Tuesday, January 24, 2017

1980 Mercian Olympic

The Mercian finally completed.



I finally completed the initial build of my restored 1980 Mercian Olympic. I emphasize initial because I always like to tweak my bikes, so it's highly likely that this one will be a little different a year from now!

Here is a list of the componentry  I've used on this build:

Frame: Mercian Olympic, circa 1980, size 61cm (24inch).
Headset: Specialized steel with caged ball bearings.
Handlebars: Nitto Classic 42cm
Stem: Nitto Deluxe 11cm.
Seatpost: Campagnolo Record, 27.2 
Saddle: Ideale Rebour edit- scored at Brooks Swallow at Cycles4Hope and have now installed that!
Brakeset: Campagnolo Nouve Record, Standard (long) reach, nutted. Nouvo Record levers.
Shift levers: Simplex, "Retrofriction" on brazed on posts.
Front derailleur: Shimano RX100
Rear Derailleur: Shimano 105 RD5500
Crankset: Velo Orange compact double, 175mm arms, 48/34 chainrings.
Pedals: Shimano PD-A520 spd.
Wheels: Shimano 105 freehub rear, and 105 front hub. rims Sun M13II in polished aluminum.

I had the frame powder coated at "Powdercoat-It", located in north Sacramento, selecting RAL 3004 as a color, a deep red that very nearly matched the original paint.I ordered the Mercian and Reynolds stickers from Cyclomondo and applied them myself. I was able to line the lugs in gold, using a "Decocolor" extra fine pen. You can find them at arts and crafts places. I don't know how durable the paint is but it looks pretty good and is easy to apply. I tested it on my Nishiki Fixie and it seems to be holding up.

With the finish completed, I began to reassemble the Mercian using mostly components I already had on hand. A few exceptions included some fresh Nitto bars and a tall stem. I also picked up a decent pair of legendary Simplex "retrofriction" levers on eBay.

While cleaning up the wheels, I discovered a nasty crack around a spoke hole on the rear Mavic Open Sport. I was a little surprised because these wheels had not really seen hard service. Actually, this is the second Open Sport I've had fail, so I guess i'm done with those!

I decided to replace the Mavics with a pair of Sun M13II's which can be found in a nice polished finish for not a lot of money. Fortunately, the dimensions of the M13's are close enough to the Open Sport that I was able to just transfer the spokes over. After trueing, they seem as good as new.

As it's been raining a lot in California, I had plenty of time to assemble the bike. I'm waiting for it the dry out a bit before I really get it out on the road and fine tune everything.

Below are some pictures of the bike as it now is.

Detail of the seat cluster finish.

Lovely Simplex Retrofriction shifters and fork crown.

BB detail. you can see the lug lining, a little more narrow than factory, but close!


Drivetrain detail. Shimano 105 RD, RX100 FD and Velo Orange compact crank, 48/34, SRAM 8 speed cassette, 12-26.


Headtube detail. Nouvo Record brakes with fresh Kool Stop pads.


Overall view.
Hera area previous posts about this project:

Progress on the 1980 Mercian Olympic

Mercian man.