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Naming a bike after the total number of wins of the greatest cyclist ever to live is setting the bar very high. The Merckx EM525 comes up a bit short. But don’t be mistaken — this isn’t a bad bike, it just isn’t the world’s greatest.
It is available in two geometry configurations. We tested the Endurance model, which sports a two-centimeter taller head tube (174 millimeters) than the Performance version.
The handling was refined at high speeds, especially through big sweepers. It struggled, however, at lower speeds. Acceleration was well above average, which isn’t surprising when you notice the bottom bracket deflection score, the lowest of any we tested this year.
That stiffness continues in the front end, which helps with handling but contributes to a somewhat harsh ride.
The look? Love it or hate it, it’s a mashup of all-around, aero, and endurance forms, with blocky chain stays and a bulbous front end.