Founded on history and legend, iconic Eddy Merckx Cycles looks to the future with a large expansion of bike offerings in 2016. Just as the company’s namesake constantly tinkered on his own bikes and pushed the technological boundaries while racing, EMC continues this tradition with new concepts and designs.
While Merckx himself is no longer a shareholder in the company he founded 35 years ago, he’s still heavily involved in the development and testing of each bike produced. The new bikes are named for some of Merckx’s most memorable victories from his total of 525 career wins. The new line also maintains the distinctive EMC styling with its curved forks and kinked top tubes. The assortment of 2016 bikes is extensive. Jumping into new categories such as gravel, EMC is aiming to rival top bike companies in the industry who offer similarly complete line-ups.
The San Remo76 race bike is EMC’s take on the popular aero road bike category. However, despite the aero road bike leanings, the San Remo76 isn’t built using the standard aero shaped tubing. Rather, Merckx chose to focus on getting the rider in an aero position.
The company claims that no significant aero advantages are seen with tube shaping unless you go to the extreme time trial bike aerodynamics and tube shaping. On the other hand, Merckx points out that small differences in a rider’s position can make huge differences in aerodynamics. With that in mind, the San Remo76 was designed with a lower front end to drop riders into a more aerodynamic position.
While rider position is most certainly a large concern in aerodynamics, the claim that aero tubing makes no difference strikes us as an excuse for a lack of engineering. Additionally, the lower front end limits this bike to riders who are flexible enough to stay in the aggressive position.
Pricing: Shimano Ultegra Di2 $5699
Mourenx69 and Mourenx69disc
Available in both rim brake and disc brake versions, the Mourenx69 endurance bike aims to provide a compliant and comfortable ride whether you’re out for the long haul or a short spin around town. The Mouenx69’s endurance geometry includes the expected taller stack and shorter reach than Merckx’s performance race bikes.
The Mourenx69disc model includes 12mm front and rear thru axles and internal brake cable routing for a cleaner look than its rim brake counterpart. Also, because the seat stays on the disc version weren’t built around a rim brake, the bike is even more compliant than the rim brake model.
Pricing Mourenx69: Shimano Ultegra Di2 $5499, Frameset $2999
Pricing Mourenx69disc: Shimano Ultegra Di2 $6499, Shimano 105 $4299
The versatile Sallanches64 is named for Merckx’s 1964 amateur world championship victory in France. Designed to suit a wide range of cyclists, the Sallanches64 sits between an endurance bike and a race bike in terms of geometry and ride quality. With newer riders in mind, the Sallanches64 was built to offer a carbon road bike option at a more affordable price.
Pricing: Shimano Ultegra $2999, Shimano 105 $2499, Shimano Tiagra $1999
EMC didn’t forget the ladies in the new line of bikes. The Milano72 offers the same versatility and performance as the Sallanches64 but with women’s specific geometry. The new EMC line includes five sizes, which is a nice increase from the previous year’s three size options.
Pricing (Same as Sallanches64): Shimano Ultegra $2999, Shimano 105 $2499, Shimano Tiagra $1999
Blockhaus67 and Montreal74
Blockhaus was Eddy Merckx’s first win at the Giro d’Italia and it stunned spectators as they watched the assumed sprinter win a mountain stage. Montreal is where Merckx won his third world championship title in 1974 after a tough year of setbacks and illness.
As the least expensive bikes of the new line, the Blockhaus67 and Montreal74 offer an aluminum option that is light (claimed frame weight 1,150 grams). The tubing is so light in fact, that double pass smooth welding is required, a process that takes twice as long as typical welding.
Pricing for both Blockhaus67 and Montreal74: Shimano 105 $1999, Shimano Tiagra $1499
Merckx’s current Eeklo70 carbon cyclocross bike changes little for 2016. The Eeklo70 has good mud clearance, post mount disc brakes, and quick release dropouts. An alloy version of the Eeklo70 will also be available and shares the same geometry and carbon fork as the top model.
Pricing: Shimano Ultegra $3599, Shimano 105 $2599, SRAM Rival 1×11 $2599, Alloy $1999