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 Post subject: Mercian 1983
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:48 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:59 pm
Posts: 5
This is my 1983 King of Mercian. (531 tubing). It originaly had suntour components but only the frame and forks are original. The chain set is a 34 48 and this was fitted 20 odd years ago long before the idea of compact chain sets became common. Riding up Riber hill Matlock with the original small ring, which I think may have been 42 teeth, was a painful challenge.

I am considering a complete refurbishment of this bike and an upgraade to ten speed cassette but having lower back problems and not being as young as I used to be I am currently playing around to make the bike more comfortable.

I have just removed the original quill stem and replaced it with a quill stem adaptor and 35 degree riser stem as you can see in the photo. This has put the bars a bit higher and closer so hopefully being a little kinder to my back. It perhaps looks a bit odd but unfortunately comfort has to come before aesthetics.

The frame is not in to bad a condition, I have treated the corrosion with rust stopper, but it will be resprayed, the rear end spread to accept ten speed and all of the components and wheels replaced if I decide to keep the bike.


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 Post subject: Re: Mercian 1983
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:57 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:45 pm
Posts: 323
Location: Maidstone, Kent
If you do respray you should keep the same colour scheme, I like that; very elegant!


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 Post subject: Re: Mercian 1983
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:01 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:59 pm
Posts: 5
I was thinking of gun metal grey to try and give it a contemporary look.

I might go for sram apex shifters as well as I prefer them to shimano, but with a shimano chain set. Oddly I have sram on my Cube mountain bike but do not like the shifters as much as the shimano ones on my previouse mountin bike which was stolen. Fortunatley they did not take the mercian.


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 Post subject: Re: Mercian 1983
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:56 am 
r.B.o.T.M. & P.o.T.M. Winner
r.B.o.T.M. & P.o.T.M. Winner
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:51 am
Posts: 2216
Location: Camel Land
Needs a respray then sort out your stem issues as you look to big for the frame?

A nice Campagnolo Athena 11 silver gruppo would look nice on this bike.


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 Post subject: Re: Mercian 1983
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:47 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:59 pm
Posts: 5
I was 15 when I got the bike. It was brought of the shelf and I was not given any fitting advice by Mercian at the time. I probably grew a little more after getting the bike and now in my mid 40's age is starting to catch up with me.

It is quite a big frame, the seat tube is 60cm centre to top and I think the top tube is 57cm, I am 6ft 2 and having 34 inch inside leg measurement in theory it is about the correct size.

I need to ensure that I can make the bike comfortable to ride for the next 20 years as I age before spending the best part of a grand on respray, group set and wheels.

I must weigh it some time, it feels really quite heavy compared to my carbon Cube hardtail.


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 Post subject: Re: Mercian 1983
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:42 am 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 3:03 pm
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Location: In the village
islander wrote:

It is quite a big frame, the seat tube is 60cm centre to top and I think the top tube is 57cm, I am 6ft 2 and having 34 inch inside leg measurement in theory it is about the correct size.

I'm 6' 0" and ride a 58c-c (about 60 c-t, I think) with a 57 top tube it's about right for me and I've got long legs.

I think Nob's got a point in saying it might be too small for you.

A larger frame and shorter stem combined with a saddle like the San Marco Concor Supercorsa might go a long way in relieving the stress on your lower back. You could also try and push the saddle forward, that helped my back, I'm upgrading all my saddles to the Supercorsa as it's amazingly comfortable and kicks up a bit at the back which supports your bum on the seat.


Last edited by bugloss on Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mercian 1983
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 12:31 pm 
rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:01 pm
Posts: 229
Location: Nottingham
It might be bit on the small size judging by the amount of seat post showing but not much.

I would suggest getting some compact / shallow drop bars too. These help lift the position of the brake hoods and are equivalent to about an inch extra stem height.

The seat looks way too far back, not helped by the stem which is too short and steep, pushing everything backwards!

Nice bike though and certainly worth spending some money on.


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 Post subject: Re: Mercian 1983
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:53 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:59 pm
Posts: 5
The short and steep stem is new to try and help relive the back pain, I was stretched out far to much with no bend in my arms. As I said I am not as young as I used to be and just playing around to see if I can make the bike comfortable enough to keep.

Unfortunatley the frame is not worth a deal and if sold would not go far towards the cost of a replacement. I might try a bike fitting if my own experiments do not work.


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 Post subject: Re: Mercian 1983
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:53 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:11 pm
Posts: 1847
Location: wellingborough
you might be surprised how much it went for if you sold the frame


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 Post subject: Re: Mercian 1983
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:15 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:59 pm
Posts: 5
Thanks for your ideas, advice and opinions. The frame might get a couple of hundred at best I would have thought and even if resprayed little more. Not a lot of money towards a replacement. The components do not have a lot of value either as they ard nothing special. Those wheels have lasted well though, a lot of miles in them and still running sweetly and never needed to be trued.


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