Stephen and Erica’s 1979 Mercian Super Tourist Tandem

We have a couple that frequents the shop with their awesome Mercian tandem. They worked hard on this bike and put lots of miles on it. We just figured it would be cool to let them share their history with the bike. There will be more detailed shots of the bike coming soon!

It’s a 1979 Mercian Super Tourist, and I don’t much about it’s life before it ended up on ebay in Minneapolis about a year ago.

At that point, it was equipped with the 48 hole Phil hub and tubular rims, cinelli bar and stem, Universal levers, and weird little riser stoker bars.
The buyer shipped the bike to San Francisco, completely disassembled it, had the wheels rebuilt with wide NOS Mavics, and never put it back together.
He put it back on ebay around February for Local Pickup Only.  Honestly, he was a little sketchy as a seller, making a really lame listing, then taking it down and re-listing with more info.  I exchanged a few messages to make sure he wasn’t a total flake.  He seemed legit, so I made plans for a weekend dash to SF from Portland and pulled the trigger on his BIN price, which was lower than what he had paid by a good bit.
Erica and I spent every minute of a weekend driving down to SF, the weather cooperating perfectly for the I-5 passes in Southern Oregon.  We spent about 3 hours in the city, picked up the bike, and headed home!
As you can tell, I/Stephen am shorter than Erica, but she insisted on being the stoker.  The offer stands for her to captain, but she swears she doesn’t want to!  This presented some weird fit issues, and since this was going to be more of a town and country bike and not a racer, I Frenched it up big time with Velo Orange Porteur bars, a long setback VO seatpost for the stoker, and threw on the Selle An Atomica saddles, which provide a LOT of fore-aft adjustment.
I crammed in the 28mm Grand Bois tires and smooth Tanaka aluminum fenders, with homemade mudflaps. Definitely into the danger zone on tire/fender clearance, but I’m a big proponent of squeezing the biggest tires possible onto a bike.
I also bolted on about as many things as possible to the front end: Since the fork crown is undrilled, I had to go with the VO Constructeur rack (sharing the single fender eyelets) and headset mounted VO decaleur for the custom Swift Industries Large Ozette rando bag. Other than a couple spacers for the decaluer bag mount, everything lined up surprisingly well.
This is the only tandem we’ve ever ridden, and it is a blast!  It’s great for around town, but we’ve gotten out into the country on a 50+ mile ride and it was a delight. It’s our baby.
1979 Mercian Super Tourist
– Full Super Record, featuring:
 ’78 only 4-hole thin-clamp FD
 factory triple crank
 “pista” sync cranks
– 48 Hole vintage Phil hubs newly laced to NOS 700c Mavic rims
– New IRD 6 speed freewheel (replaced the broken 5 speed Regina corncob it came with)
– Tanaka 40mm fenders
– Mafac Cantilevers with Velo Orange adjustable holders and Koolstop pads
– New VO/Dia-Compe city brake levers
– VO Porteur bars, with an old Nitto captain stem and very short and shiny mystery stoker stem
– American Classic captain seatpost
– VO long setback stoker seatpost
– Mismatched Selle Anatomica saddles
– MKS sylvan pedals
– VO Constructeur Rack and Decaleur
– Swift Industries Large Ozette rando bag
This entry was posted in Bikes In Our Workshop, Misc, Tandem Bike, Touring Bike and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Stephen and Erica’s 1979 Mercian Super Tourist Tandem

  1. bob says:

    wow anthony,thanks for pics and words re stephen and erica”s stunning 34 yr old mercian !…………hope they enjoy decades of fun on that very classy,classic and original tandem!.perhaps they will join tandem club such as evergreen tandems and post article and pics on bikeforums so rest of classic bike people who can appreciate this beauty can see it !

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