure the crown race to see whether it is 27.0 or 26.4 unless someone here knows. The problem with replacing the whole headset is that the stack height on these P3s is very low (low 30mms) and new replacement french threaded headsets have much taller stack heights (40mm+).
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