Thread: Going Places...
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Old October 20th, 2014, 03:03 PM
johnlee johnlee is online now
John Lee
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 16,151
90s technology:

It's the Eddy Merckx MX-Leader. I believe it was the last steel frame that Eddy Merckx Cycles made. It's pretty much a traditional steel frame made from Columbus tubing and brazed to investment-cast steel lugs, but the downtube is oversized and some ends of various tubes are squished and ovalized at the ends. The seat stays are round, but the chainstays are very tall and resemble the Colnago leaf shape. It's a weird frame.

That video of the Merckx factory shows an MX-Leader being brazed together. By that time, aluminum had taken over and Merckx says that steel frames were only five to 10% of his total production.

This frame was made in that same factory:

This frame is very 90s with both downtube shifter bosses and headtube eyelets for brifter (brake/shifter) housings. In the 80s, all bikes had downtube shifters and in the 2000s, all bikes had brifters. The 90s were the transition period. One sees a similar accommodation on today's frames, where they will fit both shift-cable housings and EPS wires.

This is a good view of the downtube's shape:

The downtube is squished sideways at the head tube and squished front to back at the bottom bracket. The seat tube is also squished where it joins the bottom bracket.

Dropouts are Eddy Merckx:

Campagnolo had stopped making dropouts by this time. It sucked. The MX-Leader's dropouts copy the Campagnolo pattern at the rear and the fronts are slightly smaller than Campagnolo dropouts.

I love the aero fork crown that is very deep front to back:

If the top of the crown looks clean, it's because I faced it with the Campy tool kit:

I also chased the steerer's threads:

Those tools were still sharp, but my headset reamer is dull:

I'll have to get that reamer sharpened.

The top tube there should look weird to you. That's because it's squished top to bottom and ovalized sideways.

I will have this frame re-painted. It's 90s Ugly. But I'm very stoked about this MX-Leader.

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