Tour de France 2020

Tour de France Pro Bike: Sylvain Chavanel’s Eddy Merckx EMX-5

Sylvain Chavanel's Eddy Merckx EMX-5. Why the French champion has a stealth paint job

2011 Tour de France Pro Bikes: Sylvain Chavanel's Eddy Merckx EMX-5
Chavanel chose the EMX-5 rather than the pricier EMX-7

LISIEUX, France (VN) — The aggressive style of Sylvain Chavanel has won him many fans both in his home country of France and abroad. Last month the Frenchman won his national championships and has the honor of wearing the tricolour jersey at the Tour de France.

Chavanel’s numbers:

Seat height: 74.2 cm
Reach (saddle nose to bar): 57 cm
Crank arms: 172.5 mm with 53/41 chainrings
Stem: 13 cm integrated
Bar: 42 cm integrated

Unlike Philippe Gilbert and other national champs who received coordinating bikes, Chavanel stuck with his usual Eddy Merckx EMX-5 for the Tour. The latest model from the Belgian brand is the EMX-7, a bike that Tom Boonen helped develop. So why the EMX-5 for Chavanel? Simpy put, he prefers it.

Earlier in the season Chavanel was given both an EMX-5 as well as an EMX-7 to use in training. After a month on each, Chavanel decided on the EMX-5. The two models share the same geometry but the EMX-5 uses a traditional seat post.

Chavanel’s frameset is not painted in the Quick Step livery like the rest of his teammates’ bikes, but rather has a bare carbon finish. Quick Step team mechanic Kurt Roose said that the bare décor is a measure to keep the bike lighter. Paint can add several hundred grams to a frameset.

Mechanics also used titanium pedal spindles and a Super Record group to keep the bike weight down. (Only three riders on the team get Super Record). With Campagnolo’s shallow Hyperon wheels, the bike weighs in just a tad over the UCI minimum of 6.8 kilograms.