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Merida 2018 road, cyclo-cross and TT bikes: your definitive guide

Is a Merida top of your new bike wishlist? Here's everything you need to know...

It was only a matter of time before we got around to featuring Merida in our 2018 bike guide. The brand, often mistaken for a Spanish marque given its Hispanic name, in fact calls Taiwan home (with links to Germany), just like Giant. In fact, Merida, like Giant, is also one of the few bike brands that owns its own manufacturing processes.

So what’s on offer? Well, the top-line race bike you’ll spot under riders of the Bahrain-Merida team most of the time is the Reacto, the aero race machine that received an update ahead of the 2017 Tour de France.

It boasted a claimed five per cent improvement in aero efficiency, while compliance was also said to be improved by ten per cent. What’s interesting, however, is that along with being available in both rim and disc brake guises, you can also have it in the pro-level CF4 layout, or the slightly pared-back and relaxed CF2 geometry, potentially making it an aero bike for the masses. There’s also an alloy version of the Reacto in the mix, too.

The Merida Reacto aero machine has been updated for model year 2018 (Pic: George Scott/Factory Media)

On the other side of the race coin is the Scultura, which is every bit a race bike as the Reacto, but caters to the needs of the lightweight climbers. Therefore, it’s generally Vincenzo Nibali’s bike of choice – it’s won a Giro d’Italia stage and Il Lombardia underneath the Shark of Messina this year – and also boasts good levels of compliance too, as we discovered when we rode the disc-equipped version over the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix. This predominately carbon-framed range is bolstered with eight aluminium models.

In terms of alloy bikes, there’s also the Race line-up, with two builds that offer a more affordable entry point to the Merida brand, while the emerging gravel market is catered for with the Silex – two carbon and five aluminium models here – and there are no bonus points for guessing what the Cyclo Cross bikes are designed for. Finally, the time trial artists among you might consider the Warp TT steed.

Here we go then, starting with that freshly updated Reacto.

Merida Reacto and Reacto Disc

Time waits for no brand (or bike), and the pace of development in aero frame design shows no signs of slowing. With the Reacto, Merida recognised this when designing this latest version and incorporated new slimmer tube profiles as well as a narrower headtube, along with lowered, tapered seatstays.

Integrated cockpits are all the rage these days, and if you want the Vision Metron 5D model to complete the ultimate aero design, you’ll need to opt for the flagship CF4-spec frame. That in itself offers a pro-style position primarily thanks to a shorter headtube, as well as a claimed frame weight of 1,010g for the rim brake bike, and 1,030g for the disc-brake version. That demonstrates just how close flagship disc-brake frames are getting these days to matching established rim-brake siblings. The CF2-spec framesets gain 83g and 120g respectively – and, remember, offer a more relaxed riding position than the CF4 bikes.

The flagship Merida Reacto Team-E boasts a Vision Metron 5D aerocockpit and the top CF4 carbon layup

As well as an updated aero design, the latest Reacto also offers a claimed ten per cent improvement in comfort through the carbon layup, dropped seatstays and the inclusion of a new ‘S-Flex’ carbon seatpost design. This has a widened cutout that now features a silicone rubber filling, which is said to reduce harsh ride vibrations.

The range tops out with the pro-spec Dura-Ace Di2 bikes, available in rim and disc brake versions for £8,000 and £9,500 respectively (while frame weights may be remarkably similar, you certainly still pay a premium for disc brake tech). Another Dura-Ace Di2 rim brake bike (the 9000-E) is available for £7,750 if you don’t fancy looking like you might be a Bahrain-Merida rider.

Once the model numbers hit 7000 and lower, we’re into CF2 frame territory, with less eye-watering prices to match. The 7000-E varieties, with the excellent Ultegra Di2 drivetrain, cost a much more accessible £3,500 and £3,850 respectively, while anything with ‘6000’-or-lower nomenclature features mechanical shifting, topping out with the Ultegra R8000 or R8020 rim and disc groupsets. Propping up the entire range are Shimano 105-equipped rim brake bikes: a £1,800 CF2 carbon framed machine, and a lone alloy bike, the Reacto 400, at £1,250.

There is also a disc-equipped version of the Reacto Team-E

Merida Reacto 2018 bikes

Merida Reacto Team-E (Shimano Dura-Ace Di2) – £8,000
Merida Reacto 9000-E (Shimano Dura-Ace Di2) – £7,750
Merida Reacto 7000-E (Shimano Ultegra Di2) – £3,500
Merida Reacto 5000 (Shimano Ultegra) – £2,000
Merida Reacto 4000 (Shimano 105) – £1,800
Merida Reacto 400 (Shimano 105) – £1,250

Merida Reacto Disc Team-E (Shimano Dura-Ace Di2) – £9,500
Merida Reacto Disc 7000-E (Shimano Ultegra Di2) – £3,850
Merida Reacto Disc 6000 (Shimano Ultegra) – £3,000
Merida Reacto Disc 5000 (Shimano Ultegra) – £2,450

Merida Scultura and Scultura Disc

The Scultura was last updated ahead of the 2015 Giro d’Italia, while a disc brake version was introduced in during the Tour of Flanders/Paris-Roubaix week in 2016. We attended both launches, and each time we were supremely impressed with the level of finesse Merida had achieved with each bike – especially the Scultura Disc, which was one of the first to openly declare the 12mm thru-axle standard as a true standard.

These latest iterations blend subtle aerodynamics with lightweight frame design – the Scultura’s forte. And lightweight it certainly is. The claimed frame weight for the top-end CF4 frame is 740g, while the CF2 tips the scales at 800g. The disc-brake frames come with the choice of CF4 and CF2 carbon layups, too, with the racy CF4 coming in at 900g, and slightly more relaxed CF2 geometry shading under a kilo.

As with the Reacto, the lightweight Merida Scultura is available in both rim and disc brake versions

Just like the Reacto, anything with a demarcation of 7000 or below receives the lower-spec CF2 frame layup and endurance geometry, while the flagship CF4 bikes (three rim-brake machines and one disc-equipped alternative) are all supplied with electronic shifting, including a £7,200 SRAM Red eTap bike.

The mid-range prices top out with the 7000-E Ultegra Di2 bikes at £3,250 (rim brake) and £3,750 (disc brake), while you can get the same CF2-spec carbon frame in the 4000-series bikes at £1,800 and £2,150 respectively with Shimano 105. There’s also the female-specific ‘Juliet’ bikes built to the Shimano 105 specifications.

Sitting underneath the carbon bikes are alloy bikes (those models with three-digit names). These top out with the 400, complete with a Shimano 105 groupset and cost £1,200 and £1,550 for the rim and disc brake versions respectively. On the rim brake side, the range features Tiagra, Sora and Claris-equipped bikes, with the 100 Claris bike available for £750 both in standard or ‘Juliet’ forms. On the disc brake side, there’s only one other alloy bike, costing £950 with Shimano Sora bits.

The Scultura 9000-E features Merida’s top-spec carbon layup and a SRAM Red eTap groupset

Merida Scultura 2018 bikes

Merida Scultura Team-E (Shimano Dura-Ace Di2) – £8,750
Merida Scultura 9000-E (SRAM Red eTap) – £7,200
Merida Scultura 8000-E (Shimano Ultegra Di2) – £5,250
Merida Scultura 7000-E (Shimano Ultegra Di2) – £3,250
Merida Scultura 6000 (Shimano Ultegra) – £2,400
Merida Scultura 5000 (Shimano Ultegra) – £2,000
Merida Scultura 4000 (Shimano 105) – £1,800
Merida Scultura 4000 Juliet (Shimano 105) – £1,800
Merida Scultura 400 (Shimano 105) – £1,200
Merida Scultura 400 Juliet (Shimano 105) – £1,200
Merida Scultura 300 (Shimano Tiagra) – £950
Merida Scultura 200 (Shimano Sora) – £850
Merida Scultura 100 (Shimano Claris) – £750
Merida Scultura 100 Juliet (Shimano Claris) – £750

Merida Scultura Disc Team-E (Shimano Dura-Ace Di2) – £9,500
Merida Scultura Disc 7000-E (Shimano Ultegra Di2) – £3,750
Merida Scultura Disc 6000 (Shimano Ultegra) – £2,750
Merida Scultura Disc 5000 (Shimano Ultegra) – £2,300
Merida Scultura Disc 4000 (Shimano 105) – £2,150
Merida Scultura Disc 4000 Juliet (Shimano 105) – £2,150
Merida Scultura Disc 400 (Shimano 105) – £1,550
Merida Scultura Disc 200 (Shimano Sora/Promax Decode R) – £950

Merida Race

If an entry-level bike is on your radar, perhaps as a utility road bike or as a first taster of what road cycling can offer, the Race 50 and 80 bikes are available for £600 and £650 apiece.

The frame is made from 6061-series aluminium in an endurance-style geometry, and is paired with a carbon tapered fork. You’ll get alloy finishing kit and a Shimano Claris groupset in the 80-spec bike, or a non-series Shimano A070 groupset in the 50-spec machine.

The Merida Race 50 is the brand’s entry-level road machine

Merida Race 2018 bikes

Merida Race 80 – £650
Merida Race 50 – £600

Merida Cyclo Cross

If you’re into your CX racing, then the Cyclo Cross range of bikes could be right up your street (or muddy field, so to speak). The bike features a cross-specific geometry, post-mount disc brakes and, if racing isn’t your thing, mudguard mounts too. The carbon framed 6000 bike features a SRAM Apex 1x groupset, complete with 11-42t cassette, 33c Maxxis All Terrane rubber and Merida’s own Expert CC wheelset for £2,500.

The 600, 400 and 300 bikes have a 6066-series aluminium frame in the same all-terrain geometry, with the 600 also featuring the same groupset and overall build as its carbon sibling. In doing so, you save £950 over the carbon model, and concede 590g in weight (8.86kg vs. 9.45kg claimed weights for the total build).

A £1,150 Shimano 105 and Tektro Spyre disc brake bike comes next, this time featuring a double chainring chainset for a little more on-road and gravel flexibility, while a £925 model undercuts this with the ten-speed Tiagra drivetrain. Both bikes have mechanical Tektro brakes, rather than the hydraulic stoppers you’ll find on the 6000 and 600 bikes.

The Merida Cyclo Cross range features three alloy builds and this carbon 6000 bike, complete with SRAM Apex 1x groupset

Merida Cyclo Cross 2018 bikes

Merida Cyclo Cross 6000 (SRAM Apex 1) – £2,500
Merida Cyclo Cross 600 (SRAM Apex 1) – £1,550
Merida Cyclo Cross 400 (Shimano 105/Tektro Spyre) – £1,150
Merida Cyclo Cross 300 (Shimano Tiagra/Tektro Spyre) – £925

Merida Silex

If there’s a bike in the 2018 Merida range that could be described as a ‘jack of all trades’, the Silex would be it. We spotted it at this year’s Eurobike, and it’ll be in full production in time for 2018. It’s a gravel-touring-road-commuter bike, hitting just about every relevant genre surrounding road cycling today.

Interestingly, it takes its frame geometry cues from mountain biking – ostensibly a long wheelbase for a longer reach, married to a short stem – and it’s this that’s said to give the Silex its claimed versatility. There’s also acres of clearance too; you can run 650b wheels with 50mm tyres, or 700c standard wheels with up to 42mm rubber, and of course there are mudguard and rack mounts.

There are two carbon bikes, with a claimed frame weight of 1,050g, and these feature either a SRAM Force 1 and Rival mix of componentry, or a full SRAM Apex 1 groupset for £3,500 or £2,250 apiece.

The alloy frame is said to weigh 1,500g, with five build options ranging from the Shimano Ultegra-equipped 700 bike for £2,100, down to the 200 at a round £1,000, on which you’ll find a mix of Shimano’s nine-speed Sora groupset and Promax Decode R disc brakes.

The Merida Silex launched in 2017 and can be best be described as a ‘jack of all trades’

Merida Silex 2018 bikes

Merida Silex 9000 (SRAM Force 1/Rival) – £3,500
Merida Silex 6000 (SRAM Apex 1) – £2,250
Merida Silex 700 (Shimano Ultegra) – £2,100
Merida Silex 600 (SRAM Apex 1) – £1,700
Merida Silex 400 (Shimano 105) – £1,500
Merida Silex 300 (SRAM Apex 1/Tektro Spyre) – £1,200
Merida Silex 200 (Shimano Sora/Promax Decode R) – £1,000

Merida Warp

The Warp is Team Bahrain-Merida’s TT bike, of course, and while those bikes are kitted out in full Dura-Ace Di2 trappings, the one model on offer to consumers is the 5000, coming with a functional blend of Ultegra and 105 componentry for £3,800, along with a distinctive Vision Trimax Pro TT chainset and Profile aero bars and brake levers.

The Warp frame is constructed of Merida’s top-level CF4 carbon fibre, moulded into deep aero tubing to help it slice through the air with maximum efficiency. The frame also features lowered seatstays and a bladed seatpost specific to the Warp, as well as integrated cable routing with top-loading ports.

The Merida Warp 5000 is the Taiwanese brand’s TT weapon

Merida Warp 2018 bikes

Merida Warp 5000 (Shimano Ultegra/105) – £3,800


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