We take a ride on the new £1,999 carbon-fibre EMX-3 from the Merckx stable
Eddy Merckx uses an unorthodox yet logical way to classify its range. Firstly by frame material, and then by geometry, which is effectively a definition of use. Our EMX-3 is carbon (‘E' series), and elite geometry (‘MX'), so built for racing.
As you'll have already seen, the EMX-3 was used to test the new Shimano 6700 Ultegra groupset, and this frame will be available as a frameset or with 6700 in 2010. The full bike will have Fulcrum Racing 5 wheels and EMX-branded components.
On our test bike, however, 3T components were supplied, also brought in by Jim Walker. While a set of 6700 wheels where supplied, we dropped in a set of Bontrager Aeolus 6.0 wheels when riding the bike, and these feature in the pictures.
With or without the deep-section wheels, the ride is unmistakably Belgian. There is always something about the bikes that come from the home of the Classics.
Owing to the tough nature of Belgian roads, their bikes are built tough and have an uncompromising ride. Luckily, the Merckx combines this with a comfortable nature, meaning that small bumps are felt but larger impacts aren't passed on to the rider in their entirety and a useful degree of comfort is afforded.
Handling is simply excellent, lively and precise, without ever slipping into the realms of twitchy. It's a class act.
If there is one downside it's the weight, but as that equates to more carbon and therefore a tougher frame, it's a fair pay-off.
Merckx has come up with a great frame worthy of your money if you like the Belgian feel.
Shimano Ultegra 6700