Museeuw MF-XX - First look

Blends flax fiber technology with more component integration

Museeuw Bikes' range of unique hybrid flax/carbon fiber road bikes will have a new flagship model for 2011 called the MF-XX. The frame's aggressive shaping reflects trends seen in other competitive models

There's a tapered head tube up front, a BB30-compatible bottom bracket down below, an enormous square-profile down tube and tapered asymmetrical seat tube, and finally a pair of giant chainstays matched to shockingly slender and flattened seatstays. Or course, Museeuw claim the MF-XX manages to be lighter than its predecessors, too, owing to more refined fiber layups.

Based on previous experience with bikes of similar design philosophy, it would be reasonable to expect the MF-XX to deliver good drivetrain and torsional stiffness. However, as with the rest of the 'MF' range, Museeuw contend that the flax fibers integrated throughout the frame (lesser models use it only in the fork and rear stays) make it better able to absorb "micro shocks" for an even smoother and more comfortable ride than carbon fiber alone can deliver.

Flax fibers strategically placed throughout the frame supposedly absorb more road shock than carbon fibers alone: flax fibers strategically placed throughout the frame supposedly absorb more road shock than carbon fibers alone
Flax fibers strategically placed throughout the frame supposedly absorb more road shock than carbon fibers alone: flax fibers strategically placed throughout the frame supposedly absorb more road shock than carbon fibers alone

Flax fibers strategically placed throughout the frame supposedly absorb more road shock than carbon fibers alone

In addition to the more modern shaping, this latest version boasts a greater level of component integration, with internal cable routing throughout and non-standard brake placement with dedicated CNC-machined aluminum arms. The front caliper is tucked behind the giant fork crown while the rear is placed underneath the chainstays, just behind the bottom bracket.

The caliper placement lends a somewhat cleaner look to the whole package – especially at the rear – and moving the rear brake down to the chainstays may also provide improved stopping performance as that area is far more heavily reinforced. In addition, the seatstays can be made even slimmer to provide more tuned flex as they no longer have to deal with the structural requirements of anchoring a brake caliper. Museeuw will offer the MF-XX in six sizes, all with slightly sloping geometries.

The front brake is positioned behind the fork crown: the front brake is positioned behind the fork crown
The front brake is positioned behind the fork crown: the front brake is positioned behind the fork crown

The front brake is positioned behind the fork crown on the new Museeuw MF-XX

The MF-1 will carry over mostly unchanged save for the addition of a standard 31.6mm seatpost in place of last year's integrated mast. That integrated version will still see another year of service in the limited edition MF-Lugano, though, which will wear a special finish to commemorate the 15th anniversary of Johan Museeuw's UCI World Championship victory in Lugano, Switzerland.

James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA

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