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Gallery: Inside Eddy Merckx Cycles

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The product display area of the Merckx factory in Zellik, Brussels

The product display area of the Merckx factory in Zellik, Brussels
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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The frame colours mimic those of Merckx's Faema team bikes, which he raced through some of his most successful years

The frame colours mimic those of Merckx's Faema team bikes, which he raced through some of his most successful years
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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At this stage the unpainted stainless stays are still masked

At this stage the unpainted stainless stays are still masked
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Once the decals are completed, the frame will have a coat of clear lacquer to finish it off

Once the decals are completed, the frame will have a coat of clear lacquer to finish it off
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Patience and attention to detail is essential

Patience and attention to detail is essential
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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The full carbon Columbus fork is painted and detailed to match the frame

The full carbon Columbus fork is painted and detailed to match the frame
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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The EDDY70 name will be supplemented on every frame with Eddy's handwritten signature. He will personally sign the frame anywhere the customer requests

The EDDY70 name will be supplemented on every frame with Eddy's handwritten signature. He will personally sign the frame anywhere the customer requests
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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A stainless cutout head tube badge will be fixed on once the painting process is complete

A stainless cutout head tube badge will be fixed on once the painting process is complete
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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A frame in the spray booth for its clear lacquer coat

A frame in the spray booth for its clear lacquer coat
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Eddy Merckx helps to unveil the first fully built EDDY70 bike, number 1 of the 70 that will be built

Eddy Merckx helps to unveil the first fully built EDDY70 bike, number 1 of the 70 that will be built
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Taking a good look at his new bike for the first time

Taking a good look at his new bike for the first time
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Each bike will bear a stainless steel plaque denoting its series number

Each bike will bear a stainless steel plaque denoting its series number
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Eddy was joined on stage by Jan Toye of Eddy Merckx Cycles (EMC), and Valentino Campagnolo

Eddy was joined on stage by Jan Toye of Eddy Merckx Cycles (EMC), and Valentino Campagnolo
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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The EDDY70 certainly met with their approval

The EDDY70 certainly met with their approval
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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We're not alone in testing a new bike by lifting it up…

We're not alone in testing a new bike by lifting it up…
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Eddy's new ride, which he says he will definitely be using, and not hanging on the wall

Eddy's new ride, which he says he will definitely be using, and not hanging on the wall
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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There's no substitute for a good eye and a practised pair of hands

There's no substitute for a good eye and a practised pair of hands
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Frame decals being prepared for application

Frame decals being prepared for application
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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The masterplan for the EDDY70's paint and decals

The masterplan for the EDDY70's paint and decals
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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A few specially painted bikes from Merckx's Quickstep team days

A few specially painted bikes from Merckx's Quickstep team days
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Jerome Pineau's polka dot themed EMX-5 bike from the 2010 Tour de France

Jerome Pineau's polka dot themed EMX-5 bike from the 2010 Tour de France
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Sylvain Chavanel's yellow EMX-5 bike from his time in the leader's jersey at the 2010 Tour

Sylvain Chavanel's yellow EMX-5 bike from his time in the leader's jersey at the 2010 Tour
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Peter Van Petegem's 2003 Team SL Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders winning bike

Peter Van Petegem's 2003 Team SL Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders winning bike
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Campagnolo Record 10 speed levers were matched to a Chorus drivetrain

Campagnolo Record 10 speed levers were matched to a Chorus drivetrain
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Van Petegem's frame used Easton Scandium tubes

Van Petegem's frame used Easton Scandium tubes
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Before carbon became common, Ambrosio's Nemesis rims were just that for cobbled races

Before carbon became common, Ambrosio's Nemesis rims were just that for cobbled races
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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The Merckx factory floor with its bespoke bike building stands

The Merckx factory floor with its bespoke bike building stands
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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No idea what this mid 90s Merckx was doing amongst the new builds

No idea what this mid 90s Merckx was doing amongst the new builds
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Your custom built metal Merckx starts here

Your custom built metal Merckx starts here
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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A wide range of round and non-round tubes to create a variety of frames

A wide range of round and non-round tubes to create a variety of frames
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Johan Vranckx is putting 35 years of frame building expertise in to every one of the limited edition EDDY70 frames

Johan Vranckx is putting 35 years of frame building expertise in to every one of the limited edition EDDY70 frames
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Starting with these tubes (plus the other stays), it'll take Johan 10-11 hours to create one stainless steel frame

Starting with these tubes (plus the other stays), it'll take Johan 10-11 hours to create one stainless steel frame
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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That time includes cutting and shaping every tube for a perfect fit

That time includes cutting and shaping every tube for a perfect fit
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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This jig is where every frame will be welded, with the big man looking on. This isn'the start of one of the EDDY70 frames, but an emergency aluminium frame order for a sponsored rider

This jig is where every frame will be welded, with the big man looking on. This isn'the start of one of the EDDY70 frames, but an emergency aluminium frame order for a sponsored rider
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Italian steel, Italian components and tyres, Belgian craftmanship and the biggest name in cycling. What's not to like

Italian steel, Italian components and tyres, Belgian craftmanship and the biggest name in cycling. What's not to like
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)

This article originally appeared on BikeRadar

The Eddy Merckx factory sits in an unassuming unit in a business park in Zellik, on the outskirts of Brussels, Belgium. Aside from the distinctive Merckx logo above the entrance, it could be almost any other commercial premises, although closer inspection shows the unusually narrow parking bay next to the front door is labelled "Eddy's Bike", showing the very personal connection the great man still maintains with his eponymous brand.

Giant images of Merckx in his racing days cover several walls, and a number of notable bikes from more recently sponsored Merckx teams are dotted around the building, as well as a showroom displaying the current road bike range.

Bikes and jerseys from Tom Boonen, Sylvain Chavanel and Jerome Pineau sit alongside Peter Van Petegem's cobbled Classic winner from 2003, showing the progression from aluminium to carbon manufacturing.

Down on the factory floor, we passed the assembly area with its custom made jigs allowing workers to set frames in almost any position for perfect access, with no loss of floor space. But next door is the workshop, where aluminium and steel frames are constructed using methods that have changed little for decades.

This jig is where every EDDY70 frame will be welded. The tubes above aren't the start of one of the EDDY70 frames, but an emergency aluminium frame order for a sponsored rider

Every one of the new commemorative and limited edition EDDY70 steel frames will be built here by Johan Vranckx, who has worked for Eddy since 1980, when he was 16. From brazing cable stops on to Eddy's steel frames, to refining his trade with De Rosa in Italy and Litespeed in the USA, Vranckx has been ever-present on the workshop floor at Eddy Merckx, ensuring quality in manufacture.

We visited the paint shop and watched decals being meticulously applied, again by one man, showing the care being lavished on each of the stainless steel machines.

Finally, we attended the unveiling ceremony of the EDDY70 with Eddy Merckx joined by Jan Toye, majority shareholder of Eddy Merckx Cycles and Valentino Campagnolo, who assisted with the supply of monogrammed Campagnolo Super Record groupsets for the project.

Click through the gallery above for a tour of the Eddy Merckx Cycles factory.