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Another find from eBay (this time from a bloke called Jerome in Paris) is a Stronglight TS bis chain set. I’ve always liked the drilled chainsets from Stronglight and was on my wishlist from the start.

Fitting a replacement chainset has thrown up a few quirks about buying an old French bike:

  • I need to change the bottom bracket from the existing one which is on that’s designed for a cottered crank. However old French bikes have a uniquely French thread which means I either fit an old original part or buy a new style sealed replacement.
  • Older Stronglight chainsets have an ISO square taper fitting, however modern square taper bottom brackets have a JIS taper which is slightly shorter. This means instead of using a 122mm bottom bracket I should be able to get away with a 118mm.
  • Stronglight bottom brackets have a unique thread which means buying a specialist tool.
Original Stronglight catalogue page.
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My Mercier’s specification

Specification that I bought my Mercier in as follows:

Frame: 28/26 steel

Bar Tape: kermit green

Brake Levers/Brifters: Mafac
Brake Calipers: Mafac

Shifters: Simplex
Front Derailleur: Simplex
Rear Derailleur: Sachs Huret Eco Mk11

Cassette: 5 speed Maillard  – 14 -24

Cranks: Solida

Pedals: Lyotard

Rims: Lyotard on the Front, Nisi on the back
Hubs: Normandy Luxe on the front – non descript on the back
Hub Skewers: Maillard

Tyres: Rather crusty Hutchinsons

Saddle: Selle Royal Course

Weight: Quite a bit but not as heavy as some.

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Mercier bikes – a French Legend


Late 70's Mercier


Ok I’ll admit I’m a bike nut / anorak. Ever since I was eight or nine I have had an (un)healthy fascination in racing bikes and the Tour de France.

Looking for a winter project I decided I was going to buy a vintage bike of eBay. I came accross this Mercier, paid my cash and picked it up from a bloke called Dave in Barnsley. Part of my project was not only to upgrade / restore the bike using as many parts from the correct era as possible but also research the bikes history.

This is where the fun starts as their is no definitive history that I could find via Google (or Goggle as they call it in France). I’ve therefore started this blog to share what information I have found to help other Mercier (and French bike) enthusiasts.