2008 Merckx Range Reviewed

Eddy takes one of his seven wins at San Remo

Memories of the heady days of Eddy Merckx domination of cycle racing may have
faded, but his 2008 range of bikes shows he is still very much part of the
modern cycle sport community.

Click to enlarge
2008 Merckx AXM
Rear stays ready to be bonded to
a Merckx frame

The Merckx factory is situated in the Flemish village
of Meise near Brussels and, like so many businesses in this region, is in an old farm
house that has grown over the years.

Situated close to the Merckx home and with few outward
signs of his huge record of wins, the factory is no shrine. Only a painting of Merckx,
overlooking a line of the latest bikes and dominating the lobby, gives a clue as to his record as a racing cyclist. More recent victories
by Merckx-mounted riders are given equal importance, with posters depicting Belgium Championship wins and classic
victories. The impression you get is that Eddy likes to look to the present.

All Merckx frames are sourced in Italy, with aluminum frames arriving in the
factory to be prepared, painted and built up. The carbon frames require more work
as the framesets require the rear triangle to have the drop outs and one piece wishbone
rear stays attached.

The top of the range AXM is a hand-formed, one-piece carbon monocoque frame
made from over 110 pieces of carbon fibre and is built to manage cobbled Belgian
roads as well as smooth Alpine passes. New for 2008 is the LXM, which is the
Merckx entry level carbon bike intended for sportifs and the like. The Premium
aluminum frame remains a popular model and is used by the Merckx road race
teams. Like all but the LXM, the Premium has been tweaked for the coming season
and comes in classic and sloping styles.

Merckx oversees every aspect of the build process and, with Italian suppliers
just a quick flight away, he is able to keep quality at a high level (who would
argue with Merckx knocking on your door?). The Merckx factory is Eddy Merckx and his
legendary attention to detail in his racing years (he was known for measuring
and re-measuring his position on the bike) carries through onto the 2008 range.


Click to enlarge
AXM remains the
top-of-the-range carbon fibre frame in the Eddy Merckx range. Directional ultra-high modulus carbon fibre controls the stresses.
The SXM is a full
monocoque, sloping geometry, carbon fibre frame. It offers the curvilinear
stays that serve to take some of the "road buzz" out of the
New for 2008 the LXM
is a full monocoque, sloping geometry, carbon fibre frame at a competitive
price. The frame is intended for long days in the saddle such as
Premium Classic
is built in Easton Flare 7000-series Scandium-enriched aluminium tubing. Also available in sloping style.
Milling machine
aluminium shavings show that Merckx frames are worked on in the
A carbon frame has had the rear
alloy drop outs attached (new for 2008 are carbon versions) before being
cleaned and prepared for lacquer and paint)

More pictures

An Italian made carbon bottom bracket awaits attention
Almost ready for finishing
Naked aluminum Premium Classic frames
A tme trial frame
One of only a few trophies from the massive Merckx
collection on show


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