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; Lotto were 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.
MV are regular participants at the ‘Retro Day’ at Heffron Park in Sydney. Known as Sydney’s biggest Classics raceday, Randwick-Botany CC put on a big event that draws crowds from across the eastern seaboard. In 2018, the bike was piloted by local legend Shane Mattiske, and finished in second place.
Stay in touch with our competition progress via the MV facebook page.