About three weeks ago I posted a picture of a hairline crack in the ISP of my Merckx EMX-7. As an ex Quick-Step team bike I was a little concerned so asked members for their opinion. Naturally, there was a 'get it checked out straight away' consensus, so I sidelined my ride. There was debate on whether it was a crack in the carbon through overtorquing the clamp or just a crack in the less flexible paint.
I was pretty done in. This was my dream ride and there is something about sitting atop a bike that's been ridden by a pro. It seems to give you an extra bit of motivation. You look down see the white, red and blue and think that you can't let it down. Sad I know, but that's the way I feel.
Anyway, after posting the technical R&D guy at Merckx, Dave Luyckx got in touch. He's a weight weenies member and was a little worried. Kindly he invited me to bring the bike to Belgium (I was going there on business anyway) to inspect it. It was hard to just walk away thinking that the crack could be terminal, but I had to leave the frame with them to investigate. After less than a week of waiting I got the mail. After sanding back the ISP all is well.
On early 2011 EMX-7s the parting line of the mould creates a more flexible area on the ISP. Since the QuickStep frames were the first production frames these were more prone to this behaviour. This caused the paint to crack slightly when applying overtorque to the seatpost and could happen again, but it is nice to know it is just cosmetic. Of course, ex-team bikes fall outside of warranty, but Merckx have shown exemplary service levels all the way through.
I guess they really didn't need to a thing. They would have been well within their rights just to say tough. You bought second hand and that's the danger, but thankfully they didn't. The bike has now been painted up and will be winging its way back to me next week. Just can't wait to get back out on it.
Just wanted to pass on the good news and given that the bike is so nice to ride, when it comes to an upgrade it'll be a Merckx all the way. Just goes to prove that good customer service is a great way to create a loyal customer. And when, in years to come, I do change the frame this will become a wall hanger for sure. I've put up some picks of the progress, including some 200x magnification of the naked carbon.
A very happy bunny and can't wait to open the box when it arrives!