Eddy Merckx Mourenx 69 Review and Overview
Fit Werx is an authorized dealer for Eddy Merckx bicycles. The Eddy Merckx Mourenx 69, as all the bikes in Merckx’s current line, is named after a famous victory for Eddy. In this case, the ride was a 214.5 km stage of the Tour de France, on July 15, 1969, from Luchon to Mourenx, France where Merckx went on a 130 km solo breakaway through the Pyrenees. This epic solo resulted in Eddy winning the stage by 7:56, cementing his first overall Tour victory. Reflecting the exceptional performance and effort Merckx showed on that day, the Eddy Merckx Mourenx 69 frame is designed to work really well for the rider who understands that there is a fine balance you want to achieve between comfort, aerodynamics, weight and stiffness if you are to reach your potential (or just be able to reach your toes…) at the end of a challenging ride.
Frame Geometry & Fit
While a number of bikes built by European manufacturers reflect a “long and low” design philosophy (including the Eddy Merckx EMX-525), the Mourenx 69 does not fall into this singular category; the Eddy Merckx Mourenx 69 offers a versatile frame geometry that will fit a wide variety of riders from competitive to recreational well. While a small percentage of riders may benefit from geometry like the EMX, the vast majority of folks will do best on the Mourenx 69 geometry. In addition to offering the widest fit window in the Merckx line, the bottom bracket area of the Mourenx 69 is slightly smaller than some other Merckx bikes, and seatstays are a bit more elongated. Why? Shock absorption and a smoother ride. As a result, the Eddy Merckx Mourenx 69 is well equipped for long hours in the saddle while still being plenty responsive and quick for 99% of the riders out there. To find out if a Eddy Merckx fits you well, start with a Fit Werx Rider First Bike Fitting and we can match up bikes with your needs.
Frame Design & Construction
Not surprisingly, the frame and fork of the Eddy Merckx Mourenx 69 are carbon fiber and shapely carbon fiber at that. The sloping top tube is ever-so-slightly arched, and roughly triangular in shape and the down tube is also somewhat triangular and becomes more ovalized as it nears the bottom bracket to enhance lateral stiffness. The asymmetrical chainstays are squared off while the seat tube starts off roughly square at the top, but turns into a more multifaceted shape the further down it goes. In the European tradition, the lines and finish of the Eddy Merckx Mourenx 69 is eye catching with a modern and fast look, yet a sophisticated and smooth feel.
The seatpost of the Eddy Merckx is proprietary, and no others will fit. Disappointingly, Eddy Merckx does not currently offer a zero setback post for the Mourenx 69 – something Eddy Merckx has said will change early in ’16. Both the front and rear derailleur hangers of the Eddy Merckx Mourenx 69 are replaceable. I particularly like this feature on a front derailleur hanger as most are pop-riveted in place, whereas the Merckx bolts in place. If a riveted hanger breaks the frame often has to go back to the factory while a bolt-on hanger can just be replaced. As an added benefit, bolt-on hangers also offer some rotational angle adjustment of the derailleur. All cabling, except the front brake, is internal on the Eddy Merckx Mourenx 69, and the frame can accommodate internal electronic shift wiring as well. The bottom bracket is designed to use Shimano’s standard BB86/92, so a Shimano crankset will fit without having to use any type of adaptor, thus eliminating one possible source of creaking.
The Build Kit & Spec
The Eddy Merckx Mourenx we have here in Waitsfield is well equipped with a full Shimano Ultegra 6800 11 speed gruppo, including the brake calipers and 50/34 compact crankset. Even the chain and 11/28 cassette are Ultegra 6800. Frequently production bikes that are otherwise “all Ultegra” are equipped with a lower level cassette and chain, if not also non-Shimano crankset and brakes. Not on the factory equipped Eddy Merckx Mourenx; no substitutions or compromises here. The stock alloy bars and stem are brand name components as well and are Deda’s relatively new 35mm standard, meaning that the bar, where it fits into the stem, is 35 mm in diameter, as opposed to the now nearly universal standard of 31.8 mm. While we prefer the universality of a 31.8 bar and stem, 35mm bars and stems are designed to further stiffen the handlebar/stem area. The wheels are Fulcrum Racing 5 and while these wheels are in the lower half of Fulcrum’s offerings, they are nonetheless good, reliable and strong wheels. Weighing in at 1,645 grams a pair, they are a good training wheel and they are lighter than some OEM wheels that we see at Fit Werx. As with the vast majority of OEM wheels, they are not of the same level as the rest of the bike and thus make a good target for a future upgrade. Finally, the saddle is a Prologo Zero II T2.0 – again, a brand name part. The finished Eddy Merckx Mourenx 69 bike with the stock Ultegra 6800 group weighs in at 16 lbs, 15 oz (7.67 kg). If you upgrade the wheels, it would not be difficult to get this weight down to the low 16 pound range.
While the Eddy Merckx Mourenx 69 came out of the shipping box almost fully assembled (it could have been on the showroom floor in 15 minutes), we don’t build bikes the way many shops do at Fit Werx. I stripped the bike down to the bare frame and started the reassembly the Fit Werx way. Part of a Fit Werx Pro Build is to check all the details and frame prep to make sure that your Eddy Merckx Mourenx 69 from Fit Werx will work well for you many miles down the road. For example, on those derailleur hangers I mentioned earlier, I removed the bolts and reinstalled them with Loctite 248 to prevent them from working loose over time. This is just one small and seemingly insignificant (until your derailleur comes loose in the middle of nowhere!) example of our attention to detail when we build a bike and one reason (beyond a Fit Werx fitting) that a bike from Fit Werx is not a commodity.
What About the Ride?
Given the history of Merckx bikes and the engineering and design principles in the Mourenx 69, the Mourenx 69 provides a high quality and balanced ride, delivering good power transfer without beating up the rider by being overly stiff, and meeting the company’s design goal of a comfortable endurance, high performance bike. Eddy was always a stickler for ride details and this is one reason why we elected to represent Eddy Merckx Cycles at Fit Werx.
The Eddy Merckx Mourenx 69 can be had with Ultegra 6800, like the bike we have here in the shop, Ultegra 6870 Di2, Dura Ace 9000, or Campagnolo Chorus from the factory or we can build it up however desired from a frame. It is very hard to find bikes from American manufacturers that offer an optional Campagnolo build – so that is a nice touch from Europe as we have always liked and ridden Campagnolo on many bikes. Ready to ride with the Ultegra group, the Eddy Merckx Mourenx 69 starts under $4000, so it is competitively priced for how well it is equipped. Of course, you can equip your Eddy Merckx Mourenx however you would like and the price would go up (or down) accordingly…
We are proud to be an Eddy Merckx bicycle dealer. This storied line of bikes offers a high level of European design and construction, ride quality, and, dare I say, panache, without the fit compromises found on many European bike brands. Being as particular as we are about the brands of bikes that we offer, we are excited to be able to offer a European bike brand that offers options that will fit a wide variety of riders (and even more when that zero setback post becomes available…). For the rider looking for a comfortable, all-day-ride type of endurance bike with old-world flair, the Eddy Merckx Mourenx 69 is a very good candidate.
Contact us to talk about your next bike or to schedule a Rider First Bike Fitting to find out how the Eddy Merckx Mourenx 69 fits you.
Fit Werx is an authorized dealer of Eddy Merckx Cycles with locations near Boston in Peabody and Lexington, MA, outside of New York City in Ridgefield Park, NJ and near Burlington and Stowe, VT in Waitsfield.