MerckxBlockhaus2015-1

Few names are more synonymous with bicycle racing than Eddy Merckx. With a career that spanned 1961 to 1978, a sum total of 525 victories including every Grand Tour, World Championships, Monuments and countless other races, he is arguably the most successful racing cyclist in history.

One such race, on May 31st, 1967, on Stage 12 of the Giro d’Italia included the ascent to the summit of the Block Haus, an old German fortification. It was here that Eddy Merckx won his first stage of a Grand Tour. Quoting the man himself, “Nobody expected that I could pull this off, winning a mountain stage in a grand tour.” It was the beginning of many things to come.

As is, perhaps, the new 2016 Merckx Blockhaus road bike, a departure from their modern carbon offerings that helps make their lineup as diverse as The Cannibal’s trophy case…

MerckxBlockhaus2015-2

Eddy Merckx Cycles was founded 30 years ago, with the mission of producing the finest bicycles available. Eddy himself is at the heart of the company, instilling his passion for the sport into each model produced, pushing the company to strive for perfection. He is an integral part of the design process, thoroughly testing each model personally.

For 2016, Eddy Merckx Cycles has re-invented itself. With a renewed vigor to rekindle the name that is Eddy Merckx, several all-new bikes are being released during the model year, along with extensive improvements to existing model lines. While we can’t show you everything just yet, the all new Blockhaus 67 model breaks from the current trend of carbon fiber frame construction.

MerckxBlockhaus2015-3

Paying homage to this victory, the Blockhaus 67 bicycle encourages those astride it to “go for the super ascent”. Constructed of 6069 aluminum, this material yields a claimed 30% greater strength than traditional 6061. The bike’s geometry sits between endurance oriented and performance based, with excellent riding characteristics being the highest priority. All the modern wants and needs -weight, stiffness and good overall frame compliance- are addressed.

The frame is designed for optimal power transfer. From the 1-1/8″ to 1-1/2″ headtube, oversized down tube, tapered seat tube and unique, asymmetric chainstays, all of the rider’s energy goes into the drivetrain. Chainstays are ovalized and narrow in the middle, but widen at the dropout connection for improved strength.

MerckxBlockhaus2015-5

One of the more unique features is the twisted seat stays that flatten at the top, giving the otherwise firm alloy a softer touch for your rear end. With the frame’s unique shapes, you would be inclined to think hydroformed construction is at play, with thick and heavy tubes to withstand that shaping. However, there is no hydroforming of any kind with the Blockhaus 67. Rather, the tapered triple butted 6069 tubes are heat treated several times, which allows complex tube shapes to be formed, and resist crinkling.

Further attention to detail goes into the frame’s welds. Rather than grinding the weld to achieve good aesthetics, the Blockhaus 67 is welded twice. The second welding pass creates a smoother looking weld and is significantly stronger. The grinding of metal is left for the skate parks.

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Cabling on the frame is internalized, with the brake cable run inside the top tube and derailleur cables running the length of the down tube to an open space near the bottom bracket. Thereon, the derailleur cables are run externally.

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The bottom bracket is the BB86 standard, with the seatpost measuring 27.2mm.

Finally, the all-carbon tapered fork features a very high strength crown. There are no sharp transitions around the crown, but a smooth transition allowing the bearings to sit directly on top.

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The Blockhaus 67 frame in size medium with all fittings and one layer of paint tips the scales at a claimed 1,150 grams, the fork at 350 grams.

Build kit is Shimano 105 11 speed, full Deda cockpit and seatpost, Prologo saddle and Shimano WH-RS010 wheels fitted with Continental Ultrasport tires. Available in two color options -Silver/Black/Orange and Black/White/Red – and five sizes with top tube measurements of 520mm, 536mm, 545mm, 555mm and 570mm.

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Overall, the focus of the Blockhaus 67 is to provide every type of cyclist a high quality riding experience on quality aluminum rather than the dull, lifeless ride often associated with budget carbon frames.

MSRP is $1,999 USD, available September 1. A women’s specific version of the Blockhaus 67 bike is expected soon. Every Eddy Merckx Cycles machine includes a Strict Lifetime Warranty for the first owner.

Photos by Gravel Cyclist. Jayson O’Mahoney is the Gravel Cyclist: A website about the Gravel Cycling Experience.

EddyMerckx.be

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dG
dG
7 years ago

Very interesting. I remember the early 2000s Scandium Merckx (Domo Farm Frites), and those bikes were light and very tough. A buddy of mine rode one for close to 10 years till a fatigue crack showed up at the downtube. But he *rode* and *raced* that bike to death. and the dude was at least 85kg lean. Would love to swing a leg over one of those new Al Merckx. i LOVE Al bicis.

Ryan
Ryan
7 years ago

Bit on the pricey side for 105 build, RS11 wheels, Deda components, and aluminum frame. Can find carbon frame bikes with near identical build specs for equal price. The again, some people love aluminum, so to each their own.

Just funny how the industry has come full circle and aluminum is making a comeback with all the bigger manufacturers.

Mr. P
7 years ago

I “upgraded” from a very high quality aluminum road frame to a very high quality carbon frame by the same manufacturer, with very similar racy geometry and same wheels, tires, seatpost, etc.

The difference was so surprisingly minimal. It was eye opening for me to experience how good a quality aluminum frame can be.

I dig that manufacturers are creating the aluminum bikes to make great biking experiences available to wider demographics.

P

S. Molnar
S. Molnar
7 years ago

Your numbers are not quite right. Merckx is said by some accounts to have 525 professional wins (the number varies in different references, perhaps because of variations in how stage race wins are tallied), but he did not turn professional until 1965. So it’s wrong to say he had a total of 525 wins in a career that went from 1961 to 1978. You might argue that little things like amateur national and world championships are not comparable to his professional wins, but his amateur career alone places him far above anyone likely to read this column (unless Greg Lemond or Andy Hampsten stop by).

kt
kt
7 years ago

Great price!

muf
muf
7 years ago

i used several high end carbon frames and some are indeed as stiff as aluminum.
ive had no aluminum frame that felt as compliant, absorbed vibrations as well as a good carbon frame tho.

steel frames are okay in that area.

Conscience of a Conservative
Conscience of a Conservative
7 years ago

I just don’t get what Merckx is up to these days. The market for aluminum bikes has plenty of options with Cannondale’s CAAD10 and Specialized Allez offering very competitive choices and are sought out. There’s also Trek and other major manufacturers offering their models as well. With Merckx’s smaller design and marketing budget and reliance on others to built what they spec or badge I don’t see how this bike sells in serious numbers. The company feels rudderless since their disolvement of the failed Gita parnership. Commemorative bikes are interesting as a promotion but not as an ongoing business model.

scottam
scottam
4 months ago

Agreed but perhaps a person wants to buy a bike that is from a lesser, possibly niche manufacturer? I have over 40 bikes and they are all from smaller producers, artisans what have you. I loved my specialized bikes but they are too common,Great bikes but too common. Each to their own.

TomM
TomM
7 years ago

Too bad this frame isn’t scandium. I raced a 2002 Team SC for a few years and loved it. Last summer I found an NOS 2004 Merckx Team SC in a bike shop that had never been built up. I bought it and built it up and it’s my main road bike now. That material has stiffness paired with smoothness that rivals the best of any other material.

Durianrider
Durianrider
7 years ago

Made by Giant. Looks good. Nice paint. What about tire clearance?

anonymous
anonymous
7 years ago

If it was made by giant, why go through all the effort to avoid hydroforming?

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 years ago

anonymous, you’re wrong if you think this frame has no hydroforming. Sorry it doesn’t match the hydroforming of Giant…assuming they made the frame instead of Fuji or some other manufacturer. Hydroforming, does not mean, exact copy of tube shapes from other brands

JBikes
JBikes
7 years ago

veganpotter –
“…However, there is no hydroforming of any kind with the Blockhaus 67. Rather, the tapered triple butted 6069 tubes are heat treated several times, which allows complex tube shapes to be formed, and resist crinkling.”

Conscience of a Conservative
Conscience of a Conservative
7 years ago

If I were seriously looking at a metal frame it would be Titanium not Aluminum. I’ve ridden Aluminum, and short of being a cheap frame for crit racing, the ride is inferior to what the best designs of Carbon or Titanium can produce.

anonymous
anonymous
7 years ago

@Veganpotter
Did you even read the article?

@Conscience of a Conservative
So why would you even be looking at a relatively budget friendly bike?

Psi Squared
Psi Squared
7 years ago

“However, there is no hydroforming of any kind with the Blockhaus 67. Rather, the tapered triple butted 6069 tubes are heat treated several times, which allows complex tube shapes to be formed, and resist crinkling.”

That seems to answer the hydroforming question.

RED
RED
7 years ago

Not sure about that “open-space” in terms of dirt and water entry?

Shame about the press-fit BB.
and that it only comes with Shimano spec.

I second the Tire-Clearance? question.

JBikes
JBikes
7 years ago

RED,
The open space isn’t really an issue. Cervelo did the same on their Soloist/S1 Al frames and it has cause zero issues that I know of. The BB shell is closed off so any debris that did somehow make its way into the downtube won’t cause an issues, not to mention its self draining by design.
It make running internal cables easy too. And if the guides are placed correctly, it eliminates any potential for rattles, while ensuring straight cable lines.

Chris L
Chris L
7 years ago

“Can find carbon frame bikes with near identical build specs for equal price.”

Sorry but comments like this are the sign of an idiot. Just because a bike is carbon doesn’t mean it’s going to ride better than a bike made out of another material. For that matter it doesn’t mean it’s going to weigh less. I’ve ridden some aluminum bikes that rode better than some carbon bikes and some titanium bikes that rode worse than some steel bikes. The material is but one very small part of the total package that makes up how a bike performs. Determining value or performance based solely on one factor demonstrates a poor understanding of how bikes work.

bruno b
bruno b
3 years ago

Does anyone know what size frame this is? I’m thinking of buying one but I’m unable to try it first.