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GCN '69 Merckx Climb Vid

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GCN '69 Merckx Climb Vid

Old 05-20-22, 11:05 AM
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Fahrenheit531 
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GCN '69 Merckx Climb Vid

So they meticulously reproduced a Merckx racing bike with NOS Campy, then got to climbing. WOOHOO!

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Old 05-20-22, 11:31 AM
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That front brake cable routing is somehow painful to look at on such a beautiful bike.
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Old 05-20-22, 06:06 PM
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Worth noting that the title should really have been "Can Simon Survive a Killer Climb on a Vintage Superbike?"
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Old 05-20-22, 06:58 PM
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Don’t know what he’s complaining about, that’s my standard operating procedure when clipping in.

Stay tuned for the next part: Faffing around on the shifters
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Old 05-20-22, 07:14 PM
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I enjoy GCN and Simon, and appreciate the love for the Merckx! One could quibble about non-ideal aspects of the video, but I give Si credit for even thinking about grinding up that hill in a 42 x 21! He must be nuts, or maybe lost a bet??

Jeez.. I've slowly grunted up the local 14% grade in a 42 x 24, and it was slow and not pleasant (and I was probably in my mid 40's at the time). At least I had proper slotted cleats to get a good pull on the pedal.

If anyone subscribes to GCN Plus, let us know how the rest of the bike review goes!

Steve in Peoria
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Old 05-20-22, 07:53 PM
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Silly shoe choice.
the pros even switched freewheels between stages, should have a 13 or 14-26.
should train on the bigger gears too for a while.

( not to make him feel bad - Merckx rode a 13-19 six speed and 54-44 for the Montreal worlds in 1974)

should have just gone to Masi in Italy and have them make a bike. This notion by the way that steel bikes wear out is just a resurfacing urban bike shop myth.

Should have some decent tires too...
cheapskates and the bars should rotate a few degrees back.

like the brake lever cabling... hack job.

too afraid to downtube friction shift?
this guy would be a cat 5 in the 80's.
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Old 05-21-22, 05:36 AM
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Not sure why Si was worried about putting to much power to the drivetrain when it was good enough for Merckx.
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Old 05-21-22, 06:25 AM
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I never raced but I do enjoy these videos. Funny thing is a bit of half step and granny from a touring bike of the day and it wouldn't be that tough.
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Old 05-21-22, 08:18 AM
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The drop out screws are installed backwards.
Probably wondering what these two little brass nuts are for after the build was completed.
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Old 05-21-22, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Oakman View Post
Not sure why Si was worried about putting to much power to the drivetrain when it was good enough for Merckx.
perpetuating the myth that the old stuff was feeble. Just as old steel frames will be weak.

and the guy was scared of downtube shifters.
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Old 05-21-22, 08:41 AM
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I was most amused with his difficulty getting his shoes into the toe clips
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Old 05-21-22, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
I was most amused with his difficulty getting his shoes into the toe clips
I remember being that guy.
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Old 05-21-22, 09:34 AM
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The video was downright silly and full of inaccuracies. Why don't they consult people with good knowledge of the period to get things correct. He should have acclimatized himself to the older bike by riding it for at least a month or so and then maybe he could have given a more insightful comparison to modern bikes. By the way I ride both and am not that much slower on the older bikes.
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Old 05-21-22, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Pogliaghi View Post
The video was downright silly and full of inaccuracies. Why don't they consult people with good knowledge of the period to get things correct. He should have acclimatized himself to the older bike by riding it for at least a month or so and then maybe he could have given a more insightful comparison to modern bikes. By the way I ride both and am not that much slower on the older bikes.
When comes to touring bikes I may be faster on old ones. They are usually lighter.
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Old 05-21-22, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
too afraid to downtube friction shift?
this guy would be a cat 5 in the 80's.
If they had Cat 5s in the 80's, I wouldn't have been a Cat 4.
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Old 05-21-22, 04:36 PM
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Neat video. That's impressive getting up that hill (ave. 10% grade with a decent section at 25%) on a 42/21.

That said, the guy never looked comfortable on that bike even when going downhill or on the flats. The gearing was wrong for that climb. He didn't know how to properly clamp the quick release skewer. Since he was running NOS gear, the comments that the parts might not make it because they were 50 years old was nonsense. The idea that you need a "new" vintage bike to see how they ride compared to a modern bike is nutty.

I keep seeing versions of that argument--new bikes versus old--play out on different threads in C&V. I'm indifferent to whether an old bike is as good as a new one. I just like old bikes. I like the challenge of finding the frame and the parts and getting them ready to ride tough hilly rides. I sure as heck wouldn't go with a full campy build for a bike I want to ride up serious hills.

Last edited by bikemig; 05-21-22 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 05-21-22, 04:41 PM
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Anybody see the associated build/ride video on GCN plus? Curious if it showed the bike in better circumstances, rather than undergeared on a steep climb.
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Old 05-21-22, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I'm indifferent to whether an old bike is as good as a new one.
Here is my problem with the comparisons, the only metric they ever consider to be "better" is if a bike is faster. The only 0.000001% of people where that actually matters is someone who puts food on the table by racing bikes. And those people don't give a crap about the video.

Then again, get a dozen vintage "experts" to do the same/similar video, you will get 12 different things. But at least those 12 other videos wouldn't be the cliché of what constitutes the "best" bike so typically depicted by conventional wisdom.
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Old 05-21-22, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
the pros even switched freewheels between stages, should have a 13 or 14-26.
True. But if it were a flat stage with this as the "climb", then 42/21 is not outrageous. You could argue for the 54-44 an 13-19 in that case.
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Old 05-21-22, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
True. But if it were a flat stage with this as the "climb", then 42/21 is not outrageous. You could argue for the 54-44 an 13-19 in that case.
given the difficulty shown on the climb, get him a 26. The big ring on that bike looks like a 53 or 54 based on the depth beyond the ring cutouts. But he was apprehensive using downtube shifters and said he would stay in the small ring.

Merckx rode a 13-19 six block with a 54/44 during he 1974 Worlds in Montreal- the Mt Royal circuit... this presenter is nowhere near that shape.
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Old 05-21-22, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Neat video. That's impressive getting up that hill (ave. 10% grade with a decent section at 25%) on a 42/21.

That said, the guy never looked comfortable on that bike even when going downhill or on the flats. The gearing was wrong for that climb. He didn't know how to properly clamp the quick release skewer. Since he was running NOS gear, the comments that the parts might not make it because they were 50 years old was nonsense. The idea that you need a "new" vintage bike to see how they ride compared to a modern bike is nutty.

I keep seeing versions of that argument--new bikes versus old--play out on different threads in C&V. I'm indifferent to whether an old bike is as good as a new one. I just like old bikes. I like the challenge of finding the frame and the parts and getting them ready to ride tough hilly rides. I sure as heck wouldn't go with a full campy build for a bike I want to ride up serious hills.
the parts were Not New Old Stock.
the brakes were a mess
pads were way past replacement.
look at the video and stop it at the point where the front caliper was in full view. Rust bucket.
Sad.
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Old 05-21-22, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Neat video. That's impressive getting up that hill (ave. 10% grade with a decent section at 25%) on a 42/21.

That said, the guy never looked comfortable on that bike even when going downhill or on the flats. The gearing was wrong for that climb. He didn't know how to properly clamp the quick release skewer. Since he was running NOS gear, the comments that the parts might not make it because they were 50 years old was nonsense. The idea that you need a "new" vintage bike to see how they ride compared to a modern bike is nutty.

I keep seeing versions of that argument--new bikes versus old--play out on different threads in C&V. I'm indifferent to whether an old bike is as good as a new one. I just like old bikes. I like the challenge of finding the frame and the parts and getting them ready to ride tough hilly rides. I sure as heck wouldn't go with a full campy build for a bike I want to ride up serious hills.
google earth indicates the climb percentage was exaggerated.

who needs truth if it is dull?
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Old 05-21-22, 11:08 PM
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They've definitively proven that old riders are better than new ones.

I talked to a guy recently who made some comment about liking old bike but needing to use his modern bikes for climbing. Maybe he also is unaware that you can change the gearing. I hard a very light carbon fiber Ridley for a while. It didn't make me any faster or better at climbing.
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Old 05-22-22, 12:04 AM
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without having watched the video, let me guess:

oh my god strap-on pedals i'm gonna die
oh my god those brakes i'm gonna die
oh my god downtube shifters i' m gonna die
oh my god no 34-32 i'm gonna die

lets face it no one could ride those bikes, its all a fake
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Old 05-22-22, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by martl View Post
without having watched the video, let me guess:

oh my god strap-on pedals i'm gonna die
oh my god those brakes i'm gonna die
oh my god downtube shifters i' m gonna die
oh my god no 34-32 i'm gonna die

lets face it no one could ride those bikes, its all a fake
Are you sure you didn't watch the video.
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