Bikes of SRAM - KGSN's Eddy Merckx
“The Cannibal,” more formally known as Eddy Merckx, is among the greatest and most successful riders in the history of cycling. With 525 victories, including five Tour de France wins, his career is not likely to be replicated. In 1980, after eighteen years of domination on the road, the Belgian cyclist retired to create his own bicycle brand, “Eddy Merckx Cycles.” These prestigious bicycles were raced by a number of professional teams in the 80’s and 90’s.
In 2006, when the Kodakgallery.com-Sierra Nevada cycling team announced they would be racing on Eddy Merckx Cycles, it ended a ten-year absence of these prestigious frames from the US professional peloton. The last time a Merckx bike had been raced professionally was in 1990 by Team Motorola.
The original owner of this particular bike is Pete Lopinto, an ex-professional racer who rode with the Kodakgallery.com-Sierra Nevada team. When asked for comment Lopinto said, “they were really great race bikes, plus they were the best looking bikes of the era.” Although the bicycles brands have since moved towards more simplistic graphics, the team issue, green, yellow, and red certainly made for an attention grabbing color way. The full scandium aluminum frame was at the top of the line in terms of performance. It was built with a special edition Easton flare tube set, precisely designed to Eddy's specifications and outfitted with the latest componentry.
Lopinto noted that the team rode three different prototypes of the original SRAM Force groupset, adding, “nobody knew what to expect (in terms of performance), but certainly DoubleTap is solid, simple and intuitive.”
While on Kodakgallery.com-Sierra Nevada, Lopinto enjoyed helping SRAM’s products evolve by providing valuable performance feedback, noting, “We took part in the entire product development process, they listened to our feedback.” Lopinto said it was interesting seeing the entire product cycle, from development to market. The team quickly delivered SRAM it's first road wins with their new road group, SRAM Force, which was fully introduced in 2006. SRAM Force has seen several evolutions, including the modern versions, which include disc brake and 1x options.
Frameset: Eddy Merckx Premium
Crankset: SRAM Force (172.5)
Chainring: SRAM Ten Speed Powerglide 2 (53/39T)
Chain: SRAM PG-1070
Cassette: SRAM PC-1071
Right Shift/Brake Lever: SRAM Force
Left Shift/Brake Lever: SRAM Force
Rear Derailleur: SRAM Force (short cage)
Front Derailleur: SRAM Force
Brakeset: SRAM Force
Wheeset: Mavic KSYRIUM Edition Speciale Anniversaire
Tires: Michelin Pro Race
Stem: Easton EC70 (6 Degrees Rise)
Seatpost: Easton EC70
Handlebar: EC90 Equipe 85mm Reach 145mm drop
Saddle: Fizik Arione K:ium Wing Flex
Headset: Cane Creek