Belgisk Tävlingscykel

Eddy Merckx

SC Team Lotto Domo


Now, if you're thinking this bike looks awfully similar to last year's Lotto-Domo Merckx Team SCs, that's because it is last year's Lotto-Domo Merckx Team SC!

When Cyclingnews photographer Mark Gunter shot these at the Tour Down Under, the crew from Lotto-Domo weren't due to throw their leg over their new Merckx machines until they returned to deepest, darkest Belgium earlier this month. But since they'll be using these bikes for training throughout the course of the year - plus the fact that the 2004 model remains unchanged apart from a new paint job - we thought they were worth a closer look.

True: 29 year-old Glenn D'Hollander's Merckx Team SC isn't eye-poppingly special. Probably the first thing that grabs you is the Captain America paint scheme or the Campagnolo Bora carbon wheels. However, tough, powerful Belgian riders like D'Hollander, winner of the Tour de la Region Wallonne in 2001, don't care for flimsy, featherweight machines that can't handle the constant mud and grime that is everyday Belgium or bikes that break apart on the cobbles of Roubaix. They want a machine that resembles the type of rider they personify: solidly built, business-like, regimented, and one that goes the distance.

SC, as you may have guessed, stands for Scandium. Combined with a high-grade aluminium, Scandium is used throughout on the Team SC apart from the fork, where riders can choose from either a full carbon model or carbon with an alloy steerer tube for increased strength.

Mechanic Nick Vandercauter told Cyclingnews that while Scandium is standard issue for all, full carbon jobbies are used during the Giro d'Italia, certain World Cups and the Tour de France. "Some riders, like Serge Baguet who suffers from back problems, have found the carbon bike to be too stiff, so Serge went back to the aluminium model after last year's Tour," added Vandercauter.

Apart from Campagnolo's Record group, driving D'Hollander fast forward is another gorgeous product from the same stable: Campy's Bora G3 carbon wheelset. Featuring carbon fibre hubs, Record-level interior components, axles and a freewheel body with titanium pawl carriers, the Bora G3 is ostensibly for time trials, but deep rim wheelsets have now become commonplace in today's peloton - especially on fast, undulating parcours in races like Milano-San Remo or Lige-Bastogne-Lige.

Keeping with tradition is D'Hollander's choice of Deda Newton bars and stem, the Belgian preferring the standard 26.0mm stem mated to Deda's Elementi 215 Shallow Bar (also known as "Italian Classic") - the same bar used by Lance Armstrong, with closer reach and drop than normal. The Turbomatic 4 saddle, although refined with perforated padding around the sit bones and pelvic region, is another oldie but goodie, the first of its kind seen in the pro peloton way back in the early 90s.

Full specification

Frame: Eddy Merckx Team SC

Fork: Eddy Merckx carbon

Colour: Lotto-Domo

Cranks: Campagnolo Record, 53/39

Bottom bracket: Campagnolo Record

Chain: Campagnolo Record 10 speed

Front derailleur: Campagnolo Record 10 speed

Rear derailleur: Campagnolo Record 10 speed

Brakes: Campagnolo Record

Levers: Campagnolo Record

Rear sprockets: Campagnolo Record 10 speed, 11-21

Rim: Campagnolo Bora carbon

Hubs: Campagnolo Bora carbon

Spokes: Campagnolo bladed, 18 (F) / 21 (R)

Skewers: Campagnolo Record

Tyres: Continental Competition 22 tubular, 240g

Stem: Deda Elementi Newton 26.0mm, 125g

Bars: Deda Elementi 215 Shallow Bar, 215g

Headset: Campagnolo Record

Pedals: Time Impact-Mag-Ti, 240g per pair

Seat post: Deda Elementi MagicStick carbon 27.2mm, 215g

Saddle: Selle Italia Turbomatic 4, 305g

De Aap
Historian om De Aap (Apan) som jag har fått den berättad för mig Av Ulf Fornander som jag köpt cykeln av.
Året var 2003 och Anderz på CykelCity i Göteborg var nere i Belgien på Eddy Merckx fabriken för att köpa in säsongens nya Mercks cyklar till sin butik. Anderz som själv är en mycket duktig cyklist (tillhörde en gång Sverige eliten) beställde även en ny cykel till sig själv. Valet blev en ny Team SC i Lotto färgerna. Eddy som fått ett nytt datorprogram för att anpassa cykelstorleken efter köparens mått, mätte upp Anderz och gav resultatet till sin dataoperatör för att göra en beräkning av cykelns geometri. Efter en stund kom en påtagligt uppspelt tekniker tillbaka med resultatet och meddelade glatt att datorprogrammet hade identifierat Anderz som en Apa.
När cykeln anlände en tid senare hade den också, snyggt och prydligt, fått namnet De Aap påmålat.

Denna cykeln tillhör generationen Aluminiumramar som tog över efter stålet under några år, från slutet av 90-talet till början av 2000-talet, då karbon ramarna slog igenom.
SC står för Scandium som är ett ovanligt grundämne som man får fram som biprodukt vid brytning av t.ex uran (se artikel Scandium här). När man blandar en mycket liten del Scandium med Aluminium så får man en metall som är starkare, flexiblare och lättare att svetsa än vanlig Aluminium.