Over the course of Mr. Merckx's storied cycling career, he amassed 525 victories, 54 of which were claimed in a single season. With that bit of trivia, it's safe to say The Cannibal himself, along with his team of talented engineers, know a thing or two about making race-worthy bicycles. And so, as with every women's-specific machine that wears the Eddy Merckx signature, the EFX-1/Shimano 105 Complete Road Bike - 2012 was built on a competition-consuming platform that blends low weight, stiffness, and speed into a complete package. Starting with the frame itself, Merckx's EFX-1 was constructed using a full Carbon Laminate + layup. Essentially, this technique involves layering the carbon fiber sheets together in ways that maximize the strength and rigidity of the frame. This layup is combined with Merckx's structural reinforcement technology, which places high modular (24HM) stiffness fibers in strategic areas for added stiffness. These fibers are used in conjunction with high-strength fibers at force-load-heavy zones, such as the bottom bracket and head tube junctions. By using these techniques together, Merckx engineers were able to add material where it's needed for increased rigidity, while removing material at less flex-prone areas to keep the overall weight as low as possible. This is the same technique used for all of Merckx's top-end carbon road frames, as it yields the ideal combination of stiffness, low weight, and vertical compliance. With a slightly relaxed geometry, the EFX-1 provides a comfortable ride, yet it still possesses the race-tuned characteristics that are necessary for competitive road racing. Aside from the frame's optimized layup schedule, the fork has also been designed to deliver maximum stability and speed. The blades flare to a wide shape toward the 1-1/4 to 1-1/8in steerer, which works to both cut aerodynamic drag and to provide precise handling up front. Similarly, at the rear end of the frame, both the seatstays and chainstay...