Monday, May 16, 2016

Mercian Man

Mercians Three!
I really enjoy my Mercians, riding them is a thrill, and the fit is just right. The latest
I bought was a 60cm, the first, bought new over 30 years ago, was a 58. Standard Mercian geometry dictates a relatively short top tube, about 56cm for up to the 61cm bikes. I suspected I could fit a 61cm Mercian fine.

Recently, I found a 1980 Mercian on EBay, it was described as a 58, but I could tell from the pictures it was a bit bigger. I decided to buy it, (it was a "Buy It Now" offering, the only kind I seem to win). When it arrived, it was indeed bigger; it turned out to be a 61! Now I get to try a 61 after all!

The frame is a 1980 Olympic, pretty much the bottom of the line for Mercian, but still a nice one with Reynolds 531 tubes and forks and Campagnolo dropouts. It is actually very similar to my Green 1983, except without the water bottle and brake cable guide braze-ons.
In the stand, working on some of the paint issues.
Overall, the frame is not in too bad of shape. The dropout adjusters were not frozen, but they were bent. There was something inside the top-tube that was rolling around, and there was some rough spots in the paint on the top tube.

I cut off and removed the old adjusters, I eventually drilled a hole in the tube inside the seat lug and eventually removed the weird ball of metallic grunge from the frame. I sanded the paint off the top tube and found some specks in the tube. After removing most of that I shot it with primer to protect it. I don't know how long it will be before I can paint the frame properly.

Headtube detail, I love the flat fork crown on these models.
Nice gold Mercian Script.
I like the color of this bike; when I repaint it I'll keep it a shade of Maroon and Gold Mercian stickers are readily available. I'm not sure how I will configure it, I initially thought of hanging all my old Campy Nouvo Record gear on it, but I could do that more easily on my '83. I thought of spreading out the rear triangle to 132.5mm to take a modern wheel, but then it would lose the charm of the 5 speed rear wheel.

Well, I'll have to take my time since it will take me a while to afford anything else. In the meantime, I now have three Mercians hanging in the garage!

Update Feb. 2017: Here's the gang together with the 1980 Olympic completed!