Eddy Merckx Bikes Now Shipping Direct to US Consumers, Preferably Through a Bike Shop

Eddy Merckx EMX525 and ETT road bikes now shipping direct to consumers in the USA

Starting today, US cyclists will be able to order up their very own Eddy Merckx road bike and have it shipping directly to them…or, preferably, your closest favorite local bike shop.

The bikes are designed by Eddy and his team of engineers in Belgium, made in the far east, then brought back to Belgium for final assembly. From there, it’s all boxed up before heading straight to you. Not one to exclude bike shops, US program manager Peter Vanham says they want you to have it shipped to your local shop for initial unboxing and then bring it back in at least once a year for inspection. They’ll provide a “bicycle passport” that’ll be kind of like the maintenance schedule you get with your car. Bring it back to the shop (our equivalent of a dealership) for service and have them note it and they’ll keep you going with a lifetime warranty on the frame. They’re in the process of setting up a network of preferred dealers, but it sounds like any good bike shop would work.

So, what’s on tap? Their full range of EMX525 road bikes and ETT time trial bikes. Above is the top of the line Dura-Ace Di2 equipped bike for $12,000. Check the rest of the models below…

Eddy Merckx EMX525 and ETT road bikes now shipping direct to consumers in the USA

Campagnolo EPS – $11,500 (2013 model shown, 2014 is red/white/carbon)

Eddy Merckx EMX525 and ETT road bikes now shipping direct to consumers in the USA

Shimano Dura-Ace – $8,500 (2014)

Eddy Merckx EMX525 and ETT road bikes now shipping direct to consumers in the USA

Campy Athena EPS – $7,000

Eddy Merckx EMX525 and ETT road bikes now shipping direct to consumers in the USA

Ultegra Di2 – $6,500

Eddy Merckx EMX525 and ETT road bikes now shipping direct to consumers in the USA

Campy Chorus – $5,750

Eddy Merckx EMX525 and ETT road bikes now shipping direct to consumers in the USA

Ultegra – $5,500

Eddy Merckx EMX525 and ETT road bikes now shipping direct to consumers in the USA

ETT Framekit – $4,250

Check out the spec and other details at usa.eddymerckx.com.

“I’ve always felt very welcome in the US, and I know many riders still love a Merckx bike.” says Eddy Merckx, founder of his namesake company. “Returning to the US market and making our bikes available in every village and town is the firm’s way of saying ‘thank you’ for that loyalty.”

Comments

Topmounter - 09/25/13 - 5:42pm

What is in it for the LBS exactly… Getting reimbursed for a $29.99 tune-up once every year on a bike that they didn’t sell? That is some serious “Just getting by” karma if I’ve ever heard it.

duder - 09/25/13 - 5:58pm

It’s about time we start seeing the big brands ship direct to consumer. Hopefully we’ll see more of this in the future with some of the bike shop’s margin lopped off.

Dave - 09/25/13 - 6:18pm

Bike shop margin? Have you ever owned or worked at a bike shop. The margin is not great. And then lets remember that the owner pays rent, employs people, pays insurance, taxes, etc.

I hate it that the only thing you are concerned with is paying a few less bucks for something. Some day when the local shop goes away and you only have Performance, Sports Chalet, Dicks, etc you will be very sad.

And at $12,000.00 for the top end bike do you think you are saving anything?

Please support your local shop. Do we really want to go the way of the small hardware stores, record stores, etc.

Remember small business is 80% off all businesses in the US and they give us so many things that the internet cannot. It’s called SERVICE.

Robo - 09/25/13 - 6:18pm

yes because bike shops make such a HUGE margin on the bikes they sell. Just the other day, a dirty bike shop guy almost ran me down in his brand new Mercedes…..

goathead - 09/25/13 - 6:36pm

Hey Robo- Driving a Mercedes just means he has a shitload of debt. It doesn’t mean he has any wealth. Sorta like someone like who buys a $12K bike.

If people keep using IBDs as internet showrooms you are screwed because 95% of you roadies can’t (nor shouldn’t) turn a wrench on your own bikes.

Companies that protect their dealers are where it’s at.

CXisfun - 09/25/13 - 6:41pm

@goathead – Did you really miss Robo’s sarcasm? Wow.

And just to be clear, not everyone driving a Mercedes has a shitload of debt. Maybe some do, maybe some don’t, but not every Benz on the road was purchased with $0 down.

BikeRepEast - 09/25/13 - 6:50pm

From what I know, having discussed this with a few people involved…. Merckx is basically taking the risk off the IBD by not making them commit to carrying stock half a year in advance when they have no idea what the season will bring. Look at the number of shops sitting on stock from this year.
They essentially will pay the shop a fee, plus the expenses for assembly and no shipping is charged to the dealer.
So, a shop is making money without worrying about selling from their stock and sitting on old bikes.

Guy - 09/25/13 - 7:02pm

Wow Ed, way to support the industry. Seriously shipping an $11,000 bike to a customer and then expecting any shop to be giddy about dealing with the rest? OR a customer could actually go to their LBS and support our not so high paying jobs. For all the industry outsiders (potential customers) reading this. Please give your LBS a shot. If you’re not happy with their products, prices, or service; do the justice to find a solid brick and mortar shop that works hard to meet your needs. Having a box with a high end bike just show up at a shop is a bit of a slap in the face to us.

neat - 09/25/13 - 7:13pm

They aren’t any cheaper than if they went through a LBS, so really its just eddy’s company keeping the markup for themselves.

*slap* lbs *slap*

goathead - 09/25/13 - 7:22pm

@CXisfun – nope.

ethics - 09/25/13 - 7:30pm

that’s so much money to avoid a bike shop. At least other direct brands are cheaper. yikes

bentley - 09/25/13 - 7:32pm

I’m more concerned about this bicycle passport concept of having to have your bike get scheduled maintenance from an authorised dealer to keep your warranty. That raises a lot of concern on many levels.

Manufactures voiding warranty just because a shop hasn’t greased a BB
Shops charging through the roof for “authorised servicing”
And consumers unable to service themselves or at their preferred shop

JasonK - 09/25/13 - 7:37pm

Goathead, I’m with CXisfun…it really looks like that one whooshed right by.

Seraph - 09/25/13 - 7:49pm

@duder – I sincerely hope you’re joking. Bike shops are lucky if they have a 30% storewide margin. A lot don’t even come close. This move by Merckx is almost as dumb as Shimano dropping all but 6 distributors and lowering their MSRP while raising their cost.

Ajax - 09/25/13 - 7:57pm

Shipping Direct to the consumer through a bike shop? THAT ISN’T DIRECT!

Toaster - 09/25/13 - 8:10pm

@Seraph, +1

Thanks for all the reactions!

I think Topmounter, Dave and goathead raise very important concerns for the bike shop perspective. At the end of the day, no one wins when bike shops have to close down.

At Eddy Merckx, we agree 100%. But, what to do about it? We believe that, rather than to look back and hope things will be like they once were, it’s better to develop a new business model, that favors both the shop, the consumer, and the manufacturer.

How does this work? Well, first of all, we want to make sure that there’s a level playing field for all bike shops to sell a bike. The differentiator to buy an Eddy Merckx in one shop or the other should be service, not price. Otherwise, after a while free riders who just offer a great price, but don’t service the bike afterwards, ruin it for everyone: good local bike shops, consumers, and manufacturers.

That’s why we are limiting our offer of bikes to physical bike shops – who, please note this down, can still order bikes from Eddy Merckx and sell them – and eddymerckx.com. We don’t think there is any value in offering our bikes online through a discount retailer, only to have consumers realize a few months in that they have nowhere to go to get it serviced. So, we prefer to offer them only through us or our trusted bike shops.

Second, for the bikes that are sold trough usa.eddymerckx.com , we’ll make sure we deliver these bikes through a local bike shop, who wins three times: One, he doesn’t have to order tens of bikes in the pre-season, and invest hundreds of thousands of dollars. Two, we will provide him with a fair fee for his work. And three, we make sure there is a solid connection between the owner of a bike and the local bike shop, who will service the bike.

And of course, the consumer wins as well. Unlike when he buys online at a discounter, we’ll actively help him find a local bike shop that can service his bike. And, because there is a direct link to the manufacturer, the consumer also knows where can go to when he has a problem the bike shop cannot solve.

We believe everyone wins in this model. If you want more info, e-mail me at usa@eddymerckx.com

Best
Peter, country manager, Eddy Merckx USA

fayar - 09/25/13 - 8:47pm

Peter, this is great. I love your model. I would work up a more succinct explanation.

DerHoggz - 09/25/13 - 8:58pm

Can we get some human priced bikes over here? Would love an EM, but not for that price.

RED - 09/25/13 - 9:44pm

@bentley

The Passport/warranty program has existed since at least 2010.

I take my Merckx in yearly purely for this reason, and yes it is a little annoying when you could actually wrench on your own bike.

My shop has no idea what to do with the actual “passport” – they are supposed to have a “stamp” or something. So I keep collecting my service receipts and hope that if I need warranty service Merckx will stand behind me…

ABW - 09/25/13 - 10:29pm

Thanks to Merckx for having the stones to step into the $h!tstorm of Bike Rumor comments. Before everybody flies off the handle, consider that, according to the NBDA, if a bike shop sold nothing but bike – no service, parts, accessories, clothing, nutritionals, etc. – they would go out of business. Economically, a bike shop cannot survive selling only bikes. So… Why is it a bad thing if they don’t have to sell the bike? They have a customer in their shop who’s stoked on a new ride. They’re making money from Merckx and (I’m assuming) if the fee from Merkcx isn’t sufficient are free to charge additionally, so they don’t lose out on service. And they’re still going to sell all the parts, accessories, nutritionals, etc. that go along with the service. I don’t see the downside. And yes, I’ve owned a shop or two.

Fred - 09/25/13 - 10:49pm

No thank you. If I chose to work on my own bike, that is for me to decide not the bike builder. Going once a year to satisfy a warranty requirement is bogus. And if you miss a year, what then? You forgo your warranty? A frame failure won’t have anything to do with how often you true your wheels or tune up your bike.

RED - 09/25/13 - 10:55pm

PS.
Seems like Competitive Cyclist recently picked up some stock of Merckx
– blowout from Gita?

Worth a look if Merckx is your thing, but the wallet is running lean…

Boo - 09/25/13 - 11:42pm

There are many good topics here. The most annoying is all the people that don’t understand their quest for the lowest price will lead not only to the end of the bike shop but every Main Street business. The belief that if big companies sell direct to consumers everyone will enjoy cheaper bikes is not sustainable. The companies will hoard profits and bask in there efficiencies until there is no one left to buy. If no one has a job who can afford your next wonder bike.

Chris - 09/26/13 - 2:03am

ABW nailed it. The worse thing a bike shop can sell is bikes. No joke. Every shop I worked in made more money selling socks and inner tubes than selling bikes. Whining about the Internet isn’t going to accomplish anything. Honestly, I have little sympathy for any LBS that goes under. Shops don’t fail because of the Internet. Shops fail because they don’t have well thought out business models and fail to provide something of value to their customers. As for hardware stores, record stores, etc. I don’t know where you live but here in Seattle I have 5 stellar hardware stores, 3 great bookstores, 6 coffee shops and 4 amazing record stores within 2 miles of my front door and all of this in the city home to Amazon and Starbucks! These places survive because they’ve found a way to do something other than whine about the Internet. Reality is too many bike shops are run by people who are cyclists first and businessmen second. Your passion for cycling doesn’t count for much if you can’t stay in business.

Also kudos to Peter for directly addressing people in the comments section. I love your new model though I’d love it more if you offered a traditional all steel Merckx such as the 753 model I rode back in the 80s! ;)

FJ - 09/26/13 - 3:25am

Plenty of nice and romantic views of LBS with pleasant and knowledgeable mechanics and sales stuff. All very nice, but no thanks. Some of us prefer to do all the work on the bikes, either because we enjoy it, or because we don’t know or trust many bike shops, or both.

Pure and simple, if you are saying I must take my bike into a shop to be serviced to keep my warranty, you are telling me to buy a different bike. Mind you, that was my initial reaction when I saw the price tags. $12,000 for a bicycle? seriously?

DerHoggz - 09/26/13 - 6:19am

I would be all over a steel Merckx with the classic “bubbly” logo.

Matt - 09/26/13 - 7:36am

Not to go off topic or anything, but I rode that Merckx 525 frame this past season with Ultegra Di2 and it was by far the best race bike I’ve ridden to date. Very expensive bit of kit but if you can get on a test ride (they had a great demo fleet here in the UK), then go for it. It’s a beast.

Ajax - 09/26/13 - 8:02am

The death of the local bike shop.

Cry me a river. I could not care less. I’m going to get the best deal for me. I support me. I don’t support you. And I don’t give a crap about this or that bike shop complaining about all the mail order bike shops forcing them to go out of business.

Price is the most important determining factor for me. I don’t need some local bike shop to change a tube for me, or make repairs, or chase threads. I have youtube and countless webpages for reference if I need it.

haromania - 09/26/13 - 8:38am

Screw this bike. I will support my local shop, who have plenty of great bikes to choose from.

carl - 09/26/13 - 8:43am

@ Chris – The businesses you have mentioned having within two miles of your front door are all RETAIL outlets. They don’t have products that need to be serviced and that changes everything. As you said at the beginning of your post… the worst thing a bike shop can do is sell bikes. Service and accessories are a huge part of paying the bills.

@Peter from EM – I work in a shop and have for DECADES. A warranty is a warranty. The customer shouldn’t have to prove where he bought the bike or if he has had it serviced. If it hasn’t been abused but it has suffered a frame failure or cracked rim…. it gets warrantied. PERIOD. That is the meaning of service (at the shop level AND the manufacturers level).

@ AJAX – You’re a real piece of work buddy. I can only hope that you were speaking tongue in cheek. And that frame or wheels you have?…. pray they don’t fail… otherwise you’ll be fixing them with duct tape and JB WELD because your LBS will be gone.

shop mechanic - 09/26/13 - 8:50am

Ajax must be a Republican. “I support me.” I just want cheap shit at wholesale prices because F* the bike industry and everyone else.

nathan - 09/26/13 - 9:42am

A Trek Madone 7.7 with 11 speed dura-ace that is handbuilt in Wisconsin is LESS than the dura-ace version of this Taiwan built frame with Merckx’s name on it that probably comes from the same factory as a Scantante?

They forgot about the part where consumer direct is supposed to be cheaper…

Robo - 09/26/13 - 10:41am

Pretty sure Ajax is just trolling (for his sake, I hope so) but if that really is your mentality, dude, go live on a deserted island somewhere. You live in a world filled with other people that are no more or less deserving of things than you are.

This me-first, entitled-American attitude permeates our culture like a disease and these people need to get their heads out of their bootyholes and realize we live in a society and, as much as your greedy, selfish, narrow-minded, empathy-lacking knob may not want to believe it, we DO all need to work together and help each other and just get along. It goes deeper than buying a $30 goo-gaw for 5 bucks online instead of the people at the store that spent the time to show you all its neat little features so you could have an extra $25 to blow on beer Friday night.

I’m not necessarily arguing that this Merckx model is a bad idea. The LBS also needs to embrace e-commerce and figure out how to adapt because as much as we may not like it, this is the world we live in. The issues people are having with the passport/warranty is no different than owning a car. So you can change your own oil? Fantastic but we have no way of proving you did the job correctly or even used the right oil, so why we honor the warranty? YOU invested in the purchase, YOU should invest in making it last forever. Besides, some dude who dropped 12k on a bike is probably smart enough and responsible enough to understand $75 a year in service ain’t no thang. He’s not some hipster servicing a cheap old fixie he found for cheap off craigslist.

And, Bently, shops “charging through the roof” for maintenance and repairs? Have you ever poked around other industries (like automotive, or golf, or equestrian) and see what they charge for things? I am constantly blown away by people balking at prices in the bike industry.

Buncha savages in this town….

Topmounter - 09/26/13 - 11:01am

Peter, thanks for the explanation. It does sound like EM is trying to blaze a “middle road” of sorts. I can support anything that actively attempts to get some variety of bike brands flowing through LBS’s and into the hands of consumers.

Just as concerning to me as the “direct-to-consumer” model for bikes and its impact on LBS’s is the trend toward “company store” LBS’s that are not permitted to offer much (if any) choice beyond “Pick-a-Trek” or “Pick-a-Specialized” shopping. Certainly price is a big part of the “direct-to-consumer” appeal, but so is owning and riding a bike that isn’t just like every other bike on your local trails.

heatwave23 - 09/26/13 - 11:28am

- Buying direct should be cheaper.
- Fact is bike prices are out of control. Manufactures like Eddie are only paying ~$200 for these top end frames coming out of Asia and are just increasing their margin by selling direct and cutting the small amount of margin the LBS had on them. Before you start ranting about the R&D cost please note that the MSPR for 2012 Honda CBR 600RR is $11,540
- @ Robo A bicycle is not a car nor is it or should it be as complex as a car so if I feel that I am knowledgeable enough and want to I should be able to wrench it myself without voiding the warranty.

Robo - 09/26/13 - 11:50am

I’m certainly not trying to imply that you are. I assume I’ve voided the warranty on my Jeep by doing all the service myself since I was, at one time, a master certified technician for 2 different German luxury brands. I also know that I can score all parts for my Jeep super cheap and the labor is free so the whole warranty aspect is somewhat of a moot point, for me, specifically.

The 2 points on the matter are, first, the cost of that lifetime frame warranty is built in to the cost of the bike so you’ve basically already paid for it so you might as well just bite the bullet and have the service done to keep it valid. Second, from a manufacturers standpoint, they have to be able to verify that it was the frame itself and not mechanic-error that caused whatever failure we’d be talking about, otherwise they’d be on the hook for god knows how many frames with no ability to defend themselves from getting hosed.

If, in the end, it makes no difference to you either way, as is the case with me and my car, then by all means, knock yourself out. But to have the option there to keep the bike under the lifetime warranty, essentially forever, I just don’t think it’s that big a deal to pay a small yearly fee.

Out for a Ride - 09/26/13 - 12:09pm

@heatwave23
“Fact is bike prices are out of control. Manufactures like Eddie are only paying ~$200 for these top end frames coming out of Asia and are just increasing their margin by selling direct and cutting the small amount of margin the LBS had on them.” -Wrong. The industry is too competitive for companies to get away with things like this. If any bike manufacturer could sell a bike for cheaper at the same quality, they would. Any of them. Excepting the handmade boutique custom shops, companies need to give the highest quality with the best customer service at the lowest cost they can or they will go out of business. If they lower the cost then they sacrifice the quality or service and people notice that.

“Before you start ranting about the R&D cost please note that the MSPR for 2012 Honda CBR 600RR is $11,540″ Apples to oranges. There are way too many differences in industry models to compare a premium road bike to a mid-range motorcycle. You try to lift a motorcycle? They’re freakin’ heavy. Concerned about cost being too high? Buy a $700 Allez. No one’s stopping you. Just because bicycles have a high range of buy-in prices doesn’t mean you have be at the highest price point.

“A bicycle is not a car nor is it or should it be as complex as a car so if I feel that I am knowledgeable enough and want to I should be able to wrench it myself without voiding the warranty.” Agreed. It sucks that individuals have to feel the effects of other knuckleheads’ poor wrenching.

Chainwhipped - 09/26/13 - 12:51pm

Yawn.

heatwave23 - 09/26/13 - 1:50pm

“If any bike manufacturer could sell a bike for cheaper at the same quality, they would.”
I gained my knowledge for frame prices by attending shows and talking to the little guys that are trying to make it and are sourcing goods from Asia. It is incredibly hard for them to overcome the marketing of the big guys.

“There are way too many differences in industry models to compare a premium road bike to a mid-range motorcycle. You try to lift a motorcycle? They’re freakin’ heavy”
Lol… extremely differ but are you saying that weight to deciding factor on the cost of R&D? The motorcycle also has way more federal regulations and shipping challenges to overcome that drive cost up

“Buy a $700 Allez.”
No thanks but you are correct that we have options. I have several bikes from the ridiculously expensive European built to much cheaper quality Asian sourced options… that does not prevent me from posting what I have learned about the bike industry for others to investigate if they so desire.

Seraph - 09/26/13 - 2:52pm

[deleted]

Ajax - 09/26/13 - 9:02pm

I have way more than duct tape, and my local bike shop doesn’t do anything that I can’t do.

So, I could care less about you bike shop snobs. I’m gonna do it my way, and support myself, my family. And I will vbuy whatever I want, whenever I want, and from whoever I want!

Erock - 09/27/13 - 10:13am

There are many great brands that cannot get a foothold in a shop. Shops have to seriously commit to big lines like Specialized, Trek, Cannondale, Giant…and that doesn’t leave many dollars or focus for the smaller brands. So, a new business model is needed. What’s wrong with what EM is proposing?

Robo - 09/27/13 - 11:14am

man, I hope you aren’t raising kids as selfish, ignorant, and pig-headed as you.

It ain’t about snobbery either. Sad part is, if you can’t see that, I can’t show you.

Chris W - 09/28/13 - 2:08pm

Idk how many of you have actually worked in a shop, or truly know what the margins on bikes are, but it’s not a lot. Having worked At my LBS, and the big fancy Nordstrom at different times, I can tell you for a fact that there are discrepancies on both sides of what a normal retail margin is (50% of MSRP or keystone) the margin on bikes is significantly lower than keystone, meanwhile the big N makes nearly 130-150% on your purchase (wow I wish I could do that!). Your LBS who cares about you and your well being, and time on your bike is making far less than half that margin on the bike you’ll enjoy for years. Sure it’ll come back with a typical margin on accessories, clothing, tubes, etc. but not at all on group sets, wheels, frames, and other on bike hardware. If you break that down most of their products cannot make them a 100% return (keystone). Most retailers wouldn’t even consider opening if they couldn’t get a minimum margin like that. Please support the LBS. They aren’t trying to screw you.

Mick - 10/10/13 - 2:33am

I completely missed the sentence that said one is not allowed to work on their own bike ? It must be in there but i just didn’t see it.if you keep your bike in top condition and you bring it to a shop for service than i dont imagine your bike shop charging big dollars.

Post a comment:

Comment sections can be a beautiful source of knowledge, conversation and comedy. They can also get pretty ugly, which is why we've updated our Comments Policy. If your comment isn't showing up or suddenly disappears, you might want to check it out.