This article originally appeared on BikeRadar
Eddy Merckx Cycles, the eponymous brand of arguably the world's greatest cyclist, is returning to its roots with steel racing bikes. The first batch will be a limited-edition run of EDDY70 machines. Sold online for US$17,500 / €14,000 a piece, there will by 70 numbered EDDY70 bikes, of which the man himself will get number one. But these aren't just retro bikes, the company insists.
Following on the heels of the EDDY70 machines will be a new series of bikes in the so-called Heritage collection, which will be sold at Eddy Merckx dealers around the world.
Although clearly a nod to the glory days gone by, the company claims the new bikes are not just ordinary steel bikes with a retro aesthetic, but instead "ultramodern, state-of-the-art racing bikes, improved with the best Columbus steel alloys and designed for superior performance."
Eddy Merckx will turn 70 on June 17th this year. The company claims the EDDY70 bikes will be delivered on that day, with Merckx's signature on the steel number plate as well as an autographed Eddy Merckx photo book.
The EDDY70 frames will be built with Columbus XCr seamless stainless steel tubes, TIG welded in the Eddy Merckx Cycles workshops and paired with a carbon Columbus fork.
Johan Vranckx, a bike welder for 35 years, trained with De Rosa in Italy, then Litespeed in the USA. Each EDDY70 frame takes him about two days to build, including shaping, filing and welding each tube.
The bikes will be built with custom-edition Campagnolo Super Record components and Campagnolo Bora Ultra 35 wheels. The EDDY70 logo is also emblazoned on the cockpit, seatpost and saddle.
"Everyone knows that I was always obsessively focused on the equipment that I rode on," Eddy Merckx said in a press release. "That is still the case now. And as a result, I wanted only the best and most modern components and materials for this bike. The aim was absolutely to make a high performance, contemporary racing bike and not a replica of my old racing bike."