We’re very proud to have this bike in our collection. It’s a rare 3-Athlète model from 1984.
The 3-Athlète was Merckx’s foray into triathlon bikes, but it sat at the lower end of the model lineup. Made from Reynolds 501, it was a ‘cheap’ Merckx, and didn’t see big production numbers.
As a result, 35 years later it’s a quite rare bike.
The frame is a 60/59, serial A-0-421-Z. Made early in the Z series (1984-1986), this is the earliest known 3-Athlète frameset.
It has been repainted in Team Lotto ’85 livery, which was one of the early pro teams to use Merckx frames.
The 3-Athlète carried all of the features of the higher-spec frame sets, with pantographed seat stays and fork crowns, plus cutouts in the lugs and adjustable dropouts.
It runs a Dura-Ace 7700 groupset, with a few upgrades. The cartridge BB will give years of trouble-free riding, and the STI shifters have been converted to 9-speed internals, to maximise the close-ratio 11-23 cassette.
The wheelset is DA-7700 hubs with Mavic SUP Ceramic rims, which are super rare now, especially in this near-new condition.
This bike will remain in the MV Museum, to be used for L’Eroica rides and Classic & Vintage competition events – it can easily be stripped for criteriums.
The first of those will be the ‘Retro Day’ at Heffron Park in Sydney. Known as Sydney’s biggest Classics raceday, Randwick CC put on a big event that draws crowds from across the eastern seaboard.
Stay in touch with our competition progress via the MV facebook page.