Eddy Merckx bikes is set to make a comeback thanks to Belgian Cycling Factory, the parent company of Ridley bikes and owner of the Merckx brand. And in a move that will gladden the hearts of longtime bike racing fans, as part of the relaunch it will be releasing a limited edition homage to the Panasonic team bike of the 1980s and 90s – the 'Retrosonic'.
The tribute bike features the blue and white livery of the machines used by the Dutch team, which featured riders including Phil Anderson, Pippa York (formerly Robert Millar) and Eric Vanderaerden, and can be supplied as a version of four of the brand's existing models. It will be available from February 24.
BCF acquired the Eddy Merckx brand back in 2017, has a number of bikes in the range, with road riders catered for via the 525 (named after the number of career wins Merckx took), and the Mendrisio, which is more endurance focused and is named after the Swiss town where Merckx won his second World Championship road title in 1971.
Both bikes have carbon frames and retail from £5,199 ($6,595) for the 525 and £2,499 ($3,170) for the Mendrisio.
There is also the Strasbourg gravel bike and the Pévèle all-road bike, which can all be ordered in carbon, steel or aluminium, as well as a Corsa model that can be fully custom-made in steel.
The bikes come in a number of colourways – including Molteni orange, a nod to the team Merckx road for in the 1970s. Available groupsets are SRAM or Shimano versions, with the Merckx bikes's Campagnolo components of old notable by their absence.
BCF CEO Jochim Aerts said: "We want to solidify Eddy Merckx bike's place in the top segment of road and gravel bikes and maintain it in the long term"
The Eddy Merckx brand was set up in 1980 by the legend himself and was immediately successful. By 1986 his bikes had taken a Tour de France stage with the Panasonic team, thanks to Eddy Planckaert and Eric Vanderaerden, with Vanderaerden winning Paris-Roubaix the following year.
In the 1990s Eddy Merckx bikes were used by the Motorola team, by riders such as Sean Yates, Andy Hampsten and Lance Armstrong. Merckx himself sold his share of the company in 2000.
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