For a brief background to the Mercian marque, we have to venture back to what is now the United Kingdom, around the 7th Century — Mercia was one of the kingdoms in the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy. It’s a fascinating and rich story, just like that of Mercian Cycles. Originally a cycle shop, they started producing their own frames in a workshop nearby in the late 1940s. And while this is an ornate and decorative frame, there resides within those tubes a noble martial spirit.
The Vincitore has maintained a presence in the Mercian range since around 1965, and are still built by one craftsman from start to finish. The lugs are hand filed from plain blanks, a time consuming process but one that produces an amazing result. This model has been resprayed as the original coat was beat, and that ‘barber pole’ striping on the seat tube actually happens to be an optional extra, so it’s worth showing off.
The current incarnation is a vast improvement to its previous state, although the Campagnolo cranks and Phil Wood bottom bracket have been retained. There’s Phil Wood hubs inside those Deep V rims, and a Chris King headset keeps the forks turning. The cockpit is a vintage Philipe adjustable stem and bars, which only adds to the Vincitore’s impression of a sabre.