Merckx Mondays Apr 19, 2010

Don’t shoot me. I can explain but first you have to make it through some miscellaneous Merckx photos and endorsements. It’s another Merckx Mondays!

As we saw last week, Merckx was a man of product promotion. That was how professional cyclists made a bulk of their money back then and even now; endorsements. Here’s an ad from the Adidas Eddy Merckx shoes that was forwarded to me by a reader.

Cycling shoes make sense, but windows and doors? Merckx was recently featured in this ad for Belisol windows and doors. Are those the Podio pedals? They don’t look like the shoes unless it’s a more modern model. People have said that Podio is still in existence, so maybe Merckx plans on rolling them out again?

From Chris Protopapas’ Flickr

Here’s another example of the Eddy Merckx name being branded on products. This photo is from the NY Bike Show in New York, February 1975. Merckx rode Colnago-built and De Rosa-built bikes back before he had his own company. This bike was supposedly the bike Eddy raced during the Montreal World Championsip race in 1974 (even though Molteni never rode high-flange Campy hubs). At the NY Bike Show, a gas-pipe bicycle manufacturer named Falcon was displaying this bike at their booth.

Falcon made bikes for department stores and you’ll occasionally see them floating around on eBay. They’re no De Rosas, that’s for sure. Falcons were very cheap and mass-produced. Not exactly a collector’s grail but people still pay money for them, mostly because they’re unaware of the history. In the end, Merckx wanted to make a buck and young race enthusiasts everywhere wanted an Eddy Merckx bike. Just because it has Eddy’s face on it, doesn’t mean it’s a legitimate Merckx!

Before you say anything, this is still technically period correct. A friend of mine was getting rid of some early HED road wheels.

The Hyperglide cassette fit on fine, so I’m riding them on the MX-Leader while I overhaul and rebuild the 7-Eleven with DA7403. In all honesty, I can’t feel that much of a difference in the ride, until I corner or climb.

My Dura-Ace wheels are crazy light and ride almost exactly the same. Decisions decisions. Check out some more photos of the new build here, on my Flickr.

  • Are those gear shifters period correct? When did shifters incorporated into the brakes start to appear?

  • Very period correct. 7402/7403 STi was used by many racers in the early 90’s. Some used a DT shifter on the front ring to reduce weight…

  • Period correct

  • Shifters very period correct- 7-11 was one of the first teams to use them in the 1990 tour de trump. Davis Phinney was one of their chief testers.

  • Craig

    Cool to get some background on Falcon. I’ve got a Competitor 105 frame from ’92 hanging around that I’m trying to get built up…interesting that they made Merckx, however low quality.

  • heath

    boonen’s ride for paris-roubaix looked pretty sweet.

  • Steve

    Dude, I’d love to meet up and ride sometime. Really want to check out these Merckx’s you have. This looks pretty sick with the HEDs.

  • Tyler Johnson

    What are the bars on your Merckx with the HED?

  • Chris Protopapas

    No, no, no… Falcon made excellent bikes. They made, however, a full range of bikes, from basic 10-speeds all the way up to competition-grade full-Campagnolo hand-made 531 Reynolds bikes. That would be like saying that Raleigh was a gas-pipe bicycle manufacturer because they made the Record, and forgetting about the Professional Mk.IV. Same with Falcon. At their booth in 1974 they had really nice full-Campagnolo “Eddy Merckx” bikes on display. These were definitely different from the Kessels on display in 1974 or the DeRosa on display in 1975 as well, but they were very nice bikes. I’ve heard that Merckx and Kessels personally visited the Falcon factory to inspect the racing bikes being produced, and were satisfied with the quality. It’s true that most of the “Eddy Merckx” Falcons seen in this country were lower-end bikes, but that’s not a judgement so much on Falcon as on the state of the US market in 1975. I have pics of the 1974 Falcons at the NY Bike show, I can post those…

  • Santiago Belmont

    Those wheels rock. climbing on those wheels is cake. and the cornering +++

  • Edward

    Have you even look at the Falcon advert you’ve posted? the spec listed and frame tubing/lugwork are pretty high end.

  • I had read about Eddy and his achievements on some magazine. He is a great man and the major role model for all cyclists.