Eddy Merckx Alu Sprint 2002 Road Bike


Tubing: 7020 Throughout his illustrious racing career Eddy Merckx was meticulous in the detail of his bicycles, taking the utmost pride in the fit and finish of all his equipment. As a manufacturer he retains these qualities, incorporates them with his unparalleled racing experiences, and shares them with thousands like you.


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[Aug 30, 2012]
Simon Noble
Recreational Rider


Precise handling from 5mph to 40mph. Stopping from high speed (28mph) in a straight line, descending and cornering are all predictable and safe. Comfortable over mid-distances of 25 to 75 miles. Not fragile. Excellent use of colour and graphics. Strong brand, famous name and affordable. Classic design with excellent reach and stack dimensions for A-road and B-road distance work in fine weather. Neither heavy nor light at 21lb with pedals, it is a very good general purpose road bike that still has design elements with mass market appeal. Long-term durability. Rare.


At 21lb it isn't a light-weight climber, however a 53:39 into a 13-26 cassette resolves that issue and it will climb a 1:10 gradient using a 12:23 cassette in the 39:21 ratio for a duration of 6 minutes, riding with a 10lb backpack. It climbs better in the saddle. Alternative horizontal stems are hard to find. There is no Aero' in the design other than the stack and reach dimensions for generating a flat back; a longer stem does resolve some of this issue.

I purchased my Eddy Merckx Alu Sprint in Domo Farm Frites colours from Interbike, Colchester, Essex on 7th May 2002, as my 50th birthday present. It is a 52cm frame with Campagnolo Veloce 9-speed groupset with 170 cranks, It cost £1099.

Frame tubes use Eddy Merckx Aluminium 7020 Extralight tubing. The frame number is 200370.
Fork is carbon.
Handle-bars originally fitted were 42cm 3T THE. These have now been replaced by Pro Lite and I can also fit a Deda Piega 26.0 diameter in 6061 T6 aluminium if required.
Seatpost is an ACOR.
Wheels are alloy Gipemme Tecno 024 wheels with 24mm rims and 24 bladed spokes front and rear arranged in pairs.
Seat is a Selle Italia trimatic with Eddy Merckx embroidered stitching.
Stem is 3T THE originally 110mm but now 120mm.
Handle-bar ribbon is SILVA in blue with Eddy Merck printed logo.
Tyres are continental GP4000 ASC.
Headset is Stronglight Aheadset. I ride with a competetive fit using just one spacer beneath the stem.

The Eddy Merckx Alu Sprint has to date completed 8,000 miles of clean, tarmac road-work. It has travelled A-roads and B-roads around the South Coast of Hampshire and Surrey in the United Kingdom. It has never been used in the wet or even washed! It has proved very durable and robust. I once snake-bit an inner tube hitting a lump of beach shingle with tyres pumped to 100psi. It has reliably stopped, in three emergency stops, from 28mph with the rear wheel in the air part of the time, without any drama. It holds a line without over-steer or under-steer. There isn't any flex apparent in the frame or wheels, yet the bike is comfortable....it has to be the quality of the tubes. This makes the bike something worth looking after and keeping and this is why I am assembling the review.

Horizontal stems are difficult to find on Google searches but are available from J.E. James. I purchased a 120mm and 135mm to replace a 110mm. With the possible exception of the handlebar tape and seat, all other components appear to be available still in 2012.

Spare parts usage has been light.......The Campagnolo chain lasted 7,000 miles. It has only used one mech' cable inner and a handlebar which fatigue cracked after 7,000 miles. Campagnolo transmission components are still good, as are the brakes and pads. The wheels are in as good a condition as they were in 2002 and have never needed spoke or bearing adjustment; the bearings are sealed cartridge items. The paintwork is fine with one exception: the paint has cracked by tension cracking over the aluminium head-tube, probably from the time when the bearing cups were drifed into the head-tube. This isn't an issue yet but it may alter secondhand values.

The complete bike is a pleasure to ride in the summer and the geometry just works a dream: after days of road-work on a budget 8-speed or flat-bar it generates a huge "Wow" and broad grin when I take it out.........and I am 60! Now that is what it is all about, and I am so grateful to Eddy Merckx.

Why do I keep it? I would like a carbon Aero' with a long reach and low stack height but they don't exist. At 140lb and medium build, I don't need a heavy box section frame with gorilla stiffness. Like many ordinary riders, I generate moderate torque and power but I have exceptional endurance. Efficiency at speed is the target. Current Aero' designs can't replace the Eddy Merckx Alu Sprint. The catalogues are filled with road bikes that succeed in pelotons where drafting is the norm. For everyday riders like myself, doing road-work, I am usually on my own in a solitary endeavour where air drag is unrelieved. I am usually with a 10lb backpack, so weight isn't an issue. I am not on a quiet Sunday potter-around. I am always doing a "PB". I am usually sprinting to 30mph on A-roads and in heavy urban traffic at 21 to 24mph. The riding done by everyday riders like myself isn't represented in the Tours; it isn't in the televised TdF or Vuelta. We don't ride in a bunch on narrow roads and crash. I don't wear a helmet.

That is the brilliance of the Eddy Merckx Alu Sprint and Racing Classic, horizontal top-tube design bikes. It is a hugely desirable proven classic, that will probably evolve into an Eddy Merckx ETT but be appreciated in years to come for its contribution to road-riders on a budget.

Similar Products Used:

Carrera Valour 8 speed, £300 drop-bar budget racer.




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