Re: [CR]Fw: Merckx frameset info

(Example: Framebuilders:Tony Beek)

From: <OROBOYZ@aol.com>
Date: Sat, 25 Sep 2004 22:57:37 EDT
Subject: Re: [CR]Fw: Merckx frameset info
To: Norris.Lockley@btopenworld.com, classicrendezvous@bikelist.org


In a message dated 9/25/2004 10:32:28 PM Eastern Daylight Time, Norris.Lockley@btopenworld.com writes:

<< Mostly they were finished in the Merckx yellow Molteni finish or a ghastly "fluid" silver reminiscent of cheap German machines. What I remember the best is that the head tube and lugs appeared to be made in one component - I think some Italian component suppliers had such things available as did some Japanese manufacturers. The rear drop-outs were pressed plate - huge thungs, and the seat stays were if an odd section with domed top-eyes.. The frames looked the part from a distance, but were plenty poor close up.>>

Certainly correct on those points, Norris! There were indeed one piece head tube/lugs on the ladies frames and smaller mens frame in the cheaper models. The fancier models had regular three piece head construction though... We also found some that were stickered as full Reynolds 531 db, with obvious internal tubing seams! Here in the USA we were also supplied with Merckx-Falcon models in white, dark blue or black, all with the Merckx face ion the triangular foil head badge and the "wrapper" style seat & down tube decals.

<< Another European manufacurer Dangre-Starnord / Paris- Sport also had a concession from Merckx and shipped some stuff to the States >>

Hmmm, having attended all the bike shows in that era and being a dealer for said brand, I am fairly certain that StarNord nor any other French maker was supplying USA bound Merckx. Maybe they were only on the continent? Of course, Paris Sport was the USA label of the Fraysse family in New Jersey; again, no connection to Merckx brand. They put the Paris Sport labels on many differently sourced makes & models....

The only deviation from Falcon made bikes under the Merckx label were those of Kessels. A very few of those were bought by the USA importer when Falcon came up short in shipping desired numbers. I sold two of the Kessels frames, received as a pleasant surprise when ordering top model Falcons. The Kessels were quite different, having larger diameter seat stays, fluted top eyes, more upright geometry and very nice workmanship. They were painted and decaled identically to the others (Molteni orange with blue bands)

Dale Brown
Greensboro, NC