Merckx EMX-525 review

Efficient, expensive race bike

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £4,499.99 RRP
Eddy Merckx EMX-525

Our review

Superb handling, one for aspiring elite racers
Skip to view product specifications

A Belgian bruiser, the Merckx EMX-525 will be raced by the Topsport Flanders/Mercator pro team in 2013, so it has its race credentials, but how will it fare on sportives and gran fondos?

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Apparently designed during serious curve rationing, the 525 is more industrial than organic, with flats and straight lines all over; only the subtle curve of the head tube is out of line. Designed solely for electronic shifting, the Merckx is uncluttered by cabling, although there’s so much going on with the geometric stepped stays, angular tubes and burly fork that the Ultegra Di2 groupset is almost lost.

Warming up, we were instantly aware how rigid the 525 is, totally unnerved over our hole-spattered roads. If the kinked seatstays induce flex then it’s minimal, and overrun by the robust frame. But accelerating, the muscular asymmetric chainstays and down tube are more than a match for our legs, with fast-twitch reactions and surging drive.

The wheels are less immediate, and although Fulcrum’s Racing Quattros punch above their weight, a £300 wheelset clearly doesn’t do the 525 justice. On the positive side, with a relatively shallow profile they’re no problem in a swirling wind. They also keep the overall price realistic for a bike with a frameset that costs nearly three grand, specced with Ultegra Di2, and for winter riding they make good sense, especially as riders with a budget of over

£4K might well already own a more than decent wheelset. Even with wheels below the calibre of the bike, the 525 has a steamroller-like ability to hold its line and barrel across rough roads, while solid, predictable handling keeps it all together in a similar vein to the S5.  

After repeated interval batterings we were convinced of the frame’s racing potential, and bigger test riders particularly appreciated its relentless character, but we were all wishing for better hoops.

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This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Product Specifications

Product

Name EMX-525 (13)
Brand Merckx

Description Vittoria Rubino Pro tyres
Brakes Shimano Ultegra Di2
Fork CXD full carbon tapered
Frame Material CL+ 300 3K carbon
Front Derailleur Shimano Ultegra Di2 compact
Handlebar 3T Ergonova Pro
Rear Derailleur Shimano Ultegra Di2 compact
Rims Fulcrum Racing Quattro
Saddle Prologo Kappa Evo
Seatpost Merckx EMX-6
Shifters Shimano Ultegra Di2 compact
Stem 3T ARX Pro
Weight (kg) 8.03