Merckx on Competitive Cyclist
If you've ever had more than a passing interest in bike racing, you know of Eddy Merckx. “The Cannibal” is widely considered to be the greatest bike racer ever. Among his five hundred or so professional victories are nineteen Classics wins and five wins each at the Tour De France and Giro d'Italia, which alone would be enough to cement his place among the giants of cycling. But his retirement from racing was not to be the end of his influence on the sport that he has helped to define. Instead, he turned his attention to crafting the bicycles that bear his name, Merckx Cycles.
Eddy can thank his physical prowess and unbelievable mental toughness for his performances, but his obsession with his bike setup also played a crucial role. It was therefore a natural progression for Merckx to start building frames, and in 1980, he did precisely that. Drawing from skills he developed working for De Rosa cycles after his retirement, he began building steel frames that quickly developed a reputation for their astonishing balance and sublime ride quality. Over three decades later, Merckx is still hailed for building bikes that set the standard for handling.
Much has changed since Merckx set up shop. Steel, once the material of choice for professional racing bikes, has been surpassed by carbon fiber construction. Merckx bicycles followed suit, and as a result, its bikes of today, like the EMX-525, are stiffer and lighter than ever before. Yet the motto "Power Under Control" still guides the development of every model. What that means in practice is that Merckx is focused on building bikes that can be safely pushed as far as a rider is willing to take them. They are precise, durable, and flat-out fast—traits that stand the test of time, just like their namesake.