Project Description

This is a project piece from 2011, coming off the heels of an actual Phil Anderson Team Bike restoration that graced the pages of Ride Magazine’s Retro Review.


Eddy Merckx MXL Leader | Motorola Cycling Team


Eddy Merckx MXL Leader | Motorola Cycling Team


The culmination of the pre-MX Leader Motorola project was an interview with Phil Anderson himself, conducted of all places in the saddle along Beach Road, but not before inspecting the show piece at Shifterbikes where it still resides.

If you’ve got an hour up your sleeve check out the Team Motorola documentary.

Phil’s career aside and his victory of Stage 10 to Quimper in 1991’s Tour, it was perhaps Lance Armstrong’s 1993 World Championship and stage win in 1993 that really put Motorola on the map and at a parallel time I could have told you next to nothing about pro-cycling, and everything about golf which I was obsessed about at the time.   While people can can regale watching stages victories of those Giro and Tours of that era, It’s like yesterday for me watching John Daly go Driver-1 Iron to the Unreachable Green, or Greg Norman missing THAT putt in a playoff to lose another major with as much detail and enthusiasm.


Back to the project at hand.

This was a time when I traded frames frequently, and among the many offerings was a NOS Eddy Merckx MXL Leader in Motorola team colours.   The new owner had their heart set on Campagnolo – a pristine ensemble of 9 speed Record Titanium.

To retain as much of the original aesthetic, the decals were swapped from the current Open Pro set, to a classic offering also with the Motorola team decals produced from the previous project by Greg Softley – Cyclomondo.

This was a time prior to Cinelli reissuing the Giro D’Italia bars and A1 stems for ready consumption.  Ebay was turned inside out to source those original parts in pristine shape.

All the assembly and was executed by Shifterbikes to the level of detail that they’ve always delivered.

The build time had stretched out and I really wanted to have more time to document this build in terms of location.  It was slightly rushed and was promptly wrapped like a mummy and shipped to its new home in Sydney.

The sky was a brilliant blue that day, much like the paint in the scheme.  This bike was nearly 20 years old back then I can’t help but think it will continue to stand the test of time as a classic of the peloton for a host of reasons – mostly because it’s such a fine steel machine and in effect the last of the V8s.

Enjoy the photos of this great build from yesteryear.