Mercian Cycles

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Mercian Cycles
Founded 1946 (1946)
Founder Tom Crowther, Lou Barker
Headquarters Derby, Derbyshire, England
Website merciancycles.co.uk

Mercian Cycles is an English custom bicycle manufacturer based in Derby, Derbyshire.[1] Mercian was founded by Tom Crowther and Lou Barker in 1946 and named after the ancient kingdom of Mercia.[1] Early frames built by Mercian were known as "crowbars", a pun on the surnames of Crowther and Barker.[2] [3] Mercian Cycles operates a retail shop in Alvaston.[4]

Current production is around 300 to 400 frames per year, with 20% being exported outside the United Kingdom.[4] As of 2010, touring bicycles account for around 67% of Mercian's production, with track bicycles making up another 25%.[4]

Frames are generally custom-built to a rider's required dimensions, and may use hand-cut lugs.[1] Mercian frames were traditionally built using steel, originally Reynolds 531,[1] though as of 2010, newer steels such as Reynolds 853 and Reynolds 953 and part-carbon construction were in use.[4] Before steel was superseded by lighter materials, riders using Mercian won national and international competitions.[4]

From the original founders, the business passed to Ethel Crowther, ex-wife of founder Tom Crowther.[4] It then passed to Mercian framebuilder Bill Betton.[4] In 2002, Mercian Cycles was acquired by Grant Mosely and Jane Mosely.[4]

Mercian has recently commissioned frame colour schemes from designer Sir Paul Smith, who owns and rides several Mercian track bikes.[4]

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