Merckx Releases Mourenx69 Endurance Bike
Eddy Merckx cycles just released details on one of their four new top-tier bikes for 2015, the Mourenx69. The new bike (pronounced MORE-awn) is named for The Cannibal’s massive win at the 17th stage of the 1969 Tour de France, when he attacked at the top of the Tourmelet to execute a solo breakaway for the final 140km to the finish. Built for endurance racing, the bike has been designed to reduce rider fatigue while still promising top level performance. Key specs include long seatstays, a shrunken bottom bracket shell, and a square profile seat tube all designed to maximize shock absorption, along with a shortened top tube and tall head tube to accommodate a more relaxed, upright riding position. The bike will be available in four builds, each with an optional wheel upgrade, or as a frameset.
The endurance road market is getting a lot of play, as most riders pay for bikes by working jobs that tie them to a desk, inhibiting the flexibility demanded by ultra aggressive race frames. Endurance bikes also embrace the theory that reducing rider fatigue can be of greater benefit than maximizing the efficiency of power transfer. The Mourenx69 responds by providing a more upright riding position and more supple frame design than their “pro” oriented race machines. By comparing the Mourenx69 to Merckx’s 2014’s flagship bike, the EMX-525, we get a better understanding of what makes the new bike an endurance racer.
Complete build details, geometry, prices, and a cool promo video after the break…
A quick glance at the geometry profiles of a Medium Mourenx69 (550 mm effective top tube) and the 54 EMX-525 (557 mm ETT) shows that the Merckx’s new “Endurance Geometry” is almost identical to their “Pro Geometry,” except for an additional 28mm of head tube height on the new bike. The head tube and seat tube angles are only 0.1 and 0.3 degrees steeper on the Mourenx69; likewise, the wheelbase is merely 5 mm longer for the endurance bike, so we predict that handling will remain consistent with their current, racier models. The big divergence from their flagship model is in construction. By opting for 300 and 400 GPa carbon fiber in lieu of the ultra stiff 600 GPa used in the EMX-525, the frame should be considerably more complaint; according to Mercx, the head tube on the EMX-525 is 10 percent stiffer than the Mourenx69. Similarly, the Mourenx69 utilizes “longer” seatstays and a “smaller” bottom bracket shell (no specific measurements are available, but it runs the same BB86 press fit bottom bracket as the EMX-525) as well as a square profile seat tube to help absorb road vibrations.
The Mourenx69 will be available in five sizes from XS (500 mm seat tube and 519 mm ETT) to XL (601 mm and 583 mm). Mercx is also offering four build options, as well as the frameset alone. The top tier Ultegra Di2 11 speed build includes a Fulcrum 5 wheelset, Prologo Zero-II T2.0 saddle, Mercx’s MX69 seatpost, the Deda Zero M35 handlebar and Trentacinque stem for € 3,899 ($5,200). The same build in mechanical Ultegra 11 is €3,099 ($4,140), and a 105 build with the Fulcrum Sport wheelset is €2,499 ($3,340). I’m most excited about the Campy build option, with the Athena Black 11 speed gruppo mated to a Rotor 3D30 crankset – albeit with Fulcrum 7s – but built up on a very sexy black frame with bloody red accents for €2,799 ($3,740). The pictured FFWD wheelset, available for all four builds, will set you back another €1,000 ($1,340). The electronic-ready frameset is €2,099 ($2,800). Actual US pricing is forthcoming.
The Mourenx69 has the UCI stamp of approval, due in part to Merckx not following the path of many US-based companies by offering disc brake compatibility on the endurance bike. We also do not have specs on maximum tire clearance; depending on the model, the Shimano gruppos will limit you to 25mm tires, and the Athena Skeletons will only fit 23mm of rubber between the pads.
Eddie Merckx has repeatedly stated that weight is overemphasized by most builders, so we will have to get one on a scale to find that out.
Look for news on the three other new Merckx models in the coming weeks.