Sunday, October 09, 2005

Eddy Merckx frame dating ephemera

At least, things of passing interest for some.

The gold name box for Merckx frames wasn't present originally. As far as I've been able to determine, they first appear in the 1987 catalog. Advertising materials first show it in 1989. So I think we can assume that while it appeared in '87, it was inconsistently applied. The center spread of the 1987 catalog shows most of the frames are carrying it, except for the unnamed Grand Prix, and one of the Corsa Extra's, which sports an older name label in red.

The top tube may have a decal with a model name on it. Possibly only on the drive side. Gold label, around 1987. Red label, pre-87, and the earliest probably don't have a name at all on them.

The crown and seat stay caps also might be helpful here. The earlier frames have seat stays capped with a signature cap. The (I think) 1985 catalog shows seat stays capped with the current logo. The sloping fork also has the current logo caps, and the flat capped fork has a block-style Eddy Merckx name on them. Fastback seat stays don't seem to appear in the first catalog, but its hard to say if they were introduced later, or just not seen in the catalog.

I'll work on expanding this and narrowing it down. But I think with this info, its possible to narrow frames down to early, mid and late 80's.
Seat and head tube logos are pretty consistent through the 80's. Bikes with seat tube "points" may lack the upper Italy/France band. Frames with a panel on the seat tube may also lack the traditional upper band, and instead have a 'Made In Belgium' band. The pointed livery seems to have appears in the mid 80's.

The downtube decals are a little tougher. The first frames consistently had the right leaning, block Eddy Merckx, with underlining. Mid 80's sees that logo, along with the introduction of a thin and a thick bubble font. Without a comparison subject, the easiest way to tell them apart is the thin font has an open bottom D.


Anonymous said...

Hi all does anyone know what the serial number on a Eddy Merckx frame means C 1049 ? It's painted in Molteni orange and has the rear brake cable guided through the top tube.
Any help would be appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know when EM stopped using over-bottom-bracket cable routing?

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeremy my son has purchased a Merckx frame F4723 Corsa Extra we noticed a capitol H on the left hand side. Does H stand for Helicoil version as this was inserted into the frame at cirtain points. Some info on the frame would be good cheers

Anonymous said...

Another Eddy Merckx Code: "D 6663"

Type: "Corsa Extra", but its a cyclocross frame
Tubes: Columbus SLX
Colour: red with white Decals

Kent said...

Hi Jeremy.
I'm trying to link B2498 to a team/cyclist. It's got a number hanger and a certain green/red/white slurpee color scheme.
Gita says that they no longer are associated with and that the new owners don't have access to the old records anymore.
Any help pointing me in the right direction would be appreciated!

PlanetX said...

Not sure this gets monitored any more, but I have a Corsa Extra in Hitachi livery with painted fork and internal brake cable routing. Paint is original. The serial number is an odd A 8822. I looked at the serial number registry/decoder and it's unlike anything there. I have decided and collected serial numbers of a particular BMX line, so I know how irregular things can be. Curious if anyone knows anything about a serial number like mine.

Unknown said...

I have a Merckx Extra Course frame I would like to add to your list if that is possible. I tried the e mail address without luck. I can send pictures.

It is marked.
4X 5438

It is an Extra Course in Gan Colours 54cms

David R. Spick

Unknown said...

Sorry correction Corsa Extra

Unknown said...

Bonjour auriez une idée de la nature du cadre eddy merckx gravé a38 8032 z

Merci à tous

Anonymous said...

Hi. I'm trying to date a frame with number C9973. It is a Corsa Extra in Team Telekom livery. Tubing is Reynolds 753.
Thanks in advance.

Unknown said...

Hello, have an idea of ​​the nature of the frame
eddy merckx engraved a38 8032 z

Thank you all

Unknown said...

I have a Corsa Extra that I bought in late 1988. Serial number is A 8119, external cabling and the color combo is shown in the 1989 catalog.

Emerxil said...

C1049 - 1990
The last frame with "over BB cable" - 1986
H F4723 - end 1994; H - EMC employee code, has nothing to do with "Helicoil"
D6663 - 1993
B2498 - end 1988; number hanger is an option available to anyone.
A8822 - 1988
P4X F5438 - beginning 1995
A38(error) Z8032 - 1986
C9973 - end 1991 - Corsa Extra 753
A8119 - early 1988

Emerxil said...

"Gold name box" appeared in 1986 (except 3-Athlete - 1984); Corsa Extra name appeared in 1986, previously Pro SLX and Pro 753 models were produced, Grand Prix appeared in 1988.
"Signature" caps were used in the first ~1500 copies of EM frames (1980-1981), and "unmarked" caps also appeared in this period. At the beginning of 1981 the "EM logo" caps were introduced. "Fastback" seat stays was introduced in 1984.
Flat fork crown was used as a standard from the beginning of production, slope crown appeared in 1981 in aero version, since 1983 used in normal frames (in years 83-94 they were used simultaneously, depending on the model). Down tube decals varied from one model to another. For dating frames it is useful (apart from factory markings of course): lugs, number hanger, BB cover, FD mount, dropouts, brake bridge, cable guides, seat stay caps...

GDJB said...

I have found a EM (professional frame?) that the seller says is a mid 80s.
Looking at the BB, the serial (L) is a number 6 above a G, the (R) side is an E above 410.
He claims is is a 56cm CC.
The paint scheme is red rear triangle with white front and it has thru cable routing for the rear brake.
The fork is chrome and has a flat head crown that say EDDY on one one side and MERCKX on the other.
Can any one help me with identifying the model and year?
My email address is

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