Re: [CR] Merckx hour record bike(s)

Example: History:Norris Lockley

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Date: Wed, 9 Nov 2005 06:24:42 -0800
From: Jan Heine <>
Subject: Re: [CR] Merckx hour record bike(s)

>Jan Heine wrote:
>> However, from the photos, it is clear that the backup bike did not
>> have special components. Which makes sense - if the first one broke,
>> you'd want tried and true. I won't reopen the discussion whether all
>> that light weight helped Merckx during a constant-speed effort...
>I think you just did Jan.
>I'm quite sure that the lighter weight could only have helped Eddy's
>acceleration up to his constant-speed effort, correct?

In the interview that was quoted earlier, Colnago said he had implored Merckx not to accelerate too hard for fear of breaking the bike. Colnago relates how he was sweating when Merckx was out of the saddle for the first lap or two, longer than anticipated.

You could argue, of course, that the reduced effort early on saved Eddy's legs for the rest of the hour. If he had accelerated like he would for a track sprint, he might not have lasted as long.

Note that later hour record bikes, especially Rominger's, were considerably heavier - with no apparent ill effects on the time achieved.

However, it is the superlight weight that makes the Merckx hour record bike so interesting. And it did generate a lot of press ever since. It is interesting that more has been written about the bike than about Merckx' hour record itself.

Jan Heine, Seattle Editor/Publisher Vintage Bicycle Quarterly c/o Il Vecchio Bicycles 140 Lakeside Ave, Ste. C Seattle WA 98122