For connoisseurs of fine bicycles, Eddy Merckx’s MX Leader is one of the most highly sought-after frames. The iconic chevrons on the back of those seat stays can arouse more frenzied excitement in some fans than expensively detailed hosiery.
While they’re usually equipped with Dura-Ace or Record, this Leader is bedecked with the rare Swiss Edco Competition groupset.
Edco began producing bicycle components in 1900 but disappeared into obscurity during the 80s, a result of both Shimano’s affordability and Campagnolo’s exclusivity. (The company is now back in operation.)
Edco actually manufactured only the bottom bracket, hubs, headset and cranks of their Competition group: the derailleurs were re-badged Simplex models, and a later edition included Magura’s hydraulic rim brakes, seen here.
As evidenced by his name on the top tube, this model belonged to a pro racer by the name of Thomas Wegmüller, who rode for the Weinmann / Eddy Merckx team in 1991 before moving to Lotus / Festina in 1992.
His MX Leader was perfectly captured by Giovanni Pirajno, a commercial photographer living in Switzerland with a penchant for classic European racing bicycles — always a good combination.