Sunday, October 19, 2008
Early 1980s Eddy Merckx Professional with 2008 SRAM Force Group at Renaissance Bicycles
Sold: Final price unknown; listed on eBay in September 2008 at $2,650 Buy-It-Now.
I'm new to blogging. One of my experiments has been the Google ads on the right side of the page. I was worried about what might pop up there, but it's been interesting to see appropriate ads from vendors I know, like Lickbike or Competitive Cyclist.
One of the advertisers that I hadn't seen before is Renaissance Bicycles. You can read their philosophy page here, but basically, they take classic steel frames, refinish them, and build them up with current component groups and wheelsets.
I like that Renaissance isn't trying to make these bikes something they are not. There are no carbon fork "upgrades" or modernized paint jobs, only the minimum modifications necessary to fit the new parts.
This Merckx is one of the nicer examples of their work. The frame is Columbus SL, and carries a flat fork crown and an unusual chrome treatment on the forks. It has been completed with a 2008 SRAM Force group and a set of Easton EA90 SLX wheels, and parts from Chris King, Thomson, Deda, Selle Italia and Continental (I would replace that rear skewer though; it's not meant for use with horizontal dropouts).
Merckx's steel frames have an uncanny mix of stability and quickness that makes them a joy to ride. With these parts, I'll bet the experience is even better.
The cost of the components adds up to close to the asking price for the bike. Factor in the cost of the refinish, and you're getting the frame for free.
Most people looking to spend $2,500 on a new bike will skip past a bike like this on their way to the local Trek or Specialized dealer, but that's their loss. Compared to what else is available in the market at this price point, the Merckx stands out as an elegant classic, modern and unapologetic.