Discuss: Zdenek Stybar’s Quick Step “Team Issue” “Merckx” Cyclocross Bike, Up Close @ Hamme-Zogge

Photo by Balint Hamvas | cyclephotos.co.uk

One of Pavé’s photograph suppliers, Balint Hamvas of Cyclephotos.co.uk, was kind enough to take a look at Zdenek Stybar’s Merckx cyclocross bike before this weekend’s Superprestige race at Hamme-Zogge. Glimpses of Stybar’s bike made our senses tingle this season, and we wanted a closer look. Since Merckx doesn’t offer a production cyclocross frame, we were curious about what Stybar would be riding while on QuickStep-Innergetic. We asked Balint to point his lens and his considerable photographic talents at it.

Hamvas’s photos of Stybar’s stable for Hamme-Zogge show Stybar equipped with two bikes that likely are Merckx-painted Ridley X-Nights. To wit: the top tube flattening and widening at the headtube junction; the shaping of the downtube; the cutout in the seatmast cap in the shape of the Ridley logo. And, the silver bullet is that Stybar’s bike features internal cable routing to the rear derailleur along the seatstay – which can also be clearly seen on Bart Wellens’ Ridley.

Interestingly, it seems that Stybar is still using a pair of prototype Dugast Pipisquallo tires from last season – the prototypes have a white center and black sides, and feature larger sideknobs than the production model.

However, it appears that Stybar hasn’t ridden these Merckx-painted Ridleys exclusively this season. Earlier in the season, we saw a photo from Luc Claessen during the World Cup race in Plzen, showing a Styby riding a frame with a conventional seatpost (as opposed to one with a seatmast), a curved fork, and devoid of the bolt-on derailleur hanger/dropout that Ridleys feature. Try as we might, we can’t figure out what this is.

 What of it, Pavé readers? What is this mysterious back-up bike that Stybar was riding in Plzen? 

All photos by Balint Hamvas, www.cyclephotos.co.uk

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9 Responses to Discuss: Zdenek Stybar’s Quick Step “Team Issue” “Merckx” Cyclocross Bike, Up Close @ Hamme-Zogge

  1. As a Ridley Dealer and owner I can assure you the bike pictured here is without a doubt an X-Night. The headtube, downtube and toptube junction is a dead giveaway. It looks just like the Damocles which the X-Night is based on. You can also clearly see the Ridley CNC rear dropout that they use on the Damocles and old Noah pictured here http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/tech.php?id=/photos/2007/tech/reviews/ridley_noah07/Ridley_Noah_chain_stays. Stybar did ride the prototype Merckx http://www.eddymerckx.be/news/read/article/226 at a few races where you can see in pictures that his bike has a traditional seatpost but he has since gone back to the X-NIght.

  2. Mary Topping says:

    1. Whatever it is, it's beautiful.
    2. Is a repaint to use the bike you want but aren't supposed to something you've seen before?
    3. Will you be covering the Single Speed Cross World Champs in SF this weekend?
    Have a great day!

  3. rick says:

    http://www.eddymerckx.be/news/read/article/226…..Looks different to me..

    The real question is whar he will be riding as of Jan. 1 2012????

    Is there a Carbon Specialized Crux in the making?

    • mattio says:

      Check out the "frame with a conventional seatpost" link in the post, from the Plzen World Cup – that does indeed look like the CXM you linked to.

      Good question about Specialized. Though given QSI's willingness to paint Ridleys as Merckxs, I wouldn't be surprised if Stybar doesn't get a new bike, but just a new paint job. At least for a little bit.

  4. nikcee says:

    I'm interested in the fact that he is still riding the avid shorty ultimates when campy now have a cx canti brake.

    I've noticed that some of the shimano teams are using TRPs but im assuming thats a separate sponsorship deal (and not so much of a conflict), whereas in this case it's a direct competitor (aka SRAM).

    Unless he is indirectly telling us something about the campy cx brakes ;)

    I do remember reading that he and bartje w provided feedback on the shorty ultimates when they were still in prototype stage.

  5. the cheat says:

    I've been wondering the same thing as Rick – what will Stybar ride for Worlds? As of Jan 1 he's gotta be on a Specialized. Todd Wells won US Nats on aluminum but I can't imagine Stybar racing an aluminum Crux.

    Maybe they will do some custom carbon Cruxs for Stybar? I doubt Specialized would send him out on a re-painted Ridley.

    And Shorty Ultimates are the best cantilever brake available today. Hands down.

  6. stybymech says:

    From 1st of januari styby will be racing with the alu cruxs idd…..but a bit modified one ….
    grts

  7. Pingback: CX Porn

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