Merckx Mondays May 17, 2010

Today’s Merckx Mondays was in the works last week when I met up with Mat to shoot his Serotta at Continuum Cycles. Jeff, the owner of the shop, always comes up on these amazing deals. Someone was getting rid of their old race bike from the 90’s. He was the original owner and used to race it at the CRCA-sanctioned events in Central Park. Turns out, it had been in his apartment for over 10 years and he needed some cash, so he took it to Jeff and he bought it.

If you have a keen eye for detail, you’ll notice that there are no Eddy Merckx castings on the seatstay caps. What’s that all about? Check out more photos and an explanation of this beauty below!

Wait? MXL? I thought only MAX had seatstay caps sans logos?

It’s definitely a MX-Leader though.

In my favorite team colors, Telekom! If you recall, Telekom took the place of Stuttgart, the colors of my team Stuttgart pista.

The head-tube lugs, BB shell, fork crown and other signs indicate that it is indeed a MX-Leader, using the MXL lugs and tubeset.

All of these details (and the serial numbers) point to one thing: this is an early MXL. Most likely the year post-MAX. Many racers who rode the MAX Corsa Extras had issues with the fork crowns snapping. Merckx awknowledged this and made improvements to the bike’s design. Shortly after this model came out, they began to cast the EM logo in the seatstays.

The MX-Leaders are amazing bikes and this is one gorgeous example of the early 90’s race machines. C-Record headset and Dura Ace 7403, such a winning combination!

If you’re in the city, swing through Continuum Cycles and check this beauty out. It’s up in the front window. I’m not sure how much longer it’ll be there because the last I heard, someone’s trading another beautiful bike for it!

  • Why is the saddle pointed down so far? Points off. Also, the brifters are mounted much too high for a bike of this era- the tips of the levers should be level with the flat of the drops. The rear brake barrel adjuster is almost completely unthreaded, while the front is just the opposite. Fix these details for full credit, a beautiful bike like this deserves better.

  • Yeah, this is how the bike came into the shop. They haven’t overhauled it yet and those details are totally worth noting.


  • The first year MXL’s didn’t have the seat stay inserts. Why? Because the seat stays are a different diameter than the columbus stays, and they hadn’t gotten new top eyes made yet. Same reason the 753 frames usually didn’t have them.

    If you check out this hi-res of my 1994 catalog scan, you might note something interesting about the MXL’s shown.

    (late 1993 is when the top eyes appeared, for 1994 catalog models)

  • Once again, thanks Jeremy. Your bike knowledge makes me think you’re of an alien race!

  • Malcolm

    Love MX and the Telekom colors, amazing. Any idea what they are valuing the MX at?

  • the bicycle equivalent of

  • cole

    also, when taking a full frame profile shot of the bike its always nice to toss the chain up on the larger chain ring and hide the presta valves behind the chain stay and fork. Extremely nice rig…

  • 650WANDA

    Is this guy for real? ‘ maybe the guy liked the saddle down. or maybe he felt comfy with the “brifters mounted high”? who knows? who cares? Its a awesome bike. period. Can’t people just say something nice and call it a day? Geeez!