The 2008 Eddy Merckx carbon road range remains largely unchanged from 2007 but with one additional model. Merckx will continue to manufacture the full range in Europe. During 2007 the company opened a carbon manufacture facility in Italy, and it is from this plant that all of the 2008 carbon frames will come, as did most of the 2007 range.
This European manufacturing base is felt to give Merckx flexibility unequalled by manufacturers who base their production in the Far East, and also ensures exacting quality control. Eddy remains very firmly at the helm, and indeed spent much of 2007 shuttling to and from the new manufacturing plant in Italy, keeping a close personal eye on every detail of the commissioning of the new plant and the quality of its product, as well as on the Belgian end of the operation.
At the top of the carbon road frame range sits the Merckx “classic” geometry AXM, with top tube parallel to the ground. It is a full single-piece moulding, as are all the Merckx 08 carbon frames, with no bonding of frame members after separation from the mould. The fork is the well-known and respected Easton EC90 full carbon.
The three frames that make up the rest of the carbon range all share the same Merckx “sloping” geometry, which is also consistent within a few millimetres with the Alu sloping geometries.
These frames are the EXM, introduced in 2007, and now with carbon dropouts, the best-selling SXM frame, with some small modifications to the materials and design to reduce the weight and maintain the stiffness and handling qualities and, new for 2008, the LXM, which is a development of the extremely successful CHM. This frame will retail at around £975.00. It is light and torsionally and laterally stiff but with enough vertical ‘give’ to make it an excellent all-day ride for cyclo-sportif use, whilst remaining a perfectly race-worthy frame.
There are of course new finishes and a new finishing process for 2008. More details of the full range will be available after Eurobike, but in the interim, here’s the new LXM in 2008 livery.