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Hereís a nice green Mercian from 1978

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Hereís a nice green Mercian from 1978

Old 01-30-22, 07:06 PM
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Pcampeau
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Hereís a nice green Mercian from 1978

Iím never one to leave a frame like this languishing on Craigslist if the price is right. Drove about half an hour into the suburbs to meet a very nice gentleman who had this to sell. I donít think Iíve ever seen a Mercian for sale around here so I was glad he still had it when I showed up. Feel free to take a stab as to which model this is if youíd like, both I and the seller are uncertain. Top tube has some surface rust spots that need to be addressed but no dents or cracks anywhere. Frame came complete with a Campagnolo seat binder bolt and a Tange headset with Campagnolo lock nut. I believe it should have had a Mercian lock nut. Oh well, Iíll figure it out. Anyway, after looking the frame over I decided Iíd purchase it. He had a few other parts to sell me too but nothing like a complete build. A set of Campy brake calipers and some Campy levers attached to Forte handlebars and a Cinelli stem. After I left his house I picked up a Brooks Pro from another seller to add to the build. The saddle is still quite hard and needs some breaking in. Iíve also got a well used but comfortable B17 in honey I may opt for instead and use the Pro elsewhere. Iím pretty excited about this frame!

Presenting the 605th frame of 1978 (if Iím understanding the serial number correctly) plus the rest of todays haul.







These pieces, along with the Campagnolo parts from a too small for me 1972 Raleigh International, should make for a serviceable build but Iíve also got these Suntour Cyclone derailleurs and Power shift levers along with a 14/34 six speed Suntour Perfect freewheel I could use instead, itís rather heavy. These are parts I had been saving for a new build on my other International from 75 that fits me, this may be a better place to put those parts. Iíve got some decisions to make. Iíve also got a completely original 1975 Raleigh Competition with a bent frame that I could use the parts from (Huret Jubile derailleurs and Normandy Luxe Competition hubs and such).

When it comes to wheels Iíve got a couple of choices: A set of 32 hole Campagnolo small flange hubs laced to Mavic G-40 gray clincher rims that came to me with a Regina CX-S 7 speed freewheel.

I need to clean these wheels and refresh the grease but both are spinning beautifully.

Or, I could switch the above wheels with the set thatís currently on my nice fitting International which are Campagnolo 36 hole high flange Tipo with kidney bean cutouts (circa 1972/73 Motobecane) with plain silver color box clincher rims.
These wheels need cleaned but have freshly packed bearings already.

Or, I could use Normandy Luxe Competition wheels from the bent Raleigh Competition. 36 hole silver box tubulars. I would need to glue on some new tires because the 25mm Continental Gatorskins are just not nice enough. I do love riding tubulars.

Maybe not the best wheel choices for touring but theyíre what Iíve got for now. Iíve got a couple of other options in parts but Iíve got too many other wheels to build and wonít get around to building a set for this project anytime soon. One of these will have to do.

As for the crankset, I have the Campy set from the International 53/42 or Stronglight 93 52/42 either of which will work for now here in flat Minnesota, but I really need to buy a triple for either the International or the Mercian, whichever gets the Suntour setup. Iíd like to do some traveling. Any build suggestions are certainly welcome.

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Old 01-30-22, 07:12 PM
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Here are a couple quick pics of the wheel choices. Sorry about the poor photo quality but my place is very dim and itís too dark outside for good photography.

Campagnolo Record

Normandy Luxe Competition

Campagnolo Tipo
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Old 01-30-22, 07:35 PM
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Love that green! That’s going to look great.
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Old 01-30-22, 08:53 PM
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-----

appears to be the Olympic model

lug pattern Prugnat 62/d

fork crown Vagner Nr. 12 ref +

bottom bracket shell BOCAMA

the wraparound seat stay plug is a solid piece of steel about two inches in length on either side


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Old 01-30-22, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Pcampeau View Post
Iím never one to leave a frame like this languishing on Craigslist if the price is right. Drove about half an hour into the suburbs to meet a very nice gentleman who had this to sell. I donít think Iíve ever seen a Mercian for sale around here so I was glad he still had it when I showed up. Feel free to take a stab as to which model this is if youíd like, both I and the seller are uncertain. Top tube has some surface rust spots that need to addressed but no dents or cracks anywhere. Frame came complete with a Campagnolo seat binder bolt and a Tange headset with Campagnolo lock nut. I believe it should have had a Mercian lock nut. Oh well, Iíll figure it out. Anyway, after looking the frame over I decided Iíd purchase it. He had a few other parts to sell me too but nothing like a complete build. A set of Campy brake calipers and some Campy levers attached to Forte handlebars and a Cinelli stem. After I left his house I picked up a Brooks Pro from another seller to add to the build. The saddle is still quite hard and needs some breaking in. Iíve also got a well used but comfortable B17 in honey I may opt for instead and use the Pro elsewhere. Iím pretty excited about this frame!

Presenting the 605th frame of 1978 (if Iím understanding the serial number correctly) plus the rest of todays haul.







These pieces, along with the Campagnolo parts from a too small for me 1972 Raleigh International, should make for a serviceable build but Iíve also got these Suntour Cyclone derailleurs and Power shift levers along with a 14/34 six speed Suntour Perfect freewheel I could use instead, itís rather heavy. These are parts I had been saving for a new build on my other International from 75 that fits me, this may be a better place to put those parts. Iíve got some decisions to make. Iíve also got a completely original 1975 Raleigh Competition with a bent frame that I could use the parts from (Huret Jubile derailleurs and Normandy Luxe Competition hubs and such).

When it comes to wheels Iíve got a couple of choices: A set of 32 hole Campagnolo small flange hubs laced to Mavic G-40 gray clincher rims that came to me with this Regina CX-S 7 speed freewheel.

I need to clean these wheels and refresh the grease but both are spinning beautifully.

Or, I could switch the above wheels with the set thatís currently on my nice fitting International which are Campagnolo 36 hole high flange Tipo with kidney bean cutouts (circa 1972/73 Motobecane) with plain silver color box clincher rims.
These wheels need cleaned but have freshly packed bearings already.

Or, I could use Normandy Luxe Competition wheels from the bent Raleigh Competition. 36 hole silver box tubulars. I would need to glue on some new tires because the 25mm Continental Gatorskins are just not nice enough. I do love riding tubulars.

Maybe not the best wheel choices for touring but theyíre what Iíve got for now. Iíve got a couple of other options in parts but Iíve got too many other wheels to build and wonít get around to building a set for this project anytime soon. One of these will have to do.

As for the crankset, I have the Campy set from the International 53/42 or Stronglight 93 52/42 either of which will work for now here in flat Minnesota, but I really need to buy a triple for either the International or the Mercian, whichever gets the Suntour setup. Iíd like to do some traveling. Any build suggestions are certainly welcome.

Love the green! I have a Vincitore that color. Great bike. Have fun setting that one up!

JJ
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Old 01-31-22, 01:08 PM
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It is INDEED the 605th bike built in 1978, and if you can find someone who knows, the 8 stamped separately is the frame builder's number. In that time frame George Bryan was no. 6, Derek Land was no. 5.

LOVELY bike.
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Old 01-31-22, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by rustystrings61 View Post
It is INDEED the 605th bike built in 1978, and if you can find someone who knows, the 8 stamped separately is the frame builder's number. In that time frame George Bryan was no. 6, Derek Land was no. 5.

LOVELY bike.
Thanks for this info. Iíll try and figure out who number 8 was.
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Old 01-31-22, 01:24 PM
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Very cool bike! A bit of Mercian activity on the forums is lighting the fire under my bum to finish my 83 for the spring.
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Old 01-31-22, 02:06 PM
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-----

the chainstays are an interesting feature

they appear to be rapier pattern yet are dimpled slightly on the inside for tyre clearance

"usually" with rapier chainstays there are no dimples

perhaps this was a request to permit the owner to run 38c tyres

note the minor damage to the outside of the drive side stay

this likely from one or more derailments where the chain got wedged betwixt chainwheel and stay...


-----
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Old 01-31-22, 03:03 PM
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Great find. I can't imagine it would languish on CL but good on you for picking it up. I love the color and I think it is good enough to leave as is if the small rust issues are addressed . There is quite a presence of Mercian on this forum for any help you may need when you build it up. To me it looks straight forward. As far as wheels and hubs , I have always loved HF Campy Records but the choice is yours . The seat is the same situation , I am a fan of the Brooks Pro but the B17 is very comfy as well. I just put a B17 on the Moto I built. The beauty of a frame is that it is like a blank canvas just waiting for creativity, Joe
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Old 01-31-22, 03:38 PM
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I vote for the high flange hubs.
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Old 01-31-22, 04:47 PM
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Nice find, how much was it?
From the head tube lugs it looks like a Professional model but not sure at all.
The wrap around seat stays are not very common on Mercians.
I did find this one that matches yours but it does not say what model it is:

https://bikeindex.org/bikes/52209
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Old 01-31-22, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by jnbrown View Post
Nice find, how much was it?
From the head tube lugs it looks like a Professional model but not sure at all.
The wrap around seat stays are not very common on Mercians.
I did find this one that matches yours but it does not say what model it is:

https://bikeindex.org/bikes/52209
Yes that one does look very similar, too bad itís not identified by model. Wrap around seat stays on British bikes are are a feature I enjoy, theyíre not a requirement for me but I look for them. Since your asking, I paid $150 for the frame plus another $50 for the goodies that came with it.
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Old 01-31-22, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
I vote for the high flange hubs.
Yeah, right now Iím kind of leaning toward the high flange 36 hole Tipo wheels. I think they look better than the the low flange Record hubs and the clincher rims will be better for touring, if I decide to go that route, than the tubular Normandy wheels. I tend to get a lot of flat tires from thorns and glass.

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Old 01-31-22, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Pcampeau View Post
Yes that one does look very similar, too bad itís not identified by model. Wrap around seat stays on British bikes are are a feature I enjoy, theyíre not a requirement for me but I look for them. Since your asking, I paid $150 for the frame plus another $50 for the goodies that came with it.
Yeah, that was worth the drive, especially at that price. I'm glad that frame is ending up with someone who appreciates it.
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Old 01-31-22, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Pcampeau View Post
Yes that one does look very similar, too bad itís not identified by model. Wrap around seat stays on British bikes are are a feature I enjoy, theyíre not a requirement for me but I look for them. Since your asking, I paid $150 for the frame plus another $50 for the goodies that came with it.
Wow you stole that.
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Old 01-31-22, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by jnbrown View Post
Wow you stole that.
I couldnít believe the price either when I saw it listed. I donít think the ad had been up longer than a few minutes when I sent my email. He responded right away and the next morning I drove out there. The seller and his wife were not even completely moved into their new home yet, I think he was just trying to move some stuff along quickly.
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