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I'm considering buying a used MX Leader of recent vintage. It's 62 cm, in Molteni orange, with 9-speed Dura Ace components, and Bontrager Race Lite wheels. It's in mint condition with less than 200 miles on it. The owner is asking $1,800. That seems like a reasonable price considering the frame goes for $1,600 new at Competitive Cyclist. So, my question is: If I buy this and it turns out that I don't feel like this is the bike for me, will I be able to recoup the cost easily?

Any thoughts?
 

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yes very reasonable.

frames in good condition are going for around $900, so you are getting the group and wheels for another $900. Since it's all near new it ain't bad, but heck I always try to bargain. Offer him 17
 

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I think it is fair also, you can get out from under it either as a built bike or just sell off the frame, though it is a little large for many people.

i bought one over the winter and find I enjoy it a lot. With normal wheels and ultegra 9 speed, it weighs in at 23.22 pounds, so I don't tend to use it for races with a lot of climbing. The bike is very well constructed and is fun to ride, if you are serious about doing your best in races, you end up having to own a lighter bike, but at 45 I know I won't be racing 1-2's forever and the Leader will end up my bike of choice for the rest of my cycling days.

Of all the bikes I have owned, the Merckx stell bikes are the ones I am fondest of, they just have a nice look to them and ride with a solid feel in your hands. Plus, it's kid of fun to get people to pick up your leader in the parking lot after the race for laughs, it's really a tank.
 

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That is a good price for a complete bike....I paid $1,600.00 for my MX Leader frameset alone last fall...I called virtually every dealer in N America to find one in 55cm in Motorola colors so you would not be under water with a complete bike at that price.
 

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This is a reasonable price with one caveat. If you are buying used, the frame will have no warranty protection. You might use that as a bargaining tool. Although Merckx frames are generally well made, they can have problems like any frame. I talked to a fellow Merckx owner last year with a fairly new MX Leader who got a warranty replacement after his original frame cracked near the bottom bracket. The first frame was only a 1-2 years old when it cracked. If you decide to buy the frame, just make sure you inspect it very carefully.
 

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my nearly new leader has a poorly done weld on the chainstay-dropout joint, I just noticed it the other day. If it breaks, I'm not sure if they will warranty it as I purchased used, otherwise I can get it fixed at hot tubes and maybe get a new paint color, after 12 years of Molteni maybe it's just getting old on my eyes. That frame is so overbuilt, I'm not expecting it to crack in any event.
 

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jroden said:
my nearly new leader has a poorly done weld on the chainstay-dropout joint, I just noticed it the other day. If it breaks, I'm not sure if they will warranty it as I purchased used, otherwise I can get it fixed at hot tubes and maybe get a new paint color, after 12 years of Molteni maybe it's just getting old on my eyes. That frame is so overbuilt, I'm not expecting it to crack in any event.
I'm unpleasantly surprised to hear about the poorly done weld on your chainstay dropout. I know Merckx frames are not infallible, but if Eddy's name is on it, so is his reputation. I dented the top tube on my MXL, hit the freaking coffee table on a sideways angle. I made an inquiry to a knowledgeable friend about fixing it down in San Diego under the auspices of Bell and Holland. My chum told me it would be well over a thousand dollars for the top tube replacement and the paint job. No thanks, bike still tracks like it's on rails, bombproof, performance is there, just looks sub par.

Fast forward to another Merckx bike I own. It's a time trial machine and the rear wheel would not align center in the chainstays. I took it to a reputable bike shop for an assessment. The owner tells me the frame is out of alignment and not fixable due to the frame material, 6/4 titanium. I'm in shock. My brother in law, not a bike mechanic, tells me that Merckx would be hard pressed to put his name on a bike that was defective. He removes the wheel, notices one of the springs (cone shape) on the wheel is backwards, corrects it, and the wheel positions near perfect center. Out of alignment my a$$!
 

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I'll see if I can snap a picture of the weld, it appears that the welder did not melt enough of the rod to fill in the joint. There may be plenty melted into the joint where I can't see it, but the actual butt joint is quite apparent to the naked eye, where on the other side you can't see it because the weld fills in the space where the tube and the dropout join. It's just a crappy weld.

My guess is it won't break, but it is a poor weld.

If you buy one used, are you out of luck?

That said, I have beat the living snot out of my old Corsa-dirt roads, crashes, airline travel in just a cardboard box, salt, snow, the works, you name it, no failures anywhere except for the dropout getting so hammered by the quick release that it lets the wheel slip, but it's a campy dropout, so what can you expect..
 

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warranties

On the plus side, I talked to another Merckx owner who got a free warranty replacement on his Corsa .01 that had at least 30,000 miles on it. He was selling the new Corsa frame and I wanted to buy it, but he backed out at the last minute and decided to keep the frame! He was the original owner of the frame, however.

I almost bought another Merckx frame with a dented top tube. The price was reasonable, but when I checked into the cost of repairing and repainting the frame, it just wasn't worth it. I could buy a new frame -- which I did -- for not much more than what it would cost for the old frame and repairs.
 
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