The Mercier establishment was born at 60 rue Gutenberg, Saint-Etienne - the cradle of France’s Industrial Revolution, in 1919. Founded by Emile Mercier and his brothers Marcel and Constant, the business began by producing pins and bases for pedals. By 1924, Emile Mercier - the original - began building frames and then the full bicycle around the beginning of the 1930s.

The frames fabrication.

The visionary directors associated the business with a professional team from 1933 to promote their products. The team remained in competition until 1984, making Mercier the team with the most participations in the history of the Tour de France. In order to make them easily identifiable to the spectators, the Mercier racers adopted their famous purple jersey from 1955.

Raymond Poulidor
Raymond Poulidor watched over by his Sports Director Antonin Magne, 1965. ©L'Equipe

Mercier cycles saw huge commercial success, with their modern techniques and demands for the highest quality at a reasonable price.

Mercier bikes populated French roads for several decades, in cities, across the countryside and at the heart of pelotons. The business saw its climax in 1975, with a production of 150,000 bicycles.

Mercier Formule 1 Performant
Mercier Formule 1 Performant, 1980, ©www.speedbicycles.ch

During the 1980’s, faced with increasing foreign competition, from America and Asia, the French cycling industry declined inexorably and the business closed its doors definitively at the end of the decade.

In 2019, Emile Mercier Jr, son and nephew of Mercier founders, restored the company to its former glory, much to the delight of cycling enthusiasts.

Mercier, 2019.