It's been a good few years since we last heard from Eddy Merckx Bikes, the brand bearing the name of Belgian cycling legend Eddy Merckx – and while it's not quite back on the WorldTour (yet), you can now buy Eddy Merckx bikes once more, with a whole new revamped range launching this week including road, gravel and limited edition models. You can even choose your preferred frame material if you go for the Strasbourg gravel or Pévèle all-road bikes, with prices starting at under £2k.
"Today marks a significant milestone for Eddy Merckx Bikes and the broader Belgian cycling industry. With this revitalization, we aim to cement Eddy Merckx Bikes' position in the elite segment of road and gravel bikes for the long haul," Jochim Aerts, CEO of Belgian Cycling Factory – which also manufactures Ridley and took over Merckx in 2017 – said.
The limited edition 'Retrosonic' series features four bikes in a contemporary disguise, a nod to the legendary 1980s Panasonic pro team. All of the bikes have been crafted and assembled in Belgium, and if the retro look of these bikes doesn't tickle your fancy, then there's also an option to customise for free.
"Our in-house paintwork allows customers to personalize their bikes extensively. As a special offer tied to the relaunch, there will be no extra charge for customization in the coming year," Aerts said.
The 525 is a pure race road bike – the UCI-approved sort – with aggressive geometry.
The last we saw of Eddy Merckx bikes was actually in the pro peloton, when the AG2R team rode the 525 race bike when it launched in 2019 (some still with rim brakes) for the 2019/20 WorldTour.
Now, the performance carbon road bike only comes with the now ubiquitous disc brakes and integrated one-piece cockpits, plus the unusual S-curved seat stays and aero-optimised tube shapes. The 525 is also the team bike for the UCI WorldTeam outfit Team Flanders–Baloise in 2024.
The Mendrisio is an endurance bike, and the brand itself says it's a "fast, performance-oriented and comfortable endurance bike made for long rides". Again, you get the S-curved seat stays, a carbon frame and the option to pair the bike with an aero cockpit - but this bike is more relaxed than the 525.
The Strasbourg gravel bike is a new addition to the range because well, which sensible bike brand doesn't have a gravel bike in their lineup now? This bike is available with a steel, aluminium or carbon frame, and is made for exploring the rugged terrain.
You get 53mm tyre clearance (on the carbon model), the option to fit a suspension fork and a host of mounts for carrying cargo. The steel and aluminium models take up to 48mm tyres and also have mudguard and pannier rack mounts – but they also omit the s-shaped seat stays.
The last addition is the Pevele, a versatile all-road bike. It's available in aluminium, steel or carbon, can take up to 42mm-wide tyres and comes with a plethora of mounts as well. Making it a little more oriented for touring, it's also compatible with internal cable routing for dynamo lights.
The Retrosonic bikes are set to hit the market on 24 February '24, coinciding with the start of the cobblestone classics. Later in the year, the brand plans to expand the range with three additional bikes, including e-bikes and another performance-oriented model. We're told the brand's collaboration with Team Flanders–Baloise will also see further developments.
Eager fans can order their dream bike directly through the Eddy Merckx website, and have it delivered to a bike shop of their choosing from the Eddy Merckx dealer network (there seems to be plenty of them in the UK).
The new collection will also be present at the Velofollies bike expo between 19 and 21 January at Kortrijk Xpo, Belgium.
Suvi joined F-At in 2022, first writing for off-road.cc. She's since joined the tech hub, and contributes to all of the sites covering tech news, features, reviews and women's cycling content. Lover of long-distance cycling, Suvi is easily convinced to join any rides and events that cover over 100km, and ideally, plenty of cake and coffee stops.