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A 1979 Mercian Campionissimo

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A 1979 Mercian Campionissimo

Old 11-10-20, 10:53 PM
  #1  
Kilroy1988 
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A 1979 Mercian Campionissimo

Hello folks!

I got this frame set a couple of years ago and have shown it off twice before... Once when I had a chance to weigh it compared to another fully butted Reynolds 531 frame and again when I considered removing most of the brazed-on bits to make it into a designated single speed. I'm sure many folks here will breath easy realizing I've opted to use the frame as it was intended, and will be building it up into a solid 12 speed. The build will have two phases.

First I'll do some touch-up work on the original paint and then assemble it with components that are on hand, most of which I plan to keep using with the bike. The list includes the following:

- SR BB cups with Sugino axle
- Tange Falcon headset
- SR Apex forged crank arms with double chain rings (converted from triple set)
- SR Laprade seat post
- SR "forged" stem
- SR World Randonneur handlebars
- Weinmann "red dot" brake levers
- Weinmann Type 730 side-pull brake calipers w/Kool Stop pads
- Weinmann concave 27" rims
- Avocet Model II sealed-bearing hubs
- Suntour Cyclone friction shifters (first generation)
- Suntour Cyclone front derailleur (first generation)
- Suntour Cyclone long-cage rear derailleur (first generation)
- Suntour 6-speed New Winner freewheel

Besides these primary components, most of the consumables used for build #1 will be leftovers from other projects and not my ideal choices. However, after riding it a while and getting any kinks out I plan to tear it down again and have the frame powder coated with new decals and pin striping applied. When I build it up again after that I'll purchase fresh consumables.

Hopefully it will be ready to ride within a week or two! I'm really excited as it will be my first Mercian, and although it's the humble Campionissimo model (the least expensive model throughout most of the years it was available to order) I am sure it will make an excellent rider in the planned, period-correct configuration. It should also be something of a "sleeper" because nearly all of the components were chosen for being both lightweight and durable. Here it is mocked up tonight!

-Gregory


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Old 11-10-20, 11:59 PM
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cv350
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That will be a terrific build, ready for many miles once again. And that’s an impressive component list, too. Thanks for sharing— project build reports are always enjoyable.
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Old 11-11-20, 05:35 AM
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Great plan and, as its my size f/f, I can envision the end result. I'm a big fan of first Gen Cyclone and Suntour ultra 6 FWs. I've also, recently, become a real fan of those "randnner" handlebars. Numerous comfortable hand positions and the brake levers flared outwards a bit. Yes, I ride the drops frequently. I'll bet your build becomes a fine all day long ride.
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Old 11-11-20, 05:46 AM
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Sounds great
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Old 11-11-20, 12:59 PM
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Mercian pinched a few pennies on dropouts and used stock Bocama lugs and probably a stock Vagner crown on the Campionissimo - but it still should be 531 throughout, and if Mercian ever made a bad bike, I am unaware of it! Every vintage Campionissimo I've ever seen had Weinmann 730s, btw. The beauty of this bike is it can be adapted so easily to fixed or IGH operation as well! My one regret with my '02 Mercian Vincitore fixed-gear is that I didn't specify the rear dropouts you have - they would have worked so much better with fenders AND allowed a wider range of rear cogs than the rear-opening track ends I got.

Lovely bike and I look forward to seeing the finished version!
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Old 11-24-20, 09:17 PM
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Thanks for the replies, folks! Slowly but surely working on restoring the frame... Using Testor's enamel paints made for model kits and brushes and fine sandpaper to get things looking proper again. Still a lot of work to do, and although not a perfect match with the original paint the restoration is very refreshing and a good learning experience as well!

-Gregory
​​​​​​(Edit - Photos removed since I didn't end up going this route... See below!)

Last edited by Kilroy1988; 10-20-21 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 10-20-21, 02:18 PM
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Hello all, it's been a while but I've been a busy guy! I am back in grad school and made a career transition from agriculture to working in land conservation, and life does move along quickly these days... However, I've just found enough time to delve back into this Mercian project.

Realizing I would not be satisfied with that half-hearted touch up work, I recently took the frame and fork in for powder coating at JR's Powder Coating in Lemoore, CA. I picked the frame up today and am super impressed with the work! Nothing untidy or too thick, with a crisp finish throughout. I'll let the photos do the rest of the talking.

The plan now is to apply decals and pinstriping then have it clear coated at a professional automotive shop before final assembly... Cheers!

-Gregory






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Old 10-20-21, 06:28 PM
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I think the rear dropouts are Stallard. They were used on many high-end English bikes from the 40's to the 60's, not so common by the late 70's.
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Old 10-20-21, 08:10 PM
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you'll want to chase and face the bb and most likely face the headtube as well before assembly
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Old 10-20-21, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jingy2 View Post
you'll want to chase and face the bb and most likely face the headtube as well before assembly
Thank you, yes, of course. That's always good advice but rest assured I've been at this a while... Short cuts in such regards don't do any favors for a functional machine, assuming one might want to take it apart again!

-Gregory
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Old 10-20-21, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988 View Post
Realizing I would not be satisfied with that half-hearted touch up work, I recently took the frame and fork in for powder coating at JR's Powder Coating in Lemoore, CA. I picked the frame up today and am super impressed with the work! Nothing untidy or too thick, with a crisp finish throughout. I'll let the photos do the rest of the talking.
I'll add this to my powder coating thread!
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Old 10-20-21, 10:27 PM
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Be interesting the clear choice to overcoat the powdercoat

I do encourage a layer over the PC as while the finish looks good, there are shortcomings to PC at any 90 degree angle. It’s in the physics of the process.
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Old 12-05-21, 09:03 PM
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Kilroy1988 
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Howdy folks,

Final update, I suspect... I will apply the pinstripes around the lugs within the next week or so then get the frame clear coated before final assembly. I mocked it up again this evening to consider a more relaxed approach towards the cockpit with some north road handlebars. I've also got the same grips in a dark brown color that matches the saddle well. What do you all think?

-Gregory




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Old 12-05-21, 10:13 PM
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Nix the white grips, I say.
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