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Scultura, Reacto, Ride… everything you need to know to choose the right model for you

​Merida has a vast range that covers everything from children’s 20in wheelers to cutting-edge road bikes that are raced at the very highest level.

As far as road bikes are concerned, there are essentially three parts to the range. The Scultura is focused on light weight, the Reacto is engineered for aerodynamic efficiency, and the Ride is designed to offer plenty of comfort.

That perhaps oversimplifies things a little because each of those categories contains more than one frame design, but it’s a good start point.

As well as drop bar road bikes, we’ll cover flat bar road bikes, cyclocross and hybrid bikes here.

 

Scultura Disc

The Scultura is the lightweight road bike in Merida’s range, the high-end rim brake models being among the very lightest production bikes out there.

As a brand with a strong mountain bike heritage, Merida is firmly committed to disc brakes and first added them to the Scultura earlier in the year.

Merida Scultura Disc - riding 3.jpg

We’ve already reviewed the £6,500 Merida Scultura Disc Team (above), and we absolutely loved it. We called it a “high-octane race bike with peerless shifting and braking – a scintillating pro-level ride”.

Check out our review of the Merida Scultura Disc Team here. 

The Merida Scultura Disc Team is the top-level model in the range, but others are considerably cheaper.

The Scultura 5000 Disc 5000 (above, £2,100), for example, is built to a geometry that’s slightly more relaxed than that of the Scultura Disc Team and the carbon fibre layup is different, but this is still very much a performance orientated bike featuring a down tube shaped for aerodynamic efficiency and aluminium disc cooling fins around the chainstay to shift heat away from the rear brake.

The Scultura 5000 Disc is built up with a Shimano Ultegra (mechanical) groupset and RS805 hydraulic disc brakes.

Merida SCULTURA_DISC_200_BLKGRN_MY2017.jpg

Merida SCULTURA_DISC_200_BLKGRN_MY2017.jpg

Merida offers three Scultura Disc models built around a triple butted 6066 aluminium frame, each with a full carbon fork. The entry level model is the £850 Scultura Disc 200 (above; across Merida’s range, if the model name has three digits the frame is aluminium, if it has four digits the frame is carbon fibre).

The Scultura Disc is built up with a Shimano Sora transmission and the mechanical (cable operated as opposed to hydraulic) disc brakes are from Promax.

Buy if: You’re after the speed of a road race bike with the all-weather performance of disc brakes.

 

Scultura

Although the Scultura Disc is a new addition to the range, Merida still offers several rim brake Scultura models. All of the ones brought into the UK are carbon-fibre and they’re divided between those with a more aggressive CF4 frame and those with a slightly more relaxed CF2 frame (your riding position is a little higher and less stretched out).

Merida SCULTURA_5000_UDGRN_MY2017.jpg

Merida SCULTURA_5000_UDGRN_MY2017.jpg

The most affordable model is the £1,700 Scultura 5000 (above) that features a Shimano Ultegra groupset.

Merida Scultura 6000 - riding 2.jpg

We reviewed the 2016 version of the Merida Scultura 6000 (above) and said: “Overall the Scultura comes down to an awesome frameset, a pretty decent groupset, and average components”.

Check out our Merida Scultura 6000 review here. 

Merida Scultura 6000 2017 - 1.jpg

Merida Scultura 6000 2017 - 1.jpg

The 2017 model is £2,000. Like the Scultura 5000, it comes with a Shimano Ultegra groupset but with Fulcrum Racing Expert wheels rather than Merida’s own.

Buy if: You want a lightweight road bike built around a stunningly good frameset.

 

Reacto

The Scultura (above) has some aerodynamic features but it’s the Reacto that’s the real aero road bike in Merida’s range with tubes designed to minimise drag, a deep seat tube that's cutaway around the leading edge of the rear wheel, seatstays that join the seat tube low down to reduce the size of the frontal area, and a rear brake that’s hidden away from the airflow behind the bottom bracket.

Go to our First ride on the Merida Reacto Evo Team from a couple of years ago for a full rundown of the frame’s aero features. 

Merida REACTO_300_BLKBLU_MY2017 (1).jpg

Merida REACTO_300_BLKBLU_MY2017 (1).jpg

The most affordable model is the £950 Reacto 300 (above). This is built around an aluminium frame and it’s not particularly light, but it comes with a full carbon fork and a good Shimano Tiagra groupset.

Read our review of the 2015 Merida Reacto 300 here. 

Merida REACTO_4000_UD_GRN_MY2017.jpg

Merida REACTO_4000_UD_GRN_MY2017.jpg

The £1,750 Reacto 4000 (above) looks very good value with its carbon-fibre frame and Shimano 105 groupset, as does the Shimano Ultegra-equipped Reacto 5000 (below) at £2,000. We reviewed last year’s version of this model and said, “This bike is agile, it's comfortable and, above all, it's very quick”.

Merida REACTO_5000_ANTH_MY2017 (1).jpg

Merida REACTO_5000_ANTH_MY2017 (1).jpg

Read our review of the Merida Reacto 5000 here. 

Merida hasn’t yet released a disc brake version of the Reacto although we imagine that’s just a matter of time.

Buy if: You want a fast and agile aero road bike with features that really do add comfort to the ride.

 

Ride

Merida’s Ride bikes are built to a relaxed riding position for long-ride comfort. In other words, the top tube is a little shorter than you’ll find on any of the Scultura or the Reacto models, and the head tube is a little taller, so you sit in a more upright riding position that puts less strain on your back and neck. The carbon models also feature Merida’s ‘Flex Stays’ at the back of the frame that are designed to reduce vibration and absorb bumps.

In terms of numbers sold, the Rides are more popular than either the Sculturas or the Reactos.

Merida RIDE_100_ANTH_MY2017.jpg

Merida RIDE_100_ANTH_MY2017.jpg

The most affordable Ride is the £650 Ride 100 (above, although with green details) with a frame made from 6066 triple-butted aluminium. Even at this price, you get a full-carbon fork. The shifters are Shimano Claris and the rear derailleur is Shimano Sora. This is perfectly sound stuff, if not as lightweight and slick-looking as Shimano’s higher end kit.

Merida RIDE_300_BLK_MY2017.jpg

Merida RIDE_300_BLK_MY2017.jpg

Move up to the £850 Ride 300 (above) and you get a Shimano Tiagra groupset and a carbon-fibre seatpost, the £1,000 Ride 400 (below) is equipped with Shimano’s mid-level 105 groupset, and the £1,150 Ride 500 has mostly Shimano’s very impressive Ultegra components.

Merida Ride 400 2017 - 1.jpg

Merida Ride 400 2017 - 1.jpg

Check out our complete guide to Shimano road bike groupsets.

Of the carbon-fibre models, the £1,900 Ride 5000 (below) looks excellent value with a Shimano Ultegra transmission.

Merida Ride 5000 2017 - 1.jpg

Merida Ride 5000 2017 - 1.jpg

When we reviewed the 2015 version we advised you to think of it as a race bike with a comfort edge, rather than as a comfort bike with a race edge.

“[Merida has] taken speed from a race bike and blended in comfort from an endurance bike to come up with something that's the best of both worlds,” we said.

Merida RIDE_7000_MY2017.jpg

Merida RIDE_7000_MY2017.jpg

If you have the money, the £2,300 Ride 7000 (above) is certainly worth considering. It comes equipped with a Shimano Ultegra groupset, and DT Swiss R24 Spline wheels

Buy if: You’re looking for a quick road bike that offers a relaxed riding position and plenty of comfort.

 

Cyclo Cross

Merida has a lineup of cyclocross bikes that it calls, perhaps a little unimaginatively, its Cyclo Cross range. There are two carbon-fibre models and two aluminium models, and they’re all equipped with disc brakes.

Merida Cyclocross 5000 - riding 2.jpg

When we reviewed the 2016 version of the Cyclo Cross 5000 (above) we called it a “Rapid and stiff cyclocross bike well suited to racing”.

Read our Merida Cyclo Cross 5000 review here. 

The frame features Merida’s Nano Matrix Carbon which aims to provide increased impact resistance – a useful trait in a bike designed for riding off-road – a tapered head tube to ensure front end stiffness, and thru-axles rather than standard dropouts to hold the wheels securely in place.

“It's a firm ride, certainly on the stiff side, but provided you run the tyre pressures reasonably low you get a fair amount of cushioning, and the 27.2mm seat post and comfortable saddle help too,” we said.

Check out our Merida Cyclo Cross 6000 First Ride here. 

Merida CYCLOCROSS_5000_MY2017.jpg

Merida CYCLOCROSS_5000_MY2017.jpg

The 2017 Cyclo Cross 5000 (above), with a SRAM Apex 1 groupset and hydraulic disc brakes, is £2,150 while the £2,600 Cyclo Cross 6000, equipped with a Shimano Ultegra groupset and DT Swiss R24 Spline wheels, is £2,600.

Merida CYCLOCROSS_300_MY2017.jpg

Merida CYCLOCROSS_300_MY2017.jpg

The aluminium models are much cheaper. The more affordable option is the Cyclo Cross 300 (above) at £800. This one has a Shimano Tiagra groupset, Tektro Spyre mechanical disc brakes and an aluminium fork.

Merida Cyclo Cross 500 2017 - 1.jpg

Merida Cyclo Cross 500 2017 - 1.jpg

If you can run to £1,000, the Cyclo Cross 500 (above) has a full-carbon thru axle fork (all of Merida’s carbon forks are full-carbon; there are none with carbon legs and an aluminium steerer) and a Shimano 105 groupset.

Merida’s Cyclo Cross bikes are designed for racing but mudguard mounts are included so you could use one on the road for commuting or as a winter training bike.

There is currently no gravel bike in the Merida range but we hear that there’s a ground up design (as opposed to an adapted Cyclo Cross design) in the works. We don’t know when it’ll be released.

Buy if: You’re after a cyclocross race bike that can be adapted easily for the road.

 

Speeder

The Speeders are flat bar road bikes built around lightweight aluminium frames.

Merida Speeder 100 2017 - 1.jpg

Merida Speeder 100 2017 - 1.jpg

The £530 Speeder 100 (above) comes with an aluminium fork, a Shimano Claris triple chainset (you get three different chainrings) and Promax MTD mechanical disc brakes.

The Speeder 400 (below, £900) gets Shimano 105 derailleurs and Shimano M315 hydraulic discs for a better braking performance.

Merida SPEEDER_400_BLK_MY2017.jpg

Merida SPEEDER_400_BLK_MY2017.jpg

All of the Speeders have mudguard and rack eyelets.

Buy if: You want a flat bar road bike for sports-type rides and/or fast commuting.

 

Crossway

Merida makes a huge range of aluminium Crossway hybrid bikes for both men and women. They’re designed for everything from leisure rides to commuting.

Merida CROSSWAY_URBAN_20_MD_BLU_MY2017.jpg

Merida CROSSWAY_URBAN_20_MD_BLU_MY2017.jpg

The £450 Crossway Urban 20-MD (above) comes with a triple chainset and Promax mechanical disc brakes, but you can get a carbon fork, Shimano Deore (mountain bike) transmission and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes if you step up to the £850 Crossway Urban 500 (below). This model comes with mudguards, a kickstand and hidden cable routing.

Merida Crossway Urban 500 2017 - 1.jpg

Merida Crossway Urban 500 2017 - 1.jpg

Buy if: You’re after a no-nonsense urban commuter at a decent price.

 

Women’s bikes

Merida SCULTURA_4000_JULIET_MY2017.jpg

Merida SCULTURA_4000_JULIET_MY2017.jpg

Merida offer women’s versions of many of the bikes above. The Scultura 4000 Juliet (above, £1,500) for example, is built around the same carbon-fibre CF2 frame as the standard Scultura 4000, with exactly the same geometry. However, the Juliet version comes with components selected for women, including a Juliet Sport Pro saddle.

Merida RIDE_300_JULIET_MY2017.jpg

Merida RIDE_300_JULIET_MY2017.jpg

There are four women’s Ride models including the £850 Ride 300 Juliet (above) which features an aluminium frame, a full-carbon fork and a Shimano Tiagra groupset, and the £1,900 Ride 5000 Juliet which is built around a carbon frame and has a Shimano Ultegra transmission.

Merida CROSSWAY_URBAN_20_MD_LADY_BLU_MY2017.jpg

Merida CROSSWAY_URBAN_20_MD_LADY_BLU_MY2017.jpg

There are no women-specific disc brake road bikes or flat bar road bikes in the Merida range but most of the Crossway Urban bikes are available in women’s versions with a dropped top tube. The Crossway Urban 20MD (above), for instance, comes with 24 gears and is priced at £450.

www.merida-bikes.com

 

Full 2017 model range

Model Style Frame material Groupset Price
Ride 7000 Endurance Carbon fibre Shimano Ultegra £2,300
Ride 5000 Endurance Carbon fibre Shimano Ultegra £1,900
Ride 5000-Juliet Endurance Carbon fibre Shimano Ultegra £1,900
Ride 4000 Endurance Carbon fibre Shimano 105 £1,500
Ride 500 Endurance Aluminium Shimano Ultegra £1,150
Ride 400 Endurance Aluminium Shimano 105 £1,000
Ride 400-Juliet Endurance Aluminium Shimano 105 £1,000
Ride 300 Endurance Aluminium Shimano Tiagra £850
Ride 300-Juliet Endurance Aluminium Shimano Tiagra £850
Ride 100 Endurance Aluminium Shimano Sora £650
Ride 100-Juliet Endurance Aluminium Shimano Sora £650
Scultura Team Race Carbon fibre Shimano Dura-Ace £6,000
Scultura 7000-E Race Carbon fibre Shimano Ultegra Di2 £3,600
Scultura 6000 Race Carbon fibre Shimano Ultegra £2,000
Scultura 5000 Race Carbon fibre Shimano Ultegra £1,700
Scultura 4000 Juliet Race Carbon fibre Shimano 105 £1,500
Scultura Disc Team Race Carbon fibre Shimano Dura-Ace £6,500
Scultura Disc 7000-E Race Carbon fibre Shimano Ultegra Di2 £4,000
Scultura Disc 6000 Race Carbon fibre Shimano Ultegra £2,400
Scultura Disc 5000 Race Carbon fibre Shimano Ultegra £2,100
Scultura Disc 500 Race Aluminium Shimano Ultegra £1,500
Scultura Disc 400 Race Aluminium Shimano 105 £1,300
Scultura Disc 200 Race Aluminium Shimano Sora £850
Reacto DA LTD Aero Carbon fibre Shimano Dura-Ace £3,700
Reacto 7000-E Aero Carbon fibre Shimano Ultegra Di2 £3,200
Reacto 6000 Aero Carbon fibre Shimano Ultegra £2,350
Reacto 5000 Aero Carbon fibre Shimano Ultegra £2,000
Reacto 4000 Aero Carbon fibre Shimano 105 £1,750
Reacto 500 Aero Aluminium Shimano Ultegra £1,300
Reacto 400 Aero Aluminium Shimano 105 £1,100
Reacto 300 Aero Aluminium Shimano Tiagra £950
Cyclo Cross 6000 Cyclocross Carbon fibre Shimano Ultegra £2,600
Cyclo Cross 5000 Cyclocross Carbon fibre SRAM Apex 1 £2,150
Cyclo Cross 500 Cyclocross Aluminium Shimano 105 £1,000
Cyclo Cross 300 Cyclocross Aluminium Shimano Tiagra £800

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.

11 comments

Avatar
joules1975 [454 posts] 8 months ago
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What about the Ride Disc bikes?

In my view these have been the best road bikes in the range, with plenty of tyre clearance and mudguard eyelets. I've seen that for 2017 Merida have had a go at turning their Ride Carbon bike into a fast rough road/adventure bike with 1x groupset and fatter tyres - is that coming to the uk?

Avatar
Mat Brett [648 posts] 8 months ago
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joules1975 wrote:

What about the Ride Disc bikes?

In my view these have been the best road bikes in the range, with plenty of tyre clearance and mudguard eyelets. I've seen that for 2017 Merida have had a go at turning their Ride Carbon bike into a fast rough road/adventure bike with 1x groupset and fatter tyres - is that coming to the uk?

Hi. The Ride Discs won't be on general sale in the UK in 2017.

For everyone else, these are the Ride Disc Adventure bikes that Joules1975 mentions, on Merida's international website:

http://www.merida-bikes.com/en_int/bikes/road-fitness/road-comfort/2017/...

http://www.merida-bikes.com/en_int/bikes/road-fitness/road-comfort/2017/...

There are always ways and means of getting the bikes if you have your heart set on them.

Avatar
joules1975 [454 posts] 8 months ago
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Mat Brett wrote:
joules1975 wrote:

What about the Ride Disc bikes?

In my view these have been the best road bikes in the range, with plenty of tyre clearance and mudguard eyelets. I've seen that for 2017 Merida have had a go at turning their Ride Carbon bike into a fast rough road/adventure bike with 1x groupset and fatter tyres - is that coming to the uk?

Hi. The Ride Discs won't be on general sale in the UK in 2017.

For everyone else, these are the Ride Disc Adventure bikes that Joules1975 mentions, on Merida's international website:

http://www.merida-bikes.com/en_int/bikes/road-fitness/road-comfort/2017/...

http://www.merida-bikes.com/en_int/bikes/road-fitness/road-comfort/2017/...

There are always ways and means of getting the bikes if you have your heart set on them.

 

So here in the UK where a bikes ability to take mudguards is more likely to be a major selling point for a fair amount of customers, Merida UK have decided to not import the only road bikes in their parent companies range that can take mudguards.

Some-one wasn't thinking straight.

Avatar
Mr Turning [124 posts] 8 months ago
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joules1975 wrote:

So here in the UK where a bikes ability to take mudguards is more likely to be a major selling point for a fair amount of customers, Merida UK have decided to not import the only road bikes in their parent companies range that can take mudguards.

 

The Ride rim brake bikes that are distributed in the UK take mudguards.

 

Avatar
kil0ran [323 posts] 8 months ago
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The cyclocross range takes mudguards although the lack of a fork crown hole means they screw into the bottom of the steerer which isn't particularly idea. Mounts are also halfway up the fork so most guards will need mudflaps to stop your feet/BB getting caked in mud. Good clearance at rear although have to be careful on the 105 bikes due to the long front mech arm.

Love my '16 Cyclocross 500 - versatile, very comfortable, good spec, available on CtW. Perfect fast commuter for mixed terrain. I'm sure I'm not the only one who prefers the look of the non-series RS500 chainrings over the 105 version...

Avatar
Skylark [181 posts] 8 months ago
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Curious, what's doing the rounds in carbon frames next year.

Looks like it's a cross between a Trek and a Specialized in 2017.

Avatar
JumpingJalapeno [3 posts] 8 months ago
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Happy I got my Ride disc last year then. Seems a strange descicion not to make them available this year. 

Avatar
joules1975 [454 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes
Mr Turning wrote:
joules1975 wrote:

So here in the UK where a bikes ability to take mudguards is more likely to be a major selling point for a fair amount of customers, Merida UK have decided to not import the only road bikes in their parent companies range that can take mudguards.

 

The Ride rim brake bikes that are distributed in the UK take mudguards.

 

 

Not exactly, or at least not unless they have changed the forks that they come fitted with - the last time I saw a Merida Ride rim brake bike it had fittings on the back but not on the fork.

Avatar
joules1975 [454 posts] 8 months ago
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kil0ran wrote:

The cyclocross range takes mudguards although the lack of a fork crown hole means they screw into the bottom of the steerer which isn't particularly idea. Mounts are also halfway up the fork so most guards will need mudflaps to stop your feet/BB getting caked in mud. Good clearance at rear although have to be careful on the 105 bikes due to the long front mech arm.

Love my '16 Cyclocross 500 - versatile, very comfortable, good spec, available on CtW. Perfect fast commuter for mixed terrain. I'm sure I'm not the only one who prefers the look of the non-series RS500 chainrings over the 105 version...

 

I have a Ride Carbon and a Cyclocross 500, and like them both, but as I don't cyclocross I was thinking of replacing the CX with an Alu Ride disc or even a second Carbon Ride disc so as to have one in summer mode and one in winter (I know that's extravegant, but round here roads have often been OK for summer bike on occasions right into winter - if there has been a mild dry spell for a few days, the roads are fine).

Also, strangely, the Ride Carbon looks to have clearance for up to a 40mm tyre if fitting a 650b wheel (something I was thinking of tyring), while the CX bike doesn't due to the shape of the chain stays.

Fixing the guard on the fork with a vertical bolt has it pros and cons. Looks clean but you need more time fitting to get it right. Not sure why you say the stay mounts being half way up the fork mean guards need a mud flap, as it has no effect on the length of the guard.

Avatar
Danger Dicko [281 posts] 8 months ago
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That round up is certainly "more bike".

Avatar
waynej [4 posts] 7 months ago
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I was lucky enough to a test a Scultura Disc 6000 at the weekend. Beautiful handling and ride quality and the brakes were superb. I honestly couldn't fault it. It was my first time on a disc braked road bike and I'm sold on them now.