Merckx Sallanches 64 blends race and endurance characteristics

Nimble carbon frame with a taller front end than a race bike

In 1964, a then-unknown Eddy Merckx won the amateur world championship in Sallanches, France at age 19. Merckx would of course go on to be the most dominant bike racer of all time, devouring races and competitors and earning the nickname The Cannibal. Today, the Merckx bicycle brand has this Sallanches 64 endurance road machine that offers agile handling in a comfortable layout.

To give some context, let me talk numbers briefly, using size 56cm for reference. Road race bikes, in general, have short (160mm) head tubes for aggressive body positioning, steep (73-degree) seat and head tube angles for quick handling, and short (405mm) chainstays for agility.

Endurance road bikes, by contrast, have taller ( 180mm) head tubes for more upright body positioning, more relaxed (72-degree) head tubes for sure steering and longer (420mm) chainstays for stability.

The Sallanches 64 combines elements of both, with a taller front end (187mm head tube) but quick handling with a 73-degree head angle and mid-length chainstays (410mm) and overall length for a happy medium of agility and stability.

The Sallanches 64 head tube is on the taller side of road bikes
The Sallanches 64 head tube is on the taller side of road bikes

If you had to put the Sallanches 64 in a box, it would definitely be an endurance road bike — just a peppy one.

The carbon frame and fork are competitively light, at a claimed 990g and 360g, respectively. In terms of carbon tuning, Merckx skewed towards compliance over stiffness.

The internally routed frame comes in five sizes and three build options, ranging from the entry-level $1,999 Shimano Tiagra build to the $2,999 Shimano Ultegra bike. This Shimano 105 bike shown here is $2,599. For this month in the US, Merckx is offering the bikes for between $299 and $449 off. UK pricing was not immediately available.

The 54cm Merckx Sallanches 64 shown weighs 19.05lb / 8.64kg, built with a full Shimano 105 group, Shimano RS010 wheels, a Deda Zero cockpit and Continental Ultra Sport II 25mm tires.

The Sallanches 64 chainstays are designed for efficient power transfer
The Sallanches 64 chainstays are designed for efficient power transfer

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team Issue, Specialized S-Works Tarmac, Priority Eight city bike... and a constant rotation of test bikes
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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