information regarding my bike? mercian

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
lyncho1983
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Re: information regarding my bike? mercian

Postby lyncho1983 » 6 Aug 2017, 10:17am

Morning all.

So after reading the last few posts it become clear to me that when I checked the steering tube I actually checked the wrong part.... I was checking inside the frame and not the forks so I've just been out and checked again and there it was clear as day.. what an idiot I am!! Wether or not it makes a difference I don't know but at least i know the vague number I saw on the hangers was correct.

Image

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Mick F
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Re: information regarding my bike? mercian

Postby Mick F » 6 Aug 2017, 10:33am

That is exactly the way mine is on the steerer.
Same format and same "font" too.

Curiouser and curiouser.

I said up-thread, that Mercian had a fire some years ago and lost their older records.
When mine went back to them in 2007, they wanted to know all the details and the size/shape/colours of the bands on the seat tube. I said why not look at the records as it will all be there? ................. but was told about the fire and the fact they had no records. :oops:
The frame was obviously theirs of course.

When I was phoning up to find how it was progressing, they were calling it "Ruby Flam" and were very happy indeed to have a 21year old frame back to them for TLC. It was sort of famous in the workshop. :D

Now, this begs the question ............. if lyncho1983 took it to them, would they recognise it? Obviously no records of it, but they might - or might not - recognise it. You could send them details and detailed pictures, but if it were me, I'd be temped to take a trip to Derby in the hope that is one of theirs.

Where are you lyncho1983?
Could you get there easily?
Mick F. Cornwall

lyncho1983
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Re: information regarding my bike? mercian

Postby lyncho1983 » 6 Aug 2017, 10:37am

I emailed them the other day asking if i could send some pictures and the ref number and they said there would a £10 charge for them to check if they had any information on the bike.

I'm in bra dford west Yorkshire.

Bonefishblues
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Re: information regarding my bike? mercian

Postby Bonefishblues » 6 Aug 2017, 10:54am

lyncho1983 wrote:I emailed them the other day asking if i could send some pictures and the ref number and they said there would a £10 charge for them to check if they had any information on the bike.

I'm in bra dford west Yorkshire.

They can't get many such queries, and this just feels a bit "off" to me.

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Mick F
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Re: information regarding my bike? mercian

Postby Mick F » 6 Aug 2017, 10:57am

lyncho1983 wrote:I'm in bra dford west Yorkshire.
80 or 90 miles drive each way?
More like 300 each way from here.
Mick F. Cornwall

Airsporter1st
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Re: information regarding my bike? mercian

Postby Airsporter1st » 6 Aug 2017, 11:08am

Bonefishblues wrote:
lyncho1983 wrote:I emailed them the other day asking if i could send some pictures and the ref number and they said there would a £10 charge for them to check if they had any information on the bike.

I'm in bra dford west Yorkshire.

They can't get many such queries, and this just feels a bit "off" to me.


I don't think it is too unusual these days. Most companies operate on such a 'lean' system that even a small admin task is allocated a cost.

A great pity, but the price we, the customers, pay for competitive pricing of goods and services.

JohnW
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Re: information regarding my bike? mercian

Postby JohnW » 6 Aug 2017, 12:53pm

lyncho1983 wrote:I emailed them the other day asking if i could send some pictures and the ref number and they said there would a £10 charge for them to check if they had any information on the bike.

I'm in bra dford west Yorkshire.


Right lyncho - and I'm in Halifax. You could PM me with your address and I could ride my Mercian over (on a dry day) to compare notes. I'm not an oracle, or knowledgeable in any way, but it'd be interesting.

All Mercians are not the same. Mine (2006, not 2005 as I'd said before - must have ordered it in 2005) is 653 and basically a KOM (King of Mercia), but I'd bought an unopened box of Nervex Pro Lugs from one of the 'ByGone' Bikes' chaps, and Mercian built around them. (I was so very lucky - the Nervex were still in their wax-paper wrapping and in their box - all as new!)

Gear lever boss positions do vary - I have two Pennines and one Mercian with braze-on bosses each at different distances down from the head. None of them are as high as yours, but they may have been requested. When I had my frame built, I was given a lot of options about braze-ons, and one option was position of brake cable guides on the top tube - I could have had the three on top if I'd wanted.

Brucey
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Re: information regarding my bike? mercian

Postby Brucey » 6 Aug 2017, 3:02pm

several framebuilders have operated on the principle that 68382 would indicate frame #382 from 1968.

In terms of the way the frame is built, that would make a lot more sense to me than (say) frame 683 from 1982, or some other permuatation.

BTW the other odd thing is the way the lugs have been filed; there has been a small chamfer put on the ends of the points, (this allows them to be knocked flat against the tube before brazing if there would otherwise be a small gap) but not much else. Every framebuilder will file the lugs differently and it can be a strong indicator of who built any given frame even if there are no other indications.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

JohnW
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Re: information regarding my bike? mercian

Postby JohnW » 6 Aug 2017, 11:07pm

Brucey wrote:.................BTW the other odd thing is the way the lugs have been filed; there has been a small chamfer put on the ends of the points, (this allows them to be knocked flat against the tube before brazing if there would otherwise be a small gap) but not much else. Every framebuilder will file the lugs differently and it can be a strong indicator of who built any given frame even if there are no other indications.

cheers


My friend's 1982 Pennine has this feature, and my 2006 Mercian has this feature.

JohnW
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Re: information regarding my bike? mercian

Postby JohnW » 6 Aug 2017, 11:20pm

Brucey wrote:.............The fork crown is one that was popular in the 1960s...............


Until someone drove a Volvo estate into me from behind in early 2015, I had a 1979 Pennine frame with just that fork crown. That in itself is not an absolute guide to a frame's age. I'd had the frame re-furbed in about 2012, but using another pair of forks from another frame that I'd had built in 1979, but with different fork crown - of a pattern that I think was Wagner.

(The reason why I changed forks was that the original forks had a brazed-on lamp boss and I didn't want to retain that). The replacement forks were from another frame which had been damaged, but the forks hadn't.

Brucey
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Re: information regarding my bike? mercian

Postby Brucey » 7 Aug 2017, 12:49am

I had a (~1964 IIRC) claud butler with that fork crown too. I think it only accepts the 'old pattern' (i.e. more strongly oval) Reynolds blades, which would have pretty much run out by the early 1980s. I also have the same style of fork crown on another bike that was built (using old stock fittings) in the early 1970s.

Image

Mine looked like a No.12 ref model but with both optional extras, i.e. the top points and the grooved face/rear.

If it were just one or two things that were anachronistic that'd be fine, but pretty much everything about the frame is weird for the early 1980s and to have spent money on that, and then not spent money on the cycle parts just seems a bit strange to me.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bonefishblues
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Re: information regarding my bike? mercian

Postby Bonefishblues » 7 Aug 2017, 7:35am

Are we sure that the components are original to the frame?

lyncho1983
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Joined: 2 Aug 2017, 2:47pm

Re: information regarding my bike? mercian

Postby lyncho1983 » 7 Aug 2017, 8:57am

from continuing reading all the responses this bike just confuses me more and more haha.

as ever I really appreciate everyone's input.

thanks
darren

JohnW
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Re: information regarding my bike? mercian

Postby JohnW » 7 Aug 2017, 11:40am

I would say that clearly the parts are not quality-compatible with the frame. I'd be surprised if Mercian would have supplied a ready-built bike with such a miss-match of parts. Perhaps the frame was well-used by it's original owner and sold on, and a bike cobbled together from it by a second owner................who knows. The relationship between saddle and handlebar heights would support this - and, as has been noted before, someone has made a real mess of the gear-side rear drop-out.

I once saw something similar when someone had caught his gear changer in the rear wheel and, instead of stopping and getting off the bike to have a look, he'd tried to pedal-on and clear whatever he thought was causing the 'blockage' by brute force. He'd also knackered his rear wheel and bent his changer into a most grotesque shape. (I don't know how he got home, but he'd taken the bike to a friend of mine to 'sort out').

However, I've just been looking at a similar sized Viking (pro quality - 531, Nervex etc frame), festooned with Campag parts from the period (1970s by guess) and Conloy rims, and I note two interesting features; one was the position of the down-tube levers. These are clamp-on, but easily as high up the down-tube as the OP's Mercian, and the other is that even with 27" wheels there's a helluva gap between the fork-crown and the front tyre. The brakes are (I'm almost certain) Weinmann 730s, but the references are not stamped in to the stirrups - perhaps 734s, but without all the QR fittings. The fork crown is apparently standard Vagner (type DP+ from Brucey's illustration above). I have a similar one on my 1981 Pennine.

Just to correct myself, the fork crown on my demised 1979 Pennine was not like the OP's 'Mercian' - it was like the Vagner No.11, also as illustrated by Brucey above.

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Mick F
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Re: information regarding my bike? mercian

Postby Mick F » 9 Aug 2017, 4:21pm

Finally got round to the scanner.
Here's the 1993 catalogue .............. at least I think it's the 1993 catalogue. Why the heck don't they date these publications?
Front.jpeg
Inside Front.jpeg
Page1.jpeg
Page2.jpeg
Page3.jpeg
Page4.jpeg
Page5.jpeg
Page6.jpeg
Page7.jpeg
Page8.jpeg
Page9.jpeg
Page10.jpeg
Page11.jpeg
Page12.jpeg
Page13.jpeg
Back.jpeg
Mick F. Cornwall