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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The whole weight aspect of the MX Leader has always gotten in my head. I had a pretty hilly race this past weekend and had every intention of riding a light bike, but I could not quite get comfortable on it, so at the last minute I just rode the big Leader. I have to say it felt great and I was able to climb right at the front on some 10 minute long hills that were pretty steep, plus the bike managed to win the field sprint at the end. After a few crits on the bike that went fine, I'm really thinking of using it as a daily driver. It's such a great machine, here's a couple of non-action shots:
 

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I've got a steel Corsa .01 and a ti AX. The ti Merckx is about 2 lbs. lighter than the Corsa, but I don't notice any difference in my climbing ability or speed. In fact, the fastest ride I have ever done, on a fairly hilly route, was on my Corsa. I think the effect of a few pounds or ounces if greatly over-rated by most cyclists.
 

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I could never say that I enjoy climbing, but my MX Leader made it tolerable. The frame is stiff enough for efficiency and rock solid on the descents. The weight penalty is not significant. I look forward to building mine back up once I move back to the mainland. I have to settle for an aluminum Pego for the time being. I need to post a picture of my Leader, it really came out nice from the restoration.
 

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One thing I have heard and read numerous times about Merckx frames is that they are second to none in handling on curvy downhill roads. One article about a Corsa .01 that I read in some cycling magazine said it was the best handling frame the reviewer had ever ridden. Although I haven't ridden a wide variety of frames, my Corsa is certainly the best handling bike I have ever owned, and it instills confidence when riding down hills in the mountains.
 

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well since most of us

probably carry the extra weight of an MXL on our bodies, none of us should complain. Oh and that LA won on the Mur de Huy on one, if you can't climb on that bike my guess is it's the old "Bad Carpenter blaming his tools". I'm 6'4.5" tall, 230 lbs riding a 61 cm Molteni Merckx Team Alu (still looking for my MXL) and I take no greater joy than dropping guys on their light bikes on climbs. and at my size if you don't have a minute plus lead at the top of the mountain there's no way you can defend it on the descent. If you are behind, you will never see me until the finsih.
 

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Unfortunately, my Merckx bikes are more capable at descending than I am. I lack the nerve and practice to be a great descender on mountain roads. I typically descend faster than most of my cycling buddies due to my weight, but I wimp out when the roads get real curvy. In my younger days, I used to love flying down mountain roads, and there were some roads with banked curves in the Georgia mountains that were particularly appealing. However, several years ago I overshot a corner riding in the mountains near Greenville, SC, and that scared me enough that I take it much easier now.
 

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Shut up legs!
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I want to comment on the ride of the MX Leader on the climb and downhill.

Yesterday I had a group ride up a local skiing mountain. It is a 16km climb from bottom to top and my bike felt great. I can't comment too much on the climbing as I honestly haven't done much climbing with any other bike or any climbs for that matter in life. However the downhill stability was EXCELLENT! The bike felt so solid and stable that it was like it's on rails. There was no vibration or shimmy of any kind. I was reaching speeds of 74kph with some slight curves and two hairpins. Decending on the MX Leader felt as stable as riding a motorcycle. The more I ride my Eddy, the more I love it
 

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MXLs are great!

I only have about 300 miles on my MXL since putting it together, but am in love with this bike. The MXL climbs and feels significantly better than my other bike (a Serotta Atlanta) even though the Serotta weighs a pound and a half less.

The fit on the MXL was perfect right out of the gate. On its maiden voyage, I descended down a steep hill that cuts sharply to the left, drops down even steeper and crosses a low water bridge before cutting back sharply to the right. This downhill is a regular on my Saturday Morning rides and I usually hit the mid 40 mph range on it. On the Serotta (and other bikes I've owned) I usually think about how I'm going to set up for the quick left and then the quick (increasing radius) right at the bottom of the hill. On the MXL, I don't remember thinking about it. In fact, once I caught up with the group I was meeting, I couldn't even remember going down the hill. I had to retrace the descent in my mind to assure myself that it had been done.

Was this lost time episode a tear in the time-space continuum, an aging memory, or the result of an excellent handling bike? I tend to think it's a result of the bike (or the aging memory). Regardless, I love my MXL!!!

Texbike
 

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Hey Jroden,
i'm curious what kind of response or comments your bike gets at races since it's a little out of the norm from the sea of people on aluminum and carbon.

i was lucky to find NOS 55cm Molteni MXL several months ago,not really needing it I still havn't built it up.it's a skosh overbuilt for my weight (145) but it is a beautiful bike and knew they were getting scarce so i scooped it up.

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Some of the real bike turds just hate the thing and the masters guys love to speculate that i'd be a lot better with a proper bike and they spout some powertap statistics to prove it. I rode a Corsa that looked the same for many years, but it was getting pretty worn out, so when I showed up this year with the Leader, people would ask if I got a repaint on the Corsa. I said no, this is new, they would ask if it was hopefully lighter than that anchor of a Corsa, no says I, she's a built to take a little more strain. So, the joke in the peleton is Roden when out and bought a new bike that weighs even more than the old one. I had a really good season this year for some reason, I was climbing pretty well and sprinting the best i have in 10 years and I turn 45 next month. I have to say it must be the bike! Its drying out next to the water heater from yesterdays ride in the torrential rain, once the sun comes up it'll be out for another adventure.
 

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You have to be a good rider to be riding the MXL in races to get respect. A lesser rider showing up with a heavy steel bike and finishing near the back will be a laughing stalk.
Great to hear you help MXL earn it's respect! Your'e awesome.

It's my bday next month too.. Sept 22. I am turning 32. Which day is your bday Jroden?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I actually lied, i'm getting ahead of myself, I turn 45 on Oct 23. It gets all the more confusing because for cyclocross nationals last year, i was supposed to race at my racing age for this year, so I was in 45-49, even though I was a youthful 44. All of this did not help me even crack the top 20, I'm hoping to be less pathetic this year, once I get a little more calcium between the two ends of this broken collarbone.

I have to say the thing that really has me going with this new MXL is the way I sit so far behind the bottom bracket. When I rode my other bike back in July, out of guilt, I got really sore, so I slapped a measure on it and sure enough it was much further forward, so I was using different muscles.

The really neat thing about this slightly larger frame is the BB height is exactly the same as my "modern" bike, so i don't hit the pedals in crits like I did on the old Corsa, so it's actually a really decent crit bike with all of the stiffness and all.

On the road, I notice people always want to get in front of me when the road slopes up, they must figure I'll be a total shrub with my large size and heavy bike. I rode down in the tour of Venezuella a number of years ago and was the largest rider in the group by maybe 40 lbs, that's a whole different level of climbing. What's funny is riders like the Cubans were flying every day on old steel bikes with 6 speed downtube shifters and 36 spoke wheels in a national level race. I realized equipment means so very little.
 

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thanks for replies guys..not suprised that folks that have been around long enough understand that a pound or two on the frameset isn't going to make much difference and certainly not to the extent the media & manufacturers want us to believe...maybe in mtn time trial....enjoy your MXL's
 
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