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Any advice on how to identify a vintage Mercier?

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Any advice on how to identify a vintage Mercier?

Old 02-27-12, 05:25 PM
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Any advice on how to identify a vintage Mercier?

Hi All!

I picked up a random frame over the weekend for a nominal cost over the weekend. The seller claimed it was a "Mercier 200" but I can't find a single label identifying it as such (tube decals might be present, but they're pretty far gone).

Here's the lowdown:

Frame size: 61cm ctc x 58cm tt

Rear dropouts: Simplex stamped (no hanger),

decals aren't in great shape and I haven't got a picture of my frame to upload (yet), but I DID find the following:

https://re-cycle.com/bikeimages.aspx?pic=4258

The decals are pretty close (again, i don't have anything on the seat tube or downtube to indicate tubing-make), but the color is not (the one I picked up is light blue, white lugs with gold pinstripes). The lug-type is identical, and it has the same weird downtube braze on for a rear derailleur on the drive side but nothing on the non drive side for the front derailleur.

If it's just junk I'll make it my beater bike but I might give it to a friend if it's something interesting.

Any thoughts?

Thanks for your help!

Last edited by pingram84; 02-27-12 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 02-27-12, 05:47 PM
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Old 02-27-12, 06:08 PM
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I know Mercier had 3 models named the 100, 200, and 300. 100 was made of high ten or "Tube Special Allege pro" as they called it, and the 300 was Reynolds 531, and comparable to a peugeot PX-10. Now I can't remember what the 200 was, but I think it was straight gauge Reynolds. They all looked the same graphic wise, so the good thing is if it is high ten, just peel that sticker off and as long as no one measures your seat post, they will be none the wiser. I guess it was just the frame, no components? These are a lot easier to identify with the components. I have a 100 that I turned into a fixed gear/ss, and is by far my favorite bike for commuting even though I am not very proud of it's steel pedigree. I guess I should start looking for a 300 frame now that I can get cheap french threaded bottom brackets from v.o.

Here is one from Mike Berry's collection. If he has one, it has to be cool.

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Old 02-27-12, 06:15 PM
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The 300 I had: chrome socks- simplex hanger-criterium rdr-mafac cp's and 531 frame and forks. They never decaled the model on it as far as I know. Maybe the diff between the 200 and 300 was the rdr hanger?
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Old 02-27-12, 07:36 PM
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I did find the picture from the ad (it's pretty low resolution). I'll try to send better pictures tonight.

If what was posted earlier is true, then this is possibly a 100 sans decals.

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/bik/2800979268.html
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Old 02-27-12, 08:05 PM
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nice photos by the way!
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Old 02-27-12, 08:15 PM
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Well, the thing is, if there is no tubing decal, there should be some residue left over from it, or at least a discolouration of the paint where it was. If its 531, that discolouration will be square, if it was high ten, well that sticker was odd shaped, and definitely not square. At least that's what happened on mine.
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Old 02-27-12, 08:25 PM
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This might be too much info, and maybe you found it already, but apperently this is from a 70's mercier catologue. If it is 200, and this is correct, it is the same as a 100.

Model 300:
Reynolds 531 double butted frame, front and rear forks.
Chromium plated front fork ends.
Simplex Criterieum front and rear gear changers.
Simplex frame mount shift controls.
Normandy Competition Dural QR large flange hubs
Stronglight headset.
Stronglight professional crank set and chainwheel 46 x 52 (picture looks like a Stronglight 93).
Simplex cable clips.
Dural pedals with reflectors.
Chrome seat post.
MAFAC brakes with hooded levers and adjusters.
Atom 66 competition freewheel 14 x 24.
Sedis chain.
Mavic Monthlery alloy rims.
Chromed straight gauge spokes.
Hutchinson tubular sew-up racing tires.
Ideale 2000 molded saddle.
Dural handlebar.
Dural AMC handlebar stem.
Tornade Dural ringed pump with AFA express connector.
Brazed-on pump clips.
Toe clips and straps.
Approximate Weight: 22 lbs.
Colors: Orange, Red, Sky Blue, White, Yellow, Kelly Green, and Purple
Frame Sizes: 19 1/2", 21", 23", 25"

Model 200:
Luxtub tubing - frame, front and rear forks.
Chromium plated front fork ends.
Simplex Prestige front and rear gear changers and frame mount shift controls.
Normandy Dural QR large flange hubs
Precision fork ends.
3 pin steel chainwheel 46 x 52.
Brazed-on cable clips.
Steel rattrap pedals with reflectors.
MAFAC brakes with hooded levers and adjusters.
Normandy freewheel 14 x 24.
Sedis chain.
Mavic Sport alloy rims.
Butted rustless spokes.
Hutchinson sew-up tubular racing tires.
Molded vinyl covered saddle.
Dural handlebar stem.
Dural handlebar.
Tornade Dural ringed pump with AFA express connector.
Brazed-on pump clips.
Toe clips and straps.
Cloth handlebar tape.
Special hand striping.
Approximate Weight: 25 lbs.
Colors: Orange, Red, Sky Blue, White, Yellow, Kelly Green, and Purple
Frame Sizes: 19 1/2", 21", 23", 25"


Model 100 (and 111 Mixte):
Luxtub tubing - frame, front and rear forks.
Chromium plated front fork ends.
Simplex front and rear gear changers.
Simplex frame mounted shift controls.
Normandy Dural QR large flange hubs
3 pin steel chainwheel 40 x 52.
Brazed-on cable clips.
Rattrap steel pedals with reflectors.
MAFAC brakes with hooded levers and adjusters.
Normandy freewheel 14 x 28.
Sedis chain.
Rigida steel rims, serrated edges.
Butted rustless spokes.
Hutchinson high pressure gumwall tires.
Molded vinyl saddle.
Steel handlebar.
Dural handlebar stem.
Tornade Dural ringed pump.
Brazed-on pump clips.
Black handlebar tape.
Special hand striping.
Approximate Weight: 25 lbs.
Colors: Orange, Red, Sky Blue, White, Yellow, Kelly Green, and Purple.
Frame Sizes: 19 1/2", 21", 23", 25" (20" and 22" for mixte)


Model 90 (and 91 Mixte):
Luxtub tubing - frame, front and rear forks.
Simplex front and rear gear changers.
Simplex frame mount shift controls.
Normandy large flange hubs with wingnuts.
3 pin steel chainwheel 40 x 52.
Rattrap steel pedals with reflectors.
LAM brakes with hooded levers and adjusters.
Normandy freewheel 14 x 28.
Sedis chain.
Rigida steel rims, serrated edges.
Butted rustless spokes.
Hutchinson high pressure gumwall tires.
Molded vinyl saddle.
Steel handlebar.
Dural handlebar stem.
Black handlebar tape.
Approximate Weight: 25 lbs.
Colors: Blue and Yellow
Frame Sizes: 19 1/2", 21", 23", 25" (20" and 22" for mixte)


Model 140 (and 141 Mixte -- both of these are children's 18" frame racers):
Luxtub tubing - frame, front and rear forks.
Chromium plated front fork ends.
Simplex Prestige front and rear gear changers.
Simplex frame mounted shift controls.
Normandy Dural QR large flange hubs
3 pin steel chainwheel 36 x 42.
Brazed-on cable clips.
Rattrap steel pedals with reflectors.
MAFAC brakes with hooded levers and adjusters.
Normandy freewheel 14 x 24.
Sedis chain.
Rigida steel rims, serrated edges.
Butted rustless spokes.
Hutchinson high pressure gumwall tires.
Molded vinyl saddle.
Steel handlebar.
Dural handlebar stem.
Tornade Dural ringed pump.
Brazed-on pump clips.
Black handlebar tape.
Special hand striping.
Approximate Weight: 25 lbs.
Colors: Red, Lime Green, and Sky Blue
Frame Sizes: 18" for both boys and mixte.
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Old 02-27-12, 09:02 PM
  #9  
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I've had a couple of different Mercier frames and they are so similar to Peugeot in so many ways.
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Old 02-27-12, 10:36 PM
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mercier question ID confused

Wondering where my mercier fits in with this very complete info? I am totally lost now!:

Originally Posted by cucumis.cucurbi View Post
This might be too much info, and maybe you found it already, but apperently this is from a 70's mercier catologue. If it is 200, and this is correct, it is the same as a 100.

Model 300:
Reynolds 531 double butted frame, front and rear forks.
Chromium plated front fork ends.
Simplex Criterieum front and rear gear changers.
Simplex frame mount shift controls.
Normandy Competition Dural QR large flange hubs
Stronglight headset.
Stronglight professional crank set and chainwheel 46 x 52 (picture looks like a Stronglight 93).
Simplex cable clips.
Dural pedals with reflectors.
Chrome seat post.
MAFAC brakes with hooded levers and adjusters.
Atom 66 competition freewheel 14 x 24.
Sedis chain.
Mavic Monthlery alloy rims.
Chromed straight gauge spokes.
Hutchinson tubular sew-up racing tires.
Ideale 2000 molded saddle.
Dural handlebar.
Dural AMC handlebar stem.
Tornade Dural ringed pump with AFA express connector.
Brazed-on pump clips.
Toe clips and straps.
Approximate Weight: 22 lbs.
Colors: Orange, Red, Sky Blue, White, Yellow, Kelly Green, and Purple
Frame Sizes: 19 1/2", 21", 23", 25"

Model 200:
Luxtub tubing - frame, front and rear forks.
Chromium plated front fork ends.
Simplex Prestige front and rear gear changers and frame mount shift controls.
Normandy Dural QR large flange hubs
Precision fork ends.
3 pin steel chainwheel 46 x 52.
Brazed-on cable clips.
Steel rattrap pedals with reflectors.
MAFAC brakes with hooded levers and adjusters.
Normandy freewheel 14 x 24.
Sedis chain.
Mavic Sport alloy rims.
Butted rustless spokes.
Hutchinson sew-up tubular racing tires.
Molded vinyl covered saddle.
Dural handlebar stem.
Dural handlebar.
Tornade Dural ringed pump with AFA express connector.
Brazed-on pump clips.
Toe clips and straps.
Cloth handlebar tape.
Special hand striping.
Approximate Weight: 25 lbs.
Colors: Orange, Red, Sky Blue, White, Yellow, Kelly Green, and Purple
Frame Sizes: 19 1/2", 21", 23", 25"


Model 100 (and 111 Mixte):
Luxtub tubing - frame, front and rear forks.
Chromium plated front fork ends.
Simplex front and rear gear changers.
Simplex frame mounted shift controls.
Normandy Dural QR large flange hubs
3 pin steel chainwheel 40 x 52.
Brazed-on cable clips.
Rattrap steel pedals with reflectors.
MAFAC brakes with hooded levers and adjusters.
Normandy freewheel 14 x 28.
Sedis chain.
Rigida steel rims, serrated edges.
Butted rustless spokes.
Hutchinson high pressure gumwall tires.
Molded vinyl saddle.
Steel handlebar.
Dural handlebar stem.
Tornade Dural ringed pump.
Brazed-on pump clips.
Black handlebar tape.
Special hand striping.
Approximate Weight: 25 lbs.
Colors: Orange, Red, Sky Blue, White, Yellow, Kelly Green, and Purple.
Frame Sizes: 19 1/2", 21", 23", 25" (20" and 22" for mixte)


Model 90 (and 91 Mixte):
Luxtub tubing - frame, front and rear forks.
Simplex front and rear gear changers.
Simplex frame mount shift controls.
Normandy large flange hubs with wingnuts.
3 pin steel chainwheel 40 x 52.
Rattrap steel pedals with reflectors.
LAM brakes with hooded levers and adjusters.
Normandy freewheel 14 x 28.
Sedis chain.
Rigida steel rims, serrated edges.
Butted rustless spokes.
Hutchinson high pressure gumwall tires.
Molded vinyl saddle.
Steel handlebar.
Dural handlebar stem.
Black handlebar tape.
Approximate Weight: 25 lbs.
Colors: Blue and Yellow
Frame Sizes: 19 1/2", 21", 23", 25" (20" and 22" for mixte)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
decal.jpg (65.8 KB, 976 views)
File Type: jpg
mercier.jpg (89.0 KB, 1012 views)
File Type: jpg
chainring.jpg (88.0 KB, 984 views)
File Type: jpg
CLB.jpg (60.9 KB, 974 views)
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Old 02-27-12, 11:33 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Gana View Post
Wondering where my mercier fits in with this very complete info? I am totally lost now!:
I don't think yours fits in with that info at all. It looks to be from about 1980-82, and maybe even later. I don't know when they went out of business. Might be Columbus sl, who knows (I think they might have used it in the 80's), maybe someone smarter than me. I do know that that is a pretty nice looking Mercier. Most of the ones I have come across are all from the boom of the 70's. I would assume that that was the top of the line for the time, but I don't have much to base that on. Anyways here is a photo of what people who ride Merciers look like.

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Old 02-28-12, 02:08 AM
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I have a Mercier that I think is from early '86 because of the component date stamps on original parts. I have the exact same Stronglight crank and lugs, but the dropouts look fancier on yours. None of the writing on my frame is legible because it wasn't clear coated and mostly rubbed off. I did have a Vitus 888 sticker just above the downtube shifters though, so at some point Mercier switched tubing brand for some models. It rides pretty good.

Just remembered, the only reason I know it's a Mercier is because the name is pretty deeply stamped on both sides of the fork. The lettering on the frame could have been anything.

PPS. In my own research it seems that most of the 70s Merciers had relatively fancy paint/decal jobs and often sported chromed bits. I think in the 80s this must have been set aside for much plainer appearance. I've got some outlining on my lugs but that's it. My friction shifters and original front derailleur were Sachs/Huret. I dunno if the wheels were stock, but they're Mavic module E rims with Pelissier hubs.

Last edited by Aristotle80; 02-28-12 at 02:35 AM. Reason: addition
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Old 02-28-12, 04:20 AM
  #13  
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I have had a couple of the model 200, and a whole bunch of model 100 Merciers. Can't say that I know a great deal about them except that the workmanship is, quite often, incredibly poor, in my opinion...





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Old 02-28-12, 10:54 AM
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Howdy All!

Thanks for the info.

I finally got some pictures, but did not have enough time to 1. take them in my kitchen and not have my wife notice, 2. post them quietly without my wife thinking I've got some kind of online gambling problem...

randyjawa: I think your bike might have the decal I'm looking for. I had a hell of a time trying to figure out what decal was round-ish on the edges, but has a small amount of a square shape jutting out on the sides. There's only a tiny bit of decal remaining, and it appears to be silver, maybe some gold and white, which would fit the same description you have above.
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Old 02-28-12, 01:03 PM
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IDENTIFYING MERCIER
There is Mercier and there is "Mercier". Same name, but different. But that being said, it is a little more complicated than there just being two entities. And this is what it makes Mercier so interesting as a brand name. The Mercier story really is a march through the history of the sports bicycle in the last half of the 20th Century.

Before I continue, I should say that I have put together a file on Mercier because my daughter in Canada has a pink "Services des Courses" Mercier she got as a frame set — from France. (BTW the colour is relevant.) It is full Reynolds 531 in original paint and with the original "Services des Courses" decal as well. Pingram-san, it is unlikely that you have a gem such as this, but to cover all the angles, and to try and dispel some of the mists of time in regards to the marque, I thought I would point to some of the stuff I have filed away — which by the way includes a lot of pics of the better Merciers machines.

First, here is an article that appeared on VeloBase that I can no longer find. I had to type and copy the text from a screen shot I took a few years ago.

Famously ridden by the perpetual runner up at the Tour de france, Raymond Poulidor, Mercier frames were among a handful of top French bicycles. Mercier produced a wide range of bicycles, from cheap heavy steel to the higher end steel "Service des Courses" frame sets. With their quintessential pink paint jobs "Services des Courses frames were comparable to any high end racing bicycles. The Service des Courses frames came painted in other colors than pink and usually have long point cutout lugs with Reynolds or Columbus tubing. As well as steel frames, Mercier sold screwed and glued aluminum or carbon models produced by Viyus. Mercier famously sponsored the GAN team and is best remembered as the bike Raymond Poulidor rode in his attempts to win the tour. Much like Gitane and Peueot, Mercier took advantage of the 70's American bike boom and produced low end bicycles as well as hand-crafted, custom frames for top French riders. Like many brands today, the Mercier marque currently adorns mass produced bikes manufactured in the far east and have nothing to do with the original French bicycle company.

Now, I believe that the pic above could be featuring the renowned and much-loved Poulidor and his very famous rival during a much vaunted reunion. I forget the details of the story, but you can look it up if you are interested. It involves one of the great dramas in cycling history. Anyway the salient point is that Mercier produced very great bicycles and some mass produced crud — and a bunch of other stuff inbetween. There is the French production and there is asian stuff that was base market during the boom years. There will be good stuff from either end — and a lot of very run-of- the-mill. So my advice is not to dismiss your frame until you are absolutely certain of what it is. And that may take some time.

I have no experience with Columbus, but db 531 has a distinctive ring to it, and if you don't recognize it, then perhaps someone else near you will. Of course, if you strip it down to the nubs, the weight will tell you something very quickly. And don't forget, there were some db Hi-Ten tube sets around for awhile too — Miyata being one who produced frames using it. They still weigh-in heavier. And they "thud" rather than musically "ding".

To see some nice photos of a non-pink Mercier frame see here:

https://velobase.com/Velos/ViewModel....1ad&PgOffset=0

I am sorry to say that I have not been able to ID your frame, but I would encourage you to not dismiss it as crud. Turn it turtle and see if the BB shell is stamped Nervex. There is a start. Whatever it is, it looks higher up the food chain on the surface of things — a nice frame to do something with. For example, I have a Hi-Ten fame waiting back in Canada that I intend to turn into a three speed errand bike. Your Mercier at least just "smells" a few ranks up the scale from my bike-boom Miyata (nice frame ... just rather humble). When a frame stripped of all its gear, there are a little little hints that can reveal what you have. Also, you can string up and see how everything is aligned.

Best of luck — Lenton

EDITED:

(1) I'm sure that is Poulidor on the left and Jacques Anguetil on the right — great picture in #11
(2) The more I look at this frame, the more I think that it is French (not Asian) and it was built as a racer. The frame angles don't say 'sports boom' to me
(3) I went back over my files and found that some Merciers were built with Vitus 172. So maybe find out what that decal looks like and see if any imprinted shape remains. I'm trying very hard to resist hunting for a "172" frame (My little bike garage is maxed-out unless I sell the Yamaha.)
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Old 02-28-12, 01:04 PM
  #16  
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Here are some other decal designs that might have been fitted to your Mercier...





There might well be others, but these are the ones I have experience with.
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Old 02-28-12, 02:00 PM
  #17  
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Old 02-28-12, 02:03 PM
  #18  
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Old 02-28-12, 02:09 PM
  #19  
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sorry for the multiple posts: I had a difficult time uploading pictures.

I really don't have a clue about the decal business (the picture above only shows glue residue with the flecks of remaining decal).

It does not sound like anything remarkable and will make a good mass transit bike.

I did a rough measurement of the seat post size: 25.4~25.5mm

S/N (from the foil badge): 237272

In case anyone cares, I already had the Nervor fork in my shed. Campy drop-outs, generator and mid fork rack braze ons, and a 5 +/- degree bend in the steer tube to boot!

Thanks again.

Last edited by pingram84; 02-28-12 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 02-29-12, 12:10 PM
  #20  
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Hi Lenton,

Thanks for your advice and help!
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Old 02-29-12, 01:00 PM
  #21  
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The OP's frame does appear to be a boom era model 200. It's definitely not a model 300 but does appear to have the Simplex rear dropouts without the integral hanger.

Edit: BTW, while that is Poulidor (on the left) in the picture, it is not Anqetil with him but Barry Hoban, an Englishman who rode with Poulidor on the Mercirer-BP and Gan-Mercier teams in the 1960s and 1970s.

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Old 02-29-12, 03:01 PM
  #22  
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... it is not Anqetil with him but Barry Hoban, an Englishman who rode with Poulidor on the Mercirer-BP and Gan-Mercier teams in the 1960s and 1970s.
Thanks for putting me right.
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Old 07-09-17, 03:04 AM
  #23  
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Another Mercier frame find in France

Hope you don't mind if I reawaken this thread, but I recently picked up a Mercier frame with seat pin and Mercier Sport branded saddle at a brocante fair. Some quick pics attached.
It's very light, has Vitus dropouts, a Zeus BB set, an M + crown logo on the rear stay uppers and "3" stamped beneath the bottom bracket.
The paint job is slightly wacky, with dark green ghost-sprayed over the tube joints, on a pale-green base-coat not unlike Bianchi Celeste. Oh, and no rear eyelets on the dropouts.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
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Old 07-11-17, 04:30 PM
  #24  
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Identifying a vintage Mercier

Hi, I have a vintage Mercier which has seen better days and that I am struggling to Identify, the feature that stands out as being different from other mercers that I have seen is the rear dropout. I was wondering if anyone would recognise it?

Thanks

on1.jpg
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Old 07-12-17, 06:52 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Oisin1 View Post
Hi, I have a vintage Mercier which has seen better days and that I am struggling to Identify, the feature that stands out as being different from other mercers that I have seen is the rear dropout. I was wondering if anyone would recognise it?

Thanks

Attachment 571483
I can't help with the model but hose are Huret honeycomb dropouts. You see them a lot on mid-1970s Gitane. Reportedly, they were manufactured 1974-1976, so that at least dates your frame. Also, they were typically used on at least mid-range models.
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