“Eddy Merckx embodies that spirit of excellence…”
Last week was Eddy’s birthday and to celebrate this excellence, the folks at River City Bicycles in Portland made an homage video, showcasing their in-shop shrine of the Cannibal.
This is not for the vintage elite, the collectors, the Eroicas, the spoke sniffers, or the internet aesthetes. Do not bother commenting on the lack of period correct toe clips, or the lack of bar tape, or how you don’t like white tires. The bar angle will rub you the wrong way and Scotty will ride on, not giving two shits.
Scotty’s a working messenger in Los Angeles. Scotty’s older than dirt. He walks with a stride, or a cadence that is only found in individuals who live, breathe and sleep track bikes. You won’t see Scotty on a road bike and in fact, you won’t see him on any other bike than this street-thrashed Eddy Merckx SLX pista. The components tell a story, moreso than any museum-grade bicycle will, regardless of heritage.
Like beausage? This bike is for you. Just remember, before you type a critique, Scotty don’t care. Happy Merckx Mondays. Thanks to Tracko for the heads up on this bike!
Truthfully, when the Eroica California was announced, my hope was to find an older, California-made road bike. Something like an Eisentraut, or a Bruce Gordon. You know, classic American steel from the west coast. When all I could find were either in the 54cm or 64cm range, I began looking elsewhere. Which is where I came upon this frame on eBay.
I’ve always loved the Merckx Professionals, with their flat crown forks and Columbus SL tubing, yet this bike looked a bit strange. The seller claims it was from 1982 and raced at the European Championships in 1982 at Goodwood with the Belgian team. ’82… Giuseppe Saronni got first, Lemond got second and Sean Kelly, third. Sounds like a good year.
… but, that fork. I’ve never seen a sloping crown Merckx prior to 1985. Those seat stay caps point to a post-1985 bike. I’ve also never seen a single bottle cage Merckx before. The over-the-bottom-bracket-routing puts in the early 1980’s though. There’s a story there, somewhere. I just have to find it. The seller assured me it was unique and yes, custom.
It’s been a while since I’ve owned a Merckx… and the timing couldn’t be better. Here are a few teasers from my Eroica California ride.
… the cannibal! Brought to you by Secret Awesome.
Photos by Andy White
Don’t ride up grades, buy upgrades.
Leave it to FYXO to deliver a clean and crispy Merckx Mondays. This Eddy Merxkx pista, is built with a panto’d Cinelli XA stem, Record components and even filtered air in the tubes! See more at FYXO.
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.
So, a reader sent this over, with the subject line “I think this is ok to share” and all that was in the body was this photo. A quick glance at the Eddy Merckx Facebook reveals it’s a tig-welded steel bike, commemorating Eddy’s 70th birthday, which would make sense, but details like pricepoint, country of origin, tubing, etc, etc, etc, seem to be missing.
Personally, I’d rather see a lugged Columbus frame with a steel fork. As far as pricepoint, I’m gonna guess this bike is upwards of $10k, complete… Does anyone have any more information on this?
Turns out, Peloton has the full scoop. Head over there to see more information. It’s stainless steel, hence the tig welding and made in Belgium. Oh and it’s $17k!
This one’s too good to not repost. Thanks for the heads up Tracko!
“A print series celebrating cycling’s legends in op art portraits. Each print colour is inspired by the team jersey in which they achieved their greatest successes and includes their detailed palmarès.”
See more at Victory Chimp.