I have just found the Meral catalogue showing this bike...
It is from around 1981..or later..and is Model 20 the "Super Randonneur" , made from Reynolds 7/10mms - 531DB. The model was available in both 650 a nd 700 format, and the Ebay one looks as though it is the latter. Fpr serio us touring this model was Meral's top machine..only being topped by the Mod el 40, the "Simoun" made from Columbus SL (6/10) which was only available i n 700 form, and was more of an audax/cyclosportif machine than serious tour er.
The frame has Meral drop-outs - these are cranked out to permit a better clearance for the chain - and the rear brake cable passes through the top- tube. The extra gear lever boss is indeed for the lever that controls the u nderslung Soubitez dynamo. Note also that the rear light, in true Paris-Bre st-Paris style, is attached to the rear of the near-side chainstay.
The ebay machine departs from the 1981 spec that I have, and could be a later model.On the 1981 model the gears are Huret Duopar, the headset is a Meral with needle bearings (probably Stronglight), pedals are given a s Meral, dynamo is Sanyo.
All the pannier and handle-bar racks are Meral's own specially- built on es..and the frames were made to the customer's own spec.
As for the colours of these Merals..the company had what it called a "CO LORAMA" from which to choose. The black is given as being "paillete" which, in common parlance means "glittery". The very dark red tinged with b rown is called "grenat" or "garnet". As for the much derided green monster that has been ridiculed on the List, the only green gi=ven is "vert nacre" or "pearl green" . I have seen this colour and dont think for a min ute it is what has been circulating at the Cirque over the years. My take o n this is that it was a special colour chosen for export puposes to cater f or Americain tastes. I have just notices thatn there is also "grenat paille tte" which must be the very deep red over gold....very tasty.
While endeavouring to send of the original email yesterday evening I for got to check on the progres of a particularly stunning Colnage bike reachin g the end of the auction. It had a full Campagnolo Record spec includ ing the Delta brakes..and fetched..just 12 minutes before I returned to the auction, the princely sum of 82 euros.
Norris LOckley, Settle UK...winning some and losing more.. including a r are 60s "COLOMB "
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