The new Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team will kick off its racing career this weekend at the Santos Tour Down Under on a very classy looking fleet of bikes from Merida.
Riders, including four-time Grand Tour winner Vincenzo Nibali, will get to select from four different models this season depending on the discipline, course, conditions and their individual preference.
The Scultura Team is designed to be lightweight and comfortable.
The Reacto Team is designed to be aerodynamic. Merida has included numerous aero features to reduce drag. It is built around Merida's Fastback tube profiles that are based on the NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) 0028 airfoil.
The tail of the profile is cut square, the idea being to maintain airflow stability without causing turbulence. This also keeps the weight down and allows Merida to keep the tube dimensions within the UCI's limits.
Team riders will ride the Warp TT in time trials. Like the Reacto, this bike uses NACA Fastback tube profiles.
The riders will be able to choose the Scultura Disc (we don't have pics of this model yet) for racing on poor roads and cobblestones. Lampre-Merida riders rode this bike in Paris-Roubaix last year before the UCI suspended the use of disc brakes in the pro peloton. It’ll be interesting to see what the take up is like for the cobbled classics this year now that discs are again permitted.
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 road.cc 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 pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.