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1983 Mercian King of Mercia Touring

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1983 Mercian King of Mercia Touring

Old 10-10-20, 11:23 AM
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1983 Mercian King of Mercia Touring

Iíve been sitting on this frame for a long time, but I am ready to tackle it now, having cut my teeth on a few bikes since I acquired it. Itís a 57cm CTT King of Mercia Touring. The plan is to have a 9s index drivetrain with a double up front, but Iím not yet sure of much else. Also have the elements for the wheelset I want, but I need to build it.

The first step will be to address the paint, which is pretty oxidized and feels physically rough. Iíve done a few tiny test spots with mild wax, rubbing compound, clear varnish, and a product called Renaissance Wax, which is apparently used to restore many kinds of antiques. Nothing really gave the results I wanted until I tried wet sanding, so I think this will be the first step. The plan will be 1600 ó> 3000 ó> 5000, then a polishing compound, then either the wax or clear varnish (undecided).

Iím starting this thread to invite peer pressure to get it done before the spring...







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Old 10-10-20, 11:27 AM
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The previous owner had the Mercian research done, and this frame was apparently sold by Stone’s Cyclery in Alameda in 83. Nice to have it back in the Bay. It’s stamped with a “4” above the serial number of 67283, so I welcome speculation about who the builder would have been.

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Old 10-10-20, 01:16 PM
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Here are a couple of examples of the current state of the paint. The red arrow is pointing at the test spot for wet sanding, which is right next to what must have been the spot with a bike shop sticker, since the paint is well preserved there. It’s also well preserved under the spot of the Reynolds 531 sticker, the FD clamp, and the chainstay protector.




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Old 10-10-20, 01:17 PM
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Love that barber pole!
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Old 10-10-20, 01:28 PM
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On my ride this morning, I was in a relatively high-end neighborhood and caught out of the corner of my eye a bike parked in a driveway with upright bars and a kickstand, but I swear the seat tube had a barber-pole paint job. Should have stopped and checked it out (not that it was for sale or anything).
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Old 10-10-20, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by noobinsf
Here are a couple of examples of the current state of the paint. The red arrow is pointing at the test spot for wet sanding, which is right next to what must have been the spot with a bike shop sticker, since the paint is well preserved there. Itís also well preserved under the spot of the Reynolds 531 sticker, the FD clamp, and the chainstay protector.



I bought my Miyata from Stone's in 1984 and can confirm that looks like the outline from their decal. I'm leaving for work, so I'll get a picture tomorrow.
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Old 10-10-20, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Pompiere
I bought my Miyata from Stone's in 1984 and can confirm that looks like the outline from their decal. I'm leaving for work, so I'll get a picture tomorrow.
Awesome, thanks!
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Old 10-10-20, 02:40 PM
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Nice. It's funny how Mercian hasn't changed the King of Mercia hardly at all. The barber pole is still an extra cost option. I ordered mine with OS tubing, so it's a little different, but not much.

FYI if you didn't know, they used stoved enamel to paint those, even now. There should be a clear coat on there over the decals, but it may be thin. With that much alligatoring, you're likely to sand through it here and there. 5000? are you talking P grit or something else like micro mesh? With P grits, I generally find it a waste of time to go over 2000 or maybe 2500. Move to compounds from there. It will however be a challenge to avoid getting compound permanently stuck in those alligator cracks however, so maybe sticking to micro mesh instead of compounds most of the way is wise.

I'd guess the clear coat is a basic alkyd enamel varnish. Might be wrong though. I'm not a huge fan of oversprays generally, and I'd probably stick to the renaissance wax, but it's a judgement call. Thin clear topcoat might be the best choice. Rub it out first and decide? I'd be tempted to spray it with amalgamator first.
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Old 10-10-20, 02:59 PM
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Lovely frame. Looking forward to an inspirational build!
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Old 10-10-20, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine
Nice. It's funny how Mercian hasn't changed the King of Mercia hardly at all. The barber pole is still an extra cost option. I ordered mine with OS tubing, so it's a little different, but not much.

FYI if you didn't know, they used stoved enamel to paint those, even now. There should be a clear coat on there over the decals, but it may be thin. With that much alligatoring, you're likely to sand through it here and there. 5000? are you talking P grit or something else like micro mesh? With P grits, I generally find it a waste of time to go over 2000 or maybe 2500. Move to compounds from there. It will however be a challenge to avoid getting compound permanently stuck in those alligator cracks however, so maybe sticking to micro mesh instead of compounds most of the way is wise.

I'd guess the clear coat is a basic alkyd enamel varnish. Might be wrong though. I'm not a huge fan of oversprays generally, and I'd probably stick to the renaissance wax, but it's a judgement call. Thin clear topcoat might be the best choice. Rub it out first and decide? I'd be tempted to spray it with amalgamator first.
So I have the 1600 grit paper on hand, while a “sampler” pack with 3k grit and 5k grit is on order. I’ve been watching yootoobs to get some insight from auto paint specialists, and this looks like a good approach based on what I’ve seen.

The clear varnish I might use is Humbrol Clear, which another BF member used on his gorgeous Holdsworth to preserve its original finish. I have yet to test this after the wet sanding, but I’ll test it before making the final call.

Also, yes, I love that a classic frame doesn’t need much evolution over the years. I’m excited to bring this paint back to the extent that I can.
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Old 10-10-20, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by noobinsf
So I have the 1600 grit paper on hand, while a “sampler” pack with 3k grit and 5k grit is on order. I’ve been watching yootoobs to get some insight from auto paint specialists, and this looks like a good approach based on what I’ve seen.

The clear varnish I might use is Humbrol Clear, which another BF member used on his gorgeous Holdsworth to preserve its original finish. I have yet to test this after the wet sanding, but I’ll test it before making the final call.

Also, yes, I love that a classic frame doesn’t need much evolution over the years. I’m excited to bring this paint back to the extent that I can.

Be careful with sandpaper grits. It's a minefield. Most people don't know this, but there are three (3!) different grit sizing systems, four if you count microns, and they are all completely different. P/Euro, CAMI/USA, Micro-Mesh, and lastly, grit size in microns. It's worse than JIS vs ISO.

The Euro or P system is most common these days for wet or dry sanding. Usually it will say Pxxxx for example P1500. It doesn't go up to 3k or 5k, which makes me think you have some micro mesh. (If you do it's awesome stuff)

1600 isn't enough information. You have to know 1600 in what system. If it's P1600, then going to micro mesh 3k and 5k happens to be a pretty good progression, but it's just luck.

Different system conversion charts below.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandpaper

(the above article does not mention micro mesh, who have their own proprietary system.

https://www.sisweb.com/micromesh/conversion.htm
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Old 10-10-20, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine
Be careful with sandpaper grits. It's a minefield. Most people don't know this, but there are three (3!) different grit sizing systems, four if you count microns, and they are all completely different. P/Euro, CAMI/USA, Micro-Mesh, and lastly, grit size in microns. It's worse than JIS vs ISO.

The Euro or P system is most common these days for wet or dry sanding. Usually it will say Pxxxx for example P1500. It doesn't go up to 3k or 5k, which makes me think you have some micro mesh. (If you do it's awesome stuff)

1600 isn't enough information. You have to know 1600 in what system. If it's P1600, then going to micro mesh 3k and 5k happens to be a pretty good progression, but it's just luck.

Different system conversion charts below.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandpaper

(the above article does not mention micro mesh, who have their own proprietary system.

https://www.sisweb.com/micromesh/conversion.htm
Whoa, thanks for this, I had no idea. Will read up...
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Old 10-11-20, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by noobinsf
Awesome, thanks!
Here ya go:

Stone's Decal on 1984 Miyata 310
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Old 10-11-20, 12:30 PM
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That is one cool frameset! Lucky dog! I love the patina!
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Old 10-15-20, 02:03 PM
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Matching serial and builder number on the fork steerer...


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Old 10-15-20, 02:53 PM
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Lovely frame! Looking forward to seeing it built up.

As an aside... I understand why from an economic standpoint, but it always strikes me as a bit lazy when I see the partial barber poles. It takes a lot of effort to mask it off in the first place, so why not take the time to do the few extra inches between the top and bottom?

-Gregory
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Old 10-15-20, 07:01 PM
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I've used Humbrol as well. Applies nicely with a brush thanks to self leveling if you don't have access to an airbrush...
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Old 10-15-20, 07:42 PM
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My wife has a Mercian we bought as a used frameset in 1979. I later had it painted including braze-ons for top tube cables, water bottle, dt shifters. Painting done at Medici with Imron. Stone's supplied new decals.
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Old 03-16-22, 07:19 PM
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As I’m moving forward with this bike, I need to check against the collective wisdom here. I installed a Shimano BB-UN300, and the standards definitely align — 68mm width shell, English threads. What you see below is the farthest I can tighten the non-drive cup; the drive-side cup fits flush and tightens all the way. As far as I can tell from other BF threads that address this, it should be fine to have these few threads exposed, but I would appreciate a sanity check before I go any further.

Does it seem like that would present any issues?





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Old 04-09-22, 07:34 PM
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Getting there… I may have an issue with the front derailleur clearing the seat tube in the small chainring, but we’ll see.


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Old 04-09-22, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by noobinsf
As Iím moving forward with this bike, I need to check against the collective wisdom here. I installed a Shimano BB-UN300, and the standards definitely align ó 68mm width shell, English threads. What you see below is the farthest I can tighten the non-drive cup; the drive-side cup fits flush and tightens all the way. As far as I can tell from other BF threads that address this, it should be fine to have these few threads exposed, but I would appreciate a sanity check before I go any further.

Does it seem like that would present any issues?
I think that's fine, but it would annoy me, and i think it's not quite supporting the cartridge as well as it should.
If you take out the cartridge, and just screw in the NDS cup, does it screw in all the way then?
If not, and it's the threads in the bb shell, chase the bb. Get a shop with the correct tool to do it, or make the tool. RJ has a good video

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Old 04-09-22, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by noobinsf
Getting thereÖ I may have an issue with the front derailleur clearing the seat tube in the small chainring, but weíll see.


Looking gorgeous btw
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Old 04-12-22, 01:30 PM
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Here is the front brake clearance with the Tektro r539 and 700x35 Gravelkings, ready to ride. When the brake is without any tension (i.e., no cable attached or installed), it contacts the tire when itís at rest. According to this nice write up from Black Mountain Cycles, it should be sufficient clearance:

https://blackmtncycles.com/clearance-pt-ii-road-frames/

Would this set up make anyone nervous, or do you think I should be confident in that clearance?


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Old 04-12-22, 01:57 PM
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Looks good!
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Old 04-13-22, 05:05 AM
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I wouldn't think twice about riding that. It looks plenty generous for my standards.
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