bike frames in Portland, OR from 1973 until late in 1982, then he shut
down his shop and went to work for Specialized as a designer. Merz could
build a track or 'cross bike, and built superlative road racing bikes,
but touring bikes were where he stood out. He made bikes with tubular
steel racks--generally shorter and quicker steering than most other
touring rigs of his time--and matching panniers also made in Portland."
"Jim started riding a Campagnolo equipped bike in 1964, just
after high school. Jim worked as a machinist and taught himself frame
building from his metalworking background. He opened his own shop at NW
21st and Everett. Over 400 frames were produced, using Columbus,
Reynolds 531 and 753 tubing including two 753 frames (He was the first
USA builder certified to use 753) for pro rider George Mount. Merz used
BCM lugs and crowns, finished seat stays with flat tops a la Schwinn
Paramount, and decorated the bikes with simple graphics and paint. His
painter was Virginia Church."
"To this day, many Portland bikies consider Merz machines in
high regard, even the best bikes ever made. Jim was a resident of
Bainbridge Island, WA, working for the Browning company, until his
recent return to Specialized as their "Master frame builder".
Special thanks to Jim Merz, David Feldman, Bryant Bainbridge
"...made in 1978...bought it back from the original owner,
like he did not use it. The fenders were Bluemels and were
so I put some alloy fenders on. I also put new tires on,
had the originals . The cage is also new. The racks
were made by me,
along with the 31 tooth front chainring. The
wheels are 700c. Even he bar tape is original. The bike is my size!"