Eddy Merckx EMX-525
I was changing gear just to watch the front mech re-align itself to stop cable rub; not vital, but it is incredibly annoying when you get it. Flicking the front mech up and down, and then up and down again just for the hell of it, was effortless. Shifting under pressure didn’t phase it, although that’s not a good reason to do it. Mark Chan, i-ride’s Brand Manager, also pointed out the fact that once set up, that’s it. No cables to stretch and no need for re-aligning mechs; no gunk to gum up the cables and make shifting difficult. It just works.
Of course Luddite’s won’t like it and none of the electronic shifting systems are exactly in the budget range, but I now think that if you can afford it, go for it. I’m starting saving…
So after kitting up what was the EMX-525 like to ride? Work pressure meant that this ride would only be a short test of the Merckx. Hopefully we can get one on long term later in the year (a hint to the importers, i-ride, if ever there was)? Jumping on a brand new test bike is always a difficult moment; I can usually get ‘almost’ the right position, though there’s often something that bugs me. The EMX-525 straight off felt right. It put me into what felt like a ‘proper’ race position, that translated into a very confident, aggressive ride. This is a bike that wants to be raced! This could be down to the EMX-525 having a slightly longer top tube – a long 557mm on our 54cm bike. Maybe for some riders used to a more upright position or with back problems this could be an issue, but being relatively ache free and flexible for a cyclist, I had no problems.
Like all top end, pro bikes it surges forward when you press down hard on the pedals. Even with ‘training’ wheels I didn’t feel I was in any way being held back. Build up the EMX-525 with a higher end spec and it would fly. For me, with this build, the EMX-525 felt like a real workhorse, a bike that could be ridden hard all year.
Climbing everyone’s favourite South Coast climb, Ditchling Beacon, was great. The Merckx surged up and over the crest without a complaint; shame the same couldn’t be said of the rider… What was even more impressive was the ride down. Flying through the curves was a joy, so much so I did it twice! All that thought and design that has gone into making the frame resist all the twisting forces that a bike is subject to, translates into an excellent descender.
The huge head tube and powerful Ultegra brakes performed reassuringly well; sitting on the comfortable Ultegra hoods I never felt that I needed to move down to the drops or grab the levers to slow down. Sussex’s local roads aren’t the smoothest in the world but the EMX-525 delivered a decent enough ride, although it will require a longer test period to give a full opinion. We’ve heard of some riders completing long sportives on the EMX-525 without any complaint; hopefully we’ll get a chance to test this out…
So to sum up, albeit after what was far too short a test ride for such a bike, the Eddy Merckx EMX-525 is a proper racing bicycle, a bike that will make you want to ride harder and faster than ever before, then encourage you to get yourself a racing license and start working your way towards Eddy’s total! Only 525 to go…
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