Eddy Merckx had teased us with the prospect of many new bikes on the way for 2019. But even a couple of months back, all we had glimpsed was new branding on bikes carried over from last year. Now while announcing the return to pro World Tour racing as the bike supplier of AG2R La Mondiale, an all-new 525 has been revealed as the team’s go-to, all-around aero road racing bike.
2019 Eddy Merckx 525 aero carbon road race bike
Just back at Eurobike we got a glimpse of the facelift to the Eddy Merckx bike brand since its consolidation by the Belgian Bicycle Factory group, with the first all-new bike for the brand – the Lavaredo 68 endurance road bike. But even then, the old EM 525 was shown painted up in the new look. Now the new flagship of the Eddy Merckx collection has been unveiled, and it looks to carry over much of the same lines as the original, now in a more sleek, more aero, and more integrated package.
2019 Eddy Merckx 525 aero road bike – Tech Details & Pro Bike Build
Details remain thin on the all-new carbon 525 (note: it is no longer called the EM 525), but we can see plenty of evolution and a lot more integration over the current bike, raced mostly unchanged since 2012. In that time aerodynamics has come to dominate both one-day & stage racing. And Belgian Cycling Factory R&D engineer Toon Wils says the new 525 was optimized in their wind tunnel while still focusing on keeping weight low.
The new 525 still has the distinctive angular look of the previous Merckx bikes. That styling can be divisive, but the super thin, flattened & kinked seatsays promise a comfortable ride without compromising on control. The new bike even drops those stays a bit for even more flex and aero gains. Toon Wils says the new 525 has overall reduced frontal area vs. the previous 525, but increases front end stiffness for more precise handling and maintaining the comfortable rear end.
Another small feature that sneaks in on the aero shaped seatpost is the same F-Surface aero groove that is found on fellow Belgian Cycling Factory bikes from Ridley. In fact, the seatpost appears to be the exact one found on the new Ridley Noah Fast, highlighting some crossover between the two brands, even down to the same style rubber gasket cover over the hidden seatpost clamp.
Up front the new 525 features an integrated headset top cap smoothly transitioning into the stem spacers, and a fork crown transition into the downtube. Cable routing is of course all internal, with even the team’s mechanical shift drivetrain routed inside the bar+stem, directly into the frame. Again these aero integration solutions look similar to those on the new Noah Fast, while retaining distinct styling and a less aggressive approach to aerodynamics.
AG2R La Mondiale will race a rim-brake version of the new 525 with a Campagnolo Super Record 12-speed drivetrain and Rotor’s direct mount 2INPower power meter crankset. Deda will supply the team with the new Alanera integrated aero cockpit, wheels will be by Mavic wrapped in Vredestein tires, and power laid down through Look pedals.
There’s no official word yet on the new frameset’s weight, but the AG2R bikes weigh on the nose at 6.8kg without pedals for a medium complete bike.
2019 Eddy Merckx 525 aero road bike – Availability
The new Eddy Merckx 525 looks like it will be pro-only for at least half a year. Eddy Merckx says AG2R will be racing on their new flagship bike from the start of the 2019 season. Interestingly enough, even though this new team bike is sporting a UCI approved sticker, the new 525 has not yet been approved by the UCI according to the latest communiqué from the governing body issued less than two weeks ago. There is still plenty of time to earn their stickers before the start of the race season, but it is not that common to see a new bike revealed before it has already received approval.
In any case, consumers will have to wait until July when the bike will become officially available, timed with the start of the Tour de France in Brussels. That also happens to be the 50th anniversary of the man himself, Merckx’s first Tour victory. We anticipate that by then we might get official work on an expected disc brake version of the new Eddy Merckx 525 as well.