When it arrived, the general consensus in the office was that the Pearson HammerAndTongs offered all the ingredients for a fast and comfortable sportive bike.
Well, I've been riding the HammerAndTongs for a while now and can report that this is indeed the case. It's fast and flighty, comfortable over longer distances and the geometry is well tuned to the sportive rider.
Mekk use the slogan 'Affordable Performance' to describe their bikes and that's a fair description. The Mekk 3G Potenza SL5.5 is a great looking carbon frame with a tall front end, and will suit those seeking a comfortable bike that is no slouch.
It's not perfect, but it's a great start from a new brand.
Never heard of Mekk? Don't worry, that's because they're the newest bike company on the block and are vying for your attention with seriously well designed and really well specced bikes.
Merida have been gradually building up a road bike portfolio the last few years, from mainly mountain bike beginnings. The 2013 range is a comprehensive portfolio, with something for every end of the scale. On test is the Merida Scultura Comp 904, their second tier carbon frame fitted with Shimano 105.
Scultura is Italian for Sculpture (I'm trusting the Italian in the booklet here) and the frame does indeed follow a fine form. A flattened, slightly square section top-tube flows with a gracious, tapered curve into the seat-stays.
With its direct front end and general firm character the Mendiz RS9.3 is brilliant at going really really fast for a relatively short time.
If you want a comfy all-day ride or a steady sportive plodder then you'll need to look elsewhere. That's not to say the Mendiz can't do those things, far from it, but its talents lie elsewhere.
The stiff, almost brutal at times front triangle, sharp steering and direct power transfer would make it a great race or crit machine, as long as there were no cobbles along the way.