Saturday, April 30, 2011

Eddy Merckx

In preparation for the 2009 BW family assault on the Round Taupo event I built my beautiful wife Jacq this lovely early 90's Columbus SLX Eddy Merckx. I bought the frame off my friend Declan from the much missed Valley Cycles in Aro Street, and built it up using primarily Shimano Dura-Ace 7400 parts begged, borrowed and stolen.

At some point the frame was restored by the talented Ross Bee, whose sad loss is still keenly felt. Ross here pays tribute to the proud cycling heritage of the eponymous frame builder's home country.

The sexy Easton aluminium Dura-Ace seatpost.

The Dura-Ace 7400 derailleur still looks grouse. This one has been customised by original owner Henry with an SRP alloy and titanium bolt kit.

I still love the look of the old Elite Ciussi bottle cage, with their cool bottle retention "buttons".

The 7400 front derailleur...

...and headset. Note the interesting anti-cable rub device that is pressed in between the lower cup and the frame itself. The Merckx logo on the crown is the sort of neat superfluous detail that is sadly lost in modern frame construction.

The brake bridge also proudly bears the Stamp of God.

The front 7400 caliper. As you can see, I used one of my own stickers on the headtube, as Ross can't have had the correct scan to place a proper Merckx logo. This will do until I can eventually be bothered scanning one myself.

The 3ttt handlebars and stem - incredibly I had a matching pair!

Battered but still perfectly functional DA 7400 STI levers. These were the first "brifters" ever produced, and with one fell swoop they revolutionised gear shifting and arguably affected how racers could time attacks, irrevocably changing road racing to a degree at the same time.

The wheels are Antosh-built Ambrosio Formula 20 Crono tubulars kindly donated to the cause by my buddy Glenn, built onto non-period correct DA 7700 9 speed hubs. The front spokes are radial and the rear radial non-drive/three cross drive-side to build a stiff wheel that is still able counter the fierce torque that pedalling puts through a wheel. The tyres are the venerable Vittoria Corsa CX tubulars.

Et voila! I was unable to procure some 7400 cranks, so the chainset is also from the later Dura-Ace 7700 groupset. The *cough* MTB pedals and Velo saddle are Jacq spec, and best ignored for the purposes of this post.

Hope you are enjoying these detail blogs of my small but much-loved collection of bicycles. Pedal on, Oli.


Brent Backhouse said...

Nice Oli. Makes me wish I hadn't sold my Motorola Merckx from the time. Has been seen around, but in a sad state.

sifter said...

If I recall correctly, what I said when I pulled up alongside Jacq in the Taupo event was "hot bike lady". I still think it's hot! Nice blog :)

Oli Brooke-White said...

Do you mean "hot bike lady" or "hot bike, lady", John? Be very careful how you answer...

Brent, it's always sad to think of the bikes that have passed through your hands, isn't it? Your Merckx was a special machine, no doubt.

sifter said...

I'm certain I meant both! Beautiful (and well dressed) woman on a beautiful bicycle! :)

Oli Brooke-White said...

Ooookay, you covered that pretty well.

Cheers, bro!

sifter said...


nzogaz said...

Hey Oli. Great pic of Eddy, have not seen that one before. I regret not having bought one of those Molteni paint-jobbed steel reproductions Eddy Merckx offered in 2001 or 3 (I saw one at Interbike, not sure which year), and which DB could have secured for and me and festooned with aluminium Campag bits similar to what hangs off my Benson. Sadly Eddy does not sell that frame any more, and aluminium Campag is also off the menu.That one you have built up looks great by the way.

Anonymous said...

very nice. i have a team kelme merckx with the same dura ace 74xx sti group. i was able to get it with dura ace 74xx down to the hubs and headset. the only thing not dura ace is the seatpost.. in which i have a 7410 seatpost but the thing malfunctioned on me. here's a link: its under the post by "macchiolives." nice bike btw!