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New low end bike. (Eddy Merckx content)

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New low end bike. (Eddy Merckx content)

Old 09-19-21, 01:44 PM
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New low end bike. (Eddy Merckx content)

I went to pick up a bike this morning from a local seller, and I had noticed he also had the remnants of an Eddy Merckx bike for sale. So for an extra €25 it came home with me. I don't see these very often online, so I thought I'd document this one here for posterity.

I think it is from ca 1971, judging by the decals:



It's an entry level model, branded by Kessels, and it's incomplete, but a set of MAFAC brakes ...



... and levers is always welcome, so I consider the rest a bonus. Such as the slightly scruffy Unicanitor saddle, the Cinelli bars and the Mavic stem:



I like the look of the seat cluster:



And the fork doesn't look too bad either. At first I thought the decal was a reference to Briek Schotte, the 1948 and 1950 Belgian World Champion, but on closer inspection it looks more like "fabrieks<something>", with "fabriek" meaning "factory" or "works".



Any other of these low end Merckx' out there?
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Old 09-19-21, 02:03 PM
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thanks very much for sharing this find!

have never seen another like it; transfers are a new set to me

the stem & bar set can no be original - well above the pay grade of the balance

---

btw -

non-fixie recently showed me that there were Miyata built Merckx cycles -

​​​​​​The catalogs of Japanese vintage bicycle

they even offered Hellenic models!


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Old 09-19-21, 02:19 PM
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The decals seem to be a copy of what Eddy was using during the 1971 TdF, the first year Kessels were building his bikes:



BTW, more proof that orange bikes are really fast.
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Old 09-19-21, 04:51 PM
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Lugs are long and decent. What’s the tubing?

That would make an excellent, er...single speed.
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Old 09-19-21, 06:05 PM
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That bike is awesome!

Mavic stem is gorgeous and the Mafac wares gravy on the biscuit!

Great potential frame too.
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Old 09-19-21, 06:26 PM
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mixed gear ensemble of Freres Huret shift lever paired with Juy cable guide and Juy Prestige 637AR rear mech

Lyotard model Nr. 36 pedals

Nitor saddle

frame exhibits Italian type brake bridge

crown is Vagner model DL

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Old 09-19-21, 06:44 PM
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non-fixie is that a tubular or clincher RW?
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Old 09-19-21, 06:56 PM
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rear wheel is a wired-on with a RIGIDA SUPERCHROMIX steel rim


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Old 09-20-21, 01:35 PM
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That is one of the coolest "entry level" bikes I've ever seen. Tons of potential there. I would leave it as a five (four?) speed set up.
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Old 09-20-21, 01:57 PM
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Very nice, I didn’t know Kessels made an entry level Merckx. Looks much better quality than the cheap and nasty Falcon-built “Eddy Merckx” replicas sold here in the UK. I bet that will fix up real nice, due to its rarity I’d be inclined to do preservation job rather than a full restoration. That’s $25 well spent!
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Old 09-21-21, 01:04 AM
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that color is so sick
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Old 09-21-21, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow
Lugs are long and decent. What’s the tubing?

That would make an excellent, er...single speed.
The lugs do look nice, and I especially like the look of seat stay tops. Very elegant.

I saw no marks that would indicate what tubing was used, and I haven't had the opportunity yet to take any measurements. Won't have for a couple of weeks either, as the non-fixie household will temporarily relocate to Italy for some cycling.
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Old 09-21-21, 03:33 PM
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Oh, the life...

Have a great time you two!
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Old 09-21-21, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by velomateo
That is one of the coolest "entry level" bikes I've ever seen. Tons of potential there. I would leave it as a five (four?) speed set up.
Isn't it?

Its only drawback, however, is its size. Too small for me, too big for the mrs.
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Old 09-22-21, 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie
Isn't it?

Its only drawback, however, is its size. Too small for me, too big for the mrs.
Hmmm, well what size is it? Looks like a 54-55.
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Old 09-22-21, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by velomateo
Hmmm, well what size is it? Looks like a 54-55.
It certainly does, but to be sure I'll be taking actual measurements when I get back in a couple of weeks. I'll post them here.
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Old 08-23-22, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by rewdco
Hi,
I’m new on this forum. I’d like to add some pictures and the history of my 1971 Kessels bike, but I need to add at least 10 posts before I can add a picture… The countdown begins…
10…
Go to your profile and find albums on the right. Add Pics.
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Old 08-23-22, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie
It certainly does, but to be sure I'll be taking actual measurements when I get back in a couple of weeks. I'll post them here.
If you're stripping the frame and thinking of selling it on, I'd definitely be interested, it is my size by the looks of it
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Old 08-23-22, 01:27 PM
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Very cool. I have a Falcon made Eddy Merckx that is on the low-end as well.

Your frame & fork crown looks similar to some of Gitane frames I've seen
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Old 08-23-22, 01:38 PM
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Nothing makes sense. The sticker on the top tube belongs on the seat tube. Looks like chrome peeking under the fork paint. What is the headset?
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Old 08-23-22, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by branko_76
Very cool. I have a Falcon made Eddy Merckx that is on the low-end as well.

Your frame & fork crown looks similar to some of Gitane frames I've seen
I have a straight guage falcon. What an excellent frameset. Cheap stuff can be good!
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Old 08-23-22, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster
I have a straight guage falcon. What an excellent frameset. Cheap stuff can be good!
Same here, 1970's Falcon frames were put together much better than Raleigh of the time
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Old 08-24-22, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Mackers
If you're stripping the frame and thinking of selling it on, I'd definitely be interested, it is my size by the looks of it
Actually, forget I ever said that, I need another project like I need a hole in the head.
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Old 08-24-22, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie
(...) when I get back in a couple of weeks.
For those who wonder if I ever got back: I did. I just forgot about this thread and my promise. Sorry about that and thanks for reminding me.

One thing I did find out in the meantime is that Kessels' main supplier of frames - they didn't build any themselves - were Vaneenooghe. The frames they supplied to Kessels included those for Merckx, Planckaert, Pollentier and Kelly. Vaneenooghe still build steel frames, currently under their own brand name, Jaegher.
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Old 02-14-24, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Robvolz
Nothing makes sense. The sticker on the top tube belongs on the seat tube. Looks like chrome peeking under the fork paint. What is the headset?
Thank you very much for going out of your way to see about those stickers. To Cuba, no less! Much appreciated.

Originally Posted by Robvolz
It looks like the very early 1971 bikes had the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia stickers on the top tube. After seeing your picture, I managed to find exactly one other example online: BARN FIND Molteni 1971 Eddy Merckx.

Your timing is also excellent, BTW, as mine has been on my stand for a couple of days. I had finally dug it out of the garage.

The seat tube measures 56.5cm (center-to-top) and the top tube 56cm (center-to-center). The steel seatpost that came in it is somewhat deformed. My calipers show readings between 26.4mm and 26.8mm, so I'm assuming it started out at ~26.6mm, maybe even as a 26.8. BB shell is 70mm, with BSC threading.



The Mavic stem came out in one piece, after acquiring the correct 7mm allen wrench:



No markings on the headset. Perhaps juvela recognizes it?



Next up: the fixed cup. The bottom bracket was still surprisingly smooth, even with the decades-old chunks of grease in it, so I would like to save it.

The spindle, marked "137-70-MI":



The fixed cup, which I hope to get out unmolested. I measured the distance between the opposing flats to see what size wrench I would need at 36.6mm. So it will have to be the bench vise, I think:

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