James from Louisiana

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Mercian Professional. Mine since 1979. I put straight bars on it after some surgery on my neck. I’m all healed now, but it’s nice to cruise around upright. This bike handles as smoothly now as it did when it was new. Reynolds 531, Cinelli hand-cut spear point lugs, wrap-around seat stay. (I’m also running Basso, Bianchi, Olmo, and another frame of unknown origin (it has dropouts and fork ends labeled “Gipiemme”). The picture was taken on the Duprerier Street draw bridge in New Iberia, Louisiana.



Mercian Professional with fully-packed panniers and white “mud guards.” Somewhere between Coventry and the coast of Wales. Spring 1981.



  1. Hi James, also from Louisiana, College town of Ruston, and an avid Mercian cyclist.
    Interesting History.
    My 58 cm Strada Speciale, serial No 46180-2, was custom built for me in 1980 and shipped to South Africa, where I was born. It cost me a whopping 149 pounds stirling, including chromed front fork and rear ends!

    In 1984 I moved to the USA, where I have lived since, and my Mercian came with me. After 38 years and probably around 60,000 miles, the chrome was pitted and there was rust from sweat, particularly on the top tube cable guides, so it was time for a good clean up and respray. I was fortunate to find a really good frame builder, passionate about Reynolds steel frames, in Huntsville Texas – Hans Schneider – who did a great job refurbishing my bike. New Stronglite headset, otherwise most the original Campagnola Super Record components and Cinelli handlebar extension and handlebars. It is like a new bike and an absolutely great ride. Good as new and wish I could say the same for me, at 75 years.

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