The first bikes which were to bear the Eddy Merckx logo, were the Eddy Merckx Kessels bikes in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Nobody less than the Champion himself rode them.
Unfortunatly Kessels made some cheaper, mass produced Eddy Merckx bikes some years later. Thus many people forgot about the professional bikes they once assembled.
A small manufacture, the family Vaneenooghe were amongst those who were producing for Kessels back in the early days. Later in the 1980s they made the bikes for the pro team Splendor, with riders as Sean Kelly, Eddy Planckaert and others.
Our Kessels is one of those which were built by the specialists of Vaneenooghe, clearly recognizable by the "Compass" on the fork crown and the V under the bottom bracket.
The frame is completely built with Reynolds 531 tubing, at least that is what the stickers say. Many Kessels frames used those butted tubes just on some of the main tubes and more affordable stuff for the stays.
The bike is fully equipped with a nice Campagnolo Nuovo Record Groupset from 1975.
The awesome condition of the frame, the beautiful bright green colour and the top class groupset are making this bike very desireable, indeed.
And there is also a little mystery about this bike. The odd measurements with a rather long top tube make it likely that this is a bespoke frame for a special person. Under the bottom bracket is is marked with the name "Bittl" in paint. So it might either have been made for a rider named Bittl or (maybe more likely) for a customer of the famous sports shop Bittl in Munich, where Eddy Merckx has stayed as a guest several times.
A bike like this would be perfect for a collection. But of course it is also an eye-turner whereever you ride it.
|Size (Center-Top)||53 cm|
|Top Tube||55 cm|
|Head Tube||11 cm|
|Crankset||Campagnolo Nuovo Record; 170mm; 53/41|
|Bottom Bracket||Campagnolo Record|
|Seat||Arius Gran Carrera Special|
|Hubs||Campagnolo Record; Regina Oro 14-19|
|Rims||Super Champion Competition|
|Tires||Vittoria Rally 23-622 tubulars|