It’s not every day you see a steel bike raced in the pro peloton. But last night after racing for three weeks, Oliver Naesen rolled down the Champs Elysees to finish his Tour on a custom Belgian-made steel Eddy Merckx Corsa road bike. Oh, and his team captain got custom too – Romain Bardet was sporting a polka dotted Stockeu69 as the best climber in the race…
Eddy Merckx custom Corsa Road Rim race bike of Oliver Naesen
Oliver Naesen is the only Belgian on the French AG2R team, so it seemed fitting that he would get to final the final stage of the Tour on a custom Belgian-made steel Eddy Merckx Corsa Road Rim bike. Naesen wasn’t really set to contest the final day of racing. He finished in the bunch in Paris on the custom bike, but that didn’t give him any boost in 68th position overall out of 155 riders who survived the Tour. So surely this was a publicity stunt to debut the new MyCorsa custom program from Merckx, but…
After 20 race stages, Naesen did manage to stay in the bunch riding 3 hours around 42km/hr surrounded by the strongest cyclists in the world. So clearly that steel bike is no slouch.
MyCorsa custom premium steel road bikes – Tech details
Naesen’s high-end steel road bike is just the official launch of the return to premium steel road bikes, made-in-Belgium under the Eddy Merckx name. The idea is to bring back classic steel to thoroughly modern race bikes.
The MyCorsa family is made-to-order from high-quality Columbus steel, with custom geometry and custom paint in three designs. Naesen’s bike for example is built of a mix of Columbus Xcr and Spirit HSS tubing.
The bike maker is calling MyCorsa the “jewel in Merckx’s crown” bringing a customer-first focus that lets you pick the type of brakes you want, the style of bottom bracket, how you want cables routed, etc.
Merckx will only supply framesets for the MyCorsa program, including just the premium steel frame & a painted-to-match full carbon fork. But individual Eddy Merckx/MyCorsa dealers will be able to help buyers spec out a complete bike build for that truly custom setup.
The MyCorsa custom program is available now, with framesets selling from 3300€.
Oliver Naesen’s Tour de France 2019, Stage 21 bike build
Just to break down his TdF race setup, Oliver Naesen’s bike is built up with a Shimano Dura-Ace mechanical group set, a Rotor 2inPower power meter crankset, Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon wheels wrapped in Vredestein Fortezza Senso T tubulars, a DEDA SuperZero bar, stem & Zero100 seatpost, finished off with a Fizik Antares R1 saddle and Look Keo Blade Carbon pedals.
MyCorsa custom steel gravel bike
Oh, and beyond the white & gold bike that Oliver Naesen rode in Paris, the new MyCorsa custom program include options for road disc brakes. Or if you want to ride an Eddy Merckx off the pavement, the Corsa is available in a gravel-ready version with plenty of tire clearance like this glittery red bike.
Eddy Merckx readymade steel bike range
Even if you don’t want or need custom paint and custom geometry, you will soon be able to ride a premium steel Eddy Merckx bike as well. In addition to the custom-made framesets, a new ReadyMade family will include three stock-sizing complete bikes. The Strada will be a rim brake road bike available in five sizes (XS-XL) with either a Campagnolo Potenza or Shimano Ultegra build. The Hageland will be a disc brake gravel bike again in five sizes, with either a SRAM Rival 1x or Shimano Ultegra compact double. Lastly, the Criterium will be a rim brake urban bike in four sizes (XS-L) with a Shimano Claris complete build. No word yet on the stock bike pricing.
Polka-dotted Stockeu69 carbon road race bike for Romain Bardet
Can’t leave out team captain Romain Bardet’s custom painted carbon Eddy Merckx Stockeu69 race bike, if for no other reason that that I am a sucker for those red polka dots.
Eddy Merckx actually painted up Bardet’s bike in a tastefully restrained coating of dots, letting his loud head-to-toe cycling kit scream ‘I’m the best climber!’
The complete bike does get a few more splatterings of custom polka dots, from the Look Keo Blade carbon pedals to the Elite Custom Race Plus bottle cages(made of reinforced plastic, not the more expensive carbon version).
But don’t miss those special 2019 Tour de France limited edition wheels, customized with subtle graphics referencing the 21 stages from Brussels to Paris. Note that I said ‘limited edition’ because you can actually buy them. Bardet’s wheels are actually Comete Pro Carbon SL tubulars, but tubeless clinchers are available from Mavic now.