Kross recently announced a new promotional slogan: ONE PASSION - STO WHEEL. Regardless of how wise, the marketing head invented (100,000 fans, 100,000 wheel revolutions at some stage of TdF etc.), this slogan perfectly describes a 3-man family riding Eddy Merckx EM525 Disc bikes. Yes, this bike costs over PLN 31,000. Since most of us rarely see such amounts, here's how it is:
- two times B'twin 740CF on electric Ultegra and Mavic Cosmic wheels, and then it will stay for a month of holidays in the Canaries
- new Dacia Logan and will stay for a week of holidays in the Canaries
- several-meter parking place in prestigious Warsaw district
- 20 years of gymnastic passes for the gym in Złote Tarasy
- more than 26 years of daily buying sandwiches from Mr. Sandwiches at work
But let's focus on the bike. This and other models are available on the distributor's website. Our first meeting is painful. I'm getting it from Kolarski.eu - everything is beautiful, screws are bolted, the brakes are slightly collapsing, but like a razor and only for a day of going there is a dialogue that smiles in the back of my head for the next 4 days:
- Hey, Maciek, but you have a leg what?
- Because here is 36 - 25
A moment of explanation: a long weekend is coming, which we decided to spend on the Czech side of the Giant Mountains. If you have not been there yet, you need to know one thing - these are definitely the heaviest mountains that can be found in a radius of 1000km from Warsaw. With a little VAM's form, they do not go below 4 digital values. While the usual mountains look like this: / \ / \ _ / \ ___ / \ / \ / \ _ / \, the Czech Giant Mountains look like this: / \ ||||||| / \ / \ |||| (it really is even worse, but I can use only one line for visualization).
If you are interested in the area a little more or for some unknown reasons, you would like to visit it after reading this entry, I invite you to:
Eddy Merckx EM525 Disc Endurance, or meet Edka
Eddy Merckx, from the name of probably the best road cyclist in history
EM525 from 525 wins he had in his career
Disc, because the brake discs that Eddy himself says in this way:
I rode a bike today with disc brakes. Yeah, they work. But for me, the best is carbon wheels with aluminum rims and rim brakes. OK, and disc is better in the rain. But maybe the UCI rules said 'carbon wheels with aluminum rims,' it would solve everything.
Endurance, because geometry is more human than in the Performance version. Thanks to the higher head we do not have to put 4 washers under the bridge and look like a beater, and the geometry is still very sporty.
Well, just what is this bike is? I do not know, so maybe I'll start with what it is not. It is definitely not a typical flat racing machine, because let's be honest: the current Mazovian bikes look completely different and look more like a spaceship than Wigry 3. It is not a typical mountain bike (as the cassette suggests for good morning), because with a weighing frame 900gr, fork 380gr and your scales - if you are looking for accurate information in any of the tests or reviews - good luck. There is also an endurance class bike (for driving after all) despite its name. For a thousand more we can get Canyon Endurace (or Aeroada or Ultimate) on eTAP with shields and super-spinning wheels, for two less - version with similar wheels, also on eTAP. Well, that's the problem.
Until now, I thought that Trek is the most overpaid bike in the world. In a similar hardware configuration, Madone 9.5 is cataloged more expensive by more than PLN 5,000. In catalog! This is an important word, because hardly anyone buys these bikes at list price. It seems to me that Trek has a policy for people. "Hey, look - I have a bike for 40k! (... but I bought it for 30) ". Only that these bikes are defending their appearance. They may or may not like it, but their appearance says: I'm advanced, 8 nerds designed me in CAD for 3 years without leaving the laboratory. Cipollini in a similar configuration can be similar to Trek, for less than 10k euros. Cipollini is cool because it's Cipollini - you pay for the brand. Merckx is far from being such a boutique brand, but maybe he is trying to catch up. The only explanation for its price is the use of shields. Shields are sometimes brilliant and sometimes not, but more on that later.
Many years ago, when I was riding MTB and everyone had Deore, and the richest XT, there was such a joke:
- hey, I bought a new XTRa back for 8!
- eee, lime. I know where they sell him for a thousand.
Because, let's be honest. There is a price point, for which, for 86% of people, technologies that save cotton are indifferent. It's nice to talk to them about my buddies, but nobody will use it. Hardly anyone buys these bikes to win. Those who win would probably also win 4x cheaper. Maybe Eddy Merckx EM525 is one of the most overpaid bikes, but it does not matter, not at this price level. If you're driving Merckx (but the name is wrong) and someone tells you that you could buy the same 30% cheaper in Decathlon or in the well-known online store of the German brand and adds meaningful arguments, you already know that you will not talk. On the one hand, Merckx is not yet a boutique bike, on the other it is also probably not a bike for people who want to see in the catalog 27 technological solutions that raise the price. This is the moment in the test in which I go to the blind corner - I do not know who it is for. This is obviously a very good bike, but it requires consideration in the sphere of equipment that costs as much as the car and every detail must be perfect here ... and it is not.
I have paid, I require.
A half-rough seatpost looks as if it has been stretched over the limit (but thanks to that it does not come off)
The screw adjusting the inclination of the saddle is made so that I feel like sticking a multitool into my heart, while trying to unscrew it (but it probably happens twice in my life)
The rubber elements are not folded like I expected in the top model. Something is sticking out somewhere, something pops up from the hole. Maybe this copy, maybe my bad luck - I do not know. It looks like creaking plastics in a premium car. No matter how good the car is, how the cockpit cracks, you stop feeling like a premium. By the way, gum - the saddle is imperfect (I do not know how I managed to combine the theme of gum and saddle).
The wheels are very cool, despite the fact that it is priced reasonably, but the lack of a quick-release device requires carrying in the pocket of the ginger to remove them. On the other hand, the rigid axle ensures that the wheel is always perfectly even. With the shields it is important, nothing irritates more than the chirping brakes (well, something definitely annoys, but never mind).
The size design causes discomfort in my head. I get M-kę, I'm 188cm, friend (who is even taller) says that he also rides on this one. It's 2 sizes less than my other bikes. I sit down and I feel that something is wrong. 55cm at the top is ridiculously little. Only after several hundred kilometers it turns out that it does not. This forces me to think about everything I know about the size of the bikes. Endurance geometry is just right for me to live without many washers, and at the same time not to become a ninja-yogi. The larger size would be too big, and I ride very comfortably. Almost. As I mentioned earlier - the cassette 11-25 is in the back. I do not know who invented it and why - weight? price? A delicate insinuation that this is a typical chaser?
Karkonosze do not forgive - Modre Sedlo, Cerny Dul, Karkonoska and many others, these are places where you stop laughing from a compact, and 10º of the slope you treat as flattering. Giant slalom, snake tracking, riding from band to band, etc. is starting then. This is the last moment in which you would like to worry about the famous toe overlapthat is, a shoe that hurts the tire. I even omit the aesthetic issues of what the shoe looks like, but whoever was lying at the crossroads while standing, knows what I'm talking about here. A shoe bumping on a tire is the dumbest way to get a cycling tipper. As you can guess, in size M, I would have to cut my big fingers to eliminate this problem.
The frame itself may be liked, although I am slightly measured by the inscription: 525 VICTORIES. No-one can take them away from me. Ever.
I know it was meant to be a monument to Eddie, a monument in his honor. I'm probably picking on, but I'd see a replacement here much more ME on HIM. Because he won and I usually lose. With this inscription I feel a bit like a guest in a shirt "attention, I'm fast" or referring to a little more to everyday life: a guest in a shirt "I'm a good lady". It's my carcass, after all, people buy these t-shirts and enjoy them.
Shields, meaning "Lord, why is that for whom ?!"
I do not know if shields are needed in a professional peloton. 9 and a half people out of 10 who speak about it on the internet do not know either. If your friend says that the shields are not applicable on the road, either saying that he is going to train in the mountains, he means Świętokrzyskie, or he does not go outside in bad weather, or he is really good technically (and crazy). Shields are not for everyone.
In conditions that met us in the Giant Mountains, shields and electrics are the best thing you can imagine. If you are awaiting a few kilometers of steep downhill on a narrow forest road, water is pouring out of the sky, I do not know a better braking system than hydraulic discs. You press and stop - the rest do not interest you. When the next day the temperature rises by about 25 degrees, also disappears the unpleasant feeling that your hoops are so warm that they immediately fall apart. Of course, they can sometimes make a noise, which should be forever only with MTB, but in this case it was really rare. Classic carbostarcs made a lot more noise. Shields are great, but to appreciate it, we have to hit the right conditions.
There is one main problem with shields: service. Of course, you will say that it is enough for you to equalize the fluid level with the syringe, etc., but you must have them with you. In my brakes the handle is falling too far - with emergency braking there is a good chance that I will cut my finger. The brake is like a brazier, but the modulation takes place only on the last centimeter. In combat conditions, I have no way to improve.
However, it does not bother even in the worst downhill rides. 40 percent slope at the ski jump in Harrachov does not impress on this equipment. With such brakes the only limitation is the head (as opposed to vehicles in which the limitation is the ratio).
And of course, the negligible issue of aero (Canyon says about 1.5% at 45km / h), the possibility of inserting wider tires (in Merckx up to 30mm) and about half a kilogram more in the bike. You can say that between 6.5kg machine and 7kg the difference in driving is imperceptible, but when everyday commuting with a bike is a lot. In the end, on the dials collecting all the outings I would certainly be faster - this is the difference: I lose little treble uphill, probably flat, in downhill and bad weather the difference in comfort, safety and driving quality is very high.
With bicycles without dials, I like them with chips: it's the last one on peeeewnooo ... and then it turns out that the last one is the last and the next.
One step back, two steps forward
Di2 is also excellent in such conditions. When on one of the peaks the temperature drops to 5 degrees, my hands after the convention look like paper, and I regain my feeling after only a few kilometers. Changing gears with buttons is simply more convenient and does not require any force. However bourgeois it sounds, when it's cold outside, electrics are the only right choice.
Ultegra Di2 is in my opinion I-DE-AL-NIE. Even better than the much more expensive Sram eTAP, with which I drive every day. I do not know anyone who claims that eTAP works better than Ultegra Di2.
For China, however, I have not been able to remember which button what I am doing for years. Because on the one hand, it is logical that a large wajcha dumps down, and a small wajcha up (or is not it?). On the other hand, something is in conflict with usability, since a large wajcha, on the one hand, increases the term, and on the other hand - it decreases. Besides, I have no objections. Considering the relatively low price, it is currently the best group on the market.
A bicycle like a bike, two wheels and a frame
From the above description it can be concluded that Eddy Merckx EM525 Disc Endurance is simply a bike. No frills and fountains, no controversial solutions, no flash. Up the hill I suffer through a small cassette, over the city for too large toe overlap and something buzzes in the potholes in it. When I park on the road next to the endurance Bianchi Infinito and 6.5 kg Fuji 1.1 on eTAP which accompany me, ordinary people look at the first, riders on the latter. Merckx is getting lost here. Nice painting, huge pipe cross-sections, which immediately shout out that the bike is very stiff (and in fact it is, I'm afraid to think about how you ride a performance version) and the name only draws attention to the chosen ones. However, if someone stops by, you know that he is passionate about it. Passionate about the history of cycling, equipment from the Benelux countries and niche brands.
On top of that, the battery in Di2 discharges on the last day. Thank you Shimano designers, that after unloading the front gear remains on the small dial, and there are still about 150 changes on the back. Before I drop in, I beat 30km like on single. The average term comes out very good: I keep 120 and 40 in exchange.
As for our aero tests in a special tunnel, as in the picture above - the results suggest that the number of flies is definitely lower than on Fuji and comparable (although differently distributed) than on Bianchi.
If it's bad, why is it good?
This test was to have a generally negative tone, it was to be a description of the most overpaid bike I was driving on. Well, damn: 31 and a half for diodes, good wheels, good and very comfortable cockpit and a frame that does not really stand out? The first 100 kilometers I wonder how to write it, so that nobody is sorry and at the same time be able to look at myself in the mirror.
Only that with time it turns out that I drive very well and it goes perfectly. I do not like to agree with catalog information and reviews of others (Bikeworld and bikeradar - podlinkowałbym, but you know: SEO ;-)), but ... this bike is designed for descents. It is the best sliding bike I rode on and I do not know why. If only these brakes caught a little earlier, I would dare to say that for the first time I like riding a lot more than it was up. Even in bad weather. After getting used to a bit bigger agility of this bike, it goes quickly and safely. The 25mm millimeter Continentale GP4000S II (which are actually a bit wider, making it look a bit ridiculous on the rim, which is slightly narrower) definitely help. How did it happen that these circles survived with me? I do not know, but I respect.
Too long, I do not read, say how it is
So what is this bike? Eddy Merckx EM525 Disc is generally good or even very good. The kingdom, however, for those who find a bad bike at this price. If he found one, he can probably testify that he was serving something other than the tester did. Just like me riding with this bike in the Czech mountains or torturing it in Mazovia. What do I think it serves? For racing, preferably on hills, with hopeless weather. Maybe some British gran fondo in the rain, maybe belgian classics. Anyway, it's a bike for very few, not only because of the price. The enthusiasts will be satisfied, casuale they will laugh at them, they have overpaid ... and everyone will be happy.
and if you do not want to read even more, here's a small movie summary: