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Merckx built by De Rosa

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Merckx built by De Rosa

Old 11-02-20, 02:32 AM
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Merckx built by De Rosa

Without Ugo De Rosa, there would be no EMC - the idea, the training, the equipment, the suppliers, the contacts, the exhibition copies (at the Milan Fair in 1979) - all the contribution of this wonderful man to my favourite company.
Almost every vendor of EMC's early frame adds "built by De Rosa", or at least "built under the supervision of De Rosa", most of the owners of such frames also have this conviction - meanwhile, so far I have not found a single indisputable source to confirm this theory
The state of my knowledge until recently was this: not a single confirmed case (the best candidates are the earliest frames - without marking, but... no evidence)
For the time being, I haven't found a frame built by De Rosa and sold under the name "Eddy Merckx".
A few weeks ago it turned out that I was looking for... in the wrong place in space-time...
This is what appeared on ebay:

A damaged frame, titanium, but that only means it's probably "unrepairable"
Stickers: Eddy Merckx Titane
OK, this means a frame built outside EMC, but repainted in Meise and sold as Merckx
All the Titane I've seen so far were built by Litespeed...
...but it didn't look like Litespeed's frame - I compared it with all the versions of AX, EX, Millennium, Majestic I know - no chance...
...and there's DE ROSA on the dropout...
...when I regained consciousness, I started to compare details; titanium frames are "very poor" in features: way of connecting dropouts with stays, brake bridge, shape (cross-section) chainstays and "main triangle" tubes, seat tube clamp, slides on TT and manufacturer's markings.
...I looked for, compared, checked...
...The winner was De Rosa Titanio model 1993 !!
...and this is the last certain information about this frame - it remains to answer some questions:
- is Litespeed surely nothing to do with this frame ?
I don't think so; Ugo and Doriano were trained by Litespeed (in weeks rather than years) and started to build their titanium frames as early as 1991; De Rosa has been using "his" way of combining dropouts with stays since the beginning of production - Litespeed from 1990 to 1999 (change of owner) used a different combination in road frames, later taken over by EMC (Vranckx training) and used until...2008 without any changes.
- which tubes were used ?
De Rosa used Columbus Hyperion tubing, but the confirmed information is for model 1994 and later
- when this Titane appeared on the market ?
I don't know, but headbadge of this type I saw on the 1998 and later frames
- Could this be a single "joke" of EMC people, a very careful "fake" hobbyist ?
Yes, nothing can be excluded
The last question is simple:
- could I not have bought this frame ?
Well... it hangs in front of me in an honorable place - if only I happen to think that "I know something about EMC at 100%", the big titanium frame in warning red mercilessly restores the right proportions...
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Old 11-02-20, 06:04 AM
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The reason why you know so much is because you're willing to question what you "know". I'd like to thank you for sharing your knowledge Jacek.
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Old 11-02-20, 06:11 AM
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My suspicion is painted later, branded later.
the early ti bikes I have seen have a natural finish.

to me, the “interestingly” early EMC frames were the steel examples
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Old 11-02-20, 09:13 AM
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That is an interesting head tube height above the top tube.
Seems most have that situation on the seat tube, versus the head tube.

Now this is an interesting EM bike. I like them all, but this...soooo glad it’s too big.
The provenance seems to be fairly public.
I would still be interested in Jacek’s thoughts on the bike.

Last edited by RobbieTunes; 11-02-20 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 11-02-20, 12:08 PM
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Armstrong won in Oslo in 1993 using a titanium frame - carefully painted in Motorola colors.
EMC painted titanium frames (Titane EM and Titane) with enthusiasm (he refrained rather rarely: ~1998 - 2001).
When it comes to the Merckx70, I have a difficult task, because for me EMC ended in October 2008...
If it is an exceptional model, because:
- only 70 copies were built, then... I think I would find "more exceptional" among "old EMCs"
- It was built by Johan Vranckx, it... he build much more interesting frames
- is "historical" in "historical colors"... it is not
- is crazy expensive... I don't care.
- It was built at a time when the brand belonged to a horse breeder and brewery owner who bought it from a chain owner of shoe stores where the CEO was a specialist in cork flooring trading; both owners increased the company's debt from €0.5 million in 2008 to €17.5 million in 2017.... It always reminds me of this when I see the "big red M", which looks like a piece of bent material that is easy to sew on to shoes... Yes, there were a series of shoes with this logo - probably that's what it was for...
If someone would give me a bike with the "red M", even a Merckx70, I would immediately sell it, and use the cash obtained for some noble purpose - this would be the only way to positively associate the good humor and EMC from the years 2009 - 2017 (since Ridley reactivated the Eddy Merckx brand - and such a logo - my mood has improved a little bit, a little)
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