Mark’s Team Telekom Eddy Merckx MX-Leader

A few people have asked what bike I was pedaling around on the Eroica California course. While it doesn’t meet the pre-1987 guidelines, it’s vintage enough for my tastes. The MX-Leaders have always had a soft spot in my heart. Arguably the most significant bikes to ever leave the Merckx factory, these were race-ready, pedigree machines. Made with Merckx’s proprietary lugs and Columbus MXL tubesets, they were some of the stiffest steel frames at the time.

Perfect for the US team Motorola, or in this case, team Telekom. This frame in particular was Brian Holm’s and while a majority of the MX-Ls were raced with Dura Ace 7400, the bike’s owner, Mark Riedy, decided to go a bit more practical – and classy IMO – with a 10-speed Campagnolo gruppo. He then topped the cockpit off with an ITM stem.

There’s something about the Telekom paint jobs that always did it for me. Flashy, yet classy and an undeniable style. I’d love to add one of these to my collection some day.

  • Mark Tha Spark

    Yea, this is easily my favourite bike from anything else you’ve ever photographed. This thing oozes history and I love it.

  • Velotopia

    This wouldn’t be permitted for the event itself, right? My understanding is it’d need DT shifters and trad-routed brake cables, not sure how strict they are. I’m looking at my 1987 De Rosa on the wall thinking it’d be PERFECT for the event, if not for the fact I went nuts on the Bridgeport and routed the brake cables thru the handlebars :/

    • John Watson

      “While it doesn’t meet the pre-1987 guidelines, it’s vintage enough for my tastes. ” ;-)

  • mat Terwilliger

    damn..sweet..dont remember seeing this paint before…lots o pink! and that grey hit! wonder what year etc? very different from mine..awesome

  • KT


  • Anello Grande

    Rad bike. Love the details in the fork lug cutouts as well as the battle scars.

  • Trenton South

    I love this bike, but the front conti gatorskin is mounted backwards

    • John Watson

      For traction! ;-)

    • Felix

      Isn’t that tire almost slick? So it really doesn’t matter.

      • Trenton South

        It mainly matters in the rain, as it helps direct water.

  • Eric Richter

    man, It’s hard to see your ex looking so good on the internet…

    • John Watson


  • Davey Struthers

    max forks are just the best

  • Allen K

    too good to wait Merckx Monday huh =P

    • John Watson

      I’m gonna be putting up other stuff on Monday. ;-)

  • Drew Leigh

    This website needs more of this vintage goodness!

  • tertius_decimus

    I have the same stem on my bike. Exact length. P.O.S. It doesn’t handle the angle I set for my handlebars. Needs for adjustment from time to time.

    • zuhair

      Is that stem a transition point between quill stems and the ones currently in use? Never seen on of these and it looks like a “missing link” in stem evolution.

      • tertius_decimus

        No. It’s a quill stem.

  • Victor_Tvrdy

    Didn’t you use to own a MXL Merckx road bike?

    • John Watson


  • Rasmus Riemann

    I can get Mr. Holm to sign it if you ever come to Denmark.

  • Matt Rumora

    I own a pair of those wheels… most coveted components.

  • mattprovidence

    Everything about that bike is perfect. I used to own a 7-11 Merckx built for Norm Alvis and it rode beautifully. Mel Pinto’s shop in Washington, DC, The Bicycle Pro Shop, used to get in the most amazing Merckx framesets directly from the factory. Mine still had a tag on it with all of Norm’s measurement’s scribbled on it.

    • John Watson
      • mattprovidence

        Too funny–That’s my old frame! I’d sold it to a collector in Boston in the late 90s when I desperately needed some money. I have the hang tag with a note from Norm if you still have the bike or know where it is…It was definitely a team bike–I believe surplus when USPS took over.

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  • AidanNW

    Amazing bike. Love it – but if you get up close to it, and give a life whiff – you will smell sweat and EPO.