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Old 09-22-11, 03:52 AM   #1
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The Cannibals' bike

http://www.cyclezine.net/2011/09/21/...rckx-drillium/
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6164/...14bd196f_b.jpg

This turned up on the intertubes. Regardless that this is a very nice bike, I have some doubts as to wether this is bike is truly ridden by Merckx.
a) The frame looks too small for eddy's large frame, especially judging by the HT. Compare this bike for instance with the hour record bike.
http://www.classicrendezvous.com/Ben.../Hour_pg-1.pdf
b) The bike shop sticker looks like it came off your local friendly LBS, not something to be found at a pro level bike. Maybe a later addition?

If the owner is on the forum here I off course would be very interested in the provenance of this bike. I don't want to hurt anyones feelings, but some things struck me as odd.
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Old 09-22-11, 04:27 AM   #2
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I wouldn't compare the headtube length to the hour record bike, given that the higher BB of a track frame generally shifts the top tube higher up, which corresponds with an increase in headtube length.

That said, some of the photos of Merckx on his machines do show him on frames of similar size, though a close look does reveal occasional size and geometry changes (compare the headtube and fork blades of the bike in the first photo to the one in the first B&W shot - third photo down):





(Frame is a bit larger than the ones in the two preceding photos - also note fork rake)


(Tall headtube on this one - maybe the same bike as the previous photo?)




The subject bike does seem a bit small, at any rate, but I wouldn't necessarily write it off. Granted, I'd be more willing to suppose that this is one of the Molteni team bikes, if any team provenance exists - but that's just an assumption.

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Old 09-22-11, 04:44 AM   #3
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Eddy changed sizes and geometries with some frequency - especially after his track crash in Blois, after which his back gave him fits.
That said, I do think some skepticism is in order. The claim is that Eddy rode the bike during a year he wore the world champions jersey - which would have to be 1972, given the decaling. But I've only seen those extra horizontal decals on pics of Eddy from 1971. Also, by 1972 the clamp-on cable giude was gone and replaced by a braze-on version - as per the photo Kurt posted of Eddy riding in the World Champions jersey above. That makes the bike a little more plausible for 1971 - but I can't recall seeing the clamp-on cable guide on any of Eddy's Molteni bikes, though it can be seen on his Faema ones. I'll have to check some more photos from '71. I'm also skeptical of the crank - which appears to be 170mm. I would have bet Eddy would have used longer crank arms.
As Kurt suggests, maybe it is an authentic Molteni team bike. Or maybe it is indeed Eddy's - I simply agree with Kurt that there are some red flags.
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Old 09-22-11, 04:50 AM   #4
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Without some verified means of proving the bicycle to be one that Merckx rode, it isn't. That is the premise I go on. Sure, you might believe what you are told, but will the next person in line. I ran up against this one time with a personal bicycle owned by Kurt Harnett. One of Kurts friends sold me the bike but when I sought to verify the pedigree, no proof was forthcoming.

Exercise caution here.
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Old 09-22-11, 05:43 AM   #5
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Exercise caution here.
Not sure of the need for "caution," as the bike does not appear to be for sale.
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Old 09-22-11, 06:55 AM   #6
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why just drill halfway? to save wheigh but keep it stong? if that is the cas why wouldn't a professional mechanic drill from the back?

also did Eddy like his brakes setup in this dangerous fashion?



I realize this bike is likely tospend way more time on the hook then on the road but atleast build it correctly
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Old 09-22-11, 09:13 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Picchio Special View Post
Eddy changed sizes and geometries with some frequency - especially after his track crash in Blois, after which his back gave him fits.
That said, I do think some skepticism is in order. The claim is that Eddy rode the bike during a year he wore the world champions jersey - which would have to be 1972, given the decaling. But I've only seen those extra horizontal decals on pics of Eddy from 1971. Also, by 1972 the clamp-on cable giude was gone and replaced by a braze-on version - as per the photo Kurt posted of Eddy riding in the World Champions jersey above. That makes the bike a little more plausible for 1971 - but I can't recall seeing the clamp-on cable guide on any of Eddy's Molteni bikes, though it can be seen on his Faema ones. I'll have to check some more photos from '71. I'm also skeptical of the crank - which appears to be 170mm. I would have bet Eddy would have used longer crank arms.
As Kurt suggests, maybe it is an authentic Molteni team bike. Or maybe it is indeed Eddy's - I simply agree with Kurt that there are some red flags.
Thanks for the insights. As you've said, too many red flags.
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Old 09-22-11, 10:04 AM   #8
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why just drill halfway? to save wheigh but keep it stong? if that is the cas why wouldn't a professional mechanic drill from the back?

also did Eddy like his brakes setup in this dangerous fashion?



I realize this bike is likely tospend way more time on the hook then on the road but atleast build it correctly
I have seen pics of Eddy on bikes with calipers done this way. I wonder if it wasn't done to the reverse surfaces because that would affect the structural integrity - it would certainly not have been as intimidating to Eddy's opponents.
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Old 09-22-11, 10:15 AM   #9
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I suppose this guy can claim whatever he wants to concerning the bike, as long as he isn't trying to sell it.
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Old 09-22-11, 10:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Picchio Special View Post
I have seen pics of Eddy on bikes with calipers done this way. I wonder if it wasn't done to the reverse surfaces because that would affect the structural integrity - it would certainly not have been as intimidating to Eddy's opponents.
It's still quite minimal compared to other instances of drillium, such as done by esteemed member drillium dude check out the pics of the calipers for that old school weight weenie graftek build!
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Old 09-22-11, 10:38 AM   #11
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I have seen pics of Eddy on bikes with calipers done this way. I wonder if it wasn't done to the reverse surfaces because that would affect the structural integrity - it would certainly not have been as intimidating to Eddy's opponents.
Yeah but the front brake pads are on backwards. That's what's dangerous.
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Old 09-22-11, 10:45 AM   #12
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Without proper documentation, such as a signed affidavit from Eddy Merckx, this is just a orange bike with Eddy Merckx decals.
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Old 09-22-11, 10:59 AM   #13
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Yeah but the front brake pads are on backwards. That's what's dangerous.
Details. What do you need to stop for when you're Merckx.
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Old 09-22-11, 11:23 AM   #14
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Eddy changed sizes and geometries with some frequency - especially after his track crash in Blois, after which his back gave him fits.
True that. He kept something like 35 bikes on hand, with 15 or so ready for immediate use at any given time. There were subtle differences between just about all of them for exactly the reason Picchio says - Eddy's back was a source of chronic pain after the 1969 Blois crash. (It was a derny race on the track, BTW, and his derny driver was killed.) Largely because of the crash and resultant back issues, Eddy was a fanatic about positioning and measurements, to the point where, more than once, he had a mechanic lean out of the team car to make tiny adjustments to his saddle while Eddy kept pedaling.

Don't try that at home, kids - he was a trained professional.
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Old 09-22-11, 11:32 AM   #15
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The sticker on the frame looks like it says Kessels, a Belgian who built some of the early Merckx frames.
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Old 09-22-11, 11:32 AM   #16
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he had a mechanic lean out of the team car to make tiny adjustments to his saddle while Eddy kept pedaling.
Seriously?
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Old 09-22-11, 12:02 PM   #17
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Seriously?
I believe an on-the-fly saddle adjustment is shown in A Sunday in Hell. I do remember that he borrowed one of the other team's offset 10mm box wrenches early on in the film.

Granted, the two-bolt Nuovo Record post lends itself to this sort of adjustment; same for Thompsons.

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Old 09-22-11, 12:25 PM   #18
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Yeah but the front brake pads are on backwards. That's what's dangerous.
Ha! Didn't notice that. Can't blame that on Eddy! I'm really suspect of this guy's claims now. heh...
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Old 09-22-11, 12:54 PM   #19
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I have a Kessels Eddy Merckx that is almost exactly the same except for a Braze On BB cable guide.
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Old 09-22-11, 01:56 PM   #20
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The sticker on the frame looks like it says Kessels, a Belgian who built some of the early Merckx frames.
That's what I thought. Interestingly, the 531 decal means butted main tubes only.

Kessels was licensed to badge them as Merckx's, doesn't mean he rode the bike.
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Old 09-22-11, 03:31 PM   #21
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Yeah but the front brake pads are on backwards. That's what's dangerous.
Yeah, I noticed that, too. Bianchigirl is a quick spotter of that mistake.
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Old 09-22-11, 03:38 PM   #22
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That's what I thought. Interestingly, the 531 decal means butted main tubes only.

Kessels was licensed to badge them as Merckx's, doesn't mean he rode the bike.
Eddy definitely rode Kessels frames - but that doesn't mean he rode this one, as you point out. A number of "issues," and it wouldn't be a difficult bike to fake. It could even be a Kessels/Merckx Eddy gave to a sponsor or something - next thing you know, it was a bike he rode as world champion in '72 (which I'm quite sure is not the case - so that part of the story is dead wrong).
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Old 09-22-11, 03:41 PM   #23
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Incidentally - the crankarm clearly has a date code, making it post-'72 and another red flag.
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Old 09-22-11, 03:46 PM   #24
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Seriously?
Yup. If he wasn't adjusting, he was measuring. He was pretty obsessive about such things.
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Old 09-22-11, 03:57 PM   #25
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Yup. If he wasn't adjusting, he was measuring. He was pretty obsessive about such things.
There's a scene somewhere where Eddy adjusts his saddle during a race - maybe at the beginning of Course en Tete during the '73 Worlds? Can't recall - anyway, he's yanking on the saddle like mad - makes you wonder how he could do that and not steer himself into the weeds.
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