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Merckx information assistance, please...(13 posts)

Merckx information assistance, please...Chef
Nov 26, 2002 9:33 AM
It has been my exceptional fortune to become the proud owner of a used Merckx frame. I would love to know the history behind the model of frame; when it was made, etc. Sadly, I've been unable to dig up any such information; therefore, I was hoping that someone here might be able to point me in the right direction/share knowledge they might have.

The frame is a Factory Pilot (at least, that's what it says on the fork legs - in luminescent writing). There are no other decals on the frame, aside from the Merckx name on the downtube and a couple small wrap-around decals on the seattube. The lugs have the E.M. scrolled into them. The rear triangle is chromed, but painted over. It takes an Italian-threaded BB.

That's all I can think of. Any information would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

How about a pic...type of tubing...?NMmerckx56
Nov 26, 2002 9:56 AM
Limited answers...Chef
Nov 26, 2002 10:37 AM
I only have one pic of the frame, and it's mainly to show the name on the DT. It's a pretty lousy pic, too. My camera is AWL (Absent With Leave); I'll try to borrow a camera and get a decent shot.

Tubing is Columbus Steel.

congrats on the new (to you) bike!_rt_
Nov 26, 2002 10:06 AM
enjoy it.

Thanks, rt!Chef
Nov 26, 2002 10:40 AM
It fits SO much better than the Bianchi. Can't even begin to tell ya. I've still got to play around with stem height/length (not too much), but at least the frame fits right.

re: Merckx information assistance, please...Donger
Nov 26, 2002 10:08 AM
Contact They are the US distributor and I've had good luck with them. You can also try I think e-mails to either get routed to the same place. Nonetheless they've responded to my inquiries within a week or so.
re: Merckx information assistance, please...Chef
Nov 26, 2002 10:38 AM
Thanks for the info on @gitabike - I tried the site, but had spotty success even connecting.

"Factory pilot"DMoore
Nov 26, 2002 1:01 PM
I've never heard of a Merckx model by that name. I strongly suspect that it's a reference to the Oakley Factory Pilot sunglasses. Those were the original sport shields as worn by Greg LeMond in the late '80's, which helped build Oakley into the company it is today. Can't tell much about the frame from such a sketchy description.
More detail, and a lousy picture...Chef
Nov 26, 2002 4:28 PM
As I've mentioned, I don't really have a good picture - only the one included. However, here's a more detailed description (bike is next to me):

Fully lugged frame - including fork. Blue paint (as picture above shows). Chromed seatstays, chainstays, fork, and dropouts - all chrome has paint over it except dropouts F&R and the driveside chainstay. Rear dropouts have adjuster screws. The rear brake cable routing is on top of the top tube, and doesn't have cable stops - it holds a solid housing all the way. The bike originally came with full Campy (Nuovo rear derailleur, Strada crankset - I didn't get a good look at the shifters).

There are EM decals on the headtube and seattube (EM with crossed, multicolor swooshes), two wraparound decals on the seattube that say "Mexico KM: 49,431" and have a picture of Italy and France on opposite sides. There is a "Belgium Handmade" decal on the downtube near the headtube juction. The fork has "Factory Pilot" in large block letters on each leg. There is the expected EM scrolled into the lugs on the fork, as well as into the top of the seatstays. The toptube has no decals, nor does it appear that it ever did. All decals can be felt - it's not a smooth finish.

The previous owner said that he'd bought the frame in the 80s, and that it cost him $800 SHOP cost back then.

I don't know what more I can say about it. I hope this and the picture help. If not, no worries - I was just curious as to its history. I'll find out sooner or later. :-)
More confusionKerry
Nov 26, 2002 4:55 PM
It sounds/looks like your bike has a pretty random mix of parts. In the mid 80s, Campy Nuovo Record had been off the market for a few years. The "Strada" on your crank set simply means "road" - it indicates nothing about the model of the crank. The picture shows cable mounts for brake/shifters - Campy and Shimano did not have those in the 80s. If the guy was telling you the truth on frame price, it was probably Eddy's top bike, though in those days, he really only had one frame (there were not many tubing choices). You've got yourself a nice steel frame.
Switched components...Chef
Nov 26, 2002 5:58 PM
I bought the frame, but not the components. The bike had Campy downtube shifters on it, along with Campy brakes/hoods/front derailleur (braze-on)/etc; I switched them for modern STI shifters and full 2001 Ultegra drivetrain (I'd just like to say that installing a Shimano IT-threaded BB is an unholy pain). It's still got the original headset on it, though - the previous owner said I could keep that as long as necessary. He showed me on the rear derailleur when the Nuovo was made - 1975, stamped into the metal.

I double-checked the cranks - there's really nothing else on them, except for BREV. CAMPAGNOLO on the rings and ring bolts. Also, the inner ring is larger than the average modern ring - about a 42t instead of a 39t, perhaps.

I trust the previous owner. He told me the truth on frame price.

I LOVE the frame! I can't believe what a difference it makes! :-)


Campy cluesKerry
Nov 27, 2002 4:25 PM
Campy did not label most components in those days with model names. The Nuovo Record rear derailleur and Record hubs were the primary exceptions. Brev. and Inter. are abbreviations for Brevatto (sp?) International, which is Italian for Internationally Registered. Brev. Campagnolo then means the equivalent of Trademarked Campagnolo. You'll also see parts marked Patent, which obviously means that the design is patented. Any year numbers (1972 and 1975 being the most common) reflect the year the part design was patented, not the year it was made. The Nuovo Record/Super Record (NR with relieved chain rings) cranks were 42 tooth inner ring. All Campy chain rings have the tooth count stamped on the outer face (facing away from the bike on the big ring, facing inward on the small ring).
More detail, and a lousy picture...gtx
Nov 26, 2002 10:16 PM
Yeah, I think you have Oakley stickers on the fork. I'm pretty sure that's a mid-80s frame--those are the older decals. I think there were only two models for much of that time--one with chrome and a sloping fork crown and the other with no chrome and a flat fork crown for about $200 less. I think they were both Columbus SL (with SP downtubes on the 58 and bigger sizes). I think these also had slightly more agressive geometry than the current bikes. He later offered a "century" model with more laid back geoetry--that's the only geometry he offers now. I could be wrong on all of this--that's what I remember from when I sold them back then. I currently have an ealy 90s Century model made out of Reynolds 653. Great bikes. Nice score!