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.
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.
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”.
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 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.
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).
The most affordable model is the £1,700 Scultura 5000 (above) that features a Shimano Ultegra groupset.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Of the carbon-fibre models, the £1,900 Ride 5000 (below) looks excellent value with a Shimano Ultegra transmission.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Speeders are flat bar road bikes built around lightweight aluminium frames.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Buy if: You’re after a no-nonsense urban commuter at a decent price.
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.
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.
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.
Full 2017 model range
|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 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight 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.