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Mercian Time Capsule

Old 12-16-13, 03:28 PM
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miamijim
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Mercian Time Capsule

Enjoy...










First....thanks to the C&V member who gave me the lead....

I'm not a Mercian expert but I put this one somewhere in the late 70's early 80's... It has a lot of unique parts a few of which I've never seen before.

Frame and Fork is Reynolds 531 throughout, long Campy dropouts in the back. Brakeset is post CPSC Nuovo Record, crankset (54/45) and FD are Nuovo Record pre-CPSC. RD is a Huret. The wheels are cool, they have 36h Avocet hubs, I've never seen them before not the Specialized touring pedals. Down tube Campy shifter have Campy condoms.... Bars are Cinelli 'crest' logo with a 'Milano' stem. BB is EDCO.
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Old 12-16-13, 03:41 PM
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That's one special sports tourer. Wouldn't change a thing except maybe the foam grips.
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Old 12-16-13, 03:45 PM
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Jim - couldn't happen to a better guy...this screams of good karma
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Old 12-16-13, 04:09 PM
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Nice!
Tell us more - where was it hiding out all these years?
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Old 12-16-13, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
The wheels are cool, they have 36h Avocet hubs, I've never seen them before...
Per Sheldon, "Avocet also used to market hubs and cranks made by Ofmega in Italy.
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Old 12-16-13, 04:31 PM
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...and it has one of those front racks that I've been hunting....but I suppose you are KEEPING that! VERY nice find! Wowzer!!!
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Old 12-16-13, 05:34 PM
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That's going to be a beauty when she's all cleaned up.

Congrats!
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Old 12-16-13, 05:44 PM
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sheez, some beastly gears to go touring on, for modern standards. Very nice bike, beautiful "Before" pics.
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Old 12-16-13, 06:02 PM
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NICE. Can't wait to see the "afters."
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Old 12-16-13, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
Per Sheldon, "Avocet also used to market hubs and cranks made by Ofmega in Italy.
I think those are early versions of Ofmega's sealed bearing CX hubs from the first half of the 80's. They even have aluminum heads and nuts on their skewers so the weight of the cartridge bearings in them are nicely offset to produce a light hubset. It's one of the really nice components that Ofmega made in the 80's that does not seem to get any attention that they deserve only because of their branding.
I have the Ofmega branded version of the same hubs that I got when I replaced the Helicomatic wheelset on PSV (after it started eating its bearings in just a year), and they are still going on, nice and still rolling glass smooth since 1985....
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Old 12-16-13, 08:26 PM
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Is that thing on the seatpost one of the devices to hang a handlebar bag on the rear? I haven't seen one in a long time.

Mercian is one of the bikes that I would like to own some day. That should clean up nicely.
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Old 12-16-13, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
Enjoy...

First....thanks to the C&V member who gave me the lead....

I'm not a Mercian expert but I put this one somewhere in the late 70's early 80's... It has a lot of unique parts a few of which I've never seen before.

Frame and Fork is Reynolds 531 throughout, long Campy dropouts in the back. Brakeset is post CPSC Nuovo Record, crankset (54/45) and FD are Nuovo Record pre-CPSC. RD is a Huret. The wheels are cool, they have 36h Avocet hubs, I've never seen them before not the Specialized touring pedals. Down tube Campy shifter have Campy condoms.... Bars are Cinelli 'crest' logo with a 'Milano' stem. BB is EDCO.
Nice find! The serial number should be on the bottom of the bottom bracket. Either the first two or last two numbers are the year it was made, don't remember which, but will likely be obvious when you look.
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Old 12-16-13, 10:14 PM
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Great bike. Love the colour combination/graphics...but I am biased.

My '84 Professional is a little darker paint-wise, but has the 'pearl' paint and same transfers, red lug-lining.

You should indeed be able to determine year conclusively based on the serial number. And Mercian may be able to pull up the build sheet for a small fee based on that, should this info be of interest.

It can otherwise be difficult sometimes to definitively identify by model, as some different models could be quite similar.

Great find. Wonderful sport tourer (Audax?).

I do indeed note the Specialized touring pedals, a pair of which I aim to snag someday (as I doubt staying away from stuff they branded several decades ago does anything to avoid feeding the beast that can't today figure out that its just good business to pretend human decency). Wide feet would like those.
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Old 12-16-13, 11:57 PM
  #14  
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Those parts....I feel like I'm back in high school!
Nice score miamijim! And it's my size too. :O
I hope that's only dirt and not rust all over the headset.
What rims are those?
This should look really sweet all cleaned and polished.

Those Specialized Touring pedals are made by MKS. A great top of the line touring pedal.
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Old 12-17-13, 03:08 AM
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Originally Posted by WNG View Post
Those Specialized Touring pedals are made by MKS. A great top of the line touring pedal.
Maybe a bit of a side-track, but do you know if MKS ever sold those (or a reasonable facsimile) under their own name/branding?
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Old 12-17-13, 04:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Italuminium View Post
sheez, some beastly gears to go touring on, for modern standards. Very nice bike, beautiful "Before" pics.
Originally Posted by J.Oxley View Post
NICE. Can't wait to see the "afters."

Originally Posted by mikemowbz View Post
Great bike. Love the colour combination/graphics...but I am biased.

My '84 Professional is a little darker paint-wise, but has the 'pearl' paint and same transfers, red lug-lining.

You should indeed be able to determine year conclusively based on the serial number. And Mercian may be able to pull up the build sheet for a small fee based on that, should this info be of interest.

It can otherwise be difficult sometimes to definitively identify by model, as some different models could be quite similar.

Great find. Wonderful sport tourer (Audax?).

I do indeed note the Specialized touring pedals, a pair of which I aim to snag someday (as I doubt staying away from stuff they branded several decades ago does anything to avoid feeding the beast that can't today figure out that its just good business to pretend human decency). Wide feet would like those.
Originally Posted by WNG View Post
Those parts....I feel like I'm back in high school!
Nice score miamijim! And it's my size too. :O
I hope that's only dirt and not rust all over the headset.
What rims are those?
This should look really sweet all cleaned and polished.

Those Specialized Touring pedals are made by MKS. A great top of the line touring pedal.
Originally Posted by mikemowbz View Post
Maybe a bit of a side-track, but do you know if MKS ever sold those (or a reasonable facsimile) under their own name/branding?

It should clean up nice, as far as I can tell this bike has been sitting in a garage since the eary to mid 80's. Most of the gunk on the headset is dirty grease so it should clean up ok but it may be toast as it self centers quite heavily, I think its brinelled.

In regards to the Avocet and Specialized parts...one thing I learned about Specialized is that they never made any of their parts, they're a design company. They either used rebranded parts from another company or had another company make something similar to their own but to Specialized's specification.

This bike will clean up nicely, there's only minor rusting to some of the hardware. I think it just needs a good cleaning with polishing of a few parts and replacement of all the consumables. Back in the day foam grips were the thing to have touring bikes, if a touring bike didn't come with them from the factory we put them on.
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Old 12-17-13, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
It should clean up nice, as far as I can tell this bike has been sitting in a garage since the eary to mid 80's. Most of the gunk on the headset is dirty grease so it should clean up ok but it may be toast as it self centers quite heavily, I think its brinelled.

In regards to the Avocet and Specialized parts...one thing I learned about Specialized is that they never made any of their parts, they're a design company. They either used rebranded parts from another company or had another company make something similar to their own but to Specialized's specification.

This bike will clean up nicely, there's only minor rusting to some of the hardware. I think it just needs a good cleaning with polishing of a few parts and replacement of all the consumables. Back in the day foam grips were the thing to have touring bikes, if a touring bike didn't come with them from the factory we put them on.
Yours truly was the foam grip installer at a local shop many, many years ago.

They had me do that instead of wrapping Benotto tape, as I did such a terrible job.
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Old 12-17-13, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Italuminium View Post
sheez, some beastly gears to go touring on, for modern standards. Very nice bike, beautiful "Before" pics.
For touring in Florida only: 54T for tailwinds and the 45T is for headwinds.

Great find Jim! It will certainly clean-up into a show queen that is exquisite.
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Old 12-17-13, 07:48 AM
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I've got some Avocet hubs laced to some Super Champion rims.

They spin really nice. You know when you have stuff, and what you know of your stuff when it's working good- and then you find something that works WAY better than you even conceived of your stuff working? Yeah- THAT nice.

The only thing that's kind of a drag- I think someone hosed up the threads (or they're some weird propriatary threading)- there's a Suntour FW on there and I wanted to switch it out- but nothing else would thread on there well- but that Suntour went on easy as anything.

As an aside, I found an Avocet wool jersey on the Ebay- it has a nice little leather Avocet logo on the chest.

When I found the Avocet hubs I did a little looking into the company- Like Specialized, they designed and/or rebranded stuff- I guess their main and lasting claim was the Saddles (which I really like as well)- then they came up with a computer- the computer was apparently revolutionary- but they started advertising (and accepting orders) like a year before it was actually available. They also made other things like toe clips and stuff-
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Old 12-17-13, 07:55 AM
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The frame's date coded 1982....the crankset has no code so it's pre-'73 and it has <C> chainrings. It was probably built new in '82 w/ a few left over parts like the crankset and Cinelli bars/stem, everything else seems period correct for '82. Rims are red label Rigida's, probably double wall 1320's.

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Old 12-17-13, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
When I found the Avocet hubs I did a little looking into the company- Like Specialized, they designed and/or rebranded stuff- I guess their main and lasting claim was the Saddles (which I really like as well)- then they came up with a computer- the computer was apparently revolutionary- but they started advertising (and accepting orders) like a year before it was actually available. They also made other things like toe clips and stuff-
So true, we couldn't keep those Avocet computers on the shelf. It wouldnt surpise me if they were one of the hottest selling computers of all time.
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Old 12-17-13, 08:03 AM
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I used to have a pair of campy condoms that I used on QR skewers. I gave the bike (and wheels) away to my brother but I think I should have kept those condoms! Nice touch. I've seen both those avocet hubs and specialized pedals before; both are really nice quality. This is a very cool bike. Nice score.
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