CYCLES MERCIER was founded by Emile Mercier in Saint-Etienne, France, south-west of Lyon. He started manufacturing bicycle parts with 2 partners in 1919 and, after buying them out in 1924, began to manufacture cycle frames and then complete bicycles in about 1930.
Starting in 1933, Mercier began professional cycling team sponsorship in what must be one of the longest running sponsorships in cycling. The teams, with co-sponsors, were:
- 1933 – 1953: Mercier – Hutchinson
- 1954 – 1969: Mercier – BP – Hutchinson
- 1970 – 1971: Fagor – Mercier
- 1972 – 1976: Gan – Mercier
- 1977 – 1978: Miko – Mercier – Hutchinson
- 1979 – 1981: Miko – Mercier – Vivagel
- 1982 – 1983: Coop – Mercier – Mavic
One of Emile Mercier’s biggest regrets was never winning the Tour de France, a huge goal for any French manufacturer, although Raymond Poulidor came close a few times. Another Mercier rider who placed second in the Tour de France was Joop Zoetemelk, who switched to the Raleigh team and then won it.
Emile Mercier died in 1973. The original company filed for bankruptcy in 1985.
Here is a photo of the Gan Mercier team, which I think dates from 1972:
The following photos are of the 1982 and 1983 COOP Mercier Mavic Teams:
Photos of some Mercier frames will be added, as also of a bicycle that is in the process of restoration