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First look: Merida Scultura Disc launched in Belgium today

All the details about Merida's brand new Scultura Disc road bike

Merida has formally announced details of its new Scultura Disc, the bike that Team Lampre-Merida rode in the Tour of Flanders at the weekend. 

The new Scultura Disc is available in both carbon-fibre and aluminium frame variants. The carbon-fibre models feature 12mm thru-axles front and rear, and 160mm disc rotors – following a trend in disc brake road bike design that we discussed in an article on last weekend – and a new means of heat dissipation.

- Everything you need to know about disc brakes

The Scultura is Merida’s lightweight race bike, already available in various different rim brake builds including the 4.55kg Scultura 9000 Ltd.

“The brand new Scultura Disc… combines the comfortable but also stiff and efficient riding characteristics of the rim brake variant with the general benefits of disc brakes,” says Merida. 

- Check out our First Ride of the rim brake Merida Scultura Team here. 

Merida Scultura Disc 2016 launch - 4.jpg

“The whole implementation – including its very own solution for heat dissipation – not only earns the Scultura a competitive edge but also raises the actual performance of the disc brake system in use, which can be clearly perceived and measured.”

We’ll come back to the heat dissipation system in a mo.

As mentioned, the new Scultura Disc will be available in three frame variants, two carbon-fibre and one aluminium.

  • The top-level Scultura Disc CF4 weighs a claimed 900g. This is the one used by Team Lampre-Merida. 
  • The CF2 weighs just below 1000g, according to Merida.
  • The Lite, the aluminium model, weighs under 1,500g.

The CF4 is built to a race bike aggressive geometry while the CF2 and the Lite frames are more relaxed although still performance orientated.

Merida says that the Scultura Disc is almost identical to the rim braked version in terms of head tube and bottom bracket stiffness, comfort and aerodynamics. 

The chainstays are slightly longer – by 8mm – for more tyre clearance, but the only other differences are related to the disc brakes, adjustments having been made to the fork and the rear triangle to handle the one-sided disc brake forces. 

The Scultura Disc retains the NACA Fastback tube profiles of the rim brake model, designed for aerodynamic efficiency.

It features 12mm thru-axles (100 mm front, 142 mm rear) with 160mm braking discs on the CF4 and CF2 frame levels.

Merida Scultura Disc 2016 launch - 3.jpg

As we mentioned in our article from the weekend,  neutral race support in high-level races carries wheels that conform to these standards.

The thru-axles on the CF4 are RAT (Rapid Axle Technology), a design introduced by Focus to allow for fast wheel changes.

The CF4 and the CF2 both use flat mount callipers front and rear. All models take tyres up to 28mm wide.

Right, about that heat dissipation system…

The carbon models, across all price ranges, feature Merida’s new Disccooler design. 

Merida Scultura Disc 2016 launch - 2.jpg

“While front brakes are always well-cooled thanks to constantly being exposed to the oncoming airstream, the performance of rear brakes benefits from active heat management,” says Merida. 

“The Merida engineers had their own vision how this could be done and developed a new solution. The resulting component is made of forged aluminium and is screwed tight under the rear calliper. 

“In this position, it effectively dissipates the uprising heat through CNC-milled cooling fins. Tests confirm that during a four-minute brake the temperature is reduced by roughly 35°C with the Disccooler.”

Merida believes that the Scultura Disc is well suited to the cobbles thanks to both those disc brakes and the increased tyre clearance, so expect Team Lampre-Merida to be on the new bike for this Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix. Also, the slight weight penalty of a rim brake model makes minimal difference in a mostly flat race like this.

I’m out in Belgium with Merida and will be riding the Scultura Disc on the cobbles over the next couple of days. Stay tuned for a First Ride once we’ve got the miles in.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, 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 winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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