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Eddy Merckx, considered by most cycling historians, and certainly us here at WS, to be the greatest cyclist of all time, is an icon of our sport equal to the likes of Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan or Pelé. This man they called “The Cannibal,” due to his insatiable appetite to win, was so dominant that in his 13 years as a professional he had a winning rate of 35.5%. That’s right-- Merckx entered 1582 road races and won 525. This type of domination has never been seen before or since his time in the peloton.
Merckx saw his role one way--as the race winner--and was dominant in both single-day and stage races, another rarity in cycling. Merckx is a five-time champion of the two most important races in professional cycling--the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia. He is one of only four cyclists to have won all three of the Grand Tours (Tour, Giro and Vuelta a España). He is one of only two men to have won the Triple Crown of Cycling (Tour, Giro, and the World Cycling Championship) all in the same year. In addition, he is one of only three riders to have won all five one-day cycling classics at least once during his career, and won the season-long Super Prestige Pernod International competition a record seven consecutive times.
These stats are obviously impressive but no stat can summarize Merckx’ psychological dominance over the peloton. Miguel Indurain once said, "According to me, Merckx remains the greatest cyclist of all. He dared to strain his body to the extremes." Maybe that’s because he transformed himself into a machine with the utmost meticulousness and the end result being half man and half bike.
With all this riding experience and an obvious desire to win, Merckx turned his ambitions towards something he loved: the bicycle business. Merckx decided he was going to build frames the way he wanted them to ride, and with a level of quality that would stand the test of time. With the help of his old friend and frame builder Ugo DeRosa, Merckx established his frame building business in Belgium where he still lives above his offices and factory. Merckx still test rides every model that he produces to ensure that it lives up to his standards.
Eddy Merckx frames are built with century geometry and are typically comfortable to ride all day long. For each given frame size (seat tube), the corresponding top tubes tend to be on the long side. There are different geometries for each Merckx frame model. Even though we live in this new world of technology, which even Eddy himself has engaged in with his framesets, every time we see a steel Merckx frame we are reminded of how great he is. Each frame has a touch of class that few builders can live up to.