At some point earlier this year, I came down (again) with the vintage bug. I used to comb swap meets in search of a 58-60cm bike, NOS Campagnolo kits, hard-anodized wheels, and pantographed parts but it has been a while. Perhaps it’s because I feel so inundated with “new” tech announcements claiming “lighter, stiffer, faster, more aero” and at a certain point, it just gets to be too much. In the same way, I enjoy riding a rigid or a hardtail 90% of the time over a full suspension. Recently, I began to feel “tech fatigue” when it comes to drop bar bikes and have been looking at ways to simplify that riding experience…
It’s a Merckx! On a Monday! … and it’s been a while.
During a period of frustration with parts shortages as I was trying to build up a forthcoming review bike, I began browsing eBay looking into building up a classic timepiece. I figured if modern parts are in short supply, vintage parts have to still be available. I wanted a bike that would be a centerpiece in my office that I wasn’t afraid to ride. Something that I could do easy road rides on, not pushing myself or the bike to the limit at all, but rather just a simple machine with downtube shifters, a steel fork, and 7 speeds. Kind of like driving an older, vintage vehicle; stripped-down elegance and damn sexier than anything “new” on the market. With my longtime love of Merckx frames, I knew where to begin, but I wasn’t expecting to find one of my favorite liveries, in such great condition. Check out an in-depth look below…
This week’s Readers’ Rides comes from the person behind Cars-R-Coffins, Mr. Hurl Everstone with photos by Billy Sinkford. We love a good classic homage on a modern bike, so read on below for the full story, written by Hurl!
Longtime readers of this website will recall our weekly “Merckx Mondays” posts that began back in 2008. Well, let me just get this out of the way and say don’t get your hopes up for its return, but I am very excited to share this Eddy Merckx with you, on a Monday, as a part of a little sub-category of vintage bikes we’ll be doing at the Radavist over the next few months.
Last week, I traveled to Boulder to see the Pro’s Closet‘s new facilities and their forthcoming bicycle museum. After years of being stored in boxes, over three hundred bikes are being unpacked, built, and displayed at their new facility just outside of Boulder. I spent two days there learning all about their operations and browsing their extensive bicycle collection, while sneaking off to document a few I thought the readers of the Radavist would enjoy, so let’s jump right in…
Silca’s new Super Secret Chain Lube has got to be good. Everything they make it exceptional, so why would this be any different? The secret is NanoPlatelet WS2, a material that has less than 1/3 the dynamic coefficient of friction of PTFE and 1/4 that of Molybdenum Disulfide. In laymen’s terms, it uses super lube wax. Enough about the lube though, look at that Merckx!
Today is Labor Day in the US, so we’re taking the day easy, and catching up on life’s demands but we wanted to share this bike on Monday, because, you know, it’s Merckx Mondays. When I was at the Cub House a few weeks back, I met Jun, who was out on a ride with this bike. As you can imagine, this bike has quite the story…
Designed, handmade, hand-painted, and built in Belgium. The new Corsa steel frames from Eddy Merckx embody the legacy that is the MX-L and Corsa models of the 1980’s and 1990’s. Teams like Motorola, Panasonic, and Kelme rode these frames to victory. Icons of the peloton. Steeds of Columbus steel with proprietary tubing and Eddy’s own private geometry. These bikes have a legacy and one that Eddy Merckx is looking to reinvigorate with their road disc, road rim, and all road models. All made from a unique Merckx blend of Columbus Spirit HSS tubing and Columbus Xcr tubing.
We saw a hint at something new from Merckx at this year’s Tour and now we get a deeper look. Unfortunately, the product photos on Merckx’s website don’t give us much detail, which is a shame because they look great and at 3,299 EUR for a frame, I doubt I’ll be seeing one in person any time soon…
Check out the Corsa line at Eddy Merckx.
Dave Moulton wrote a piece on Eddy Merckx, comparing his legacy to that of Chris Froome’s with a critical edge:
“By opting out of the Tour de France in 1973, Eddy Merckx still goes down in history as the “Greatest Rider Ever,” by the sheer number of races the won over the years. He chose the honor people’s feelings over his own ego.
What a shame that Chris Froome is not taking a leaf from Eddy’s book and opting voluntarily out of this year’s Tour de France. Why would anyone want to participate in an event when no one wants you there?”
Keep reading this piece at Dave Moulton’s Blog!
There is something about mixing a classic steel bicycle with modern components that usually ends up looking either REALLY cool or REALLY “meh” for some reason. It’s a definite hit or miss thing that happens whenever mashing two different generations of anything together, but when done correctly it can be great. From an aesthetic standpoint, traditional steel bicycles are hands down the prettiest to look at and modern components offer a much more “civilized” choice of gear ratios. All of that steel beauty can easily be lost when paired with a build that is too busy with space-aged looking parts. if you disagree, then your opinion most likely sucks (in my personal and not so humble opinion.) Regardless of how it looks this trend of old with a touch of new is continuing to grow and understandably so. The idea of modern functionality on rolling piece of art/history does sound quite appealing.
We don’t get to do these often, but when we do, they’re usually pretty cool. See more at Rouleur.
Photo by Bill Woodul
It’s not often you come across never before seen photos of Eddy Merckx, well, photos I’ve never seen anyway and that what we’re sharing with you today. Bill Woodul shot the 1976 Milano SanRemo and got some excellent photos of Merckx. Just check out those gloves! See more at this album.
You can never have too many Eddy Merckx prints. Artist Richard Long made 100 of these giclée prints on 29.5cm x 21 cm on high-quality Redcliffe 210gsm Watercolour Paper to fit in an A4 frame with border. Head over to RideVelo.cc to order.
Mick from 100 Tacos‘ Eddy Merckx Pista has some lovely beausage. After the seat stay cap cracked, he had it repaired and rather than paint-matching the raw steel, he let it oxidize, giving this bike lots of character. While this isn’t a complete photoset, I think these photos capture this bike wonderfully. Killer ride, Mick!
Man, I wish I could go to this!
“In 1976 Danish Filmmaker Jorgen Leth made the legendary sports and cycling film, A Sunday in Hell, about the Paris Roubaix cycling race. It defined a genre and helped put the Paris-Roubaix on the global sporting map. Watch some of the greatest cyclists ever compete in the most prestigious single-day event in professional bike racing. The golden era of cycling is in full form here. This is definitely the most important documentary ever made on the sport and argulably one of the best sports documentaries ever filmed. Simone Pace and Amedeo of Blonde Redhead have prepared an incredible adapted score that they will perform live accompanied by a string ensemble.
Live score by Amedeo Pace and Simone Pace (Blonde Redhead) with Jeanann Dara and chamber ensemble.”
Pick up tickets at the Bicycle Film Festival!
It’s easy to understand why people call Merckx the greatest of all time, especially when watching his stage 12 of 1967 Giro d’Italia victory. It was the first time Eddy won a mountain stage, thus beginning to carve his legacy. Nice find, Tracko.
This is a special Merckx Mondays treat. Sean from Team Dream recently acquired an Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra in the Motorola livery, laced with a beautiful NOS Dura Ace 25th Anniversary group. I’ve personally never seen this group on a bike, in person before, so it was a real pleasure photographing it. Sure, there are a few blemishes on the kit, like the insertion marks on the seat post, which were like that before Sean acquired it, but overall, this bike is a real gem.
Sean also has the case for the 25th group, which came with the fabled wrist watch. Once he replaces this group with a modern Campagnolo Athena kit, he’ll be displaying the 25th in its case at the Cub House, along with the bike itself. If you’re in the South Pasadena area, make sure you roll through the Cub House and check it out in person because no photos do this bike justice in real life!
I hope you’re enjoying your holidays. We’ll be back in full swing tomorrow with some year in review posts. Santa Merckx hopes you didn’t buy any upgrades for Christmas, so go ride up grades! Original photo via Old Campy.
A is for attack and P is for piste are just two of the details in this Eddy Merckx Alphabet poster.