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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Referred to this forum by Dean Kernan.
Here are the pics:
http://www.slide.com/r/SAfxdQpzvz-nDwJ5-2LZztEofhrmoy9t?cy=el

I'm thinking 1971, but am hoping for 1970 (my birthyear).
Confirmation of what you see and some facts you don't
Full chrome forks and seat stays with campy rear and fork dropouts.
531 diagonal on what remains of Reynolds sticker. (This is 531 throughout.)
Campy NR headset, BB, seatpost, and all the cable clips (no braze-ons).
Campy NR crankset.
Campy Record high-flange hubs laced to Super Champion tubular rims.
Chrome lugs are not cut. (Prugnat, I believe.)
The rear freewheel stack is a Suntour Pro-compe (coated Perfect?), which I gather is period, but not stock.
It also has Suntour bar end shifters, rather than campy.

I am told the serial numbers are just random mystical garbage with Falcons (like Mericans) and cannot be used for accurate dating. I have also been warned that component dating might be misleading as these frames were often sold as bare frames.

Many thanks to anyone that can tell me exact year.
If no one can, then it is a 1970 in my view and I'll go around saying that I'm riding a bike that is as old as me.

Thanks again.
Sincerely,
Your Garden Variety Bike Yeti
 

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Shalen,

Not yet convinced re dating/model--two things stand out.

The white seat tube decal that says "Special" is not the same as the example of a late 60s San Remo on Classic Rendezvous which has the original metallic background decal with the Falcon crest in the middle, and not so clean-looking as yours. I've seen more of the white background style seat-tube decals like yours on Olympics, although as you noted in your email, the Reynolds decal has the "531" diagonal so it is all Reynolds DB which points to a model higher than the Olympic (that was straight gauge ith horizontal "531" on decal)

My 1971/72 San Remo (before my major crash, rebuild and repaint) had both the metallic decal, w. the bands above and below, and the Falcon panel top tube and down tube. (See attached pic)

I don't know when these decals changed, or if the two types were used at the same time.

(I've seen some claimed San Remos with Falcon decal on the downtube panel only like yours though, and this was one of those variants that could have been factory, or the riders sometimes "cleaned up" the look of their bike....Also, your paint job is not the classic powder blue that a team replica would have received, although these things varied with most British marques. )

The more obvious thing is that you don't have the forged Cinelli style sloping fork crown--all of the San Remos I have seen 1969-1972 or thereabouts were spec'd with these--as were the Holdsworth Professional's from the same period. These were slightly more expensive than the flat crown fork I see on yours. (see attached pic)

My suspicion is that yours is a slightly later 70s model, possibly one notch below the San Remo--I was looking again at some 1974 catalog pages (these are somewhere in the Falcon thread on Road Bike Review and they it lists two different bikes--a San Remo 76 that was a team replica bike (and this would have been powder blue) and a model that they describe as having most of the features at a slightly lower price point with two differences -- the fork crown and the brakes, which would have been Weinman center pulls.

So maybe upgraded brakes on a model one notch below a San Remo team replica (#76), c. 1973-4?

Still a heckuva a bike and a heckuva bargain!

Dean

(oh, and I meant to say that the Mercian numbering system makes sense--first two numbers are calendar year, followed by the rest which is the frame number for that year...)
 

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I had some e-mailexchanges with Sean White at Falcon a few years ago trying to date mine. Their records only went back to 1989 - time of the first buyout.

It was through this forum that I nailed it as a Victory model, circa 1986-87.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I see what you are saying

The fork is definitely different, but the tubing is definitely 531 throughout (decal and from info from some opinion of framebuilders here). The decal on the chainstay does say San Remo as well. Both of these seem to take the Olympic argument out or the equation, in my view.
The Replica and the "notch down with upgraded brakes idea" is probably a fair assessment and as good a guess as any. However, the chrome chainstays, campy lugs, and such inconclusive things as the top-notch tubular wheelset (campy record and super champion rims) take me right back to a real 69-72 San Remo with an alternate or replaced seat post sticker. But that's probably me wishing as much as anything. Thanks for your help and my apologies for misrepresenting your knowledge of Mercian serial numbers. Is there a Mercian forum where I can post a retraction? I mean, you've got a reputation to think of. :)

I rode the bike around for the first time (built up as a single speed with another wheelset, bb, and cranks) just to check the geometry and feel of the frame. I was surprised by the "sprinty"-ness of the geometry. I was expecting more of sports tourer feel. It may just feel that way because it is slightly, but certainly ridably, on the short side for me in terms of top bar length.

Thanks again and any additional help is welcomed of course.

Sincerely,
The Bike Yeti
 
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