Merida have just sent us full details of their 2013 range and here are the highlights…
First up, this is the new Scultura SL top-end road bike that Team Lampre will be riding next year… well, Team Lampre-Merida as they’ll now be known, their contract with Wilier having come to an end.
I went to the launch of the Scultura SL earlier in the year and wrote an action-packed news story on the new bike. Really good, it is - there's something in there for all the family. If you can’t be bothered to read it, here’s the condensed version. I’ll even do some bullet points to make it even easier for you. I know how busy you are…
• The Scultura SL is ultralight, the frame (54cm) weighing in at a claimed 830g with the fork 330g.
• Like most high-end road bikes now, it comes with a tapered head tube (1 1/2in lower bearing), and oversized (BB386) bottom bracket.
• Merida say their technology, including Double Chamber reinforcement ribs within the frame, makes the Scultura SL among the stiffest bikes out there.
• Merida’s Flex Stay rear stays, with a central layer of flax fibres integrated into the high modulus carbon, are designed to absorb vibrations and bumps and conserve your energy. The bio fibres are also used in the fork.
• It’s compatible with both mechanical and electronic shifting.
Built up with a SRAM Red groupset and DT Swiss RR1450 Tricon wheels, the Scultura is priced at £6,000.
Merida’s Ride Carbon bikes are new for 2013 too, taking the slightly longer head tube and wheelbase of Merida’s existing aluminium Ride bikes with the aim of providing a comfortable, stable setup for endurance riders. To give you an idea of the scale of the difference, the head tube on the 56cm model is 21.5cm compared to 18cm on the equivalent Scultura SL, the chainstays are 5mm longer, and you get a compact handlebar with less of a drop.
There are three bikes in the range, all built around the same carbon monocoque frame that incorporates those Flex Stays I mentioned before and that bio fibre damping. It’s still a lightweight frame – Merida reckon just 1,050g for the large size – and it comes with an oversized head tube and full-carbon fork.
The most affordable model is the £1,350 Ride Carbon 93 (above) which comes with a Shimano Tiagra groupset. The 105-equipped Ride Carbon 94 is £1,500 while the Ultegra version with Mavic Aksium wheels, the Ride Carbon 95 (below) is £2,000.
Merida have a large road range that covers pretty much everything: an aero road bike (the £2,800 Reacto,below), performance carbon road bikes (the rest of the Scultura line-up), aluminium race bikes (the Race Lites), aluminium endurance bikes (the Ride Lites), and the Speeder flat barred road bikes. There are also a couple of women’s specific road bikes in the shape of the Juliet models.
The other bike we really like the look of, though, is the Cyclo-Cross 4-MD, the only CX bike that Merida have in the line-up this year, and it’s priced at a Cycle to Work-friendly £999.99.
For that you get a butted and heat-treated 6061 aluminium frame with smooth welds and a carbon/alloy fork. The equipment is a real mix: Shimano 105 shifters and mechs, Hayes CX5 mechanical disc brakes and an FSA Gossamer chainset. You get rack and mudguard eyelets too so you can use it as a real all-rounder. We’ll see if we can persuade Merida to send one in for test.
For details on the entire range go to www.merida-bikes.com.
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 youthful 45-year-old 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.