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  • d;

    Fantastic story, in content as well as how well it was written. I love it that Natalie called a spade a spade when she saw no god. Wonderful restoration job not fit to be stashed away in a garage, but I can’t figure out how Natalie would take to seeing it go again.

  • As a bit of background of how this story came about: Lawrie and Natalie generously lent me and my family their apartment in the Sunshine Coast a couple months back while they were in Europe. I was there riding with a gentleman named Tim de Vries and he asked me, “have you seen the Merckx in Lawrie’s garage?” I hadn’t and asked why. Tim told me the story about it and showed me the bike, and I knew this needed to be a BOTB story. I rushed to take photos of the bike during my last few minutes of being there as we were rushing to make our flight and asked Lawrie to tell me the story later. If only I had known about this bike earlier in the week, I would have taken it for a ride!

    • d;

      I must commend you on that. This adds variety and interest in BOTB. I know of a story in this vein when his father had tracked down the (first) bike he (not his father) built and duly presented it to him on his 40th birthday party.

    • Tim De Vries

      I’ve been banging on about that story for ages. Great to see it finally got out there for others to hear!

  • Jamie

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a lump in my throat reading about a bicycle before. Great story!

  • Winky

    Holy cow. I’m speechless.

  • Andy Logan

    Awesome story and thanks Wade for the additional context as well.

    Personally, I think you just have to ride that bike, after the life it has had, the restoration piece, the bike deserves to be ridden.

    • Marcus J

      Yep, take it for a ride, at least once. Perhaps on a nice sunny day! It’s beautiful and made for a purpose.

  • Great piece WW. Love a good travel story. I worked at Evans (The Cut) nearly two decades later. Some nice shifter mods too. Podium finisher for BOTB!

  • Avuncular

    Interesting story and lovely bike. Just one tiny detail irks me, the rear brake cable s/be on the left side of the stem as per the pic of Eddy riding for Molteni.

    • Lawrie Cranley

      You’re right and it normally does :)

      • Avuncular

        In hindsight an unfair nitpick as you weren’t there for the photoshoot. But please ride it, bikes are meant to be ridden :)

        • Lawrie Cranley

          I will have a ride on it sometime, promise :)

  • Ben James

    Lawrie – I had heard the story but it reads better – that is really awesome – next time I’m up here I’m coming over to drool!

    Well done on running a great story too Wade……….

    Cheers

    Ben James

    • Lawrie Cranley

      Thanks Ben. You’re welcome anytime.

  • RayG

    A BotB with a horizontal top tube! Lovely.

  • Roberj4

    Another great story thank you for sharing.

  • Mark

    Great bike & story. More of this!

  • Steve S

    I’m thinking that might be the best article I’ve ever read.

  • Larry @CycleItalia

    Great piece!! I had the pleasure of meeting Lawrie (is that Australian for Larry?) while riding up the Colle Finestre in Italy many years ago. As to the riding of this bike – one word….EROICA. Meet me in Montalcino next year mate!

    • Lawrie Cranley

      Hi Larry. Yes that’s me and I remember that day riding with you. That was a great day at the Giro.

  • John Hayden

    very awesome. However, to me that head tube looks like 160mm and the seat tube more like a 56/57. surprised it’s a 58.. also running like a 130 stem

  • Quality. Imagine rocking up to a sunny club café spin on something like that.

  • Great story. Awesome bike (and poster!) Are there any pics of it from 1983-5, or in the the pre-restoration round-the-block-a-few-times state?

  • mrp33p3rs

    bikes are meant to be ridden

  • Dude pedalling

    Ten Degrees is indeed a legend.

    • Tim De Vries

      Ha!

  • velocite

    I like having things that speak to me decorating my house, it’s healthy and nurturing and rich. This bike would be an ideal candidate. The arguments against are boring, anti-life and without meaningful foundation. Find space for it, and encourage Natale to make her contribution of something meaningful to her as well – although it sounds like there would be quite a bit of shared meaning with the Eddy.

    • Winky

      100% agree. Our house is decorated as only WE would do it. Pretty much everything speaks to a passion of ours, or to an experience we shared. There is essentially no “art for art’s sake” in our place, but it is far from bare. We have friends whose much “fancier” houses look like they have been decorated by a consultant (and in some cases, they have). No thanks.

      Our 1976 Nuovo Record Wiler Cromovelato has pride of place on the wall of our living room.

      • velocite

        Bravo!

  • Cyco

    Brilliant story, beautiful bike.

    You have to ride it, at least once, though!

  • Beautiful story ??

  • Alex

    Great story! Especially for me, I’ve got a very similar pearl white 1985 Eddy which my parents gave me back then, later sold when I outgrew it, and as a surprise my dad tracked it down and bought it back and gave to me 7 years ago. Much too small for me now though ???? I restored it a bit too, but only with a campy rebuild and bits from what was on it originally. No frame respray etc – fortunately it hadn’t seen much use, but every scratch shows its age after 30 years! Lawrie’s eddy is a finer specimen ????

  • 2wheelsandme

    Wonderful tale please more of these CT…

  • Wisey

    Lawrie, I sure heard a lot of stories in the Edward Street store in the 80’s-90’s, but I never heard that one. This made me feel like that 15 year old kid again, hearing those amazing tales of Europe and pro racing heros. Hope you and Natalie are travelling well. Good call Wade, a lovey story in print.
    – Paul Wiseman

  • Ashok Captain

    What a beautiful bike (frame-set and components). Going to ogle the pics again! What are the derailleur levers? They don’t look like Record, nor Super Record?

    • Lawrie Cranley

      They are Campagnolo but have been shaved down and shaped. I found them in the US. I may change them for an original set sometime.

      • Ashok Captain

        Ah thanks for that. Was puzzled as they looked Campagnolo x SunTour Superbe. Mystery solved. Once again, beautiful bike. Thanks for sharing.

  • Kym Petersen

    That is a beautifully-restored bike Lawrie. I loved reading the history behind it!!!
    I got my first Merckx around 2003 (I think) and it was the Lotto Domo Team SC frame. It also has an interesting story attached to it’s acquisition! I got it direct from the factory as well. Being a female, a short one at that (164cm) there wasn’t a frame that suited my size but I was desperate to get a Merckx. Also remembering that ‘women’s specific frames’ weren’t really around back then.
    I had always admired Eddy and fast forward to the modern era, when Robbie McEwen started riding for Lotto Domo, it confirmed to me that I simply had to have a Merckx frame.
    My husband works for a Belgian-owned company and the CEO is also Belgian, who still had family based in a small town there. He put me onto his brother in-law who was going to help me realise my dream. We emailed each other over about a 6 month period – took this long because of the huge language barrier! His English was terrible, my Flemish non-existent! He arranged to get a frame custom built to my size, so I was incredibly lucky. The day it was ready, he drove about a 4-hr round trip to collect it for me. This from a guy who virtually drove nowhere outside of his little home town, even then he preferred to ride his bike! Notwithstanding the obvious, I’d never even met him before!!!
    He picked it up, then dropped it off to my husband’s Belgian headquarters where it was put in a shipping container, bound for Melbourne. It arrived about 6 weeks later!
    When my husband and I went to Europe a couple of years later, we made a point of going to visit this wonderful gentleman in his little Belgian hometown. I wanted to meet him and give thanks for all he had done. Still love my ‘vintage’ Merckx but I did update earlier this year with a 2017 Milano, Di2 which I equally love! I will never part with either of these bikes, both are very special.

    • Lawrie Cranley

      Great Story Kym. There is always a way to achieve a dream if you really want to :) Especially when it involves a bike.

    • Peter Il Pirata

      Team SC is probably the last great Eddy Merckx-branded frame. Hopefully now Ridley own them, they can get back to building awesome frames!

      • Nathan

        I’ve got an EMX-525 and a Blockhaus 67 of the current models (as well as a Corsa Extra and SC) and they new ones are fantastics bikes. Blockhaus67 alloy frame is better than a CAAD in my opinion.

  • Cliff Nichols

    Lovely tale…hair on the back of your neck stuff. And what a bike too.

  • Greg Khan

    Beautiful

  • Sascha

    “Quality framebuilders won’t chrome a frame these days — it’s far too corrosive and will rust a frame out from the inside.” I don’t agree with this…Tommasini, Colnago still do…a very nice bike the Merckx & story.

    • Ashok Captain

      Ditto Wilier (Cromovelato) . . .

    • Peter Il Pirata

      My understanding is that it’s the traditional corrosive process (first plated with copper, then nickel, then chrome) combined with our local safety requirements that make it expensive to the point of being prohibitive – and that’s if you can find someone to do it! The supplier’s safety compliance costs are astronomical.

      Even in the US the regs are tough, so most people like hot rodders send their gear to Mexico to get chromed.

      • Ashok Captain

        Interesting. Thanks for the insight.

  • Peter Il Pirata

    Tarn’s a legend, and he’s done fantastic work here. Amazing story.

  • Cameron

    I usually come to BotB to see how far folks with more money than I will go with the latest, showiest, custom-est, or gnarliest, but this has to be my favourite yet.

  • Benjamin Smith

    Lawrie, where’s the Turbo saddle? Rolls is too modern for your retro ass!
    Ben Smith.

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