Quick Step will stay on Eddy Merckx bikes for another season but will upgrade to the company's all-new EMX-7 carbon flagship and the heavily revamped EMX-5, both with all the bells and whistles of other modern race machines.
Key features include the usual must-haves: a tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/2" head tube, an integrated bottom bracket with press-fit bearing cups, and internal cable routing. As a side benefit of the stiffer and more precise handling front end and lighter crank bearing assembly, the upsized head tube and bottom bracket also allow for a broader down tube and wider spacing on the asymmetrical chain stays, both of which help increase drivetrain and torsional rigidity.
The EMX-7 – the choice of classics and sprint specialist Tom Boonen – also adds nominally aero-shaped tubes, an upgraded composite blend with strategically placed patches of pitch carbon fiber for additional stiffness, and an integrated seatmast while the EMX-5 carries on with a standard, round, telescoping post. Both models retain Eddy Merckx's stable stage race-type geometry with relatively slack head tube angles and low bottom brackets.
Quick Step mechanics fit the team bikes with Campagnolo Record 11 groups across the board, including the company's latest Ergopower lever internals for a more positive shift action, smoother hoods, and revised chainring tooth profiles. Campagnolo also provides the full catalog of wheelsets including both carbon and alloy tubulars depending on the task at hand (Boonen's bike is pictured here with training clinchers fitted).
Finishing kit is provided by FSA (bars, stems, headsets, and seatmast heads or seatposts depending on bike model), Vittoria (tires), Prologo (saddles and bar tape), Look (pedals), Tacx (bottles and cages), and BBB (computers).