Vintage Bike of the Week : Eddy Merckx Professional Aerodynamic

Vintage Bike of the Week : Eddy Merckx Professional Aerodynamic

by Pedal Pedlar January 21, 2017 2 Comments

Eddy Merckx Professional with Special Aero Tubing at Pedal Pedlar

Picking up from where we left off last year, we're back with a more mildly titled but by no means less rousing weekly showcase.

To kick off for 2017 we have something very special in the shape of this Eddy Merckx Professional with Columbus aero profile tubing.

A magnificent machine from the 1980s, one of the earlier Eddy Merckx cycles. This one features the same tube set used on it's younger sibling, the Merckx Chrono pursuit, seen here in the 1984 catalogue. The road version was never seen in any promotional material, in fact we've only ever seen 2 or 3 other examples, making this a very rare beast.

What's particularly interesting about this Merckx is the use of the later fork crown & seat stay caps, features not generally seen until the mid-80s, but the cable guides being routed above the BB and the bottom bracket shell itself suggest an earlier 80s build, most likely to allow the use of the top mount Campag shifters. However, the scattering of Campagnolo Super Record parts dated 1981 suggest otherwise.

Eddy Merckx Professional with Special Aero Tubing at Pedal Pedlar

The general assumption is that these aero models were not part of normal production, instead they were most likely custom ordered which explains the unconventional frame detail. The shop this beauty was originally bought from is still displayed on a sticker on the seat tube: Hendrickx of Mechelen, a Belgian shop that unfortunately no longer seems to exist  At least we know it hailed from the nation of the great man himself. That means a lot.

Eddy Merckx Pantographed Campagnolo Super Record Chainset on a Professional Aero at Pedal Pedlar

Beyond the adornment of Campagnolo Super Record parts (the centrepiece of which being that beautiful Eddy Merckx chainring, although not overlooking those aero mounted Campag down-tube shifters), there are a couple of things that we need to point out to highlight even more reasons why this is such a special build. Let's start with one of the less celebrated parts of a bicycle; the headset. Made by FT Bologna, a highly regarded Italian parts manufacturer responsible for producing super lightweight parts in the 1980s, who went on to produce lightweight parts for Campagnolo such as the titanium axles for their Super Record bottom brackets. Weighing in at just 103 grams, the FT Bologna headsets were considered an upgrade from Super Record at the time, and they fetch a small fortune today. Everything FT Bologna made really was the cream of the crop, and as an added bonus this is the black anodised version. Neat.

FT Bologna Headset on an Eddy Merckx Professional at Pedal Pedlar

The final feature we'd like to mention is the steering section. The cockpit if you will. You guessed it, rare. This time courtesy of Tecnologia del Tubo Torinese, or as they're more commonly know, 3ttt. What's so special? Well, the whole set up. In true early 80s aero fashion the handlebars are the flattened aero model from 3T, these are very rarely discovered, especially with such clean centre logos. Holding that in place is the beautiful 3ttt Record Olympic stem, an early example of a quill stem that allows the bars to be removed without un-taping, which is convenient because those babies are wrapped in classic Almarc leather. Nobody wants the job of taking that off. Add all this together and you have a very special front end. One that sets the tone for such a magnificent machine.

3ttt Olympic Aero With Classic Almarc Leather Wrap on an Eddy Merckx Professional

Well that's us for this week. We hope you enjoyed reading about this unique piece of Merckx history. We'll be back again next week with another instalment.

See the full spec of the 1981 Eddy Merckx Professional Aerodynamic here.

Columbus Aero Tubing on an Eddy Merckx Professional at Pedal Pedlar

Aero Mount Campagnolo Super record Shifters on an Eddy Merckx Professional at Pedal Pedlar

3ttt Olympic Aero With Classic Almarc Leather Wrap on an Eddy Merckx Professional at Pedal Pedlar

Eddy Merckx Professional Aero from 1981 at Pedal Pedlar

If you enjoyed this article please don't forget to share it around 😊  


Pedal Pedlar
Pedal Pedlar


2 Responses

Pedal Pedlar
Pedal Pedlar

January 25, 2017

It’s down to £1715 until the end of January. If you click on any image in the article above it’ll take you to the product page.

Geoff Simpson
Geoff Simpson

January 25, 2017

How much is this gem?

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