With arguably the biggest name in professional cycling of all time, Eddy Merckx was not going to be happy to walk away from bike racing when he retired from racing in 1978. As many other riders did, Eddy went into producing bikes. As a rider, Merckx was well known to be fanatical about the bikes he rode through his career, famously obsessed with his position, he had a keen eye for the tiniest detail when it came to bikes.
De Rosa Quality
When he set up his business, Eddy travelled to De Rosa in Italy to train with them, and learn how they produced high end bikes. Eddy had ridden De Rosa bikes through his career. Ugo De Rosa, the owner of De Rosa, then travelled up to Belgium to meet Merckx’s first employees. De Rosa were a large influence on Eddy’s business as it began. Through the 1980’s and 90’s Eddy Merckx provided the bikes for some of the most iconic cycling teams of the era, including 7-Eleven and Motorola.
During the 1980’s and 90’s, Merckx bikes used Italian Columbus frame tubing, including Columbus Max, MXL, SLX and TSX. Merckx moved briefly into titanium tubing before carbon fibre became mainstream and more accessible. Before carbon fibre framesets were produced in the far-east, they were produced in Italy. Some of the contents of a Merckx factory & warehouse were sold through Merlin in 2016.
Ride with Ridley
In 2017, Race Productions NV, the company owners of fellow Belgian brand, Ridley, acquired the Eddy Merckx brand to ensure it’s survival after several years of not being profitable. With Ridley and Eddy Merckx working in unison, the two biggest names in Belgian cycling should be assured future success.