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Eddy Merckx relaunches steel bikes

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The limited-edition EDDY70 line commemorates Eddy Merckx's forthcoming 70th birthday

The limited-edition EDDY70 line commemorates Eddy Merckx's forthcoming 70th birthday (Image credit: Eddy Merckx Cycles)
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EDDY70 logos adorn the cockpit, wheels and saddle

EDDY70 logos adorn the cockpit, wheels and saddle (Image credit: Eddy Merckx Cycles)
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Seventy numbered editions will be made. Guess who gets number one?

Seventy numbered editions will be made. Guess who gets number one? (Image credit: Eddy Merckx Cycles)
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(Image credit: Eddy Merckx Cycles)
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The head badge

The head badge (Image credit: Eddy Merckx Cycles)
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Johan Vranckx, a bike welder for 35 years, trained with De Rosa in Italy, then Litespeed in the USA. Each frame build takes him about two days

Johan Vranckx, a bike welder for 35 years, trained with De Rosa in Italy, then Litespeed in the USA. Each frame build takes him about two days (Image credit: Eddy Merckx Cycles)
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Each of the plates will be signed

Each of the plates will be signed (Image credit: Eddy Merckx Cycles)
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Campagnolo Bora 35 wheels with the limited-edition logo

Campagnolo Bora 35 wheels with the limited-edition logo (Image credit: Eddy Merckx Cycles)
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A carbon fork is painted to match, naturally

A carbon fork is painted to match, naturally (Image credit: Eddy Merckx Cycles)
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When was the last time you saw a chain hanger on a carbon bike?

When was the last time you saw a chain hanger on a carbon bike? (Image credit: Eddy Merckx Cycles)
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The EDDY70 bikes are steel, but not just retro bikes, the company claims

The EDDY70 bikes are steel, but not just retro bikes, the company claims (Image credit: Eddy Merckx Cycles)
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When you have a certain name, you can get custom editions of Campagnolo Super Record

When you have a certain name, you can get custom editions of Campagnolo Super Record (Image credit: Eddy Merckx Cycles)
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Eddy Merckx is widely regarded as the greatest road cyclist of all time

Eddy Merckx is widely regarded as the greatest road cyclist of all time (Image credit: Eddy Merckx Cycles)
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Each EDDY70 will come with an autographed photo book

Each EDDY70 will come with an autographed photo book (Image credit: Eddy Merckx Cycles)
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The steel bikes are TIG-welded in Belgium

The steel bikes are TIG-welded in Belgium (Image credit: Eddy Merckx Cycles)
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(Image credit: Eddy Merckx Cycles)

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."