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Museeuw launches hybrid flax-carbon fiber MF-XX for 2011

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Museeuw's new flagship is the striking MF-XX.

Museeuw's new flagship is the striking MF-XX. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The limited edition Museeuw MF-Lugano bears the UCI rainbow stripes to celebrate Johan Museeuw's 1996 world championship victory.

The limited edition Museeuw MF-Lugano bears the UCI rainbow stripes to celebrate Johan Museeuw's 1996 world championship victory. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Museeuw MF-1 will get a standard telescoping seatpost for 2011.

The Museeuw MF-1 will get a standard telescoping seatpost for 2011. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The flax fibers are clearly visible through the clearcoat on the Museeuw MF-1 fork.

The flax fibers are clearly visible through the clearcoat on the Museeuw MF-1 fork. (Image credit: James Huang)
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As is becoming virtually standard practice these days, giant chain stays are matched to tiny seat stays on the new Museeuw MF-XX.

As is becoming virtually standard practice these days, giant chain stays are matched to tiny seat stays on the new Museeuw MF-XX. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The giant seat tube morphs from circular up top to rectangular below and is also asymmetrical to make room for the front derailleur.

The giant seat tube morphs from circular up top to rectangular below and is also asymmetrical to make room for the front derailleur. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The rear brake is tucked beneath the chain stays on the new Museeuw MF-XX.

The rear brake is tucked beneath the chain stays on the new Museeuw MF-XX. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The new Museeuw MF-XX gets a tapered head tube and internal cable routing.

The new Museeuw MF-XX gets a tapered head tube and internal cable routing. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The dedicated front brake is positioned behind the fork crown.

The dedicated front brake is positioned behind the fork crown. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The beefed-up Museeuw MF-XX fork features a healthy dose of flax fibers clearly visible through the clearcoat.

The beefed-up Museeuw MF-XX fork features a healthy dose of flax fibers clearly visible through the clearcoat. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Flax fibers strategically placed throughout the frame supposedly absorb more road shock than carbon fibers alone.

Flax fibers strategically placed throughout the frame supposedly absorb more road shock than carbon fibers alone. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Museeuw fits the new MF-XX with a BB30-compatible bottom bracket shell.

Museeuw fits the new MF-XX with a BB30-compatible bottom bracket shell. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The lion of Flanders roars on the Museeuw MF-Lugano.

The lion of Flanders roars on the Museeuw MF-Lugano. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Museeuw's limited edition MF-Lugano is essentially an MF-1 beneath the fancy paint.

Museeuw's limited edition MF-Lugano is essentially an MF-1 beneath the fancy paint. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Flax fibers are also visible in the main tubes and seat stays of the Museeuw MF-1.

Flax fibers are also visible in the main tubes and seat stays of the Museeuw MF-1. (Image credit: James Huang)

Museeuw Bikes' range of unique hybrid flax-carbon fiber road bikes will have a new flagship model for 2011 called the MF-XX.

The frame's aggressive shaping reflects trends seen in other competitive models: there's a tapered head tube up front, a BB30-compatible bottom bracket down below, an enormous square-profile down tube and tapered asymmetrical seat tube, and finally a pair of giant chain stays matched to shockingly slender and flattened seat stays. Or course, Museeuw claims the MF-XX manages to be lighter than its predecessors, too, owing to more refined fiber lay-ups.

Based on previous experience with bikes of similar design philosophy, it'd be reasonable to expect the MF-XX to deliver good drivetrain and torsional stiffness. However, as with the rest of the 'MF' range, Museeuw contends that the flax fibers integrated nearly throughout the frame (lesser models use it only in the fork and rear stays) makes it better able to absorb "micro shocks" for an even smoother and more comfortable ride than what carbon fiber alone can deliver.

In addition to the more modern shaping, this latest version also boasts a greater level of component integration with internal cable routing throughout and non-standard brake placement with dedicated CNC-machined aluminum arms: the front caliper is tucked behind the giant fork crown while the rear is placed underneath the chain stays, just behind the bottom bracket.

The caliper placement lends a somewhat cleaner look to the whole package – especially at the rear – but relocating the rear brake down to the chain stays may also provide improved stopping performance as that area is far more heavily reinforced. In addition, the seat stays can be made even slimmer to provide more tuned flex as they no longer have to deal with the structural requirements of anchoring a brake caliper.

Museeuw will offer the MF-XX in six sizes, all with slightly sloping geometries.

The MF-1 will carry over mostly unchanged save for the addition of a standard 31.6mm seatpost in place of last year's integrated mast. That integrated version will still see another year of service in the limited edition MF-Lugano, though, which will wear a special finish to commemorate the fifteen anniversary of Johan Museeuw's UCI world championship victory in Lugano, Switzerland.