Lugwork on a Vincitore headtube
|Founder||Tom Crowther, Lou Barker|
Mercian Cycles is an English custom bicycle manufacturer based in Derby, Derbyshire. Mercian was founded by Tom Crowther and Lou Barker in 1946 and named after the ancient kingdom of Mercia. Early frames built by Mercian were known as "crowbars", a pun on the surnames of Crowther and Barker. Mercian Cycles operates a retail shop in Alvaston.
Current production is around 300 to 400 frames per year, with 20% being exported outside the United Kingdom. As of 2010, touring bicycles account for around 67% of Mercian's production, with track bicycles making up another 25%.
Frames are generally custom-built to a rider's required dimensions, and may use hand-cut lugs. Mercian frames were traditionally built using steel, originally Reynolds 531, though as of 2010, newer steels such as Reynolds 853 and Reynolds 953 and part-carbon construction were in use. Before steel was superseded by lighter materials, riders using Mercian won national and international competitions.
From the original founders, the business passed to Ethel Crowther, ex-wife of founder Tom Crowther. It then passed to Mercian framebuilder Bill Betton. In 2002, Mercian Cycles was acquired by Grant Mosely and Jane Mosely.
- Kolin and de la Rosa, 1979, pp. 60-68
- Juden, 2010, pp. 37-38
- Juden, Chris (August–September 2010). "Kingdom of Mercia" (PDF). Cycle Magazine. Guildford, UK: CTC: The UK's National Cyclists' Organisation. ISSN 2042-9460. Retrieved 2014-05-25.
- Kolin, Michael J. and Denise M. de la Rosa (1979). "Chapter 6: Mercian Cycles Limited". The Custom Bicycle. Emmaus, Pa.: Rodale Press. ISBN 978-0-87857-254-0.
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