Young Paul Smith and bikeFor Autumn Winter 2007 we were proud to be collaborating with legendary designer Sir Paul Smith to create a limited edition range of Paul Smith cycles.
(we have now stopped taking orders for this limited edition cycle).
An avid cycling fan, Paul Smith fell into fashion aged 17 after a cycling accident put an end to his hopes of becoming a professional racing cyclist. He proudly rode his Mercian bike through the Derby countryside and still has the bike today.
"Mercian are a fantastic company from Derby, working with them has been amazing. Mercian are one of the last bespoke bike makers in Britain. The bikes are all hand made and this is such a joy to witness in this world of mass production"
Paul Smith 2006
Paul has chosen two styles of bike, a track and a tour bike, which he has personalised and both models feature unique Paul Smith designs and are available in a selection of colourful custom made frames.
Working with everyone at Paul Smith has been a great experience for us here at Mercian, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed the whole project and think that shows in the end product - which we’re all very proud of.
Paul came into our shop recently to be measured for his own new Mercian and the great passion he has for cycling is very evident! Combine a hand-built frame with the designer’s eye for colour and style, plus incredible attention to detail and the result is a stunning range of limited edition bikes. Importantly for us - Paul Smith is very nice indeed, has great taste in bikes and we feel privileged to have collaborated with him to create this unique bike range.
The track bike or ‘flip bike’ is very striking. The bike is inspired by legendary cyclist, Fausto Coppi who competed and won the Tour de France with a fixed wheel track bike.
The back wheel of the bike can be flipped with one side being a regular single speed with a free wheel in low gear ratio and one being fixed. The was a popular way of running a bike in the early days of competitive cycling and fixed wheel was faster over flat ground, while the single speed with a freewheel was easier to ride when the stage became more hilly.
To reflect this ‘flip-ability’ the paint on the frame is split down the middle in two colours, so that from one side it appears to be green for example, and other side navy. The lugs are picked out in a contrasting colour to match the classic Mercian barber pole down the seat tube. The lugs and barbers pole are then hand finished with another complimentary colour.
The frames are built in Reynolds 631 tubing and the frame design is also exclusive to Paul Smith, where the spearpoint lugs seen on our Professional frame (used to stiffen the bottom bracket area) have been added to every lug. This will make the bike very stiff and responsive. The spearpoint lugs are not cosmetic and added to the frame following construction - but are hand cut, joined, carefully filed by hand and added to the lug before the tubes are joined, using our traditional open hearth brazing method.
The seat lug area has Paul Smith signature engraved into the top-eye on one side, with Mercian engraved on the other side.
Every small detail on all of the bikes has been specified by Paul Smith, from the exact shade of enamel paint to the colour of the Brooks handlebar tape and saddles.
The result is a stunning bike!
Colour option One
50/50 split blue / maroon, purple lugs and barbers pole, finished with yellow lining.
Colour option Two
50 / 50 split maroon / magenta, grey/blue lugs and barbers pole, finished with burgundy lining.
Colour option Three
50 / 50 split dark green / lighter green, blue lugs and barbers pole, finished with yellow-green lining.
Colour option Four
50 / 50 split deep green / dark blue, light yellow/green lugs and barbers pole, finished with purple lining.
Colour option Five
50 / 50 split orange / yellow, pinky/purple lugs and barbers pole, finished with turquoise lining.
Colour option Six
50 / 50 split blue / yellow, with dark blue lugs and barbers pole, finished with light blue/grey lining.
The Paul Smith Touring bike is based around the Vincitore Special, a traditional unique Mercian model with fancy hand cut spearpoint lug work to the bottom bracket, head tube and fork blades. The spearpoint once again strengthens the bottom bracket area to provide a stiff, yet lively and responsive frame. The frames are built with Reynolds 631 tubing for comfort and durability.
Each frame features unique Paul Smith details, engraved ‘top eye’ with the Paul Smith signature logo highlighted in paint by hand and each tube is a different colour all in the same tonal range. The colours are all hand mixed by the sprayer in the finest quality enamels (and because of this the colours may vary slightly from frame to frame). Each paint colour is mixed, sprayed, then stoved in our stove enamel oven, before being carefully masked ready for the next colour tone to be applied to the next tube. The process is repeated until finally the tubes can be masked leaving the fancy lugwork exposed for the final layer of paint. Once the lug work has been lined skilfully by our framefinisher, the transfers are applied, left to dry for a few days before the final coats of clear lacquer applied to protect the paint and offer a long lasting durable finish.
The components on the tour bikes reflect the glory years of cycling whilst still being the highest quality, up to date kit available today.